Thursday, April 7, 2011

"I'd give an arm and a leg to be an amputee"

this is a lamp.
 On Tuesday, i went on a very overzealous buying spree at Borders. [Tangent: Since Borders is going bankrupt, they are closing several of their locations, I went to peruse the 50-70% off reading material. It wasn't all quality, but I did learn that the unfamous ambiguously Asian member of the Black Eyed Peas has a memoir on the market and so does Lo Bosworth, co-star of season 4 of The Hills. REALLY?!? Despite my intention to be a conservative shopper, when there are markdowns and books involved, I have very little to no self control. Towards the end of the "Supermarket Sweepish" jolt through the store, I was left sorting through my loot, like a kid with their Halloween candy. Despite this chatter that the Kindle has killed the written word, literature is forever alive and least on my book shelves.] Ten books have now been added into my hefty to-read pile. Atop the pile is a book called Freak Nation about weird/interesting subcultures of people. (Ex: Model train enthusiasts...Trekkies...hoarders...etc.)
holy nerdgasm, batman.
Although I am very excited to read it, I know they couldn't have possibly covered every niche out there. The internet has shown me that there is a world of strange people out there, and they were not alone; each odd subculture imaginable has hundreds of members. This point was proven today when my friend and fellow unabashed conscierge of oddballism, Alex, asked me, "Have you heard about this documentary, Whole?"  I had not, so she preceded to explain the concept, which is explained on the website for the film [Tangent: I would use Alex's words verbatim, but I was so horrified with the initial plot explanation that I zoned out due to my mind reeling.]:
WHOLE takes you into the world of people obessed with becoming an amputee. Some are "wannabes" while others succeed in ridding themselves of a limb.

They are healthy people like Kees, a Dutchman who pretends to be an amputee up to five times a day; Dan, an American who loves to hike and bike in the French Alps; and George, a man so desperate he shot off his leg with a shotgun. This courageous documentary reveals the impact the obsession has on loved ones, and also examines how medical professionals are dealing with the growing worldwide network of amputee wannabes. It dares to ask questions without obvious answers, questions about body image, cosmetic surgery, and the lengths people will go to in order to complete themselves.
I should not be shocked or weirded out; my mind is generally propped wide open...I just can't imagine someone trying to make their life more complicated. Sure, we disabled people lead a very glam lifestyle; who can blame someone for trying to ride our coat tails? But in this case I don't think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Instead I find it a little short they see the attention aspect, but not the rest of the piles of baggage that come with. In the instance of the people why are part-time amputees, how does that work out? Where is their commitment level?

Is Lt Dan one of them?

Since I have all my limbs, I feel ill equipped (?)  to get too enraged about the way the faux amputees get their shits and giggles. However, I would point out there is an equally head-scratching group out there that I can more easily relate (?) to: Disability pretenders. That whole subculture makes me slightly  uncomfortable. These characters first fell on my radar when I was researching for my essays.[Tangent: Yeah...yeah...yeah...this book of essays which will one day reach completion.] According to the interweb, which would never provide false information, these pretenders sometimes feign their disability to a point where their faux malady becomes a bonafide defect due to atrophy. [Tangent:I guess this supports the schoolyard scare tactic that if you make an ugly face long enough it stays that way. Jury is still out on whether swallowing a watermelon seed will result in giving birth to a watermelon baby.] 

Seems like this should be the equivalent of donning black face, something I, as a wheelchair chick, should take offense to on some level. However, I don’t. I think it is super bizarre and if I could walk, it's likely not something I would do.  But if its not hurting anyone, should it really bother me?  Anyway, part of me finds it comforting to know that there is a channel allowing these odd balls to come together. As I always say, there is a hole for every peg.

...its like when the bee girl found her fellow bee people.


  1. I love when our ridiculous conversations turn into blog topics. :)

  2. I love when I'm there to witness the ridiculous conversations that turn into blog topics. :D

  3. What do these people get out of pretending to be disabled? Attention? Better parking spots?

  4. they just know we're better looking.


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