|This row: When stature is short|
|As seen by||Religion||Commerce||Science||Charity|
|This row: when learning is slow|
We are the corpse at the cocktail party. Guests step over us at first, politely pretending not to notice. But our presence, both shocking and significant, requires an explanation.
Whoever is host for the century circulates among the guests and soon a theological, or commercial, or scientific, or charitable explanation makes the conversational rounds. Socially dead, we do not speak but meet scrutiny with silence and a nervous smile. Meanwhile, our hosts allay the public fears.
"It’s only natural to feel that way," guests are assured. "Just turn them over to us. We know their special needs."
Too this, not enough that. As they always say, they really wouldn’t know what to say. Social authorities of the era shrink-wrap us in a label or pass a law, or build walls -- whatever magic spell will remove us from the party. Promising to protect us, they become the lords of our exile.
There has been a long chain of explanations, lords, exiles.
Exceptional bodies are what mark some for social death. So-called invisible disabilities, once outed, are only slightly less damning than the rest. Exile, real or perhaps only social, soon follows.
And so it is that when the living dead get together, some of us pretend, politely, not to notice the corpses at our own cocktail party...
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