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Soap Disfigurement Drop Squad

Is she weird?
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<background>
At present, the Scottish Executive is sponsoring a bus stop poster campaign aimed at engendering inclusiveness for the disabled and disfigured. The posters employed feature frank black and white photos of such people, the reasoning being, I think, that exposure to such images will lessen the shock on the faces of the proles when they are confronted with someone "different" and will therefore be able to treat such people as people without all the idiotic face pulling and averting of eyes that usually accompanies such meetings.
</background>

If this reasoning is sound, then I suggest that it be applied on a wider scale, with the Soap Disfigurement Drop Squad. The SDDS is a team of Equity-registered disabled and disfigured actors. Twice yearly, per a secret tripartite agreement between themselves, the programme makers and some government body, the SDDS will take over the roles of characters in each of the nation's favourite domestic soap operas. They will act in exactly the same way, story arcs will not be upset and no mention of their appearance will be made.

Thus, the goggle box-addicted nation will be confronted with people of different appearances, will be able to see that people with different appearances have the same trials and tribulations and "normal people" and, in time, that such people are, in fact, quite normal themselves.
Inclusivity is engendered, 'disabled' actors are freed from playing monsters etc, stoners are beweirded.

calum, Mar 11 2004

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       // frank black //   

       Isn't Charles actually reforming with the Pixies? And is the subheading a coincidence?
saker, Mar 11 2004
  

       "As the Weird Turns"
FarmerJohn, Mar 11 2004
  

       I think that such an event, because it only occurs once a year, would be likely to be treated as just a freakshow. It would be much better if the TV companies employed a more representative (of the general population) bunch of actors in the first place.

Of course, I don't actually know how many disabled actors there are and I'm not callling for quotas of disabled actors but there certainly doesn't appear to be much use of disabled characters in TV scripts.

Of course, of course, this idea also presumes that TV soaps are in some way representative of the real world. Which they're not. So although a worthy idea I think that I'm going to come down on the side of a very sucky fishbone, I'm afraid.
DrBob, Mar 11 2004
  

       So let me get this right ... for Eastenders for example ..   

       Episode 1 -- Dirty Den, the lanky pock-faced meddler has just sent Phil to jail, classic soap stuff -- and in the very next episode - the scene opens ..   

       Episode 2 -- Sharon is in the market place .. talking to a great big fat afro-american guy in a wheel chair, with a disfigured head. The camera zooms closer .. what is she saying? Is she directing him to the nearest train station? Is she discussing politics or the weather with this 'different' looking complete stranger?   

       No .. she's talking to the guy as if its her father. He's answering as if he is a lovable rogue that is Dirty Den. Everyone else in the program is acting normally around them. WTF!!   

       The population watching the program panic .. perhaps later that night in real life when they call their mum for a chat they -- like on telly -- will be greeted by a complete stranger with a physical disability and a speech impedemant, who insists she is to all intensive purposes their mum!   

       Social rules break down .. you don't know when your mates are going to be suddenly replaced with the gold medal winners from the special olympics for the night. Cats and dogs living happily together .. MASS HYSTERIA.
britboy, Mar 11 2004
  

       + for the sentiment but I also agree with [DrBob]'s first point.
Etymon, Mar 11 2004
  

       Man, and here I thought you were sending in a crack team to save me from accidental bath-time mutilation.   

       -1 for my new fear of bathing, but +1 for messing with people's heads.
MuddyBuddy, Mar 12 2004
  

       Initially, yeah, the experience would be something of a freakshow but then again, the post drop squad press would give a *huge* amount of coverage to it - it's human interest/celebrity/television tabloid manna - which'd give the disabled and disfigured a better chance to be heard. But it's bi-annual and for each soap, so it would happen roughly, 8 times a year (EastEnders, Corrie, Emmerdale and, in the absence of Brookside, Hollyoaks), giving the public valuable experience in looking at people who appear different.   

       And agreed, soaps are not like real life. Soaps are to real life what condensed milk is to milk.
calum, Mar 15 2004
  

       <obligatory>I thought this was going to be something else entirely:
Some kind of squad that would pick up old slivers of dropped soap and then meld them altogether. The result would look a little disfigured - but I thought that's were [calum] would somehow elucidate the idea. Ah well - as you were...
Jinbish, Mar 15 2004
  
      
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