Friday, November 04, 2005

Free and Equal Access

Several years ago the poet Asha Rahming put on a gala book signing at a local establishment. Her first collection "Curry Flavor" had just been released by People Tree Press, London. When I arrived I was confronted with a flight of steps that led up to the entrance. There was no railing. I was alone, and this was pre-walking stick time. I crawled up the stairs on my hands and knees, and thusly gained access. I saw the owner of the property later on, a nice man, a terrific artist, a cultural leader. I told him that his beautiful building was inaccessible to folks like me. He laughed, patted me on the head, mumbled something about looking into it, and quickly moved away. That was perhaps six or seven years ago now, and as far as I know, there are still no ramps or railings at that landmark public building. This kind of shit never happens to me in cyberspace. Equal access is never denied to me on the Worldwide Web. I do not ever have to get on my knees and crawl in the blogosphere. You could say the Web is a place where every stairway has a railing, or it is a place where broken feet do not exist or where everyone's feet are equally as broken. You could say writing and publishing a blog is a bridge I can lay down between me and Everywhere, or it is a walking stick, or it is a flagstone in the crabgrass that does not trip me down, instead it carries me equally on. In this place I cannot be kept out of any place. Not by scarred Achilles Tendons, not by stairs or chasms, not by cultural systems and religions, not by the fact of my femaleness, or my contrariness, or my otherness. Yes, achieving free and equal access is my objective as a blog writer, I know this with certainty.

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