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The Ravine / Joseph Dunphy's Notes on Livejournal

discussing the discussions

"Dates of Future Past" / Second City's "Life As We Know It" - 3

Steve Carell in a short piece that you won't see listed in his filmography. It's a comedy piece. He's been funnier, but I thought it was worth watching.

Wheel Spinning

In Moral Dilemmas, Reebert asked

"You hit it off with someone in a dark lounge and make a date. Before leaving, s/he asks for help getting into a wheelchair. Do you pursue the relationship?"

All who answered the question were on their best, hippest more sensitive behavior and said "yes", but to answer this one from the standpoint of somebody who is partially disabled, I would ask anybody in this situation to please be willing to consider saying no. I don't doubt that at least some of these people were sincere, and would, under the circumstances, try to be nice, but as cliched and absurd as this might sound, sometimes one does have to be cruel to be kind.

The life of a disabled person is consumed, practically eaten alive by an endless series of reverses - a hundred steps forward, maybe 99 steps or 101 back, and years later, you've gotten nowhere at all, or all too close to it. If you're pursuing such a relationship because you "should" or because you can't bring yourself to hurt this person, what are you doing? You're sending her through another reverse in life. You can't force yourself to feel something that you don't, and sooner or later, if the urge to continue is something you're forcing out of yourself instead of something that's there naturally, you'll find that you can't sustain the effort. The relationship will end - no, the illusion will end, because the relationship, rooted in a lie, albeit a well-intentioned lie, as it was, won't even have been real. The girl (or the boy) in the chair will be hurt even more than she (or he) would have been if you had been honest with her (or him) from the beginning, and you can't really be that without being honest with yourself.

If you really can see past the handicap, and aren't just trying to be cool or polite or politically correct, that's great. I wish there were more people like you. If you can't, though, we understand, even if a few of us forget that we do, every once in a while, and you certainly won't have been the first person who couldn't. It's nothing you need to feel guilty about, or which most of would really ask you to feel guilty about. Sure, the one you let get away might miss out on a few fun times, and disabled people, as a group, surely don't get enough of those, but you also free her up to pursue real romantic opportunities which she might have ignored, because she was under the mistaken impression that what she had was more real than it was, and she was being faithful to the one she was with. An ill timed polite kindness can end up being quite cruel, even if in a completely unintentional manner.

Antelope Canyon in 16 seconds

No, not the whole canyon. Some very brief footage of a walk through Antelope Canyon, a beautiful place, judging from the photos I've seen of it. It is one of the more accessible and frequently visited canyons, but one is warned not to get complacent if one plans to visit. This is not a hike through a city park. People have died here, before, killed by a flash flood, so don't just walk in without a guide, I guess.

Yes, I know, those people had a guide. Not knowing more about the case, I won't hazard a guess as to whether or not they had the right guide, but I will point out that I've heard that the water can be channeled for many miles through one of these canyons with great speed, and be upon an unwary hiker before he knows what has hit him, even as he looks up and sees that little slit of cloudlessly blue sky overhead. If you go in with a competent guide, you will have somebody who is keeping track of the relevant weather reports and knows the directions from which trouble can come, so please don't let anything I say ever persuade you to do without one of those, unless you are qualified to be one of those. If I ever really do sound like I've said otherwise, then I've badly misspoken.


I have a page called the Ravine, found on Diigo and Typepad. Depending on your point of view, either that page could be said to be elsewhere, or this blog could be said to be part of it. I do some social bookmarking - or at least bookmarking - on a variety of subjects at present, but primarily on a few (including Philosophy (mainly Ethics) and Scientific Skepticism) in the long run. I'll discuss one of those pages at length, until the discussion becomes a page of its own. A kind of blog results. Having blogged, I then find myself wanting to visit other blogs, to read, comment and maybe, later, review. Some of those blogs will be at livejournal, because many blogs are. On this livejournal, I'll write about those other blogs, and anything that went on while I was over there, sharing a few of the comments I tried to post, and maybe a few of the second thoughts I had afterwards. Out of this will grow a small site blog, where you're browsing right now. After enough content is present to justify such a thing, I'll create a MyBlogLog community for this little journal, saving you the time and trouble of checking back for updates. I think that covers it.