Getting By

Are we actually talking about this, I asked myself, lunching with a filmmaker friend. Our topic? The Americans with Disabilities Act. Now beginning its second quarter of a century, the ADA once seemed as unassailable as apple pie. But bye bye, Miss American pie. There’s no Chevy. And no levy. And the cripples must die.

We good old boys were eating turkey on rye…and talking about What Must be Done. Isn’t everyone? Like making a video that defends the rights and opportunities expanded since the ADA’s passage. Which occurred under a Republican administration, one must add.

Not to dither over facts, not in this post-factual world. Meaning, if I understand correctly, that one can take nothing for granted. That everything needs to be restated. Re-explained. Re-justified. And I am too old for this, I keep telling myself. Which, of course, isn’t true. It’s like the grandparents who have taken over the parenting of their grandkids…because the parents have run afoul of drugs or crime. There’s really not much choice. You step up to the plate, as it were.

Is there enough? Is there enough to make this happen? I ask this about myself. I ask it about the world, the nation. So ask away. Stuff needs to be done. Such as our little video. Despite technology, making any coherent communications piece involves so much time and money that such work shouldn’t get started without support all round. What’s the message? What’s the budget? What’s the deadline?

Not this time. It’s not even clear which disabled advocacy group wants such a piece, if any. We’ve had some inconclusive meetings with a local nonprofit. But such organizations are scrambling to survive. So are we, my video buddy and I, in a very different sense. That’s why we’re cranking out this film, without a clear sponsor or outlet. Which is either madness or inspiration. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, I must commend Jane and her church. After 125 years, the listed building is going to adapt to wheelchairs, not to mention walkers and strollers. It has taken organizing, time and money. Not to mention patience. Naturally, several San Francisco municipal department had to sound off. There were historical reviews. It is taking forever. Yet ‘forever’ is almost over. I would give it a couple of months. After which events like this evening’s chamber concert at Jane’s church won’t involve a high-risk maneuver up and down stairs, and in and out of a folding wheelchair.

Which is actually low-risk when one considers the helpful congregants nearby. That’s how we get through these times. And any times. A little help from our friends. We get by. And sometimes getting by is a major achievement

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