#ADA25 Birthday, Mental Health, Justin Dart and My Crazy Hashtags


This weekend I am celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, July 26, 2015. For gifts, here are some hashtags for tweeting! Below, watch a two minute video by my good friend David Zupan:

My friend, Justin Dart, is called the father of the ADA, and godfather of the disabilities movement. Justin loved activists, his friends, his wonderful wife Yoshiko, and people with disabilities. Being near Justin and friends Tom Olin, Janine Bertram Kemp, and others felt like being near a campfire and warming your hands! Love is truly the revolution.

David W. Oaks poses with Justin Dart and his award.#LeadOn is a tribute to Justin. He encouraged everyone by saying “lead on!”

For example, “#LeadOn Senator Bob Dole! Your leadership for disability is appreciated!”

My next gift, #LTFO, stands for something a little stronger than lead on: Lead The Fuck On! Because some folks might be a little squeamish, this hashtag is for folks who can handle this such as many of our US vets. After all, vets gave us FUBAR and SNAFU! Seriously, because vets tend to go through the VA system, there is segregation between disabled vets and the rest of us disabled Americans.

For example: “#LTFO, my friend and Vietnam-vet Kim Maynard, who says that the disabled vets he knows have values that are reflected by non-vet civilian disability activists. Unite!”

My next gift reflects the urgency of our times, when Pope Francis calls Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers to create a revolution because of global warming and poverty. This ferment reminds me that when I started in activism we thought of ourselves as One Big Movement, the beloved community as MLK called us.

#LERC is a hashtag based on what my wife helped come up with: Love Earth Revolution Celebration. Your name may be different in this horizontalish world revolt.

I should keep this post brief. My wonderful homecare worker Cat said, “Just say that you have a book today and only two minutes to say it in!”

So my final gift is simply this:


Happy birthday, everyone!

Let us get a little bit crazy now! I am introducing a new segment where I boycott so-called normality.

The Cuckoo’s Nest Salon: The Maddest in America!

A famous partly-paralyzed person once reassured a frightened nation that confronted depression and fascism. I will make a change in that statement because we now face something that may be trillions of times bigger:

“The Only Thing Normal Is Madness Itself”

Our choice, our only choice, and we always have a choice, is what kind of madness we want.

Instead of #ADA I see that some people are instead tweeting out #ADA25, so maybe I will do that too, because I sure do not want people to think I am speaking for the American Dental Association. If I did that, I might rant against their endorsement of forced fluoridation in the water supply, and how an epidemic of spinal arthritis broke out in India after pollution from fluoride, but as the Kogi in South America warned us little brothers, in the excellent documentary Aluna available from Netflix, a thread of life weaves a web for us all. I sure would not want too look to crazy for you!

So I will look just a little crazy, I hope, as we mark this historic occasion. Love you!



Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. “The only thing normal is madness itself.”

    Genius. Simple genius. The first step on the road to becoming a self-hating Mad person is a feeling and, in most instances, a reality of painful and permanent exile from the so-called “civilized” world. A Mad person who regains or develops confidence in both their worthiness to and ability to judge for themselves where their ideas and the ideas of others fall on the continuum of reality has excelled at developing an unconditional respect for and knowledge of their status as a human among humans.

    For neurotypical people, this way of being in the world is usually foreclosed to them by the sanism that they perpetrate almost as much against themselves as they do against Mad people. That, however, is the price they pay for grasping at a quick fixes to life’s most trying crises. Thank goodness we don’t have the choice to try and alienate ourselves from the inconvenient parts of life in a futile attempt to give ourselves some inner peace.

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