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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]
Tag Archives: political rhetoric
On the second day of the 112th Congress (January 6, 2011), Congresswoman Giffords read aloud on the House floor the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Continue reading
This happens whenever I doze while listening to Morning Edition. I had this crazy dream. All those patriotic delegates at the Republican National Convention – the smiling mob who roared at Sarah Palin’s self-congratulation about pit bulls and lipstick – every one of them flew to Louisiana on their own dime. BP and the Chamber of Commerce didn’t pay a penny. And they were mucking around in the swamps with baggies and soda straws, prepared to siphon oil off sick birds. And Rudy Giuliani was cheering them on: “Spill, baby, spill.” Continue reading
C-Span: President Barack Obama 2009 Inauguration and Address See full text. See Andy Carvin’s video for a crowd’s eye perspective. See other #inaug09 content on this blog. See #inaug09 on Twitter.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address: Part 1 | Part 2 On March 4, 1933, FDR delivered one of the most quoted affirmations in the history of American political rhetoric: This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the … Continue reading
This photograph of Lincoln delivering his second inaugural address is the only known photograph of Lincoln giving a speech. Lincoln stands in the center, with papers in his hand. John Wilkes Booth is visible in the photograph, in the top … Continue reading
Like the Missouri River in flood, the vast outpouring of media coverage leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama on Tuesday has room for almost everything, including the inaugural address of Warren G. Harding, widely regarded as the worst … Continue reading
msnbc.com video: ‘Change has come to America’ This email from Barack arrived just about the time that he took the stage in Grant Park. Nice touch, and one more example of the volunteer engagement cultivated by the Obama campaign’s extraordinary … Continue reading
Forget William Ayers. Ernest Hemingway’s Robert Jordan, or maybe Gary Cooper’s, is the real American terrorist who blows things up for a good cause in the 2008 election. Barack Obama and John McCain both share an admiration for the rock-jawed, … Continue reading