Throwback Thursday

Mr. Peabody and Sherman, classic cartoon characters, in front of an elaborate wall of machinery, the "Wayback Machine" time machine. Mr. Peabody is a white dog with glasses, Sherman is a red haired boy with glasses

Three years ago in Disability Thinking: The Zimmerman Verdict and Ableism
July 14, 2013

Holy cow! My naïveté on whether ableism can lead to police killing disabled people is stunning and embarrassing. That was only three years ago. However, I still think the rest of my analysis holds. One way or another, it boils down to the fact that disabled people are allowed a much narrower range of behaviors and reactions that are considered “normal.” Most often, this leads to fairly ordinary kinds of personal conflicts and annoyances, but in certain situations it can lead to much bigger consequences, including death. I’m not suggesting we should adopt a siege mentality. Just that we should never forget that some of us have less compensating social privilege to shield us, and that it doesn’t really take much for any of us to be in real danger, often when we can’t reasonably anticipate it.

Two years ago in Disability Thinking: “Freakshow” Trailer
July 14, 2014

American Horror Story: Freakshow turned out to be kind of a dud, in my opinion. It had some good things going for it, from a disability standpoint. But it also had a ton of plain exploitation and ridiculous disability camp. Ultimately, it was kind of a wash in terms of positive or negative disability depiction, because the show overall wasn’t very good … even in comparison with other American Horror Story seasons … so it had little impact, good or bad. The video I embedded two years ago isn’t active anymore, so I’ll embed another here, so you can get a taste of why for a short while, the show was a hot and divisive topic in Disability Culture. Also, check out the Disability.TV Podcast episode on AHS: Freakshow.

One year ago in Disability Thinking: It’s Refreshing
July 14, 2015

I have two notes to add. First, the article I originally linked specifically talks about ADA lawsuits, and does so approvingly, which is rare. Usually news coverage of ADA lawsuits assumes that most of them are frivolous, pushed by greedy lawyers and unhinged lone-wolf activists. Mr. Pfeffer offers here a strong defense of lawsuits as essential for making the ADA work. Second, while we should still value occasional validating pieces like this by non-disabled writers, we should also acknowledge that there’s something rather galling about the fact that non-disabled writers about disability still are granted more credibility than actual disabled people writing about disability. It’s another sign of how deeply ableism is woven into the public consciousness.