Friday, January 22, 2010


something has to affect you for you to make a video about it.

the bits you take out of a video can be just as telling (if not more so) than the bits you put in.

i made a video about a list of the "proper" terms to use for the disabled. while editing the video i constantly thought, "no, take that out. you don't want to spoon-feed people. let them come to the conclusion." also, i didn't want it to ramble on. i wanted it to be short, clipped, blunt.

unfortunately, i overlooked that sometimes a little encouragement with the first spoonful is necessary.

but enough about spoons. Steve commented on my video, clearly a bit offended. i clarified the best i could with a 500 character limit, but found that i needed to say more. because clarifying myself made me think about why i posted the video in the first place.

Steve was offended because he thought i was blatantly disagreeing with the "politically correct" terms. (and in a few cases, i was) but terminology on a list did not move me to make a video. the existence of such a list moved me to make a video.

the most telling of the footage on the cutting room floor was the part about my autistic brother. they said not to use the term "autistic" but to say instead, "a person with autism" thus punctuating that they are a person. however, i find this insulting. the fact that they feel the need to point out that he's a person is saying that someone could ever make a mistake otherwise. such that if you don't point out that you are in fact talking about a person, one could reason that someone autistic is sub-human.

with a few exceptions, the entire list is like this. it contains some contradictions, but it's mostly a list of euphemisms.
eu⋅phe⋅mism  [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm]–noun

1. the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

the mere fact that they feel a need to have a euphemism suggests that there is something wrong, or dirty or offensive that needs to be smoothed over and made acceptable. i find this concept, when applied to the disabled, appalling.

i've learned an important lesson about video editing tonight. some things need explanation. even if you're preaching to the choir. otherwise, people may get the wrong idea.

i'm looking forward to tomorrow's video (already edited an ready to post). no one will get offended! except maybe if you're a stoner.

the list and video in question:

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