Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Handicapped

There are some things that just piss you off, regardless of how bad you feel about being pissed off about them.

For me, it's bloody handicapped markers on license plates, the handicapped spots at stores and the hangers for the car rear-view mirror.

I can't drive drunk because it impairs my ability to drive a vehicle. As a teenager, I'm charged out the ass for insurance because I'm "reckless". But a handicapped driver? They're the fucking bomb. Exactly what qualifies for getting the handicapped moniker? I really should look it up. I just might now. I mean, really.

The loss of a limb? Can you be mentally handicapped and get it?

Now before you go looking me up to send a death squad to my door. I could really care less about weather the handicapped drive or not. More power to them. Progress is great, no?

What bugs me is they get the special treatment. Why? All the time I see somebody park in the handicapped spot, hop out and walk to the store.

You know. If you're too handicapped to walk from wherever you park, perhaps you're too handicapped to drive? If it's somebody else driving because the handicapped person is in a wheelchair, then where's the heartache? They're on wheels! The person pushing isn't handicapped, so normally they don't get to park that close.

See, what's pissing me off is that it doesn't make sense.

These are like pity perks for people who probably don't even want them. I'd wager that the most popular users of these perks are friends/relatives of the handicapped who take advantage of their perks. Which is cheating, which is akin to cutting in line, etc. Pisses me off.

How could this possibly relate to writing you ask?

Well, there are way too many times when something happens that just makes no damned sense.

My favorite example is a film I love to hate: Arlington Road.

This smart guy is duped so completely that not only is his every action and reaction known, but so is the timing of his actions. If he's so damned smart, how can he be such a fucking idiot? How did everybody at the end of that story get beaten with an idiot stick?

Pisses me off.

You're allowed one coincidence in your story. Typically early and what gets the whole shabang going, after that your audience will be on guard, so don't try it again because...

you'll piss 'em off.

This goes for character flip-flops just as much as plot implausibles. If you've written yourself into a corner, don't cheat to get out.

p.s. I don't drink alcohol at all (sadly), so I don't drink & drive, so put the flame-mails away.

ppss - I did look it up and apparently, a Dr. completes the form and it's their opinion of what consitutes a handicapp. A physician's opinion. Because they're so right. Here's two blurbs from physicians: "A patient always knows their body better than a dr." Yet, somehow, "A dr. is the worst patient."

but i digress


Blogger wcdixon said...

hmmmm...still figuring this one out. Will return once I've mulled.

Thanks for the link walkthrough...I have done #1 as you described and it almost worked a couple of times (as in it appeared in blog as desired but when clicked it didn't find article). Will try again.

Friday, July 14, 2006 at 2:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Harriet said...

Please continue to rage at people who have hcap plates and not seem to need them. I don't mention this to show you up, only to hint at one possible scenario.

My husband has cerebral palsy, which means his legs are basically bony stilts mounted under his hips. He doesn't drive, and he doesn't so much walk as torque one side of his body forward with his core muscles, then the other, repeating until the destination is reached. In good health, he can do about 3/4 of a mile, but when exhausted, he can barely do 50 ft.

We don't have a hcap license, but it's nice to know we can make his life easier if he needs it. (And if that day comes, I won't use hcap spots if he's not in the car.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 2:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

Harriet, I'm sorry to hear about your husband. The post is out of frustration for those folks who seem to abuse it or who don't appear to be actually handicapped.

It's also about stories that make absolutely no sense - like Match Point (right Bill?)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 10:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's people like you who make the world a more difficult place. Why don't you find something other than handicapped people to criticize. I realize that you're not pissed at the actual handicapped, but, to sit and judge how somebody walks when they get out their car, and whether you think they are handicapped enough to get the placard or sticker is pathetic. A placard/sticker that any one of them would gladly give up to not have their handicap by the way. Eventually, when you grow up some more, you will realize that life is hard enough, and people with impairments don't need to be judged by you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 9:25:00 PM EDT  

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