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Disability Arts Online

7 August 2012

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Episode 5

Crippen six frame cartoon strip telling the the story of a day in the life of the O'Crypes family

This week Brad and Nan discuss equality in the Olympics

One of Mum's old Premium Bonds came up!

Most people do the Lottery these days but Mum won't have it. She says it's a voluntary tax for the poor. Gramps thinks she's beginning to get some sense ...

Gramps got the Premium Bonds for her ages ago, before I was born, back when he got his redundancy. Not that we're rolling in it - Mum says if she has to rob Peter to pay Paul any more she might have to ask Mary for a loan.

I haven't got a clue what she's on about - I think she's starting to crack up with it all - but with Jood losing her benefits we must be even more skint than usual.

But I managed to persuade Mum to take us all up to London with her winnings.

Britain has been gripped with Olympic Fever - it's as if the Olympic Flame has ignited a nation.

And I want us to be part of it just like everyone else.

But the athlete I'm really interested in isn't British - he's South African. Oscar Pistorius - the fastest man on two blades. Not that we've got any tickets. Mum says it's a scandal, all the empty seats at the events. The way she's going, she might even vote at the next election.

Anyway, Mum said yes. So we all took the train up to London. The usual fuss with ramps and being stuck near the bike rack on the train, but I was too excited to care.

I was going to see Pistorius!

We made a day of it - lunch at the Southbank, then down to Greenwich on a riverboat. We even caught the tail end of the women's marathon when we arrived in London.

Everywhere you went signage and volunteers and spectators were all saying, 'This is the greatest show on Earth'. The city was buzzing.

There was a big screen down in Greenwich and we saw it all. Rowers, cyclists and tennis players getting Gold for Team GB and then Oscar.

And guess what?

He qualified out of his heat! A Crip so fast even the Non-Crips respect him

Team GB might have won all those medals - and it was great to see a Ginger, a Mixed Race Woman, and a Muslim African cheered on by so many people - but for me it was all about Pistorius.

Kirani James of Guyana, who won the 400m semi-final Pistorius ran in the next day,  even swapped name tags with him.

Pistorius - because one day there won't be a seperate Olympics and a Paralympics. It will all just be one Olympic Games, like there are now for men and women!

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Jane Fisher

18 August 2012

I feel threatened by the ideal of the super-crip, but whether we like it or not Pistorius represents something unique about what impairment means at this point in time.

If you ask a lot of young disabled people what they think of Pistorious - politics aside - they are absolutely in awe of him. To ignore what Pistorius means, as a role model is just to put your head in the sand!


18 August 2012

Thanks for all of your comments and constructive criticisms folks. We are taking them all on board, which will hopefully reflect in our future issues.

Lynn Harrison

18 August 2012

Errmm... at one point I found myself warming to the O'Crypes, but, sadly, I find myself wondering.. what? why?

I like Crippen and so, I have stuck with it... but, it's a bit like trying to wade through treacle and I wonder what impact it's made on non-disabled folk if even disabled people are switching off?

As a communications graduate with experience in journalism and PR, it strikes me that maybe the aims and objectives weren't very clear on this project... and maybe there were too many and so most have them have got lost in a fog? Or, maybe, and I've seen this happen before and I wonder if it is a possibility here.... there have been too many demands on the creative process?? I.e. maybe fewer, clearer messages which could have been communicated in a more concise, thought-provoking and humourous way?

You can't please everyone though.

Trish Wheatley

18 August 2012

I think Brad's a bit naive! When Pistorius ran in his first heat the BBC commentator was all for his inclusion. I can't remember exactly what was said but it was along the lines of "he's a jolly nice chap and it's great for him to take part but if he starts winning medals then we are going to have a problem". I can see his point. Other athletes will just start to claim that he has a unfair advantage because they cannot race on a level playing field with him - however ridiculous that sounds to you or I.

It is a really important point to consider and one that probably extends into the realms of other pursuits and professions. What happens to non-disabled people when disabled people excel at things?! The thing about the Olympics and the problem that always persists with the Paralympics is the rules don't allow for difference. The more similar the athletes, the closer and more exciting the racing. I think that is why the Olympic movement is so difficult for people who don't fit in with that ideal image of the body. Asides from ATOS and those issues the Olympics and how disabled athletes are included/excluded reflect a problem that runs much deeper within our society.

John O\'Donoghue

18 August 2012

Did I let the old bipolar get in the way of our process here? Dave and I did have quite a discussion about this week's episode.

The storyline was my idea - Dave wasn't that keen, especially on the Pistorius angle.

But you'll remember, Gentle Readers, Brad had a thing about him since the first episode.

And also - in Dave's defence - this is a kind of graphic novelette, not the one- off cartoons Crippen is famour for, but a kind of longer extension of them.

Please bear with us - every narrative can't just be on one note and I wanted to reflect the euphoria gripping the nation - or at least me, and all the other peeps currently getting carried away.

I'm well aware, though, that euphoria is not utopia.

Don't think Dave or I have abandoned our brief!

I don't want to give too much away but Boz and Phiz - sorry! - Dave and I - as much as we want to leave our own legacy of social commentary about the Olympiad - are both very aware of the depredations currently experienced by disabled people up and down the country.

Like I said previously, there are twists and turns to come.

Bear with us?

Jo Bailey - via FaceBook

18 August 2012

Bloody Pistorius... what is this blog about? I expected a radical look at how current events and in particular the Cultural Olympiad relates to disabled people. Instead we're getting a wishy-washy meander through a series of events that seem to have no theme or direction. I expected more from Crippen. He's usually at the sharp end of disability issues with his cartoons often punching us in the guts and taking no prisoners. The strip is very well drawn, but it's just a duplication of what's been written in the blog. Sort yourself out guys. There's a lot of potential here for you to say something worthwhile about us Crips and what's happening to us!

Merry Cross

18 August 2012

I'm not sure why you needed to 'reflect the euphoria gripping the nation' as I don't think we are feeling that euphoria as disabled people...we're feeling threatened and scared! There's a heightened awareness of the fact that most of the Pralympians will lose their DLA as a bare minimum, whether they win medals or not...unless they get exemptions like the veterans!


14 August 2012

Whether we like it or not, millions of people are inspired by Pistorius. The myth of the super-crip is an interesting reversal of how we are portrayed generally. I would agree that it doesn't help us in our struggle to have our needs recognised as disabled people. But equally he strikes a sci-fi image - which makes an undeniably difficult statement about the influence and value of technology.

The fact that Brad sees injustice but is equally drawn to aspects of the Paralympics makes him more real.

Arty Farty

7 August 2012

Lovely artwork as usual Mr C but can I ask a question? What's all this with bloody Pistorius?! He's done nothing for disabled people in my opinion, other than perpetuate the 'super crip' myth - if he can do it EVERYONE can do it! What's happened to Brad's protest ... I was beginning to like him!

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