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Thread: Eastwood Continues Disability Vendetta with 'Million Dollar Baby'

  1. #21
    I haven't seen the movie, so I'm not in a position to make a comment on the believability of this actress, Hillary Swank, who appeared on "60 Minutes" last night.

    PN

  2. #22
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    I think a movie like this makes a case for more CURE research.

    If Clint dislikes "disability" that much maybe he should donate money towards the ultimate solution.
    That ultimate solution being CURE not Death.

    Ramps and other adaptations wouldn't be such an issue if there were a CURE.

    ~ Choices Are The Hinges Of Destiny ~

  3. #23
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    'Million Dollar' storm

    'Million Dollar' storm
    By Sharon Waxman The New York Times Wednesday, February 2, 2005
    NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/.../eastwood.html



    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store

  4. #24
    Originally posted by Max:

    'Million Dollar' storm
    By Sharon Waxman The New York Times Wednesday, February 2, 2005
    NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
    .
    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
    .
    .
    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
    .
    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
    .
    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
    .
    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
    .
    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
    .
    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
    .
    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
    .
    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
    .
    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/.../eastwood.html



    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store


    ppl always find something to whine and bitch about, then call it social activism. unbelievable , its a freaking movie

  5. #25
    Fuente - agreed, its only a movie.

    However, movies often do reflect a culture's perceptions, interpretations right or wrong.

    Many people blindly follow what the media spoon-feeds them. Prior to any of our accidents did any of us really know and understand the details of sci?

    Instead of the disability community pursuing its own vendetta against Eastwood and the movie we should see it as an opportunity to continue to educate people as to the errors and mistakes made in the film.

    Just as the makers of the film made mistakes we are just as guilty in making those our sole focus. The movie wasn't about sci and I sincerely doubt that Eastwood purposely misrepresented it.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Conservative activists among those knocking Oscar-nominated film

    Conservative activists among those knocking Oscar-nominated film
    Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version




    LOS ANGELES If "Million Dollar Baby" wins the Oscar for Best Picture -- there won't be any applause from some activist groups.

    A warning to those who haven't seen the movie -- we're about to give away the ending, so we can say what the fuss is about.

    It tells the story of a female boxer played by Hillary Swank, and her trainer, played by Clint Eastwood. They develop a father-daughter relationship.

    Swank's character is blind-sided by a vicious opponent, and ends up paralyzed. She decides she doesn't want to live that way, and asks Eastwood's character to help her die. After much agonizing, he does.

    Detractors say the movie rejects the idea that people with paralyzing injuries can lead lives that are worth living. And they the film is little more than propaganda supporting legalization of assisted suicide.

    Eastwood -- who also directed -- says that's not what it's about.

    The head of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association complains that people "still think having a spinal-cord injury is a fate worse than death."

    http://www.whbf.com/Global/story.asp?S=2898181



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  7. #27
    Originally posted by Faye:

    I think a movie like this makes a case for more CURE research.

    If Clint dislikes "disability" that much maybe he should donate money towards the ultimate solution.
    That ultimate solution being CURE not Death.

    Ramps and other adaptations wouldn't be such an issue if there were a CURE.
    Faye, there will always be OLD PEOPLE in wheelchairs, unless you are talking about a cure for death itself. Making buildings accessible isn't just about people with SCI or other diseases/conditions. That is one of the things the disability rights movement should ALWAYS emphasize: this is about YOU, your parents, your grandparents. It's not just about being nice to "someone else"...my grandmother used a wheelchair for 7 years before she died.

    Thanks for the NY Times link, Max. Had not read that one.

    Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.-- Søren Kierkegaard

  8. #28
    Down for the Count

    Million Dollar Baby

    Clint Eastwood, USA, 2004

    Rating: 2.6 (out of 5)

    Posted: January 29, 2005

    By Laurence Station

    (Editor's Note: Spoiler Alert: Major plot points are revealed in this review. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. If you're upset that you won't be able to figure out whether you'd like the film without reading the review, well, the rating up above pretty much says it all. -- Kevin Forest Moreau, Editor-in-Chief)

    Finally, a boxing movie Dr. Jack Kevorkian can love. Obviously, everyone has the right to die. But what if a person who wants to die is physically incapable of terminating his or her own life? Well, that's when you need a little help from your friends. Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is far more interested in saying something about living and dying than it is with examining the game of boxing. Instead, it uses the ring and the gym as staging points for director Eastwood to mediate on the choices people make, for better and worse, that define who they are and what their lives have meant. Boxing is a sport where one bad blow can kill a person -- that's part of the thrill, for spectators and participants alike: There's a grim finality to pugilism, and that's what draws people to the matches.

    In Million Dollar Baby Eastwood plays Frankie Dunn, a veteran trainer who owns a gym and watches his heavyweight protégé walk out on him (and subsequently win his coveted title with a new manager). Frankie is considered a great teacher, but too cautious to coach a fighter all the way to the top. Enter Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), a 31-year-old, dirt-poor waitress with aspirations of becoming a great fighter. She wants Frankie to train her, but he doesn't "train girls." Naturally, Maggie sticks around the gym anyway, and Frankie ultimately gives in and takes her under his wing.

    Morgan Freeman plays Scrap, a retired boxer and, seemingly, Frankie's only friend. Scrap manages and lives at the gym, and offers an omniscient voice throughout, clueing us in to private details about the other characters: Maggie knows she's trash; Frankie is scared of success, always pulling up short with his fighters when he should be urging them toward bigger and better contests. How Scrap attains such wisdom is a mystery, but his narration does slot in cozily with the multitude of clichés plaguing this movie.

    From the old trainer taking on the untested newcomer, to the Irish Catholic priest Frankie confides in and argues with, all the way to the big fight itself, Million Dollar Baby regrettably holds to the traditions of predictable plot turns and ham-fisted messages about life and loss -- a tradition which has followed boxing films since Wallace Beery's Depression-era The Champ. Yes, Maggie goes from neophyte to contender in a relatively short span of time. Yes, she breaks through Frankie's gruff exterior, becoming a surrogate daughter to a man who's (no, really?) estranged from his only child. And yes, her opponent in the big title match is a thoroughly unlikable cheater who's also much bigger and stronger than she is.

    But there doesn't have to be anything wrong with all of that. Honestly, if Million Dollar Baby were just a boxing movie most of this could be forgiven -- all of the above falls right in line with the genre's conventions and expectations, and that's hardly a capital offense. But Baby aspires to be so much more than a mere boxing picture. All of the pugilism is just setup for the last third, when Baby morphs into a "dying with dignity" flick.

    And that's where it craters. Following Maggie as she rises through the ranks is at least entertaining. Though she wins her matches with credulity-straining ease, it's still exciting. It's when Maggie suffers a paralyzing injury in the ring and asks Frankie to end her life that Million Dollar Baby shamelessly manipulates its audience. And it doesn't let up, piling on emotionally devastating moments like when Maggie's embarrassingly stereotypical trailer-trash family arrives at the hospital and attempts to force Maggie to sign over her winnings to them. And then an infection sets in, and one of Maggie's legs has to be amputated. It's just ridiculously excessive. Why does it have to be so catastrophic? Ah, but there's a reason. Eastwood can't justify snuffing out Maggie's life just because Maggie can't face living life as a severely disabled person. No, it has to be because she's suffers so enormously that we, the audience, will actually be rooting for Frankie to pull the plug on his plucky prizefighter. So to make sure we do, the hardships must multiply.

    If you've got to bend over so far backwards to justify a person's right to die, then maybe you shouldn't be taking a stance on such an inflammatory position at all. Million Dollar Baby might have made a decent addition to the boxing-film genre, had it not gotten bogged down by weighty pretensions regarding fate, choice and empty resolutions. Eastwood should have never left the boxing ring.
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    Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.-- Søren Kierkegaard

  9. #29
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    Hey, maybe somebody already mentioned it in another post, but Eastwood's message in "Million Dollar Baby" sounds to me like he's just using film to garner support for his previous stance that people with disabilitites are a drain on (his personal) economics and ought to be eliminated. When sued for not adhering to ADA accomodations at his Bed & Breakfast, he appealed to Congress to water down the ADA legislation. "Extortion" he called -- when a disabled person wanted to rent an adequate accessable room for the same price (not double) that which is charged for the other rooms in his Bed-&-Breakfast. C'mon, Clint, haven't you made enough $$$ off all your films??? People with an injury deserve to be euthanized? As if we are sub-human, imperfect specimens. That's pretty sick-o.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Death, not disability, is the end of the world

    Death, not disability, is the end of the world
    CBC News Viewpoint | February 03, 2005 | More from Disability Matters

    This column will feature three writers, each with a different disability. They all have something to say about living with a disability and how they view awareness and attitudes toward disabilities in Canada. The column will deal with the rights of people with disabilities, eliminating inequality and discrimination, and issues of self-help and consumer advocacy. Our plan is to rotate among our columnists to have a new column each month.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ed Smith is a retired educator and full-time writer. His humour column runs in several papers and magazines and he has had eight books published. He has been quadriplegic since 1998. Ed lives in Springdale, Nfld.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Clint Eastwood just lost me as a fan, something I'm sure will keep him awake nights.

    His latest movie, Million Dollar Baby, has won praise from everyone who's seen it, and perhaps a few who haven't. As a person with quadriplegia I see it as nothing more or less than a scurrilous attack on people with spinal cord injury specifically, and those with disabilities generally.

    A couple of years ago I gave a keynote presentation to a conference on disabilities. It was meant to be an upbeat and "go get 'em" type speech and from the standing ovation at the end it seemed I had succeeded admirably. Less than an hour later one of the delegates to the conference (we'll call him Jack) button-holed me in the hotel lobby. He looked me up and down and then spoke in confidential tones.

    "When I see you now," he said, "and remember what you used to be like, I think 'twould be better if you were dead."

    Jack and Clint would have hit it off well. Million Dollar Baby, which Eastwood both directs and stars in, is the story of a fight manager with a promising young boxer. The fighter gets a spinal cord injury in a fall and at her request the manager (Eastwood) kills her as she lies in a nursing home. The film will likely win all kinds of awards.

    Not from me, even if I had them to give. Eastwood has hardly been a friend of people with disabilities. He was sued in 1997 for refusing to include $7,000 worth of accessible bathrooms in his $6.7-million resort renovations. Caring chap, Clint.

    So it's what the boxer wanted, right? It's what I wanted, too, when I discovered I was paralysed in almost 90 per cent of my body. I pleaded with my wife to have me shot or put down in some merciful fashion. At the time, I didn't even care if it was merciful. That was for the first two days. Now, six years later, I'm rather glad she didn't.

    Actor Christopher Reeve had a similar experience. So did many people I know who have suffered from catastrophic injury.

    Incredibly, a preponderance of the population, even in our "enlightened" Canadian society, agrees with Jack that we're better off dead.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_..._20050203.html



    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store

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