Mosstafarianism: Ecnarelot-reading diversity

David Moss

Hello. My name is David Moss, and I’m a dyslexic. Wow. It feels good to be able to say that out in the open. I’m just so used to people turning their heads when they see me in the library, locking their car doors when I walk past or washing their hands after meeting me. I’m used to dyslexaphobia.

My actual condition isn’t so bad. It hasn’t affected my daily life much outside of making me the only person in a room to think the word “traf” is funny and giving me a strange sense of inclusiveness from palindromes. (It may also cause me to spell a few words backward so raeb with me.) What does distress me, however, is how little society cares about us backward readers. It’s gotten to the point where I’m afraid to go to McDonald’s because I don’t want to accidentally order a Big caM and get dirty looks.

Our world just wasn’t constructed with dyslexics in mind. Think how many traffic jams you’ve been in because a dyslexic stoner waited for hours next to a POTS sign. Every time you enjoy Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” on the radio, countless dyslexics are baffled by its cryptic chorus. School children face mockery from their classmates, and most teachers don’t even have the courtesy to explain to them the hilarious irony in having trouble reading phrases like “word for word” and “forward thinking.”

I always hear debates over whether our news media are skewed left or right when we’re clearly ignoring the fact that it’s all skewed forward. Anti-dyslexic headlines have left me out of the loop on tons of major news developments. Imagine how confused I was when I heard everyone talking about the tragic events of November 9, or the spread of woc dam disease. Thank god President Amabo’s name sounds funny both forward and backward or I probably wouldn’t be able to grasp the significance of his election.

The things that really get to me, though, are dyslethnic slurs. I’ll never forget the first time someone called me a “resol” (it was just after I ran an entire marathon finish to start) or when my teacher wrote “drater” on a failed spelling test of mine. Sure, you may hear these words used in songs or by dyslexic comedians, but that doesn’t give you the right to say them. Despite what some may tell you, dyslexia is something you’re born with, not a choice, so there’s never an excuse for prejudiced name-calling.

I’d like to live in a world where dyslexics and non-dyslexics could live in harmony, where billboards featured a backward translation below the main ad, where Bob and Anna were the most popular baby names to avoid misspellings. Even if you haven’t noticed this particular type of intolerance, you’d still have to agree there are some out there who will always look for increasingly trivial ways to classify people. I may not be the best person to ask about this, but I think those people have it backward.

Weinberg senior David Moss can be reached at [email protected]