Against Bio-political Confusion

It is a mistake I imagine to avow you know much of the world. Its right and proper to admit intellectual limits. One sees this is harder than it should be owing to postmodernity with its filigreed relativisms. These days if you’re educated you’re easily forgiven for saying what you don’t know is of little consequence. What is unknown to you is less important than a celebration of confusion. 

 What if you don’t like confusion? In the best sense this suggests you don’t much like bureaucracies and burdensome hierarchies. You like to drink spring water from a tin cup. You like baseball’s “three strikes and you’re out” and you favor the romanticism disguised in the language of the Enlightenment as revealed in the Declaration of Independence though you know why the document still to this day stands for hypocrisy. 

I cry out: “I am a simpleton!” In bio-cultural terms I’m that citizen who burns his draft card or her brassiere. I’ve no compunction about these acts of protest. As a blind man I know my disability stands for defectiveness when I enter the bank on the corner but I don’t acknowledge the bank or the genome editing biotechnology company that is even now seeking to erase my footsteps from the great German airport of American civic life. (Oh I’m all for curing blindness. If you can modify the genes that cause macular degeneration I’ll applaud. But your medical model of disability as standing for social disadvantage remains unbroken from the days of eugenics.)

Its unfashionable for academics to reveal what they don’t know. Here’s what I know I don’t know: I’ve no idea what the future of genetically modified human beings will look like. What I do know is I’m not confused. I’m for curing illnesses. I’m against eliminating people with Down syndrome or deafness or blindness or any other disabling condition without a constitutional amendment guaranteeing human dignity and human rights and health care and education for every single kind of human body.

Now I will return you to your original broadcast with its tawdry celebration of celebrity fashion. 

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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