"When the ax entered the forest, the trees said, 'Look, the handle is one of us!' " - Turkish saying
Jerry Lewis has made a comic dynasty out of being outlandish. His physical humor, facial dexterity, and non-stop tongue have won him adoring fans around the world and in multiple languages.
The limited exposure I have had to his work has been through my own choice. Some of his classic comic scenes evoke the same response in me as coming across a puppy being abused. I choose to find my entertainment elsewhere.
Ditto for his annual telethon which will, sadly, air again this weekend.
It would take no effort on my part to repeat the well-documented criticisms of Jerry's anachronistic attitudes toward disability. They will pass when he does - although they will continue to do damage in the meantime. It seems more worthwhile to present my reasons for wanting to redeem someone who publicly announced on CBS Sunday Morning, May 20, 2001, "Pity? You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!"
Jerry, with that you stepped out of your celebrity domain and into commentary on travel and disability.