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AFF Friday

I was absent the day Sarah Palin was elected World Spokesperson for People with Down Syndrome, so I’ll just turn things over to Andrea Fay Friedman.

Posted by on 02/19 at 10:14 AM
  1. Andrea rocks. I saw her speak in Victoria. I haven’t seen the episode and although Family Guy can make me laugh pretty hard it also pushes pretty far some times. But I’m going to be immature and say that if Sarah Palin hates it, bring it on. The last person I want speaking for my family is that woman.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  11:59 AM
  2. Heathen from Ioway checking in here; haven’t visited yer blogging in quite some time, but that was also partly your fault, no?

    Anyway, hell yeah for AFF!

    and thanks for spreading the word!

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  12:01 PM
  3. Ms Friedman seems a bit confused about the former governor’s motives and intentions. Perhaps it would be clearer if she looked at Palin as a different kind of actress, one whose role demands she never quit acting.

    There are several positive references to “Dad” in this short piece. That’s a truly sincere form of a very high praise.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  12:12 PM
  4. Stepping back a bit from the Palin-as-political-and-linguistic-phenomenon stuff, the celebrity-parent-as-spokesperson phenomenon goes back to Pearl Buck at least. Of course, Palin’s self-annointment wouldn’t be nearly as problematic if she were at least a little consistent about her principles—if you’re going to criticize Rahm Emmanuel for the same behavior Rush Limbaugh engages in, you can’t just criticize one. And I’m not sure that level of judgment is easily separated from why she’s now a political celebrity.

    But even if Palin were perfectly articulate and not the political lightning-rod that she is, there would inevitably be moments when she’d be public expressing a view very different from those of a number of individuals with developmental disabilities and family members.

    Posted by Sherman Dorn  on  02/19  at  12:28 PM
  5. But wait, there’s more!

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  12:31 PM
  6. Ms. Friedman is one amazing woman - thanks for linking to this NYT piece I would not otherwise have read it.

    Captcha: “front” as in “I can see Russia from my front yard”.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  12:38 PM
  7. Um, I can only respond to this as a fanboy.  I’m a Simpsons man through and through.  Sure, Family Guy makes me laugh, but I can’t get behind it.  (However, the milk comes out the nose whenever I catch that episode with Stewie beating the hell out of Brian in the bathroom.)

    All I can say about this Palin business is this: Take our lessons from the famous “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores” episode.  If we ignore her, she might just go away.

    Posted by J. Fisher  on  02/19  at  02:00 PM
  8. The New York Times edited out what was arguably Friedman’s most important point. Here, by way of The Gawker, is the best part (emphasis added):

    ‘I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm.”

    ‘In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes."’

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  03:44 PM
  9. Isn’t criticizing Sarah Palin picking on someone with a disability?  It’s obvious she delusions of grandeur (just folks division).  The more attention we give her, the more toxic her disability becomes.

    Posted by gmoke  on  02/19  at  05:14 PM
  10. I was absent the day Michael Berube was elected World Spokesperson for People with Disabilities.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  05:41 PM
  11. There was no such day, The Not-Gimp, which is why I wasn’t on national TV complaining about “Family Guy.”

    Posted by Michael  on  02/19  at  05:43 PM
  12. It took ten whole comments before someone equated criticism of Sarah Palin with Palin’s own actions. I’m disappointed in you, Internets!

    For that matter, why haven’t we seen the obligatory “disagreement with Sarah Palin is an attempt to silence her. FREE SPEECH FOREVAH” comment? Are the trolls all out seeing “Shutter Island” or what?

    Posted by Evil Bender  on  02/19  at  06:21 PM
  13. Well, you know who else was disappointed in the Internets?  That’s right ... Hitler!

    Posted by Michael  on  02/19  at  07:24 PM
  14. "My Dear Hermann:

    I just wished to let you know how delighted I am by your latest internets.  The red velvet draperies framing the tubes really tie the whole thing together, and ...”

    Nah, my heart’s not really in it.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  08:35 PM
  15. I was shocked, shocked i say, that Palin made such a faux pas with regard to her analysis of satire.  She is a satire expert (she claims), and as such, needed to not miss this one.  Apparently she is only a satire expert when the speaker is not using satire and is attacking those damned liberals.  Then again, we can all be sure that Palin had no idea whatsoever that the part of Ellen, “the Bossy,” was played by Andrea.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  10:39 PM
  16. I was absent the day Michael Berube was elected World Spokesperson for People with Disabilities.

    Well i was there that day, and it wasn’t an election.  It was a coup, and a most dictatorial one at that, much like an election in the MLA.

    Posted by  on  02/19  at  10:42 PM
  17. Thanks for making a note about this on your blog, Michael

    To me, what is particularly interesting is not the back-and-forth over Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin’s reaction to the episode so much as the continued treatment of people with Down Syndrome (and other varying abilities) in the news outlets trusted to report what’s going on. Of the 400-odd hits on a Google news search for Family Guy/Sarah Palin issue, nearly all the journalists say things like “Down syndrome actor” (rather than treating the actress as just that, an actress, whose diagnosis is secondary to everything else that makes her who she is) and editorials talk about the “very special and moving challenges” these “Down syndrome people” face

    Well, excuse me for being straightforward, but my 18-year-old brother’s “Very Special Challenges” come NOT from a 21st chromosome but from the schools, legal system, and other institutional aspects of society that *negatively impact* his life and make living in this world more of a challenge than his genetic code (oh, and being a smart-ass 18 year old, but hopefully that’s just the last stages of adolescence)

    Of course, that’s not to say that some of the physiological aspects of his particular experiences with Down syndrome should be downplayed (i.e. being non-verbal and delayed gross and fine motors, that sort of thing), but what I find is that the simpering, uninformed news commentary (and reaction to those articles/Maher episodes--I’ve really gotta stop reading comment boards)--are contributing to barriers, rather than deconstructing them.

    By the way Michael: _Life As We Know It_ was pretty much one of the most world-altering books I have ever read

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  04:23 AM
  18. What Ariel said. All of it! And thank you for the word “simpering.” It’s what I’ve been looking for.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  09:45 AM
  19. Maybe I’m a humorless feminist, but the recent Family Guy episode with a rape joke every 4 minutes was so much more offensive. My partner and I just couldn’t laugh. And we used to love the show.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  10:41 AM
  20. Thanks so much, Ariel—for the kind words about my book, and (as Clare says) for the word “simpering.” I have to add, as long as we’re in this mode, that Ms. Friedman’s response is a lovely rebuke not only to Palin Headquarters Incorporated but also to everyone who goes around saying that the R-word is especially deplorable because it targets people who allegedly “can’t fight back.”

    And btw, I’ve been invited to teach one of those intensive three-week courses at Cornell College in May 2011.  Looks like fun!

    Posted by Michael  on  02/20  at  01:31 PM
  21. to the other annie: the nytimes that came to my doorstep this morning does have the line about sarah carrying trig like ‘loaf of french bread’ in it. love it.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  07:14 PM
  22. Warning: off topic hijacking occurring.
    Arbitrary hockey statement:
    My favorite quote of the Olympic hockey tournament so far comes from Jaromir Jagr, who, when asked why he was learning to use a slap shot, said:

    My wrist shot wasn’t going to work on these bigger faster goalies, and i needed to learn to use more action.”

    Imagining what more action and force is applied to a puck with a Jagr slapshot. 

    And now back to the regularly scheduled AFF.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  10:29 PM
  23. On a related note to faux-populists like Palin getting so much media play every time they open their yap to bash liberals, Paul Rosenberg over at Open Left has a series going last weekend and this weekend deconstructing the latest conservative meme that’s going to be jammed down our throats: Liberals are condescending. As many of you might already know, the Washington Post even commissioned a guy to write a big long story on the subject. Gag.

    Paul has done a wonderful job unpacking what utter bullshit it is, so you should check it out (see link below). But also I’m glad to report that he’s taking up my idea to solicit ideas for quick one or two line responses to the “liberals are condescending” meme. So I’m hoping all you clever, witty, brainy readers will go over there and share some of your ideas. Link is here. Thanks!

    captcha: “true”. Indeed.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  10:41 PM
  24. And btw, I’ve been invited to teach one of those intensive three-week courses at Cornell College in May 2011.

    Hey, that’s only about eighty miles from where my parents are living at the moment!  We totally have to ... um ... keep you away from them.  It would be a shame if they ended up portrayed as victims in a violent woodcut illustration.

    Liberals are condescending.

    Conservatives who are already on this bandwagon are very smug about the accusation.

    Posted by  on  02/20  at  11:59 PM
  25. Liberals are condescending.
    Because conservatives are so totally, like, you know, stupid.

    Posted by  on  02/21  at  12:45 AM
  26. I have to admit that I’m gauging the Family Guy brou-ha-ha blind, as I’m living overseas and haven’t seen the episode yet, so I can’t speak directly to their handling of this issue.  However, I support the way the show actually integrates disability into story lines in general, instead of just ignoring it as most other shows do.  They make fun of absolutely everything, and include disability in that in a way that seems to me inclusive rather than either a “kick in the gut” or “a very special episode”.  I also think that casting an actress with Down Syndrome in the role is in itself inclusive and supportive of the rights and capabilities of people with Down Syndrome.  The fact that the actress is now publicly discussing her favorable experience with the show and supporting the show’s viewpoint speaks to that as well.

    Posted by Auntie Maim  on  02/21  at  07:33 AM
  27. Well Friday night Bill Maher invited four people to discuss, for ten minutes or so, the Case of the Down Syndrome Co-optationOne of those people was Seth MacFarlane.

    Posted by  on  02/21  at  10:26 PM
  28. So I was thinking this was the place to be post-US men’s hockey victory over Canada. So why am I here by myself? Where’s the game breakdown by the puck heads?

    spyder - thanks for the link. Say, do you (or anyone else here) have any idea if there’s a way to download HBO shows without i-tunes? When I download i-tunes it completely takes over my computer like some sort of all-consuming monster that can’t get enough to...consume. It does this even though I tell it not to do so. (I’m on a PC if that’s useful information). Thanks.

    Posted by  on  02/21  at  11:24 PM
  29. Hey Doc,
    hope you got to see Yewessay beat the French (Canadians).
    5-3 ain’t too shabby.

    C

    Posted by Poicephalus  on  02/21  at  11:25 PM
  30. So I was thinking this was the place to be post-US men’s hockey victory over Canada. So why am I here by myself? Where’s the game breakdown by the puck heads?

    Tomorrow, O-Girl, tomorrow.  Right now I am trying to figure out whether Canada is in deep trouble, or deep deep trouble.  And Poicephalus, I would try to say that the problem is that Team Canada doesn’t have enough French players (Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, where are you?), but Brodeur’s misplays tonight make it very difficult for me to go that route.

    Posted by Michael  on  02/22  at  12:06 AM
  31. What? I have to wait until tomorrow to read about the failure of Oh Canada to play enough frogs?  I suppose they could replace Brodeur with Fleury; no that would be another frog.  Perhaps Luongo; oh no, not another frenchy.  But i put in a vote for just deep trouble until they face Russia.  If you saw that hit that Ovechkin put on Jagr, then you realize just how much Russia wants this one.

    Sorry Oaktown Girl, i am, and have always been, a Mac kinda guy.

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  12:19 AM
  32. Hockey:

    The thing that impressed me most about the U.S. team tonight was the way they maintained the offensive spirit and edge while playing tight, excellent defense.  Of course, that’s a lot easier to do with Ryan Miller behind you, but still.

    Posted by Nell  on  02/22  at  12:33 AM
  33. Um, okay, maybe a truly tight and excellent defense doesn’t allow 42 shots on goal.  But, on the plus side, they were tight enough to block a whole lot more shots that didn’t make it into that total!

    Canada can pour it on, but they made too many mistakes, and the U.S. took advantage of almost every one.

    Posted by Nell  on  02/22  at  12:51 AM
  34. Sorry but my only concern is that a US victory means I can’t look at US newspapers for days for fear of nationalism overkill. It’s sickening is what it is. Go Blackhawks! (Btw, Toews was one of the best Canadian players. Just sayin’.)

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  11:41 AM
  35. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes."’

    Oh, she’s wasted as an actor. Can she get onto the scriptwriting team? Because that line’s a lot better than anything I’ve seen on Family Guy recently.

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  12:53 PM
  36. Announced this morning: Luongo will be in goal for Canada against Germany tomorrow.

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  06:47 PM
  37. Aha!  OK, see the end of this evening’s post.

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  07:22 PM
  38. Liberals are condescending.

    So!…

    Posted by  on  02/23  at  05:58 AM
  39. "It would be a shame if they ended up portrayed as victims in a violent woodcut illustration.”

    Lovecraft reference?

    Posted by  on  02/24  at  10:42 PM
  40. Lovecraft reference?

    Um ... Sorta?

    Posted by  on  02/25  at  10:44 PM

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