Friends and Enemies

In Columns, Features, My Life As A Voyeur: Living Vicariously by Cole Wilson

“I’ve learned that all a person has in life is family and friends.

If you lose those, you have nothing, so friends are to be treasured more than anything else in the world.”

– Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Prehistoric Ice Man, 1999

“He hasn’t an enemy in the world – but all his friends hate him.”

– Eddie Cantor (1892 – 1964)

My friend Nathasha contacted me recently about the fact that I’d been absent from the pages of Audacity Magazine for some time. Well, to be honest, I didn’t feel I had much to say – until now. There is a topic that I am so livid about I barely know where to start writing, so forgive me if I wander.

I have noticed that some people use their disability as a crutch, an excuse to say “oh poor me, I’m disabled” so they can dig into people they dislike, insulting them. Then they expect people to go – “Oh, he acts that way because he had a tough life growing up. Ignore his diatribe.”

You know what? That’s no excuse. I don’t care if you were disabled growing up, that’s not an adequate excuse for treating people like loathsome excrement. Maybe you think you’re being “cute” or “funny” – well I got news for you – no one thinks you’re cute or funny.

And I love the digs these people typically use – they try to insult us other disabled people saying “Oh, he lives with his parents” or “He doesn’t even have a job” or some such nonsense. Well, so what? Many people – even ABs, live with their parents for a variety of reasons. And many ABs are unemployed too. I’m not sure what the percentage is but I think a relatively small percentage of physically disabled people are able to gainfully support themselves. If you’ve got parents that are able to support you, I am happy that’s available to you.

But that’s not my topic for today, I digress. Life is all about choices. Friends are people you choose to have in your life. If you drive away all the people in your life by acting like an asshole, you’ll have no friends. Sure, sometimes they think you’re cool and all, or maybe they will be supportive through a “tough time”, but get real. If you kicked your dog every time you saw him, pretty soon man’s best friend would learn to stay away from you. Your friends are like the dog – eventually you’ll have none if you kick them every chance.

French poet Jacques Delille said “Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends.” Sure, your family might be a little more tolerant than your so-called friends to abusive behavior, but that’s no guarantee. In fact many times, because your family knows you better than say, your new friends do. Family members might distance themselves even more if you’re a sycophant that feeds on the emotional misery of others. How many of us out there have dysfunctional families?

Continually insulting people will do nothing but bring your own emotions down. It may sound trite, but people really do rely on people for existential support. By driving them away with insults ensures your own failure as a person.

A disabled person might have had a tough time growing up. Well I got news for you, so did a lot of people. That is no reason to be an infantile, abusive person as an adult. There are a lot more important things in this world than calling someone names or dragging them through the mud. Grow up. Get a life.

Finally, before you dig into me with a response that does nothing but prove this treatise, look at yourself and see if I strike a little close to home. If I do, maybe you should consider some life changes.

Actually, I’d like to hear from you. Post on the Online Forum if you know disabled people like this. Tell our readers if you used to be like this and changed (hopefully for the better) – or if you simply want to insult me. Make my article self-fulfilling. I dare you.