So once again Snapchat, in all its weird dysmorphic glory, gave itself a facial paralysis-mimicking filter.
It’s funny, because in some ways I’m not completely insensitive to the weirdness of medical conditions. I sometimes laugh to myself as I delete the Google Alerts I get listing Moebius Syndrome as
Top Ten Weird Medical Things!!!
…but somehow, I can’t take this with a grain of salt.
I admit: I don’t get Snapchat. I’m not a fan of notifications on my phone, not an overly-selfie kind of person. So sending slightly distorted photos of yourself to friends just seems a bit odd.
Having said that, there is a difference between the humor in superimposing dog nose and ears onto yourself and playing around with morphing your face and thinking of that as funny.
There is humor in everything. Even facial paralysis. But that humor needs to come from the source. From people with facial paralysis. It doesn’t need to come from pretending and emphasizing the oddity.
I hope we in the facial paralysis community continue to create our own humor, and that it overpowers the humor of the Weird that things like Snapchat filters emphasize.
If by ‘loser,’ you’re referring to a man who’s greeted eight times a week by 1,000 people that stand as one, applauding until their hands are raw, cheering until their voices are spent, whispering, ‘He’s so much better looking in person,’ and laughing until their faces are contorted in an anguished mask that can best be described as a sort of Bell’s palsy.” – Larry David, presenting at the 2015 Tony Awards
Sigh. It happened again last night, that fine fine line between humor and being an asshole making jokes about people with serious medical conditions.
I have a sense of humor, sometimes a black sense of humor. I’m not immune to making fun of myself or my situation… but in no way is talking in terms of “anguished masks” funny or frankly acceptable.
But people laughed. And because people laughed, the roughly six million people watching at home think it’s okay. And it’s not.
Selfishly I am annoyed because theater is my happy escapist place (even if my favorite playwrights and lyricists write about heavy stuff) and I don’t like real life crap like this to intrude.
We’re slowly getting there with being less accepting of this kind of stuff, but it’s not happening fast enough… especially when it hits too close to home.
(and yes: title is an Avenue Q reference, proving that I do have a sense of humor!)