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Richard Downes - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

She Never Looked Sicker / 20 December 2013

Katherine Araniello - Sick At Being Normal

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I've just caught up with Katherine Arianiello's latest blog on DAO, Wot a laff, It surely can't be the first time a committed disability artist has played with identity by assuming the role of a normal person with the disadvantages that brings, Indeed, how many of us have done this on a daily basis - myself included. Mainstreaming. Being the supercrip. Letting normal society put on us with their interminable list of aches and pains and other uninspired melodramas, Oh! the boredom of being normal.

But, Katherine has set the bar exceedingly high this time. The Sick Bitch Crip has never looked so sick. How good could it get if she wasn't normal and experienced differences that she could be proud of. Oh! She does and she is but not in this show. Here she is pathetic, wretched, claims to be suffering the trauma of having to live a normal life.

It is at this point, having nearly wet myself, that I recall a tune we used to chant on the old DAN demo's. "We want what you've got". But do we? Do we really want to go to the bar and have a drink with our friends without support, transport, doors that will open? Do we want not to be stared at, not to be enquired of, not to be shunned. What would that do to our energy levels, what would there be to be pissed of, as the world turns grey; even in cocktail dresses. Its a massive dilemma. Katherine bravely, as a normal person, calls for help, worries that no charity is there to help her - that a world has fallen away, and all that happens instead is a maudlin state of inclusion. Surely we should be calling for better than this.

And therein lies a nub, The normals don't really not have anything to worry about. Keeping up with the Jones's must be an awful drag esecially when you know what awful drags the Jones's are. Its not that they're bad. Its just that they're different. Poor souls that they are, on the scale of context they're right down there. Do we care. Can we not give them a hand. Shouldn't we all be demanding better than this (in life I mean - not than the film, 'Katherine's Story' which is a hellfire winner).