Al's Place

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The reality of being disabled

I don’t go on about being disabled; my condition is caused by a genetic flaw, and there is nothing I can do about it. Within the next year, I shall be in a wheelchair.

Me, at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol- June 2011

I’m not complaining, after all the injury that caused my left tendon to tear was done over 40 years ago when I was in the Royal Air Force. I have had a reasonably good life since then and seen many things I thought I’d never see.

Because of my bad genetics certain parts of my life have been denied me. I can not go for the walks I once enjoyed, even short walks tire me quickly. I don’t hide the fact that I wear a leg brace – I wish I didn’t need it – but it’s part of my life and until two weeks ago I never considered myself a public health risk.

Like many fellow sufferers, living with the thought of a wheelchair is a reality not a cheap and tasteless publicity stunt, Kylie Jenner.

Even if we are in wheelchairs, that doesn’t mean we can’t be seen as attractive to the opposite sex. If all you see is our disability, then YOU are the person with the disability, not us.

I looked at your photos, and my first thought was not about the wheelchair or the sexuality of the pose. My first thought was about the model. My first thought was that you were a mannequin, not a person. The expression on your face was so lacking appeal, I have seen sexier plastic dolls.


The photoshoot

Let’s get one thing straight from the start – Ms Jenner wanted to do the shoot – as a former photographer, I can tell you the golden rule is Do not do anything your subject feels uneasy about.

It does make me wonder, will her next venture be related to either the film Romeo is bleeding, which deals with a disabled spy, or A Zed and two O’s, a film about two brothers obsession photographing rotting corpses.


Kylie Jenner

The latest publicity stunt by Kylie Jenner reminded that less than 20 years ago a film called Crashwas banned for showing people with disabilities in a bad way.

The film by David Kronenberg starred a young lady called Roseanne Arquette, who later gained fame in the tv series Medium. After a little research on the life of the lady in question, it turned out she was at best of little help to the police, and at worst a charlatan.

There is no mystery here – the rule of thumb applies – if you’re a celeb you can poke fun at people less fortunate than you.


To some of my friends, I am a bestselling Sci-Fi writer, but I’m not in my eyes. Even if I was, my credo is “There but for the grace of God, go I!.”


Kardashian disgrace

I rarely write celebrity pieces but after the latest stunt from the Kardashian/Jenner celebrities, I thought I would write this article.

  Me, at Frenchay hospital, Bristol- June 2011

Unlike Ms (?) Jenner, myself and other disabled people would love the chance to be able to walk freely again. Sadly, through no fault of our own, we are denied the opportunity. To us, a wheelchair isn’t a cheap and tacky way to gain publicity – it IS a way of life.

If you wish to know my feeling on the celeb scene, I suggest you read my award-winner, the views of ex-photographer Mark Johnson are the same as my views.

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