I've been AFK for most of this week out of laziness, necessity, and Roomie's intermittent Internet gluttony, and so some of the topics I'd intended to cover fell by the wayside.
Thursday: Goddammit, Supernatural, really? You're really going with the miraculous cure after keeping Bobby confined to the chair for most of the season? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given your predilection for raising the dead. And I'm not. But I am angry. Not that Bobby was healed, but at the implication his healing and its mechanism sends to the world about disability.
Disability is only for people who deserve it, and if you don't "deserve" it, i.e., you weren't born that way, then you will eventually be healed. Because that sort of long-term impairment and its attendant emotional suffering is unconscionable and unbearable, and no person in his right mind would choose to remain that way if offered a cure, even if that cure meant the loss of your soul.
Look, I know that Bobby didn't ask Crowley to heal him, and I suspect that the act of altruism has strings attached, strings that might come back to throttle Bobby in the end, but the fact remains that whether he asked for it or not, Bobby accepted the gift, and by extension, the contract that went with it. To Bobby's mind, the prospect of remaining in the wheelchair for the rest of his days was so dreadful that he was willing to forget his antipathy for demons and chance an eternity in Hell for the chance to...walk up the stairs. I guess nobility and "sucking it up" only apply if you have no other choice.
And yes, I know that Bobby signed over his soul for more than the chance to get his Stairmaster on. He exchanged it for the his self-worth and the opportunity to be seen as viable, to contribute to the fight against Lucifer and regain his status as the cog around which the Winchester wheel revolves. He signed up because he felt worthless without his mobility. And by healing him just before the climactic showdown, the writers have tacitly reinforced that belief.
So, according to Supernatural, I have learned the following:
-Being disabled sucks. I already knew this.
-If you are disabled, you hate your life and contemplate suicide every day. I can't deny that I have occasionally considered suicide; when I was sixteen, I couldn't stand the thought of living my sad, lonely, isolated life for another sixty years. I did not, however, want to punch my ticket because I was disabled. I wanted to punch my ticket because of SPN lesson on Disability #3.
-If you are disabled, you are useless and cannot contribute to a cause or a movement. Because all cripples just sit in their chairs, taking up valuable space from people who matter and stewing over their impotence. Never mind that Bobby still managed to contribute through research and the provision of money and a safe place to plot. Nope. You're nothing without your legs.
-The loss of mobility trumps a complete loss of self. The fact that Bobby is permanently seated is more important than Castiel's total loss of identity, place, and family. He's an orphan in every sense of the word, bereft of home, kin, and the order that he has always known, stripped of his powers, and facing execution for his rebellion, and yet, he has no right to "bitch". Bobby, however, is free to piss and moan about his wretchedness all he likes. Because being loved and disabled and surrounded by people who would die to protect you is a fate worse than death, and certainly worse than a piffling loss of power, identity, home, and hope.
Fuck you, you sniveling hypocrite.
-If you were disabled through your own actions, you don't deserve what happened to you. It isn't natural to live like that. But if you have a brain tumor or a congenital disability, then them's the breaks, sucks to be you. Shut up and suffer bravely and die quietly and out of sight.
I suspect that even if Crowley reneges, Bobby won't return to crippledom because God will restore his legs as a reward for his service. Because only bad people deserve to be disabled, and Bobby is one of the Good Guys.
Yeah, fuck you and your ableism, too, Supernatural.