Thursday, December 2, 2010

Amy Sedaris, that's not funny

If you are a person who will be assisting a crippled crafter, or rather, a handicraftable crafter, be aware that most people have no desire to spend time with these types of crafters, for they can be depressing and exhausting. This person requires patience. So keep projects simple and brief in duration to compensate for short attention spans and emotional frustration, and have emergency numbers posted and plenty of sweets on hand. When working with the handicraftable, you will encounter a wide range of behaviors: for example, with a little help and guidance, one disabled crafter might be able to mold a simple ashtray, while another troubled crafter might set all the felt ablaze while screaming for more fudge (see page 142). Another might be cooperative, undemanding, and a pleasure to craft with, while still another might go off like a battery in a microwave. Some will nap most of the afternoon. Yet others will babble incoherently while taking a hostage and can only be talked down with the promise of cheese.

Whenever dealing with disabled crafters, you must be careful and focused, but the truth is, no single precaution can protect you from every crafter that we call disabled. The best that can be hoped for is that once n your care, these somewhat erratic and occasionally drooly misfits will stay focused on the task before them while avoiding permanent incarceration. They must be allowed to craft at their own speed, but most importantly, they must be treated exactly the same way one would treat a normal crafter, if that normal crafter were radically unpredictable and sporadically threatening.

Dear Amy Sedaris, you are quite funny, so when I saw you had a new book -- Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People -- I thought it would be perfect for my little sister's birthday. i even asked Mom to stop by a bookstore and get it so I'd have it for my sister's birthday tomorrow. She did, and as I was glancing through the book I saw the above paragraphs called: "Adding a Handicapped Crafter to Your Crafting Circle." Just at the title I cringed. After reading it I felt sick.

I read an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where you talk about the chapter this comes from and you say that the chapter is your favorite.
"I think they’ll embrace it, because it’s inclusive," she said, describing her long struggle at Second City to include a "wheelchair scene" in one of the famed comedy troupe’s shows. Other comics “"would say, 'Amy, no, it’ll look like you’re making fun of people.’ And I’d say, 'No, it’s funny and someone will be there in a wheelchair and see themselves.’ When it happened, people rolled up to me after the show and said they were so happy we had that scene."

I kind of suspected you were trying to be edgy and include people who are disabled in your humor. My problem with that and with South Park's kid in a chair, I am not sure you or they get what it is like to shoulder a disability, whether it be autism or Friedreich's ataxia. Kind of like why Will Ferrell doesn't make Chris Rock-type jokes. You do know that referring to people with disabilities as "occasionally drooly misfits" is not funny, ever. I imagine you are poking fun at people who, when dealing with someone who is disabled, try to "keep projects simple and brief in duration to compensate for short attention spans and emotional frustration." It doesn't work.

I felt particularly bad because I have long adored your brother's writing. I have wished to be known as the David Sedaris of wheelchairs. I loved you in his stories and when you have been in various TV shows. I imagined that you all were sort of kindred spirits. But I guess not.

Maybe I need to read the whole chapter. Maybe you do understand. But I'll never know. I asked Mom to return the book.

I wish you success. I hope you never know what a disability really is,
Matt Trott

P.S. Sorry, sister. I am late with my gift.


Anonymous said...

screw her...I'll take you any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I love you.


PS I just did some searching for her website/email etc so I could forward this to her but I couldn't find it.

Wolfie said...

This is not funny....not even close in my mind.

Amy Sedaris has a Facebook page. You could cut and paste your post or send her the link to your blog.

Matt Trott said...

I am all about guerilla blogging, not taking on someone on their home field.

Anonymous said...

I think you should do something on Facebook. She deserves it.

Anonymous said...

I ordered the book from my library, thinking it would be great for Girl Scouts. YIKES, I was more than repulsed. I buy a lot of books on Amazon, so I rated the book there and was torn apart by her adoring fans. I am stunned and saddened that so many people find this kind of stuff humorous. It is repulsive!

Anonymous said...

I just got this book for my birthday from my 85 yr old mother, who is legally blind, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Not even remotely funny. Who published this stupid book. I wish I could return mine too.

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