capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
Last night, I decided to check out the Mudcat forum (folk music and blues), and near the top of the page, there was this thread:

Obit: Andy M. Stewart (1952-2015)

That's the "saddened" part of this post. Here's my addition to the thread (as "Guest"-- hadn't realized my cookie had expired):

Quote:
Aw... Dammit.

I hadn't heard him perform in quite a while, but I was blessed enough to have heard him live in several performances. He was a great singer, songwriter, and a gracious performer on stage.

Unquote.

Now comes the "Enraged" portion of this post.

Today, while looking for web pages about him and his music, I came across the crowdfunding page his sister had put up to help him pay for his medical bills (it had not reached the goal by the time he'd died), and therein, she explains why she needs to raise money for him, including this passage (the added emphasis is mine):

Quote:
Having lost so much my brother is facing a situation where he will need to leave his home and move to wheelchair friendly accommodation. He will need daily nursing care to assist his living. He does not 'meet the criteria' for entitlement to a motorised wheelchair because he has the use of his arms, even though this kept him housebound for many months. Except for when someone visits to help get him out of the house that's what he will go back to.

Unquote.
(The crowdfunding page is here: https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-andy-m-get-mobile-/318806 It's now raising money for a funeral)

Okay. So I am under no illusion that having a motorized chair would definitely have lengthened his life (it might have... a little). But I do know from experience that spending extra time and physical energy just getting from one end of your house to the other puts a real damper on creative writing. The world could certainly have used more songs and humor from this fellow. And we are all poorer for the loss.

Now -- what about all the wonderful, creative people in this world who became disabled before they were famous?! What is the world missing? All because of fear mongering about fraud and disabled people "scrounging off" Society.

So I'm going to take a moment to lay deeply felt curse against those who keep trying to "tighten the restrictions on entitlement 'criteria'":

May every sweet thing you bite turn to ashes and hair in your mouth
And may every draught you swallow turn to mouldy slime.


And here: have an article (link courtesy of [personal profile] jesse_the_k) about the real value of motorized chairs: Don't worry, he won't get far on foot -- he's dead

To end on a more upbeat note, have a video of Andy M. Stewart performing one of the songs he'd written, back in the day:

(I still don't have audio, but I've been in the audience when he's performed it on stage)
capriuni: Text: "Everyone! Grab a spoon. We need to Move the Ocean!" (Ocean)
(I'd ordinarily post this behind my "Disability Discussions" access filter, but I'm in a "Shameless Agitator" mood, and want this to be publicly available to search engines)

I first posted this video almost three months ago (July 31), with no other comment than:

"This man is saying all the things I've been [saying] about why "C.P. = 'Retardation'" (unfortunate term still common in medical contexts) is Bullsh--

But because he's the "normal" parent, people believe him. Whenever I've said this, it must be that my C.P. "warps" my perceptions...





I left it there, because it was the end of a long, hot, day. I had neither time nor energy to unpack my reactions, and type them up. But summer's passed, and today is still young. So I'm finishing what I started.

The video is roughly 18 minutes long, and I encourage you to watch the whole thing. But if you can't, I want to focus on these two points that Dan Habib made in this speech:

First, at around the ten minute mark:

(Quote)
56% of kids in this country with intellectual and developmental disabilities spend their entire day in self-contained, seprate settings just for kids with disabilities ... whether it's classes or separate schools. Even though we know ... and all the research says ... that that is not going to yield better outcomes for them. Advocate for inclusion. Advocate of inclusive education.

(Unquote)

I can't help but wonder how much of a link there is behind this national statistic and another that I've seen cited around the Web (often verbatim, so I suspect writers of Websites are "copy-and-pasting" each other) that 'between 30% and 50% of children have some level of mental retardation or seizure disorder.' (also note that the presence of intellectual disability and of seizures are often independent of each other, so I find it troubling that the two conditions are lumped together in this way).

Second, at around the eleven minute mark:

(Quote)
I've come to -- to believe that maybe it's really not about [my son and students like him] . . . Maybe it's actually about the other kids. Maybe we need to show that inclusion benefits typical kids without disabilities as much -- or more -- than they benefit [disabled kids].

The truth is that there are all these research studies that are being done at universities that show academic benefits for typical kids who are learning in inclusive settings. And there's one particular study that was done at Vanderbilt where they did two groups of kids they studied. One group were in an inclusive environment alongside their peers with disabilities. The group that worked alongside their peers with disabilites had an average of a 15 point increase in their academic achievement. that happened and it was because when you're working collaboratively with a peer ... with a friend ... with somebody who might need a little extra assistance ... or some coaching ... you're much more engaged in the curriculum. You want to understand it. you want to study it.

(Unquote)

On the one hand, this makes me want to pump my fist in the air and say: "[Durn] Right!" Inclusive societies do better by everyone.

On the other hand, this passage also makes me angry. There's the obvious question of: "Why should the lives of "typical" children be worth more effort and care than the atypical -- especially since it's out of the control of the children and their families?"

But also: The way Mr. Habib explains these demonstrably better outcomes has bothered me since I woke up the morning after I posted this. It's an explanation that sounds to my ear very like the medieval Church's endorsement of alms and of begging: Because being able to offer charity is good for the soul. His son is good for his "typical" classmates, because he is in need of their help -- which frames his role in the class as more of a passive, rather than active participant.

So, here, I would like to offer a few alternate explanations for the improved academic outcomes in inclusive classrooms:

1) Disabled students are role models for their more "typical" peers -- they demonstrate the fact that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and overcome a barrier. Disabled students are in a position to teach as well as receive help in learning -- so that their presence helps other students learn whether or not those other students ever become their "buddies," or take a personal interest in helping them out.

2) Schools that strictly segregate students by some arbitrary metric or piece of paperwork in a student's file,* are also likely sending the subliminal message that difference is taboo, and demonstration of weakness will lead to ostracization within a stigmatized social group. Is it any wonder, then, that kids don't do as well in such a learning environment?

3) And finally, a school that embraces a culture of inclusiveness -- from the teachers to the parents to the administrators, and which encourages peer collaboration in a way that Mr. Habib describes -- is more likely to be creative in its teaching methods, and more likely to look for -- and find -- solutions to unanticipated problems.

There! Now I've got that off my chest. I feel (a little bit) better.



*The Chesapeake Public School System, for example, mandates that every student who has an Individual Education Plan (an I.E.P) on file, must ride to school on the dedicated "special" bus -- even if the child is perfectly capable of riding a "regular" bus -- so the special ed students are being segregated even outside the school building.
capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
Let's do this "Countdown" style:

Why I Hate the "Robot Apocalypse" Trope in Science Fiction (and Science "News")

Reason Number Five:

It's lazy (and, therefore, boring) storytelling. Whether television, movies or the news, it is so damned predictable. And, in terms of science reporting, I can't help but wonder if there's a chilling effect on the culture when it comes to the study of robotics and computer programming.

Reason Number Four:

It's likely not to happen anytime soon, anyway; [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith linked to this article a few days ago (and that's what got me thinking about how much I hate this trope) Why Robots Will Not be Smarter than Humans by 2029.

So can we please start thinking up some fresh, new, story ideas -- you know, speculating on the consequences of things that are more likely to actually happen?

Reason Number Three:

Even if robots do become self-aware, and smarter than us, it would be analogous to the rise of a new species in the ecosystem. And conflicts only arise between species when there's competition over resources.

If robots ever do become so "smart," fast, and strong that we humans would have no chance to fight against them, then why would robots want to wipe us out or be our "Overlords?" The worst I can imagine happening is they just get bored with the tasks we've programmed them to do, wander off, and do their own things.

Reason Number Two:

The whole concept of building an Artificial Intelligence out of gigabytes and processing speed reduces "intelligence" to something quantifiable, fundamentally simple, and absolute (ultra-simplified, like any "model"). The dominance of this trope supports the assumption that Living Intelligence is just as simple, instead of the fluid, complex, and beautiful thing it is.

And that can have real, negative, consequences for people unlucky enough to be labeled as having a low "Intelligence Quotient."

And the Number One Reason I hate "The Robot Apocalypse"
(and wish it would slip off to the Idea Netherworld, along with geocentrism and "women have no souls"):

TL;DR version: Karel ńĆapek was trying to tell us that all people (even 'artificial' people) will fight for their freedom, and are capable of love and self-sacrifice. )

But is the pop-culture take away idea from this play: "Hey, we'd better fight for the civil rights of all people, regardless of their origins, or the color of their skin, or their socio-economic status, or else we'll become obsolete and overrun?"

No... That would be too hard. It's far more comfortable to perpetuate a trope built on fear -- and repression -- of anything deemed unacceptably different.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Today's post is a follow-up to this one, that I posted back in November of last year: Yup... They see us as monsters [. . .]

That news came via a link in Rolling Around in My Head. So does this:

ACLU Blog: Disability no excuse to deprive one of civil liberties

Just thought I'd share some good news.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
I remade my "Simply Human" video, using Windows Movie Maker's animated titles, and "live" narration features.

Mostly because I'm vain, and I couldn't stand that every other line in my first version (or so it seemed to me) was out of key. And the static image was just too boring. Also, changed a couple lines in the lyrics, because I realized that I was using the verb "to hear" to mean "respect," and that is audist.

So, here:

capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (music)
[ETA: I was so unhappy with the quality of this video (and my singing on it) that I deleted it from my account; the video that I put up in its stead is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lay9MTzFq08 ]

I put the word "video" in quotes, because the only visual are a few introductory titles, and a single still image of the song's musical score (I figure that's no worse than all the videos out there that are nothing but still images of the album covers... at least, I designed it so the score would look nice on a single page).

I'm also posting this as a public service announcement to demonstrate that it's really relatively easy to make a closed-caption (or subtitle) track for your videos. I used the free online program at http://www.overstream.net/ If I can do it, there's little excuse for others....

The tutorials (watch both one and two before you start) are fairly straight forward (at least, if you're a sightie -- it's in flash video format), but they fail to remind you that if you want to attach your subtitles to your video on YouTube, you have to Export your file to your own computer, so you can upload it again, and posting your video there.

... But other than that, it's a really easy process. It took me a couple of hours to finish, but that was just 'cause it was my first time, and I had a cat who was climbing on me like a jungle gym, at the time, and fwapping the top of my head with her paw... And next time, I'll have the words I want to put in open in a word processor ahead of time, so I can just copy/paste, rather than typing out each line by scratch.

Anyway, here (I recommend turning the captions on just so you'll have some variation to look at):


the Words &cetera )

Here's a link to my original post about it on MudCat (with a low-tech code for hearing a midi of the tune). http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=114688
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Back on December 4, 2011, [livejournal.com profile] haddayr posted this link to "The Invisible Backpack of Able-Bodied Privilege Checklist" over at the B-tch on Wheels blog:

http://exposingableism.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/the-invisible-backpack-of-able-bodied-privilege-checklist/

And I thought it was a good list... but what its author called "able-bodied privilege" was actually specific to bipedal privilege, and completely skipped over issues of fatigue, pain, and sensory disabilities (like blindness).

So I came up with my own list, here: http://capriuni.dreamwidth.org/608976.html

And now, I'm contemplating putting it up in video format on YouTube, so more people can see it (maybe a series of short videos, so I don't have to make it --and folks don't have to watch it--all at once).

I want to start by talking about the idea of privilege, itself. The thing I've noticed is that some people think that when you point out they have privileges that you're accusing them of being a bad person, because of it, and they get defensive and shut down. So I want to reassure people that that's not what I mean -- after all, white people can't help being white, able-bodied people and cisgendered people can't help being white or cisgendered. So it's not the having privilege that's blame-worthy, it's how you use it that matters.

And I want to use some metaphor other than "invisible backpack (knapsack)," because that metaphor was coined by Peggy McIntosh, and I'm not her.

And then I thought of comparing socially ingrained privilege, which is not talked about much, with the privileges that come with fame, which are talked about a lot (And, thus, a more familiar idea, and less scary). I realize this has its own drawbacks, but... tell me what you think?

'Golden Ticket and Velvet Rope' Prospective introduction to the idea of social privilege (Instead of 'invisible backpack' metaphor) )
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
This last Monday (December 4, 2011) [livejournal.com profile] haddayr posted this link to "The Invisible Backpack of Able-Bodied Privilege Checklist" over at the B-tch on Wheels blog:

http://exposingableism.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/the-invisible-backpack-of-able-bodied-privilege-checklist/

I, personally, think it's a fabulous list, and everything on it is true... And you should read it, and think about it, and remember it.

But: a) Its focus is very specific to mobility-based disability (so it misses issues that come up for people with invisible, sensory, or intellectual disabilities) so if I had my druthers, I'd rename it to something like "ambulatory privilege" or "bipedal privilege; and b) while every privilege she lists is important and true, I think that some of the privileges she lists are not quite as important as others (at least, to me).

So, using her list as a template, and keeping the list the same length, here's my take, behind the cut (some of the items on the list are essentially the same, but put into my own words, for clarity, and a few items have been swapped out):

Invisible Backpack of Bipedal Privilege (21 items) Checklist )
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (question)
(Manually cross-posted to my LJ mirror)

On Sunday, November 27th, I was having lunch with my long time friend and writing mentor, Irene O'Garden, who founded The Art Garden, and she asked me what writing, other than The Art Garden, that I've been doing. So I started talking about Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream.

And another guest there, Scott Laughead, got really excited by the idea of what I was doing, and said that I should find a partner, and apply for a grant to support my work on this, because it's important (And that getting a partner would make it easier to get a grant, because it would show potential donors that this is more than just a pet peeve or private pipe dream or fantasy).

I agree that it's important; I truly believe that participating in storytelling (in whatever medium, and whether as teller or audience) is central to our humanity, and that the stories we tell have a profound impact on the realities we bring about. And yes, noticing that the Experience of Disability can be found in folklore (and literature) is one way to acknowledge that Disability is part of human experience. Period. And it's about time we got over the idea that the Disabled are always rare exceptions, and this whole, new "politically correct" thing that we have to change everything for, out of the blue, because some do-gooder got a bee in her bonnet...

And seriously? even the idea that someone might give me money to do something I've loved ever since I can remember loving stuff is a downright heady and intoxicating idea.

But --

Bwah?

Turning Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream into something that would even make sense to use grant money would mean turning it into some form that engages the Capital P "Public," in some way (and that makes the idea very Scary [Capital S]). And right now, it's very much a private, editorial, thing: just my private opinions, based on my own experience (very real and valid, but also limited).

How do I change PNAD from a private noun into a public verb, so to speak?

I'm tickled by the idea, but I'm also stumped.

Any suggestions?
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
From today's "Rolling around in my head" blog entry: Quo Status:

(quote)
. . . What it took was noticing. Noticing that while I typed on the desk in front of the television, Joe was left with little to do but watch me type. Noticing that I was using 'our' space for 'my' space had me noticing the unfairness of that assumption. So, a few minutes later, we are both using the space, both doing what we want, both happy here together.

. . .

I think that's why many of us as people with disabilities sometimes feel 'hurt' rather than 'angry' or 'annoyed' or 'frustrated' at inaccessibility. I mean like didn't anyone NOTICE that this space is utilized by only one group of people, that the others are left to watch but not participate, look in but not come in, understand but not be understood. It takes NOTICING, noticing privilege and doing something about it. It takes NOTICING that what you expect as a given, isn't given to all. It takes NOTICING that the status quo for many is no status at all.

(unquote)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
I'm trying to find photos (and pre-photographic art) to illustrate This 'Disability Rights Protest Song' video I'm working on... trying to find pictures of the disabled [both physically and cognitively] in settings where they've been shut away from society.

Putting keywords like: "Nineteenth Century Almshouse Disabled History" in Google's image search has pulled up nothing but images of the outsides of buildings, looking all romantic and pretty, with emphasis on the gardens that were around them (and quite a few advertisements for "historic" almshouses that have been converted into luxury apartments for wealthy people... [Sad facepalm]).

Putting keywords like "Nursing Home Disabled residents" and "Residential School Disabled" into the search pulls up images posted by the nursing homes themselves -- online versions of glossy brochures, touting what wonderful, happy, places they are.

Then, there are sites like this: Disability History Panels that make all sorts of "shocking" claims about how horrible people were to the disabled in the past... And while I have no doubt as to the truth of the claims, I can't find a single citation for where these facts come from... so that those people who do doubt the truth would find it easy to dismiss the history as 'hype'.

Meanwhile, that particular site, though posted in connection with Alaska's Health and Social Services website, was plagiarized, word-for-word and image-for-image from an online interactive Flash-based history project done by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.... And the Minnesota site doesn't give any sources, either ... And their eleven-question "Quiz Show" on history of disability is more editorial than fact (asking whether calling someone an "idiot" is acceptable, or not, and claiming for a fact that it is not -- period. While I may agree with the opinion -- that is still an opinion. And "educating" in this manner only plays into the arguments of those who say "Disability Rights" is nothing but "Political Correctness.").

Our elected officials. Are they all fourteen-year-olds?
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
I'm collecting images from history of physically and mentally disabled, and their struggles against "The Normals" for a project I'm working on. And in my insomnia-driven quest Last Night/This Morning, I came across the following tidbit (from this website: The Sheredes Project: Spitalbrook Hospital):

(Quote)
The Living Dead

In the Middle Ages, if a person developed leprosy, they would be declared legally dead and lose all their possessions. They would have to leave their family, and go to live with other lepers in a place like the hospital at Spitalbrook. In Medieval times, this would have been outside the village of Hoddesdon.

Lepers were given special clothes, a begging bowl, and a bell or wooden clapper, so they could be clearly seen and to warn other people to keep their distance. They were given these in a ceremony that was modelled on the service for the burial of the dead and, in many places, the leper was actually required to stand in an open grave while the ritual, that marked them as outcasts from society, was performed above their head.
(Unquote)


Now, for the record: No, I don't believe the early makers of Grade B Zombie movies realized they were making entertainment based on historical instances of actual human rights violations. They probably thought the idea of "Living Dead" just sounded cool, and let their imaginations run wild.

But, you know. It's something for you to think about, when you're deciding what sort of entertainment to hoot, screech and laugh over, next week.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
On Sunday, for [livejournal.com profile] naarmamo, I made a text-based art, with lots and lots of words. Encoded as a jpeg file, it cannot be read by screen readers, and there are far too many words for me to fit in the description space on flick'r. So I'm posting the words, here, and then I will link to it, there (I think that's possible, yes?):

Monsters are on the rise )

(And that text repeats once, to fill out the rectangle of the image)

And I just now, noticed two typos -- and yes, I fixed them (I wrote this near midnight, in a state of exhaustion, the day after "Irene", so I think only two typos is pretty good, considering). The word choices were made with as much an eye to keeping it a solid block of text, and keeping the righthand edge nearly straight, as to actual clarity and meaning. It could definitely use some editing, if it wants to be a real essay or poem when it grows up.

And for those who can see it, here's the image / link to Flick'r:

monster behind words
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
So -- it's art-making month over in Live-Journal land, and while I went in thinking I'd make a new something for my Chimer(i)gons store (nearly) every day, and really boost my inventory, it hasn't worked out that way.

But, since the start of the month, I now have four (4) new designs, and I thought I'd share them (it's been a while, hasn't it?). Image links are behind the cut, with brief descriptions of the products' mottoes (I've tried to write detailed descriptions on each item's product page, in the store):

In order from most recent to least: 'Autism Spectrum', 'My Responsibilities', 'Cerebral Palsy statistics', and 'Wishing I could walk is BORING' )

---
Designs I want to do in the future:

  • "Cerebral Palsy is a Broad Umbrella" With a picture of a broad umbrella with a whole crowd of differently-postured people underneath (and maybe the word "normal" falling down as if it's rain around them). That was going to be today's daily art. But it turned out to be more complicated than a one-day project.

  • "Dear Pity Junkie: I'm not here to be your fix" I'm not sure what sort of graphic I could put with that that isn't ableist against those who require lots of drugs. Maybe just the words, and no graphic?

  • "Bitter Cripple! (I'm cool with GOD. It's YOU I'm pissed at!)"

  • "I don't 'suffer' from anything (but you, Honey, are getting on my last nerve!)"

-----

In other news, the Virginia State Assembly cut funding for home assistance for the disabled and elderly to 56 hours a week, and now, kids won't be able to have personal aides with them in school past kindergarten (even if they need someone trained in administering, oh, say emergency anti-seizure medication within 90 seconds to save their lives). So Audrey is now having to rethink her livelihood, and J's mother is seriously considering homeschooling him. However, the latter development is mostly because all his teachers and therapists are obsessed with "fixing" his weaknesses rather than developing his strengths. Right now, they're obsessed with getting him to cut paper with scissors, and won't teach him anything else until he masters that -- even though he is now able to finger paint quite well, and that skill could be expanded to writing and using a computer mouse, and heck -- making really nifty art (speaking of art-making month).

And this is why, my friends and readers, when you conduct a survey of "children's" developmental disabilities, their population seems to suddenly explode when you bother to look outside the classroom...

-- Sigh --



So yeah, the disabled are the first to get their rights to life curtailed and the last to get their civil rights protected.
capriuni: half furry, half sea monster in wheelchair caption: Monster on Wheels (Monster)
So. For months, now, I've had this C.P.-related design idea for a Zazzle Tee-shirt/mug/whatever that, today, sent me searching for images of infant brains showing C.P.. And that led to reading paragraphs around the images. And just now, I found the following (from a site aimed at medical people, based on the vocabulary):

(Quote) Approximately 30-50% of patients with cerebral palsy have mental retardation, depending on the type.[6, 7] However, because of oromotor, fine motor, and gross motor difficulties, communication in these patients may be impaired and expression of intellectual capacity may be limited. However, if cerebral palsy is approached in a multidisciplinary manner, with physical, occupational, and nutritional therapy to maximize rehabilitative efforts, patients can be more fully integrated academically and socially* (Unquote)

[Emphasis my own.]

This is what I have been saying for 20-something years, now. But if that second sentence is true, then the first sentence is false. Let me try to fix it:

Approximately 30-50% of people with cerebral palsy may not have been given full educational opportunities, and are thus classified as mentally retarded.

There! That's better!

From Medicine-Science: Cerebral Palsy (Posted by admin, August 6, 2011)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
There's going to be a repeat of "Inspector Lewis," where the plot revolves around a family whose teenage daughter becomes paralyzed in a car crash, and the action is driven by the different family members' reaction to same -- including the daughter.

The first time it aired, I got to wondering how the way this is dealt with reflects the difference between Britain's predominantly Social Model of Disability, and America's predominantly medical model.

So... you know, if you have 90 minutes or so to spare sometime this week, maybe you could check it out so I have someone to talk to about this?

(I'll be cross-posting this to [livejournal.com profile] crip_crit)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
This is closed captioned in English; click the little cc thing:



(the captions say "he," but the sign is actually third person singular, no gender specified. So it's more a fault of English than a "mistake" by the vlogger. English should have a "gender irrelevant, here" pronoun, imnsho)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
So -- next Monday is Helen Keller's 121st birthday, and so, to celebrate, I want to put up some stuff in Zazzle store with a few juicy quotes from her on rights and activism, with cartoon illustrations. The one I've wanted to do for nearly a year now is this:

"... our old ideas are up a tree ... traditions are scurrying away before the advance of their everlasting enemy, the questioning mind..." The New York Call, October 17, 1913.

Folks who were with me for last year's National Art Making Month (August) might remember how I was puzzling out how to illustrate "old ideas" in a visual way, as they scamper up into the branches of a tree while hounds with question-mark spots are close at their heels. Some ideas I worked with was old men whose heads and faces were personified thought balloons, or personified books with tattered covers, and the words for outdated ideas ("bigotry", "NIMBY", etc.) on their covers.

And then, late last night, the idea came to me: skeletons -- maybe "monster" skeletons (human bodies with bird skulls, maybe) -- dressed in rags. Y/Y?

So I want to start practicing drawing that. But the light in my office has burned out, and it's cloudy, so I don't really have strong natural light, and I slept poorly, and I'm just teetering on the verge of a migraine, and ... and...

Even though I'm happy that I have a good idea, I'm cranky because I don't have the energy to play with it right now. And I want to play! Now! But it's not coming out well, and...

I'm cranky.

Oh, well, the UPS driver was just here... maybe he brought me my new book... I will go check. That might cheer me up.

[ETA: It was not my book, but my apron... which is, yes, long enough to cover my entire front in case there is a surprise!doorbell when I'm not wearing any pants. ... So that's good. Crossposting to LJ failed, last time. I shall try again]
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (music)
[AN: When I woke up, this morning, I thought this was going to be a long, involved, post with video links and full transcripts of words, audio, and description. But that was six hours ago, and it turns out I don't have the attention span for all that, anymore. So this is just to make note of these two sychronistic phenomena]

"American Country Music" fell out of my good graces after September 11, 2001, when the whole genre turned into "America's gonna whup the World's ASS!!," and the Dixie Chicks were ostracized for daring to criticize Bush's war policy. And I thought I would cringe at Country Music forever.

But then, yesterday, I read this post from Dave Hingsburger: The Day the Dog Didn't Die [emphesis mine]:

(quote) So here's to Darius Rucker, here's to song writers Brett James and Chris Young who worked with people with disabilities in writing the song, here's to CMA [Country Music Accademy] for making space for people with disabilities to shine. (unquote)


And then, a couple hours later, I was surfing through the channels on my set, and caught a glimpse of a country music video that featured two disabled war veterans just going through their daily lives (with actual disabled actors, no less, not able-bodied folks in Cripface), in a way that just happened to include putting on your prosthetic leg and glass eye (one soldier had lost a leg, the other had become visually impaired) when you get dressed in the morning, without pity.

The lyrics of the song, without the visuals, are all about getting over a bad romantic break-up; with the video, it's all about how being Disabled is just "A different kind of normal," instead of OMG!Inspiring!Tragedy! (though you wouldn't know it by reading the comments on YouTube).


*The Shape I'm In* lyrics are behind this cut )

YouTube Video Link "The Shape I'm in" performed by Joe Nichols

You know, a generation ago, the Disability Rights movement got a big momentum push from the veterans returning from Vietnam, translating the skills they learned protesting the war policy into agitating for accessibility. Back when these wars started, especially since the lower mortality rates, this time around, translates to higher "survival with disability" rates, I was wondering if, or when, the Disability Rights movement would get another boost from vets.

Maybe that's starting to happen, now.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Today, [personal profile] trouble posted a link to this article: Service Dog etiquette for Dog Lovers, and it reminded me of this PSA from the Norwegian Association for the Blind (With English Subtitles):



transcript (ish) behind here )

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capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Ann

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