Thursday, March 24, 2005

The endlessly facinating averageness of the regular human condition

I went for a random browse earlier. Somebody somewhere said a little while ago (was it you?) that the blogosphere is a great place for weeding out writers who would in earlier times send their rantings through to book publishers, but now some of these people have an easier stage, they are writing blogs instead.

Don't expect a Fangworld book anytime soon.

My trawl today spawned a great deal of;

"YeaH buT nO buT me an mi maTeZ r sO cOoL rIghT an eVeRy1 eLse is MinGinG rIght bUt yeah buT No buTT..." liberally peppered with pink bug-eyed kittens, anatomically challenged 'fairies' and stunted little bears holding hearts saying "I need love" (subtext, everyone else has run a mile).... I suppose it's better out than in, but half these people don't appear to put up a navbar, so escaping to the next blog - which often appears to be someone selling bulk cat litter or wonder drugs - is just harder to do. I found out today you can buy moist tissues to wipe long-haired cat's arses just by clicking 'next blog'. Predictable things in surreal order. Or surreal things in predictable order? I'm assuming mostly human beings write blogs.

When I was 14, I had a CB radio (I admit this for your gloating pleasure). My mum's best friend's son sold it to me, and somehow that made it respectable in the eyes of my parents, who would never have allowed me to procure such a thing had it not been for her involvement. The 1980's equivalent of a teenage angst blog was sitting in your bedroom with the mike keyed, broadcasting some mournful song you wanted the fit CB-er you eyeballed, and snogged, and who has never called you back on channey 19, to listen to. (I found all my most car-crash-y relationships over the CB radio.)

The human condition is unravelling out over the internet in all its myriad forms, and somehow I wonder if I should feel pleased to see some of the banel, darker, weirder or just plainer sides of people - quite reassuring for my own varied states of being, but mostly, strangly, kind of boring. Maybe because if you've been there, whatever the blogger is peddling is so familiar you don't need to stick with it - sometimes the strapline or profile gives you all you need to know, and you click next blog, sometimes before the other has quite finished downloading.

And maybe we're so exposed to it all now that these things don't have the voyeuristic qualities they might have once had?

It's an unhappy teenager - who hasn't been there? It's a gadget geek - you've bought them all. It's some 'kooky' bint - kooky is depressingly common. It's some average geezer (and maybe some phonecam pics of the average geezer's bum...) - like the cheeky average geezers who show their bums at the slightest opportunity and you've known all your life in real time. It's a goth doing the goth thing. Uniform black page - and if they're hardcore, so is the navbar. Sub-culture no-limits competition. Mmm, might stop for a minute or two - but only to reassure in myself in my heyday I was goth-er. No limits competition after all.

Next click, it's some disabled person. Do people stop and read cos they're not disabled? Do disabled people stop and read because they are? What's the difference between writing a blog about your life that happens to mention you are disabled, and focussing your blog on the facets of your life that disability touches?

When I set out to write Fangworld I wanted to mention disability, but not in the 'poor me' genre. I don't know if I'm succeeding yet, because I'm too close up to it, and yes, from time to time you do go through stuff that isn't nice - although so does everybody in some way. But there are facets of your life as a disabled person that are outside of the stereotypical way that (you think) people might see you. Sometimes it's funny to be disabled. Sometimes you get into dreadful scrapes, but actually in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. Sometimes I wonder if my wheelchair makes my bum look big, and I don't know anybody that would understand that or take me seriously. When I asked the wheelchair technician if the footplates would angle to enable me to wear high heeled shoes, she said "nobody's ever asked me that before..." I like to look for the access in everything, only to ensure it remains insignificant, and then I want to laugh about it, or ridicule the mountain of planning that pre-empts any spontaneous activity. I thought there'd be some point in my experience where I'd be self assured, but there hasn't been thus far. This is my unpredictable - and many other disabled people's unpredictable too, maybe? And so maybe simply another average afer all.

And I don't see the disabled ME in the world (yet) the way I see the teenage me, or the thirty-something me, or the career me, or the me having a relationship with someone else me. Disabled people aren't visible enough everywhere in society. Everywhere. Maybe this is the reason I justify writing this blog to my totally predictable, endlessly average urge to be on here just because I, like everyone else, can write a blog, and this is me.



The Goldfish said...

I also worry about the wheelchair and the size of my posterior. Sitting down just spreads out the area of you where you have the most... um... stored energy.

It also squishes you generally; I think that women - real women with lumpy bits - look better stood up because then you can see that they go in and out. When you're sat down, especially when you're knackered and hunch up a bit, you become a blob with a head on top and legs dangling out the bottom.

Now that made you feel better, didn't it?

I have often thought of talking to my crip sisters and getting together some sort of style guide for crips (of all variety, not just wheelies) with ideas about to make the most of ourselves within these sorts of limitations. We could include all that stuff about keeping super-warm discreetly.

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