Oh Helen, Helen … please fuck off


‘Oscar winning actress calls for a revolution in attitudes to the degenerative neurological condition’ screams the Guardian … well, wimpers the Guardian. Now, just in case you haven’t spotted it, I suffer from PD, and so notice stuff. So, part of me cheers as I know exactly what she means. I see sufferers everywhere and know that most don’t. So. I read.

It’s all super and splendid and (I know, I’m ranting, but … dammit, I’m angry) … a good friend of hers and yadda yadda. ‘People with Parkinson’s are not some weird people on the edge of human experience’, she notes. Well, really? Actually, there’s an argument that anyone suffering from a degenerative, incurable condition are on the edge of human experience, but indeed, they’re not weird.

So, why am I so angry? Christ, it’s simple. The piece is effectively an advert for the Nintendo Wiifit. A new study at Queen’s University Belfast is being conducted into ‘whether sufferers can improve their balance, co-ordination and mood by using Nintendo Wii games consoles.’

Sorry, but it’s not Nintendo. It’s bloody doing stuff. People often ask me whether the martial arts, sports and fitness work I do keeps it at bay. Plainly it doesn’t, because my basal ganglia don’t give a fuck if I can punch someone in the face, kick them in the head, play an elegant on-drive, or bench-press my weight. It makes me feel better, it improves the way that my muscles hold my body together, and helps me make the best of what I’ve got. It’s like anyone.

So, now people are going to tell me to buy a Nintendo. I’ll be telling them to fuck right off.

The study may well help establish what any sufferer knows, that keeping the mechanical parts of your body together helps to counteract the fact that the nerves get more and more confused. If the onl way you can get this is through a Wii console, then great. Plug the bastard in. Just don’t let someone who represents Nintendo start preaching Nintendo as a Parkinson’s treatment. It’s fuckwittery of the highest order.