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Author Topic: The harbormaster and recognizing stereotypes Of disabled people  (Read 191 times)
harrietpodder
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« on: February 06, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »

As a regular pseudopod listener for quite a while,I have noticed That many of the Speeches After the episodes Are quite good at identifying What elements of this story the horror comes from.I was looking at theDescription Of The content of the story known The Harbormaster.And I saw content warnings: use of The racially insensitive term Darkey.This is the first timeThat I have ever seen pseudopod acknowledge The racial in sensitivity Of content Although the program has run Many stories by HP Lovecraft And he exhibits insensitive racial attitudes.NowSome people would argue That The use of the word Darkey And HP love Lovecraft' insensitive racial languageAre a product of the time. In which the book was written.
If pseudopod is willing to acknowledge the offensiveness of the term Darkey and to Explore The fact that some Of the horror In the stories that it prints Come from the context of the times,Then I respectfully Request That Pseudopod acknowledges How the portrayal Of Disabled people Can add to Horror.For example,If I were doingThe speech after The harbormaster,My commentaryWould it include Information About how Halyerd The guy in the wheelchair Is described as Grotesque And the hypochondriac And that he loves to argue with people Just because he's bitter and bored and can't do whatever he wants. And he wants to argue and order people about just because he can.The stereotype of the bitter cripple. Who is angry about their disability Has appeared in literature All the way back to Shakespeare, Richard the third, If not longer.And also If you notice in the andThe guy is no longer in a wheelchairBecause he asks the narrator To join him On a walking tour of EuropeWhich impliesThat the characters disability Was all in his head.This notion o someone faking Their disability, Or having the disability Be an issue of mind over matterHas been a stereotype Of disabled people In literatureSince at least the secret Garden. As a disabled person, I want to see pseudopod Doing a Better job Of addressing How disability/deformity In a story can contribute To horror, Because I think Many people link disabled people with horror Without Questioning the cultural notions behind this link.

I would also sayThat The word grotesque Is used to describe the creature As well As that disabled guy in the harbormaster, And that it is no accident That bothThe disabled guy and the creature are described in this way BecauseThe author Wants part of the horror Of the story To come from the nasty guy with the disability. Even if you disagree with my interpretation, If you're a podcast that puts out  warnings for racist termsThen I believeYou should also Put out warnings When disabled people Are used in the horror As stereotypes.To which your response might be,Where does it stop?Do we warn people about everythingAnd dilute the horror?To which I would say, No,That is not what I am suggesting;I simply want The horror podcast To acknowledge Problematic stereotypes of disabled peopleAnd how of those stereotypesJim contribute To horror in Certain stories.Because for the most part, Pseudopod Does a really good job Of acknowledging how the author creates horror. And that makes the listener Think Critically About a horror As someone Analyzes these elements.And If your team Has Difficulty discerning whether something is problematic or not,That's okay.I don't Expect Every one To know everything about groups of which they may not be apart.But I've think It is Is Especially important In stories like The harbormaster To acknowledge portrayals of disabled people. I have a Masters degree In the field Of disability studies And I would Be thrilled And happy To help You're Team NavigateHorror and disability For free. Your podcast reaches and influences so many people And To have The host Of your podcast AcknowledgeHow disability Contributes to horror What just make it that much easier For disabled people Like me To get out from under another stereotype.I would also Be happy To be interviewed Buy your show About this topic Or to write an article for your website Or what ever.

Please excuse the bizarre punctuation And spacing In this note Because I am using A speech to text feature on my computer Because I have a disability.Because I type of like I talk, It's possibleThat I Have repeated myself, In this message.If you decide you want to interview me, I will make every effort Not to be repetitious. Thank you for your consideration, Sincerely, Jill
Allen
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Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 08:53:58 PM »

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective. There's some good stuff to unpack there. I've updated the content warnings to include "and ableist stereotypes."

The way I read the story, I found Halyard's curmudgeonish misanthropy to stem from his position of wealth and power -- he has power over the nurse in that he controls her livelihood, and he has power over the protagonist by possessing creatures believed extinct. My reading in no way discounts yours, and I appreciate the thought you put into that. 

I agree that horror has some excellent opportunities to explore disability. I was sad to see the DESTROY! project stop just shy of horror for the disabled community. We've got a story coming up in March that should do a better job of conversing with disability. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on "The Ashen Thing" in the back catalog.
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All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 12:34:56 AM »

Thank you for sharing! I think this is a large blind spot for us on the editorial team and the world at large -- these days we hear all the time about male privilege and white privilege and straight/hetero privileges that we, at the very least, generally understand that we have blind spots when we are subject to those privileges -- we don't hear so much about abled privileges.  It's another one of those benefits that are simply invisible to us as abled individuals and it's pretty eye opening to read something like your post.

It's also interesting to note how different Alex's reading of the story was than your own. I think it perfectly illustrates the nature of the issue -- it's simply not something that's been on our radar before, unlike the myriad of other social issues I like to think the EA suite of casts are generally aware of and sensitive to. Which is... troubling, right?

Again, thanks for sharing!
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
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