‘Scarlet’ of “Scarlet Scribe” has a great recent post on “Comic books, disabilities and the path to humanity”:
The word ‘mutation’ is still scary but in the comic universe, defects are assets and doorways to possibilities. And people are more than their struggle with their diseases. They have personalities, likes and dislikes, emotions and opinions about things other than their mutations.
They are fully fleshed out individuals with full lives.
And yes, they do extraordinary things – they do extraordinary things in spite of the fact that society tells them they can’t. They do extraordinary things in spite of the fact that society alienates them, treats them as creature-like freaks of nature.
It is a commentary on the rest of society that the only place where people with disabilities can feel normal is in a world built around supernatural concepts.
On her blog, Isabel chronicles what may be her last time in a poetry class for quite a while—even as it covered a poem by the great Gwendolyn Brooks:
And then, there’s foolish little me, noticing that at the end of the poem the word “oak” is used to mean brown, “oak-eyed.” And according to the dictionary, oak can mean brown. Thus I think that oaken in the poem is also a reference to brown, more specifically the brown skin of Rudolph. To me it means more than just strong. It means brown.
NO! Absolutely not, I am instructed by the instructor. And he and the class agree and insist that oaken is only a way of describing that he is strong. Oaken can only mean strong. It can’t mean both brown and strong. So it is pointed out, down their educated noses at my sad little dumb self, that absolutely, under no circumstances did Ms. Brooks use the word oaken to imply brown like Rudolph’s skin. No, she only meant for us to see that word and think of him as strong.
What a f#cking fool I am for thinking it implied he was a strong black man. How foolish could I be! Brown. And my leap from brown and strong to a strong black man. God, I’m an idiot.
(Do note the use of sarcasm in that last paragraph.)
On “Dream Housing,” Thomas supposes what happens to people who live in ‘bad’ neighborhoods that get turned around. It’s a post that ponders “can the grievances of the people who currently live in the neighbourhood be resolved without them being priced out of the neighbourhood?”:
The neighbourhood has lots of crime, poor quality physical enviroment, a lack of decent jobs and health hazzards galore.
Now imagine that through some miracle a government programme, such as the one mentioned earlier from Prince George’s County, was able to start combating the levels of crime, improving the public realm, getting people healthy and bringing new and good jobs to the area. What would happen?
I would bet that the area would become more attractive, wealthier people would move in, house prices and rents would rise and those same residents that were so fed up with all the old neighbourhood problems would not get a chance to enjoy their improving area. Instead they would be priced out of the area and have to move to another neighbourhood, possibly one that was just as bad as the one they started off in.
Over at “Muck and Nettles,” there’s an interesting post on an ‘Urban Chic’ t-shirt and the way it seems to view one side of a Canadian town:
“The suggestion that one can travel ‘out there’ and be rewarded by taking in ‘sights’ they find humorous (people with difficult lives), is profoundly othering and moreover, presumptuous about what east Hamilton is actually like.”