USA

Independence Day to Day

That is what is all comes down to, from a very early age everything was geared to being or becoming more independent. To your average Joe or Jane this means, getting a job, getting enough cash to move out from your parents house. To a disabled person however this independence can mean something most of the able bodied world takes for granted, like dressing yourself for example.

I am lucky I suppose my disability is by the standards of many quite mild, so I am able to function and live a “normal” life. I have a job, a handful of good friends, family and I live alone in my house where I pay full rent and have no assistance at all.

So as independent as one gets.

This year I have found I have become less mobile. Things are starting to hurt, or even worse just not work in the way of which I have become accustomed. (I’m not talking about issues that Viagra can fix here either) So where do I turn? Again the average Joe or Jane in the street seems to be under the impression that the disabled are either paralympians capable of bounding over buildings like the bionic man or so disabled that they cannot possibly function and have all the help and money to enable them to live out their days in comfort.

So in the view of the outsider, disabled people either, A don’t need more help or B have all the help they need.

Let me add my C to that list of options.

From a early age I was taught and pushed to be as independent as possible, to do things myself. This has brought me opportunities and allowed me to meet many wonderful people but it’s made me very single minded and set in my ways at at times a bastard to live with or be around. I haven’t needed help, so I have been off the radar. No huge social services file, no massive cash hand out that means I don’t have to work, no case worker I can ring up and get someone to help me.

In order for me to get assistance for anything, I have to be referred by a GP. The GP probably knows less than me about my disability and I have to wait along with everyone else to receive treatment from a guy who specialises in sporting injury. My sporting days are long gone!

Independence has for the most part been a very good thing for me. I just wish someone would have told me to ramp it back a little so that it would be easy to get support I need now. It seems the more you do, the less is offered, which when you think about it is very wrong. Only option to keep on going until you drop.

Still Happy 4th of July America from the old foe across the pond.

Lincoln Memorial July 4th 1.jpg
Lincoln Memorial July 4th 1” by J.W.Photography from AnnapolisFlickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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(WMB4X) Happy Australia Day

Hello Aussie followers, I know it’s not Australia Day, I hope you have a good one whenever it is. In America today it is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving whereupon there are crazy sales, turkey hangovers and virgin sacrifices. (Maybe)

Black Friday has it’s origins in the US fiscal system, some say it refers to a stock market crash, others say the term originated in it’s current meaning in Philadelphia describing the mixed traffic queues of sports fans and shoppers in the early 60’s. Black Friday didn’t spread across America until the early 90’s but now it’s here and widespread to the UK largely thanks to US based retailers Amazon, Apple and Asda (Walmart) to name but a few.

Black Friday has precisely the square route of fuck all to do with British culture or consumerism, being as it is ‘as American as apple pie’. Don’t get me wrong I love a deal and I have no problems with crazzzyeee discounts but to call it Black Friday makes no sense. Why not call it a ‘Sale’ or a “Christmas Sale” or “Happy Shop and Masturbate over the low prices Friday” all these names make more sense.

I received this email today.

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I ordered something from BHS once in 2007. Anyone know what BHS stands for? British Home Stores. British Home Stores are having a Black Friday sale. Why? If you enquire about the colour of a jumper in said sale would you have to ask thusly “Hi, What color does the sweater come in?”

I know it’s all a gimmick, to give businesses a boost in the run up to Christmas and to make shoppers think they are getting a good deal when actually, hysteria aside it probably isn’t. We seem to be careering towards becoming the 51st state very quickly, Trick or Treat, Monday Night Football, Fox and now Black Friday. I have nothing against folks from across the pond, one of the things I like the most is the differences between us which amuse me greatly. These differences seem to be ebbing away.

Black Friday, as relevant to Britain as Australia Day or Nelson Mandela day. If we are gonna have it can we at least have the time off work and the deep fried Turkey feast the day before. And if we are sharing traditions, on Black Friday Americans can ditch the pancakes for Breakfast in favour of a Full English with Black pudding or at least learn what “Bollocks” are.


Please visit the Resident Weeble who has a national holiday in his honour in July

Network Issues

The land of the free and the home of quite a few good people. People who are intelligent, well read, witty, sarcastic and maybe more knowledgeable about cultures different to their own than I am.

Yes the land of Apple Pie and the cheeseburger. The United States of America. Loved and loathed in equal measure throughout the world. Where do other cultures get an impression of America? Well before the invention of the interweb that answer was undoubtably TV and Movies. The american police man to the rest of the world was a cross between Kojak and Dave Starsky. The american barman, Woody from Cheers. Every cabbie was somewhere between Andy Kaufman and Robert De Niro.

But where does America get it’s impression of the rest of the world? England for example. Pre-Gervais the Americans appeared to think that we were all either Hugh Grant or John Lennon the influence of film and music. But what about TV? Well this side of BBC America UK TV doesn’t get shown. Shows that are successful here, get re-made and Americanised for that market. “Steptoe and Son”, became “Sanford and Son”, “Til death do us part” became “All in the Family” more recently “Life on Mars” became a US TV car crash that bared no resemblance to the wonderful UK series.

News today that CBS are planning a modern take on Sherlock Holmes. Well to quote Steven Mofatt.

Why do American TV execs feel the need to remake? Looking at this short list of shows that have gone the other way the only things we appear to remake are quiz shows, which makes sense because who wants to see Yolanda from NYC win $100,000 when you are having a brew in Peckham. We don’t remake Cheers and stick a guy called Barry Malone who used to be a fast bowler for Kent in charge of a east end pub. We show the original. (Incidentally where the hell is the rest of the series for DVD release in the UK)

UK network execs seem to believe that UK audiences have the intelligence to be aware of and translate any Americanisms in these shows. They also know that. getting real for a second, to buy a show is cheaper than re-making UK Cheers or a UK ER or a UK Family Guy but it would lose something. Just as another wonderful Mofatt creation “Coupling” lost all the subtlety in the ill fated US network run. A UK “Friends” it was not. Note to US TV execs.. at the very least please leave Doctor Who alone, you made a mess last time.

Photo courtesy of http://idiotphotographer.wordpress.com/ visit for more fantastic images. Click for more of the set