Tuesday, 9 October 2012

i love the smell of righteous fury in the morning

Always nice to start the day off with a rant!

I'm fairly active on most social networks, one which I don't necessarily see that much of a point to is LinkedIn - have I totally got this wrong but isn't this basically just Facebook-for-career-minded-adults?

Anyway, I'm in a number of groups that are relevant to my work - one of them, which sounds as dull as ARSES, is a closed-group called Thinkaboutpricing.

A DISCLAIMER: the guy running this is Tim Baker, who is a bit of a god in the UK Arts scene - I've worked with him occasionally over the years.

Earlier today, I picked up on a thread which was responding to an article in The Guardian about the concept of "Paid-for Queuing" - which is surely the only outcome from tickets for high-demand events only being available on the day of a performance, and which opens up all kinds of issues as far as accessibility is concerned.

One comment went thus:
Full Comment: "We had an interesting take on disability and queuing when we secured Michael McIntyre to perform at The Maltings. One person claimed discrimination because their condition did not permit them to queue. So, I know know that there are at least two types of claustrophobia: there is one type that stops someone from attending a queue, taking a numbered ticket and sitting in a warm spacious room until their number is called and then there is the other one which permits the same person to come into a jam packed 100% sold out venue and happily negotiate crush bars and corridors. funny that!"

I immediately got on my high-horse - I think it was the jokey little "funny that" comment at the end, which is a particularly pernicious kind of disabled-person bashing, is it not?


Speaking as someone who has a chronic disabling health condition (MS), i'm sorry to say that i find the last jokey comment a little ignorant and misguided. i sincerely hope i'm misunderstanding you!  my condition fluctuates, so i can find standing in long queues very difficult. but i also like to see shows / gigs, etc - just like a NORMAL person.  and i don't feel that i should have to stay away from events where there's a danger that they might actually sell out!  my trips frequently necessitate a degree of planning beforehand for me - getting as much information as possible about the venue / parking / facilities in advance. and i will frequently book tickets at the ends of rows so i don't succumb to feelings of panic or claustrophobia.  (as an aside, i would probably book online wherever possible to avoid queuing.)  in this particular situation, speaking personally I don't think i would automatically jump to a 'discrimation' charge (as the potential ticket-buyer).  most likely i would contact the venue to discuss my condition - this has been particularly useful when booking for outdoor cinema screenings for example.  your comment is one step away from accusing disabled people and those with chronic health conditions as 'fiddlers' and 'benefit scrounging scumbags' - i think we have to face enough discrimination in the outside world (particularly with the current government) without it infiltrating the supposedly liberal and open-minded world of the arts.

Did I overreact? I don't think I did.


swisslet said...

I don't think you overreacted, but I share your ambivalence about linkedin. I get why it's useful for contactors and people actively looking to change roles, but it only ever brings me hassle from people either to looking to get me to recruit someone, or wanting to try to recruit me. In the main I find it annoying and wonder why I'm still on there. If a post like yours popped up in my feed, it would stand out a mile as the most interesting thing on there..... albeit not a social medium where I'd expect much interaction from my network!

stevedomino said...

thanks for making it through my badly-spelt rant!

still no movement on that thread, by the way - i am the TOPIC KILLER.