Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Cripple Effect

I sing daily, if I can get away with it.  Singing makes me feel better.  It helps with breath control.  I sing only for myself (most of the time), though there were a few people in my past who weren't family who I did it for on occasion.

Sometimes, I sing in public and sing loud enough for people to hear because I get carried away.  I dislike this.  I try not to sing in public, but forget from time to time as I don't get out much (and am usually happy when I do) so I sing more.  This mistake of public singing would be fine, if people just moved on.

But, they don't.  Strangers walk up to me and tell me how amazing my voice is (I'm an "okay" singer, but nowhere near great).  People begin to cry.  Someone may utter the word "inspirational".  These people are under what I call, "The Cripple Effect".

"The Cripple Effect" is when a person with a visible disability does something average people do (often without an amount of breathtaking skill) and are called "heroic" or "amazing" for doing it.  This is one reason inspiration porn is so annoying.

If I were able-bodied, I bet there would be no tears.  People would just walk by a fat woman singing through her day without a thought.  In fact, fat people are automatically seen as not as good when it comes to various arts and jobs (true story), so people would probably hear me as worse than I am.
Recently, I was searching for auditions of singing competition shows when I found a blind audition of a man named Vernon Barnard on The Voice:  South Africa.  Vernon has a lovely voice and is visually-impaired.  Each judge who turns around for him ends up crying and babbling on about how "inspirational" he is and his "amazing spirit" and how he has made their lives better, just by meeting him.  It's "The Cripple Effect" at work.

The male judge who turns around has a visually-impaired father, so I understand his reaction somewhat, but not completely and not the two women's reactions.  They (the women) turn for him, liking his voice, get all emotional... then don't even try to fight for him!  The whole thing made my stomach drop and clench.  Isn't it cool for anyone to get that far?

Though the video with the judges' comments and cheesy music was taken down, I present the short version where it merely begins.  I wish I could show you the whole thing, complete with commentary to stroke your gag reflex.

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