deathstyles of the rich & abled, end-of-life merch, male-pattern bs
A project like this always starts in my rage room, where I do all my planning and keep all of my tools neatly organized. My favorite tool by far for eliminating the unwanted is Philip Nitschke’s Sarco Death Pod. A true multi-tasker, the Sarco can go from ending a life, to storing the body, to being server-ware that you’re proud to display your loved one in at the viewing.
I trust that the dying process inside the Sarco Death Pod is not only painless but euphoric because it’s still-animate creator, Philip Nitschke, says that it is. He knows because there is not a single negative review on Yelp from people who have used the Sarco Death Pod. Not one person has complained that their Sarco didn’t cause them to die by asphyxiation in around five minutes. Give or take a few last moments that – fingers crossed! – weren’t the mother of all nightmares in your oxygen-deprived consciousness. But you’ll look peaceful on the outside!
FuckAbility™ Research Council to Speechless: You Had Us At “Trash Ramp”
Matt Damon calls on Speechless producers to be more inclusive of nondisabled white male actors
Frankly, the Speechless pilot could end with Minnie Driver’s character pulling a Divine and it would simply convey the amount of shit people with disabilities and their families are expected to eat every day.
(Highway, Heaven) After a cruel, cruel summer that included When Khaleesi Met Romanticide and a profoundly fucked up little number called Don’t Breathe, the autumn winds are blowing our sad, tragic little skirts right up with Speechless.
The only thing “Me Before You” normalizes is a deadly double standard when it comes to suicide prevention and people with disabilities.
People in local cross-disability communities in association with Not Dead Yet(www.notdeadyet.org) are staging a protest at the Berkeley Shattuck Cinemas on Thursday, June 2, 2016, from 6:15PM-7:15PM PT. The purpose of this peaceful demonstration is to oppose the film’s ableist message that people with disabilities are better off dead, and that we are a burden to others. Protesters are organizing across the United States using hashtags such as #MeBeforeEuthanasia, #MeBeforeAbleism, and the film’s unintentionally ironic #LiveBoldly.
“Me Before You” is the latest Hollywood film to grossly misrepresent the lived experience of the majority of disabled people. In the film, a young, white, and wealthy man becomes disabled and falls in love with his “carer,” a young woman who has been hired by his family to cure his suicidal depression with romance.
Despite her opposition, however, the hero does the “honorable” thing by killing himself in Switzerland with the assistance of the pro-euthanasia organization Dignitas – leaving his fortune to her so she can move on without the “burden” of a disabled partner. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, “Me Before You” is little more than a disability snuff film, giving audiences the message that if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead.
The narrative of “Me Before You” and the leaders of the team who brought it to the screen are perpetuating stereotypes that people with disabilities are still fighting against.
Three of the key damaging messages “Me Before You” advances are:
Disability is ugly. Thea Harrock, the film’s director, has said publicly that she made a calculated decision to not include visuals of the main character, a young, wealthy, white man who has sustained a spinal cord injury, using tools for daily living, such as lifts or hoists because they would make audiences “uncomfortable.”
Disability = “It doesn’t get better.” “Me Before You” denies the fluid nature of living with a disability, in which both levels of disability and adjustment change over time. Conflating one stage on a continuum of living – early post-trauma – with the entire lived experience is an error that a character might understandably make but it is inexcusable for the film to make the same mistake. Imagine if we told young people in the LGBT communities who are traumatized and depressed because of internalized stigma and a world full of homophobic barriers that suicide was a rational response.
Mental health services are not for people with disabilities. In a time when mental health services are undercut by radical losses in funding, “Me Before You” helps argue that they are unnecessary – and useless – interventions for people with disabilities. The conceit that a sexless romance with a pretty girl will in any way address the suicidal depression of a young man who has sustained a life-altering spinal cord injury is as ludicrous as it is harmful.
“Me Before You” insults audiences by presuming that they cannot handle the realities of disability. By casting an actor who does not have a visible disability, by reducing the complex emotions that come with transitioning to life as a disabled person to unimaginative clichés, and by removing all evidence of the economic and social barriers that people with disabilities battle, the film kills any potential for authentic drama. The director claims the goal of “normalizing” disability without any awareness that “normal” is a freighted concept to people with disabilities. The only thing “Me Before You’ normalizes is a deadly double standard when it comes to suicide prevention and people with disabilities.
ACTION ALERT: DISABILITY SNUFF FILM “ME BEFORE YOU” PROTEST
WHEN: June 2, 2016, 6:15PM-7:15PM PT
WHERE: Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Ave (at Kittredge), Berkeley, California 94704
WHAT: Peaceful demonstration and leafletting
WHY: To oppose the film’s ableist message that people with disabilities are better off dead and that we are a burden to others
“Me Before You” is the latest Hollywood film to grossly misrepresent the lived experience of the majority of disabled people. In the film, a young, white, and wealthy man becomes disabled and falls in love with his “carer” who has been hired by his family to cure his suicidal depression with romance.
Despite her opposition, however, the hero does the “honorable” thing by killing himself at the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas – leaving his fortune to her so she can move on without the “burden” of a disabled partner. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, “Me Before You” is little more than a disability snuff film, giving audiences the message that if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead.
For more information, see the following articles:
Spare me, “Me Before You”: Hollywood’s new tearjerker is built on tired and damaging disability stereotypes
Why Some Disability Rights Activists Are Protesting ‘Me Before You”
People Are Annoyed About How “Me Before You” Represents Disability
Hollywood Promotes the Idea It Is Better To Be Dead Than Disabled
A Second Class Existence: Me Before You Gets It All Wrong
Why Are You Complaining? Some People Actually Feel That Way: A Critique of Me Before You