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GitM 2: Revenge of the Dickweeds

April 12, 2010

Why do I feel like the only one who is truly concerned about the dickweed epidemic?

The latest statistics from Flegal et al. suggest that if trends continue in this direction, this nation will face a tsunami of assholes by 2050.

I hereby call on the FLOTUS to take immediate action to halt this preventable public health disaster.

But until she launches “Let’s Grow the Fuck Up,” I guess I’ll just have to do my part to deal with the scourge of dickweedity and its inevitable result, the dreaded morbid dickweedity.

Always on the cutting edge of social issues, the Huffington Post once again leads the way by providing endless examples of the ravages that plague dickweeds. As we all know, dickweeds have a severely impaired frontal lobe, which is primarily responsible for preventing that snarky little shit inside all of us doesn’t spend every waking hour pursuing the misery of others.

I’m not linking to any examples because all you have to do is visit any story on Gabby Sidibe.

(Handy tip: if you accidentally ingest poison, simply read as much of the Gabby comment threads as possible to induce vomiting… the current  record is three pages.)

So, today’s Muddy Monday is intended to teach us how to deal with this most unfortunate condition. And, since there’s no way to get a dickweed to comprehend anything beyond his or her stunted understanding, we must accept their logic in order to refute them.

In the case of a dickweed’s opinion on fatties, the typical defense that Little Lord Fauntleroy will give is that since fatties are responsible for being fatties (since all fatties are gluttonous slobs), then they deserve to be ridiculed.

With dim conscience appeased, the dickweed spews a torrent of monosyllabic jibes from middle school memories. And it’s easy enough to ignore most of the time, but you wish you could knock some sense into the dickweed.

Were I charged with rehabilitating a dickweed, I would tell them a little story.

It’s about a 21-year-old guy with a 1-year-old child. This guy (let’s call him Bob) still likes to party, likes to drink. He does what every other 21-year-old without a child does. He doesn’t have full custody, so when she’s not there he can do what he wants. And what he wants to do is drink.

Well, one night, Bob goes to a party and gets drunk. He gets in his car completely unfit to drive and he speeds shitfaced into the night and into a tree.

I met Bob 21 years after that life-altering moment.

I worked for a company that provided support services for mentally retarded/developmentally disabled (MRDD) adults. Mostly, they provided in-home support in one of two ways: either providing a staff person present 24-hours-a-day or providing part-time support for higher functioning clients.

All of our clients who were capable of working did so. They either found competitive employment (Taco Bell, Walmart, etc.) or they went to a sheltered workshop. Those who worked at sheltered workshops assembled a variety of products, but they got paid a pittance (which I didn’t get at all… something like $4 an hour).

Well, our organization provided a third employment option for clients who weren’t capable of competitive employment, but were unsatisfied by sheltered workshops. Basically, we helped them run their own businesses.

For example, one of the ladies I worked with during my time there had a recycling business. I’d drive her around in this station wagon her parents bought her and we’d pick up cans from these businesses that had agreed to let us put a recycling can in their office. Then on Fridays we’d run to the recycling center and cash in a station wagon full of aluminum cans. Then we’d deposit the money in the bank and we’d go back to the office, balance the books, and cut her a paycheck.

(Incidentally, I’m not naming the company for obvious reasons, but I will refer to this program as the Helping Hands program so I don’t have to keep being vague.)

When I started at Helping Hands, Bob was my first client. He was new at Helping Hands too. Bob was paralyzed from the waist down, but he suffered traumatic brain injury and his motor skills were constricted and jerky. He couldn’t speak either.

He could, however, operate his electric wheelchair. He could also operate a speaking board (I don’t remember what they’re really called). The speaking board had a regular keyboard on it, plus several shortcut buttons for common words, like “drink” or “sleepy” or “bathroom.”

Most of the time, though, he typed what he wanted to say and a robotic voice would read it when he was done.

My job was to help Bob figure out what kind of company he wanted to start and to help him start it.

I remember asking him what he wanted to do and he typed, “Greeting cards.”

And that’s what we did. We created greeting cards and planned on visiting various shops and see if we could set up a display.

I only worked with Bob for three or four months when I was transferred to the Recycle Wagon, so we never got into distribution. But we had a pretty good time coming up with some highly inappropriate greeting cards (I was often surprised by how filthy the minds of some MRDD people can be).

Bob’s life was destroyed by his own reckless behavior. Who knows how many times Bob tempted fate by drinking excessively or drinking and driving, let alone what sort of things he did when he had a baby to care for.

The fact that Bob was a parent made him responsible for more than just the consequences that his actions would have on himself. As a parent, Bob’s choices would permanently alter his and his daughter’s lives.

Now, dickweeds, point and laugh.

After all, he brought it on himself.

You should ridicule him and all those like him in your vain attempt to modify their behavior.

I suspect you’ll find it nearly as effective as your efforts to impact the fatties.

Even assuming that all fatties have complete control over our bodies, yet refuse to exert it, you seem to think that we have some sort of monopoly on reckless behavior. Even if I eat a bucket of spaghetti for breakfast every morning, how is that any worse than the gambler that pisses away his children’s college fund or the driver chatting manically on her cell phone or the man who cheats on his wife and passes on the herpes.

Which of these lives is worthy of your contempt and scorn?

Being a dickweed, you’ve probably answered, “All of them.”

However, with the exception of the fatties, you aren’t able to identify who is guilty of what (short of catching them in the act, as you may be able to do with the cell phone drive (though it may be tricky to degrade them from the comfort of your ’72 Gremlin)). So, fatties provide you the ideal opportunity to showboat your self-righteous indignation toward a presumed set of behaviors.

This is how stereotypes work… some readily identified characteristic (race, color, physique, masculinity/femininity, and on and on and on) is perceived to be undesirable. A character trait becomes associated with the physical trait and, rather than simply express your contempt for the physical trait, a dickweed professes contempt for the socially unacceptable character trait.

That character trait is seen as the fault of its bearer, therefore the dickweed’s contempt is justifiable and not simply small-minded bigotry. So, a dickweed can disparage black people, whose inferiority is manifest in poverty (due to laziness), stupidity (due to lack of motivation in school), and crime (due to lack of morals).

Nevermind that all three issues (poverty, education and crime) are symptoms of the continued de facto racial segregation (and the stark economic disparities that exist between traditionally white and black neighborhoods).

Just try to engage a dickweed on the subject of unequal access to quality education in impoverished areas and you’ll find them unwilling to accept or even entertain the idea that the typical tax structure enables this ever-widening gap. No, it’s much too easy to simply place the burden of responsibility on the object of derision, thus making them fair game.

Well, under these rules, Bob is fair game. But I seriously doubt that any dickweeds would have the balls to laugh at a paralyzed, brain damaged man in a wheelchair, even though it was through his own irresponsibility, his own poor choices, that he earned that terrible fate for him and his daughter.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. lordhellebore permalink
    April 12, 2010 1:13 pm

    “But I seriously doubt that any dickweeds would have the balls to laugh at a paralyzed, brain damaged man in a wheelchair”

    I wish you were right, but you’re underestimating the asshattery people are capable of. I have zero doubt that there are enough dickweeds who’d do just that. “That guy in the wheelchair? What’s up with him moving so jerkily? That looks ridiculous. And gosh, he can’t even talk! Did you hear that robot voice? What a FREAK!” It’s sad, but it’s so not unrealistic.

    • April 12, 2010 1:38 pm

      Those are some pretty hardcore dickweeds though… probably suffering from morbid dickweedity. And if they are willing to laugh at such a person, then it just goes to show that it has nothing to do with health or personal responsibility… it’s simply a reflection of the dickweed’s character flaws.

      But I give most of the dickweeds on HuffPo the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn’t direct the same sort of vitriol they feel justified in unleashing on fatties.


  2. lordhellebore permalink
    April 12, 2010 1:54 pm

    “it just goes to show that it has nothing to do with health or personal responsibility… it’s simply a reflection of the dickweed’s character flaws.”

    Oh, definitely. These are the really bad cases. Your “average” dickweed” probably has a line they won’t cross, and disability might be beyond that line, especially because it’s socially inacceptable to laugh at disabled people. And you know the HuffPo better than me.

    “probably suffering from morbid dickweedity”

    As unpleasant as this whole subject is, this made me laugh 😉

  3. April 12, 2010 2:12 pm

    Alas… There is currently no cure for this malady. And it seems to be contagious.

    • April 13, 2010 9:13 am

      I’ve heard that a smack upside the head can do wonders.


  4. Jessica permalink
    April 12, 2010 4:17 pm

    Well…it WAS Bob’s fault for getting in that wreck and becoming paralyzed. I don’t think that’s a very fitting metaphor for fat discrimination.

    • April 12, 2010 4:22 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      I assume you’re new to Fierce, Freethinking Fatties. Muddy Monday and GitM (Get in the Mud) is about addressing criticisms of Fat Acceptance by accepting the other person’s point of view, regardless of how we feel about it. I outlined the basics of it here.

      In this instance, we are suspending our belief that being fat is not always a self-imposed condition. The dickweeds I’m talking about often claim that fat people are fat because they eat too much, they did it to themselves, and therefore we are justified in insulting them.

      I’m taking allowing that assumption to be true to say that, well, if that’s the case, then what about this guy whose reckless behavior pretty much destroyed his and his child’s life. Can we laugh at them too?

      The point is that even if you think that fat people are fat due to their own choices, that still doesn’t mean they are fair game for derision. Hope this clarifies.


  5. dufmanno permalink
    April 12, 2010 6:09 pm

    I think I saw a case of this profiled on Mystery Diagnosis. Tragic, the poor bugger didn’t make it.
    What is it the Bloggess always says? Oh yeah ” you wouldn’t be doing that unless you were a total douche canoe”.
    I think douchebaggery and dickweed-itis are related ailments.

    • April 13, 2010 9:13 am

      Is Mystery Diagnosis the one with Dick van Dyke? Cause I’ll nelieve anything Dick van Dyke says.

      Douchecanoe… what a great word! It’s so fun to say too!


  6. April 12, 2010 8:19 pm

    Maybe that’s my problem. I’m just a sap. I don’t care that Bob made himself disabled. All I care is that someone is there to help him.

    My desire for our society is that we take care of our own, regardless of personal responsibility. If someone smokes themselves into cancer, I still want to have a second chance at life or to be taken care of as they die.

    Sometimes I wonder if this asshattery is about being blissfully ignorant and never having to face the people they are suggesting should be thrown to the wayside.

    I often feel like my bleeding heart is because I don’t just see the programs that help people as tax money, I see their benefits close up. I know people that would be stuck away in asylums or hospice if not for government programs that allow them to live independent lives.

    Awesome Muddy Monday Post!

    • April 13, 2010 9:16 am

      Yeah, I think dickweeds lack the compassion gene completely. This idea that personal responsibility determines whether you deserve respect, dignity, or access to healthcare is so utterly short-sighted (we STILL have to pay for people who don’t have access to preventative care people, but it’s much more expensive as treatment!).

      I think dickweedery is definitely a distancing mechanism. Who wants to spend time with a small-minded asshole with such a critical view of others?


  7. vesta44 permalink
    April 12, 2010 8:47 pm

    I think the main problem with dickweeds/douchecanoes is that they have no empathy at all. They can’t ever see themselves doing anything that would put them in a situation where they could be blamed for whatever bad happened to them. If something bad happened to them, it wasn’t because they did something they shouldn’t have been doing, it was just bad luck, or it was someone else’s fault. They see themselves as perfect and faultless and everyone who doesn’t meet their aesthetic standards is imperfect and to blame for anything/everything bad that happens to them. Those are the kind of people you can’t reason with and you can’t educate, and you certainly can’t change their minds (they’re also the ones that I tell “karma is gonna getcha one of these days, and when it does, it’s gonna be a stone cold bitch”).

    • April 13, 2010 9:17 am

      Lack of empathy is their stock and trade. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I do our share of stranger snarking when we go out, but it’s for our personal amusement. We wouldn’t inflict our snippy opinions on others. We’re just trying to make each other laugh.

      I think it’s natural to nitpick others, but to do so publicly, or toward the person you’re nitpicking, is a completely different story. That requires a special kind of asshat.


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