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Image description: Five Tarot cards appear on a table covered in a blue tablecloth. The hanged man card is closest to the left corner propped against a piece of rose quartz. The hanged man is hanged by his foot, is wearing a blue shirt and red leggings and has a yellow halo to symbolize his enlightenment.

We Cannot, Should Not Return to Same World, Precariously Placed On The Edge of “Reality”

I do not stand alongside those that claim we romanticize this time of solitude when the world seems locked-down and we are alone at one with our thoughts, nor do I herald a call from the marketers of our day — among them a woman that wistfully giggled at the foolishness and profit from her company of convincing women of the “benefits” of shoving polished stones into their vaginas — to fiddle while the rest of the world wrestles with now ineffectual opiates that once distracted them from the deep unfairness of the systems we’ve created. …


Over-rationalization, Tone Policing, and Why the Disabled Can’t Just Be Happy About Ableism?

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Trevor Noah delivers his monologue on disability representation. Noah, a medium-dark complected mixed-race man with black, short hair and black eyes, is wearing a white dress shirt and a dark blue blazer with a grayish-black tie. He is holding a blue cue card and sitting at a reflective desk, and behind him are mixed images from monuments in Washington, D.C.

I teach students about ethics and philosophy, so of course I use Aristotle’s texts early in the course. It’s not that any of the Classic Western philosophers are perfect… or even non-ableist — it’s often the exact opposite. However, that’s not to say that the toga-wearing crowd didn’t occasionally get some things right. One useful tidbit illustrated by Aristotle is that virtues, when practiced incorrectly, can become vices. My students are often perplexed as to how this can be. This is where I turn to the sometimes-dubious virtue of rationalization.

Nothing’s wrong with attempting to be rational, but some things shouldn’t be rationalized. If one tries hard enough, they can find that they can rationalize away some of the worst treatment forced upon other groups of human beings. This unvirtuous rationalization occurred prominently in the commentary upon the article I wrote critical of Microsoft’s Autism hiring program — “They have to make money!” …


Hannah Gadsby’s Takedown of the ‘Before His Time’ Narrative about Van Gogh, the Social Model of Disability, and Persistent Disabled Unemployment

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Australian Autistic comedian Hannah Gadsby appears in her Netflix special, “Nanette,” pictured here a white woman with short dark hair wearing blue-framed glasses, a black T-shirt, and a blue blazer in front of a microphone with her hand on her chest.

In her hit Netflix special, Hannah Gadsby — a comedian who has also recently revealed that she is Autistic — takes on the romanticized myth of Van Gogh’s lack of an artistic career despite his clear ability. The myth is that Van Gogh was “ahead of his time.” Gadsby responds that this is a ridiculous proposition:

People believe that Van Gogh was just this misunderstood genius, born ahead of his time. What a load of shit. Nobody is born ahead of their time! It’s impossible. Maybe premie babies, but they catch up. Artists don’t invent zeitgeists, they respond to it….

[Van Gogh] was not ahead of his time. …

About

Shaun Bryan

Writer, scholar, and activist, communications consultant

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