This is a great radio program that talks about a project developed in Britain that
is putting together the oral histories of people with CP over the age of 50.
They’ve set it up so that the interviewers are also people with disabilities. It’s
fantastic -really fascinating insight into the attitudes surrounding PWD and the
experiences of PWD in Britian from the 1930’s onward. Also talks of the way PWD
are left out of social histories and what this project is doing to redress that fact.
Click on this link to listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/noscript.shtml?/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/archivehour
To listen you will need to have a programme called RealPlayer installed on your computer.
Download it for FREE from our audio help page - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/audiohelp.shtml
Crossposted here, there and everywhere
I was talking to someone the other day about recent television shows about disabled people. The two we discussed were "Miracle Workers," a series put out by ABC highlighting four disabled people and the network's team of miracle-doctors providing cures for these poor, disabled shmucks. The other is "Little People," a series put out by the Discover Channel, highlighting a family of which most are dwarf. Both shows are in their first season and started just a few weeks ago.
Miracle Workers (click name for link to site)
This series pinches me. Personally, I find it to reiterate the idea of a miracle cure for the disabled. The blind man highlighted in the first episode wishes he could see. He's been blidn since childhood. Oh how sad and <i> pathetic </i> he must be. We <b> pity </b> him as an audience, and cheer when that special team of doctors is able to get that cure. Oh how wonderful that he's <b> not </b> blind anymore, now he can live a <i> normal </i> life. The second woman is in a wheelchair, the third has a severe form of tourettes, and the forth is a 4 year old child with fused ribs and a deformed spinal cord. The consenting adults all seem miserable, truly their disability has impacted their lives to such a terrible extent that they need help. Tear up with the friends, family, and partners of these poor miserable bastards as they try being just a little more supportive...squeeze that supportive nectar....and hope for a cure. Hold your breath and turn blue at the thought of surgical malfunction and cheer as the blind see, the lame walk, and the mute speak. Oh if only Jesus were here he'd spit in some dirt and rub someone's eyes!
The child is another story. We have a four year old child with a very short life expectancy who happens to be parented by a very poor couple in California. We have the opportunity to witness the horros of the United State's medical industry, the degredationg of poverty for those needing medical treatment, and the lack of political action to remedy it. We have a child in need and a country who couldn't care less - in fact talks of stripping medicaid/medicare of more money and benefits in the next few years!! Instead, we see a team of dedicated network physicians, an impoverished and exploited family, and a child sent on for prime-time ratings and a quick clip surgery. The outcome? We'll know once he gets his 52 minutes of fame, cut by commercials, in just a week or two.
Miracle Workers - oh if ony Annie Sullivan were alive! We could plop her right on up there too. Look television-viewing-audience, we don't have to put up with these decrepit bodies sucking our welfare system dry! We can patch them on up so they can really gnaw on their bootstraps! We're curing our own failure!!
Little People (click name for link to site)
A few weeks before this tv series began, Discover Channel viewers were tantilized with images of giant chairs, pets, houses, movie theaters, and doorknobs. Like Mountain Dew, the media mogules behind this trick used the "less is more" trick to suck us right on in. What is Little People, you ask? Why is the chair so big? Why do I care? Well, here again we have a brand new television series bent on education. What more could we expect from <i> Discovery </i>? Taking a six-month long journey into the lives of one family in Oregon, <i> LP </i> strives to show how brilliant and challenging living the life of a little person can be. Using the camera-caught story of one well-to-do family, we are enlightened and entertained, inspired and humored.
Yes, the family focused on is primarily little. Yes, they have to manage a sprawling farm. Yes, the wife has to hold down two jobs. Yes, the husband has to deal with owning his own company and hob-knobbing with the likes of SIlicon Valley. Oy, what a pity! The adolescent hormonal little son wants to date tall women! Oh no, he might not get proper hetero-socialization!! Ack, they have to figure out how to drive a car, and they are only four feet tall.
But they have big fat wallets with nicely padded IRAs and and and....hm. Upper middle class, white, heterosexually assumed, and generationally citizened into the US? Looks like life ain't so bad on the flip side. What, pray tell, would happen if the family was single-parent operated, minimum-wage run? What if they weren't white? What if Zach and Jeremy had two mommies? Seems like the privileges afforded to this rustic lot palate them to middle-America.
But what are we really learning about the lives of little people? What, in general, are we learning about the lives of disabled people?
Not a heckofalot, if you ask me.
But this series, like <i> Miracle Workers </i> caters to the traditional notion of bootstrap pulling and pill-popping America. Mmmm, taste the socialization. You can practically drink the discrimination as it bunkers right on down in the eyes, ears, and stomachs of munchy-lovin' late-night-watchin' television viewers. No challenging of assumptions. No radical idea that one can live life disabled and <i> happy </i>. Nope, we like our tv with a side of dominant ideology.
Next season, I think they should make <i> Miracle Workers </i> really swing some miracles. Part the Red Sea, go find some plant life in the Dead Sea, make faeries appear out of thin air. Hell, make bamboo survive in sunless, windowless offices. But cure the miserable crips with modern medicine already there? Naw, that's not a miracle. That's just a defunct medical system getting kicks with a network getting cash from a cultural audience getting warm fuzzies during prime time.
I would much rather my warm fuzzies come from *the* 10 o'clock news, thank you.
I just caught part of "Daredevil" - a dvd on tv special on whatever channel does those dvd on tv specials. The film synopses is based on a comic book involving Matt Murdock - a blinded by chemical accident daredevil who fights crime via acrobatic stunts. He is super-special because his blindnes has increased his senses ten-fold or so.
How interesting that *the* cliche blind person is played by Ben Affleck. I haven't seen the whole thing because the film quality in my mind is wretched and not really my style, and I'm not a fan of the once Bennifered Affleck. I'm wondering who the comic book illustrator is and what that person's motivation for a super-blind super-hero was. I can see the story line itself being a relatively progressive thing - being that super-heros tend to be able-bodied yet otherwise freakish, here we've a blinded otherwise-mainstream freakishly talented crime fighter. I do not know enough about comic theory (someone from BGSU - Dr. Jeff Brown, I believe, wrote a book on it) but I wonder if this is a good thing or yet another drop in the bucket of craptastic mis-representation.
Any thoughts on last week's episode
of ER, featuring James Woods as an esteemed professor with ALS?
Season 12 Episode 2T6064
BODY AND SOUL 9:59/8:59pm 2/02/06
A LONG GOODBYE- JAMES WOODS AND ALLY WALKER GUEST STAR-- When a wandering ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) patient arrives at the ER, many of the doctors are shocked when they recognize the former medical school professor (Guest star James Woods). Abby (Maura Tierney) and Kovac (Goran Visnjic) try to understand Dr. Lennox's wishes for his life after the professor is struck with pneumonia as well as the nerve degenerating disease. As his condition deteriorates, Abby struggles with the possibility of losing her beloved professor. After a controversial decision to perform a trake procedure to help Dr. Lennox breathe, Abby and Fran (Guest star Ally Walker) wonder if they made the right choice.
Also, hello. I'll let this count as my intro post. I've been around a while in other disability-oriented communities.
I just managed to figure out how to post here!
This is a long shot..but I wanted to see if anyone knew of any literary agents/publishers that would be open to considering disability fiction.
Thanks so much!
I was watching "In America" last night and was quite impressed. The only thing that bothered me, and still does obviously, is that the film had a blind person in it - one blind person - as a side note - who was crazy. Just being blind and crazy for about 2 minutes and had the voice of Danny DeVito.
The same goes for "Training Day" - a film recommended to me as one involving a disabled person of color. Great, I thought. So I rented and watched it. The only disabled person I found was Snoop Dog (right?) in a wheelchair trying to evade crack dealing-busting from the crazy police officer. A non-disabled man playing a disabled crack dealer for 5 minutes. That's it.
So we're important, as disabled people, if we are in a film for more than 2 seconds?
Why are disabled people used as nice add-ons to the story line? A quick tokenization?
Thu, Nov. 24th, 2005, 10:04 pm
Unbreakable - a film involving a disabled man solving a mystery...is interestingly unique.
Wed, Nov. 23rd, 2005, 03:03 pm
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