jesse_the_k: ACD Lucy stares hard at the closed front door, ready for anything (Lucy expectant)
Around a year ago, I remember reading a great round-table about using dialect in sf writing. One writer's work was turned down because dialect writing is "too hard" for default audiences.

It was linked around, as well.

Can you remember what site that was?
jesse_the_k: unicorn line drawing captioned "If by different you mean awesome" (different=awesome)
In early January we set out in our ridiculous red van, MyGuy at the wheel. We brought lots of snackers, copious water, and scores of props to help us stay comfortable in car seats. We stopped at least every two hours to stretch. Four days through St Louis, Tulsa, Amarillo and into a rented condo in Santa Fe NM, and we're still on good terms.

Great Things

indeed five of them )

Frustrating Things

four of those )

It was fun, I'm glad we went, we would never move there.
jesse_the_k: Panda doll wearing black eye mask, hands up in the spotlight, dropping money bag on floor  (bandit panda)
Read fascinating column from Ta-Nehisi Coates riffing on the social positioning of obesity and its parallels to the ubiquity of racism.

Life without father becomes more familiar.

Watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony on TiVo (what a fabbo invention). I love the First Nations art and dance but it feels completely appropriative and wrong.

Excellent Chinese New Year party with old friend who has re-entered my life.

Big fun with [personal profile] were_duck, including a lunch so attractive it belongs on an Olympic flag. (Too hungry for pix, again.)

Loud & rowdy book group re The Sparrow.

Conjoined twins, only one of whom wishes to be a country singer?
Meet George & Lori Chapelle
(In other words: no performance art from able-bodied poseurs, Ms Palmer, real life is strange enough.)

See also Twin Falls, Idaho.

Worked with [personal profile] sasha_feather today on our disability-themed presentations for the MBLGTACC conference this weekend. We're feeling confident. If any dwirclets have experience with a Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Trans & Allies College Conference, please share on what to expect.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
Thanks to Lawrence Carter-Long, an enthusiastic support of films with disability issues, who brought this to my attention:

'Glee' wheelchair episode hits bump with disabled

LOS ANGELES — The glee club members twirl their wheelchairs to the tune of "Proud Mary" and in joyful solidarity with Artie, the fellow performer who must use his chair even when the music stops.

The scene in Wednesday's episode of the hit Fox series "Glee," which regularly celebrates diversity and the underdog, is yet another uplifting moment — except to those in the entertainment industry with disabilities and their advocates.

For them, the casting of a non-disabled actor to play the paraplegic high school student is another blown chance to hire a performer who truly fits the role.

The article goes on to quote two actors with disabilities and five behind-the-scenes advocates (probably because LA is a company town for TV.)

Let's hear it for union solidarity! Unions for actors on film, TV and stage are mounting a "civil rights campaign." I AM PWD, Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities includes a blog of union members' experiences.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
The Wisconsin Film Festival was a lot of fun. Fascinating movies; stunning web site; helpful volunteers. (Access at some theaters was sub-optimal.)

In order of viewing:
On a tightrope rating 4 out of 5 )

Jumate/Jumate rating 5 out of 5 )
In a Dream rating 4 out of 5 )
Blind Loves rating 1 out of 5 )
Vincent: A Life in Color rating 3.5 out of 5 )
Youssou NDour: I Bring What I Love rating 5 out of 5 )
Sita Sings the Blues rating 4 out of 5 )
And then the bus, and good night, and several days to recuperate from all the sitting still and head tilting.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
I have nothing to contribute to the major ongoing pantslessness in progress.

My favorite four posts (today)

[ profile] asim's exploration of MLK's radical rhetoric and its relevance to the matters at hand.

[ profile] pats_quinade's side-splitting Onion News Network rundown (complete with Stargate Atlantis references):: You Can't Spell RaceFail without "I".

[ profile] sparkymonster's incisive summary RaceFail, Silence and Words demonstrates yet again her deft ability to make the reader think and then sprinkle them with an exquisite link assortment.

[ profile] miriam_heddy ponders where the tipping point is: if fans of color are disrespected, that may be too bad but a distant issue; when a white fan's privacy is threatened, then it becomes "real."

ETA: For anyone who doesn't understand the weariness many people feel re: these issues of privilege, power, and oppression in fandom, [ profile] rydra_wong's two years of link spam on these topics is enlightening.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
The Whirlwind Network of wheelchair builders was born in 1980 when Ralf Hotchkiss met a group of 4 disabled men who shared one wheelchair in a hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. They hatched the idea of setting up a shop in Managua that would build wheelchairs made from locally available parts, be locally repairable, and which would require little initial capital to get started.

This is the very best sort of appropriate technology: power in the hands of the people who need it the most.

WWI's RoughRider wheelchair WWI's RoughRider wheelchair Manual wheelchair with wide bicycle tires, very wide casters, and gracefully curving frame.

The first design was near completion by 1983, having undergone numerous prototype revisions and having been tested over hundreds of miles by many different riders. Since then, the Network has expanded to hundreds of organizations and individuals in more than 50 countries around the world and includes disability activists, rehabilitation professionals, and international development non-governmental organizations. The Network has supported the cross-fertilization of new ideas and designs generated around the world. The active involvement of wheelchair riders in design and production has been integral to the Network’s success.

The Whirlwind Roughrider is inexpensive to manufacture, made from widely available stock materials. Unlike the second-hand chrome wheelchairs donated by well-meaning first world countries, Whirlwind Chairs are designed for dusty dirt roads and easy maintenance. As Marc Krizack put in his in-depth examination of the shortcomings of first-world wheelchair donation:
Providing wheelchairs is not about wheelchairs. It is about providing people with the one thing they need to move out into their own communities—to go where the action is. It is about integrating people with disabilities into their society.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
I love Dmae Roberts's radio pieces. She explores vital, difficult issues and they're full of laughter. Listening to her voice helps me experience her insights more directly.
What are we but a collection of secrets? as we move through our lives, as we choose to reveal our lives, our stories, our very being to strangers—or not. 'How did your parents meet?'
Being visibly different in our racist society, she daily experiences rude questions from strangers. (Some of those same folks likewise see my power wheelchair as permission to say remarkably intrusive & thoughtless things.)

Her "Secret Asian Woman" explores the costs of passing. Her parents are White and Chinese, and she looks "White enough" to witness countless racist comments. She browses labels—"White," "half-Oriental," "Eurasian," "half-breed," "multiracial," "HAPA," "mixed,"—comparing their histories and fit. I laughed at her fellow-feeling with "Secret Agent Man," the 60s TV show: by being able to pass she inhabited the mysterious-infiltrator role into which many Asian women are cast.

more good stuff from Dmae Roberts )
jesse_the_k: Fully unclothed dorsal Paul Gross from Slings & Arrows (naked & proud)
According to the NYTimes:
After his victory in a judo match, the athlete thrust his arms into the air in an elated V — the universal symbol of triumph, something he had seen other athletes do thousands of times. Except for one thing: he couldn’t see.

Yet again, the meaning of "normal" behaviors is defined by the action of the atypical. This is one of the reasons I find disability studies so intriguing.

(Yes, the icon is Paul Gross & his arms, but more T than \o/)


Aug. 14th, 2008 08:40 am
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (focused eyeball)
Excellent drawings, challenging text:
Incognegro by Mat Johnson & Warren Pleece, Vertigo/DC Comics 2008.

A fictional tale of two African-American men who can pass as white. They travel from Harlem to Mississippi to rescue a relative from lynching, with mixed success. Powerfully evokes the "family carnival" atmosphere attendant on lynching, while also exploring women who pass as men.

The ethics of those who can or do pass can divide identity communities, and seems to be a universal issue, even as it's highly particular in each of those cultures.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
I was perplexed when I saw the title of the WisCon31 panel I eventually moderated on Monday AM: But the Master Has a Black & Decker Cordless Drill. How can we question literary standards that support the patriarchy/establishment/Man without ending up suppressing critical judgment, and while maintaining a common critical language? with Catherynne M. Valente, Micole Iris Sudberg, and Jennifer Dunne and myself as moderator

I recognized the title as a play on Audre Lorde's mind-opening essay, "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House." (It appears in Lorde's collection Sister Outsider, as well as the anthology This Bridge Called My Back). In hopes of understanding how to frame the discussion, I reread the essay. In four pithy pages, Lorde calls white feminists to account for excluding black and lesbian women from the panel at a 1979 conference.

But her essay goes much further, challenging feminists to recognize that women don't come in tidy one-issue slices, that we are interdependent beings who must cherish our multiplicity as our strength.

begin quote For difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of different strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways to actively “be” in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters. quote ends
As a well-read white daughter of the ruling class, the importance of difference and interdependence had been mostly theoretical. The truth of Lorde's passionately expressed opinion became clear to me when I became visibly disabled in 1993. Suddenly others could see only one possible me--a stereotype with no relation whatsoever to my life, my opinions, my goals. I no longer "looked like a feminist."

I was bummed that the title of Lorde's essay was well-known enough for a play on words, but the substance seemed unrelated to the panel's description. As moderator, I had some discretion in how the conversation would unfold.

Still and yet I didn't think it through. Even though I had Lorde's tools, and some experience using them, I didn't use my power to challenge this cultural appropriation. I could have said, "Nope! Ain't doing that panel. It's based on a misunderstanding of one of our fundamental theorists' ideas, and it just shouldn't be here."

Fortunately, the blogger I know only as BGF at And we shall march points out how infuriating it is that a WisCon panel would appropriate Lorde's rhetoric for a discussion that didn't address race, difference, or "the courage to act where there are no charters."

Thank you BGF for showing me another way to recognize my racism.

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