Thursday, October 19, 2006

Differently able

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said that Russia has a different kind of democracy. Sort of reminds me of the time when my late professor of English history bought a book that said "for specially gifted children" for her little son, only to have him comment "mom, this is a book for retards".

Heh, and here I thought that only in the US the political correctness has reached the point where we call the disabled people "differently able", and even then not very often.

Speaking about the actual disabled people: Helsingin Sanomat has an article today saying that according to a study made by Invalidiliitto most people have problems relating to the motion-impaired people in a perfectly equal and neutral way. I am not sure why this should come as a surprise to anyone. Disability is just not a neutral thing. It is a bad thing. I don't see why we should have to relate in a neutral way to a condition most of us dread. Yes, we should strive to make it less dreadful by providing good access for the handicapped in the buildings, etc., but physical disability won't become a neutral thing until human bodies become totally irrelevant. I can certainly see the point in pretending to relate to it as a neutral thing in the presence of the handicapped people (it's probably boring to hear expressions of pity all the time, and they probably have other things to talk about and are generally annoyed by people calling attention to their disability, etc.). But can anyone tell me why we are supposed to pretend to relate to it in a neutral way when answering a questionnaire for a study about attitudes towards the motion-impaired?

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