Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The attention they deserve…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?


An article posted by the anti-abortion website Live Action News  caught my attention yesterday.

Maybe because I’m the younger sister of an adult with autism  and I'm beyond fed up with people lavishing praise on how cute special needs kids are even as they fail to support funding for programs that would improve the lives of those oh so adorable children.

Or mayhap tis because the article seems to assume that people may have an abortion after testing indicates Downs Syndrome is because they think they may give birth to an unattractive infant.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

No, I think it was the title of the article that caught my eye…Special-needs children receiving the attention they deserve

Yep, that’s what stepped on my nerve and did a gig.

Speaking from personal experience…

Special needs children need the same attention that special needs adults require…programs, opportunity, health care, and support for their families so they can focus on meeting those special needs instead of going broke trying to pay for them.

Special needs children need funding…so that living in a rural area or having working poor parents doesn’t translate into a lack of access to services.

They need trained teachers who won’t drag them down the hallway.

They need respect, so that the pain of bullying doesn’t limit their lives.

As we know well in Missouri, special needs children need to be protected from religious exemptions that are used to deny coverage for...wait for it...health care that would actually meet their special needs.

And special needs kids need people to acknowledge that they will become special needs adults…maybe not as “cute”, but certainly in need of housing, jobs, health care, and protection from exploitation or bullying.

I wish special needs kids and adults with special needs were getting the attention they deserve.  You know, maybe meeting their special needs instead of trying to make the case that they exist to help so-called “normal” people “look at life in a new way – a simpler way” while the sight of them magically instills “gratitude for the little things”.

But I guess they’ll have to make do with being fetishized in the service of anti-abortion politics for now.

Pause...sip more coffee...continue.

Anyhoo, I think two young brothers of sisters with special needs make a stronger case for respect here -> http://youtu.be/ObPoZCTTVeI 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

For reproductive justice…


On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade...

I do not blog for choice.

I blog for reproductive justice.

Her name was Anna Brown.

She was 29 years old and lived in my hometown of St. Louis city.

As I gaze at her mug shot gazing back at me from the online news article, I can’t help but wonder if I ever crossed her path…if I ever drove by Anna and her 2 children or sat beside her on the train.

I blog for the right to have children.

Anna Brown lost her home in the 2010 tornado that hit the area.

She lost her job at a sandwich shop sometime after.

She lost her children when child welfare agents determined that the ramifications of poverty and unemployment created unfit living conditions.

I blog for the right not to have children.

And Anna lost her life, after hours of unimaginable agony due to blood clots in her legs, on the floor of a jail cell in St. Louis County.

Anna Brown arrived in that jail cell because she refused to leave the emergency room at St. Mary’s Health Care. 

I blog for the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.

St. Mary’s felt that Anna was trespassing.  In a statement after the circumstances of Anna Brown’s death were made public, the hospital all but admitted that her impoverished state was a factor in the poor care given and the callous disregard paid to Anna Brown.

“The sad reality is that emergency departments across the country are often a place of last resort for many people in our society who suffer from complex social problems that become medical issues when they are not addressed. It is unfortunate that it takes a tragic event like this to call attention to a crisis in our midst.”

Some people hear the tale of Anna Brown and think that she got was she deserved…an agonizing death on the floor of a jail cell caught on tape while police officers ignored her moans of pain.

Others feel that Anna’s story is a sad reflection of the limits of medicine…they buy the lie that Anna’s care was not related to her poverty and that the hospital would have done the same shit if Anna Brown had been a middle class white soccer mom.

But many of us in the movement know better…just as we know that far too many people have a pro-choice battle plan even though we are fighting a reproductive justice war.

There can be no peace…no rest…no big win or huge victory.

There can be no celebration until the Anna Brown’s of the world are given care and support.

Until the Sybrina Fulton’s of the world can welcome their son’s home instead of plan their funerals.

Until the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments guides our public policy and is our communities' focus.

Until then and because of all that and so much more, I blog…I work…I act for reproductive justice.

For Anna, I pledge to never forget and never give up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let’s misbehave…

Shall we?


I watched Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong last night.  Well, I watched it until Scandal came on and then dissed his ass for my current television addiction.  I have no shame and I prefer fictional drama to real world bullshit.

Anyhoo…

Lance Armstrong confessed to doping…and lying…and bullying folk who tried to come clean about all that shit.

But I’m not all that interested in Lance Armstrong’s admission.

I’m far more interested in the reaction of regular folk.

As a sports fan, I’m disturbed by the use of banned substances.  Armstrong explained that he didn’t think he was cheating because he didn’t feel that he was gaining an unfair advantage on his opponents since (in his opinion) they all used banned substances too.  But what Armstrong conveniently overlooks it that the sport of cycling existed before him…and his “wins” are measured against those of athletes who sure as shit didn’t cheat.

That truth is felt most strongly in the sport of baseball.  Doped up assholes have “broken” records set before performance enhancing drugs where even a rumor.  And baseball is a sport of statistic and records.  I find it particularly weak that baseball players celebrated breaking a record set by athletes who didn’t have personal trainers or medically enhanced diets…people who accomplished amazing things on the field with guts, skill, and determination.  It says a lot about a person…it really does…if they can knowingly hit a mark through enhancement that [insert baseball legend here] set despite the lack of modern technology.

As I said, I’m far more interested in the reaction of regular folk. 

I’ve heard far too many people say that this shit isn’t a big deal. 

And then those dismissive people follow that up with the same excuse Armstrong gives…that everyone does it.

Lance Armstrong and all the other doped up cyclist took the sport of cycling and turned it into WWF on a bike.

Baseball has also changed from a fascinating sport of strategery and fielding prowess into a never-ending and somewhat predictable muscle-bound homerun derby.

And what was once an opportunity to cheer personal achievement…to witness athletes battle their limitations and insecurities to achieve victory or concede in defeat…has been exposed to be an inside joke.

Fans have been punked and it seems that sits just fine with many of them.

Fuck the rules.

Pre-doped achievements and records be damned.

We’re in the “but every body does it” era now.

Mayhap they’ll start including a list of each athletes favorite performance enhancing drugs on their collectable cards!

Yay.

Blink.

Monday, January 07, 2013

HOCKEY!

A belated happy [insert winter holiday and the New Year here] to all y’all!


I’ve been handling a ton of offline shit and taking part in my annual “do I really want to keep blogging?” mental exploration…but now I’m back on the scene. 

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

There’s a ton of shit going on, but I’d like to focus on something to celebrate…NHL HOCKEY IS BACK!

And that means Blues hockey is back!!!

Pause…do happy dance in couch-based area…continue.

After a long ass and extremely painful lockout, the league and players reached a tentative deal and hockey may start as early as next week.

I haven’t read the background on what they’ve all agreed on, but it had better be some long-term shit that will prevent this from happening for years.

What?

Oh, I fretted over the fiscal cliff…and I'll be wringing my hands over the debt ceiling too…but this bitch thrives on hockey and anything that prevents that puck from dropping results in serious distress!

And the sorta-deal was reached just in time for my return to practicing the fine art of bitchitude. 

Happy, happy, happy and joy, joy, JOY!

***logs off to make offering of gratitude to the hockey gods***