"I have a pair of "Gay jeans" that make me feel sexy, they're trimmed with a regular, non-elastic waistband and are tight enough to show my musculature without restricting my urostomy bag." - Studman
Yes, all ingredients for a George Carlin wet dream but also terms used to describe writer, Ryan Hall. In fact, he prefers these terms and gets offended if you are too "PC."
Known to the blogosphere as Placebo'studman', Ryan Hall is the self proclaimed "Resident smart ass" on Open Salon.
If you think the man on the left looks smug, there is no need to think again. Ryan is a world traveler, expert Billiards player and received a first-class education in London.
Spina Bifida and a broken spine have left Ryan almost completely paralyzed from the ribs down while debilitating pain shoots from the spinal breaking point to every one of his joints. Arthritis and Anemia join forces to fill his days with chronic pain, exhaustion and a constant tingling sensation in his hands and face. His pain doesn't stop at the physical. It permeates his psyche with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), repetitive speech patterns and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)
He has days when the lethargy, suicidal thought and feelings of worthlessness leave him bawling his eyes out in the fetal position.
At night, he is haunted by the image of his penis wrapped in bloody gauze. He was already a seven year old when he witnessed his own circumcision
- without anesthesia.
"They look at me, see my disability, and believe that I am, or should be some kind of meek wallflower, quiet and unassuming, because, in their minds, a broken body automatically equates to a broken mind."
What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
What 10 nouns best describe you?
- Urostomy bag
Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams.
What is your favorite sport to watch? To play?
Billiard (9 ball) for both.
What did you hide from your parents? Bad grades and sex toys.
What star/celebrity do most people say you resemble?
What do you have on your bedroom walls?
I have a Joy Division poster and a print by my friend Elisabeth. and a picture of Gates McFadden. Dr Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: TNG on my walls.
How do you reduce stress?
Do you swear?
If you could have any job, what would it be?
Roadie for the band Placebos.
What animal best represents you & why?
Snake or scorpion, cause if you get too close, I'm likely to bite/sting.
Studman on Politics
What political party are you affiliated with, and why?
Depends how you define affiliated with. I am a registered democrat, but I have financially supported the Libertarian party in the past, and there are times when The Republicans *used* to make a half a bit of sense more than Dems, so now I just call myself independent.
How did "agenda" become such a dirty word in politics?
I think people confuse "agenda" with propoganda. Agenda simply means a plan of action. Propaganda is a plan of action that reflects a certain philosophy or political direction. It's good to have a plan of action, certainly, but when that plan of action leads one to a conclusion that automatically excludes all other alternatives or options being considered, it becomes propoganda.
Do you think Sarah Palin is a political threat?
To become president? No. To continue and even accelerate the dumbing down of the American intellect, quite possibly. Sarah Palin is what happens when people think "I want someone exactly like me to run the country" Personally, I want someone a HELL of a lot smarter and more savvy than me.
You mention Health Reform a lot in your writings. Why is it so important to you and why are so many Americans against it?
Health Care Reform is important to me for the simple reason that, as a disabled person, I use more health care than the average generally healthy able bodied person. I think those who oppose health care reform do so for a lot of reasons, some based on pure propaganda (see above), some based on real concerns and issues relating to the realization that the current form of health care reform won't, in fact, do much at all to improve health care. The current form of health care reform has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with the economy, by reforming health insurance. It may make it cheaper for *some* people to get insurance, but having insurance is far from a guarantee of receiving quality medical care. I care more about receiving quality medical care than I do how to or who pays for it, because I've seen so many people who become critically ill get to a point where they are worried about saving their life, and realize that once their life will be saved, THEN they can worry about how to pay for it. But, we have been brainwashed to believe that bankruptcy lawyers and judges are far more scary and dangerous than the grim reaper. Personally, a scythe that the grim reaper carries is a LOT more scary than the gavel of a bankruptcy judge.
How would the legilization of Marijuana affect your life?
Legalization of marijuana itself probably wouldn't affect my life all that much, per se, as legalization of medical marijuana coming to Ohio. If marijuana was nationally accepted as the valid legitimate medication that some of us see it as, then I would probably have a much more active life, and wouldn't be stuck in bed 22 hours a day due to chronic pain.
Why is marijuana illegal while beer is not?
The short answer, without getting into the nitty gritty details, is that marijuana is illegal because it us useful. If marijuana were legalized, the pharmaceutical companies, lumber companies, and petrochemical companies would all go out of business, or at least their profits would decline dramatically, as marijuana and industrial hemp replaced oil, wood, and many textiles.
How do you feel about Big Pharma?
BigPharma is the ignored little child in the corner holding the Bowie knife. People think they're harmless and beneficial, because they have good advertising, without realizing, or without caring that what they are getting from BigPharma is dangerous to deadly. But, because Capitalism rules the day, and cures can not be monetized, we are left with a society that prays on people's lives with symptom management.
How do you feel about Socialism?
Having lived in Europe and having seen Socialism up close and personal, frankly, on a day to day basis, I don't really see much difference from the USA. Yes, the taxes are higher, but people are taken care of, and the fears about government take over and Big Brother are all BS propaganda, because not even the politicians want as much control over other people's lives, because they realize that the government will have control over their life too.
You lived in Europe for a period of time. How do you wish America was more like Europe?
I wish Americans were more free spirited and generous, as the Europeans are. Despite the false stereotype of The French being rude assholes, some of my best memories were of Paris, and being escorted across the Champs Elysee by a traffic cop, and later having a restaurant manager bring a table outside for our family, because the restaurant was recommended to us, but was not wheelchair accessible. In essence, the spirit of the people, their generosity, and their willingness to help one another *almost* made the ADA seem unnecessary. But, selfish greedy Americans DO make laws like the ADA necessary to allow the disabled to enjoy full and productive lives whenever possible.
Studman on his personal life
I read where you write about being made to feel like your sexual urges should be "hush hush" compared to others "not" in a wheelchair. What impact does that have on the adult you are now?
The impact has been one of, in a sense, being overly sexualized now. Although I've only had one true one night stand, with the exception of 2 relationships I've been in, the other relationships I've been in have been sex first, emotions second. It's only been with some distance from those relationships that I've come to the realization that emotion comes before sex, and when emotions come before sex, it greatly enhances the sex when you have it.
What image issues do you have with your body?
I have a lot of issues with my body. First and foremost, I wish I was taller (I'm 4ft 7 at most), and if I were taller, then I would have larger genitals, which is an issue for me. Of course I have a complete roadmap of scars covering head to toe, and I wish I could minimize some of those on my back and on my tailbone/ass.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Love at first sight... no. Lust at first sight...yes.
Have you ever worn clothing from the opposite sex?
Yes, I have explored my feminine side and explored "gender bending."
In your blog you write about having a penile implant.Has it improved your life?
I don't actually have an implant that is a lot of hyperbole. If/when I find a partner, I will use Viagra/Cialis to achieve erections, if desired, though I've not really needed them yet, because as a gay man, I am a "bottom" and achieve ALL of my sexual pleasure ano-rectally.
Are you jealous of anything or anyone?
Any man who can have an erection on call.
Do you have any fetishes?
Diapers, farting, feces...anything related to bowel movements.
In your writings, you mention wanting to be "seduced." What do you mean?
My boyfriend/husband with spina bifida, coming home and saying "I need help with something." and helping him with his bowel and/or bladder management routine...turning it into our making love.
You hint at "giving away" your virginity, what does that mean?
"Giving it away" is actually a very accurate description, because I'd been ready to be penetrated for several years, and it was several weeks into our relationship, and only after several times begging...yes, I said begging, before he was willing to enter me.
Have you ever answered or posted a classified ad for a relationship?
Never answered one, but have put one in the paper during college, which was answered by one woman, but the relationship went nowhere.
Have you ever made a sex tape? If yes, Why?
Yes, I've made sex tapes. What you might call a Carrie Prejean sex tape, of me masturbating. Why? Bored, lonely, horny as fuck, and had a new webcam I needed to test.
Describe the perfect date night.
The perfect date night would be: pizza and a good non-porn movie at home on the couch.
What about the perfect day?
Cuddling with a man watching a European or South American soccer game.
When it comes to relationships... what is your biggest fear?
Someone who loves me only because I'm disabled, which borders on pity or a cripple fetish...and yes I've met people with cripple fetishes.
If you could be "anything" what would you be?
A gay porn star.
What is the sexiest part of a person?
Ass - I love ass.
Studman on Writing
"Now dancing, Liza spins and twists and gyrates her hips as she practices each shot. Half using the pool cue as a dancing pole, she can't help but pull out some of her stripper moves. Slowly undressing, she gets more and more into it, lying back flat on her bed, and now begins to masturbate using the rounded thick end of the pool cue. Getting into it, she quickly cums, and collapses in a heap of exhausted flesh."
~From Ryan's upcoming Screenplay: Crepe Paper Mansion
Give us a brief synopsis of Crepe Paper Mansion.
Crepe Paper Mansion is a corporate espionage love story. There are 2 running parallel stories, of Chuck and Mr Malcolm working out their personal differences and personal vendettas toward one another, using their children as pawns in their game of revenge. But, of course, as Brian and Liza come to realize their family's master plan, and they begin to bond and fall in love, they work as double agents to thwart the vengeful behaviors of their parents (or uncle in Liza's case.)
What made you want to tell this story?
I wrote this story because it is one that needs to be told. I was tired of the usual, stereotypical portrayals of the disabled, as either monumental heroes with amazing physical capabilities despite their disability, or, on the other hand, the meek innocent victim of circumstances to be simultaneously looked down upon, and looked up at, when the disabled person overcomes their trails and tribulations. Essentially I wanted to write a story where disability was an issue, because it WASNT an issue for the character, and show that a disabled person can be a hero or a victim for reasons other than their disability, and the disability simply adds another layer of depth to the character and his (or her) psyche.
How are you and Brian alike?
Brian and I are alike in that Brian is, essentially the Uber-me. He is the guy I want to be. The guy that I have strived my entire life to be like. Brian essentially is my potential. Who I could be, who I could have been if circumstances were different, and I had followed through with my best laid plans through college into adulthood.
What made you choose to make Brian a heterosexual? Or is he?
I have several different drafts of CPM(Crepe Paper Mansion), and in some of the drafts, he is gay, and in some he is bisexual. I made him heterosexaul, because his sexuality is really irrelevant to the story, and it doesn't matter whether he's straight, bi, gay, or a transsexual, He is just Brian. Who he loves and what he does to express that romantic love has no bearing whatsoever on the countless other facets of his personality and his humanity. Brian is, in many ways, a combination of the Samuel L Jackson character from Pulp Fiction, and Lester Burnam from American Beauty.
How much is Brian's dad like your real dad?
Like Brian is the Uber-me, Chuck, Brian's dad is the Uber-dad to me. Chuck is a heartless bastard who is only concerned with success and money, and doesn't do well with personal skills. But, it's not as if Chuck doesn't WANT to be good at interpersonal skills, it's that he CANT be good at interpersonal relationships, because he never learned how to be, due to his own skeletons in the closet of his life.
Who would you choose to play Brian on the big screen?
At the moment, I'm picturing someone like Dwayne "The rock" Johnson, or a younger 20-something Samuel L. Jacson to be Brian. Someone with a bad ass personality and reputation, someone who is known for their strength of character and their humanity (Who else but Samuel L Jackson can you imagine "Get these motherfucking snakes off this motherfucking plane!" from Snakes on a plane.)
Have an idea about the other characters?
Well, Liza I know well, as German/Turkish actress Sibel Kekilli. When I originally began writing CPM, it was shortly after having seen my all time, must see favorite movie, Head On: Gegen Die Wand, starring Sibel, and I began writing CPM as a venue for Sibel to break into English speaking roles. So, really, as much as I've focused on Brian, because I "know" Brian, the seed of the idea came originally from my love and admiration and adoration of Sybel. Where, obviously, I borrowed the name for Sybel's character.
In the end, what genre do you think CPM will fit?
Probably Action/adventure, or psychological thriller. Or Dramatic love story. It's certainly not a romantic comedy. (lol)
When did you know you were a writer?
When did I know I was a writer? Tough question. Depends how you define writer. I've ALWAYS written, from the very first Gothic poem I wrote my freshman year of high school as an ode to Edgar Allen Poe, and my writing has taken on many forms since then, poetry, prose short story, and now screenwriting. I guess you could say, and I certainly say I've always been a writer, though I've never been financially compensated for any of my writing
Are you working on any other projects?
At the moment, no. WIth my health issues having derailed my best laid plans, I'll be lucky if I ever finish CPM. It's only about 2/3 complete at the moment, and I'm having a hard time finding motivation to finish it, especially if I know it won't be produced, which is highly unlikely.
Why is the disabled community so poorly represented on T.V and in the movies?
Because able bodied people write the stories, and assert their own preconceived notions and assumptions into the story, without ever consulting with the disabled. Of course even if you did consult with the disabled, "the disabled community (and I HATE that term by the way) will likely never agree on anything, so even if one aspect of disability is fairly and accurately represented, and people identify with a given portrayal, someone else won't be able to identify with that portrayal because it does not reflect their life and their feelings about their life.
You write about art being made for money, no longer a passionate representation of the artist's soul. What do you mean and can you provide examples?
Perfect example...Avatar. there were 10 movies up for Best Picture, some of which had received little or no publicity despite being incredibly good, well written, well acted movies, but because they didn't have the big name director and the big budget to get the wide distribution they deserved, they had no chance. Or take Alice In Wonderland or the new "How to train your dragon" that is coming out in 3-D this year. Is 3-D really necessary? What does it add to the story? To me, art, regardless of the medium used, should first of all tell a story, or touch our soul in some way. Avatar did none of these things, and touched people's souls the way heroin or cocaine does. It gives us a momentary buzz and a false sense of happiness, but in the long run, it will kill our souls, if there isn't soul nurturing substance to the story.
If you could meet one living celebrity, who would it be?
Writer/producer Alan Ball
Who do you envy most?
All writers who have ever earned a buck from something they've written.(Caroline Hagood and John Blumenthal come to mind)
Praise for Studman
Studman and I have been friends for 35 years. As a young man, he wanted to be an accountant, but his inability to do math was a drawback. I had him do my taxes anyway, which explains why an agent of the IRS now lives at my house. But seriously... I like the Studster. His pieces are always interesting as hell, and his comments are always either clever, insightful or funny, sometimes all three. Also, he owes me $56,000.
- John Blumenthal
He's the most pleasant smartass I know. He loves being known as a smartass, but I see through the veneer to the very kind and conscientious young man that he truly is. You can’t fool the Tigger, Studman.
- Boomer Bob
One of the kindest, most gracious presences I've encountered on Open Salon is placebostudman, who reminds me of the lines from Jimmy Dean's famous oldie, "Big John"--"At the bottom of this well lies a big, big man.
- Kathy Riordan
Placebostudman is the new voice for the disabled. Brash, sincere, and true, he has voice. A voice to be reckoned with.
- Robin Sneed
He strives to be honest not just with others but himself, and that means he brings a useful point of view to many discussions. In conversations about the handicapped, where political correctness makes it complicated for some to opine, he brings a refreshing mix of perspective, advocacy, and critical self-analysis. Thankfully, though, he's not a single-issue guy and has opinions on a wide range of issues.
- Kent Pitman
Stud, my friend. I started reading your blog when you first came to OS. I think I was one of the first and I liked the way you thought. You know, I had a friend who was disabled and so I know some of what you had to go through growing up, and now. I like the way you make people think, asking questions that you have to give thought to. I'm the first to comment on a lot of your posts and I didn't know you did fiction until you wrote about the dog with the false teeth. I fell out reading that, and when we PMed each other, I encouraged you to keep writing that story, and you have. I never miss a post. I hope you stay around OS, you make this place a bit more interesting.
I leave the "Placebo" off his name for two reasons: it's hard to type, but, more importantly, he's a moral "Stud" in this community that too often becomes a herd. Mr. Studman never follows the herd, but often you'll find him out in front of a righteous posse, leading the charge.
I remember his clear commentary after Obama won the Nobel prize. It was such a hazy day, full of so many different opinions. I thought Studman made a concise, meaningful, and well-considered case for what particularly made the controversial award such a good choice. Writing like that -- that's both personal but also political and somehow generous at the same time -- is lovely to come across, and always something I appreciate.
- Saturn Smith
We should all get together and put in to a pot to buy him some new rose colored glasses, cause, well, everyone should have some of those, as the world is just too ugly without them. Any reader/friend of Tink suddenly becomes 100 times better for it in Tink's book, except to Ed, who demotes that person down 100 times, so in the end, it all equals out. Mr. Man, "Placebo" to the doctors... didn't even blink when he was told that, and he stayed on for the "thin", and the "thick" ,and therefore...he's automatically thrown in as part of the Gutter Krew! He's a pretty swell guy, a good writer and he's breathing, which is always good!!!! Here's to the Studman.
There are two things in particular I like about Placebostudman that come to mind. He's not afraid to voice his opinion, even if it may not always be popular. He makes people think. In spite of his physical limitations/situation (which he is honest about), he maintains a great sense of humor and is an excellent example of someone who can, does (and has every reason to) give us all a little more (much needed) perspective. Especially around here. I admire his courage and tenacity.
Ry (Placebo) is one of the strongest people that I know. He doesn't waste time on "what could have been" or "if only"; he deals with what is. Calmly, quietly, going about living his life, reaching out with all his heart and soul to other people. If just one person changes how they think about the disabled because of their interaction with him then he has done great things with his life... even if he doesn't believe that he has.
Warning all yet who enter here. You will be tested, heart, mind and soul. Be prepared to fight and defend your honor with your verbal swords. Show respect and you will be respected. Do not show respect and you will be summarily dismissed.- Ryan