Beyond Professor X and Oracle: Moving Disability Awareness Forward

This is a repost from my old blog.

I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations discussions about portrayals of people who use wheelchairs in prominent television and movie roles. There are only four that I can think of.

Ironside debuted in 1967 and ran until 1975. A recent attempt to reboot the series was canceled after only eight episodes. I think Ironside was significant enough to warrant its own post, since it was the first show to have a character with a disability in the title role.  I’ll be discussing Logan Cale later on when I talk about romance and disability in the media.  This post will look at Professor Xavier and Oracle

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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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The Sorceress Didn’t Have to Lie to Teela and Here’s Why

Sorceress of Castle Grayskull

Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This post is a re-working of several posts I made in early 2014 about the Sorceress and Teela.

 

My biggest plotting pet peeve is when characters keep secrets from one another that serve no useful purpose.  There’s nothing wrong with the character having a secret or secrets. It drives me crazy when characters keep secrets that do more harm than good and never seem to grasp the idea that they are causing their own problems when they lie to their loved ones.  There are PLENTY of good, interesting stories that can be told without this particular cheap plot device.

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Remakes, Reimaginings and Why LeVar Burton is Awesome

levar-burton-app_1000

This is an update of one of my first blog posts!

A few years ago, I saw a short interview clip with LeVar Burton on Yahoo! Shine.  (It’s not active anymore, sadly.)

I don’t usually watch actor interviews, but I knew that Mr. Burton wouldn’t be in character, so I thought I might enjoy it.  I was surprised, though.  I was truly impressed and challenged when Burton started to discuss his involvement with Reading Rainbow and an upcoming re-make of Roots.

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