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Someone who moves like you

Television has a huge impact on how we view the world and, perhaps more interestingly, how we view ourselves.  When Joe Biden said that Will & Grace had done more for gay marriage than anything else, it probably seemed like hyperbole, but the normalization of the Other often comes first in the form of simple inclusion.

Now, I want you to go read this essay about a woman who is autistic and discovered Abed Nadir.

And stories are a scary and messy business, full of magic and demons, taunting possibilities and rules-that-aren’t, things we can’t have and altogether far too many opportunities for a sad little girl’s heart to be ripped out of her chest, and Julia kept watching, every week. And you must understand that asking Julia to pick one Abed moment is like asking Abed to pick one reference.

You must understand that one story is infinitely bigger than zero, and it may still be very small and nowhere near enough, but it’s something.

If you don’t know who Abed is… your life is sad and you need to fix that by watching Community.

 

Comments

  1. says

    If you don’t know who Abed is… your life is sad and you need to fix that by watching Community.

    haha, no. viewership is the actual product in television, not shows, and advertisers the real customers. I’m not for sale.

  2. leftwingfox says

    Nice :D

    There’s nothing inherently insidious about the TV model. It’s only insidious that we take that model for granted, and expect it for free.

    Buy the seasons, or go through a subscription service like Netflix: they make money on you, not by selling your eyeballs to advertisers.

  3. Salmo says

    I’m honestly unsure how to parse that, Skeptifem. Are you saying you won’t watch any TV because the people who make it want you to watch it?

  4. mythbri says

    I love Community. If a clever, geeky, well-written and fantastically produced show has made me a commodity, then I guess I’m a commodity. I spend time and money on enjoying things that I like. I think most people do.

  5. says

    Also enjoy Community tremendously. I thought it was going off the air though. Is that true?

    (goolging…googling…googling)

    It was renewed fro another season, but the guy who created it was canned, so it may never be the same.

  6. carlie says

    I adore Community (for many reasons). It’s the only show I’ve seen that plays a person with autistic tendencies in an empathetic yet treated as “normal” way, rather than playing it for laughs at the weird person. Abed is just…Abed, and his quirks don’t stand out that much from the quirks of the other characters, but they all know how to work around his quirks so as to minimize his stress.

    #3 – there are a lot of commenters here at FtB who are on the spectrum or have family/friends who are. It shows up a lot when someone tries to pull an “are you autistic or something?” joke or excuse someone being an asshole with “maybe he’s autistic”. Those types get knocked down real quick by a large number of other commenters.

  7. interrobang says

    That’s more or less it, yes. I’m in the tv business, sort of*, and I don’t watch tv unless I can pull it to me, not have it pushed at me complete with ads. Interestingly, the prevailing attitude around here is (to quote a coworker verbatim, and another almost verbatim), “To be honest, it’s tv. Yes, it’s a billion dollar industry, but nobody is going to die over tv.” And if you think you are, I suggest you unplug for a while and go outside or something.

    The show doesn’t sound like my sort of thing, and no, my life is not “sad.” Some of us just have a low tolerance for the boob tube and the boobs on it.

    ________
    * I work for a company that makes back-end systems for pay-tv operators.

  8. ischemgeek says

    Reminds me of how I felt when I first read the Protector of the Small series by Pierce when I was like 11. Because here was a character I could see myself in: quiet, introverted, good at math, self-conscious, likes “boy stuff” without being the stereotypical loud, brash, short-tempered tomboy, etc. We weren’t exactly the same, but there was enough of me in her that I got really attached. Becuase, to date, Kel is the only book character that I really see ‘me’ in. TV wise, Arya Stark reminds me of kid-me in her outright refusal to be what they expect of a typical girl. Anyone remember the scene back in Season 1 where her father tells her she’ll marry a knight and have sons who grow up to be mighty warriors, and she solemnly says, “No, that’s not me.”? I had exactly that feeling when I was younger. And I still have it. My parents and sister are always saying stuff like, “you’ll make a great mom when you settle down and get married.” and I’m still thinking, “No, that’s not me.”

    On that note: I think I’m not the only person with a chronic illness who would love to read a book or watch a show where there’s a character with my chronic illness that I can see me in.

    So anyway, in short: More of this sort of thing, please.

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