Sunday, January 20, 2008

Your stigma just dented my karma.

The "R" word has screwed up my weekend. Again.
My gaming clan. It's not really expected to be a politically correct arena. In the course of the last two days' events, I have learned that the word has been added to a ban list on the forum because of me, an action that I'll take credit for but am not particularly happy that I had to be the reason for. More on that in a moment.
One of my buddies posted a message asking that the word "Ree-tard" be ree-instated - "I find this word very useful, pleasing to the ears, and a useful tool on RO team chat. I have been using moron in various forms for months, but I miss the beauty of the original word."
Now, to my clan's credit, most of the responses to this were that it wasn't acceptable. I made my choice. I embedded Emma's birthday video, and typed "Joe, meet my daughter, Emma. . .

It's a big world, and this is a big clan. There's room for most of us. I have to vote no on this one though.Thanks Destroyer, VGER and others. You're much nicer than I am."

No tirade, no rant, just the facts. I've reached a point where there's no real sense of righteous anger, no alerting of the local cell of Amnesty International, no striking a blow for Mankind sort of feeling. Just calling an ass an ass. I had a bad feeling about this one, and I was proven right.
A couple of hours go by, some other posts in the thread, then a new post appears. Joe's resigning the clan - he's offended too many people. My response is the first one - don't quit, you were trying to be funny, yadda yadda. It appears that Joe's a pretty popular Old Fart. Posting a resignation isn't resigning, it's a popularity poll. If you're leaving, leave. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Don't stand in the doorway exclaiming, "OK, I'm really going this time, no really, Bye!. . . . . Bye! Gotta go now. . . OK! He's not going anywhere.
This morning. Joe sends me a Private Message, explaining that he of course meant to offend no one. He goes on to relate that he has several in-laws with various conditions, and they enjoy calling each other 'retard' when they play games together. I have to share this:
"My wife's brother is half paralyzed and nearly completely brain damaged due to a car accident 20 years ago. We still call him Frankenstein, and our new favorite DroolBucket. No one minds, it's part of our way of interacting as it has been all our lives."

How lovely it must be to be Droolbucket! Surrounded by love and warmth and care. This is what I meant by my bad feeling. I've run into this sort of person before. Of course there's nothing wrong with using words like these, Joe. It feels like HOME. Alrighty then. Now I understand Joe. He still doesn't, and probably won't ever, understand me. There is the possiblity that he'll slide off into a tree while snowboarding and end up in the living room as Droolbucket II, but that's pretty much the only way he's going to get my drift.

Yeah, I'm angry. I always have been. I'm angry that my daughter has Down Syndrome. I'm angry at Joe's upbringing. I'm angry that I feel accommodated for - that it has to be me, that it wouldn't be, otherwise. I'm angry that many of my clanmates imply in their posts that it's no big deal, that I somehow overreacted by reacting at all. They have no idea, LAUGH OUT LOUD. I'm angry that - now that I've made it clear to the whole clan that I'm an oversensitive parent of a poor retarded girl - they're gonna treat me differently. I can't even leave the house, electronically, without this affecting my life. I'm angry that there are those that (no one ever says it out loud) think that our kind should just shut up and take my proper place in the isolated shadows of society, to happily accept "oh, I didn't mean you" when the dipstick makes a joke about taking the short bus.
I'm a compassionate man. I'm a loving father. I think I'm funny, most of the time. Today, I'm just pissed. I"m gonna go play with Emma for a while. She couldn't care less about any of it, and that's the wonder, the redemption, and the answer to it all.