March 8, 2010
Lady Gaga and her interest in wheelchairs
I didn’t watch the Video Music Awards last September, but afterwards, there was a big to-do about the inclusion of a wheelchair dancer.
Some discussion on the topic:
It was probably a reference to the actual video to the song:
I’m not entirely sure that my opinion on the social implication of this matters since a) I’m abled, and b) Lady Gaga’s whole schtick is that she’s all vacuous surface and no substance, so any “statement” she makes is instantly made meaningless anyway.
(And this happened last September, which gives you an idea of how far behind I am about blogging this stuff).
February 23, 2009
Family Guy has several examples, so it gets a rather more extensive post.
September 20, 2008
Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men, is typically depicted in a wheelchair. This character debuted in Uncanny X-Men #1 in 1963.
Professor X is a superhero in his own right. The wheelchair serves as a cue that his powers are mental rather than physical. Charles is amongst the most powerful telepaths in the world. While other superheroes deliver physical ass-kickings, Charles’ domain is the mind. Depicting him as an old man (baldness?) in a wheelchair emphasizes this.
Thinking about other examples of how disability is used in popular culture to emphasize some other positive quality…