Three years ago in Disability Thinking: A Legal Victory For Choice
August 4, 2013
I wonder how Jenny is doing now? I wonder if she’s still living with the couple who were supportive of her. I wonder if her parents have gotten used to Jenny’s new life, or if they’re still bitter and afraid that something terrible will happen to her. I wonder how many more people like Jenny have exercised greater autonomy thanks to Jenny’s advocacy and the court’s decision.
Two years ago in Disability Thinking: Binge Watch: Classic Ironside
August 4, 2014
One of these days I probably will shut up about Ironside. It’s still one of my favorite TV depictions of disability though, and I still think it’s under-appreciated inside disability culture. That’s understandable. It’s a very old show, at least 3 generations back from the current generation of TV shows. And it looks it. Pretty much everything about it, from the formulaic plots, visual style, and strained efforts to keep everything light and frothy, smack of the kind of TV everyone’s grandparents enjoyed. It also has a fatal flaw in today’s standards of progressive TV. Chief Ironside is a disabled character played by a non-disabled actor. Still, Ironside is remarkable for how it normalized a pretty significant disability, and made it work in a decidedly mainstream show that was extremely popular in its day. At the same time, it occasionally dug into the deeper issues of disability in ways that very few current TV shows or movies ever manage to do. For the umpteenth time, I recommend watching Light At The End Of The Journey. It shows how Ironside’s disability is both a minor visual detail and, on occasion, an absolutely meaningful plot point.