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> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Raising A Glass To The Next 50 Years of Jimmying

13 October 2012

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On October 13th 2012 I read that Penny Pepper was appearing at StorySLAM:Live on the south bank. It's theme "your five-minute story around the theme of '50', as WE celebrate the 50th Koestler Trust Award anniversary". I imagined myself a slammer and this came out. 50 years of jimmy in the kids home 50 years more in special school 50 years again detained at her majesties pleasure 50 years pleasuring the unpleasant A further 50 adding to all the 50's in all the world Until old, battered...

Comments: 5

Touched by the hand of Jimmy Savile

12 October 2012

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a manipulated image of jimmy savile placing more emphasis on his hands rather than his face

 A response from a member of the We All Shot Pudsey Bear facebook group invited to the Burn Pudsey Friday event suggested that we should target the beeb for direct action. This has been done before and it is not the first call that i've heard for the same. I've never felt able to lead in this way but i've been thinking about things and I am wondering what the interest and commitment would be like. My first thought was maybe we could add that sad olympic mascot Mandeville to the burning...

Comments: 5

EMPOWERMENT

10 October 2012

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photo of a protestor pictured holding up a placard

Once upon a time on a wode tip at Shepherds Bush Empire, Arch Drude Julian Cope said; "The most empowering thing I ever heard was you know". And you know what? After a moments reflection - I did. I know. What? Everything. When? Now. Where? Everywhere. How so? Just so. There is no need for me to ask because I know. Watching Magical Mystery Tour, the arena show, on BBC TV IPlayer I caught sight of the attached manipulated image. It has someone carrying a placard in front of a...

Comments: 2

My Bed - A Thought Provoked by Trish Wheatley's Description of Liz Crow's Forthcoming Exhibition

9 October 2012

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I'll never get over bed

I always enjoyed my bed The time that I spent there. Ill or not There was a time it was central Located near everything The Tea Pot The records The player Adornments of a life In Bedsit land People would come visit Sit around the bed The bed that I would stay in Two friends Left me there one night and let me sleep before leaving I felt blessed by their kindness But my bed has a longer history than that For many years it was just a staging post between falling asleep and working Short hours...

Comments: 2

Historical dates

8 October 2012

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UK Disability History Month logo

Tomorrow Tuesday: Nabil Shaban celebrates John Lennon's Birthday on 9th October by launching on Kindle the original first draft and performance draft of his play 'I am the Walrus'. Nabil introduces the event as: "The world believes Mark Chapman killed John Lennon... but Broadmoor psychiatric patient, Charlie Markham, a little man in a wheelchair, knows he, Charlie was the real killer, even though he was Lennon's 'Number One Fan'. These drafts date back to 2001 when Nabil Shaban, disabled...

Comments: 1

Welcome To the 5th Annual Burn Pudsey Friday

1 October 2012

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cartoon of a yellow bear with a spotty bandage and a smile - with a gun pointing at its head

The We All Shot Pudsey Bear Facebook Group started its Burn Pudsey Friday Event five years ago. It always coincides with The Children In Need telefon event and so if nothing else saves us from watching crap tv with crap celebs doing crap things. So if you are looking for something to do on 16th Novemeber 2012..... Historically the page started when Clare Lewis sent me a picture of Pudsey with a bullet wound, a gun and the slogan 'I Shot Pudsey Bear'.  I found this extremely funny - though...

Comments: 0

Chatting to A Chugger 4

26 September 2012

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Crippen's Problem cartoon

We are walking through a busy Camden High road, too wrapped up in each other to notice the people funneling around the chugger so it is we find ourselves face to face with the garroulous scottish one. "You ever heard of Battersea Dogs Home?" "Yes" "Are you english?" "No" I am english. Its just sometimes that when people ask me direct yes no questions i alternate my answers. Its fun to see how long it takes people to cotton on that i'm playing with them....

Comments: 3

Katherine Arianello's Sick

13 September 2012

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A still from Katherine's video with the words

Sick Follow the link to Sick to get good earthy you tube exposure to Katherrine Arianello - a video that she feels is on the edge, a video that she feels some discomfort with, a video that gives a message that may be misunderstood by some. A mighty risk. 'I am sick. I am disabled'. on the one hand we operate in a culture that seeks to minimise the impact of out impairments on ourselves. On the other we collectively celebrate our difference without necessarilly understanding what that difference...

Comments: 0

More Yoko - No 7. A Maze In Room

3 September 2012

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At last; the time and space to do my last piece on Yoko's To The Light exhibition. I've been 3 or 4 times now. All pieces but this one was based on the first visit when i could not face down a moster called FEAR in spite of the instruction on the back wall 'Be grand', despite of the fact that I know a secret that would have helped.   In this room Yoko has constructed a maze made out of perspex. I know what awaits me in the metaphorical centre - myself. But that's not what i'm afraid of. I...

Comments: 0

Paralympic Censorship

2 September 2012

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Following on from the perceived protests by Team GB at the opening of the paras and the actual protests at the Closing of ATOS Ceremony by DPAC and UK Uncut it seems relevant to demand the truth.   Was there a protest or not? Could it be that Team GB were the only team that could not cope with wearing lanyards in the wind? Was there a sudden pandemic of collective amnesia within the ranks? Are we the only nation on earth that doesn't know how to dress properly?   It certainly...

Comments: 0

The Paralympics - Reinforcing Attitudes Towards Disability

30 August 2012

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I boycotted the Olympics because of the involvementof ATOS. I was going to boycott the Paras for the same reason only listening to friends and adding my own prejudices I added Dow, McDonalds and Coca Cola to the mix. Then I started to change my mind. Someone said the fourth principle of the Paras is equality. I can support that. Then articles on access started to appear in the press and media. Even Disabled People Against Cuts and other activists groups began to get a mention. I can go with all...

Comments: 8

Documentary Evident - Searching For Sugar Man

30 August 2012

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As a reader of friday and weekend reviews I have noticed a hunger for documentaries. My initial feeling about this was pphhhfffff!!!! so what. But is seems that I have finally succumbed and i blame the wife who took me to see Marley earlier in the year.   Last night we went to see Searching.... at the Curzon Soho and stumbled upon an extraordinary story which i'll spend some time on later but first the Curzon Soho. I'm no expert on access and i would need someone to back this up and find...

Comments: 0

More Yoko No 6 - Engaging with the Medical Model

26 July 2012

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Bronze shoes with red paint on them exhibited before the Vertical memory Photographs

The room has four walls. One leading outside is full of windows. No art stands there. The other three walls hold a collection of photos in horizontal line. Each of the photos are the same as the one before. It is a blurred photo. Probably a portrait of a man who wears glasses. It is hard to tell. The piece is called Vertical Memory and is dated 1997. But you said it's a horizontal line and its called vertical. Why is that? Each photo represents an event in life. In life we grow tall - well,...

Comments: 0

The Revolution Starts Here - Just As It Started There Before

18 July 2012

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Can I get something off my chest please. I just don't like the sub heading being used by the Southbank to push Unlimited. I don't like it so much my mind refuses to capture it but I think its; "The Revelation Starts Here...". I don't like it because it sounds a little bit holy moly for my taste. Its biblical man. Anybody else here remember the campaigns against Maurice Cerrulo and the like. Healers. Pah!!! It strikes me as being almost anti disabled people. And this is so...

Comments: 1

Get stuck into Karamel Music for the last time this season

17 July 2012

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Rosely Funari is manager of the Karamel Club and she is is very serious. Every time she talks to me she talks to me about Disability Issues. I listen to her, she tells me what she is doing and then I buy a drink. Her latest pride other than employing a disabled person is the new ramp and an access audit that says other than the gap between bars the loo is accessible. She is so serious she won't even turn on the glitter ball because she was asked to turn it off once. I'm teasing her...

Comments: 0

More Yoko No 5 - Heaven and Earth

13 July 2012

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a photo of an almost bare gallery space with a piece of rag on the floor

Health and Safety Alert!!!!! John met Yoko at the Indica Gallery. He climbed a letter to find a word that said YES. He was so pleased it wasn't anything negative and therein lies the roots of a love story. It will never be repeated at the Serpentine for policies are used to stop you climbing the ladder. It strikes me that the ladder has a place between heaven and earth that some of us would prefer to have replaced by a ramp and why not. It further strikes me that in this place there exist a...

Comments: 0

More Yoko No. 4 - Votive Offering

28 June 2012

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I have an instinctive love and understanding of wish trees. I am drawn to them. They make me think. According to my old mate Wiki; “A wish tree is an individual tree, usually distinguished by species, position or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make votive offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint or goddess fulfillment of a wish”....

Comments: 5

More Yoko No 3 - Move It

26 June 2012

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It is a long walk from Tottenham Court Road Tube to the Serpentine Gallery. Made harder by an unusually hot summer's day. I wander whilst I wonder and wonder whilst I wander. Mostly I'm wondering am I going the right way. I've passed the Serpentine before. It's over there somewhere. It does seem a long way and a long time wandering. The new building surrounded by workmen's boundaries confuses further. I plod on wondering why I never depend on maps when I should and why it always comes good in...

Comments: 0

More Yoko No 2 - Yoko v We All Shot Pudsey Bear

25 June 2012

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Yoko Ono, Planting Acorns, Bagism, Bed Ins, We All Shot Pudsey Bear, We Are Spartacus, DPAC, direct action

Walking down Oxford Street en route to the Serpentine it struck me that two things I respect may be incompatible.   Yoko's great campaign is for peace. She loves you. Single equality issues such as racism, feminism, ageism can be mollified through observance of the greater cause. Her tactic's have included planting acorns, bagism (against prejudice and stereotyping) bed in's for peace (protesting war, promoting peace). Her work is best seen as an opportunity to be included, involved. She...

Comments: 0

More Yoko No 1 - Sketches from my notebook

24 June 2012

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Black and White photograph of Jan Pollock attending an ATOS action

The thought of meeting Yoko Ono - as a New Voices Writer excited me. If it came to be - and it did not - what would my interest be? Positive Activism. The Tragedy Model How to commit simple instructions as a way of overcoming personal tragedy The experience of exclusion The nature of segregation Participation and inclusivity  I will say more about Positive Activism in More Yoko No 2 - Yoko Versus We All Shot Pudsey Bear. The Tragedy Model. "Depicts disabled people as victims of...

Comments: 4

Ritual

18 June 2012

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Just wanted to write something quickly  about something i experienced last week. Our mate Ken mailed us inviting us to a ritual. Funny that.... our mate Ken.... only just started calling him that and it hits him with a frisson. On the one hand its nice, warm and means friendship. On the other hand its not a colloquialism he welcomes and demotes him from our teeacher - the maestro. For it was ken who took us through his course on Folkore, Mythology and Witchcraft. These interests are...

Comments: 0

What could the Southbank's 'Festival Of the World' be to me and you and us and them?

6 June 2012

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photo of an installation as part of Southbank Centre's Festival of the World. The installation consists of a series of extra large alphabet cubes.

I am here. You are there. Different, diverse, separate, apart. Can I share your world? Can you get into mine? I cannot speak for you. Except for those things we share. I cannot tell you what unless, in making this approach, I give you clues about what things I have myself. Clues. Games. Treasure Hunts. Learning. Sometimes in leaving my world I find other worlds I think I could make my world if I would give it a try. Snowdon. I look at the mountain range through a camera lens. I see it change...

Comments: 4

Today I Met The B Man at The Festival of the World

1 June 2012

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One of many designers at The Southbank's Festival of the World is Bee Man, not Beaman - Marc Cowan. He is the Bee Man because he likes bees. Well... partially. Not fully. He is the Bee Man bee cause he is involved in the days top story, told by someone else about a bee. The story was related by the Queen Bee. It involved Marc the Bee Man. Once upon a time we all beecame very small and found ourselves stretched out, feeding, cocoon like in a hive. Queen Bee June, the Queen of mid summer,...

Comments: 1

Another Song In the Key Of Strife - The Misanthrope

22 May 2012

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My World View Seriously Sucks

I have no idea what the word misanthrope means - not what it actually means. It sounds like a combination of misery and strop. I think it describes someone who looks at humanity through a prism of misery, is unhappy with their world view, to the point that they go away and strop about it. Driving through Somerset the other day, the car cd played 'Regeneration' (surely a positive word) by The Divine Comedy (does not sound misanthropic at all). Led by songwriter Neil Hannon who (my memory might...

Comments: 0

Self Service Psychiatry

10 May 2012

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picture of the word 'help' in capitals within a turqoise circular button

I attended a CPA yesterday. Care Programme Approach Meeting. It was the first one that my partner had been granted since 2008. She is supposed to have two a year. This was glossed over quickly by the psychiatrist who explained the lack of intervention through the excuse of reorganisation. We reorganise the office, the department, the co-working, we do all this and service users expect to be included, cared for, they go as far as asking for tolerance. Straight off he’s dealing with his...

Comments: 7

Comments

Rich Downes

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26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

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