Before I get into why I'm still up, I'll handle the standard Idol business. Because I know that people like having handy links, especially during a post heavy night:
The Results: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/531192.html
The new Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/531583.html
The new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/531735.html
Second Chance poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/531296.html
- make sure to get out there, read, comment, and vote! These folks need your support to get back into the main event!
With that handled, there's a main event of our own to address:
I said something really stupid, and then didn't quite realize that people were actually being serious about it until earlier today. So I kept up the joke and ran with the usual persona.
Why? Because if there is a joke to be had, I'm probably going to find a way to run it into the ground.
I hate pulling back the curtain, because this is supposed to be about you, with me firing shots over your heads and making a nuisance of myself to keep things light, or on occasion, to poke the sleeping bear and keep people's interest, in hopes that will translate into a more active community and readership base overall. For the most part it works.
But I do have to pull back the curtain at least a little bit right now, because it's important. It's why I'm up and it's what has been the subject of conversation with people in my personal life since this morning.
For those who missed all of this, and have no idea what I'm talking about, a couple days ago, in the Voting post for last week, I used the word "lame" to describe spydielives
for dropping immediately after obtaining 100 Weeks. The funny thing, to me, in all of this, is that I had "sucks" in the original draft and changed it last minute, on the fly, because I decided not to swear!
When it was brought up, asking if she was OK (due to her health problems over the past few months) it dawned on me that there was another definition for the word, and I made a quip about how she was always injuring herself. Which, is true! ;)
I wrote it up, posted it and really didn't think too much about it and moved on to the next thing that I had to do on my list.
Which is what people do all the time.
It doesn't make it right, it doesn't excuse it in any way, shape or form. I completely bungled my word choice on this one.
Will it happen again? Probably.
People are prone to say idiotic things, and I can be as big of an idiot as any of them. Sometimes more.
I do try to make those kind of things as ridiculously over-the-top as possible, so people realize that they are a parody rather than my personal feelings on any given subject. That said, sometimes it comes across better than others.
After all, I thought it was light-hearted to poke fun at the situation, and myself, in the previous Green Room. Which was not received at all as I thought it would be. But the rule of telling a joke is, "if you have to explain it, it's not a good joke".
That wasn't a good joke.
It did provoke some interesting decision though. Which is something that I really value about this community. It's extremely diverse, which means there can be times when people will end up at each other's throats. But there's always something good that comes out of it. Hopefully, that is true this time as well.
The particular conversation started on ableism and went into other things http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/530921.html?thread=56229865#t56229865
that are important to talk about.
I asked, via email, for some links on the subject for anyone who might be interested:
Main website with thorough information: http://www.stopableism.org/what.html
Ableism Bingo (Hurtful things that are often said to disabled people, that the people saying them don't even realize are offensive):http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/ableist-bingo
A thorough essay (with subsections) on ableist language:http://bitchmagazine.org/post/the-transcontinental-disability-choir-what-is-ableist-language-and-why-should-you-care
Able-bodied checklist (makes it a bit more obvious to people who still aren't getting it):http://sap.mit.edu/content/pdf/able_bodied_privilege.pdf
5 Things About Ableism You Should Know article:http://disabledfeminists.com/2010/11/19/what-is-ableism-five-things-about-ableism-you-should-know/
I'm sure there are people who can provide more.
I said that I was going to pull back the curtain a little, and I wasn't just talking about acknowledging that I said something stupid, or trying to turn a bad situation into something positive.
It may be making this about me, or even rah-rah Idol. But this particular discussion is
about me and a lot of other people out there like me. And I will rah-rah about Idol at a drop of a hat, so of course I'm going to find a way to do it. I'm proud of what has been built here.
If you know me personally, you know that I have a severe speech impediment.
Some days are better than others, and I've been told that once you figure out my patterns, and as long as the listener is patient, that they can understand me.
It's gotten better over the years. At times. Other times it's far worse.
I spent a good part of my primary education in "special ed" classes. In Pennsylvania there were one on one speech pathologists. When my family moved to Florida, I was in with people with all kinds of differences, people that I might not have encountered in every day school life. It wasn't just "speech problems". There were a couple deaf kids, a blind girl, an assortment of "learning disabilities" that I don't think they had names for at the time and were just lumped into a general category. It was a rotating hodge-podge of people that the regular classes didn't want to deal with. I was one of the 'fortunate" ones who only came for a few hours a week. A lot of the others were pretty much stuck there.
This isn't a "some of my best friends are...." story. This is about a guy who found the internet, who rejoices in the internet every single day because it puts him on an equal footing that in real life vanishes every time he opens his mouth.
This is why when it comes to accessibility issues that have come up in Idol with various individuals - and figuring out how to work with things to make sure that other people can have that feeling when they walk through these cyber doors - it's not just "nice", it's personal.
That's why my "um... what?" meter went up when I realized that people were serious that I was being ableist. Because, for me, it's not theory and certainly not something "mythical". It's something that I deal with every single day of my life. I don't talk about it because quite frankly at this point I'm sick of my own voice on the subject. I get by. Some days better than others.
There are plenty of people out there who can't though, who have things to deal with that can't be solved by just "shutting up" - and a hell of lot more needs to be done.
"clauderainsrm" might be the bogeyman at times, and often a complete bastard about it. I'd like to think that "Gary" isn't.
Which is why I'm very sorry that I offended anyone. It certainly wasn't intentional.
It's late/early and I'm exhausted. I'm sure I missed a lot of points that I wanted to make. But hopefully at least some of it was coherent.
Anyway, *pulls the curtain back in place*, enough about me. What are you losers up to??? :)