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About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Letting Go of Sight
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Media in Transition @ MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]
Category Archives: Paris
In my very distant and provincial past, nutrition at the nursery school amounted to Graham crackers and red jello. On feast days it was peanut butter and jelly. Not so in Paris, where preschoolers learn to savor their repast with … Continue reading
Jim Haynes is an American in Paris with a generous spirit who says, like Tom Paine, that he’s a citizen of the world. He was born in Louisiana, ran a bookstore in Scotland, created a theater company in London, launched … Continue reading
Wait a minute, those barbarians at the gate, they don’t look like Jacobins. They’re wearing Armani suits. They’re investment bankers, tired of toxic debt, demanding a bail out! About the image: Prise de la Bastille by Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houel [Source: Wikimedia … Continue reading
Alex dropped by Café Mouffe tonight with this photo of the Mouffe’s inspiration, Café Delmas on Place de la Contrascarppe. Many thanks!
PRI/The World’s Gerry Hadden reports on a vanishing figure in French life — the concierge: “She — and it’s usually a she — is the person who serves as an apartment building’s messenger, housekeeper, caretaker and more.” Her replacement? The … Continue reading