Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ken Jennings' Tweet

Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.
9/22/14, 2:52 PM

A few thoughts:

- A great many “ableist” comments are sort of true if viewed from the twisted perspective of an especially ignorant or shallow non-disabled person. This Tweet, however, is not only insulting, it is transparently wrong. The conclusion is the direct opposite of the experience of just about every person who has seen a "hot" person in a wheelchair “Hot" people in wheelchairs usually make people feel happy, optimistic, even (ugh) inspired.

- There are hilarious comedians who have disabilities who make truthful, self-depracating jokes about disability, but I cannot imagine any of them riffing on how sad it is when disabled people are also really attractive.

- I find it fascinating that Jennings took the trouble to make his joke gender neutral. 

- Based on a perusal of Ken Jennings’ Twitter feed, he seems to be a nerd who desperately wants to be a duedbro. I saw several other jokes there about sexy ladies, none of them worth more than a chuckle, and only mildly, generically offensive. A real, live misogynist would find them pretty tame. I suspect he hit on this one because he’s literally brainstorming every oddball, vaguely sexy “observation” he can think of, and then rotating them directly into his feed.

- There are at least three commenters who are offended that people are offended. Because of course there are.

- Most of these jokey kinds of things don't offend me personally. They don't wound me. What bothers me is a larger question. Why is it still mostly “okay” to make jokes about disabled people?

- As of this moment, there were 180 Retweets and 367 Favorites for this Tweet, and about 70 negative comments. So, I guess Jeopardy's Ken Jennings must be right.