Saturday, February 20, 2010

* Shut-in; Shut-Out; Shut-up ?

One person who supports the “Family Guy” staff in this latest debate is Andrea Fay Friedman, the 39-year-old actress and public speaker who provided the voice of Ellen in that episode [which had a Downe's syndrome girl on a date say her "father was an accountant and my mother is the former Governor of Alaska"] . . .
Ms. Friedman continued, “My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.”
(N.Y. Times, 2/20/10)

They used to be called shut-ins. And that's literally what they were: Shut in to their houses, shut in to their disability, shut in to themselves.

And they were Shut-outs.

Then came the Eunice Kennedy whirlwind and The Special Olympics and the Americans for Disabalities Act and the world changed: Shut out no more!
Thank God or Social Conscience or whatever you want to thank. But Thank Something.

Last night's CBS Evening News had a segment on a wheelchair inventor, an engineer confined to a wheelchair himself, who has created a foundation to distribute his inexpensive, rough-and-tumble, accessible parts, wheelchairs (bicycle tires, for example)around the world.

I used to know a wealthy lady in New Haven who lived to be 99. At 98, dressed in a mink coat, she would have her nurse hold her arm while she used an ice-chopper with the other arm to remove ice from her sidewalk. She had little effect on the ice but it was good theatre and better inspiration: she would not be shut-in by weather, age, or wealth.

Don't shut in and don't shut out and whatever you do don't shut up!


This Family Guy/Palin "discourse" is a very healthy public scrap.

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