Monday, February 11, 2008

There are no more character flaws, just "disorders" - by Sybil Sage

"Disorder" is now tacked onto a variety of behaviors that had previously been regarded as character flaws. The official recognition allows the condition to be viewed as distinct from the person, who is no longer responsible. This is problematic. You feel guilty dissing someone with a "disorder" and we're expected to be understanding, if not actually sympathic. People will no longer have faults, and we could be expected to tolerate:

Parenting disorder -- "Oops, I just couldn't help beating up/ shaking/ abusing my kid"

Talking disorder -- "It's not my fault that I'm insulting, interrupting, offending or revealing a secret"

Driving disorder -- "Seems like I don't look, can't stay in my own lane, need to honk"

Shoplifting disorder -- "Reaching for a credit card makes me worry I'll break a fingernail"

Boring disorder -- "You have to let me tell you endless, pointless stories"

Cutting in line disorder - "I was here first, I really need the john, I had that seat"

Cell phone disorder - "Can't turn it off even though you can't hear the movie"

Health club disorder - "Can't find it in me to get off the treadmill or wipe it down, sorry"

Saying "no" disorder - "That's not our policy, we don't care how reasonable your request"

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