Facebook / 23 April 2009
It had to happen I suppose, I’ve joined Facebook, or rather I’ve had to join Facebook; not that I mean that I was forced to join, just that if I wanted to find out more about the ‘We shot Pudsey Bear’ movement I had to be a member of Facebook, so I joined (still with me?!).
As I understand it, the ‘We Shot Pudsey Bear’ concept originated from that young fireball Clair Lewis who wanted to recreate the energy of the Telethon demos that a lot of us were involved in during the nineties. Clair, as many of you will know, is also the Manchester focus for the Direct Action Network (DAN) and spends a great deal of her time networking with other crips via the internet (as well as writing and performing some of the most powerful crip anthems that we’ve heard from within the movement for a long time).
The Telethon protests provided a real focus for our ‘Rights Not Charity’ message and did a lot to bring it to the attention of the non-disabled public. It was also great fun shouting at the various celebrities who turned up every year to be seen doing their bit for the poor unfortunate handicapped. I can still recall Terry Wogan coming across to a crowd of us at the barrier outside of Broadcasting House and informing us that we were doing a great disservice to Disabled people (his wigs weren't as varied as they are now by the way!).
“Image what would happen if the public stopped giving to charities” he asked us in all seriousness.
He really didn’t understand why we all fell about laughing, and had gone by the time we got ourselves together enough to explain that this was the whole point of the exercise!
Linked to this Facebook group are links to other projects, such as the one that suggests that we boycott any programme featuring Jonathon Ross due to his continued patronising attitude towards disability and his equally unfunny disablist jokes and put downs. I personally found his juvenile drivel so irritating that I stopped listening to him years ago (so I suppose I’m already a member of this group by default!).
Having already mentioned an earlier version of Terry Wogan, it seems that he’s made no move at all towards any real understanding of Disabled people or why we should still be protesting about the way in which we’re portrayed by him and other so called celebrities. Indeed his bizarre fixation with this yellow stuffed toy seems to have increased as the years have rolled by. Perhaps the time has come to start producing little stuffed Wogans?!
In fact I think I’ll start a new Facebook group – ‘I shot Terry Wogan's wig’!
By the way if you’ve never heard our Clair sing, give yourself a treat and log on to her page on My Space ( http://www.myspace.com/clairlewis ) where she’s got four great songs listed - and for an extra bit of therapy click on the video link and sing along!