Monday, October 17, 2005


[I had originally left the nucleus of this post as a comment over at Leslie’s Omnibus...but I have decided to snarf it up and make a Full-Blown Post out of it.]

This political correctness thing is getting out of control.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were at a synagogue board meeting last night. During the course of the meeting, someone mentioned that they had received a complaint from a congregant about the handicapped seating provided during the High Holiday services last week.

Now, just by way of background, our High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) are like the World Series of Judaism. On the Scale o’ Holiday Importance, they’re the ones that peg the Needle o’ Observance. Like the Christians who show up in church two days a year - Christmas and Easter - there is a large cohort of Jews who show their faces in shul only two or three days a year - and this is them. (For that matter, I’m sure our Muslim brethren also deal with a healthy contingent that appear in the local masjid for the beginning or end of Ramadan and then disappear for the other eleven months.)

So right off, you can be sure that the Complainant is someone who is not exactly a Regular Visitor to the Premises.

So: what exactly was the problem with the Handicapped Seating?

Was it insufficient? Was access difficult? Was it uncomfortable?


The seats were labeled “Handicapped Seating” with the familiar wheelchair logo. That apparently was not “PC” enough for this person, who wanted some other “less offensive” label. Good Gawd.

So, as we sat there in the meeting, SWMBO and I tried to come up with a few alternative labels:
  • Disabled. Naw, too “in yer face.”
  • Differently Abled. Ahh, that’s better.
  • Physically Challenged.
  • Capability Challenged. Continuing the “challenged” theme.
  • Mentally Challenged. OK, but we’re talking physical here.
  • Very Special Person.
  • Individually Different. Like most of us.
  • Grouchy and Crippled. Tip o’ th’ hat to Denny, who is less grouchy than the asshole congregant who complained.
  • FUBF (Fucked Up but Functional) - tip o’ th’ hat to the FUBU folks.
  • Just Plain Fucked Up.
  • My Legs Don't Fucking Work Any More, OK?
To go with these, of course, the Boring Old Wheelchair Symbol simply won’t do. How ’bout a nice icon showing a guy with a peg leg? Or a pair of crutches? Or an eyepatch?

It’s not like we’re the geniuses who thought to market a wheelchair called the Spazz. (Really.) If you want to bitch about something, why not that?

If this keeps up, the Crips and Bloods will need to come up with pleasant, inoffensive, neutral names for themselves. The Differently Abled and the Hemoglobin-Bearing Bodily Fluids?

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Leslie, who had written about the Spazz wheelchair in this post.]

No comments: