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Tiny Tim and Rudolph, The Christmas Gimps

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:51pm

Two of the most well-known Christmas stories are the classic Charles Dickens' tale, A Christmas Carol, and the more modern story, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A common theme in these stories is found in the societies' views of the characters Tiny Tim and Rudolph. Each of these two characters has a difference, a physical anomaly; each character is initially seen as pitiful, and, in the end, hailed as special and inspirational.

Many in the disability community have given thought-provoking, satirical and ent ertaining commentary on these symbolic characters. In Empowering Tiny Tim, Douglas Lathrop debates whether Tiny Tim is a pathetic cripple or really a crafty little con artist. He calls Tiny Tim a "stone cold manipulator". In A Crippled Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim embarks on a journey to Christmas 2005. In Ode to Scrooge, Steve Kuusisto, tells of the history of Charles Dickens’s Victorian England as well as sharing his perspective on the “Scrooges” of today.

Gimpy, The One-Horned Reindeer is an entertaining satire from Ouch! Magazine and Podcast, the irreverent disability magazine by the BBC (Check out their Merry Cripmas, too). In Games People Play, Andrea makes a dead-on analogy between the Rudolph story and the now famous teen with autism who was "allowed" to play basketball. In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the blogger asks gutsy questions, "What if it turned out that that Rudolph couldn't actually save the day? What if he had just been different but not special?"

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