A girl in a wheelchair wearing a shirt that says, “I run better than the government”
A girl in a wheelchair wearing a shirt that says, “I run better than the government”
A friend sent me this a while back. Still makes me laugh.

Sometimes, being in a wheelchair is funny.

Not the actual being disabled part, though that presents its own set of hilarious circumstances which make people uncomfortable and a little squeamish when I describe them.

Many people err on the side of caution when they interact with me for the first time, afraid they are going to say something to which I will take grievous offense and for which I will label then as ignorant and intolerant.

Personally, the clichéd “walk on eggshells” approach annoys me. It’s insulting and patronizing. It’s also incredibly boring.

What I enjoy much more is when…

The congressional floor while congress is in session.
The congressional floor while congress is in session.
Photo by Marco Oriolesi on Unsplash

Movie stars. Reality TV personalities. Professional Wrestlers. Some of the finest and most beloved entertainers of our time.

And they’re running for political offices.

Celebrities are injecting themselves into politics in unprecedented numbers. Kanye West running for president, Cynthia Nixon running for Governor of New York, Matthew McConaughey flirting with running for Governor of Texas, just to name a few.

None of them are qualified to lead. That’s not a statement about their intelligence or education. It’s simply the fact that they don’t have the experience necessary to govern a state, much less the entire country.

Though I question some…

A close up picture of a monkey with a surprised expression
A close up picture of a monkey with a surprised expression
Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

Two weeks ago, a joint team of scientists from the U.S. and China announced that they had developed the first human-monkey hybrid embryos.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I know, I know. It sounds like something out of science fiction. Or a Saturday Night Live sketch. Or an episode of Rick and Morty. However, according to the science journal Cell, human-monkey hybrids, or “chimeras,” so named after Greek mythology, are a reality.

Newsweek reports “researchers injected 25 stem cells from humans, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (or ISP cells), into embryos from macaque monkeys. …

A man in a white shirt and jeans standing on rocks along a beach
A man in a white shirt and jeans standing on rocks along a beach
Photo by Abhishek Babaria on Unsplash

What would you do if you knew exactly how many days you had to live?

Would you make amends with people with whom you’ve fallen out? Reconnect with estranged friends or family? Try to find peace and resolution before your time is up?

Would you chase you dreams?

Would you party with reckless abandon? Finally tell off that boss or co-worker you can’t stand? Go out in a blaze of sour grapes?

None of us can be sure exactly what we’d do unless we found ourselves quickly approaching the end of our lives.

John Grayson is a man with precious…

Photo by John Pratt on Unsplash

The battle between different generations and the music they like rages eternal.

Each generation thinks they have the best music, that everything that came before, and everything that will come after is aural diarrhea. This is simply the way it’s been and likely will always be.

What’s changed is how seniors and teenagers express their displeasure at and annoyance with one another. …

Photo by Alistair Corden on Unsplash

I’ll be honest, crippling myself at 22-years-old was not in my life’s plans. While that is its own interesting story, that’s not what this one is about. Well, not entirely anyway.

See, I was highly self-conscious after my accident and subsequent spinal cord injury. Unsurprisingly, there was a period of, not just physical, but mental and emotional adjustment.

By the way, kids and old people have a way of pointing out that which you’re most insecure about. Not that there’s malicious intent behind it. Not most of the time, at least. It’s more that they have no social filters. …

The logo for the 2010 San Diego Comic Con
The logo for the 2010 San Diego Comic Con
Photo Courtesy of author.

Ah, the San Diego Comic-Con. The high holiday around which the entire geek year revolves.

Every July, hundreds of thousands of fanboys, fangirls, cosplayers, and lovers of all things comics and pop culture descend on the Gas Lamp District eager to see their favorite artists, writers, film and television stars, and everyone else who makes the things they so dearly love.

In 2010, I was lucky enough to attend the SDCC for the first time. After the initial shock of “holy crap, I’m actually at Comic-Con!” passed, I could finally see what all the fuss was about.

Everyone there really…

A black and white picture of people in profile facing opposite directions
A black and white picture of people in profile facing opposite directions
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Is it just me, or are we becoming more and more divided with each passing day?

As a country, as states, as local communities, even within our intrapersonal relationships, it seems the amount things that bond us together is growing ever smaller.

I’m not delusional enough to think that we’ll ever agree on everything, but it seems as if our collective focus has shifted from what we have in common to the things that separate us. We use our differences as barriers to shut out those who think, feel, or believe differently than we do.

Much of what we think…

A newsstand displaying various magazines
A newsstand displaying various magazines
Image by Michael Zimmermann from Pixabay

The day I finished grad school was one of mixed sentiment. On one hand, it was all “Congratulations on this amazing achievement.”

On the other, it was, “You’d better get a job and start paying back those student loans, because, if you don’t, the loan company is going to take the house.”

It was more than a little pressuring.

What’s worse is that, at the time, the economy was in the toilet. Sure, there were jobs out there, but many of them were minimum wage, hourly jobs, many of which were only offering part time employment. …

Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

This may come as a shock to some people, but I promise you, it’s true: bicycles aren’t cars.

Give that a moment to sink in.

Bicycles aren’t cars, and yet, some people ride them in lanes dedicated for automotive traffic. Normally, this would be mildly annoying at worst.

However, what’s concerning, and what prompted this post, is when people, presumably parents, make their kids ride in the street with them. I don’t mean teenagers or middle schoolers. I mean little kids. Kids who look like they’re in kindergarten. Kids who can’t yet conceptualize their own mortality.

That, or when cyclists…

Matthew B. Johnson

I’m a Sacramento-based writer, English professor, track coach, C-5 incomplete quadriplegic, diehard 49ers fan, comic book geek, and lover of all things coffee.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store