Thursday, 25 August 2011
I knew that there was a reason why I hadnt started a blog before the Frankie Boyle debacle - I simply don't think I have anything interesting enough to say to keep a blog going, as you will have seen from my complete lack of posts since this blog was started. Oops!
Last April I went along to a comedy show and little did I know how it would end up - I can honestly say I really would never have gone along if I had known. Some people at the time said I was naive and should have known what to expect - possibly yes, others said I was hypocritical (happy to laugh at others but not at my own situation), something I still dispute to this day, as I stand by my comments at the time that I have no problem with disability being used as a topic for comedy as long as it is breaking stereotypes not reinforcing them, and then there was the downright insanity of comments such as those criticising my parenting skills, saying what a bad parent I was for taking Tanzie to the show with me!
I can honestly, hand on heart, say that last Spring was one of the most stressful and horrible times of my life. I could not stand the fact people who did not know me were judging me, criticising me, labelling me, and whilst my husband told me that I should brush it off as their opinions should not matter as they didn't know me, I simply could not bear to think that people thought bad of me. I particularly didn't like the fact that I could not answer them back, that I could not get across my viewpoint without being misrepresented.
At the time after the first newspaper and radio interview (which I now really regret by the way) I decided not to speak to anyone about the situation, apart from close friends and family. I have not commented on Frankie Boyle since last April (though have occasionally retweeted news stories relating to him because I know many of my twitter followers only followed me after the incident last April), and we declined newspaper/radio interviews when he made 'that joke' about Harvey Price, likewise we chose not to get involved with Katie Price's TV show about Harvey. I hoped by doing this I would be able to demonstrate to those criticising me that I really did not write my blog for either fame or fortune (I did not get any money following the story blowing up in the news last year, and nor would I have wanted any). I also wanted to get my life back to normal as much as possible.
So, what has happened since last Spring? Well Tanzie still manages to get marmite and toothpaste in her hair, even though she now has a short bob. She continues to make people fall in love with her when they meet her, and she is doing brilliantly at school, now reading and writing and loving every minute of it. And, well, my husband has written a book. And that book includes a chapter which discusses the Frankie Boyle incident.
You see, my husband is a lot cleverer than me, he is a lot more considered in his responses to situations. I am more flouncy, more volatile, less controlled I guess. Kieron wanted to spend time looking at the bigger picture (while I was sat on the internet googling pictures of Mika and buying pretty shoes!) and he has written a book about how society views Down syndrome, and the changes in this over the past however many years. Naturally he could not write such a book without including some reference to comedy and disability, and yes Frankie Boyle.
I am very proud of him for writing the book, something he has always wanted to do since I met him 13 years ago (poor guy, having been stuck with me that long!), though obviously the choice of topic was not one he had considered writing about back then. I think the book is well worth reading, but then again I would say that wouldn't I?
Please consider ordering a copy http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Politics-Down-Syndrome-Kieron-Smith/9781846946134 - yet again we are not profiting from this in any way. All proceeds from sales are being donated to Down Syndrome Education International (DSEI), http://www.downsed.org.uk, who have been an amazing source of support and information since Tanzie was born 6.5yrs ago. If you don't buy a copy of the book (why wouldn't you? it is certainly better written than this blog that your'e reading) then please consider making a donation to DSEI.
And on a final note, here is a recent picture of my daughter, for the ahhhh factor.