‘Bad’ and ‘Good’ Paraplegia
February 27, 2013
In all the years I was a staff writer, I never wrote about myself. Now I discover you have to brace yourself for a bit of online heckling with a side helping of ill will. Messages include, “wanker!”, “dickhead!”, “ass!”, and “asshole!” (the latter two from the same person). I’ve also had messages intimating that I should have been left to die.
Then there’s an interesting strand of comment that seeks to separate ‘good’ accident victims from ‘bad’ ones. The former are people who fell off ladders while inoculating the sick and needy in war-torn countries, the latter are people like me. I’m reminded of those who separate ‘good’ AIDS sufferers (children and people who acquired it through heterosexual activities) from ‘bad’ (anyone gay or using IV drugs). I remember when Chris Morris satirised this concept on Brass Eye. And having witnessed the demise of someone in the latter category, I struggle not to feel contempt for the people who make these distinctions.
Overall, I don’t feel deterred. I was a bit taken aback about it yesterday, partly because I was worried that all the negative assessments of my character were bang-on accurate. Now I think, oh well, never mind. I’ve got friends, family, somewhere to stay, scope for getting better both physically and mentally, some degree of a sense of humour. I am grateful and fortunate.