on the radio in the head

I am an unabashed, ardent fan of the NPR show This American Life. I listen to it from my TAL app in the car, timing longish rides with newly released episodes. Every show sends of eddies of thoughts through my head that would be great blog fodder, but then I would have to change the blog to be a TAL fan blog. A couple recent episodes seem particularly germane to the current thought soup going on in my head that I do have to spend a moment just referencing them. It kills me that I missed going to a theater to see the live broadcast cinema event. But the timing was awkward. I did listen to the podcast version of the show, though, Invisible Made Visible. What struck me is that two of the three main features were about the character’s relationships with their bodies. The first was from a blind man (and his relationship with his toddler) and the second from a man, struggling with cancer, whose arm was amputated (and his subsequent relationship with dance). I wonder if such an episode would’ve been possible twenty years ago, even ten years ago. I’m interested in how our society has evolved with respect to how people view physical bodies. How does this relate to knowledge? Extending thinking with our heads to thinking with our bodies, too?

These thoughts are especially germane to me right now as I have just returned from the annual meeting for the Society for Disability Studies. Bodies are all over the place there. A huge diversity of bodies and of thought. It was a wonderful experience.

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