An article appeared today in the huffington post which I have major problems with, yet which I’m having difficulty finding a way of arguing against, at least in a concise way. It was an attack on the disability community from within, as it were. I’m not going to give it the dignity of quoting it or linking to it, but it basically accused us all of being left wing extremists intolerant of opposition or dissent. Truth be told, it is a poorly thought through, ineloquent and illogical piece of writing, but the danger of it lies in the fact that, given it was placed in such a well known online journal, people will think it’s author speaks with authority.
Rather disgustingly and nonsensically, it claims that the disabled people’s movement has been taken over be socialists who merely claim to be disabled, and that ‘true’ disabled people are losing their voice. One presumes he means those with unseen or not-so-obvious disabilities. How dare he make such an accusation? How dare he be so arrogant? Moreover, I find how he accuses those in the disability activism world – a world I try to be a part of – of being socialists because we believe the state should help in our support, just as nonsensical. To him it is somehow because of such activists, whom he se as full of blind hatred for ATOS, that he is denied personhood as they, for some reason, reduce him down to a label when in fact the opposite is the case. The whole thing sounds as if it is written by someone who does not understand as much as he thinks he does; who craves attention; a Thatcherite who has done okay for himself but would deny others the support they need; who thinks he is more important than he actually is, or less important than he should be; in short a spoiled attention seeker trying to punch far above his weight. Such people are fit only to be ignored – I just hope others realise that.
I read today that Constable Mike Barton of Durham Police proposed that Class A drugs should be decriminalised and drug addicts treated and cared for not criminalised. I just want to say that I agree with him: while I am, let us say, slightly more experienced since I last blogged on the subject, as I wrote here, we need to legalise drugs, bring them away from the underground in order to control and regulate their use. If they remain underground they remain dangerous. I’m glad somebody has finally pointed this out; at least it gave me an opportunity to refer back to one of my old blog entries, too.
It has been a great couple of days. Yesterday we visited lyn’s old school; she wanted to investigate the possibility of tutoring there. It was a sprawling, fascinating place: it reminded me of my old university campus, with added stables – more of a small yet thriving comunity than a special school. Lyn would probably be teaching young adults there; a prospect we both find very exciting.
Today it was my turn to be proactive. I am writing this on the bus back from a filmpro event in hoxton where I made some very good contacts in the disability film making sphere. I went not knowing what to expect, having simply seen the event advertised on Facebook, but I am now travelling home feeling like I have achieved something.
Sorry this is yet another diary-like entry, and one short on detail at that, but life is sometimes so busy, so much fun, that you barely have time to record it.
Following on from my entry a few days ago about AAC, I’d like to direct you here today, to a brilliant little article by Sally-ann Garrett in the huffington Post. Garrett gives readers a glimpse of what a minefield the whole area can be in terms of securing funding, getting assessed and so on, as well as emphasising how vital it is to get those who need it the right equipment. While the huffington post isn’t mainstream in the strictest sense, it is very encouraging to see that more and more is being written about the subject.
I suspect most people would agree that spitting in public is a disgusting habit. Frankly I find it revolting, and I get slightly angry when people do it, as if it were a sign of manliness. I’m also utterly unconvinced that it is a necessity for people engaged in sport. As reported here, in what is thought to be the first UK case of its type to be successfully taken to court, two men have been fined £160 each for spitting in the street. The judge effectively classed spitting as a form of littering. I suppose that is to be welcomed, but one question occurs to me: what about we guys who dribble? Of course I’m sure most would say the difference is obvious, but when you think about it where do you draw the line. Many, albeit narrow-minded people, don’t understand how hard it is for us guys with cerebral palsy to control our drool, and object to it as they would those who spit. Might we therefore be open to persecution or prosecution because of this ruling? I admit the chances of such an absurdity happening are infinitesimally small, but I just have to raise a pessimistic eyebrow at he notion that it could now be possible.
I still feel rather shaken up about this, and it has affected me more than I thought it would. Lyn and I have a bit of a mouse problem in our kitchen, so we laid down traps. Mitchel got us a variety of traps, one of which was a sticky bit of card: when the rodent ran over it, he would get stuck. Yesterday morning, then, Marta inspected the trap, and found a small white mouse suck to it, alive and struggling to free itself. She called me into the kitchen, looking scared – she said she couldn’t handle it. We didn’t know what to do.
Even now I’m shaking as I type. I had no choice but to carry out what I now think was the most horrible, base and abhorrent thing I have ever had to do: taking the hammer Marta had handed to me, I bashed the poor little fuckers brains out and took the whole sticky mess to the outside bin. I felt utterly sick -for the first time I had directly ended a mammals life in a truly violent way. I know I had little choice, but I instantly felt deeply deeply ashamed, horrified to realise that it was so easy to end a life.
Swipe, Sky News’ cheap, tacky replica of Click on the beeb, has a short article about Lyn and her new instrument this week. To be fair, it’s quite good, and raises a few issues. for example, there is an ongoing debate in the disabled community over whether it is better to use standard, off-the-shelf equipment such as the ipad, or to ask for purpose built machines better tailored to their needs, like the lightwriter or dinovox. To be honest I haven’t decided where I stand on this debate; there is surely room for both solutions. What is clear though is the specialist equipment is usually far more expensive than the general-use stuff despite the latter often but not always being just as useful, but as the sky report shows, it need not be. Things like the Lynstrument cost very little: It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just needs to get the job done. Anyway, swipe can be seen here
My apologies, but this Reuters article is just too ironic for me not to flag up. ”A Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his co-pilot.” It is, of course, tragic, but could there ever be a more dramatic, brutal demonstration of the folly of religion?
It has been an awesome, awesome day, for a variety of reasons: I decided to zoom up to westminster, and was on the scene when all sorts of amusing shit hit the fan at the UKIP conference, although I didn’t see Godfrey bloom make his comments in person. It was quite a fascinating afternoon, actually,, just hanging about the conference centre talking to the candidates, although my opinion of them has not changed: I still think they’re xenophobic idiots, albeit marginally nicer xenophobic idiots.
Far more importantly, though, I have the pleasure of directing you here,, to an article by Lyn in the famous huffington post about her instrument. Great stuff indeed if slightly basic. It really is exciting to see her grow and grow as a musician, and the Lynstrument is an exciting new branch of that growth.
I feel very positive indeed about yesterday. It turned out to be quite a hectic day: our original plans for the day were put on hold for reasons we need not go into, so I decided to zoom over to luke’s for the afternoon. The last few day’s I have visited, social activity got in the way of work (read: we just went to the pub), but yesterday we made some real progress on our film. Perhaps for the first time, the project felt like it was becoming a definite reality. Without wanting to go into too much detail, I had a flash of inspiration and made a suggestion which Sally called ‘genius’; it made the entire thing much more feasible. I now feel much, much happier, and truly eager to get down to work. I’m such a lucky git to have met those guys.