Unlike Melania Trump, Tales From the Crip plagiarizes only its own material. In honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 26th anniversary, TFtC is kicking off The Year of Sassing Back, #CripLit-Style by offering this gently-used excerpt from our first — and only! — NotPeople Magazine’s Imaginary Interviews With People Who We Wish Were Imaginary. Our own Respironics Bi-Pap S/T sat down with philosopher Dr. Peter Singer, Princeton’s Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, whose anti-crip, pro-swine agenda argues that infanticide of babies with disabilities should be legal up until the 28th day after birth, that health care for people with disabilities should be rationed, and that the consciousness of some pigs doesn’t get enough respect. Happy ADA26! We’re not dead yet!
On the Love Secrets of the Utilitarian!
RBPS/T: Isn’t “No Rules, Just Rights” pretty much the mating call of the utilitarian?
PS: “If it feels good, do it,” is a much more rational mating call.
RBPS/T: What’s a common way for a utilitarian to get friend-zoned?
PS: A utilitarian could help a hot girl move and then she gets back together with her bass-player ex. Who’s a contemporary Continental phenomenologist.
RBPS/T: That sounds…nonhypothetical. And gender-biased. But hey, you are a philosopher.
PS: JUST BECAUSE WE’RE UTILITARIANS DOESN’T MEAN WE LIKE BEING USED.
PS: It was a long time ago. I am completely and 110% over it. My happiness has never been more maximized. A random person might see me on this cover and think, “Wow, he is totally living the life he said he would and here I am, possibly married to but probably long-since-dumped by an untalented string player who distracted me from what my life could have been, and if something tragic happens like I get so horribly disfigured in an accident that I need expensive but ultimately futile treatments or I have an adorable but super sick baby — which wouldn’t be so unlikely if the weak genes of a contemporary Continental phenomenologist were involved in the uterine brew — I will most definitely not want societal resources wasted on prolonging our now-useless lives that are almost entirely composed of suffering moments that don’t include one single glimpse much less the infinitely tender touch of the brilliant moral pragmatist — pragmatic moralist? — I should have appreciated and who I secretly dream of providing me with his personal care and support at no cost to the public or to his individual liberty.” SHOW ME ONE TENURED “ARTIST,” SHEILA!
RBPS/T: No projection there.
PS: What’s projection?
What is it like to live with a disability? What do I want other people — younger people — to know? What do I see ahead? What are the ethical boundaries for telling other people’s stories?
These are some of the excellent questions posed by DearJulianna, #CrippingtheMighty, and #TheFutureIsDisabled. (Carrie Ann Lucas’s blog post currently carries the coveted — by me — title of, The Blog Post I Love Because It’s So Well-Written I No Longer Feel Like I Need to Take On This Difficult Topic Until I Want To.) People with disabilities are writing, reading, producing, performing, and arguing like nothing I’ve witnessed in 50 years. It’s wonderful and it makes me want to hide out under a blanket for a while and just let my mind wander.
When I can get enough mind-wandering time clocked, I work through stories that are the made-up kind: fiction. They’re stories that are “about” my life the way jambalaya is “about” sausage, rice, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I can’t seem to tell the truth without lying, which is “fiction” in a nutshell and why Hermes, that liar (and inventor of lyres), is the god of storytelling.
In terms of privacy, even badly written fiction is different from posting a detailed or disparaging description of your child who has a disability. But in thinking about who gets to write about who, and how, and why, I remembered a problem I’d had with conveying certain information about my main character, an adult woman with a disability. Me! Not me!
Ingrid Tischer on the day of her kindergarten graduation in Greece, New York, circa 1970. She is wearing a rainbow vest and skirt sewn by her mom. Note the clutching of the diploma and school-bestowed book-bag, and anxious expression — all indicate a future in literary fiction writing and nonprofit fundraising.
If the grand success of the 20th century was the rise of disability as an accepted political identity, we intend for the 21st century to be the time when disability is recognized as the constant but hidden variable in nearly all formulas for global human rights. Including disability as a given factor in most people’s lives is essential to successfully advancing the rights of people who are members of minority communities, survivors of violence and/conflict zones, and veterans; people who live with chronic ailments and have survived catastrophic illness, people who are young and old; male, female, and anywhere on the gender spectrum. While disability has been understood as “different and divided” I believe it can come to be seen as “unique and united.”
As you sit sweating under an increasingly sweltering sun this day, feeling the inevitable effects of a wasteful attitude toward natural resources, you may not be thinking of another type of catastrophic loss caused by another type of massive denial. I speak of almost no one’s favorite topic: Disability. How denying disability’s central role in just about every human life relegates significant chunks of our lives — and worse still, people-sized chunks — to the rubbish heap. It may be that “disabled” doesn’t feel like a word that fits who you are. Fine. Have you ever felt vulnerable? Think of “vulnerable” as a gateway word to a chronic case of disability-speak.
As part of Tales From the Crip’s new series, Imaginary Interviews With People Who We Wish Were Imaginary, our own Respironics Bi-Pap S/T sat down with philosopher Dr. Peter Singer, Princeton’s Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, whose anti-crip, pro-swine agenda argues that infanticide of babies with disabilities should be legal up until the 28th day after birth, that health care for people with disabilities should be rationed, and that the consciousness of some pigs doesn’t get enough respect. These fascis — fascinating ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of why Peter Singer is gracing the cover of NotPeople magazine as the Rationalest Man Alive!
RBPS/T: Welcome to the United States, Dr. Peter Singer, and all Bruces from Australia.
RBPS/T: We’re going to have a rational discussion!
RBPS/T: You’ve been named NotPeople’s Rationalest Man Alive 2015. How does this make you feel?
RBPS/T: Any plans for keeping the title in 2016?
PS: I don’t make plans more than 28 days ahead.
Coming Up in the Interview!
Peter Singer as you’ve never heard him!
“Your bizarre stereotypes about Australian people are getting in the way of me explaining why infanticide is the rational choice for parents of disabled infants!”
The following Notes from the Editor are excerpted from the Preface to the Revised Edition of Dr. Martin Behr’s seminal work, The End of Marriage: A Guide to the Universe.
The author’s words are often an instructive point from which to begin examination of the text. Let us consider the following passage:
The swirling mist of the universe is indifferent to the corral called the rational, at least when the universe is momentarily left in non-dispute by the cosmologists. Humans, however, hunger for an organizing principle and have managed to devise a workable contraption called marriage out of the fertile muck of desire and faith. This carnal cord is neither as silken nor smooth as words such as ‘desire’ and ‘faith’ might indicate. In fact, the marriage bond is closer kin to a knotted jungle vine than to an elegant accessory.
That even this much is known with verifiable certainty about marriage is due to the pioneering work of Martin Behr, Ph.D., who began and then abandoned a career in space physics before embarking on a radically personal quest for meaning through the marital relationship. The untimely death of Dr. Behr before he could complete his life-long study of a life long lived with another is to be mourned in terms of what will never be understood about what happens to the players in a marriage when one of them succumbs. The elucidating mind behind the intended final volume, I Am Now a Widower will remain lost and this serves only to underscore the poignancy of the previous volumes.