Glee is as terrible as I remember

As per request, here is my review of Glee Season1: Episode Nine “Wheels.” Full disclosure, I have seen this before; this isn’t my type of show but after it was on for a few seasons I caved in to peer pressure and binged watch it but I don’t remember much other than it didn’t really like it. No particular reason, I just don’t really like musicals and ended up fast forwarding through most of it.

First off, Kevin McHale, who is not disabled, plays a character who uses a wheelchair. He probably has paraplegia? Most every character in a wheelchair is a guy who is paralyzed for some reason. I would postulate that it’s about infantilisation but most romance novels with a disabled lead they have a hero that is paralyzed so there must be something romantic to normal people about it.

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So, apparently, Artie, the wheelchair dude, is supposed to go on a field trip to a singing competition but he can’t get a ride because the school doesn’t want to pay for the short bus. I’m sure this does happen in a lot of places but when I was in school the county didn’t want to be sued for discrimination so they would cancel field trips and blame it on me (like Artie, I was the only disabled kid mainstreamed) so of course I was pressured into saying “never mind me, you guys have fun.” Science camp was the only thing they didn’t condescend to me about, I was told year before it happened two not even ask because I wasn’t going even if I could get a parent to go with me. I was stoked about not having to go until I found out I still had to go to school that whole week and do bookwork to make up for what I was. “missing.”

Unlike on Glee, there was no way any of the normal kids were going to ride on the short bus with me.

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OMG, they had Artie sing “dancing with myself.” This is why I couldn’t watch the show.

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Okay, yeah, I definitely skipped this episode the first time around… Watching it now makes me daydream about eating glass.

So, Mr. Woke shames the whole class four alienating Artie which completely puts him on the spot. This is definitely realistic but what isn’t is Artie admitting his feelings got hurt and then going along with the club being forced to do a bake sale to raise money for the short bus and for being forced to use wheelchairs for a few hours every day the rest of the week. I can’t imagine even able-bodied writers could think this was plausible. Unless he is graduating or moving away next week why would he do this? Why would he alienate himself further? Why would he be okay with being the scapegoat for everyone being unprepared for competition? How could he be stupid enough to sit by while everyone is punished for discriminating against him in order to get them to learn why discrimination is bad? In high school. Is he trying to get the shit kicked out of him?

Obviously having these able-bodied students use wheelchairs to learn what it’s like to be disabled is incredibly offensive. Being disabled is a 24-hour job, needing a wheelchair is more than simply sitting in a chair with wheels, making marginalization and novelty is disgusting.

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It’s kind of interesting to see how differently they all sit in their wheelchairs (and how the hell did they get such nice wheelchairs? The retirement center or wherever they borrowed them from definitely wouldn’t have ones this nice.) It would be nice to see more wheelchair using characters sit normally like Kurt, the guy in the front.

Normalizing it like that would have definitely cut down on the amount of times people asked me if I was faking my disability because I had my legs crossed.

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Huge slur on a cute sign, nice.

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Hahaha… The girl coded as retarded is friends with a girl who actually has down syndrome and she cheats off of her which is funny because obviously the girl with down syndrome must be dumb even though she’s mainstreamed and in the exact same classes as everyone else.

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I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious… But she isn’t treating the girl with down syndrome equaling “despite” her disability, she’s doing it because she has a thing for people with down syndrome. She’s already said she would let someone in a wheelchair on the squad so it isn’t about equality.

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Jesus Christ. And I’m still in the middle of the episode. I think I’m getting a migraine.

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I definitely have a migraine.

This is beyond offensive.

This chick is forcing a restaurant to hire her friend because he’s disabled and of course he’s just faking it.

It’s not funny and it’s not even original. Disabled people go through so much because people don’t believe us, especially those of us with invisible disabilities. Perpetuating this idea that we fake it for the “benefits” leads directly to the assault and murder of people in our community. All joking aside, I honestly feel so disgusted it’s hard to continue watching.

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So maybe they knew that handicap was a slur but they just aren’t giving any fucks.

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His girlfriend pretended to have a stutter to distance herself from other people and now that he knows he’s upset because she gets to be normal and he still isn’t. Um… A stutter does not equal a disability. She was already normal. Do these writers actually think that being paralyzed and having a speech impairment is equally disabling? Really?

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Kill me.

What being a disabled millennial like

I guess it’s been exactly a year since I started blogging. I started writing with the intention of gaining some perspective in my life and it totally worked. I’m right and everyone is terrible.

At the start of the year I had my trusty neuromuscular disease which makes it impossible for me to physically care for myself, my mother’s Alzheimer’s had gotten to the point where she could no longer physically or mentally care for herself, auntie had been in my life for a few years helping me try to get her medical help and deal with the endless paperwork x2 that comes with disability. She was the only family member that even pretended to make an effort in my life, but the stress of it was obviously getting to her.

And I was losing my god damn mind so I started this blog.

The major thing I realized is something I already thought I knew; being disabled is like being in a completely different reality that normal people only have some vague sense of, like gravity but really can’t comprehend. What I specifically learned throughout this year, though, is that they willfully remain ignorant because of their narcissism.

That sounds incredibly rude but in some cases I mean it in the nicest way. Some able-bodied people simply never learned that TV isn’t real. When they hear anything about the reality of living a disabled life and how it has nothing to do with your health but everything to do with violent bigotry they try to convince you that any bad situation is an outlier. ABs refuse to acknowledge disability to avoid feeling guilty; those people legitimately don’t know how common and easy it is to step over a dying body while complaining about the smell.

There are some people who genuinely don’t know better and so they are eager to help, impatient for the praise. It’ll get them praise, but they can’t handle it for long.
For my Mormon uncle it was the very minute that I called him to let him know that his sister was sick that he became overwhelmed and he insisted we both be sent to homes. He had no idea why I was so opposed to the suggestion because it wasn’t as if anyone would want to rape me or anything.

I know I heard that clearly because he was screaming it through the telephone.

Auntie pressured me into putting mom into a home and then to make sure I can make no decisions she told them I was mentally ill and all around general liar so I wasn’t allowed to have contact with my mother. After mom got kicked out after week for unruly behavior I found out from the carefully worded discharge papers that she had been raped in the shower. Whether Auntie knew that are not I don’t know but it was the last time I ever saw her.

Up until then, though, Auntie worked incredibly hard to help us but the weight of sainthood became too much. There were multiple times where she would throw my medical cards at me from the end of my bed while yelling at me for not knowing how to love correctly. To her credit, she wasn’t completely wrong.

She said I was being condescending when I constantly apologized for being a burden and then I halted every conversation with the incessant need to thank everyone for just being there. True. It took me being forced into a role-play game before I really understood that.

I like helping people out. I like seeing people relieved and happy when I can unexpectedly provide a solution. I like feeling that I can have at least a slight impact on other people that isn’t horrible.

What I don’t like is people making it weird by being awkward, thanking and apologizing to me every few seconds. When they insist on thanking me it hurts my feelings because it seems like they’re surprised I would do something nice. When people won’t stop thanking me it’s alienating. When someone puts you on a pedestal is not only objectifying but lonely because you’re no longer equal.

What I still don’t understand is what the hell I’m supposed to do.

When I go somewhere I have to get their permission to go. When I do something I have to get their permission to do it. When I eat I have to have proven that I’m worth the waste and produce.

How can I not thank them?

How can I take the risk of not thanking them?

It used to infuriate me and people told me I had no idea what the “real world” was like when the only world they know is Pollyanna’s but now I can’t help but agree. In the real world you don’t have to pretend not to know your friends in public.  In the real world you go to the police for help instead of avoiding them. In the real world you don’t apologize to other people when they hit you. In the real world strangers don’t tell you that your God’s punishment on humanity. In the real world you check the mailbox for bills, paperwork to fill out for permission to live for another month.

In the real world a real person wouldn’t have their healthcare taken away for having an extra $100 in the bank, a real person would be allowed to have more than $2,000. Especially if everything was as expensive in the real world as it is here.

Even after a year finally coming to terms with never getting the promotion to human I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Although I have to fight for it every day I’m still living in my home, unlike my ancestors. Even if I’m not allowed to own it.

Also unlike my ancestors I’m trapped inside my bedroom but I have the technology to talk to people all over the world. Not people from the real world but people like myself who are going through the same things that I am. I never know how long I have them but thanks to the sheer number of us I’m never alone. More and more of them grow exhausted and are forced to commit suicide but it’s a less lonely than it would’ve been even just over a decade ago.

We have the ability to communicate and create things as long as it’s not in exchange for currency and because of that and realizing that there are people in the real world who do care about what’s going on in the outskirts of The Real World™; AB and NT people my age, millennial’s who have helped me survive with much more dignity than any other American generation has before them.

I’ve proofread homework in exchange for dinner. I’ve written essays on Deadpool in exchange for toilet paper. I’ve reviewed movies for hair dye.

I have no hope for society itself but I have hope for humanity now that I know that there are people unlike my family but things haven’t changed enough for me to even have a conclusion to this post. Still, I have the ability to make this post and as pathetic as it is I’m thankful for that.