Blogging Note: I am going to start doing more posts that are short, underdeveloped sketches of stuff I'm thinking about from day to day. Eventually, I hope to get into a routine of blogging every day, with only one or two fully-developed essay blogs per week. I welcome feedback!
In yesterday's post about Inspiration Porn, I linked to an article in the UK's Daily Telegraph, about a wheelchair using man who choked to death in a McDonalds, right in front of staff and other customers who didn't take any notice until it was too late. It was clearly a terribly sad thing to have happened, and it doesn't reflect too well on bystander indifference. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like there are two very distinct shades of "bad news" disability stories. There's stories of injustice, which prompt the reader to ask why and think about how things might be better. And then there are stories that mainly encourage readers to scold, risk risk, and disapprove of individual wrongdoers, and lament a perceived decline in general morality and virtue. I am wondering if there’s more significance to this difference. Do people who gravitate towards the more individual-condemnation variety of “bad news” disability stories have different overall ideas about disability than those who focus more on stories of systemic awfulness?