Friday, May 06, 2005

I See Odd People

This fantastic piece at Odd Features celebrates three of my all-time favorite people: Johnny Eck, Billy Barty, and Marty Feldman, among others who took personal "deformity" and turned it into an asset.

I particularly love the portrait of an older Johnny at work painting. Celebrate diversity! People who look different, or whose bodies are configured a bit differently from the norm, have just as much right to be here as anybody else. And -- here's my particular soapbox -- they have a right to choose to show off their differentness to make a living. Why is it okay for Pamela Anderson or The Rock to show off their non-ordinary bodies to make a living, but it's considered "exploitation" if Johnny did the same thing? Johnny and others lost a beloved career when the sideshows were shut down in the interests of "protecting them from exploitation." Excuse me, but that's patronizing. Billy Joel was ripped off by his manager on his first album. Alan Parsons only got a measly pittance for his amazing work engineering "Dark Side of the Moon." It's just show business! People get ripped off sometimes! Johnny had just as much a right to take his lumps and learn his lessons as Billy Joel and Alan Parsons.

(Jumps off soapbox.)

At any rate, read the article and enjoy!


At 4:10 PM, Blogger Nemohee said...

I love Billy Barty!

I have to agree with you over the bit about ehibition vs. exploitation.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

One of my treasures is an autographed picture of Billy Barty that an online friend got for me. He was an amazing man.


Post a Comment

<< Home