Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DC Scraps: Performance Art, "The Secret" Redux, And The ADA

I happened to be walking The Mall in DC yesterday with some friends when we encountered a group of soldiers in what looked to be full combat gear. They looked like they were conducting some sort of a sweep of The Mall, crouching behind trash can and the like and miming like they were holding guns. While we were trying to figure out what was going on I said, largely in jest, that it was "performance art". Turns out I was right:

The folks at IVAW.org were conducting a little bit of street theater. I admire what they're doing, but they really need to work on their message a little bit; if they want to be effective peoples' first reaction shouldn't be puzzlement. We didn't grok what was going on until one of them handed us the flyer and explained what was going on.

In other DC news I had the chance to talk with the pro-Secret couple I mentioned awhile back. This was actually the first time I'd seen them since I found out about the whole thing, and it seems like they're not quite as far gone as I'd originally speculated. They seem to appreciate The Secret more for its motivational aspects than for any of the "law of attraction" crap. Which is more reasonable; if The Secret gets them off of their asses then more power to 'em.

I also got into an interesting discussion with them about their small business and the ADA. In a nutshell they've spent, and continue to spend, a bunch of money to outfit and maintain ADA-compliant restrooms that go virtually unused by any disabled individuals. Given the line of work they're in (which I'll not define because they'd be pretty identifiable) its unlikely that these restrooms will ever be used by a disabled individual. Its not apparent that any public good is being furthered by this application of the ADA and the square-footage could be put to more productive use. If there are any disability activists out there reading this blog (still) I'd be interested in your take on the issue.

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