Crip Buzz: July 2014

The Best of Disability Blogs and Banter

Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things: Disability in Game of Thrones
Tyrion-Bran
There is one scene that, early in the first season, makes explicit Game of Thrones’ affection for the underdog. In the fourth episode, Tyrion travels to Winterfell — Bran Stark’s home — on his way back from the Wall. Hodor retrieves Bran from his bedroom and carries him to meet Tyrion, who, in a gesture loaded with meaning, asks the massive Hodor to kneel so that he can address the boy. Tyrion then presents Bran with a gift: an accessible horse-riding saddle. When another character reminds Tyrion that Bran has “lost the use of his legs,” Tyrion immediately replies, “What of it? With the right horse and saddle, even a cripple can ride.” Later, Bran’s brother asks Tyrion why he wants to help the child, since the Starks and the Lannisters are rivals. “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things,” Tyrion says. It’s a touching moment of cross-ability solidarity — and it could be the show’s motto.
— Dan Harvey and Drew Nelles, www.randomhouse.ca/hazlitt/home. Harvey will be writing his doctoral thesis on the depiction of disability in Game of Thrones beginning next year.

Held Down by Red Tape, Not Disability
In “Held Down by Red Tape, not Disability,” Shawn Murinko writes about being offered the perfect job in another state. Unfortunately, his personal assistance services wouldn’t transfer across state lines and Maryland, where he wanted to move, would charge him $114,000 a year toward the cost of his care. He writes:

“Maryland bureaucrats told me they were sorry for my predicament. They even made this apology with a staffer from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) office on the phone. And, in an attempt to console me, I was told not to despair — that by already being successful, I had “won.”

What exactly did I win? Since when does winning include being shackled to one state and unable to pursue other opportunities? Since when does winning mean choosing poverty just so I can get out of bed in the morning?”
— Shawn Murinkio, Thehill.com

Taxi Benke, high school senior Rachel Benke’s service dog, made such an impression on her classmates that he was included in the school yearbook.

Taxi Benke, high school senior Rachel Benke’s service dog, made such an impression on her classmates that he was included in the school yearbook.

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