RSSAuthor Archive for Jeff Shannon

Who Killed “New York’s Toughest Detective”? — An Ironside Post-Mortem

Who Killed “New York’s Toughest Detective”? — An Ironside Post-Mortem

Don’t blame the failure of NBC’s Ironside reboot on anything to do with disability and its depiction on film and TV. As TV cops and rednecks are so fond of saying, that dog don’t hunt.

The Parking Placard Glut

The Parking Placard Glut

Supply and demand is a straightforward concept until it’s applied to the use of disabled parking permits.  That’s when you step through the looking glass into a nightmare scenario where demand for parking permits is rapidly increasing (mostly from people who don’t really need them), while the supply of accessible parking spaces is quickly running […]

Dan Murphy on the set of "American Body Shop".

New Media Trends: Disability-Friendly or Not?

Every year Hollywood studios and television networks bet their future fortunes on an expensive, nerve-wracking ritual known as pilot season. From January through April, approximately 300 new series are pitched to the studios by hopeful writers and producers. From these, perhaps 50 scripts will actually be commissioned and written, and of those, only six to […]

Allen Rucker: Laughing at Disability

Allen Rucker: Laughing at Disability

Paralyzed for Life. No laughing matter, right? Think about it. Those three words strike terror in the hearts of the nondisabled population. They carry a freight-load of negative cultural baggage, perpetuated by tear-jerking television melodramas that present “paralyzed for life” as a fate worse than death. This damaging mainstream perception is gradually fading as society […]

Want to Work?

Want to Work?

Your alarm goes off at 5 a.m. – a rude awakening, as usual. You’ve got a three-hour morning routine to contend with, and you’re never sure if your attendant will arrive on time. You’ll have just enough time to grab a bit of breakfast before loading yourself into a van (or public transit, so you’d […]

KRAZY KRIPPLES: South Park & Disability

KRAZY KRIPPLES: South Park & Disability

Earlier this year a poll was conducted on OUCH!, a Web site devoted to disability-related content in BBC programming (www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/). Users were invited to cast their votes for “The Greatest Disabled TV Character,” and for regular viewers of South Park, the results offered a pleasant surprise: By a considerable margin, the winner was TIMMY! Now, […]

Andy Cohn (left) and Scott Hogsett get into the heat of the action in Murderball.

First-Degree Murderball

Everybody knew quad rugby was a great subject for a documentary, but nobody expected that Murderball could well be the best movie ever made about living with paralysis. Sometimes movies succeed by giving audiences something they didn’t know they wanted. Megahits like Star Wars, Titanic, and The Sixth Sense succeed as phenomenal entertainment, offering something […]

Photos by Merie W. Wallace/courtesy of Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood Defends his ‘Baby’

It should come as no surprise that Clint Eastwood (born in 1930) has a somewhat “old school” concept of disability. Like many children of the Great Depression, he uses words like “afflicted” when discussing disability, benignly unaware of their political incorrectness. On the other hand, Eastwood is also a consummate gentleman, cordial, well-spoken, thoughtful, and […]

Frankie, Maggie and Me: Inside the Million Dollar Maelstrom

Frankie, Maggie and Me: Inside the Million Dollar Maelstrom

As a freshly injured C5-6 quad in the early ’80s, I was angry at the world, slamming doors and punching walls until my knuckles were bloody. My relationship with paralysis was new and confusing, and I hurled my spiteful wrath at those who least deserved it: my parents. You just don’t understand, I’d yell, convinced […]