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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Are Being Unruly

Our latest forum in RDS is titled, "Unruly Salon", and hails from a series of presentations at the University of British Columbia. The forum includes poetry, artwork, interviews, and general reflections on disability studies and "coming to pride."

The inclusion of the word "unruly" intrigues me. The word is used with pride (I believe) but it brings to my mind times when I am "unruly" because I am standing up for myself. And times when I am "unruly" because my perspective on disability diverges from the so-called mainstream of academics. And times when I am "unruly" because I am interupting by asking people to use my assistive listening device or asking them to describe something visual. The "you are being unruly" look (what my husband also terms "Troublemaker!") brings shivers to my spine, in fact it makes my spine shrink and my shoulders hunch. Until I remember I am not being unruly - I am just being me.

Perhaps it is the Obama-Rama, or just a certain time in my life (40 is just around the corner and my little child is growing up fast - no, not my inner child, my actual child), but I've had a hunger lately for readings, especially biographical, about other "unruly" people: women, Native Hawaiians, gays, African-Americans, techno-phobics, you name it. People who know what the spine shrinking thing looks like and who have had to stand up extra - tall as a result. Maybe that's what brings the pride to "unruly" - knowing about all those others who are so different from you and yet who are all the same.

3 comments:

Victoria Maxwell said...

"Unrulies" unite! Yes - I believe 'unruly' was used in the best possible way. I was fortunate enough to partake in one of the salon events...I performed my show 'Crazy for Life' about my experience with bipolar disorder and psychosis. I hope the series continues. It was a wonderful meeting of not just the minds, but of the kindred spirits too. It was great food for thought and spurred hot debates.

Susan Schweik said...

I found some amazing unruly autobiographies by some very poor disabled people writing in protest of the "unsightly begging" ordinances that tried to prohibit "persons who are diseased,maimed, or deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object" from appearing in public view. The disability movement has remembered that "ugly law," but the resistance to it has been long buried. Check out the stories of the wonderfully unruly Arthur Franklin Fuller, James Bradfield, and others in my new book _The Ugly Laws_, just out from NYU press.

laurentius rex said...

I remember way back in the halcyon days of the 1970's when Student Unions still cared about the world beyond, that long being the UGM deputy chair, my time came to actually chair a meeting, the meeting dissolved in total chaos because I stuck exactly to the rules, now how anankastic can you get? :)

Unruhig and unruly, farewell to the flesh and all, The world turned upside down, and the tour abolie, (can I have my excursion ticket refunded?)

Nah my unruliness follows a very precise set of rules, it is just as well I do not know them, being the clock that has thirteen decades in an octave :)

Converstations with me, even in serious situations rarely follow the norm as with today when I had a cheque to sign and I declared I had only a vague idea of the month let alone the year, excusing this hippocampal lapse with the declaration that years are not always consistent in the number of months they contain.

I'll give you an example, when precisely was the Duke of Edinburgh born? Go google if you think there is an easy answer to that one ...