Joan of Arcadia

Joan of Arcadia

I’ve been rewatching this show on DVD. I love its philosophy and the image of God that it shows. It’s quite a unique show. It also features a paraplegic character, Joan’s older brother, Kevin. This character is played by non-disabled Jason Ritter, but he does a pretty good job. I heard somewhere that the character who plays basketball with him and teaches him about how to live in a wheelchair is a real life parapelgic, so I think that’s awesome. Kevin’s character arc is pretty predictable at first. In the beginning he is still holed up at home, feeling bitter and miserable and like his life is over. Over the course of the show he gets his life back: getting his driver’s license, starting a career as a reporter, and...

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MonkeyShines and Bone Collector

MonkeyShines and Bone Collector

I’m putting these two stories together because they are a similar theme, horror stories using the immobility of quadriplegia to make it scarier. In both cases, the books are far, far superior to the movies. One thing I really like is that in both stories, the main characters defend themselves. The movie version of The Bone Collector kind-of takes that away, but in the book he defends himself against his attacker. In Monkeyshines, the quadriplegic character is caught in a house alone with a killer monkey (yes, it’s a tad far-fetched). He very impressively uses his teeth to kill the monkey. Of course, MonkeyShines has to have the miracle cure at the end, and the main character recovers completely. Bone Collector does not fall into that trap. ...

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Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Sometimes disability is used in writing as a metaphor for a broken soul. As you might imagine, I absolutely hate that. I think it was particularly popular in the 1800s to tell you about the inner mind of a character by his outward appearance. There was no expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover” in those days. I think they did believe that you could tell about a person by what he looked like. So, good guys are handsome, good women are beautiful and demure, and bad guys have some kind of deformity. That tradition has carried on in subtle ways. It still happens in stories today, though not as much. I still wonder whether Long John Silver fits into this category. On the surface, I would have to say that he does. He is the bad guy of the...

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Avatar

Avatar

There are those who think that James Cameron squandered a great opportunity to make a statement about disability. I think he did okay. It was cool that he had a paraplegic action hero, even if he spent most of the time puppeting an avatar body. The parts where Sully was a human being were quite well done, in my opinion. I’m certain the actor must have done some studying because he was believable as a paraplegic. I would not have been surprised if someone told me he was really disabled. Of course I was pretty certain he wasn’t just because that’s how things go. I later learned that the avatar bodies were all done with motion capture, so I suppose they really did need a non-disabled actor to do those parts. (Although I think they could have done...

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Memorial: Ilana Jonsson

April 14th, 1981 – January 17th, 2010 I am lost without your spirit and your energy, your opinions, your chatter, your zest. You were always like a mirror of me. We were friends for nine years and it should have been more. It should have been much more. At this time, I should be staying with you in your condo and helping out with your new baby. I should be gossiping with you and trading recipes and new tricks for housekeeping. I miss you so much, I can’t stand it. My heart is broken. The world does not make sense anymore, the pieces don’t add...

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