Cool wheelchairs
July 24, 2004 4:53 AM   Subscribe

Cool wheelchairs.
posted by dg (11 comments total)
A wheelchair called Spazz? This has to be a spoof, right? Or 'cool ironic' to the point of offensive?
posted by punilux at 8:20 AM on July 24, 2004

those are cool ... punilux, why shouldn't people in wheelchairs style like that?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:34 AM on July 24, 2004

That's not what I meant at all, sorry. This may be a 'language divide' issue, but in the UK, the term 'spazz', a contraction of 'spastic', is considered by most to be extremely offensive. It's definitely not yet, at least among my chair-using friends, a reclaimed word. Even the venerable and ancient Spastics Society here changed it's name some years ago to avoid the negative connotations associated with the word.
posted by punilux at 8:42 AM on July 24, 2004

Obviously this site is going for the "gang members paralyzed in turf wars" demographic.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:05 AM on July 24, 2004

punilux: naming one of their cool chairs the "Spazz" was the first thing that caught my attention too. I'm going with "cool ironic" for this one: spazz has a somewhat negative connotation here in N.A. but it's more of a playground insult and doesn't immediately bring to mind the idea of a genuine physical disability. In fact I'd bet many people wouldn't make the connection with "spastic", which itself isn't used here to connote disability as it is in the U.K.

But your remark definitely suggests the company should rethink the name of they're going to market the chair overseas!

/Mr. Maturity here had Mrs. Turtle take his picture under the "Scottish Society for Spastics" sign in Edinburgh
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:25 AM on July 24, 2004

Coming soon: The Tard and the Dweebo.
posted by ColdChef at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2004

Definite SOH failure from me, sorry 'bout that. But I'm still not buying one, whatever they call it. At least not until they introduce 'Slasho' (tm) retractable hub-blades.
posted by punilux at 10:23 AM on July 24, 2004

The "Spazz" name immediately caught my eye, also. While the word historically has negative connotations here in Australia, it has degraded over recent years from being a nasty way of comparing someone to a person who is severely mentally retarded to being a catch-all term for someone who is acting stupid (although the historical basis of the insult make it very dependent on context and not something you would use on a stranger).

Peter H, that is ironic indeed. Although their target market would not necessarily include those with sufficient disability to be unable to operate a keyboard and mouse, they should be more cognizant of the needs of the disabled as a matter of principle.
posted by dg at 4:44 PM on July 24, 2004

these really are cool...if, god forbid, i ever need one, i'll be the spaz in a spazz : >
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on July 24, 2004

My mom's a lifelong gimp (of the electrically assisted type). She's had two Bounder Plus wheelchairs in the last 6 years. The first was dropped out of the side of a 747 onto the tarmac in Vegas on her Thelma and Loise adventure. She's gotten hers up to 16 mph on smooth concrete, and it can elevate 13 inches and recline 45 degrees.

She really despises wheelchairs that have little drive wheels, and the Ibot scared the crap out of her when she drove it at a trade show.
posted by blasdelf at 8:27 PM on July 24, 2004

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