IVP - Strangely Dim - Y B X?

May 19, 2006

Y B X?

A very perceptive reader caught a misspelling in my previous post, "R U X or S?" and very graciously alerted me to it privately. I'm now alerting you: paragraph 7, the "y" is mysteriously missing from the second sentence, "Maybe ou've discovered..." My apologies. A blessing on our head, dear reader. Oops--I mean, a blessing on your head.

I'm not nearly done talking about X-3, however. The idea of a cure for mutancy really intrigues me: what if by taking a pill I could stop being something that is core to who I am? It's one thing to take an aspirin to cure a headache: nobody would ever say "It hurts when I think; therefore it hurts when I am." But to consider taking a pill to make me no longer short or left-handed or ridiculously hairy is not so much a cure as it is an existential crisis.

The TV show ER is taking up this issue in the role of Carrie Weaver, the hospital's chief of staff. For nearly ten years she has walked with a limp and used a cane. No running commentary needed; it was refreshing simply to have a central character with a disability. But actress Laura Innes has started to suffer long-term physical problems as a result of walking with a limp unnecessarily. For the sake of her health, she needed to abandon either the disability or the role.

Carrie Weaver was given the option of surgery to correct the limp, but first she had to wrestle with the question that plagues the X-Men in X-3: How much of myself will I lose once I lose this part of me? If I am no longer known by my disability, or my appearance, or some other distinguishing facet of my person, how will I then be known?

And the question didn't go away with the limp. Interestingly, Carrie's first walk through the emergency room without her cane passed without comment from her colleagues. What she thought defined her in the eyes of others turned out to be something much less definitive. Her change only began the process of relearning who she is, in the eyes of others and at the core of herself.

Anyway, don't mind me. I'm just hooked on this idea of what's essential to who we are, and what's merely accidental. No biggie. Go see X-3 and we'll talk more about it.

My thanks to Alex Ness of Pop Thought.com, who's posted even more ramblings from me about this question. Check out the article here.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at May 19, 2006 11:49 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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