Episode 7 of Growing Up Fisher involves a lot of child/parent disagreements. Mel plays the overly cautious and concerned father that constantly annoys and irritates his teenage daughter to the point that she finally learns something from him. Joyce plays the clueless mother that she always is, wishing she was the child. She even uses her own son Henry as the example subject in an attempt to be included in a group study session with her childhood psychology classmates. This doesn't turn out so well and ends in Henry wishing he could just run away. The show starts off with Mel ironically playing the "back seat driver" while Katie is preparing for her drivers test. Mel attempts to use his sonar or 6th sense to predict that something is about to hit the car. He is right much of the time but totally freaks Katie out and leaves her on eggshells. Mel's overly protective father figure continues throughout the episode and is quite entertaining.
Runyen Feeds Elvis: Henry's friend Runyen begins feeding Elvis while waiting for Katie to take her drivers test at the DMV. Elvis is really starting to enjoy the treats but when Mel hears repeated "smacking" by Elvis he knows something is up and calls out Runyen. Runyen says he wants to give Elvis some Boba (an Asian cold drink with tapiocha balls in it) and Mel is totally confused. Mel repeats the word "Boba" like five times and still has no idea what Runyen is talking about. Then Mel says, "now I'm going to have to send Elvis back to training school because of you." This brings up a family dilemma with Joyce asking the first question, "What do we do? Do they give you a rental guide dog?"
Runyen the Stereotypical Asian: In true stereotyped form Runyen attends the play performance with a gigantic professional camera with huge lens. Asians are known for their love for technology as well as their love to take photos and when I saw this I was cracking up.
Blind/VI in Sports: Mel explains how when he was in 8th grade he signed up for the rowing team and the coach, Coach Loch told him, "I can't have some blind kid knocking oars with the other boats and messing up my team's rhythm. I can't kick you off the team but I strongly recommend that you quit." Immediately when I heard this it reminded me about how prevalent this still is in society. Contrary to what most may think, exclusion of blind/VI in sport is still very common. I would be willing to bet that every blind/VI individual that is at least moderately involved in athletics has been confronted with the "exclusion card." The "exclusion card" can also be called the "excuse card" if you ask me. I have been confronted with it many times in my lifespan and I am always shocked with the excuses that are used to validate the exclusion of blind/VI in mainstream athletics.
The excuses vary based upon the situation but typically always come back to two things. First, if a group wants to exclude a blind/VI individual from participation all they have to do is pull out the "its a safety or liability" issue. You would be surprised on the extent to which the safety/liability excuse is used. It is so bad, in terms of the extent to which this excuse is used that many times it seems that they are implying if a blind/VI individual walks through the door to an event, that this alone presents a safety/liability issue.
Secondly, the other excuse that is often used is that the blind/VI individual must have an advantage if they participate. An example of this i when a blind/VI individual wants to participate but requires a guide such as in a running event. The excluders would say that this is an advantage because they have someone pacing them. My response to this is that they have no idea what a pacer is. First, in a running race every participant uses others to pace off of therefore everyone has a pacer. Secondly, a pacer is someone that runs in front of the individual setting the pace and allowing the person behind to have a draft. With blind/VI participants and their guides, the rules state that the guide must run side by side with the blind athlete therefore this does not meet the definition of a pacer at all. So if everyone else is using each other as pacers in a race and the blind/VI individual can't see other participants than what they are saying is that they want to put you at a disadvantage by not allowing a guide. In addition, if they really want to see a safety/liability concern than they should not allow the blind/VI individual to have a guide and then put them out in the race. I'd love to hear arguments against this reasoning that have any sort of reasonable thought. My goal is to educate society and get rid of the "excuse card" and exclusion!