Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Arbitrary Day

Welcome to the Blog Carnival #83, for June 2012.

Our own Blog Carnival Leader Extraordinaire, Penney, starts us off with a post about the little known (at least to me) Infante Philip, the heir to the throne whose disabilities led to him being passed over as King of Spain & Naples.  (Particularly striking to me was the line from his Wikipedia page that he had been "excluded from the succession to the thrones of Spain and Naples due to his imbecility.", which led me down the wormhole of imbecility -> Mental Retardation -> Euphemism Treadmill -> a discussion re: the evolution of people first language regarding disability.) 

The Girl with the Cane gives her take on Disability & Religion, a topic that Ruth Madison also addresses some in her post We Are All Disabled.  Ruth's post also makes some great points about disability being seen as 'lesser', and the inherent hierarchies even within the disability community.

Casey's post Cartesian Dualism & Chronic Pain not only gave me a fancy label for how I sometimes have to manage my pain (Cartesian - relating to Descartes, and discussing the mind-body connection/problem), but had a great first person account of how transcending one's pain can be both a positive and a negative for those of us with chronic pain.  

In the political spectrum, I found this post by the Queen of Spain to be quite to the point (and hope that the Supreme Court sees the points this week as well).

Robert Rudney  is the author of a new book, Lovers Lame, which portrays the romance between two main characters with disabilities, and seems really interesting. (You know I'm always on the lookout for new books: Hero & Heroine both have disabilities and the story talks about the differences between their situations and doesn't just glom them together because they happen to both have physical limitations?  Immediate add to the TBR pile.)  I also found his discussion about the book in the comments for this carnival to be quite interesting: 
How many movies or TV shows present people with disabilities in romantic or sexual situations? Not many…

One reason for writing Lovers Lame was to explode this misconception. The loving relationship between Christy and Jonathan, two individuals in wheelchairs, transcends their disabilities, societal norms, a serious accident, and pig-headed parents. With a little help from a sympathetic personal assistant, they achieve sexual fulfillment. They are the lucky ones, but they are fictional.
Stacie's post, Masquerading, particularly hit home for me this month.  She talks about how she felt she's pretending, passing as normal, when she spent time with her younger child while her older child with disabilities was in school.  Because so much of her brain was still focused on the needs of that child, it often felt like 'pretense' or 'deception'.  One of the reasons posting has been so light here this month is because I've mostly moved in with my grandmother and uncle, having realized just how desperate my grandmother's health situation is.  I've got another (very long, complicated) post about this going up this week, but what I will say now is that whenever I'm away from the house - gone home to shower or to take my Tuesday with the kids - 85% or more of my brain is thinking about the situation here and what might be occurring in my absence, what I may have to put back together when I return.  So that feeling of deception - keeping the happy face going for the kids, especially - is one I'm becoming quite familiar with. 

Sharon makes some excellent points about the challenges of writing with disabilities (lots of them echo my own experiences, for sure):   
However, the biggest toll that my disabilities take on my blogging is in volume, frequency, and organization. I tend to write really long posts, and that’s often because I can’t keep track of what I’ve already said. I often make the same point repeatedly because I’ve forgotten that I’ve already made it. I start posts, run out of spoons, plan to finish them another time, and then never do — because I’m too sick. Because I’ve forgotten the point of what I wanted to say. Because I’ve written another post on a similar theme, forgetting that I already had something written on that topic. Because the content is no longer topical. I have approximately a hundred partial posts in my drafts bin here. Of course, my readers don’t see all these failed efforts because I don’t post them!
 Allison over at Gilbert & Me, (who was so patient when stupid Blogger kept marking her comment as spam),  has submitted an older post that is poetic and honest and beautiful, called What Does Seeing Feel Like In it, she discusses all the things she thinks she'd like to see, if given the opportunity.  She discusses so many aspects of sight and blindness that I, because vision is not an issue for me, had not considered before, and although it's kind of long, I urge you to read the whole thing if you can. I think the part I liked best about it is that she expresses a natural curiosity about how things might be different and does it in a way that shows all those tropes about how people with disabilities feel sorry for themselves are just a bunch of BS.  Case in point:
In the same way that my parents get carried away discussing how they would use their lottery winnings first to pay off all the bills, and then live out the rest of their days quietly in a modest house, in a community where no one knew them to avoid being scammed or robbed, I think about how I would react if suddenly, I could see.  ... But until then, I can accept staring longingly over a figurative fence in awe and wonder at the sighted world while sighted people stare back in amazement of me as the way my life was meant to be.

In a similar vein, there's this post by Wheelie Catholic, Do I Think About Walking, which I found in my Internet wanderings.

 And to bring this edition of the Disability Blog Carnival to a close, we have this positive perspective contributed by  Meriah, who's hosting her own Summer Disability Blog Hop each Wednesday, in her post  What the Cultural Value of Disability and Star Trek Have in Common:
We don't look at the contribution of disability in and of itself, you see. We are not looking at disability and seeing it as an opportunity for growth, change, forward movement and advancement of our human race as a whole: we are looking at it like it's a problem. Something to be fixed. Broken bits of human flesh that need mending. We are trying to shove people that are especially unique into a mold that just does not fit, rather than looking at the mold and wondering how we can get rid of it, the mold.
 That's it for June's edition of the Disability Blog Carnival, this Arbitrary Day: Hope you all are as well as possible, and that you'll keep your eyes open for next month's Carnival, wherever it might be.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Hey, All, it's June

Which means that I'm going to be posting this month's edition of the Disability Blog Carnival - #83 - The post is going to go up on June the 25th, and (in honor of Arbitrary Day) can be about anything disability related your little heart desires: an old post that's a particular favorite of yours that you wish more people had seen, a brand, shiny new post that you're going to write specifically for the Carnival, a rant, a rave, a list  - whatever floats your particular boat.  

You can post the links on this page, or just leave a comment if you want me to send you my e-mail address (as that link has conveniently disappeared from my template for some strange reason).  I do ask that you do your best to make your website as accessible as possible... for me, that means making visual descriptions of things and leaving the captcha off of commenting, when I have the spoons. (And understanding that other people might not have the spoons, when I come across a site that doesn't follow that same protocol.)  Submissions will be open till the 23rd, just so I have a chance to compile them all, because last time I hosted there weren't too many, and I had to do some filling in with some favorite posts by other people, which meant remembering where the heck I'd read something, which is an iffy proposition sometimes for me.

Happy June, everybody!