Oh for God’s Sake you idiot

I have dwarfism. I was 13 when Verne Troyer hit our screens as Mini-Me in Austin Powers sequel . The character was a compound of stereotypes of people with dwarfism. He was hypersexual, unintelligent and aggressive. He was not even a character in his own right but a replica of another, average height role. Like dwarf performers in circuses of days past, his character only existed in contrast to others.

In one scene, Mini-Me appears in a sling strapped to Mike Myers’ chest, like an infant. In the follow-up film, Goldmember, another character threatens to eat him because he “looks like a baby”. Throughout the series he serves as Dr Evil’s biddable pet. I imagine few who watched it know that like this – abusing, ridiculing, and, sometimes, even killing them.

Jeebus, that’s exactly what was being parodied.

28 comments on “Oh for God’s Sake you idiot

  1. I wonder if the moron who wrote this article noticed that pretty much everyone in this movie was a grotesque caricature… In fact I can’t remember a single one who wasnt.

  2. Like dwarf performers in circuses of days past, his character only existed in contrast to others.

    He does kind of have a point. But what was the alternative? As Hattie McDaniel said, it was better for her to earn $700 a week playing a maid than working for $7 a week as a maid. There are just not a lot of roles for people who would have formerly been in the freak show. Whatever the level of justice in the world, he was never going to be James Bond.

    Still, he should look on the positive side. These days he would probably be aborted in utero.

  3. “I imagine few who watched it know that like this – abusing, ridiculing, and, sometimes, even killing them.”

    What absolute victimology CM cockrot.

    How many dwarf murders are there on a regular basis? Either of or by dwarves?

    As for Mr Troyer he lived very well indeed on the wealth and fame. His liking for the ladies was well known. Bruce Campbell once described him as ” small man–BIG appetites”.
    He needs no cod sympathy from the scum at the Guardian.

  4. “I have dwarfism” instead of ‘I’m a dwarf’. Should I assume that there’s an ideology lurking behind his rather clumsy phraseology?

  5. The ideology – also expressed in the phrase “My son has autism”, rather than “My son is autistic” – is that the person may HAVE the condition but is not defined by it.

  6. Notice how little is said against the dwarf in game of thrones? Or the dwarf who appeared in Charlie and the chocolate factory?

  7. Deep Roy doesn’t have dwarfism, he’s just small. But at 4’4″ not that small. Post production magic makes him look half that.

  8. “Should I assume that there’s an ideology lurking behind his rather clumsy phraseology?”

    It might just be one of the many problems caused by Tolkien and his popularity with the D&D/fantasy people. Many people interpret the word “dwarf” as a fictional non-human bearded axe-wielding race nowadays. (Possibly Pratchett didn’t help either, with his bearded lady dwarfs. I’m a bit suprised that hasn’t raised more objections around here.)

    It’s kind of like the way “Vulcan” isn’t seen as the name of the Roman God of fire any more.

  9. Mr Ecks

    Tim’s quote missed the words “who watched it know that in the past aristocrats and monarchs “kept” dwarf people like this abusing, ridiculing, and, sometimes, even killing them.”

    Doesnt really alter the idiocy of the article of course – AP is about grotesques.

  10. Possibly Pratchett didn’t help either, with his bearded lady dwarfs.

    Pretty sure that was Tolkien, too.

  11. I actually spent a summer with a travelling circus, billed as “The World’s Tallest Midget”.

  12. The next year I again toured with them, this time as “The World’s Shortest Giant”.

    Ah, those summer days, so long ago.

  13. @ NIV “Many people interpret the word “dwarf” as a fictional non-human bearded axe-wielding race nowadays.”

    You mean they aren’t?

    I’ve always tried to put people I’m with at ease when we see a dwarf by shouting “it’s OK, he hasn’t got his axe”

  14. It might just be one of the many problems caused by Tolkien and his popularity with the D&D/fantasy people.

    The “many problems caused by Tolkien”? Such as? Hobbit oppression? Trans elf prejudice?

    You do come out with some right old shit…

  15. The “many problems caused by Tolkien”? Such as? Hobbit oppression? Trans elf prejudice?

    Don’t forget Trolling

  16. “The “many problems caused by Tolkien”? Such as? Hobbit oppression? Trans elf prejudice?”

    Some people have a one-track mind…

    I was referring to the problems with language. When people redefine the meanings and contexts of a lot of words, building an entire fictional cultural history around them, and those works become immensely popular, constantly quoted and alluded to in mainstream society, the new meanings can become more familiar and accessible than the original ones. While the transition happens, meanings become ambiguous, and you sometimes have to invent new words for old concepts becasuse the old word has been taken over.

    “Troll”, for example, has dual origins: in Norse mythology for a type of monster, and a fishing term from about 1600 deriving from “trail” meaning to trail a line of bait. The internet usage (“trolling for newbies”) came from the fishing terminology, but was quickly confused with the mythological one. Although I think the Three Billy Goats Gruff still lead Tolkien in the cultural war of meanings. It’s for sure that nobody is thinking about fishing when thinking up clever things to say about trolls!

    The way language constantly mutates and evolves is interesting. (It’s an entertaining example to bring up with Creationists, for instance.) Here, it is indeed likely that the awkward terminology is because of our constantly changing culture, but it may be entirely innocent of ideology – it’s just that the word “dwarf” has been taken over, so to be clear about what you mean you need to find another way to express it that can’t be misinterpreted.

  17. @NiV – I did think, once I had posted my comment, that you might just have been joking.

    Imagine my relief when you reveal that your point was just some bullshit* that you defend tediously. Although in your defence, this time you’re not treating us to a dozen 500 word posts. You could publish your collected comments as a fantasy epic by now.

    *no-one, not even a 30 stone loon living in his mum’s basement for the past decade, hears ‘dwarf’ and thinks of Gimli waving an axe, rather than a medically-afflicted shortarse. In fact, the guy in the basement has probably watched Time Bandits so is well up on dwarfs, midgets and PORG.

    If a mad scientist locked a child up in a basement and exposed him only to fantasy literature, D&D and Star Trek, said child would still have a firmer grasp on reality than you.

  18. MC,

    See definition 1 here:
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/dwarf

    Apparently, the people who write dictionaries disagree with you! Perhaps you should come out of your Mom’s basement – you might need a hoist – and let them know?!

    I just love it when people start talking about how they have a firmer grasp on reality, and then get so easily refuted! 🙂

    (Of course the ‘original’ meaning of the word (and therefore, arguably, more correct) was for the magical beings in Germanic tribal mythology, and it was only co-opted for the medical condition more recently. Tolkien’s popularisation co-opted it back.)

    So what are you going to tell me next? That dictionary writers don’t understand the meaning of words, or the true nature of reality, either? And you still think you do? 😀

  19. “I just love it when people start talking about how they have a firmer grasp on reality”

    Said the being who believes in women with beards.

  20. “Said the being who believes in women with beards.”

    Yes? And?

    I even gave you links!

    It’s even funnier when, after pointing out how someone talking about how their delusions are reality can be amusingly refuted in seconds, someone else does exactly the same thing! Comedy double-act!

    Don’t you guys ever check anything you say?

  21. Pratchett actually makes NiV’s point on language and dissed Tolkien in his witches series- Lords and Ladies

    “Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
    Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
    The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
    No one ever said elves are nice”

    Which makes sense for Irish tales of the Sidhe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aos_S%C3%AD

    are pretty negative, and we can find a lot of other elvish myths in Europe that tend to the Pratchett version rather than the noble Elves of Tolkien.

  22. Tim’s quote missed the words “who watched it know that in the past aristocrats and monarchs “kept” dwarf people like this abusing, ridiculing, and, sometimes, even killing them.”

    Philip III ( or was it IV?) of Spain used to line his dwarfs up and throw crockery at them. There are a lot of paintings of them by Velasquez.

    Also Tolkien has managed unwittingly to change the language. In LOTR he explains that the proper plural of dwarf is dwarfs, but he uses dwarves to differentiate them from what we see as a dwarf.

  23. “Also Tolkien has managed unwittingly to change the language. In LOTR he explains that the proper plural of dwarf is dwarfs, but he uses dwarves to differentiate them from what we see as a dwarf.”

    From Wikipedia:

    Regarding the plural, Tolkien wrote in 1937, “I am afraid it is just a piece of private bad grammar, rather shocking in a philologist; but I shall have to go with it”

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