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"Chronic fatigue" cartoon in New Yorker.

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by ixchelkali, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Except it uses hyphens between the terms: "Chronic-Fatigue Irritable-Bowel SYNDROME." Syndrome is modified by both of the hyphenated items. So it definitely refers to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I wonder how many people with IBS are complaining about this cartoon? probably not too many.

    I don't think cartoons about illnesses are appropriate either way.
  3. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    So we're not supposed to complain that we're being depicted as a group of complainers. Double bind much?
  4. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Maybe next week they can show an autistic Mom saying it's good that her son can't communicate with her because she's not much of a talker anyway.

    Then another with an AIDS patient complaining that he's too tired for unprotected sex.

    Cut this one out and hang it on your wall. One day you can show your Grandkids how you were once treated by the world in broad daylight.

    Not funny by any standard.
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    considering Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been now been shown to be real...this is about as funny as cartoon of a 5 year old kid with leukemia wondering why their hair is falling out due to chemo....
    and I have a VERY dark sense of humour :p but this is just badly done, and thus, offensive, sigh
  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I don't see this cartoon as a reference to CFS.
  7. Bob

    Bob

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    I would say that it's definitely a reference to both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and by extension also ME patients), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    How they've managed to combine both CFS and IBS (into a single syndrome) as an almighty insult to millions of patients is beyond my comprehension!
  8. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Perhaps you are not aware of the use of CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue - Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) as an alternative name for CFS?

    I did wonder why the cartoonist combined those particular two poorly understood illnesses. Then I saw the oh-so-clever little acronym he devised -- CFIBS.

    Who wants to set up a bet on whether the cartoonist has an relative or acquaintance who says s/he has CFIDS? You know, one of those people who is always laying around complaining but there's nothing to see but a bunch of fibs? :rolleyes:

    "CFIDS? Hah! All I see is a bunch of fibs" Laughter all around.

    Even if that never crossed his mind, a cartoon whose only "humor" is to make fun of two different illnesses at the same time is definitely offensive.
  9. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Mr Kite, either I'm channeling you or you're channeling me. First, the letter you sent them is so similar to the one I sent that they'll think we collaborated. Then, I was JUST about to point out the hyphens when I read your post saying it in almost the same words I was thinking. Gee, we don't even agree all that frequently; this borders on creepy. ;)
  10. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of people I know, who might have sent in the idea to the New Yorker.

    It could be my relative who keeps telling me if I would only push myself to go out every day, I would snap out of this rut.
    Then again, it could be the one who when she heard I lost my disability case said, isn't the insurance money better spent going
    to cancer patients?
  11. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Ouch.

    That's why I think it's worth standing up to false, negative stereotyping like this cartoon. People don't invent their distain for a serious illness, they are taught it. And the most potent way of doing that is to make the sufferers the butt of jokes. Because it's not okay to poke fun at people who are really, seriously ill. If the New Yorker is printing cartoons about them, they really must be just whiners (as we suspected); it's just yuppie flu.

    When you want to say a joke is not at all funny, you say it is "funny as a crutch." Why? Because crippling diseases aren't funny.
  12. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    You're perfectly free not to see a cartoon labeled "Chronic-Fatigue Irritable-Bowel Syndrome" as an obvious insult and jab at people who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If you don't think words in English mean what everyone else thinks they mean, that's up to you. Maybe English isn't your native language for all I know.

    So then the question becomes: then what are you doing in the thread? You just came here to argue?
  13. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Do we disagree often? I don't even remember, tbh. This case seems pretty clear, however. They were mocking people who have CFS, lumping the condition together with IBS as a kind of reductio ad absurdum move. Whether it was intentionally malicious by a "CFS doubter" with an agenda I have no idea, but that's irrelevant anyway to the issue of the harm that the cartoon causes, and can potentially cause. The New Yorker has a wide circulation, so those kinds of negative portrayals just strengthen the perception in the imagination of the general public of CFS as a b.s. disorder.

    Feel free to PM me your message if you still have it. I'd be interested to read the similarities. :)
  14. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I just e-mailed this to the New Yorker:


    The cartoon that appeared in the New Yorker on 3/7/11 regarding the"chronic fatigue irritable bowel syndrome" cartoon is immensely offensive. I see that you are selling this as artwork. You might not be aware that "ME/CFS = chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious, severe illness suffered by millions nationwide. Because this is "an invisible disease", it is victim to a lot of insensitive comments and regard. Some of these patients are totally bedbound and suffer from extreme pain. This illness has been recently linked to a specific retrovirus - similar to AIDS and cancer. Would the New Yorker have published this same cartoon using a person suffering from cancer or AIDS and moreover sell it as an Art piece for people to proudly show in their homes? Please reconsider this action that is insensitive and repulsive to so many patients who are suffering enough without having to put up with ridicule and misunderstandings.
  15. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Another great letter. We should keep this going. The NYer is ordinarily a responsible publication - I don't think they would want to be associated with the kind of politically incorrect and insensitive POV as represented in the cartoon, and I doubt they would like the kind of negative publicity it would bring if we decided to make a larger issue of it.
  16. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    so sorry to hear that someone said that to you

    Oh, Nielk, when I saw this message I almost started crying. I'm so sorry that someone said this to you. I'm sure that a lot of people think this, but to say it out loud, to your face, is almost beyond belief. It's amazing that people simply cannot see (or don't want to see) all the losses (health, job, social life, income, etc.) that are caused by this illness.

    What do folks think disability insurance is for, after all? It's for people who are unable to work! So the comment that it should go "to cancer patients" just doesn't make sense, unless she thinks that all cancer patients are automatically too sick to work.

    In fact, I know of several cancer patients who were able to work while undergoing chemotherapy. These folks recovered and never had to file for either short-term or long-term disability. I don't want to belittle the problems of dealing with cancer -- it can be a very tough thing to fight -- but it does not mean that the person is necessarily unable to work. It all depends on the situation.

    The general public seems to be so ignorant about chronic illness, especially invisible ones like ME/CFS.

    :hug: Sending you some hugs..... :hug:
  17. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thanks Ahimsa for your empathy and hugs!!!!
    I couldn't believe it either what was coming out of this person's mouth.
    The hard part is that it's a family member who lives in my neighborhood so I can't just cut them out of my life.
    Maybe, one day, they will understand.
  18. Bob

    Bob

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    I don't think that's fair, Mr Kite.
    The cartoon is very ambiguous, and it wasn't at all clear to me what it was supposed to mean, to begin with.
    And we are all allowed different points of view on this forum.
    I assume that Mij might be as perplexed by the cartoon as i am.
    And Mij didn't draw the stupid cartoon.
  19. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    You need to direct your anger where it belongs.
  20. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    You seem to be projecting something. My statements are matter of fact.

    Again: if you don't think a cartoon titled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and you're not offended by what it's depicting about CFS, then why are you in a thread about it - unless you just want to argue? You've already said you don't think it's about CFS, so what then is left to say?
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