Swinging, Disability, and Evil

In the Christian gospels, Jesus cures countless ‘mad’ and disabled people believed to be possessed, or to have done something sinful that has caused their disability that needs healing. Interestingly, this attitude towards disability can be seen to be not just ignorant, but evil. And this mindset has not changed. During my recent Covid isolation, I had the pleasure of watching a Dutch series, ‘The Swingers’. Eva, primary teacher, and Peter, music journo, move to new build suburbia. Steef, vice cop, and Rebecca, fitness trainer, become their buddies. Peter has ‘lazy sperm’. Eva is pregnant from another chap’s donation. The baby dies. Rebecca wants a sibling for their kid but Steef never wanted any, so she plots a plan which grief stricken gullible Eva falls for. Desperate for another, Eva puts a hole in the condom Steef uses on their swingers’ weekend; hey presto. Eva finds out Steef has had a previous kid who is disabled. Shock, horror. Macho Steef blubs his eyes out, telling Eva how awful it was for him, hated at school because of his disabled brother, so he hated his brother, the way he dribbled. Peter, already unhinged from obsessively listening to bad rock lyrics, goes ‘mad’. Eva is from a ‘mad’ religious family. Once her folks find out Peter is not the dad plus the baby is disabled, we get the impression they will declare this is all a punishment from God. The show is fun, especially the comedy pervert who watches Steef and Rebecca’s shenanigans through a telescope. Through this telescope his disabled wife catches him in Rebecca’s bedroom. He is kitted out in Steef’s biker gear masturbating over a picture of Rebecca, and when he sees his wife watching he has a stroke. As in the days of Jesus, transgression is once more punished through disability. Can we condemn this show for having a disabled kid as one of Steef’s ‘evil secrets’? No, because these attitudes are with us today. In camp fashion and high resolution, this show illustrates how shocking and awful this attitude is. More shocking than any swinging. Let us pray…

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