Ouch weblog: individual blog entry
8 May 06, 11:16 AM - "I did not enjoy empathising with blind people"
Remember Rod Liddle, the Sunday Times writer who caused uproar amongst disabled people last September (not least on Ouch's messageboard) when he offered his opinion on the then newly-unveiled statue of Alison Lapper Pregnant in Trafalgar Square by criticising the very idea that we should want to look upon such a work of art? At the time, he concluded his diatribe with the following words:
"I do not like the statue of Lapper in Trafalgar Square. Not because, as some critics have argued, it is a poor work of art by Marc Quinn; 'slimy' and 'machine made'. I do not like it because I do not wish to revel in disability. I do not think disability is something that deserves a 'tribute'."
Yes, you remember him now, don't you? He's difficult to forget. Well, the good (?) news is that, this weekend, he was back on his favourite subject - us. This time, it was under the guise of reviewing the new Dans Le Noir restaurant in London, the place where diners eat in the dark and are served by blind staff.
Now, considering that the article appears in the newspaper's Table Talk section, you'd think Mr Liddle's review would offer some opinion about the restaurant - the food, the service, the ambience. And it does. Basically, he doesn't like any of it. Fine. That's his opinion. But in between these comments, Rod Liddle can't resist sharing his views on blind people, just as he did about physically disabled people in his earlier article. He concludes with these words:
"In all, I did not enjoy empathising with blind people. Nor did I expect to. Perhaps, though, you are not meant to enjoy the experience. Perhaps you are merely intended to leave the restaurant a little wiser and a little humbler ... Meanwhile, I will soon be setting up a restaurant where the diners are encased in straitjackets and the waiters are all amputees."
Crippled Monkey won't be inviting Rod round for dinner any time soon, that's for certain.