Simply the Best My friends are forever promising (or is it threatening?) to write a comic based on the antics of Jennifer Justice. I can live with it- kids need as many positive role models as they can get. But some of us are way too modest! I thought I would encounter more grandstanding, more swagger from our ranks. Not so!
True, we have good reason to recoil at terms like inspiring, amazing and heroic. But it is ironic that while so many of us work to reverse harmful Super Crip stereotypes, Able- Bodied America clamors at the high alter of shameless self promotion. For better or worse, our culture has decided that success should bare an uncanny resemblance to fame- mongering egotism.
We are an aggressive people inhabiting impossibly fragile bodies,
I don't believe in excessive modesty. But then again, I'm not sure I want to take on our megalomaniac culture, not all by myself. From what I've been reading, that culture ain't pretty. Maybe I'll just stick to being a snob who practices passive resistance in her spare time. And I'll rely on your words when I need to be inspired or need to be reminded of the dangers of thinking in superlatives.
Anti- heroes- the New Black I can certainly relate to this Top Ten List from The Blind Bookworm's poison pen, er, keyboard? Apparently, not all blind people are gifted musicians! Some of us even require an intervention. Thanks to Evil Kestrell for saying what I so often think! I too am bored by the whole "bad blind person" debate!
Critical Bogle explains why it's not easy being green when you have a disability and the "dolphin killing" big box stores are the only ones with accessible aisles and parking. And if you're in the mood for a more scholarly read, you can head on over to peer review Super Crips, Disabled Anti- heroes and the Women Who Care for Them, wherein Bogle examines gendered relationships in films like My Left Foot.
I love the premise of Thailand Gal's blog, on planning a move to a new country. Submitted for our reading pleasure a Theravada oasis of a sparsely populated forest far from ego. She encourages us to "tell someone else in your life what he or she does that matters to you."
Forget about inspiring others. We have better things to do. To quote Goldfish, "Impairment is something that happens to you or the way you happen to be, not something you take on." We look to our own friends and allies for affirming words. I know that when I feel like shit, the last thing I want to hear is how strong everybody else thinks I am. I'd much rather get someone else's take on a difficult experience, someone who shares a bit of my own philosophy (I'd be a fairly lousy existentialist).
What happens when an autistic kid saves a life? Is he twice as heroic as NTs who have found themselves in similar situations? Or is this an example of one cliche amplifying another?
On a happier note, Zuska and Mom offer their rave review of the funkadelic beach wheelchair.
Unsolicited Advice from "the Experts" Wow, we should consider ourselves lucky to have so many experts on our side. So many noble souls consulting on on our behalf. They claim to know what is best for us. Many of them work pro bono and they are remarkably persistent. Miraculously, they seem to know everything about us regardless of prior acquaintance, from what clothes we should wear to the type of medicines we should be taking. Ruth explains.
Snake Oil Celeb Now I have one more reason to despise Jenny McCarthy- just what I need. It took a D List Celebrity to find a cure for autism!
I received several reports on the disturbing child services case involving Fran Lyon in England.
Shaheen Lakhan at Brainblogger celebrated ADD Awareness Day by losing her car keys.
Stephen at Planet of the Blind offers scathing satirical commentary on the Defective People Industry. I can't believe I'd never heard that term before.
Finally, Emma reflects on the people who have come into her life as a direct result of having CP.
Eat Your Vegetables Robert embarks on one of the sacred rites of parenting. Check out that adorable Baby Afro!
Best of Show I was originally introduced to Creativity Explored by way of Michael Bernard Loggins, whose poem Fears of Our Lives was featured on This American Life a few years ago. Well known for their ambitious exhibitions and roster of talent, the folks at CE recently launched a new website where you can buy/ license original artwork, browse the events blog and get to know studio artists. Penny notified me of their upcoming show Super Heroes Super Villains.
Jodi at Reimer Reason just held a contest to come up with a "cool" alternative title for her son's new respite worker. Looks like they have a winner.
Best All Around I'm fast becoming addicted to Dave Hingsburger's blog Chewing the Fat, but it's hard not to when one encounters passages like this:
It came clear to me that 'choice' could only be made where there was both self-esteem and assertiveness. I saw a definition of choice for people with disabilities that helped me think this through. Choice is uncoerced selection.
Most agencies are concerned about the opportunity for an increased number of 'selections' but have not put much emphasis on the 'uncoerced' part. There is only choice where there is no fear of punishment. Where there is safety to select. Where the word 'REALLY' as in, "Do you REALLY want dessert?" "Do you REALLY want to buy that blouse?" does not exist.
Thanks to Penny for calling my attention to some fab posts for this topic. The next disability blog carnival will be held at Disability Studies.
Visual Description: At top, a blue ribbon in closeup lying on its side. At bottom, Dave's "virtual beer" is a six pack of Pabst of course!