Because it’s toxic to think about the economy all the time, here are three other things I’ve found worth thinking about recently:
Dauntless link-sharer Arthur D. Hlavaty is a frequent source for Body Impolitic Posts (but not usually three at once!). All the links below are from him except Wheelchair Dancer, which I got from Liz Henry.
“Gen. J. C. Christian, Patriot” at Jesus’ General, has some suggestions for people who are opposed to Obama, but not because he’s black.
Wheelchair Dancer completely nails the key issues about art and disability Here We Go Again: Journalism, Bad Art, and Making a Difference. Here are quotations from the first two of her seven “strands,” and the last one, but really, read the whole thing:
Bad Art: A Definition
What do I mean by bad art? I am not talking about whether art means something or is just beautiful. I’m not talking about whether shit and blood stains in a bed can be art; I am talking about the way the motivation for production or the performance of production can come to be the art itself, can outperform the art, can become more prominent than the art. I am talking about art that when viewed appears to be more about its production/performance and the production values experienced by the producer/performer than the product itself.
Disabled People and Art
Don’t be telling me that it is art that is performed, written, composed by disabled people …. awww shucks, must be good then. It can suck. And, btw, it is condescending to think that art produced by disabled people must be easily accessible to all folk; crip art can be as complicated, twisted, and challenging as the work of any other culture, movement, people, or individual (more on that later).
Inclusiveness means that disabled people should have access to the means to produce their art. Access means that disabled people should be able to get in the door and see, touch, hear the art (or perhaps its the other way around, but you get my point!) But access to art does not mean that the work itself is
And, people, disability or no, it requires experience, training, technique, and work to produce art. You don’t just wake up the next day and call yourself a dancer, artist, writer, filmmaker … Geez. People, disabled or not, work — as in the case of my colleagues work for years, day in and day out, to become dancers; they cross train, take class, experiment, rehearse, try and fail. And they aren’t the story in their work; the work itself is paramount.
Crip Art and Making a Difference
Crip art. Really good crip art gets you. It gets under your skin. It can sneak in slowly and gently and then sting you when you aren’t ready for it. It can seep through your pores undetectably; before you know it, you are changed by it. It can blow your socks off. It can twist your mind, fuck you up, make you weep, blow a gasket; it can stun you, numb you, seize your mind, and change your world. Or it can be simply blah. Either way, the best of it has little to say about the art-maker.
If crip art makes a difference, it is not because it teaches or has anything to say about disabled people in the world. If crip art makes a difference, it is connected to a movement. If crip art makes a difference, it is because it penetrates the core.
Because the War on Terror and its craziness is always with those of us who live in the U.S.
Security guards contracted by the DHS threw a woman out of a Social Security office in Van Nuys for wearing a t-shirt that read “lesbian.com.” He claimed that “The Rules and Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property” gave him the right to throw her out for wearing a t-shirt with the word “lesbian” on it.
If you haven’t already checked out the link: I’ll give you one guess regarding the woman’s race. (You were right, weren’t you?)
And some good things can happen, even in today’s Federal government:
Today a federal judge ruled that the Library of Congress illegally discriminated against a Special Forces veteran when she was denied a job after announcing her intention to transition from male to female. In a groundbreaking decision, the court ruled that discriminating against someone for changing genders is sex discrimination under federal law.