Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Message #2

I’m thrilled and humbled by the response to my last few posts. And, well, I’ll be reconfiguring things a bit from now on, as in, if I have something worthwhile to say, I’ll say it. If you agree with me on that, happy reading. Of course there’ll be enough record reviews to break things up.

As a disabled and conscientious person, I do think that the disabled will get the shaft from Trump and co. So, as a writer, I’ll speak out on it, but rather than ranting, something a lot more fun. Like a screenplay. A web series I've begun work on, titled Modern Rock.

Out indie band Modern Rock runs afoul of the new thing on the block, alt-alt, a scene that takes the wrong lessons from Nineties alternative rock, and the Nineties in general. The upshot is a slew of right-wing, snobbish, ableist bands. When Modern Rock, is told to get with the program, they refuse, self-release a 7” with two happy, healthy songs, and start the counter-revolution. The band is led by Leaf and Gail, a learning disabled couple. It's their songs that set the plot in motion. Their label wants a full album, so the band gets creative and records one. All hell breaks loose.

Creative, in this case, is how it is to create when you’re disabled in some way, and in this part of the script a whole bunch of stupid myths about the disabled get killed. We’re not stupid, and we don’t think we’re hip, trendy, cool, and fun just because we have problems. And just because we have a disability, it doesn't mean we are disabled at everything, and aren't good at anything. We want a fair chance to show what we can do.

My creative process? Despite never knowing what I’m going to process properly, I do try, all the while knowing it’s something I can’t fully control. Various types of media inspire me. I read The New York Times, The Washington Post, my mail, social media. I have the great fortune to live near a great public radio station, WXPN in Philadelphia. I can sit and think to them anytime, and to a select bunch of musicians whose songs are always there, including, in no particular order, the late Scott Miller, Pavement, The New Pornographers, Fugazi, Kelley Deal (all her bands), Jenny Lewis (all her  bands), The Pixies, Daws, Nirvana, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Dar Williams, and Jill Sobule.

Good art takes a stand. I stand for the rights of the disabled, for LGBT people, for all, and against bigotry. Trump and the alt-right can go to hell. They won’t win, not at all.

Andrea Weiss

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