Saturday, 21 April 2012

Blip: Diseased authors


I’ve noticed an annoying and insulting problem with the media. Ill people. Many, many ill people. I’m not disgusted by their presence and I’m not saying that they’ve chosen to be ill. I myself am trying to increase mentions of non-specific mental oddities (such as LLI) in the media as it is important to “raise awareness” of these kinds of issues; if people are aware of it, more gets done. So I don’t have a problem with them being mentioned either.

My problem is that any ill person can write/talk/campaign about getting ill or being ill and they will gather rapid attention. Cancer patients don’t have cancer because they are gifted or because they can express themselves well, so why can any cancer patient get a book published and have it hit a bestseller list? 

I understand that it can be an inspiring tale: someone who has a debilitating illness manages to gain the strength to carry on as normal. It can be an interesting and rousing story of someone conquering their fears and pains. Most of the time, though, it is just a story of someone cashing in on their unfortunate life.

The news and topical news side-programmes are full of these specials that are intended to inspire us to tears at some terminally ill pillock who has a book written for them or who strings words together themselves and is celebrated across the board for their wonderful contribution to society. 

People who are skilled at writing or skilled at expressing themselves and making points effectively are so much better placed to take the role of information-provider when it comes to disease. It’s like believing that a cancer patient knows more about cancer than an oncologist or a relevant researcher.
I would much rather read something written well, with subtlety and nuance than something written sentimentally, useful only to tug the heartstrings of the over-emotional.

Of course, this rant could be fuelled by the fact that Pop works terribly hard for a long time every day to continue her writing and to spread the important messages that she has to say while somebody affected by the issue (no concern for their intelligence, or lack thereof) is given a hand up by everyone positioned to do so and ends up selling content in unbelievable quantities. 

Blip *signature placeholder*

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