Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Enough from Me About Ricky Gervais...For Now, At Least

If you've been watching any of my social media stuff, you know that I've been busy doing the "BADD Tour" - reading and commenting on "Blogging Against Disablism Day" posts (see badge on front page). They've given me so much to think about and and so many things on which I want to blog. But today I want to blog on something that's been lurking in my head since the weekend: how I'm biased, and why it means that I *shouldn't* blog on some things. Especially Ricky Gervais.

How I Decide on Blog Topics

I do it a number of ways:

  • Sometimes I just blog about personal experience.

  • I have Google alerts set up for "disabilities" and other disability-related terms. Often the alerts bring me news stories or updates on current events.

  • I read blogs by other disability advocates and I subscribe to the ones I really like.

  • I read a few well-respected disability ezines.

  • I keep an eye on my Twitter feed for links to news stories and blogs that look interesting.  I have a lot of great Twitter contacts who post a great deal of useful information.

Most of the time this all works fine. I know that my writing isn't up the highest journalistic standards, and that sometimes both sides of the story aren't fully told - but I try to acknowledge that there always are two sides to a story. But I don't claim to be a journalist. I definitely know that I'm not. I know that my experiences make me too biased to say I'm totally objective with what I write here, and I'm okay with that. Mostly.

It wasn't until over the weekend, when I started looking for a place to watch "The Undateables" online, and "Derek", the newest television series by Ricky Gervais, that I realized that even I can only take that so far.

Good Ol'Ricky Gervais

I did another post about Ricky Gervais and "Derek", based on what I'd heard of it so far. http://www.girlwiththecane.com/derek-noakes/. I came to the conclusion that I might be unfairly biased toward the show on the basis on how Ricky Gervais had handled the "mong" incident on Twitter last year.

When I put the video post on YouTube, I took a beating for, among other things commenting on the show without seeing it. So, I've been trying to find a way to view a whole episode of the show online (difficult, as I can't view Britain's Channel 4 content from overseas, and there doesn't appear to be a way view it in North America online that I can find, except for some brief clips). But, as I searched for a way this weekend, I suddenly realized that it wouldn't mattered. I've heard so much about Derek Noakes, the character that Ricky Gervais plays, resembles somebody with an intellectual disability (Comedian Stewart Lee even said that the character resembles someone with Down's Syndrome) that I'd be looking for the ways in which that's true. I'd be looking for ways in which the show is mocking people with disabilities. I can't trust myself to watch in an even remotely objective manner.

Same with "The Undateables", which I'd also planned to view. I've just heard too much about how offensive it is to people with disabilities. I would be looking for it, so I could jump on it.

Maybe I just need to stay away from commenting on the entertainment world and people with disabilities, or at least aspects of it. I will have to think on it. If something comes up with Ricky Gervais again, perhaps Nicky Clark would do a guest post. A fabulous disability advocate, ahe has talked with Ricky Gervais at length about disability issues, and has a great deal of respect for him.

So...no worries, Ricky Gervais. I just can't sort my feelings out enough about you to be fair, so I'm going to step back for now. But I'm still going to be watching, so you be fair too.

More about "Derek": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9200872/Ricky-Gervais-in-Derek-Channel-4-Review.html

More about "The Undateables": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9183670/The-Undateables-Channel-4-review.html

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