When Pretty People Rule the World
Since I am still too brain dead to post, I shall hijack a thread from Metafilter about Roger Ebert, his cancer, and his attendance at his own film festival. The vast majority of comments laud Ebert on his refusal to hide his disfigurement and attend his own festival. I'm not sure if this would have been the "scandal" he seems to think it might be, ( I suspect the Post would be more interested in pictures of the owner of the world's fattest cat suing McDonald's) but as someone who knows what it is like to be stared at in public, I certainly applaud him for not hiding. Lucy Greeley in her book Autobiography of a Face (who also, like Ebert, had a section of her jaw removed due to cancer) wrote that having cancer wasn't particularly difficult (in fact, like many other children who survive illness and traumatic events, she indicated that there were even some good times on the pediatric ward), but being disfigured was really the worst part about what happened to her.

Coming off of just teaching Frankenstein and starting to teach Metamorphosis in which physical disfigurement is the main evil (Well that and being a giant cockroach!) it seems that very little has changed in terms of how much importance we invest in physical appearance-ie that a facial disfigurement is potentially more of a disability than say diabetes, a disorder that can be easily hidden from others ( I am referring here to Type II diabetes in its earlier stages). While missing part of your jaw isn't just physical disfigurement (currently Ebert can't talk which for a film critic has to be a very serious impairment of his abilities) in terms of your ability to function in society it might be the most difficult aspect of your condition.

Which really is horribly sad. But at least there are people who continue to look the monster in the eye and say fuck you-I'm not going to hide, I'm going to walk in the sun and the rest of you can just see if I don't.

And if that doesn't make any sense, blame my cold medication.

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