playing wheelchair chicken on the streets of Bangkok

I was just looking though some more of Darryl’s videos, and came across this. I’m now well-used to driving my wheelchair along the streets of london: I usually stick to the pavements if at all possible, and reprimand myself for taking the odd risk. However, I now think I’m quite a safe driver after seeing dazz virtually playing wheelchair chicken on the streets of Bangkok. I warn you – this vid isn’t for the faint hearted.

Thinking about joining Labour

After watching Jeremy Corbyn’s speech yesterday, I’m honestly considering joining the labour party. I found it impassioned, well thought through, and chimed with many of my views. In fact I was so taken with it that, immediately after the show, I got into my chair and sat of for the Labour branch office in greenwich. I know you can join up online, but I needed a walk; either way they were shut.

I think I’ll keep trying, though – or at least keep thinking about it. I’ve long been hesitant about joining any political party, preferring he freedom to flip sides and change my mind. But with so many now being oppressed by the tories, the Lib Dems having proven themselves traitorous, and with corbyn fashioning a new kind of politics so in line with my own views, now may be the time to nail my colours to a single mast.

Darryl’s Bummunicator

My friend Darryl just sent me a link to his latest video, and I’m genuinely lost for words. It concerns something Darryl has invented to address an often overlooked aspect of disability equality, which he calls his Bummunicator. For all my experience writing about and analysing film, I have no idea what to say about this one, other than, ”Holy shit you aussie bastard, that’s genius!” Go watch, although whether it is safe for work is debatable.

Time I started something more sustained.

I was talking to my parents yesterday for my weekly dose of family news and parental nagging, when they put an idea to me. Mum and Dad suggested that it’s time I should start writing longer pieces. They’re right, of course: I’ve been conscious for a while that my daily blog entries are often on the short side; they’re just reflections that trot off I about twenty minutes, post on here, and forget about. While I like this form of short reflexive prose, and honestly reckon that over the years I’ve written enough on here to fill at least one substantial volume, it’s time I started something more sustained. My blog is a good contribution to art and society and I intend to keep it up, and the same certainly goes for my script-writing; but it’s time I started writing some longer and more in-depth prose too.

The question is, what. I need a subject. All those years ago, it was Alan who suggested the subject of cinephilia for my masters; from that suggestion I got down to research and, to cut a long story short, seven years later had produced a 40,000 word thesis. I now want to get back into that longer form of writing – something that I can get my teeth into. But for that I need something to look at; a subject sufficiently engaging that it keeps me going for months or even years, and so far I’m struggling to find one. I’m open to suggestions.

Another great night out

I must say I’m feeling rather pleased with myself this morning. Yesterday saw me out for the second Saturday in a row, and once again I didn’t touch a single drop of alcohol. I had seen an event posed on Charlotte’s sister Poppy’s facebook page, and, rather on the spur of the moment, decided to go. It was due to start at two thirty, so I thought I’d pop over to Lewisham for a couple of hours and be back home in time for tea. The thing was, there was so much going on in the end I didn’t get home ’till gone twelve. The people were lovely; the food was great (poppy helped me to eat a burger, which was very kind of her.) In the evening there was a DJ on – Frith, a friend of C’s from chester – and I asked him to play one of lyn’s tracks; it was wonderful to see everyone dancing to it. The cool part is, as Poppy pointed out, it sounded as good as ay other track being played; nobody realised it wasn’t ‘professional’. Then after Frith an awesome rock band took to the stage; from the first chords they played I could tell they were going to rock.

The best part is, I had a wonderful time and was perfectly sober. Since university I’ve had a habit of associating good times with beer; but yesterday I stuck to Beck’s alcohol-free beer and had an even better time. I could really enjoy myself: watch people, chat, convey what was going on to Lyn via my Ipad. Had I been drinking proper beer, I’d have been drunk by about five and have missed a great evening. Thus last night, together with the Saturday night before it, taught me a valuable lesson.

Mind you, in a way I did go home early: the event was due to go on ’till 4am, but I was getting tired and there were no more bands due on, so I thanked Poppy for a great day and set off home. On the bus, I determined that not drinking beer is the way to go: yes, alcohol gets you into the party spirit and makes you want to dance (more), but then it either puts you to sleep or gets you into trouble. I realise it’s not the way to go, and there are better ways to enjoy yourself. Let’s put it this way: whereas previously I’d have got home so tired I’d barely be able to control my body, when I plugged it in last night my Ipad was down to one percent battery I’d been chatting so much. It was it, not me, that needed to be put to bed,

a good deed is no excuse to invade someone’s privacy

I think I better flag this very well written blog entry by Claiming Crip up. It concerns a piece of ‘pity porn’: it seems a photo of a McDonald’s staff member helping a disabled man eat appeared on the web recently, and everyone went crazy about the kindness of it. Yes it was kind but, as the blogger explains, that’s no reason to covertly take he guy’s photo and splash it all over the web. After all, the guy probably just wanted a bite to eat. If that ever happened to me, I’d be furious – a good deed is no excuse to invade someone’s privacy.

Streetview revelations

I was jus on google earth again. Today, for some reason I had a hankering to take a look at Congleton: I haven’t visited my old home town in years, and I suppose I was feeling a tad homesick. What I found, though, astonished me. There’s a bypass in the town which, when I was little, I remember being a simple, straight road. Then they put a roundabout on it; then a petrol station; then a Tesco. Now, going around it on google streetview, I could barely recognise it, it was so built up. To be honest it quite took my breath – has it been so long that my home town is now so unfamiliar? Of course, being a londoner now I’m used to built-up areas (on that note, yesterday I nipped over to Canary Wharf to take a look at Bloodhound ssc – very cool) but I remember that place being a large, rather scruffy field. It just made me think ”what has happened here?” I suppose it just means I ned to go visit my parents again, to reacquaint myself with my old town before it changes any further.

Brony spotting

Following my discovery of the existence of Bronies yesterday, I found myself playing an amusing little game. Yesterday afternoon, whizzing through Charlton Village in Rotarran (I still can’t get over how well that chair handles, btw) I caught myself wondering whether I was passing any My Little Pony fans. Given, from what I learned yesterday, virtually anyone could be a Brony, I kept thinking ”Is he a brony? Are they bronies?” I became especially curious when I passed a group of goths. The fact that this strange subculture exists and you never know who blogs to it sort of changes one’s perspective on society; there are even groups in the military. I find myself fascinated, so I’m sure this is a game that will keep me amused for quite some time.

Bronies

Last night before turning in, we watched a channel four documentary on The World’s Weirdest people. After segments about paranoid americans preparing for the apocalypse and Japanese actors who you can hire to pretend to be your relatives, there was a bit about people who call themselves ‘Bronies’. These are adults – often fully-grown, heterosexual men – who are fans of My Little Pony. I had never come across them before, but as odd as it struck me, I was instantly fascinated: why would anyone other than preteen girls be interested in this show? Of course, when I told Lyn that I was going to look into this phenomenon, she had a fit of the giggles; but this morning I googled it and turned up a wealth of information, including this documentary. The movement seems to be about friendship and loyalty, as well as the very rejection of mainstream gender stereotypes which I have long advocated. While I don’t think I quite get it yet, and I’m nowhere near becoming a Brony myself, I am definitely going to look into this further – I want to see what these people find so compelling about a kid’s show which, from what I’ve seen to date, is nauseatingly saccharin. There are aspects of fan culture to this phenomenon, which ties in with my MA work; yet it has an oddity to it – an oddity I find fascinating. Besides, it makes a change from bond and Star Trek.

A problem easiy solved

I am, I’m afraid, in a considerable amount of pain today. For the last two or three days I have had a very sore right shoulder. I had no idea what was causing it, but it was starting to make me very grumpy indeed. I felt even more bitter towards prams on busses than usual, and the only thing cheering me up was piggate. This morning, however, it hit me: the armrest on my new chair was too short, so the control was in the wrong place. That was screwing up my shoulder.

Still in a foul mood I set off to the wheelchair shop, worried that they wouldn’t be able to do anything; but once there a new, longer armrest was ordered. It was a problem easily solved in about five minutes, and although I have to wait for it to arrive, my shoulder feels better already. While there’s a small chance it won’t resolve the issue, I have a feeling it will do the trick. It just amazes me how a problem which seemed so major this morning could fade so quickly.