Digital friends, electronic social life, podcast entertainment, filmed performance: all good, but no substitute for the real live thing.
Not living in London, access (including financial access) to the phenomenon known simply as 2012, was problematic. Knowing no local people with any real interest in experiencing the Cultural Olympiad, I actually felt far more isolated than involved.
I was at the mercy of the media, and misleading statements like The Best Disability Arts practitioners are at the Southbank. Arguably some of the best were; some of the best were not, I found it important to remind myself as I struggled to negotiate the London Trap.
I had friends who were doing the Oparalympics, and it was interesting to observe how they reacted to all the media hype about the New Attitude to disability and disabled people.
I'm planning to make a record during the coming months, of the progress of my personal legacy from the Oparalympiad, and since I won't be taking up any new sports, we are talking cultural legacy here and my expectations have been raised.
To ensure fair measurement I am working on a lympiometer.
Areas to be measured include inspiration, motivation, productivity, heritage happiness and sense of integration.
Keen to get some numbers into the lympiometer as soon as possible, I actually started before the Oparalympiad was over:
Inspiration? Emotional Oparalympiad exhaustion was draining any personal hopes of inspiration, so not much to record here. I'm working hard at maintaining the sparks already lit, and currently relying heavily on the Blue Peter strategy.
Motivation? Mmmh. Another zero score. The overwhelming (tantalising and mostly out of reach), offer of so unbelievably much packed into such a short period of time, seemed to function more as a deterrent. I'm having to exert a lot of pressure on myself to battle doubts and keep going.
Productivity? Ooops a minus score here. I am still working, but slowing. Things are bound to improve if I can just hang on in there.
Heritage happiness? Too soon to tell. I'm feeling very mixed up right now. I feel a bit like my artist has creative indigestion; nothing serious, just an uncomfortable lack of happiness and reasons to persevere.
Integration? A section of the population is more aware and more openly curious.
The blanket shade of pity has nuances; the Lexi-effect has people speculating on my capabilities, none of this feels very inclusive - yet.
Disability? How do I feel about being disabled? Confused, inadequate, defensive - all those supercrips are kind of overwhelming.
Do I have expectation of improvement? Yes definitely! My 2012 Day needs time to sink in, and that New Attitude is surely going to have a positive effect on paralife
As the nation gets back on it's wheels after being knocked down in reverence and awe over those brave and inspirational wheelless and nondisabled heroes, a plan to preserve and protect the MonoLympic legacy is being rolled out. Lynda, the charismatic face of MonoLympic has informed the world, that the flame of Cultural Access Diversity will not be allowed to dim.
Lynda has also issued a statement explaining how it has been possible to award Platinum, best in show, when clearly the MonoLympic is still warming up.
A programme of cut-backs, die-backs, and terminal wilt in the roll-up to CAD, resulted in a series of cost saving initiatives that included implementing some forgone conclusions.
It is expected that, given the amazing success of the MonoLympic, many of these conclusions will be reinterpreted; using advanced techniques of modern think-logic-think, it may be possible to reallocate funding previously diverted to less inspirational diversionary tactics.
The allocation of metallic lumps, symbolic of the competitive phase of CAD, has already been replaced by a rigorous entry procedure which will eliminate unsuccessful candidates before they can be a drain on the public purse; this naturally renders all future awards ceremonies obsolete.
Sit tight, friends, the
rest of the show
is on it's way.
a cup of tea,
while we roll up
those brave, but
get this show
on the road.
It has been pointed out to me that my terminology might possibly be interpreted as offensive, and I have been given this opportunity to apologise.
My superior, a person with six wheels as apposed to my four, has explained that the use of the terms: 'lacking wheels' and 'wheelless' does have less constructive implications.
I must make it plain that I use the term 'wheelless' in a purely descriptive way and similarly the phrase 'lacking wheels' is purely a factual observation.
The negative or derogatory values associated with the words 'less' and 'lacking' should not be assumed to be present in these descriptive clarifications of a person or persons' mobility specification.
I have no wish to offend anyone, indeed some of my best friends manage exceedingly well without wheels and will happily testify that I am in no way mobility prejudiced; confidentially, I'm chair of a charity devoted to improving the self esteem of wheelless people; so before you complain, take a moment to observe those legs that are your unenhanced substitute for wheels.
Take them out for a run, kick a ball with one of them, wriggle your way through a rumba; does that feel offensive? I hope not, I hope you can be proud of your wheelless state and admit honestly and with pride that you do indeed lack wheels.