Saturday, March 6, 2010

Let your freak flag fly!


Hello... to no one in particular...

I've been thinking about my previous post from this morning. A little grayer and more mortal than I was hoping for.

Procrastinating with my useless, mind-numbing homework, I have been watching youtube videos.

I came across (via a complete stranger - don't we all love the internet!) a version of "Curious George", that I had never seen before. Watch it here: http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T8y5EPv6Y8&feature=related You can also watch the 'Madeline' video here: http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=57EDxvldLD4

I have no idea who Werner Herzog is, and perhaps I should. Maybe that is part of the joke. But whoever this clever young fellow is (the person in the video is not really him, just what appears to be an approximation), he has given me pause for thought and reflection.

Who doesn't like that?

Perhaps it is the particular frame of mind that I am in at the moment, but there seemed to me, particular portions of each of these readings (there was yet another, this time covering "Madeline"), that seemed to resonate with me. Perhaps I am missing the humor and seeing what I want to see. This is always a possibility. Who knows? Sometimes, I am far too smart for my own good.

Showing them to my dear, lovely husband, I could see a look of sheer confusion on his face, why I would think that this was funny. So it is entirely possible that I could be taking something that is simply meant in jest, completely out of context.

But there was something that struck with me. There was a piece read about approximations of manhood, and trying to be what we never can, no matter how hard it is that we try. Yet we are all bombarded with these kinds of messages on a daily basis, that we need to be something other than ourselves - that what we are in our natural, organic form is inherently lacking. To cover up what we are in order to maintain airs.

Olkin talks about this in her theories relating to disability and ability: that disabled people are sent messages that they need to occupy one of two spheres of thought: the 'supercripple' who does anything and everything...who's disability is a non issue, or the 'helpless handicap' who needs help from everyone just to function as a living, breathing being.

Yet, it makes me think of other marginalized groups, and the discussion around trying to be something else, because that's what they're told - via society, and its values and morays - yes, I am talking about all of you WASPs out there, and I am pointing my finger at you! Society says that we should be just like all of you. Don't deny it. Society's a bitch, but she never lies. But if we are not like you, ie. disabled, then there is something wrong with us, and we need to find a way to make ourselves more palatable to the rest of you.

Like 'seeallywrite' said for example, in her blog: 'we place able bodied people in roles depicting disability to remind you that it's not real', merely pretending - to make the thought of your own inevitable deterioration and death more palatable to you.

I applaud those of you who are so willing to buck the norm, and to let your freak flag fly. Be loud, be proud. We are out here, and we are listening.

This is not a dissertation nor a position statement regarding the need for increasing diversity and celebrating the cultural mosaic of our tossed salad landscape.

I'll leave that to persons better appointed to comment on such matters.

What is it then? I'll let you know when I have the answer...if you think you might have it, then by all means please share...

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