Not just because these things happen, but because John Travolta is both reported to have and not have dyslexia, and discussion of whether or not it's okay to joke about his mistake is leading to a weird Internet justification circle-jerk about him working on being better at his job, if he is in fact dyslexic. We spend a lot of time on the world wide web both celebrating and decrying political correctness, but Travolta's flub provides insight into why it's important to treat mental disorders seriously. Because if you don't, victim-blaming abounds (even if the subject in question isn't actually dyslexic).
The fact is that sometimes working on what you have to say in public won't actually counteract a mispronunciation, and this would be an easy thing for most to admit if dyslexia wasn't involved. If the Travolta who presented at the Oscars on Sunday was officially and completely known to not be dyslexic, then all the name generators in the world wouldn't seem suspect to me. As it is, they do, because highlighting a simple mistake in the face of a bloated awards show seems like easy pickings -- and because people's insistence that the mistake is on him, regardless of genetics or brain chemistry, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. People who have dyslexia or any type of learning disability (full disclosure: I have ADD) already have enough to deal with, without being told their failures are that much more weighty, because they have a disorder.
Anyway, that's just how this whole thing is striking me. It may be a personal reaction, but I find the situation annoying. Others may not see this as a travesty, and that's fine (there's certainly other things going on in the world that deserve greater attention). But can we all admit that the joke has unintended bite in its well-tended justification? If we're honest about that -- what we're saying, and why -- then we can learn something from it.