smiles for Biles

Over the weekend (31 July) the Matt Davies (Newsday) commentary you see here appeared in the Bangkok Post ed/op pages (ask your parents). A few days later, this comment appeared in the Post’s “letters to the editor” section:

“I consider the content of that cartoon extremely vicious. Cartoonists who mock mental issues are treading on dangerous ground. I am not an American citizen.”

Well, clearly the writer had misinterpreted the cartoon, so rather than leave other readers with the impression that the cartoon was “vicious,” I offer a different perspective in a letter published in the Post today (3 August):

            The Bangkok Post this week also ran a story from The New York Times regarding a study by the nonprofit, RespectAbility, and Nielsen, the big ratings company. The story had some good news about increased inclusivity in media over the last decade, but the numbers I took away from the story were not so rosy.

According to the report, “about one in every four adults in the United States has a physical or psychological disability.” OK, that’s roughly 25 percent of the adult population. However, only 3,000 out of the 90,000 evaluated movies and TV shows (released over the last century, since 1920) were viewed as having “significant disability themes or content.”

            That’s between 3 and 4 percent. Obviously the industry must do better. The media must do better. We all must do better to understand and celebrate our differences.

Published by billpaige

Interested parties are first directed to my memoir, “Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars” (Eckhartz Press). While I have taken music therapy classes and read extensively about music’s effect on the brain, I am NOT professionally trained -- just a music lover who recognizes that everyone benefits from music. Giving that gift to special needs youth is highly rewarding, but again, my process is intuitive, not academic. I draw largely on personal experience. I’ve spent most of my 67 years observing a wide world of music, from working as a music critic professionally for 20 years, and holding positions in music companies in the 1970s and 1990s. Since 1990, however, I have focused on learning more about music and improving as a singer, guitarist, and performer, both solo and in ensemble settings.

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