“Taking a gun to school is something very serious and would likely come with a mental health condition. That’s not appropriate for someone with Down syndrome and not a stigma they need.”
So, “Glee” did a school shooting episode. My first reaction was “Of course it did.” Of course you would do that, Ryan Murphy. Of course you would take recent pressing media events and use them for entertainment and controversy. Now, to be fair, all media creators do this and anyone who claims otherwise is totally lying, but some people do it better than others.
Another joke about Brittany being less capable academically than Becky. We’re supposed to find it so hilarious that Brittany is so stupid that she’s getting lower grades than the proper retard*. The first time this joke came up was - IIrC** - in the episode where we first met Becky.
It’s not funny. I have a friend from school with Down’s. She got higher grades in her GCSes*** than I did. Does that mean I’m stupid? Are people supposed to laugh at me because someone with learning difficulties did better than me at school? No. It’s just a fact that my friend got better grades than me with no intrinsic humour value.
I’m a fairly good swimmer. I’m not great, but I am better than the average non-disabled person. That’s just a fact. Laughing at someone for getting overtaken in the swimming pool by the crippled dwarf would be an absolute parallel to Brittany/Becky school work joke and wouldn’t be funny either.
* = Obviously not a word I would usually use. But the one I can mostly likely see being used in the writers’ room when they’re coming up these ‘jokes’.
** = Still can’t type an upper case “r” on Tumblr then…
*** = No upper case “e” either. Still. First time I’ve tried the upper case “e” on this computer though.
… And the same logic is why we need more disabled people on TV too. At a time when rates of disablist hate crime are shooting through the roof we need to see more robert* David Halls and rJ* Mittes to help the public understand that we’re not evil beasts. If only Glee would handle Artie and Becky with the same respect they afford Kurt.
* = My computer won’t let me type an upper case “r” and I have no idea why. I can type all other letters in upper case, and it’s not a problem with my “r” key because I can type lower case ones fine. But when I press “shift” and “r” together; nothing is happening.
Jesus. One of Quinn’s first sentences when she shows up in a wheelchair is to Artie:
Wheelchair users only do that in the imaginations of non-disabled people.
I’m awaiting “whoah! There’s a speed limit!” and “Hey! Don’t run me over!” because the writers don’t have anything original to say. Unimaginative stereotyping wankstains.
Edit: If that’s the steepest ramp in Lima… I’m moving there. I can’t get more than 5 mins from my flat without encountering ramps steeper than that.
Edit 2: Oh God. “Special” ditch day. Glee really is anti-inclusion.
Edit 3: And why don’t either Quinn or Artie have their footplates correctly adjusted for their leg length? A paraplegic sitting in that position is going to get pressure sores because their weight is all resting on their butt rather than distributed along the backs of their legs too.
Glee has a constant theme that you can be whoever you want to be. It’s an admirable trait in a TV show aimed at young people. But there’s always one exception to this rule: You can be whoever you want to be, as long as you’re not disabled.
The characters are aged 17/18. When I was that age I wanted to act. I went so far as studying drama at university. I always knew acting would be almost impossible for me because of reasons Glee makes clear: No-one wants to cast a cripple.
In ‘Michael’ we saw Quinn get accepted into Yale and Kurt and Rachel find out they’d been shortlisted for NYADA. Recently Mike’s father even agreed that Mike has talent and should pursue dancing rather than medicine or law. All their dreams are coming true. It told the audience that it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a baby, if you’ve sustained sustained years of homophobic bullying, or if you’re just really annoying: You can still achieve your performance-based dreams. As long as you can walk, that is.
That they cast a non-disabled actor to play Artie is a constant reminder for disabled kids that, actually, they can’t be whatever they want to be because they’re just not good enough. Even within the cutesy, fluffy, storylines they’re starting to shunt Artie off the stage and into directing where his wheels won’t be seen. It totally reminds me of always getting cast as the narrator in school plays so no-one would have to see my unsightly mobility aids.
The moment in this week’s episode that really stuck 2 fingers up at young disableds with dreams of being a star was when Artie got up out of his chair to dance in a daydream. Again. A totally unnecessary dance just to really drive home “yeah, wheelie kids. We’ll never cast you in case we want 3 minutes of non-spackiness.”
You can argue that Glee is representative of the world we live in, that disabled kids will never get to be on the telly because TV is made by a bunch of disablist dicks. But Glee is set in an idealised world where you can be as camp as Christmas or be built like a brick shithouse and still have your dreams come true. Disabled kids are singled out as being the only ones not worthy of achieving their goals.
On my proper blog because it’s not really about disability but about Kurt/Blaine. Posting the link here though because I do explain why I watch Glee despite the disablism.
Oh good. A fight between funding for the arts and “special” funding. Cos kids can’t be both crippy and arty. Despite Artie…
The fact that Sue’s irate that McKinley doesn’t have a “special” dept is just ridiculous. It’s called “integration” and it’s a good thing. Or has she forgotten the inclusion of her pet/sidekick/henchman?
I should change the name of this blog to “this week I hate Glee because…”