I spent a lot of time thinking about what to theme this, my first, Disability Blog Carnival. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about whether I’d be in labor before getting this done, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I can’t, alas, claim that this Carnival will be as brilliant as ones past, and as a matter of fact I’m not even sure how to put up one of those lovely Blog Carnival widgets, I’m so new at this (I did manage to find a picture of that wonderful statue that is on one of the Carnival logos, but couldn’t manage the widget itself).

Still, I hope you enjoy this very non-art-directed version…

Based on some of the early posts I received, it seemed something like “normality” or “everyday life” might be a common theme. I was looking at the ways that, dis-ablism or practical issues aside, disability really does integrate itself into one’s everyday world and become part of the simplest, most banal actions. I was contrasting this idea, in my mind, with the common able-bodied assumption that the disability dominates every aspect of one’s life.

And my mother has a bit of a thing for glossy celebrity magazines.

No, bear with me, it’s relevant! You see, most of these magazines feature a section in which they show celebs and quasi-celebs snapped in usually-unflattering poses trying to pay their parking meters or buy a quart of milk, with awed captions about just! how! normal! these people are. I think the most famous of these is US Magazine’s Celebrities–they’re just like us! feature, which captions the paparazzi shots with things like They buy cat litter! They scream at their children in the street! They get tattoos on their butts! and other such… ummmm… universal experiences.

So, that said, this edition of the Disability Blog Carnival is designed to explain the the untutored able-bodied type that there’s nothing abnormal about us… we’re just like them! Please do accept my tongue-in-cheek parody and sweeping generalization in the spirit it’s meant, and don’t allow my irreverence to detract from some of the awesome, wonderful writing to be found in…

Disability Blog Carnival #18,

a/k/a

The Disabled! We’re just like YOU!!!!

 

We hate our crap jobs!
Yes, if Dave at Chewing the Fat is to be believed in his post Inspiration, even cognitively disabled people can sometimes be less than thrilled by a repetitive, boring McJob! Who would ever have imagined? We’re just like you!

We get to vote, even if we know fuck-all about politics or the issues!
In “Who Is Entitled to Vote?” Terry at I See Invisible People has a concise summation of the dangers of basing the right to vote on an ill-defined “competancy.” It’s seriously worth reading, as it sets out the issues with clarity yet urgency.

Are there people who are truly incompetent to vote? Of course there are. But we cannot legally mandate an informed electorate. Some people are always going to make lousy decisions for lousy reasons, or be influenced by those around them, and in a free country, that’s their right.

 

 

We Shop at Whole Paycheck! And it’s a pain in the ass!
Apparently, according to Melanie of Melly vs. Stomach, Whole Foods is still an irritating jaunt even when you’re lucky enough to be entitled to one of those nifty wheelchair-carts–provided you can get your hands on one.

We wax our naughty bits!
Over at Screw Bronze, Elizabeth McClung gets a bikini wax. Enough said.

We read smarty-pants literature!
It’s true! At least, Simi Linton at Disability Culture Watch does, and has a really lovely post that takes a new look at one of the more neglected male characters in literature. Go check out Lord Chatterley Abandoned Once Again, and then maybe give the book itself a re-read. I know that I for one never even noticed Lord Chatterley the first time around… marvelous stuff.

Meanwhile Dispoet looks at some of the recent poetry exploring Helen Keller as a disablitlity archetype, including one poet who places her in juxtaposition with Helen of Troy, in Helen Reconstructed.

 

Our parents have all sorts of expectations of us!
Michael Berube discusses parental expectations in Livin La Vida Corta


We stay in lousy, tacky, overpriced hotels!

Wow, just like you! With a bit more trouble, though, since accessibility often leaves a bit to be desired, as Emma points out in Snapshots from a Holiday.

We simply will not mind our own business!
In my personal favorite submission of this Carnival, Lisa Ferris explains a bit about why she blogs about disability issues that might be only peripherally related to her personal situation. Lisa’s someone you just want to let go on and on, and she appropriately titles this post For All of Yous who Like the Long Ones. Lisa makes double entendres too. Just like you, if you were as witty as she is, of course!

We have annoying friends!
Timothy Griffin does, he’ll have you know. Several different types of annoying friends, all of whom came out of the woodwork on his behalf when he got his wheelchair. In The Chair and the Friends, he introduces us to the different categories, including the ones worth hanging onto.

Ruth at Wheelie Catholic has her own category of annoying types, who she refers to as The Naysayers. I have to wonder if she’s been hanging out with my family recently…

We watch lots and lots of TV!
Just like you, Mr. Able-Bodied Couch Potato, the disabled loooooove us some TV. Can’t get enough of the idiot box. Unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely to get a good solid portrayal of one of us up there (Dr. House notwithstanding) so Stephen Kuusisto at Planet of the Blind wants to direct our attention to [with]TV. My snark notwithstanding, this disability-focused cable network sounds completely awesome, and I’m thankful he’s brought it to our attention.

Meanwhile, Ranter wants to hear about our fantasy TV shows, so head over his way and pitch your thursday-night must-see.

We have deviant sex lives, and the practical problems that go with!
Zephyr, over at Arthiritic Young Thing, and I have a few things in common, despite my being neither arthritic (it turned out to be MS-related spastic joint pain!) nor particularly young. In a recent post she wonders Can One Be Disabled and Be a Good Submissive? I suppose the question really depends on how you’re defining almost every term in the sentence (“disabled?” “submissive?” “good?”), but it’s certainly worth pondering.

We’re Perfectly Healthy, thanks for asking!
Not strictly a disability blogger, Kristina Chew at Autism Vox demonstrates in her post To Your Health that parents of autistic children, and those children themselves, are just like everyone else, too! Just like you, they’re perfectly “healthy,” within their own parameters and those of any “healthy” society.

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A quick interruption at this point in the festivities, to ask you all for good vibes since it seems I may actually, a little bit, slightly, be going into labor… let’s see, who wants to time contractions with me?

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Where was I? Ah, yes. Autistics. Well, since everyone knows they’re just like everyone else, let’s look at some of the ways in which autism bloggers have asserted their conformity this week. Our autistic bloggers say:

We do not keep particularly neat flats, and yet we have strong opinions on the new Prime Minister!
Notice how I said “flat,” given that Laurentius Rex is one of those brilliant English bloggers? In The Reality of My Autism, he puts his condition into real-world perspective and shows a pretty daring picture of his apartment, while in The One-Eyed King Welcomes the One-Eyed Prime Minister he poses ten challenges that Gordon had best be ready to answer to.

We have conventions!
Just like you! Or, at least, just like Trekkies and gamers and advertising execs. Over at the Joy of Autism in Are We Listening?, Estee takes a listen and hears the things that parents, teachers and advocates should be hearing when they ask about autism–and what too few of them are.

We start touchy conversations!
NTs are Weird has a wonderful post about the so-called Little Things, that gets particularly touchy in the comments section. Who says autistics can’t function socially? You haven’t seen an active comments section until you’ve visited one of these bloggers.

We… we… ummmm… right.
Even in a bad joke that’s gone on for far too long, I can’t pretend that Amanda Baggs is just like everybody else. I’d rather just give her the place of honor here at the end, and let her speak in her own words about the Dialects of Nonverbal Language, as well as an interview with Donna Williams in which Autism Goes on Trial. I’d also like to remind anyone reading that autistics.org could use some computer help… see Amanda’s blog for more info.

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And with that, I’m off. Oh–about every seven minutes, but not quite regular enough to be “real” labor, in case you’re interested. Good vibes, everyone?

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