I still haven't given my new wheelchair a name, despite having it for over a year. The truth is, I had not warmed to it: compared to my old chairs, it is slow and unwieldy. In my internal monologue, I thought of it as sapoc, or slow-ass piece of crap. Today, though, I went on one of my long walks. Slow as it was, the chair kept its end up, performed admirably, and earned my respect. I resolved that it needs a name. The question is, what to call it? My previous chairs, defiant and bat'leth, had Star Trek related names, but I thus far can't think of a name for this slow but sturdy vessel. Any ideas?
I am suddenly very angry indeed. I was just at my building society getting money. I wear a bumbag with my wallet in, and invite people to get out and put in money as and when needed. The last couple of times I have noticed that the staff at the bank have taken to putting on plastic gloves when I come in. While I understand the need for hygene, I find it utterly condescending and insulting. It looks like they think I am dirty or contagious. I was so upset that I asked to speak to the manager, but she batted me away with the usual condescending bullshit. Think they were right if you must, but I will not be treated like something dirty.
I am just on my way back from watching A Theory of Everything. I had been in two minds about going to see it, given its controversial use of a non disabled actor playing a disabled man. Yet, having touched upon cosmology in my recent conversations with Lyn, I thought I would go see it. Now that I have, however, the actor has become the least of my concerns.
I have never felt so torn about a film. At the same time it struck me as a delicate portrait of one of my heroes, and a piece of pity porn of such enormity that it made me want to vomit. At times the emphasis on disability and pity became so gratuitous that I almost walked out; the lingering shots of Hawking struggling to get up and down stairs as his condition worsened being a notable example. It was so cloying and cliche that, at points, I despaired the film had ever been made. Things were redeemed, though, when upon receiving his first communication aid, they remarked with disgust at hawking now having an American accent. There were also a few good shots of Cambridge, including a couple of the quad where this piece of Hawking-related awesomeness was probably filmed.
The various controversies surrounding him aside, hawking has long been one of my heroes. Yet this film has me torn in two, and, I must say, extremely perturbed. Part of me is glad it was made, yet another part deeply objects to it's pitying, wallowing, anti-disability overtones.
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I find myself growing uneasy at a number of people I've encountered who, like me, seem pretty cynical about the current state of things, but who take that cynicism too far. Take this catchy tune, for example. Much of what they say I agree with; but then they go on about ''the new world order'', ''reptillians'' and so on. I see no evidence for any such conspiracy. Also, tellingly, they lump taxation in with their otherwise left-sounding list of grievances. When I heard that I smelled a rat: either they are right wing trying to hijack the concerns of the left, or they are just politically naive, rebelling because they think it's cool but lacking any true understanding. People like these, influenced by p'tahks like David Ilke, thinking they're being profound but not actually helping. The higher reality they keep asking the rest of us to wake up to boils down to neoliberal greed, and they don't even realise they're the ones being manipulated. I suppose it is symptomatic of much bigger issues: political dissatisfaction, lack of true understanding and engagement, and a type of naivete.
It's the beeb's democracy day, commemorating the seven hundredth anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. They had Douglas Carswell on earlier, and I have never seen a more insulting display of pure hypocrisy. Carswell was purporting to stand up for plurality of opinion, freedom of expression, dissemination of democratic power, and most of the things I usually go for. Yet anyone with a functioning brain could tell he was saying things we wanted to hear. This was coming from a member of a party which, if or when it is elected, will destroy the bridges to Europe, revoke just about all of our human rights, suppress any and all minorities, and more than likely suspend democracy and install Farage as a permanent overlord ('Fhurer' would probably sound too germanic). Thus for Carswell to pretend to be a champion of democracy flies in the face of everything he and his party actually stands for. It really got my goat. Just as hypocritical, though, was CaMoron tweeting about today being Martin Luthor-King day, and about being 'inspired'. What a fucking cheek! Dr. King would be appalled at what the Tories are doing, persecuting the defenceless and cutting tax for the rich while millions starve.