Friday, August 15, 2008

Verbal Thunder

The recent movie Tropic Thunder has generated a lot of anger and vituperation from some quarters because it features the use of the word "retard." Disability advocacy groups claim that any use of the word is unacceptable, and are trying to get people to boycott the film. As the Daily Kos reports, one reviewer, Timothy Shriver, head of the Special Olympics, writing for the Washington Post, gave the film a bad review without having ever even seen it.

Personally, I think this is political correctness run amok.

Since when do advocacy groups get to pre-vet movie scripts to determine what is and is not acceptable content? Are we going to have prior censorship of movies by every special interest group that could possibly be offended by a joke or character? It's a bloody Ben Stiller movie, you morons!!! It is not meant to be taken seriously...

Reading the excerpts Mr. Shriver provides, it becomes clear the movie is not making fun of the mentally disabled. It revolves around a group of self-absorbed actors, and the dialogue in question deals with one character's attempts to get film awards through playing mentally-challenged characters. The target is the actor, not the disabled. Anyone who reads the actual dialogue without blinkers can understand this.

This is not just about one movie. It is about a larger movement within the disabled community to regulate the words we use every day. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, there are groups among the disabled who are trying to force people to use terms such as "person with disability," saying that "the disabled" is a discriminatory term. They would like to impose an Orwellian Newspeak on the rest of us in order to sauve their own egos.

It's time to stand up for our rights. Don't let other people tell you what words you can use or censor you. Allowing this would just be retarded...

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