reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tropic Thunder in Ra-Cha-Cha
Well, let me just say that trying to plan a local response to Tropic Thunder is making my hair gray and I am NOT amused! (Now these moviemakers are REALLY in trouble!)
Gives me great admiration for the hippies—they made a big splash and did it without the internet. Amazing.
I am working hard on this, and I get a little tired of swimming all day in unfamiliar waters. I am a nurse, nurses do not write press releases!
It is summer, the time is too short, no one has enough time, every agency has 30 other people they have to ask for permission, etc, etc. Everything is complicated and inconvenient. (Yes, I am whining… isn’t that what blogs are for??)
Then something else comes out about the movie and I am renewed.
Yesterday there was a review of the movie in the Rochester paper—it was an AP review. The reviewer, Christy LeMire, called the scene where people with disabilities are eviscerated (complete with catchy slogans) “the funniest and MOST INSIGHTFUL” scene of the movie.
Insightful. People believe that folks with disabilities are ACCURATELY characterized in that scene. Stiller believed it, this reviewer believes it.
Then the actors in an interview on TV say that the disability community shouldn’t be upset because, in context, this scene wasn’t intended to hurt them. This would be like a motorist telling the pedestrian they just ran over, “You don’t understand, I didn’t mean to hit you, so you can just stop your ridiculous bleeding.”
Stiller also said they had screened the movie several times and this didn’t come up…
I thought screening audiences were supposed to be diverse. Did their ‘diversity’ include disability?
Oh yeah, I am renewed.
Up until now the disability community has been NICE about everything—with a few exceptions no one makes waves and we accept whatever crumbs society drops on us. We may complain—to each other—but we have never stood up and said ENOUGH!
And this nicey-nicey approach has brought us HERE.
In 2008 it is possible to make this movie and not even know that people with disabilities might care. To be shocked and annoyed when they do care.
In the disability community internal leadership has been great and the gains that people with cognitive disabilities have made are extraordinary. It is time for us to lead in our communities as well.
Tropic Thunder WILL NOT be the only voice heard about disability in my home town this summer.
I am the mother of three, wife of one. I am a Partners in Policymaking graduate and a committed disability advocate. I want to catch up on my scrapbooking, learn more about art-journaling, get my house in order, read all the books I have set aside to read and change the world--not necessarily in that order. The opinions in this blog are my own and not those of any of employers.