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RE Michael Sanders' request for suggestions about tv and film
programs with people with disabilities: I find it interesting
that the godlike figure of the Great Detective is often
presented as someone "exceptional" in both the "disabled"
and the "superabled" sense, e.g., Ironsides, Longstreet.
My guess is that "exceptional" is a notion that cuts two
ways and that exceptional people are, to the extent that
they represent our own sense of difference, usefully portrayed
as somehow isolated.  That people are isolated is a cruel
fact about the (social) world, as is crime (the acts of
the isolated: alienated or disaffected), so having an "exceptional"
person restore order not only saves the world but satisfies
our desire to reintegrate.  In the case of a super-intellect
like Sherlock Holmes, we can admire, but we are typically
left outside; if he's a god, we are, at most, acolytes.
But if the "exceptional" person is in some sense palpably
mortal (note Peter Falk's prominently odd eye or Ray Charles
in *Blues Brothers* [was that where he shoots?]), then we
can be both more and less than the protagonist from our
own pts of vw, and so, on balance, feel that we are
like him.  Thus, the exceptional detective's restoration
of order comes to be, at least in part, a representation
of our ability to feel at home in the (social) world.
 
Just some thoughts.
 
 
Eric Rabkin                [log in to unmask]
Department of English      [log in to unmask]
University of Michigan     office: 313-764-2553
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1045    dept  : 313-764-6330