Archive | August, 2012

Fake legs in the movies

20 Aug

 

Movie Blog

 
“My name is Amber, I’ve got Hepatitis B, a mad case of bedbugs, and I’m rockin’ one leg.”  If you don’t recognize them, these are the words of Amy Poehler’s tragically funny one-legged character on SNL. Every time I saw one of her skits, I couldn’t decide whether  to be offended or not, because while she was extremely proud, cocky even, about her one-legged status, she was also kind of pitiful and cringeworthy. SNL put Amber in such unlikely scenarios as contestant on “America’s Top Model” and “Rock of Love” as she hops around, burps and farts unapologetically. She has a white-trash wardrobe, a “hardcore learning disability”, and she falls over a lot.  So again, while she “owns” the fact that she has one leg, she also “owns” every other disgusting characteristic. So is her audience supposed to see one-legged people as disgusting? I’m not sure. 
     There are many movies and TV shows that have had one-legged characters throughout the years, and most of them, I appreciate. It seems that in any movies that have a main character with a disability, it’s always some inspirational story of overcoming obstacles, but I’m not talking about those;  I’m talking about the funny, adventurous ones.
     “Friends” character Joey accidentally throwing his date’s fake leg into the fire because he thought it was a log? Hilarious. A gunfight scene in “Darkman” where one of the guys takes off his leg to use it as a machine gun? Awesome (I always wanted a shoe phone like Max in “Get Smart” by the way). Rose McGowan’s fake-legged stripper character in”Grindhouse/Planet Terror”,  whose new boyfriend makes her a futuristic machine gun prosthetic? Badass!
     But there are some not-so-awesome scenes with fake-legged characters, too. The scene in Stephen King’s mini-series version of “The Stand” where an old dude gets beaten to death with his own fake leg? NOT cool-got me started thinking that it would really SUCK if that happened to me one day. The otherwise beautiful girl who has to call “Ace Bigelow: Male Gigolo” because she has a fake leg and can’t get a date? Puh-leeeez! That could be further than the truth. I never had a problem finding dates, and all attractive ones, thank you very much. Although I did start wondering after college, if some of those guys dated me just so they could say they went out with a girl with a fake leg. 
     And my tiny pinkie–I told you it’d be making a cameo in this post. Remember, most everyone I meet thinks it’s cute, so I never had any reason to feel self-conscious about it UNTIL I saw Chris Elliot in “Scary Movie 2” who has a tiny little deformed hand with tiny fingers poking out. And yes, his character is kinda gross…he stirs cake batter with his little hand while everyone in the movie winces. After that I started wondering, what if people see my little hand and think it’s freaky, not cute? And that made me sad. 
      But, I think it’s pretty easy for people, in general, to be offended by things they see in movies that “hit a little too close to home”. And people’s opinions of movies/tv shows, are in actuality, very subjective. What one fake-legged person sees as funny, another may abhor. And I really doubt that any of my friends see Amy Poehler’s Amber and think of me! The reason I’m not completely offended by it, is that I KNOW people are different; people find different things funny. 
     I guess my rule of thumb (or tiny pinkie) for judging the portrayal of characters with disabilities is the same as it is in real life. In real life, I believe in free speech. I don’t have to agree with everything a person says-I can have my own opinion about it and they still have the right to say it. If someone makes a movie you don’t like, you don’t have to watch it. But if a person or group is spewing hatred or untruths, or are personally hurting, bullying, making fun of, or mocking someone, that is where I draw the line.  Sometimes mean can be funny, but sometimes mean is just mean. 

My Tiny Obsession

5 Aug

Tiny PinkieI took an unintentional hiatus this week, because of a busy schedule and because of my newfound obsession to online Family Feud. But I digress. I want to talk about another obsession-my obsession with all things tiny.
I LOVE tiny things! Baby tennis shoes, baby fingers, baby toes–I squeal at the sight of them. Little pens, paper, colored pencils, tiny books-I get overwhelmed just thinking of their cuteness. Miniature utensils, cups, plates…I just want to eat with them everyday. Make-up is the worst–all those mini lipsticks, glosses, nail polishes. And tiny little Knick-knacks–forget about it!
I get so excited by all the tiny things I see in stores, I have to take a step back so that I don’t give in to my instant impulse to buy them. I have learned to keep my habit under control. I think I can trace my obsession back to my love of Hello Kitty as a child-so many miniatures of every kind. But My parents could never afford to buy much of it and it was harder to find back then, so maybe I’m trying to make up for lost time.
And I have another confession to make. My fake leg is not the only unusual thing about me. If you’ll notice in the picture, I have a tiny pinkie. It’s smaller than all the rest of my fingers, and I’ve always thought it was cute, even though it’s missing two knuckles. I call it my baby pinkie. When I play Monopoly, I am always the thimble because It fits on my little finger. Miniature jewelry, like rings you hang on a necklace, they fit on my finger, too. And most everyone I know thinks it’s cute, too. Maybe that’s why I love tiny things, because I was born with a tiny pinkie.
I really just needed to get this off my chest. No real message here, but my pinkie will be making a cameo in my next blog post, which will examine characters with fake legs in movies and on TV.