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I’m not sensitive, Mr. Honeycutt, but don’t be a jerk

Posted by on April 23, 2010

This isn’t the first time I’ve run across this kind of ignorance, but this entry is directed specifically at Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter, whose review of The Losers has the subhead: “Bottom Line: An action film designed for those suffering from ADD.”

Where do I even begin?

Let me get this much out of the way: A.D.D. is real.  It’s not a pop culture joke.  It’s not an excuse for badly behaved school children or lack of parenting.  It’s a clinical disorder defined in the DSM-IV.  It’s an affliction, a real problem.  And I have it in spades.

Attention-deficit disorder isn’t just a short attention span.  I once heard it accurately described as the compulsive need to pay attention to everything, all the time.  A person with A.D.D., such as myself, is constantly distracted, because everything is distracting.  I can be having a one-on-one exchange with someone, notice a flashing light or an insect or just the color of the wall, and then suddenly realize that I have no idea what that person said or what I was going to say.  All in the space of ten seconds.  This can happen numerous times in a single conversation.  Every day.

It affects not only academic pursuits, but my social life, my job, my fiancé, and more.  I deal with it every day, and have for a long time.  It’s very treatable, but never without side effects and an immense amount of effort.  Can you imagine knowing you have to focus on something and being physically unable to?  It’s incredibly frustrating and has long term consequences.  It causes other problems too, like losing things many times over or getting halfway through a task before realizing what I’m doing is totally wrong.

I’m not trying to start a pity party.  My A.D.D. is part of who I am, and I accepted that a long time ago.  I’m not ashamed, embarrassed or offended by it.  I’ve learned to cope with it very well without medication for a long time now, and I’m happy to tell others about it to encourage them as they struggle with it.  So don’t feel sorry for me; I’m just fine.

Now, Mr. Honeycutt, let’s talk about you.  You negatively described a movie that is fast-paced and flat as being “for those suffering from ADD.”  Excuse me.  I suffer from A.D.D..  What makes you think I’m going to enjoy a bad movie any more than the next person?  Because I don’t focus as easily as you do?  What kind of thing is that to say?

That’s like describing a movie with a simple plot as “for people suffering from mental retardation,” or bad reality shows as “for paraplegics without the ability to get up and go somewhere else.”  Should we all start talking that way?  Shame on anyone who does, so shame on you, sir.

Some movies are fast-paced, and some are slower-paced.  Some of them are good, and some are bad.  A.D.D. doesn’t have anything to do with anything.  So please try not to showcase your ignorance with insensitive and frankly insulting platitudes that provide nothing to your audience and alienate people like me.

By the way, I once heard it was estimated that 10% of the American population could be diagnosed with A.D.D..  So say goodbye to 10% of your readers.  Until you’re ready to apologize.

I won’t give you any ammunition by commenting on the quality of your review, but you seem to have a lot of contempt for video games, comic books, and violence for a guy reviewing a modern action movie.

Mr. Honeycutt’s “review” can be found here; don’t forget to leave him a comment.

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