Posts Tagged ‘from the thesis

21
Mar
12

“The Menagerie”: Introducing the Original Space Crips

Warning: spoilers for “The Menagerie,” “Requiem for Methuselah,” Star Trek (2009), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Image: a screencap of "The Menagerie part 1." Dr. McCoy and Scotty push Christopher Pike's wheelchair out of a conference room aboard the Enterprise. A security officer in a red shirt stands guard behind them.

As anyone who’s watched at least a minute of the show has likely noticed, Star Trek: the Original Series (TOS) was shot on, let’s say, a limited budget. All sorts of money-saving measures were put in place. Remember Elaan, the monarch with magical tears? Her bodyguards’ armor was made out of place mats. Too obscure? Okay. The transporters were created to avoid filming expensive shots of the Enterprise landing on each planet the crew visited. Obviously, some of these cost-cutting measures were more successful than others. “The Menagerie” two-parter was one of the more successful efforts, at least according to the Hugo Awards who awarded it Best Dramatic Presentation.

For those of you who don’t know the story, “The Menagerie” was cobbled together at the last minute to prevent production from shutting down. Gene Roddenberry took the original pilot (“The Cage”), which had a completely different cast than the series with the exception of Mr. Spock, and incorporated it into a new story which framed “The Cage” footage. You really have to wonder what was going through Gene’s head when coming up with the frame at the eleventh hour. “I know! We’ll have Spock steal the Enterprise and kidnap a cripple!”

Continue reading ‘“The Menagerie”: Introducing the Original Space Crips’

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25
Feb
12

Where does disability come from?: Hynerian dominars and the social model

Image: Rygel, a grey alien with a tiny nose, pointy hairy ears, a big mouth, and a mustache, wears the robes of Hynerian royalty.

Meet Dominar Rygel XVI, just your average deposed monarch from the illustrious Hynerian empire. What’s a Hynerian, you ask. If you want to be crude about it, to use the words of the Human John Crichton, “a two-foot green slug” (“Won’t Get Fooled Again). Imagine if you will, then, a palace full of Hynerians (that is, with the exception of their Banik slaves, who, as Rygel would assure you, don’t really count). What would the architecture look like in such a palace? The furniture would be smaller and lower to the ground. If the palace had luxurious high ceilings, they’d be about seven feet high. The whole built environment would cater to people about the size of Rygel (and, if we’re being honest here, the whole built environment would cater to Rygel specifically). You’d have a bunch of Hynerians moving about in a world built for them (and a bunch of Baniks crouched over like John Cusack on floor 7 1/2 in Being John Malkovich).

But what happens if a Hynerian leaves that environment? Say, if their cousin Bishan deposes them in their sleep. What happens if they end up in a world made for much taller species? What then? Continue reading ‘Where does disability come from?: Hynerian dominars and the social model’




Space Crip

People with disabilities? In my sci-fi? It's more likely than you think.