perspective

I realise that I may have given some the impression, the other day, that I believe we crips should be tame and submissive. I assure you now this is not the case. The more we stand up for our rights, the better. And the last thing I want is for us all to lay down and accept fate passively.

But what I object to is those in the disabled community who think the world is out to get them. This talk of hatred, this talk of oppression, is neither healthy nor accurate. Without a doubt, we crips face obstacles – steps, heavy doors, etc – but these are not tokens of manifest aggression towards disabled people.. the world is changing, but it hasn’t changed quite enough yet. For example, there’s this door in the canteen at uni; it’s wooden, and I always had trouble opening it in my chair. However, after I had broken it five or six times, uni twigged that it would be easier and cheaper to fit a door opening button than to keep having to replace the glass in the door. I didn’t have to say a word, just to keep trying tto use the door.

My point is there is more than one way to skin a cat, and also that, just because we may face certain obstacles,, it does not mean we are oppressed. Some talk of suffering, but how is it suffering to live in one of the most affluent nations on earth? I just think it’s time some of us lost the chip on their shoulder, stopped thinking the world was against them, and grew a sense of perspective.

visiting lyn

We just got home after visiting my Greek gran in London, I managed to spend three out of our four days down south at Lyn’s. well, I couldn’t waste the opportunity to see my girlfriend, could I? despite the temperature, we had a great time; I think we both enjoy each-other’s company very much.

Lyn lives in her own bungalow with Boomba, the cat. She has a good set of personal assistants. Frankly, it got me thinking: maybe one day I’ll have something similar. I think visiting Lyn’s opened my eyes a bit. I also got to see a bit more of the capital.

Anyway, I have unpacking to do and tea to drink. But managing to go see Lyn has given me a sense of satisfaction.

cynicism

I suppose it has been some time since I wrote anything of considerable length. The truth is I’ve been rather busy, what with the brazil trip followed by Christmas. I don’t write much about disability issues any more – not that I did much in the first place – because I think I’ve lost interest. Frankly, I’m disillusioned with the entire disabled movement with it’s in-fighting and endless talk of victimisation. They talk and talk about how ‘we’ are persecuted minority, about how we suffer, without actually doing much. While I agree that disabled people are still at a disadvantage in some areas of life, I do not think this is cause to say that we are a repressed minority. Sometimes, the community remind me of a load of emo-kids moaning about how bad life is. They go on and on about how we need to fight and so on, but what they do not realise is such talk ostracises us.

Then they accuse me of not being politicised. I am highly political, but in my own way. Indeed, everything is political on some level. It’s just that, when I look at some of the pessimistic lachrymose tripe some people come out with, about how we are hated and repressed, I start to think ‘oh get over yourself’. I get the impression that they think they are speaking for us all, which really gets up my nose. There seems to be some sort of in-crowd in the disabled community, which I cant figure out how to get into. This annoys me.

007 vs. the wii

We now have the unfortunately named nintendo Wii. Luke and my parents are currently downstairs playing on it. It certainly appears to be a most impressive bit of technology: you can even get the internet on it. We all love the novelty of the ability to access email or even this website from the comfort of the downstairs sofa.

As for myself, though, it looks far too fiddily for me to use. The controller looks especially difficult; give me my extended keyboard and rollerball any day. And as for that balance-board, it looks like a disaster waiting to happen when it comes to yours truly. Mind you, I’d love to have a go on that steering wheel thing.

The wii thing causes another problem, though: it ties up the big TV so I can’t watch james bond. I now have the entire collection every bond film, except quantum of solace, on DVD. They’re in a box set. How cool is that? Mind you, at the rate they’re going, I won’t be able to use the TV to watch them until sometime next year. Silly wii.

Perhaps I’m getting too Dawkinsian

I read with disgust this morning how the pope has condemned homosexuality as being just as much a threat o humanity as deforestation. As a bisexual currently in a very happy relationship with a trans-girl, these comments strike me as the ravings of a lunatic old man out of touch with the modern world. Indeed, if you think about it, one of the biggest threats to humanity is the anti-contraceptive attitude of the catholic church. The earth is over-populated, so it beggars belief that contraception should be prevented in some areas.

Perhaps I’m getting too Dawkinsian, but isn’t it time we realised that religion is ultimately bad? I see it as a bunch of fairy-stories designed to keep power in the hands of a few stupid old men. I mean, talking snakes? World-wide floods? It’s bollocks. Yet some old nazi in Rome, who claims to be speaking for god, comes out with the most abhorrent, bigoted hogwash, and yet is listened to. I’m sorry if this offends any of my readers, but when you look at this objectively, it really is stupid.

This old man’s comments have upset me in their bigotry and their hypocrisy. Why should we have to listen to such idiotic crap? Okay, I know I have no right to tell people what to think; and I know many people who draw great strength from their faith. Far be it for me to try to take that away from them. I just think it is wrong to mix politics and religion – the two should remain separate or else they destroy each other.

charlie commes to visit

I just waved Charlie off, after a very pleasant afternoon together. It was good to have her here after I have visited the Jones household so many times; it seemed only fair that I returned the gesture. Also, I derive a certain satisfaction from bringing my friends here – it feels rather like completing something. We mostly spent the afternoon here, although we went out to a local pub for a beer and a natter. I really did need to catch up with gossip; as I predicted, she set a few things out in my head

Charlie couldn’t stay the night – Charlie being Charlie, she had other engagements tonight. But I look forward to her calling again, and we’ve set the ball rolling on a few plans. Also, I think mum liked c’s company too, especially when she played the piano for us.

Ahh…peace.

my north star

Mark and Kat are here. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen them since the summer, and it feels good to once again see my older brother sitting at the kitchen table. It is a truly rare event these days; I just popped up here to check my email and type my blog entry before the evening’s excesses.

Come tomorrow, Luke will be here in the evening with yan. C is popping in mid morning too so I have a busy day. Having said that, I’m enjoying the relative calm of home – it feels so cozy and snug, as if it has barely changed since I was a child. Indeed, tomorrow I’ll be able to show charlotte the very room where I was born (assuming its ok with mum and dad). No matter how far I may roam, in my chair or on horseback, this place will always be my fixed point of reference, my north star. I guess this means I’m just a big kid.

Truth is I have a bit on my brain. My master’s is going well, and I’m still very interested in it; yet the question remains about what I’ll do after. I’m also in a quandary about my..well, lets say other areas of my life which it would be imprudent to write about here just yet. There are things I need to consult my family and friends about – things I do not know how to handle. Coming here, back home, I’ll be in the best position to do this.

Shadowfax

Certain pictures of appeared on Facebook of me on something called a horse. For those of you who do not know, horses are like wheelchairs, but with legs instead of wheels, and a guy with a rope instead of a joystick. This enables them to go over rough terrain. As such I am considering getting one instead of a new chair, although I suspect uni might not approve.

Joking aside, I rode my uncle’s horse while out in brazil. It’s a tired old animal, whose age is beyond reckoning and whose name nobody knows; but it lives on uncle David’s farm and proved very useful last week. There was no way we could get my manual chair across such rough ground, but on horseback I had no problem.

Getting me onto its back was a slight issue, but once I had worked out how to keep myself up there, it really was rather fun. I last rode when I was about five, as part of a riding for the disabled scheme at school: the logic behind such things is still a mystery to me – perhaps they were planning to make a cripple cavalry regiment in the hope of spastics on horseback might confuse the enemy into surrender. Anyway, this time, under the blazing brazilin sun, I had a great time, and, just to myself, decided on a name for the tired old horse.

The only name befitting such a noble animal: I named it Shadowfax, after the lord of all steeds.

dad does not like Cat Empire

For some reason dad does not like Cat Empire. I came home for Christmas yesterday, and my father set up my PC this morning. Of course this meant I immediately loaded up Winamp and put on some tunes while I caught up with emails. Dad, meanwhile, got on with other stuff, like decking the halls. All was going well until I put on cat empire. I don’t know why dad doesn’t like CA – frankly, they have more talent than 95% of the other bands currently on the market. They’re eclectic, play their own instruments and are cross-cultural. Dad, however, complained about ‘that racket’.

I am, nevertheless, looking forward to this holiday. It feels like it has been a long term; I’ve made a lot of progress academically, although the social side of things has been toned down. Frankly, with fewer of my friends on campus, it’s no longer the place it once was. I also have a few decisions to make, like what to do after university.

A rest, then, will do me good. I think I need the securities of home to steady myself, to defrag my brain, as it were. Charlotte is planning to pop by on Tuesday, and I could do with her advice on a few things. I/we also have next year to plan. For now, though, I plan to sit back, relax, and listen to more Cat empire.