In our second didactic experience, we had the opportunity to watch a compilation video, called Cripshots, of some wonderful theatrical, dance, and musical pieces performed by persons with disabilities. Personally, I loved the piece entitled “Night Murmurs” by John Killacky, which utilized medical imaging machine to create a dark, eerie, industrial instrumental track. This was played over some B roll of MRI images, making for a pretty stunning visual display. I wish it was on YouTube as I’d be watching it again right now.
The trainees used the video as a jumping off point to discuss the typical portrayal of persons with disabilities in popular culture and media. We discussed the appropriateness of particular shows like “Little People, Big World”, “Glee” and “Push Girls”. Personally, I don’t watch a lot of television so I’m not too knowledgable of the show plots and characterizations involved; however, I agreed with the general trend of the discussion. Often times, the characters are showed as experiencing the “abled” world and how they must acclimate to it. Shows that feature persons with disabilities should be shot with the perspective of the “disabled” world. With the slogan, “this is our world and we want to share it with you,” perhaps the series, “The Specials” will capitalize on this opportunity. This former internet series, originally released in 2009, has been moved to the OWN network to increase its viewing opportunity. The first episodes aired on September 7th, I encourage all readers to check out an episode or two if they get a chance.