Thursday, January 11, 2018

Stepping Forward with Speechless.

In Johnny, I griped how popular movies as of late dealt with disabilities as something someone should see as a one-way street to nowhere with no alternative than to off oneself or have help offing oneself if they were once able-bodied.  Living with Spina Bifida and being married to a wonderful woman who has Cerebral Palsy, own our own home, and care for two fur babies, it pisses us off to see movies like this.

I’ve also talked about how Rory’s our grounding movie when we need to pull our heads out of our asses from pity parties.  The thing is, as brilliantly as James McAvoy and Steven Robertson portray their roles, they aren’t disabled.  The same with Daniel Day Lewis in My Left foot…brilliant, but still not disabled.

The first movie I can remember that starred a real disabled person was Mac and Me with Jade Calegory, who has Spina Bifida like me…and, he was the star, the hero…front and center with his Quickie wheelchair.  And, that’s it.  End of story.


Last year, Joey and I heard about this show debuting on ABC Wednesdays about a disabled kid and his family.  Joey and I did our research to find out that the disabled kid (Micah Fowler) was actually disabled with CP!  So, we tuned in to see what Speechless was all about.  We instantly fell in love with J.J. DiMeo and J.J.’s provider, Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough), because we could relate to them and their hijinks…the rest of the family that has Maya (Minnie Driver), Jimmy (John Ross Bowie, Ray (Mason Cook), and Dylan (Kyla Kenedy) not so much, because they were slobs using J.J. as the reason for said slobness.  That first episode was very hit and miss for us.  We talked about it for quite awhile that night and into the next day, even engaging a couple of our disabled friends as well as some able-bodied friends on Facebook.

We decided to give it another go the next week, and the show seemed to find its heart, then, even moreso in the third episode.  From there, it hasn’t looked back.

FINALLY, here this kid, who’s disabled and can talk despite the title of the show (see Labor Day)…and, he’s showing up superstar Minnie Driver just being!  Way to go, Micah!  Anyhoo, as the season progressed real-life issues were dealt with in hilariously relatable scenarios and schemes…because we’d been there living in a predominantly able-bodied world.  Hell, we were even trying to figure what model chair J.J. drove, which we think is a Permobil M300.  Of course, life isn’t always moonlight and roses, which the series has tackled with concerns of “the after” when J.J. grows up and the siblings have to fend for themselves with J.J.  These heartfelt moments have made more than misty-eyed on more than one occasion.

Neither Joey have lost our folks, thank God, but we know we’ll make it.  Where one ends, the other begins.  Giving up is not an option to be a successful disabled person…no excuses!

In my 41 years, we’ve come a hell of a way.  Yeah, we still have things to say and see changed, but Speechless is getting us going in the right direction.

Until the next time, good to each other.


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