ljlee: (Default)
Yeah yeah, it's another "LoK ruined everything" post. Run for the hills!

Reading this thread between [personal profile] chordatesrock and [personal profile] attackfish, I was reminded again of what made the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom so awesome for me. In addition to the epic story, great characters, and cool martial arts, ATLA is also a fairly progressive cartoon particularly on feminism and disability. (Okay, so the feminism is a bit ham-handed, but better than nothing, right?) It correspondingly attracted a sizable number of fans who are interested in these issues, making for great  discussions and friendships with smart people who taught me new perspectives and ideas.

Legend of Korra Book 1, by contrast, is regressive on pretty much all social issues. On the feminism front there are a couple of strong female characters in Korra and Asami, though even their developments were stunted by unclear focus and rushed writing. Otherwise, the prevailing message in LoK seems to be that the status quo is awesome and those who complain are either deceivers or dupes. LoK Book 1 also has nothing to say about disability issues, and where the story could touch on disability it veers between being silent and ridiculously offensive.

I think that's why those of us who were drawn to the socially progressive and political aspects of ATLA were underwhelmed by LoK. The fans who primarily loved the fantasy martial arts and the characters from the original show seem to be fine with the new show, and I say more power to them. (It's not that I think the second group is any less intelligent or socially conscious than the first, of course. The two groups just seem drawn to different parts of the franchise, or at least the second group is more forgiving of LoK's faults in handling social issues. Or they're more optimistic about Book 2 and onward than I am.) In the end the differences between LoK and ATLA highlighted the different reasons fans loved the franchise, and brought home what makes the ATLA fandom special to me.
ljlee: (candle)
Continuing from Part 1, here are longform articles I enjoyed that deal with cognitive disabilities including autism, schizophrenia, fetal alcohol syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

Articles on Children with Cognitive Disabilities )

Articles on Adults with Cognitive Disabilities )

I don't know about you, but I found these stories on cognitive disability several magnitudes more depressing than the ones about physical disability, maybe because there's still so much confusion and misunderstanding, and correspondingly fewer resources, for cognitive disabilities. As a bonus here's a collection of articles on autism, which I haven't read yet but plan to.

Next in Part 3 I'll introduce articles about social issues surrounding disability, including the justice system and the welfare state. Since those are pretty sobering I'll close on a higher note with several articles on disability in sports.
ljlee: (Default)
Much like music, disability issues are something I grew interested partly due to my friends, most notably attackfish, vmuzic, and chordatesrock. As with so many other subjects, Longform for me is the intellectual equivalent of dipping my toes--I'm not at the stage where I'm working on a specific project and dive into books, articles, and everything else I can get my hands on, but when a longform article comes up that is relevant to the subject I'll save it and read it.

Apropos of joining the [community profile] disability list here are some articles I enjoyed, starting with physical disabilities, continuing into cognitive disabilities, and ending with social issues:

Congenital Physical Disabilities )

Acquired Physical Disabilities )

So those are the articles on physical disabilities I've read and enjoyed. Comments and additional resources are very welcome, of course. The next part of this post will link to and comment on articles that deal with cognitive disabilities.

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L.J. Lee

June 2016

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