Some things have to be documented, no matter how repulsive. A blogger named Spots in San Francisco linked here to snatch Paul Strand’s iconic photo, Blind. She probably grabbed it off Google Images, and certainly never thought twice about the context of its use here. She needed it to amp up a joke that wasn’t very funny anyway. I publish it here just in case anyone doubts that cruel prejudice toward blind people persists, even among the flawlessly hip:
My very sweet day job boss and Board took me to Spring Awakening last night, which meant three middle-aged couples and me met for a pre-theater drink at Grand Cafe and then watched a musical about incest, suicide and abortion together.
Needless to say, I loved it.
I was seated in between former Board President, the fabulous MJ and an empty seat. Apparently, someone assumed I’d have a plus one. Uh, nope. Mel just saw the show and any man I know would never attend ‘the theatre’ with me and a bunch of my bosses while people have musical sex, abortions and commit suicide 100 feet away.
Yeah, that’d totally fly with Big Chris.
Anyway, right behind us, a couple could NOT shut up. On and on their chatter went, often rising beyond a whisper and always, of course, at tense, silent emotional moments. My prolonged, twisted stares went unnoticed and while I would normally never say a word and merely complain to others, I was this close to asking them to zip it.
As the intermission lights went up, I got a good look at them.
He’s a blind!
While the central casting sunglasses and foldable cane gave it away, I’m already sensitive to the plight of the theater-going sight-less American. Said day job is a theater company and we offer one show that is “described for the visually impaired.” We give them little transmitters and headsets and hire people to describe everything that’s happening on stage. You know, along the lines of, “So now, Dorothy and Toto are following the yellow brick road, which you’ve probably gathered by that song they’re singing. Anyway, the road is actually made of yellow bricks, not that you know what yellow looks like…” You get the idea.
Back to Spring Awakening, it was very clear that the pair behind us consisted of a describer and a blind person, which meant I couldn’t very well turn around and hiss, “Shut the fuck up! What are you? Deaf?”
But MJ was unaware and clearly, not as sensitive to cripples and their ‘rights’ as me.
“God, that couple behind us!”
“They’re very rude, don’t you think?”
“Um, well I would if he wasn’t BLIND.”
Man, those blinds get away with murder. If I were blind, I’d walk (carefully) into every bar in town and order a Belvedere Gibson.
“Of course! He’s a crisp twenty dollar bill, my good man.”
Then I’d hand him a five with a big, proud smile on my face. “Keep the change, friend.”
What’s he gonna do? Nothing, that’s what.
Hey, the perks of suffering through 3 years of brail lessons, I guess…
Spots, baby, you could end up as a bag lady someday. Sic transit gloria mundi