The Fictional Spectrum: Dr. Shaun Murphy

shaun murphyABC has a TV series that I think will be a force for good in autism advocacy: The Good Doctor. Based on the Korean TV series of the same name, its main character is Dr. Shaun Murphy, played by Freddie Highmore. Dr. Shaun Murphy is an autistic doctor who is working at St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Now I want to stress a few things. First, I have no knowledge of the Korean version of this show.  Second, medial dramas are not something I normally watch. I tend to watch science fiction, superhero, action, and fantasy programs.

I’ve heard this show has been accused of being “inspiration porn”, or at least a borderline example of it. I’m not sure if I agree. When I think of “inspiration porn”, I think of something that presents a disability as an obstacle, as if to say “If only the main character was normal, his/her life would be better.” Or “Look how cool this person is because of his special disability!” I don’t see either of these.

Dr. Murphy got his position because of Dr. Glassman, the president of St. Bonaventure Hospital. Dr. Glassman has been a mentor for Shaun since his teen years.  Shaun did not have an easy childhood. He was often bullied or ridiculed by both his peers and adults.  Glassman, however, saw potential and nurtured that potential into the man Dr. Murphy is today. In the pilot, the other staff members are unsure if they should let him work there, but Glassman reminds them that there was a time when black people and women also had difficulty getting medical careers. To him, Shaun is no different.

Continue reading “The Fictional Spectrum: Dr. Shaun Murphy”

Advertisements

Jason’s Jukebox: The Cure

the cureIn 1979, The Cure released their debut Three Imaginary Boys. Although Bauhaus predates them as the first Goth Rock band, The Cure is probably one of the most well-known. This time around, I’m ranking all of The Cure’s studio albums.

imaginary 1) Three Imaginary Boys (1979) ***

Single:  “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”

(Note: The United States had a different debut, Boys Don’t Cry, which yielded them their first US hit with its title track. The track list for this is mostly the same as their UK debut)

Although Robert Smith would disagree, I find this debut isn’t bad.  There a few tracks that miss the mark, but it’s overall a great start.

Best Tracks: “10:15 Saturday Night”, “Foxy Lady”, “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”

seventeen 2) Seventeen Seconds (1980) ****

Single: “A Forest”

This is The Cure’s first true Goth Rock album, and is still considered one of their strongest. Not bad for an album this early in their run. It totally averts the “Sophomore Slump”, but fame would not be on their side yet.

Best tracks: “Play For Today”, “Secrets”, “A Forest”

faith 3) Faith (1981) **1/2

Single: “The Holy Hour”

This album seems like a few steps down despite Robert Smith still showing his strengths as a vocalist. I wasn’t too impressed.

Best Tracks: “The Holy Hour”

pornography4) Pornography (1982) ****1/2

Single: “The Hanging Garden”

This is a true early success, containing “One Hundred Years”, which would become a live favorite.  Simon Gallup’s bass line accents Robert’s vocals well.

Best tracks: “One Hundred Years”, “The Hanging Garden”, “Siamese Twins”

top5. The Top (1984) *

Single: “The Caterpillar”

This is the first real dud for the band. It’s mostly forgettable, save for a couple tracks.

Best Tracks: “Wailing Wall”, “The Top”

head 6. Head on the Door (1985) ***

Singles: “In Between Days”, “Close to Me”

Founding drummer Lol Tolhurst left before this album, becoming the first founder to leave (although he would return for a brief period later on) This album also marks Porl Thompson’s introduction, turning the band into a quintet. The album sold modestly in the US thanks to its singles.

Best Tracks: “In Between Days”, “Six Different Ways”, “Close To Me”

kiss me7)  Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987) ***1/2

Singles: “Why Can’t I Be You”, “Just Like Heaven”, “Hot Hot Hot”

This was The Cure’s first true breakthrough, with three big hits. It started a big wave that would continue for two more albums.

Best Tracks: “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep”, “Why Can’t I Be You”, “Just Like Heaven”, “Hot Hot Hot”, “Shiver and Shake”

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: The Cure”

Annah’s World: The Second Interview

A few years back, I conducted an interview with Annah, the main character from Clay Gilbert’s book of the same name, and the first in his series, Children of Evohe.  In that time, he has had to change publishers from the now-defunct PDMI to Dark Moon Press. He has now published two books simultaneously. This time, I interview her two “sister-friends”, Chelries and Liara. To Annah and her people, friends who are especially intimate are considered family, so they are both her sisters and her friends.

  1. It’s been a year since Holder and Annah have married. How are you adjusting to coexistence with humanity? *both laugh* We have never really had any difficulty “coexisting” with humans, at least those who are willing to coexist with us. Yes, there are terrible images of what humans did to Evohe in our people’s shared Memories of what we call the Breaking of the World, but Holder, Goodman, the Maestro, Maria Cantriel, and even Brian Stelson–so many humans never personally treated us badly. I think we both agree that misunderstanding is harder one on one.
  2. I’m told Annah has started a group called “The Circle” and one of its members is autistic. What is your impression of him? Chelries: “Our circle is a thing that does not really have a name–unless Annah is talking about it, she does pronounce it with that sound you give it, that “thing” sound–but even she just thinks of it in terms of what it does, and not so formally. Liara: “That is not the point of what he is asking, sister. He is asking, I think, about friend Jason. Jason Treader. That’s a subject I know you like. Chelries: “Oh! I do like him, very much He is less guarded than other humans sometimes, even less so than Holder.  That is very comforting. And he does not mind dancing with me, and can even keep up. Liara: (smiles) I like him too. He likes stories, and has even told me some of his own, and those of his world. This ‘autism’–I have heard him speak of it as well, but I do not think of it as separate from him, or a thing he ‘has’. It is merely a part of who he is, and that is all.
  3. What other members of the Circle have you found the most challenging to teach and learn from? (Liara and Chelries look at each other, as if trying to decide who’s going to answer first) Chelries: I think we both had some difficulties adjusting to Maria Cantrell, when she was with us. Liara: Yes. We were not entirely sure what to make of her in the beginning, but we trusted her, because Annah did.  And then we came to see what Annah saw in her, and we loved her.  And then she was gone. But we remember her fondly. Chelries: There has also been Brian Stelson. It is truly remarkable how much he changed, even more so than Maraia did. Liara: Sister, that may be because there was even more in friend Brian that needed chaning. Chelries: I suppose that is true, and I suppose that is the point.
  4. Your culture seems to place great emphasis on music. What is your favorite thing about human music? Chelries: The rhythms! Human culture seems to have found many more ways to make a beat than we have, but then I suppose they have more ways to do it. It is wonderful, anyway. Liara; The fusion of melody and verse. We do not have so many songs with words here on our world, not ones of our own. Song-shapers like Annah, and word-shapers, like myself if I may say so, may one day change that. Chelries: And then I will dance to those new songs! *laughs*
  5. What is your opinion of our food? Chelries: Very tasty. Holder and Anah talked Llew and Danae, Annah’s parents into making a human meal called ‘pizza’ from a recipe he had found.  It was delicious. Liara: I agree! I could have eaten at least half of it by myself. Chelries: Hmph! I would not have let you

Continue reading “Annah’s World: The Second Interview”