Saturday, March 6, 2010

Crying Foul Over The Onion

When one's husband's tells you to "please, please, please write a blog about this fucking travesty," you tend to pay attention.

And then when you read what is (I hope to God) an unsuccessful quest for a) satire or b) readership or c) cheap laughs at the expense of what having a child with disabilities does to a marriage from The Onion with the title "Autistic Child Ruins Marriage He Was Born to Save", you get so fucking pissed you can't type or think straight.

Which is why my commentary needs to wait until I calm down. 

Because you get it.  The Onion, sadly, does not.  For there are some things that need to remain off-limits, even in the world of parody and satire. 

In my world, autism isn't a joke. It's not the stuff of satire, and it's not something to be parodied.  It's the reality of millions and why someone thinks it is humorous to poke fun at the destruction of a marriage, and more importantly, of an innocent child, is unfathomable to me.

And if someone from The Onion or otherwise wishes to tell me I'm overreacting, that I don't understand the joke (because I don't) then I challenge you to live one fucking minute in my shoes and then you can tell me what the hell is so goddamned funny about the stress a child with diabilities, autism or otherwise, puts on a marriage.

'Nuff said.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Zee said...

I don't have a child with autism but I was so incredibly offended when I saw that headline I was speechless. It wasn't funny on any level what so ever.

Niksmom said...

Ironically, this may not get much press. Now, if they'd chosen, oh say, Down Syndrome you can bet Sarah Palin would've been all over this. Not funny no matter what the topic or how you slice it...this ONION stinks.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Niksmom - you're so right. She would be all over this ... unless this would fit with her definition of satire, a la Rush. (And I was thinking of you right before I read your comment, BTW, given that I was checking my email from the parking lot of your town's Tar-jhay. :)

Zee - thank you! Glad someone not of this parenting autism world gets it.

Anonymous said...

You didn't get the joke- it wasn't about the child- it was about these two selfish parents blaming their child for their own stupidity. It was hilarious and as an autistic person, I think you need to calm down. This might sound strange, but people who's lives are affected by autism need to be able to joke and laugh about autism. I do it all the time. It's not about creating cruel, heartless jokes- it's about making a statement on how stupid society is and how they treat those with autism in their lives.

I feel it's selfish and cruel for parents to blame their child's disability for the destruction of their marriage and the onion parodies this perfectly.I knew too many children who blamed themselves for everything that is wrong with their parents relationship. These children had VERY crippled slef esteems (to the point where I feel that they should have been treated for clinical depression). It breaks my heart. A child doesn't need that kind of stress, especially not an autistic one.

I'm sure you understand now that the article was written as a response to the media blowing up autism out of proportion and creating exploitation films such as Autism Everyday to create the idea that autism is a changeling that steals your child,ruins your career and your marriage. There are a lot of worse things out there than autism and autism certainly hasn't done all of that to my family

The onion rocks, in my opinion. I hope I haven't offended you. I just hope you now understand why the article is thought of as funny

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Hi Anonymous ~ Usually, I'm not in the habit of publishing anonymous comments on my blog, but in this case, I'm making an exception because you make a valid, well-thought point ... actually, several of them. :) I completely agree with your second paragraph, and I *do* see, now, what the Onion was trying to do. But, as I said in my post, I HAVE seen firsthand what autism can do to a marriage and the stresses it can present, and how friends and family members disappear just because a child is different. And I don't think that any of that is fodder for satire.

That said, I do appreciate your insights ... and you did make me look at this a little differently.

Agree to disagree on this one, my friend?

Thanks for reading and taking the time to chime in.