Back in 2006, Morgan Spurlock rendered himself a pariah of the disabilities community with his hour-long presentation to 700 Philadelphia high school kids. It was replete with profanities and insults, e.g. one about the intelligence of McDonald's employees and another about the "retarded kids in the back wearing helmets”.
At that point in his speech, teachers promptly led the special education students in the back row out of the auditorium.
The remaining students were impressed with Spurlock. They "laughed, gave him a standing ovation and mobbed him for autographs". But the adults in the audience gave him a failing grade: he was summoned to the principal's office for a scolding and his second scheduled speech in that community was cancelled.
"If you put the whole package together, the use of the F-word and poking fun at teachers and the comments about special-needs students, it just wasn't appropriate," Superintendent William Lessa said. [USA Today, March 26, 2006]Spurlock’s defense, posted on his blog, didn't rise above the lame:
“First and most importantly, it should be made clear that the only person I called “retarded” was myself when I was unable to hear a question from the audience.” [Source]And in an interview for a local newspaper he explained:
"I didn't think of the audience, and I could have chosen my words better,” adding that he would forfeit the fee owed him for the presentation. [Source]But now he has thoroughly redeemed himself.
Spurlock’s company, Virgil Films, acquired North American distribution rights to “Becoming Bulletproof” which will be presented as part of the series "Morgan Spurlock Presents”. This award-winning production chronicles the making of the film "Bulletproof," a Western produced by filmmakers and actors both with disabilities and without who meet annually at Zeno Mountain Farm in Los Angeles to make original films.
Shot on the same set as the Western, "Becoming Bulletproof" introduces us to a dynamic and inclusive film-making community. Spurlock said, "Michael Barnett has made a film that’s funny as well as inspiring – it’s a one-of-a-kind gem."
And I second the motion: it left me variously moved, entertained, inspired, saddened and grateful all in one viewing.
IMHO Spurlock has earned our forgiveness and I’m confident that all viewers of this beautiful work will agree.
And on to more mundane changes but closer to home.
The vagaries of C.'s condition continue to stump us. After months of anorexic eating, with only brief intervals of normal appétit, C. has gone ravenous on us. For an entire week, she’s been shoveling food in faster than I can re-fill her plate.
Never mind that I am constantly cooking for her or worrying that she might vomit or burst - I'm relishing every minute of it.
Another change has been the return of C.'s inexplicable central fevers. I'm rather fond of those too. I just give her a couple of Advils and, along with the fever, her seizures pass.
This week has also brought a new sort of cry/shout. Probably just a teaser that will soon disappear. But maybe, dare I type this, a new form of communication?
And here, for another change, is a photo (top-right of this post) of C. being lifted out of the pool after her hydrotherapy session today.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and seizure-free (or at least reduced) New Year!