Geordi Laforge, Disability Consciousness and the Future

 

This is a repost from my old blog, part of Redefining Disability

 

One of my favorite examples of a character with a disability is Geordi Laforge from Star Trek: the Next Generation. Geordi was Chief Engineer aboard the Enterprise,and his role as a scientist was a lot more important than the fact that he was blind.

Geordi was created in 1987, and he is still the main example I use when I talk about how I would like 

Geordi La Forge

Geordi La Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to see characters with disabilities integrated into a television show or movie franchise. Geordi is also the only example I can think of to show a character with a disability who does not have an acquired injury.

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Iron Man, Acquired Injury, and the Biggest Missed Opportunity In Disability Representation Ever

This is a re-post from my old blog.  It was part of a project called Redefining Disability, which I’ll talk more about in subsequent posts.

 

 

The Mark III armor as featured in the 2008 fil...

The Mark III armor as featured in the 2008 film Iron Man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The only character that I have ever felt a strong sense of identification with as a person who has a disability is Tony Stark.

You might find this surprising, because Tony doesn’t really identify as someone with a disability. He isn’t presented that way. He doesn’t think of the shrapnel near his heart as something that fundamentally changes him, “separates him” from other people, or puts him in a completely different category of human experience. That’s usually an issue in fiction whenever a main character has an acquired injury. Unless we’re talking about mental health issues like PTSD, Tony as an icon for disability awareness probably doesn’t register in people’s minds. That’s EXACTLY why Tony is more representative of my experience as a person with a disability than anyone else.

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Why Tinker Bell Is Awesome

This is a repost from my old blog. I still haven’t seen the Neverbeast movie, FYI.

 

I wasn’t interested in Disney‘s Tinker Bell when it came out in 2008. I thought it would be another lame “re-tell the movie from the perspective of the side kick” thing like The Lion King 1 1/2. I have never been crazy about Tinkerbell either. So I passed on the movie and completely missed the fact that there were sequels. When I saw the series on Netflix earlier this year I wrote the whole thing off as a shallow marketing ploy aimed at little girls who preferred fairies over princesses. (They also changed the spelling of the character’s name, which is a pet peeve of mine.)

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I was writing a post about how marketing is relevant to the success of any product or service — including entertainment — and I realized I was being a pissy little hypocrite when it came to the Disney Fairies. So, since my Netflix is active for this month, I decided to put my big girl pants on and just sit down and watch Tinker Bell.

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Star Trek, Sex, and Patriarchy: Is Will Riker A Jerk?

A few nights ago, a friend and I were talking about Star Trek. I brought up Cmdr. William Riker, who happens to be my favorite TNG cast member and the character I feel is the perfect embodiment of the space captain trope. (I know he’s the first officer, not the captain.  Keep reading.  It will make sense at the end.)

My friend characterized Riker as “a slut” and implied that because he enjoyed casual sex, he had no moral boundaries. Later, he went on to describe Riker as a jerk, presumably because Riker has multiple sex partners over the course of the series, is not interested in long-term relationships with most of them, and even when he is interested in a long-term relationship with Deanna Troi, he doesn’t press the issue and continues getting involved in casual relationships with women he meets throughout the galaxy.

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A Note to the Church

It’s sad that I’m a Christian, and yet when someone tells me they’re a Christian writing about their faith or Christian life, I worry whether I should even attempt to go to their website.  I cringe because I’m waiting for the judgment that almost always vomits off of so-called “Christian” sites.my-reading-and-writing-journey

My grandmother’s in her 90s. A lifelong Catholic. This November, her daughter married another woman. You know what my grandmother did? She went to the wedding and danced.
If a 90-year-old woman can dance at a gay wedding, you can learn to treat people with grace and kindness today.

Your Opinion Isn’t Sacrosanct

OPINION SACROSANCT
Over the past week or so, I’ve gotten several comments on my various social media feeds that were rude, ableist or otherwise offensive. Each time, I’ve been polite and either explained my position or simply asked the other party to disengage.  The usual response is, “This is a public space, don’t I have the right to express my opinion?”
 
Here is the deal.
 
Your opinion isn’t sacrosanct. The fact that I keep my timelines public doesn’t mean you have impunity or get special consideration given to you when you express an opinion. If your opinion is factually erroneous or supported by oppressive social assumptions, I will say so. If I know your comment is just going to start a fight, or is meant to agitate on something I don’t agree with, I will ask you to stop commenting about it and close the thread. This isn’t personal.
 
The name on all my accounts is some variation of “Rose B. Fischer.” or “Evil Genius RBF.” I maintain these spaces to talk to my friends.  Behave like my friend, respect my friends, or leave. If I close a thread, it’s closed.

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