Saturday, July 24, 2010

This must be what it feels like to lose the signal from reality.

Bobbi was feeling ill this morning, so when the TeeWee in her room cut on automatically at the usual weekday morning time, I went in to cut it off and let her sleep.

I walked right into crazy.

The news announcer was saying that the Justice Department is proposing revising regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to require audio descriptions in movie theaters on half of all showings so that blind people can go to the movies.

So. Blind. People. Can. Go. See. A. Moving. Picture. Show.

Now, my apologies to any blind... er, visually challenged... er, differently sighted person that is reading this, but this is insane.

If a theater chain or movie production company wanted to do this on their own stick? Fine. A noble gesture. But for the government to demand it under penalty of law? Madness. The slippery slope to Harrison Bergeron and greasing the skids.

It's also a little futile and even kinda patronizing. It's like having a sighted tour guide at art museums:
"Now, this is da Vinci's Mona Lisa. It looks like... well... you know what a smiling woman looks like? No, wait, you said you've been blind since birth. Anyhow, it's a girl, and she's smiling. And this over here... no, over here... is Van Gogh's Roses and Sunflowers. It's, uh, some flowers. And over here..."

24 comments:

Alan said...

Brail keys on the drive up ATM.

rickn8or said...

Right up there with Jeff Dunham and Peanut comments about taking a bunch of deaf people to see a ventriloquist.

BobG said...

Skinflicks will never be the same...

Divemedic said...

Every day of my life as I wake up, I feel like I am turning the page on a Rand novel.

D.W. Drang said...

Alan, you have to admit, it's cheaper to make all ATM keys with braille, than to only make the walk-up ones braille.

Whether any ATM keys need to be braille, now, is another question...

D.W. Drang said...

Heh. Talking in theaters now mandatory!
Yeah, it would probably involve a headset, but it's still stupid. Among other things, it's further proof, as if we needed it, that Obama and his pack of cretinous communists hate business.

Lergnom said...

The Body Shop in Los Angeles was cited for not having a ramp to the stage, which discriminates against disabled exotic dancers.

Tam said...

That sounds more like something from the Clermont Lounge back in ATL.

Noah Doyle said...

As someone who is facing the very real possibility of losing his sight (having already lost it in one eye - I don't want to hear anything about shooting with both eyes open...), the idea of having someone describe what's going on on the screen would be annoying as hell. Let me listen to the ambient sound, the dialogue, don't natter on at me about what's important to you on the screen. It's a visual medium, it's just not going to work for me if/when I can't see it - that's something I'll have to live with, if it comes to that.

reflectoscope said...

They'll have to make little scrolly LED screens on radios mandatory too so the deaf can catch radio shows.

Jim

Leatherwing said...

Had a friend in Big D who was blind. He went to movies and enjoyed them just fine. He might lean over and ask a question if the scene was a quiet one with no audible cues, but mostly he just had a good time.

KA9VSZ said...

I have two acquaintances (I had to look up the spelling as the coffee hasn't kicked in yet) who go to movies together. One is blind, the other almost entirely deaf. One describes the scene and the other repeats the dialog- loudly. They enjoy themselves immensely while annoying the hell out of the nearby patrons. Me, I'm half-blind and going deaf- I demand Braille porno flicks!

Anonymous said...

Leatherwing:

Helen Keller once said that it was worse to be deaf than to be blind. Being blind cuts you off from things, but being deaf cuts you off from people.

She would have known...

cap'n chumbucket

Mattexian said...

I read this past week of an opening for Air Traffic Controller, and they had to put out applications in Braille, while admitting that very good vision was a requirement...

Bubblehead Les. said...

Sounds like the Ministry of Propaganda wants to have the tech in place so when they start to show " Obama! Savior of the World!" (directed by Oliver Stone, screenplay by Michael Moore, starring Kanye "George Bush hates Black People" West, Sean Penn, and a cast of thousands) no Comrade...err Citizen will have an excuse to miss it.

theirritablearchitect said...

This one is kinda like the big, inside joke amongst architects:

There is a requirement to put Braille on the buttons to the drive-thru ATM's in this country.

Never have I even heard of someone using this feature. Walk-ups, yes, but NOT the drive-thru.

Brad K. said...

Leatherwing,

Something came up at a local theater, about putting handicapped only signs for the spaces left open - that had to be with braille, too. Like, how does a blind person know to look for the signs with braille?

As for going to the movies - that was what I had suggested. Going out with friends, even if you cannot see the picture, makes sense. The popcorn (at one of the theaters, anyway, is really good - a special treat. Following the story shouldn't be a lot different than following life. Except I would hope the blind know enough (unlike sighted buttheads and their parents) not to light up a cell phone for a flashlight during the show.

Putting braille "Exit" on the emergency signs would blow my mind - they are purposely set higher than someone could reach. . . Maybe require, like California, that exit signs speak "Emergency exit here", just like CA makes those quiet electric cars make noises so they don't sneak up on blind folk.

I can just immagine forty different "signs" speaking in the lobby, "Enter autitorium 1 here", "ladies room", "mens room", "Managers office", "ticket line", "Drink refills", "trash can". Ooh!

Forget I mentioned this. Because first thing you know, it would be "For Spanish Mens Room Turn Left From The Center Of the Lobby When Entering. For English Mens Room Turn Left From The Center of the Lobby When Entering. For Dill Pickles approach the concession stand on the left from the center of the lobby when you enter. For the French Ladys Room. . ."

My, how quickly it goes from courtesy to absurd and abusive.

Chalkie said...

I am not blind, but I do frequently "walk up" to the drive up ATM. It's called being a passenger in a car, and not wanting to give someone else your PIN.

As for the movie thing... That just defies common sense to a degree that is difficult to comprehend.

theirritablearchitect said...

Chalkie,

Look at the entry vestibule to your bank, first.

Second, if you are blind, you WILL be needing someone to assist you to the drive-thru ATM anyway, hence all the secrecy about the PIN is rather moot at that point, wouldn't you say?

Really, I've been through the scenarios of this far more than you and the next ten people you can put your hands on, and it just doesn't make much sense.

Shane said...

Years ago a blind friend and I talked about what he got out of TV. He said he could get a lot of what was going on with some types of shows but not others. He could generally follow sitcoms like "Three's Company" but he couldn't follow action/adventure shows like "Mission:Impossible".

OrangeNeck said...

So, let me get this straight. Blind people will have to listen to a second audio feed on top of the normal dialog and sounds coming from the actual movie? Wouldn't it be easier if the blind just listened to audiobooks?

Oh, the stupid - it hurts!

docjim505 said...

Hmmm... What else can Uncle Sugar do to eliminate all the unfairness of life?

--- For people who can't speak, pre-recorded messages such as "Please be quiet; I can't hear the movie", "Could you please take your child outside", and "Turn that cel phone off before I stick it up your a$$!"

--- Interpreters for people who are deaf and illiterate

--- Movies with subtitles and / or voice-overs in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Tagalog, Norwegian, Lapplander, and whatever it is that people from Lichtenstein speak, because movies shouldn't discriminate against people who don't speak English, either

--- Besides popcorn, cokes, and candy, the concession stand needs to offer a variety of foods to cater to the dietary needs / desires of a diverse population

--- Special offices for interest-free government loans because, as high as movie prices are now, wait'll you see the cost when all this crap goes into effect!

Brad K. said...

One of the theaters in my town had a better idea. They close September 6 this year.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Lergnom and Mattexian: My wife talks about the music group at college that were hiring a baritone for a production. They had made their were selection and were ready to sign the contract when someone at HR noticed that no women had applied for the job and insisted that they start over....

WV: motrin (I kid you not!) - what I need after hearing about things like this; known as "Vitamin M" to Navy HMs.