Thursday, 1 May 2008

BADD - A Little Goes a Long Way

Great things are going on over at BADD Here are some of the first posts I have managed to read. There are many more to come over the next few days, and I'm sure the debates will continue around here. Yes, you people have got more than just me thinking.

Wheelchair Dancer is at her finest with a blast at something both ugly and deplorable.

Lady Bracknell's Editor provokes feelings of disquiet and dismay as she demands the minutes stand and be counted...

Dave Hingsburger always makes me think, and this is no exception. I'm still thinking.

Cusp tells the truth of the matter.

David at Growing Up With a Disability writes about not being seen.

Wheelie Catholic gets me thinking about the people who reinforce negative outlooks...

And a late entrant (only because I have to stop now and get some sleep) An Unreliable Witness, being actually quite reliable I find.

I was joined earlier in the evening by my son who became curious at all this computer activity. He read a little then we got on with the bedtime routine. Big issues are usually broached by him with a circumspect, often random question. It's how I know something major is up for discussion. And it was when we were settling down for the night with warm milk that he asked:

"What would you like to be in the Guiness Book of Records for?"
"For speaking the most truths in a lifetime," was my reply.

Then, because he's read some of the posts tonight, and especially liked David's he was asking why for BADD we didn't all write our own newspaper or magazine. He asked this because I used to write for newspapers and magazines.

"Why don't you all get together to be in a newspaper?" he asked.

I didn't tell him about the Guardian (see WCD above). I just didn't have the words for a child where The Guardian is concerned. I did tell him that newspapers house some of the most entrenched disablists out there. And why would we as free-thinking disabled bloggers want to bother seeking recognition or approval from newspapers that send out lies and bad messages about people with disabilities every day? It's the non-disabled readers who have their own prejudices validated over breakfast every morning.

Writing for the press has always seemed cool to my son. Until recently. Now there is a certain amount of conflict. His father still has a cool job. His mother doesn't, but realises she actually never did. I feel privileged through my experience of disability to be able to tell him the truth. To ask him to seek out the truth and reject all the misrepresentation.

He went on to consider other areas where the portrayal of people with disabilities is very important. "Why there aren't more disabled actors like in Tracey Beaker?" he asked. And so we talked about how it would be good to see actors with disabilities playing roles that are non-disability related. Where the disability is not central to the plot.

I hope in future years he will write his own post for BADD. He certainly has a keen grasp on what we're up against for one so young. He is finding his own voice in all of this.


Anonymous said...

You write really well, Former-Newspaper-Woman. This story of a conversation between you and your son is exceptionally easy to read, understand, maintain interest and represent something beautiful and normal (parent-child conversation) but I fear increasingly rare. Thank you.

Attila the Mom said...

Loved this post. So agree with what you said about actors. There are some movies I simply can't watch where stars without disabilities play characters who have them as well. I guess that's disabilist in a way, but how about leveling the field even a teensy bit?

Thanks so much for posting today!

Lala!! said...

Thank you for your great BADD posts!

Anonymous said...

Yes by all means encourage your son to venture forth and take over because he is already involved with his little inputs here and there. Being truthful is a quality to be shared.

seahorse said...

Barbara: Thank you. Simplicity is so easy where kids are concerned. It's one of the most beautiful things about them. That and their sense of truth.

Attila: Thanks! Yes a level playing field would be good. One where no distinctions are made.

Chris: Thank you so much. I'm reading around some more today. I love this festival feel. Should decamp to back garden and put up a tent. Oh. No laptop. Damn.

Kacy: Maybe not take over ;-) but I'd love to see him writing his views. His would be a rare and valid voice indeed.

Mary said...

I sometimes fear that if we had our own newspaper, we would be the only ones reading it. That wouldn't do anything for all the people who don't live in the thick of disability issues (personally or as a close family member) and therefore don't think much about it, beyond whatever surface-scratching line comes from the mainstream media.

seahorse said...

True. Blogging is more powerful a force than any I've encountered. But there's still the hope that some of these posts register with non-disabled people.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, and I love your choices.

Also, what Mary said. I think it's possible that we actually reach more readers in more countries on the internet than we would in any newspaper. And we can actually converse with each other, not just publish, which only amps up the opportunities for thought and learning not just for random strangers who might happen upon things we've put out, but for ourselves.

seahorse said...

saraarts: thanks and I like your observations on how we converse online and share, and learn and think. I do all of these as a result of blogging. Somehow thoughts stay with me more, but then I am in a more reflective period of my life.

Anonymous said...