A few weeks back I started back doing this voluntary work that I used to do 5 years ago. One morning a week at a music program working with retards. The semantics thing is a conundrum. While I wouldn’t say that directly to them (because they wouldn’t dig where I was coming from), I think it’s a more honest term than ‘mentally disabled’ which still sounds condescending to me. And if they’re retarded then so am I, and so is everyone I’ve come to know to one extent or other.
Just on words, and the shying away fromt them, I even heard on the radio that the Spastic Society is now calling itself something abstract like ‘seaside’. I was thinking of doing like those domain name scavengers and scooping up the registration for the ‘the spastic society’ name and doorknocking for donations in aid of me living comfortably and doing performances of acting even more of a spastic than I do normally, a la my favourite ever film, The Idiots.
Anyway, they are amazing people I jam with. They all look and act uniquely, which is right up near the top of various compliments I could give people. I was standing in a shop waiting for food recently and was looking down at some gloosy goss. magazine cover. Sharon Stone had recieved a face lift. There was a before and after picture.
As an aside, Before and After pictures never fail to grab my attention — either those puzzle drawing ones or those profit-driven ‘progress’ fotos. Really, life is just a series of before and after-images; the most recent version in memory store and what is.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but reminded how upsidedown majority-society is when the goal is to look less and less unique. Maybe it could be argued that my spazzy friends are imprefect but I reckon they’re beautiful.
There was something I read about human reactions to robots/artificial intelligence and our quest to create things as close to human as possible.
It was saying that the closer an AI came to emulating humaness, the less people liked it, because the easier it was to compare the robot to yourself, the more achingly obvious the artificialness of the robot. However, the robots that were way off left this big gap where people used imagination to fill in the human aspect of the robot, which worked heaps better. I think the example used was R2D2 and C3P0 as the latter case.
That’s how I feel about the mashing up and re-landscape architecting of faces in the name of achieving perfect symmetry. There’s no such thing as a straight line or exact balance in the physical world.
There’s one guy who when he really starts getting into, he jumps up and starts doing ‘the Swim’, which really rocks. I just wish i hadn’t sold all me frikkin’ bass guitars.