Yep. It's been quiet here.
Not because we had nothing on. Quite the contrary.
In the school holidays, we took the kids to the movies. Or, well, Boo Boo and Beaver to the movies. Possum is not much of a movie-goer, he gets scared easily by the stories and doesn't like the darkness and the noise very much.
Anyway. Beaver likes movies that have singing and dancing in them. So we took him to see "Fame". You remember that? It follows the stories of some kids at a performing arts high school. It's inoffensive drivel. There is lots of singing and dancing, lots of self-affirmation and growth though overcoming adversity and hard work. All that. All fine.
But on the way home it struck me. There were white and black kids, and Asian kids. There was a token overweight one. A nerd, a cool kid, a Jew, and a gay kid. But not a single disabled one.
Young people with a disability clearly have neither talent nor ambition.
We often watch High School Musical, Camp Rock, some Hannah Montana (notice a theme here?) And it's the same there. All sorts, but no disabled. Surely movies with music as a theme can fit in a piano player using a wheelchair or a blind drummer? Many other movies too could surely accommodate a disabled character - say a deaf baseball player, a blind dancer, a teacher using crutches? And no, I don't mean a baddie with a disability as is traditionally the case. I mean just someone in the crowd. One of the minor characters.
It can be done. There are examples. Did anyone see that cheesy show British about the church choir? One of the sons was clearly on the Autism Spectrum (although it was never mentioned beyond him being "different") and a small person. They were just part of the characters. Nothing special. Just like in real life, they were simply "there:.
You know, it's very odd for disabled kids not to see themselves on TV. Not to have their hopes and lives and dreams reflected. To only every feature as "baddies". What sort of signal does that give? Can you imagine a show, any show, or any movie, that would not have a black or Asian character in it?
I am fed up with disabled people being invisible. I've written about this before. About how different races and different religions and sizes are nowadays well represented in popular media. Adds, books, movies, TV shows.
Well, I've had it with disability being invisible. With my kids being invisible. It's time for action. I'm starting a campaign right here, right now, to make disability visible in the media.
Just like once was the case with black people, I want to see a "token disabled person" in eveyr movie, TV show and book illustration - everywhere - in my lifetime. Whaddaya think my chances are?