A Blindness / Low Vision Rant
I was gonna write this all polite and shit, but then I was like fuck that. The reason is that a lot of people will see the angry blindie, and that’s all they see, well, you know what, fuck them too. This is predominantly for the blind or low vision person, but it wouldn’t hurt a sighted person or two, or 10,000 to read this.
Let me lay it out, why the fuck are we so inspiring. We’re so inspiring because we do the same god damn shit that other people do? We put our clothing on, we cook, we clean, we go out of our houses and travel in the big scary world? That makes us special? No, it fucking doesn’t. It makes us a person, and like a person, we want to do the same types of shit that people do. We want to become productive, live our lives and so forth. So we’re so inspiring because we walk around with a cane or a dog and cross streets and so on. Jesus christ all-mighty, blindness is not a quarantine that keeps us separate from everyone else. We inhabit the same world you do, so it would behoove you to educate yourself, and stop being so god damned ignorant. While you’re at it, raise your expectations a little bit more, if all someone has to do to get your attention is slap on some rags without working eyeballs, your bar is way too fucking low.
Then, on the other hand, people want to question anything we say? Yeah, you get this I’m sure, if you’re blind, I”am sure you’ve told something to a friend or family member, and their response to you is nothing short of patronizing and may stop short of being utterly condescending. At the best of times, its just polite disbelief though. Like, let me explain something to you, why in the hell would I say something unless I had a pretty damn good idea I was right. I’ll lay out two examples. The first one. At my grandma’s house, the bathroom light switch for the overhead lights went bad. I knew it was the switch and not the bulb because bulbs do not come back on once they’ve blown out. The filament is literally two separate pieces now. It’s lost its connection to the actual power, and it can therefore no longer light up. But, when I would flip the switch, the light would sometimes flash. If I’d flip the switch harder, it would flash and if I held the switch rather than just flipping it, like I applied pressure to it, the light would stay on. Even that quit working. So I tell three different people its the switch, not the bulb. My uncle comes over with a replacement switch and puts it in, but he doesn’t believe me, but lo and behold, when the bitch actually turns on, oh my gawd. Shock… surprise….. utter amazement.
The second example is that about two years ago, my mom’s car started making a weird sound. I checked it by going out and starting it up, I’d rev the engine and the noise would not increase in intensity or pitch, I then figured it must be the AC compressor, so I shut off the AC, and the noise went away. I then told her the air conditioning was going out. Guess what, It’s out. When it went out, did she try to have it fixed correctly, no, she took it to a friend of her friend’s, who tried to charge it up with shit from a can. Shit from a can? Really? OK one thing I know about this shit is that you have to be licensed in this country to work on car AC units. Was this guy even licensed? I doubt it. When I bring it up, she’s like oh but he’s a friend, etc. etc. etc. I think the compressor is out, not that it needs a charge, but it could be both, I am not a licensed HVAC person or an auto mechanic, just observant.
Stop, fucking, questioning shit I tell you because I”am blind, and yes, don’t even try to bullshit me into thinking its not that because it damn well is and you know it is. In fact, stop fucking questioning shit I tell you in the first place. I don’t just spring shit out my ass, I am usually fairly certain about something before I’ll say something. So on one hand, we’re awe inspiring, on the other, don’t trust a damn word we say, what the fuck kind of dichotomy is that? Picture this shit
“Meh, I got robbed by this muhfuckin wheelchair drivin ass bitch the otha day, but you know what, that disabled ass mafka inspired the shit outta me. I’m so fuckin on cloud 9 right now let me tell ya, and it ain’t got nothin’ to do with muh two bong rips I took today either. He’s just an inspiring son of a bitch!”
Like what? You got robbed by a wheelchair bound person and you’re inspired because he took cash from you, presumably at gunpoint. Yes, is that scenario a bit over the top, OK granted, but its not all that different to what we go through.
You know what pisses me off to, you know what really fucking gets me stirred the fuck up, if I hurt myself and sighted people act like they never have done the same thing, or that blind people get hurt all the time. Like, I accidentally stab myself with a knife, or slice into my finger, something that hasn’t happened in like 3 years, but oh my good gawd sightie over there be winding up for a hell of a hypocritical fit over there. Like don’t even be tryna tell me your ass never got hurt chopping vegetables, if you do, you’re a fucking liar and I’ll smack you upside the head. I probably have way less incidents than you because I’m more careful than you, but jesus bloody hell, if it happens once, its unsafe for blind people to handle knives. Like oo I wanna beat your little ass so much right now, oo do I ever wanna light you the fuck up, I just wanna rip you a new fucking ass hole.
This is the same if sighted people know that you use power tools. Oh god can you feel me, blind people can you fucking feel me? Oooooooo I’m working myself up into an incoherent rage right now. Bitch, lemme fucking show you something, *buuuuzzzzzzzzzzz* *plop* Board cut. *holds up hands* fingers in tact. Like bitch don’t make me get that chainsaw over there, because in all seriousness, I did one time chase someone off our property with one once. You know what I wanna do, I wanna get a wooden paddle and drill holes in it to make it less wind resistant, then I wanna bend you over and beat your fucking ass with that paddle. You’ll have to hire your ass an Uber when I’m done, because you’ll be laying in the back of that bitch, your ass gonna hurt so bad you ain’t be able to sit and drive your own car.
Let me explain something, there are blind people who use tools. Is there a bit more of a risk to do so, its questionable, but probably so. However, common sense shit can mitigate some of that risk. One thing you could do is make sure to use the fence on your table saw, but really, is a blind person gonna really move their hands over in the direction of a spinny blade, hell no. If you’re going to use a reciprocating saw (saws all), either use clamps to hold down whatever it is you’re cutting, or just don’t get your fucking hand too close. All this is just down to being aware of your environment. Being cognizant of what you’re doing, nothing all that special.
I think its funny to tell sighted people about the shit I do, their reactions are priceless, but also irritating. If you’re reading this, and you’re sighted, congratulations for making it this far, for one thing, and for another, just put yourself in our position. How would it feel to go through every day of your life where everyone from complete strangers, to even close friends and family have very little faith in you. How would it feel to know with pretty good certainty about something, and get greeted with nothing but polite incredulity upon your telling them. Blind people are so different to sighted people because the sighted people make it so. They distance themselves, put us in buckets, and so on. If y’all got to know us, you’d find we weren’t all that different. It’s not all the fault of the sighted people though, there are things blind people do, me included, that set us apart. Probably the biggest two are rocking, and no eye contact, the latter can’t be helped, but maybe the former can. Others just have to do with weird quirks that blindness tends to bring out in people, like the weird obsession with everything audio. So I’m not saying there’s not work to be done on both sides, but I do think this divide should be healed, its just, how do we get it through to them. In my experience, they don’t even know they do it.
The take away from all this is that we’re just people, same as you, maybe we have interests that you don’t quite understand, maybe we do things differently than you do, because that’s what we have to do to jump hurdles that blindness sits in our path, but we do them. We have good days, and bad just like you do. Stop treating us like completely alien creatures, find the commonalities, and not the differences. Also stop trying to tell us we can’t do shit, because we fucking can, we don’t need you to act like our mother.