Hear Me, Hear Me

By Dan Fogg

A disability is a characteristic. It is an identifying feature. “My name is Dan, I have auburn hair, hazel eyes, I’m in a motorized wheelchair. I’ll be wearing a green shirt and jeans. I’ll meet you outside the restaurant around three.” But it’s still a disability. It’s still a basic human ability that a person happens to lack.

Advocates of deaf rights have latched onto a recent medical development called cochlear implants, devices implanted in a deaf person’s ear that makes them at least partially able to hear. The device should be implanted at a young age and destroys any residual hearing the person may have. The decision to undergo the procedure should be considered carefully. But the reasons some people give for not undergoing the procedure are confusing.

Advocates of deaf rights argue that being deaf is who they are and to correct their deafness would be to shun their culture. It’s impossible to go on without pointing out the absurdity of this. If you lack the ability to hear, that is a medical condition that severely affects your life. So when someone offers you a way to correct that, how do you say you don’t want it?

But you don’t have to understand or agree with a position in order to respect it. In the end it’s up to each individual to decide what to do with their hearing. The problem comes when the advocates start pushing their views in the media. They talk about the “deaf community” and the culture that they share, and they don’t realize what they’re doing to promote segregation and prejudice.

People of varying race, of varying age, of varying gender and sexual preference have fought and continue to fight to be treated as equals among other people. They fight against hate, against bias, and against the idea that they are separate. Disabled people fight the same things, and everyone tries very hard to be part of the whole that is the human race. But you can’t be equal to everyone else and segregate yourselves at the same time.

The “deaf community” is an idea that deaf people share a common bond and should help each other with support and friendship. But in lumping the deaf together like that, it perpetuates the idea that they should be separate. And if they’re separate because they’re different, shouldn’t all different people be separate?

All people should be treated equally, we try to teach that every day. Then we go home and separate ourselves into groups with common traits. In order for others to treat us as equals, we must treat ourselves as equals as well.

Clouded Judgments – Living With Fear

by Daniel Fogg

It was April 20, 1999. Lunchtime. Two teens walked into the cafeteria of a small Colorado high school and forever changed the world. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire, killed 13 people, and shattered a country’s delusions.

Schools are sanctuaries. Safe. Secure. Children are blessed. Protected. Immortal. These are fantasies we let ourselves believe time and time again. A tragedy tells us we’re wrong, we mourn the injured and dead, we move on with our lives. We survive. We forget.

Not this time. Columbine will not be forgotten.

Remember, learn, avoid future heartache. Don’t let history repeat itself. Good. But how far are we willing to go? How much are we willing to sacrifice?

A 20-man task force was established to make the Greece school district in upstate New York safe. Superintendents have been brainstorming for months in Rush, a nearby school district. What makes kids open fire? What makes killers kill?

The blame shifted quickly from access to upbringing to plain old opportunity. Motive was all but ignored. The killers themselves were virtually blameless. Then it hit them. The parents, the officials, the task force experts. They all realized the truth. Killers kill because of what they wear.

Within days of the shooting black trench coats were banned from nearly every school in America. Then the overcoats were disallowed altogether, no matter the color. When two men were seen standing outside one building in the long attire, classes were canceled for the day. And then a girl sat on a bus and pulled a gun-shaped key chain from her bag and the authorities realized how wrong they were.

The girl was expelled, the key chain confiscated. The task force was reeling, the superintendents stunned. They hadn’t overreacted strongly enough. They hadn’t realized the scope. Killers don’t kill because of what they wear. Killers kill because they can.

Now the schools are pulling out all the stops. In Greece there’s a ban on all coats and jackets. Cold, sick, in bed with pneumonia is better than dead. Many schools will soon be using ID tags. Label the kids, makes it easier to identify the bodies. But the winner for the ultimate in safety goes to Rush-Henrietta, where a ban has been placed on all backpacks.

That’s right. Backpacks. Not to worry, though, it’s not like they’re overreacting. To show how reasonable they can be, the school board is willing not to ban them completely. Students can bring bags, sure. Why not? But the problem comes once they’re inside, so the bags must be emptied at the door and stored, empty, in the student’s locker. Wow.

Tragedy, violence, death; these things are a part of life. They’ll always be around, they can’t be avoided. Why should we drive ourselves crazy while we try? Why should we punish our kids for dead people’s crimes?

We shouldn’t. And yet we do.

The Pickers

Ever heard of the Green Bay Pickers? Nah, me neither. Lucky thing, though, cause they almost became just that a couple years back.

Seems the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group got a bug up their butt (would that harm the bug?) about the name Green Bay Packers. The Packers, apparently, are shortened from meat packers (them football players are all packin meat anyway), and that means hurting cows and pigs and shit like that. So they made a stink.

You can’t call yourselves the Packers, they said. It’s mean and pointless and wrong. Why not call yourselves something more benevolent? Like the Pickers, as in fruit pickers! That would be okay. Plants suck ass, they deserve to die.

There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this in general. It’s just an example, really, so I can officially add PETA to the category of stupidity en masse.

(To any PETA members or advocates, of course I mean none of the above.)

(To any intelligent people, yeah, I totally do.)


McDonald’s is a symbol in America.  A symbol for family.  A symbol for fun.  Hell, a symbol even for food at times.  Red paint.  Gold arches.  The place to get a Happy Meal.

A McDonald’s local to my home town ran into some trouble awhile back when they painted their outside pink.  Yeah, I know, why in the fink would they paint it pink, but that’s really not the point.  Let me explain what happened.

They painted it pink, and it’s next to the highway.  And this driver, this moron, this guy who couldn’t find anything shiny at the moment, saw the pink Mickey D’s and got himself distracted.  And he hit a car.  And that car hit another car.  And pretty soon several people were pissed.

And he said NO!  Don’t hurt me, it wasn’t my fault!  It’s that damn McDonald’s!  Look at it, it’s finkin pink!

So he sued the food joint and settled out of court, and not only did the pink go bye bye, but the grease pit got closed down too.  At least until it turned into a chameleon and blushed to a more livable shade of red.

Now let me explain how en masse this is.  First you’ve got the guy who thought it’d be nifty to slap pink paint on a McDonald’s.  We’ll call him Oaf #1.

Then you’ve got Mr. Shiny, who’s obviously Oaf #2.

Then there’s the morons who reacted in such a way to the pink arches excuse that Oaf #2 thought he could take the matter to court.  I’m not sure how many morons there were, but we’ll settle for Oaf #3 and Oaf #4.

Throw in the lawyer twisted enough to take the case, he’ll be Oaf #5.

And finally the judge who didn’t throw it out, and not only that but signed a settlement agreement.  He’s totally Oaf #6.

So put the six sickos together, and this definitely qualifies as stupidity en masse.

En Masse

En masse

Sometimes stupidity decides to be ambitious and try to take over on a larger scale.  Instead of just one person acting like a moron, entire groups band together, joined by their common lack of basic human intelligence.  They do things and say things and demand things that just don’t make any sense, and they claim to be totally justified.  This phenomena is hereby dubbed stupidity En Masse.

When you’re playing a game or holding a competition, there are generally two possible results.  One of the players can win.  The others, in most cases, have to lose.

When your family is over for Thanksgiving dinner, you tend to eat a lot of food.  As a result, sometimes your pants can start to feel tight.  You undo your belt, and then they are loose.

Lose.  Loose.  Two totally different words, two totally different meanings.  But lately, actually for the past couple years, I see them starting to mesh together.  People all around me, people who claim to be smart, have totally abandoned the word lose.  Instead it’s don’t loose your homework, when did you loose your shoe, it’s not whether you win or loose, it’s… You get the idea.  It happens so much, it’s done so often, by people who should know what is right, that I often find myself checking the dictionary to make sure I don’t loose my mind.  This is stupidity en masse.

Stupidity en masse is all around us.  You don’t have to look very far.  Just turn on the news and you’re likely to find some.  When you do, come up here and share it with me.  This is the place to make them see, or at least to make fun of civilization as a whole.