Monday, December 31, 2007

Unclude the Negative Stuff

The lead story on page 1 of today’s Chronicle begins with this:

If Michael Bernard Loggins has a good day - if he turns up a "Rugrats" video at the Community Thrift Store, for example - he would say he's feeling "terrifical."

A bad day, like showing up at Jack's Record Cellar to shop for 45s only to find he'd made a "blank-trip," because the shop was closed, would be "irritational."

The daily "lifestuff" of 46-year-old Loggins, and the special language he uses to describe it, pour out of his black Sharpie pen at Creativity Explored in San Francisco, an arts center for adults with developmental disabilities.

Now he's collected his language into a dictionary, "Imaginationally."

I’m not a big fan of cute feature stories. But sometimes I see something that is so wonderful I can’t resist reading it. This one caught my eye.

It’s not just the creativity and accuracy of Loggins’ definitions that impresses me. It highlights one more time how quickly we dismiss those who are different, those who we say are ‘less than.’ We dismiss them and conclude they are not worthy of our attention.

I like the name of the arts center – Creativity Explored. I’m offended by how the center is described: For adults with developmental disabilities. Yeah, I guess Michael Loggins isn’t as skillful in certain areas of life as we ‘normal’ people. But given the quality of his thinking, I wouldn’t be too fast to label him disabled.

Whatever . . . You get the point. Here are some examples from Michael’s writing:

Troublemakerhood: A neighborhood where troublemakers hang out.

Unclude: Keeping things that you don't appreciate out of your life.

You-ness: What makes you special and unique in your work and makes you talented.

Clownshipment: Like a good relationship with other clowns.

Hectical: Very busy at work for 48 hours.

And some of what he says he fears:

Fear of rolling down hill backward.

Fear of bats.

Fear of fog horn.

Fear of being left in the house alone afraid there would be an earthquake in a few more seconds.

Fear of cars when they skid like if you think they're going to crash is scary.

Fear of dropping your soda as it hit the ground and fiz on you.

Fear of hospitals and needles.


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