let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,
let's get the seven lines.

A clarification and apology.

This post is specifically in response to a number of people talking about the possibility of Eames as dyslexic on my Eames is Brilliant post, as well as in response to this post by apiphile.

While my post didn't mention dyslexia specifically, I was pretty obviously (though not explicitly) responding to an Inception fanon that says "let's have fun making Eames illiterate/dumb as rocks/making fun of his horrendous ability to spell things properly."

As fic, I feel like that kind of gesture is totally hilarious and fun and harmless. As a fannish trope, however, I feel like it carries an implied association and judgment about learning disorders, and I think that implication is problematic. The fact that our first response to "how's your spelling/piss off" is "let's make Eames dumb as rocks!" is an insult to everyone who's struggled with any academic subject. (Not to mention, it's probably just cause for serious eyerolling from everyone who believes "can't spell" is not actually a personality flaw.)

So. I made my post about Eames, and even though it didn't explicitly address learning disorders of any kind, I did respond to that problematic phenomenon, and because I responded to it without clarifying my position, I made the post, and myself, complicit in that implied judgment.

I'm sorry for that, and I apologize. I'm so sorry to have given anyone that impression, and I'm even sorrier that this reading is totally a valid response to my post because I didn't actually do a lot of elaboration to clarify what my point was. I definitely had a twinge of 'will people think you're judging people with learning disabilities if you leave it at this' as I was writing it. I chose to post anyway, without taking the time to clarify, and I'm sorry.

For anyone who cares, my actual thoughts on Eames, the character, and his education or lack thereof, are behind the cut:

I honestly don't think of eames as an intellectual, at least as I'm understanding the implication to be that my post implied he was well-educated and/or is well-versed in academia/theoretical knowledge, etc. I think he's probably public school educated, reads a lot for the job, the end. It doesn't really matter to me whether he can spell or do maths or not; the whole point to me is that he's brilliant because he doesn't fit into a pre-formatted box that looks like "good speller" or or "bad speller" or "smarmy Brit" or "street rat" or any one of a hundred things. (Arthur, btw, totally more of a street rat than Eames. And he also, canonically, has worse grammar. But I digress.)

I don't think being bad at spelling or math would make Eames (or anyone) less brilliant in any way. What I think is that he basically doesn't care about spelling one way or the other, and would eyeroll at anyone who did. What I think is that he has better things to do with his time than waste it calculating layers of dreamspace. Basically I don't think "good speller" or "great at math" are significant parts of his personality; I just don't think "bad speller" or "horrible at math" should automatically be the default assumption, either.

I think it that any reading of this is just as valid as any other--a) that he's a good speller/good at math but just can't be arsed to prove it; b) that he's a horrible speller/horrible at math, full stop, who cares; c) that he pretends to be a bad speller/bad at math for purposes of his own even though he's really good at it. I think each of those possibilities are equally likely; I don't care which one is correct, just like I don't care whether the top falls or not; that's not the point. The point, at least the one I was trying to make, is that he's brilliant any way you spin him. :)


- but none of that is relevant to my actual point, which is that no one should ever, for a second, feel like they're being judged because they can't spell or do math or because they don't know what the capital of Iceland is, or haven't read Shakespeare, or because they have a learning disability.

And if my post made anyone, at all, feel that way, then I just want to apologize to each of you. I have edited the original post for clarification, and to link back to this one.

Again, I'm very sorry.
Tags: inception

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