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The Myths Regarding Personalized Stationery

"for the inconveniently-not-yet-dead"

"Today I can't speak. My body is clearly running through the dictionary of annoying ailments and, having dealt with the labyrinthitis, we seem to have staggered on to laryngitis, or a derivative thereof."

"Being literally unhearable will frustrate me for a while, of course, but as I've spent a week watching grainy film of elderly care-home inmates occupying a space far beyond screaming I know I have nothing to complain about."

"While I was starting to write, I spent a little over 10 years working with various vulnerable groups in various facilities and watched the hard edge of Thatcher's reforms stealing a little more comfort and possibility from lives each day. It's impossible to forget the geriatric wards and homes where human beings sat and wept, pools of urine at their feet, robbed of all dignity simply for being old and not wealthy."

"In the bad places, the worn-down places, the holding cells for the inconveniently-not-yet-dead, no one listened. No one paid any attention when inmates would simply yell in despair, so why on earth would staff want to hear about former careers, children raised, trams driven through the blitz, losses, hopes?"

"It would seem wrong to treat living members of one's own species with brutal indifference, so best to forget that they are members of one's own species – don't let them have a voice."

"But if you have cerebral palsy, it's OK to remove your best means of expression. Just as it's OK to remove the benefits you need to live. The people we don't hear from can suffer without troubling us – we'll never be disturbed by the details of their pain."

"Then again, we can choose not to consider that when elderly residents are moved from one home to another there is always a saving – the move kills a predictable percentage."

"It's interesting to consider that caring for fewer people allows for savings and seems cruel, while making those savings in advance can mean there will be fewer people to care for and yet seems more civilised. I only know about this because it was explained to me once by a senior social worker. His voice was nicely modulated, reasonable, clear."

— A. L. Kennedy