As we speak…For Blogging Against Disablism Day 5/1/2007

April 30, 2007 at 6:23 PM (Assumptions, Attitude Adjustment, Disability Blogging) (, , , , , , , , )

As we speak or type, or sign….

First the good news…there has been what I can only call an explosion of blogs by and for and about people with disabilities and their allies in the past year…it’s tough to keep up, but fabulous to see so many. They aren’t comfortable simple, easy ‘happy happy’ stories…but they matter, and they give a glimpse into the worst and the best that happens around us, to us, and because of us, a joyful, painful, scary, wry, complex story that needs to be written. We’re writing, speaking, signing, typing all over the Internet and beyond into the mainstream media a time or two.

But, as we become more ‘visible’ the social model of disability, that theory that says that architectural barriers, as well as negative attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices about people with impairments ‘disable’ us more than physical difference ever could. rears up and gives us a new version of an old standard.

The idea that because we’re physically different, or our thought processes might be different, or our method of communication different…We shouldn’t have had an opinion, particularly about the Ashley treatment. Those who agreed with the procedure were outraged at our outrage, angry at our anger, snarky at our snark, or just plain clueless. Many spoke their mind in such a way that indicated that us *having* an opinion was so obviously riduculous and wrong that a ton of slurs came our way.

Excuse me???

We don’t *get* to have an opinion????

About *ourselves* or someone like us…What? We don’t *get* to have an opinion? We aren’t allowed to think? To question? To research? To try to explain to the able?

Why the *hell* not?

When the Ashley story broke, there was so much anger, even hate, that we would dare to wonder at what led to the decision to treat her in this way.

That almost bothered me more than the treatment itself. That it wasn’t just that the concerns of the disability community were treated as though we weren’t there…that was the old way, the pre-blogs-on-the-rise way…

The new way to “disable” our concerns was to be affronted, bitter, angry,spiteful that we *dared* to raise the questions that must be raised, if we’re to advocate for others of our tribe, the disabled, to be spared this… that we should just shut up and be quiet and be grateful that there were caregivers for us….

We’re not going to the back of the Internet.

There will be no wall built at some virtual “border” to keep us from writing.

There are no great flights of stone steps we must crawl up.

Our opinion has been hidden, limited or *missing* from discussions about medical treatment, education, employment,access, travel, architechure,institutionalization, for most of history.

It’s here now, and disagreement is expected, certainly. Examination of why we feel as we do. But not dismissal. Not abelist arrogance. (or worse condescension, the verbal equivalent of the pat on the head of a beloved pet…”That’s nice dear, now go sit back down.”)

*Listen to us!*

Before we’re gone and you can’t learn what you need to learn from us…

That there *is* *no* *normal!*

Just difference all ’round.

That we have an elegant and unique dignity all our own.

Before we and those like us are ‘perfected’ out of existence, or warehoused, or killed, or forgotten.

*Listen to us.*

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In and out of Boxes

April 28, 2007 at 3:28 PM (Blogger's about impairment) (, )

Head to the Disability blog Carnival #13: What Box?

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From the anchor desk…

April 28, 2007 at 2:41 PM (News) (, )

Before you read the below, I ask that you scan the transcript or watch the video that prompts this, so it will make sense.

Heres a full link also:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18316770/

Well, thank goodness. My celebrity crush on Olbermann continues unabated…but I think the honeymoon is over…
The most recent of his “Special Comment” segments concerns me.

Because Guiliani’s hyperbole about “how many casualties” will ensue if the country elects anyone other than a Republican….was the speech of a desperate Republican party, rocked by perception of scandal or incompetence….so they fall back on fear. (Is the party itself that desperate? I think not. But that’s what the speech conveyed to me. Desperation. Can’t use competent running of a war. Can have no airtight claim to moral high ground. Best scare ’em to death… )

By making them a centerpiece of a “Special Comment,” instead of consigning the “Vote Democrat and Die” idea to obscurity, he now gave the stuff that was heard by a small group of people in New Hampshire a *much wider audience.*

Not everyone who sees that speech will understand the outrage behind the comment.

They’ll *agree* with Rudy, and thus this insane speech gets traction…Legs…momentum.

And in addition, while most of his daggers hit their mark about America’s Mayor, ( the discussion of remains being left uncovered and unprotected being particularly damning) just one of the many wrongs assigned to Guiliani actually irritated me a bit.

“Which mayor of New York was elected eight months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, yet did not emphasize counter-terror in the same city for the next eight years, Mr. Giuliani?”

I know, he’s speaking for friends and strangers killed in the attacks. I get it. But…

In fairness, the first WTC bombing happened *on the ground.* and my understanding is, many many changes were put in place about how these types of buildings were watched.

Pointing the finger at Guiliani rather than the dismissal or ignoring of many national intelligence rumblings about Al Quaieda seems off.

Would not any idea that the mayor might have had, that in hindsight seems impossible, “Hey, they might try planes next time, how do I go about sealing this airspace? To whom do I appeal in the Clinton (or Bush II ) administrations to secure airspace above my city, so that as nuts as this sounds now, they couldn’t possibly fly into the WTC with a passenger plane?”

How would he have handled that…? He had, perhaps the most influence of any mayor then seated,…*but*

Did he have enough information about the real threat or enough clout to move Clinton or Bush to seal of his airspace???

I doubt it. Because the information just wasn’t pushed hard enough…
But, further through the comment, in perhaps its least emotional moment, Olbermann hits a home run when he says:

“No Democrat has said words like these. None has ever campaigned on the Republicans’ flat-footedness of Sept. 11, 2001. None has the requisite, irresponsible, all-consuming ambition. None is willing to say “I accuse,” rather than recognize that, to some degree, all of us share responsibility for our collective stupor.”

Italics mine.

*That’s* the meat of it. The country *all* of the Red/Blue country was asleep about these things.
Which is why, even when I suffer a moment or two of irritation, of thinking that his righteous anger has actually pulled him off track a small bit…

I’ll keep watching.

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It happens every spring…

April 27, 2007 at 6:56 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

I found some interesting (and in one case provoking stuff for you to read.)

Wrongful birth…the next big way to get rid of us

So now we have:

The Duty to Give Birth Movement

The Duty to Die Movement,

and the “We’ll Euthanize This Child Because We’re So F*cking Omnipotent We Know Better Than The Mother Which Pregnancies Should Have Been Terminated and Which Should Not” Movement.

Although during a week when old men in robes ruled that they get to have that sort of opinion in the US, I suppose I shouldn’t be a bit surprised.

And a post that shatters the stereotype “It’s all in your head…”

Another, where being by oneself is cool.
And only this blogger could write about the ways of duck romance, and make me laugh and smile.

Happy Friday.

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Cell Phones: 21rst Century Consciences

April 22, 2007 at 1:50 PM (Assistive Technology, film)

At least on film.  I’m not talking about Steven King’s booga booga book “Cell” or the short lived, but amazing speculative fiction TV series “Threshold” where they become “evil…”

But they’ve almost crossed that line into being characters themselves, a versatile irritating moralist that you don’t need to pay wages, or buy costumes or make up for.  They’ll *give* you lines, you don’t need to write them.  And the only cost are the contracts written in labrythine language that mean you’ll be paying for it for at least three years…

Money, time, and impairment mean that I’m still a movie fan but I’m always going to be about six months behind…

My Netflix batch this week included “Notes on a Scandal,” where a cell phone has a hand in undoing Cate Blanchetts cozy life (not that Dame Judy Densch’s Scariest  Old Maid *Ever!* or Cate’s own entitled clueless woman didn’t do the major unraveling already)

And “The Departed.”  The phone is the real snitch, working both sides, giving alibis, granting favors,providing direction, misdirection, confusion…as well as the warning note of retribution, that in the earliest movies, was left to music alone, and before the arrival of cell phones, was  a phyisical character (a bartender, a priest, an elderly sage), sound, music,  a sunset, a church bell…

It’s hard for a simple piece of tech to upstage  Jack Nicholson…Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, but it nearly does…

And, for me it did upstage the two actors that everybody else loves but me, Mark Walberg who basically had to show up, be offensive and wave his gun, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who I’ve just not had my “My God, he’s *such* a wonderful  actor!” epiphany about yet…

I hope for a bit part someday…where I get to wave a rubber mallet, and smash the little beeping shiny sonofa…to pieces.

Sigh.  But I need one too.  How else could I ever be sure of paratransit showing up on time?

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