Overheard in NY
"Those people are so talented, being able to walk around moving things." -theatergoer at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels commenting on the casts ability to navigate moving platforms
Yes, that's we manage to get on and off the subway without more fatalities.

Reason 1457 I Love My Mother

So my mother and I are having dinner after seeing the musical version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. We are discussing our trip to Italy.
Mother Bunni: Well, I was thinking about when we come back. We will have to get two seperate cars from the airport, one to take you home and one to take me to Penn Station.
Bunni: Why not just take a car to my place, you can stay the night, and then go to Penn Station the next day?
Mother Bunni: I have a Board meeting the next day.
Bunni: What kind of psychopath are you?
My mother gives new definition to the phrase "iron will." She could make Arnold Schwartzenegger look like a pussy.
Bunni: Look considering how the Board treats you, tell the Board to go fuck themselves this once.
Mother Bunni: They lack the necessary imagination for suck a task.
At which point I laughed for five minutes.
Mother Bunni: Seriously, without my leadership skills, they would be able to envision how to zip up their flies.
G-d, I love my mother.

Defining Disability

Part One: The Mechanistic View of Disability

A student is raising her hand. "Um, I don't know if this is off topic, but are left handed people disabled?"

She might be hoping to induce a rant that will last the remaining thirty minutes of class and absolve my students of the responsibility of discussing "Life Everlasting" an article about the Right to Die movement and the religious right.

"This is actually a very good question. In order to answer questions about the ultimate goal of healing, we have to figure out what means to be sick and how we define words like illness and disability."

Martin, an engineering major, answered a similar question posed to his class earlier in the day. "Disability means your body doesn't work the way it is supposed to." Such a view is characteristic of the mechanistic view of healing. Arthur Frank in his book The Wounded Storyteller:Body, Illness, and Ethics describes the mechanistic view as "the body has to be a kind of machine. A Nobel prize-winning physician...suggested for the reporter to understand his work, he should think of the body as a television set...Restitution requires fixing, and fixing requires a mechanistic view" (88). In Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing G. Thomas Couser warns that although such a paradigm offers a "quick fix for every bodily ill...it too often alienates us from our bodies" (10).

The OED's definition of disability "Want of ability (to discharge any office or function); inability, incapacity, impotence" would agree with Martin's assessment. Yet, how does one consider writer painters like Christy Brown or author physics professor Stephen Hawking as having a "want of ability"? Although Brown typed out his story using his left foot, he was still able to do so. And Hawking himself claims in a section on his website about disability that there are not a lot of activities which the ALS prevents him from enjoying.<br>

The mechanistic approach can also characterize the disabled person in a hopelessly negative way. Although the mechanistic view may not be too damaging to patients with sporadic illness, if a disabled person adapts the mechanistic view, he or she sees himself as permanently broken or ill functioning. In a world of iPods, the disabled person sees himself as an A-track tape.

The attractiveness of the mechanistic model is that it is objectively quantifiable. I am often met with suspicion when I identify myself as a disabled person. "You don't look disabled," is the most common response. I can produce, however, the results of numerous tests, gaits labs, and biopsies that demonstrate objectively that I suffer from severe neurological problems as well as circulation and orthopedic problems despite my ability to appear fully functioning.

After I explain the mechanistic approach I say, "I don't think left handed people would see themselves as 'broken', do you?" In my afternoon class I have a left handed student. He gives me a pointed look. Although I have specially requested a left handed desk for him ( he did not ask me to do so), he rarely bothers use it. Often it becomes a foot rest for the other students.

"There's wrong, and there's wrong, and then there's this"-Sin City
I know you all are expecting some deep musings on life the universe and everything, or maybe just dysfunctional uterine bleeding, (thank you to all who left their kinds hopes and wishes-as Bakerina can testify I was very touched and surprised by how many of you care about my well being) but it's Monday and I'm tired and I have to leave work soon so I will be giving two quick capsule film reviews.
Sin City
Ok I went in with a very low expectation of this film. I thought "Worse case scenario, very pretty movie with no story, but fun violence." But it is actually a very well written movie. And it boasts Elijah Wood in perhaps the most unexpected casting ever. And of course there is the eye candy factor for both sexes (MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Clive Owens) which is always a good thing. Because of the "comic book" aesthetic, you need to go see this film on the big screen. As much as I love DVD, this movie will lose a lot of its impact on a tiny tv screen. So go, GO NOW and support Mickey Rourke.
Alien Cum Shot
When I first saw the trailers for Alien Apocalypse, I thought "Bruce Campbell AND aliens AND VIOLENCE? How can this possibly be a bad thing?" So Bakerina and I set up to have a whole day of Bruce Campbell-y goodness. We watched Evil Dead I and II as well as Bubba-hotep, which should be considered a classic of western literature (I mean really any horror film that features the line "Lick the dog dick of Anubis, you asshole" has truly transcended genre and become, I can only say, an existential exploration of the human condition), and so by the time we watched Bruce Campbell: Alien Gynecologist we were ready for some good old fashioned alien butt-kickin' fun.

How exactly one can manage to screw up a Bruce Campbell alien flick, I don't know, but the sci-fi channel found a way. The bad wigs, the leather pants, the actors who clearly didn't speak english, the horrifyingly bad special effects, the unoriginal insect alien overlords concept, the utter lack of logic (if the aliens like human flesh, and they don't want their human slaves to talk, why not just eat their tongues instead of cutting off their fingers and using these ridiculous leather gags? I mean is too much to ask that the alien overlords actually demonstrate logical thinking?)-I mean, there isn't even much point in making fun of it, it was THAT awful. So to show our contempt for the film I dubbed it Alien Cum Shot, which if you watch the final scene, and I hope you don't make it that far, you will understand why.

Essentially the short short version is don't see it. Rent Bubba-hotep instead.
So Sin City good, Alien Apocalypse bad. Tomorrow:deep and profound thought about Red Dragon.
That is all.

I have been trying to write about Italy, but not faring very well so I have found an old post that I never finished writing. It will have to suffice for now.

Until Madness Runs Its Course
"You knew the odds of failure from the start" Kathat Pollit

We are sitting and talking of love over a dead chicken and two glasses of wine.

She is complaining about her heartbreak in Paris. She has been complaining for weeks. It makes me wonder how long she suffered over me.

Bryan Adams is playing over the sound system. Why? This is a Peruvian restaurant. I kind of understand the "If you ever really loved a woman" since it was from Don Juan De Marco, but now we are getting into the Prince of Thieves soundtrack. I think "So this is what they pipe into Hell."

I am trying not to remember.

"How many people will love her the way you do? How many people would cross an ocean for her? Leave everything they know and go to another country where they don't know a word, not one word of language? How many people would let go of their reason enough, shut that critical voice in their head up, to do that? How many people would do something that absolutely terrified them just to see her for a few days? How many? This is your power."I am speaking without thinking.

How many lives ago
was that?How many choices?

I do not tell her that most people do not want to be loved in that way. Most people when confronted with that kind of love say "Thank you, but don't love me that much."

I do not tell her the fairytale about the young man and the song bird. A babysitter, a friend's older sister, read it to me once. A young man falls in love with a beautiful maiden and demands to know what he must do in order to win her love. "Find me a single red rose" she says and off he goes over hill and dale. But he can only find white roses. White roses everywhere he goes. Finally dejected and exhausted he sits down beside a white rose bush. A small songbird notices him and asks him what is the matter. "I am love with a beautiful maid who has promised to love me if I can find a red rose, but I can only find white roses." The bird is touched by the young man's plight and jumps onto one of the branches of the bush. He begins to sing and as he sings the thorn from the bush pierces his chest. The rose on the nearest branch begin to turn red from the bird's blood. The deeper the bird pierces himself on the thorn, the sweeter the song, the redder the rose. Finally, the bird sings the last note and falls dead as the rose turns completely red. The young man returns to the maid. He is so elated that he does not notice the rings on her finger or her jeweled hair combs. She laughs when he presents her the rose. "What do I want with this? I have a lover who brings me jewels and gold. But don't worry. I am sure you can find a girl as simple as yourself who will be impressed by such a gift, but you better find her quickly before your flower wilts." She closes the door in face, before he even has a chance to utter a word. The young man struck by the failure of quest and the futility of the bird's sacrifice leaves the rose at her door and walks away weeping.

She loved me this way once. Now we are old friends. We make jokes about it and laugh.

Do you say, give me back my years?

The next day someone will ask her if there is something going on between us, that there is something "wierd" about our relationship.

Wierd doesn't begin to describe it.

But it is comforting now drinking beer with her as I wait, foretelling her future as I try to forget mine. She will go home and think of the girl in Paris instead of me as I lose myself in the conquest of the evening.

Last year a friend said to me "You know she loves you." "I know." "Could you love her back?" "No, not like that." "Are you sure?I don't think I could say no to someone who loved me like that." I gave her that even Mona Lisa look, "I am sure."

I am sure.

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