The Story Stories Tell


The Story Stories Tell

      "Now back to our evening's feature!" The announcer said. The scene opens. It was now fully dark in the city. The tall man and his
dog guide turn off the well-lighted busy thoroughfare and begin walking
down a dimly lighted side street into an old neighborhood. The music
changes mood. It's becoming eerie, hinting of suspense, and the area shows
increasing signs of urban blight. We know our hero is destined to find the gang he
desperately seeks. There is only a half-hour left to the movie and he has yet to rescue his
girlfriend and take revenge upon the bad guys that held her and killed his
best friend.

     Blocks passed, then in the darkest region between two flickering
streetlights, the opposing forces meet. The confrontation begins slowly. The gang leader steps out, facing the blind man. Two other gang-members position themselves to the rear of our hero. Any chance for escape was blocked.

     "I want her, now!" Our hero said quietly but with steel in his voice.

     "It's more than turf at stake here, man. You take us, you get her!" Responded the leader.

     What happened next visually was any sighted person's guess. Shadows
indicated the low slung shape of the dog meeting with the leader at crotch
height. The tall shape in the middle leaped and blended in with the two> remaining upright forms. Screams, growls, grunts and sounds of flesh
striking flesh came over the audio.

     With the fading out of this segment, the camera zoomed in, the dim lighting revealing two figures still on their feet, the tall man and his trusty dog guide.

     As another commercial cut in, you knew that in the final segment we would see our hero reunited with his girlfriend and the general story would meet its resolution.

     A second commercial started. My daughter brought me out of my speculation on the story's ending and its overall message. "Dad, here's that one with
the blind man who can smell and tell how many sandwiches there are! Can you do that?”

     “Well," I answered, thinking quickly, "Let's talk about this commercial and the movie too."

e-mail responses to

**1. “This story opens up a lot of thoughts about its protagonist. Is he a good
guy or a bad guy? At one point I thought the dog was going to attack. We
all know that guide dogs are trained to guide not protect or attack.
Nevertheless, sighted people watching that scene would probably ask, "why
didn't the dog attack." Not knowing how the story ended, I don't know how
the blind guy handled the situation and how he got his girlfriend back.
Maybe he had a black belt in carat; I hope he did. Some blind people do.
He must have felt that he could handle the situation or surely he wouldn't
have put himself in a dangerous environment. I'm interested in hearing how
other list members assess this problem. Often the movies and television
want to portray blind people as these super heroes with extra sensations. I
don't like the way we are portrayed at all. I think the media does a lot of
harm to the cause of blindness and how blind people live their normal lives.
That includes movies and television. What did the blind man expect his dog
to do? There are so many questions as I read this story.”

Joyce Porter (Houston, Texas, USA,)

**2. “It's interesting that you should write about confrontations with a gang. When David was doing his social work training, he had to go through what would be considered some very rough neighborhoods. Inevitably, he came face
to face with a gang. The leader said to him, "Do you like black people?"
To which David responded, "I like some black people."
The man said, "That's the right answer." From then on, he was escorted
through the territory whenever he had to pay a visit on his client. The
point was, he saw black people as people, and in that case, there were some
he liked, and some he didn't. Gang members are human too, and see blind
people differently. So some will be liked, and some will be hated, but all
seem to be challenged.

As for sandwiches, unless you've got two different types of sandwiches,
Smelling wouldn't count them. Then you'd know how many types, rather than
how many sandwiches. But since when do people who write commercials worry
about reality?”

Lori Stayer (Merrick, New York, USA)

**3. “The daughter might have said,” Dad, come on we know, you and I that that was not a real Dog guide. Right? Actually he was a trained guard dog and wasworking with this man to clean up the neighborhood. The girl here was a
ploy, to draw out the strangers who were to attack the alleged blind man.
Really dad, you read into these television movies too much. It is almost
like Clark Kent and his sidekick, Jimmy Olsen and the reward being Lois
Lane. What a Prize she turned out to be. This story could have been real
but as your daughter I think, well, I know what television drama can do. Isn’t it exciting to know that the blind man and his dog guide are the real
heroes. Did the Dog guide inflict serious pain, biting in at upper thigh level. Whoah, must have been painful." So my friends is this young lady
trying to turn her fathers thoughts to a different area or is there a real
story behind all of this? One would think that there is always a hero,
however in this case the Team, a blind man and his dog guide, may have
purposely entered an area that was known to be rough in the evenings and did
in fact want to test his agility as well as that of his lady friend, soon
to be known as " the catch". ? Robert, this is definitely a new branch of
excitement for writing and will give it some more thought. Thanks.”

Lee a. stone (Hudson, New York, USA,

**4. “The story is typical of the ways in which the sighted world get some of
their weird ideas about blind people. Guide dogs are not attack dogs. My dog
might lick you to death, but that's about as dangerous as he gets.
It also perpetuates the concept of super-blind. When I am doing talks about
blindness, I make a joke of it so that the audience will see how silly it
is, but I still get the point across that blind people are not either
selling pencils on a street corner, nor are we conquering the world.

The other false impression that is left with people is that blind people
have these super powers like being able to smell how many sandwiches are on
a plate simply by smelling it. I also love the assumption that we all are
great in music, have superman hearing and fantastic memories.

I once saw a movie where some guy was walking down a street where he used to
live. It had been nearly 20 years since he had been there. The scene is
set, this guy is walking toward a magazine/newspaper stand that is operated
by a blind man. As this guy approaches, the blind man says, "Hi Jim, Long
time no see", or words to that effect. The guy says to the blind man, "how
did you know it was me?" The blind man says, "well, your footsteps haven't
changed". Don't you just love it?

Anyway, such stories of the blind are not helpful to us. They leave a false
impression that we are not normal some how. How can we expect to live
normal, average lives with normal, average jobs, if the sighted world has
such ideas?
Its sort of funny when you think of it, particularly for those of us who are
products of the sixties. Back then, everyone wanted to be different in some
way. They rebelled by growing their hair long and wearing clothes that the
adults did not approve of, just to be different. While many of us were
working hard just to be the same.
Good thought provoker.”

Elaine Morgan (Texas, USA,

Visit my homepage where the blind help each other


**5. “I think, in some ways the blind man was taken advantage of when the gang
members tried to beat up on him. However, they did think of him as a hero.
I think that in the movie, blind people weren't treated fairly.”

Beth Kats (California, USA)

**6. “I continue to maintain that when Hollywood endows the
blind with superhuman compensatory powers, Hollywood
is doing the blind a great disservice. How often
people tell me, "well but Bob's 4 other senses
compensate, don't they? That makes it even easier
for him." Well, no, I say, because his hearing isn't
too good, and he can smell about as well as a fence
post. As for taste, he salts everything so heavily
that I'm sure he has no notion of how the food itself
tastes. That leaves touch, which can't possibly
compensate for the inadequacies of the other 4
senses. I keep wanting to tell Hollywood "Get real,
and give the blind a break!"

Carolyn Gold (Clearwater, Florida, USA,


**7. “My very first thought upon reading this was, "I hope nobody sees it (the
TV program or the commercial) because I know I can't tell how many
sandwiches are there and I would never put my Zaria in kind of
situation. A guide dog is not prepared for that kind of fight and the
harness allows for too much to happen to her. She is not able to
protect herself in that situation. I don't doubt that she would protect
me a harness>.

This sort of scenario lends itself to two misconceptions, I think. One
is that we as blind individuals must be super ordinary
and two, that our dogs are Lassies
well-trained super dogs>.

I think that this type of portrayal "sets" us up for unrealistic
expectations from the "general" John Q. Public. I, as well as many of
you, do ordinary things. We live, we breathe, we have disobedient
children , have mother-in-law problems, have love successes and
failures and everything else that John Q. Public has to deal with in
their lives.

I am sick and tired of being noticed because I am "amazing" or
"wonderful" and that is the sum total of my being. Groan, I have two
bright and gifted children level and Richie at three is reading signs to me> and that is so
amazing!!! WHY? BECAUSE I AM BLIND.......sheeesh......I just think it
is amazing, period. It galls me how the public thinks that we must be
"amazing" to be worthy of their attention.

BTW, anybody who goes into a neighborhood like that by themselves is an

Debra B. Streeter (Victoria, Texas USA)

**8. “I have always had fun watching the amazing things blind people do in the
movies. Sometimes they do less than in real life, other times they do
things so amazing it is laughable.

I considered being critical of Hollywood for what they do with blind
individuals, but then I realized that they are hardly treating us
differently. Sighted people are shown with as much unrealism as we are.”

Fernando Botelho (New York, U.S.A.)

**9. “This is definitely a good one. I think that there are many misconceptions
in the community about the blind and visually impaired.

First, let me say that I don't think the movie is too realistic, but it
sounds like it has good entertainment value. Everyone would root for the
blind hero to kick some butt. It is probably more likely that one of the
bad guys would pull out a gun and start shooting once they realized that
they were losing.

As for the commercial, it presents a more real-world problem. The
commercial was probably trying to say that their product smells and tastes
so great that even a blind guy could tell how many sandwiches there are.
Although it is pretty funny as a product gimmick, the sad truth is that most
people would probably believe it.
This is not to say that people cannot perform extraordinary feats as a
result of their blindness. I once saw a show that featured a blind man as a
card magician. He could actually tell the cards apart by the weight of the
card in his hand. It was absolutely amazing, but not something I would
imagine most people could do.
This type of demonstration leads to some bogus ideas. For example, everyone
seems to think that the blind get heightened senses when they lose their
vision. This is simply not true. What really happens is that we have to
pay attention to things that others can ignore because they depend on
vision. I never really noticed things like which direction the warmth of
the sun comes from, or the slope of a wheelchair ramp at the curb back when
I could see. Now, since these things are important, I pay attention to

Another similar stereotype is that all blind people wear dark glasses. I
actually had someone ask me one time why I didn't wear them if I was really
blind. I just smiled and said that on the day I lost my eyesight, they had
run out of them. Probably not the best response, but I expect that the
person got my point.

It is important for everyone to learn the facts about blindness and
visual impairment rather than to depend on the Hollywood image of us for
information. After all, if we believed Hollywood, all cops are rebels who
don't follow the rules, and are nearly killed by maniacs with bombs when
they're two days from retirement.”

David Thurmond (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

FROM ME: “There are many mediums for learning about any one subject, TV/movies being the one in question here. The medium, as I believe we are saying isn’t the problem, but the philosophy, the attitude, the right or wrongness of the message can be. So in saying that, what are the names of some good movies you have seen about blindness?”

**10. “So what's the big deal, any person with the proper training could and would
probably do the same thing, the show was just sensationalizing it. I know
several blind or VI people that have taken Martial Arts and are very good.”

Mike Wardin (Columbia, Missouri, USA, 65211,

Personal web site

Ham radio #N8RTA - NSS #47329 - Leader dog Camper)

**11. “Hi, I am writing for the first time. This sort of unreal movie, program or
commercial always concerns me. I am however proud that my 16 and 13 year
old sons don't fall for the BS. They understand well that there is nothing
magical about blindness, for they have had most things explained to them.
They know well what alternative techniques are as discussed in the previous
Thought Provoker. What this guy was watching on Television is someone's
fantasy about a blind hero, one who has improved hearing as a result of his
blindness and could fight off a street gang and rescue his kidnapped
girlfriend. I suppose it is true that people have trained their Dog Guides
to protect as well as guide, but how realistic is that? This reminds me of
the movie Scent of a Woman. Where the hero drives a car at brake neck
speeds through the City streets with the kid as his navigator. Ya right!
Maybe on an Airport Runway, or on a RaceTrack, but not on a public street.

I had a colleague of mine come into my office the other day and ask me who
was baking Spice Cookies. I thought I had a Pumpkin tart on my desk, but it
turned out to be a Pumpkin muffin he was smelling. He sure didn't know how
many or even what exactly it was, but he did identify one of the
ingredients. That's about as good as I have been able to get, but Hollywood
wants us to do so much more. I guess it gets people's attention, but
carries on the stereotypical beliefs that are prevalent out there. I know
we are not the only group to be stereotyped in this way, and I am not so
naive as to think that we will make any significant change in the way
Hollywood and the general public perceives blindness. Misconceptions are as
old as time, and they won't go away just yet.

I've only been blind for nine years, and visually impaired for 13 years
before that. Fully half of my life has been spent trying to understand my
own vision, and most recently trying to understand why society views things
so weirdly. I guess this sort of movie and commercial could be part of the
problem. They certainly are not part of the solution at this point in time.”

Albert Ruel (Victoria British Columbia, Canada )

**12. “Well, that's a mighty interesting story. Movies can
be sometimes hard to identify with according to sound. I'm not a big movie
person, butte ones I've attended, or listened to on our very own VCR are
nice, but usually I have to have people describe plot lines for me. Now
that DVS videos are becoming more popular, that's not such a common

Stacy (Wisconsin, USA)

FROM ME: “DVS or Descriptive Videos or a movie with an extra voice chiming in with info describing the scene and action; usually well done.”

**13. “Interesting. However, I think that any person of sufficient skill and intelligence would not even be involved in the street fight. But then, that’s TV.

As for the comment at the end, I have met a few who surprise even me.
I've been blind for 10 years and still don't have that kind of nasal and aural

Hawk (Blindfam listserv)

**14. “I would explain to my daughter the following: Hollywood creates movies and shows that sell, not necessarily what is accurate. Doctors, lawyers, farmers and teachers may agree that many movies depict a very artificial world. While watching movies, remember that they are meant for entertainment not education. I am glad that you are curious enough to ask questions, rather than, believing all you see on television.”

Marcia Beare ( )

FROM ME: “Now, there is a parent with patients, teaching ability, logic and what else? I like her message and method, how about you? How else may it be handled?”

**15. “Having never been a huge fan of movies depicting blind people, I don't
think I would have liked that movie. Often times when I see a movie of this
nature, it prompts my friends and family to ask me if I can do the same. I
always tell them the same thing. Probably not, but most people with vision
loss can't.

In response to the comment about blind people having super natural powers,
I have this to say. The media is doing us a favor. By this I mean that it
is better than depicting us as multi-handicapped people who can't do
anything for ourselves.”

Chris Stewart (Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)

FROM ME: “Now this is an interesting way to look at the amazing aspect of depicting the blind! Oversell or bigger than life, versus undersold and seen as devoid of any mystery.”

**16. “Yes it is interesting but at the same time the story makes you stop
and think about the rest of your senses and how alert are you about what
is around you. As a Blind friend told me once you must know who and where you are at
all times so your hearing and smell and sense of feel have to be in
place. As a blind person you know if you are coming to a wall or window
or a person and know where they are at in order to maintain your balance
and not bump into them.

What the story did not say was the gang leader make an advance
toward the blind man and that is where the dog guide is there to protect
and serve and granted they may not be trained to do that but at the same
time your dog does not want anything to happen to you so the dog was
protecting his master from harm.
I have seen this to be true as My Wife has a dog guide and we do at
times go into some bad areas and he is on the alert and this tells her
what is going on by the harness and his movements don't know how many
dog guide users are on the list but they can relate to this if they have
been in such an area or place. I have watched Calvin with my wife and seen him react to many
different conditions and to different people and when something is not
right he becomes alert and according to my wife his harness is telling
her that something is not right and time to move or something and he has
gotten between her and evil several times and was ready to protect her if
it came to that.

So keep your senses in tact and know where you are and what is around
you and where things are at, at all times.

I find the Provoker to be interesting as this should make a blind
person know shall we say who what when and where they are at all times.

Willie (Burton Arkansas, USA)

FROM ME: “Stressing being alert is of course important. As for all what a dog guide can or will or will not do, see the discussion in the Provoker, ‘Canes and Dogs.’”

**17. “I waited to see how this was going to play out.
Movies are movies and hopefully taken with a grain of salt.
Even though I have to say; after watching "Scent of a Woman". I called my
son and we went for a ride in a sports car. In getting out in the country,
explaining to my son the movie, we switch seats and he called the shots and
I drove the car Standard and all. Great feeling!

To this movie that your talking about. Here in Portland, ME, we are a
growing city of many different nationality's and small gangs. Here we have
Korean/Cambodian gang, Black and a white gang here.
To which one of them live right down at the end of my street and around the
corner. In my last five years here I've had the opportunity to bump into
them in a matter of speaking. Unlike the movie though, talking as suggested
by one of your persons. Is what I did. Never really having a problem with
them in any way. As there is a general respect there. As your lady noted,
I was ask what do you think. My comment is to all the gangs here is "I
don't judge color and there is good and bad in all" to that day I get along
with and once in awhile I talk to them. You see I think there is good in
all if given a chance.
For sure though I would never put my Bowie at risk for a fight in protecting
me. As his purpose is being a guide dog. That is why I worry about those
who get a dog, as noted in some of your feed backs, getting a guide dog for

Bowie has on one occasion had to try to protect himself. We were walking
down by the bay. This guy thought Bowie was a guard dog and sent his
trained fight pit bull to attack and pin Bowie. After screaming to the guy
to get the dog off my guide dog. Along with talking to him to educate him
this is a guide dog harness and the guy spoken to by the police on site. He
noted a deep sorry for doing it. It took several days for Bowie to get over
and training to get him back to a quality dog. So, for sure I wouldn't put
him in a situation like indicated in the movie. In our bond he tends to
protect me just by the natural instinct for each other. As when a guy tried
to get my wallet out of my back pocket, Bowie did a quick turn around and

In general in trying to make sense out of what I'm saying. I look at the
world as we need respect for a person or persons. If you give respect
whether blind or what ever you get respect back. There is bad in all
cultures and until we come together as one and show that respect and
compassion. It will be what it will be.

Thank you Robert for making an interesting situation and controversial
subject as in reading this it got under the covers for a few.”

Gene Stone (Portland, Maine, USA)

FROM ME: “Interesting take on the Provoker! Anyone else see it in a similar vain?”

**18. “Ah, I remember that movie! Longstreet. While your example is probably
fictitious, the movie of the seventies was aired. It was about a fellow who
was either a detective or an insurance claims investigator, I've forgotten
which, who was blinded by a criminal gang. He did all the stereotypical
things, first being depressed, then angry and helpless. Hollywood *always*
has the blind person angrily refusing help, trying to walk away, stumbling
into or knocking over something and then breaking down as friends try to
help them. It gets old. Anyway, Longstreet gets a guide dog, a white
German Shepherd named Pax, and his girlfriend is kidnapped by the gang that
blinded him. He manages to tell the phone number they dialed by the
number of clicks on the line, navigate by smell alone and tell time (to the
minute) by the sun's passage! Me manages (of course) to save the day, and
his girlfriend, and ended up achieving the ultimate success a blind person
can possibly have... he got his own TV series!

A friend of mine calls this the "Superblindy" syndrome. The hero goes from
being utterly helpless to becoming some specimen of superhuman abilities,
usually by acquiring a guide dog! Amazing what that harness handle will do
for you!

Hollywood does this because it helps alleviate fears of blindness in the
general public. The fear of losing eyesight is so pervasive, that people,
to accept that it happens, must believe that there is compensation in the
form of extra senses. Otherwise, it would be too frightening to
contemplate. It is a distancing mechanism. "Well, he's not as bad off as
I'm afraid he might be." kind of thing. It is the same root cause that
fuels racist stereotypes, religious divisions etc: the fear of the

The interesting thing is that totally blind heroes are often admired,
whereas nearsighted (or partially sighted) ones are mocked, like Mister
Magoo. It all stems from fear. The terror of blindness is pervasive in
society. I attended a workshop one time on dealing with the onset of
blindness. I had to eventually leave because it was all formerly sighted
people relating how terribly ashamed they were! They spoke of being
humiliated, ashamed, embarrassed, refusing to use their canes, as if vision
loss was somehow a moral failing. As if it was their fault and that it must
be hidden at all costs.

So the fear is linked with shame. It is internal and external. How we deal
with this public terror of blindness tells how we are as a society. At the
current time, Hollywood, ever a reflection of social moods, depicts us as
superhuman heroes with trained attack guides. It is not admiration for
blind people that drives this, it is fear.”

Sylvia Stevens (USA)

FROM ME: “I wasn’t thinking Longstreet, but now that you mention it… So what is the legacy of that series? And, how about this lady’s theory, ‘…Hollywood does this because it helps alleviate fears of blindness in the general public…’? Who has another theory one so specific in nature, yet different in conclusion?”

**19. “I would like to take a second stab at this: As a blind community,
in my opinion, we should lighten up and at most try to educate our sighted
friends. In any movie made in the 80's and 90’s, there has been a Good Guy
and Bad guy. In this case a blind man is used in the case scenario. Many
who have written would say," he should not even gone into that
neighborhood. Some would say we cannot use our senses to pick up the scent
of a sandwich." Well my friends this is true but add some humor and
realistic suggestions and many folks, blind or not do have a good nose for
food. I for one could spot or sniff out sausage and pancakes at 30 yards.

If it was not the blind man with his Dog guide entering the dark alley it
might have been a deaf person. In educating our children as well as anyone
else, if we as blind people exist on this earth then someone is going to "
use us" or portray us as different when actually we are. Confusing? Yes,
possibly but lets open our minds and lips to say to others," Well Pilgrim,
I am not sure about other blind people but, I do not have those super
capabilities and I would not expose my dog guide to that type of danger. My
first Dog Guide, Murphy, who was a very big Chocolate Lab was like most
of our dogs, smart and well trained, but I used to laugh and sometimes also
be scared as Murphy scanned a new situation. There were times when he
seemed to be saying as in an old cartoon" Oh boy George, which way did they
go, which way did they go.”

When I was much younger and foolish, I did
drive an old pickup truck while someone sat on the hood, in dense fog." turn
left, turn right, speed up." on a back road coming home from a very late
night party. I can relate to Richard Pryor in a movie he made with Gene
Wilder, not remembering the name but acting out as a blind person," Oh no,
I am really blind." and at 33,000 feet flying last year on a U.S. Air trip
to Washington D.C. I let a woman have my window seat just behind the wings
and at the right time asked the poor lady if she could spot my friends"
Gertrude and Heecliff". . Her response was" excuse me sir, who?" and then I
noted to her that these were two seagulls, that Red Skeleton used to talk
about. My point folks is we as a group as I previously stated could make
our lives and those of others easier by laughing and moving on with life.
N, we do not want pity but a chance like so many to enjoy each day as it
comes and if we are lucky the next Ovaltine cocoa commercial or the one
commercial regarding the very best window cleaner will feature a blind
person as his/her dog guide looks on.

Have a super day and smile when someone says " hello".”

Lee A. stone (Hudson, New York, U.S. a. (

FROM ME: “I too believe we need to lighten up on much of how we respond to the ignorance and other misguided actions of our sighted counterparts. Yet for some of us it is hard to know when it is okay to laugh or necessary to fight. Where is it you or should we draw the line?”

**20. “At this point in time I think we do need to jump on every movie or commercial that shows the wrong attitude about blindness. Its I would say a necessity to do this until the general attitude in the society is mature enough on vision loss, where they do see the blind as people who aren’t much different and less then they. We know that blindness is not as bad as the general society thinks. So until then we need to help them know when it is they’re getting it wrong. Later we can all joke about it.”

FROM ME: “Contrast this response to the one just before it.”

**21. “This reminds me of how the media uses differences among people to do a kind of "trick pony" routine. Do blind people have to be "super human" to get attention? Are there hoops of fire they are supposed to jump through for the entertainment factor? Doesn't it seem a bit ludicrous to have their blindness highlighted in that way? Perhaps if the sandwiches were egg salad and had been stored in a warm lunchbox, we could all smell them a mile away.

Speaking of movies, I recently saw the movie with Audrey Hepburn where she was being terrorized by the criminals. I think it is called, Wait Until Dark. It was interesting from a perspective from the 60's and still pretty much effective today. I view this movie as her dealing with devious types of people who say one thing and do another. She uses her wits and figures things out and escapes from them in the end. It was terrifying when I saw it in the 60's and it scared me again when I recently saw it. Who could believe that good ol "Little Luke" Richard Crenna would be such a creep. And Alan Arkin a vile killer. What I found interesting was the way these sighted villains talked to the "blind" Audrey Hepburn while brazenly looking around her apartment. It was their way they tried to take advantage of her, but in the end it was she that was resourceful, and when they started turning on each other she took control and cut the power in her apartment so they had to deal with darkness in her realm, and she had the advantage.
I think that as a film it dealt with issues of trust and dependency. Her loving and paternal husband was away and she didn't have that cocoon of protection that he provided. Bring on the egg salad sandwiches!”

Suzanne Lange (California, USA)

**22. “First of all, Hollywood is both good and evil. The silver screen and television are non-judgmental, just things, backdrops, mechanisms for performing a service, an action. Because they are used in the telling of a story, that is where the trouble, the good or evil comes into play. The story that stories tell are the parts which are created and accepted by those who use these mediums (the movie and the Tellie) and because they are people, what they write will reflect what they believe.

Yes, we need to help the writers think through what it is they believe they know. And of course, not allow them to write anything truly harmful, disrespectful to or about any group. Blindness is not the only characteristic that is at times wrongly portrayed. We have made much progress in some areas like race, gender, religion and others, but much more needs to be done in all areas.”

Martie (United Kingdom)

23. “I think this story brings up several issues.
a. Blind people are very vuunerable and the guy will surely get attacked.

I believe that yes, blind people are at somewhat a disadvantage when it comes to crime and are certainly not treated fairly within the US justice system. But when I took adjustment to blindness training after becoming totally blind in 1993 my travel instructor said, "If you know where you are going and look confident at all times people won't bother you."

b. Some peopoe believe that blind people would never get attacked because how could someone attack a poor blind person? Unfortunately this is not true either. When people travel without good skills, don't use common precautions everyone should use they can be in trouble whether they are blind or not. And unfortunately there are lots of very crazy people out there now days. Last year a deaf man ridding on the city bus system was brutally attacked because gang members saw him signing and did not understand that this is how deaf people communicate and mistook it for rival gang signs. He lost vision in one eye as a result of the attack.

c. The guide dog and protection issue.
Others have discussed this quite a bit but hey, I used to use this to my advantage when I had a dog. Enough people still believe that the dogs will protect that when a stranger asked me about it I always responded "Well, I would never try anything."
I once met a woman who was so set on the theory that dog guides would attack that she intentionally raised her voice to me and made a sudden movement as though she was going to hit me. My 100 pound yellow lab never growled, snapped, bit or barked. He merely stood up on his hind legs covering me with his body and reached out his other front paw and tried to bat at the women's face.

d. The super blind person.
We don't need to be made any more super than we are. People think many things which are just ordinary are super.”


**24. “I appreciated the insights shared on the movie. One of our first FSU
classes in Intro to Vision dealt with myths and superstitions about
blindness. Our assignment was to watch a video featuring a blind
person,(she gave us a choice of seven) and then to critique it Some of
the thoughts shared in class we that blind people are often portrayed as
super helpless or super natural. I watched "First Sight". I don't
remember all that I said on the critique, but it must have been
acceptable as I got a good grade. The following week, the videos we
watched were discussed in class. "First Sight" was thought to be the
best movie made depicting the real life of a blind person.
Sometimes I thought the actor was a little "too super" when he could tell
his girl friend what was across the street, and I thought there were
times he did things which were stupid. (example, crossing a busy street
without a cane, dog or vision)
I'm glad you are putting these thoughts out for blind folks to think
about and to discuss.”

Carol (Tallahassee Florida,USA)

**25. “I've read the first two groups of responses to this story and still, I'm
not sure how I feel about it. Depending on the blind person's lifestyle,
he might feel much more comfortable in a situation such as this than I
would. However, blind or not, he's taking a risk by confronting three
gang members by himself. As some have already said, Hollywood is full of
fantacy, and I think that this, and the commercial is just another
example. The people who write these stories have no experience with
blindness, other than what they may have read or imagined. In most cases,
the portrayal is less than accurate. We do have to educate family and
friends about what blind people can and should do, but we also have to
realize that this is television. If we watch a medical show or police
drama, I'm pretty sure that the activities of these characters are not at
all like everyday life of a doctor or police officer. Just ask your doctor
or your local police department some day. So, it's entertainment, and
while we can't let the portrayal of blind people get to wild or harmful to
us, we also have to keep in mind that the program is on for ratings and
entertainment. So, I don't think it will ever be perfect.”

Cindy Handel (Willow Street, Pennsylvainia, USA,

FROM ME: “An interesting thought here, movies and television stories are written for entertainment and not fact. So, when watching them, beware of the nature of the beast. Well okay, but how many of those who watch these stories indeed do see them only as fictionaal, and how many see them as reflections of real life?”

**26. “Let me take another stab at what I am saying and I know that
Hollywood does take things to far sometimes but takeing it under waht they
are doing we have to remember it is a movie and a work of someones mind
and the way it has to be protrayed so that the public can buy tickets at
the theater. But all in all Blindness is there and we have to deal with
it right or wrong,and as most blind people know they have to know what is
going on around them at all times and yes a dog guide helps and that is
what they are trained for and at the same time you get into a problem
that you did not want in and the dog guide is there to help and warn you
as to what has happened.So he is ther to serve and to protect you and

I was talking to several friends of mind that are blind and have dogs
and use canes so from both aspects of blind life they seam to relate to
me that Hollywood needs to be educated and to let the world know that
blindness does not rub off and it is not there fault because someone is
blind as they did not cause it.

After reading the different responces and each have there own opion on
the subject we must be light hearted and to help educate the public on
blindness and how blind people can be part of any community and be very
productive and hold down full time jobs and can make a difference in this
Sorry for being off subject but I can see how each person can relate to
different conditions and I am learning from each of you and yes I am
sighted but my wife is blind and that is not anyones fault as it happened
and there is nothing that I can do about it except love her for who she
is and not because she is blind as she is still the same person as each
of you are and deserve the same opertunitys as each gives out .”

Willie Burton ( Arkansas USA)

FROM ME: “I would say that Willie here is learning. What do you say?”

**27. “Thinking of a movie and TV as being a learning tool, one in which we can set up a situationa and follow it to its conclutio n, I think it would be very interesting to see a movie that has been written for the philosophy of the various conmsumer groups. Not one that spouts off philosophy in speeches and words persay, but one that just shows people living the philosophy.
The characters would be living by the main stress points of believe of each group from the most progressive to the least progressive group and allow the contrast to deminstrate all those things that need to be recognized as right or wrong or are not as good and/or what ever. Consequences of actions could be shown; for example if an individual isn’t taking responsible action, then show how society will view that action. Just as show a person taking inishitive and responsibility and show that result. Even show where skills like Braille and good travel plays a part on how we are seen and how successful we are in school or work or in love or etc.
So many times in discussion of the difference in philosophical approaches, we get bogged down in heated exchanges that do nothing to educate, but only to show how a group is split.”

FROM ME: “Interesting project! I also could see a book written of a city wherein several groups of the blind exist and live, doing their community works and in general members just living their life’s. Anyone out there writing this great American Novel or should I say Great World Novel? Get me some funding and I’ll do it…”

*28. “Interesting movie clip. Personally, I don't see that the man's blindness is
a real issue. Let's get real! Holliwood must sensationalize. If they fail
to do so they won't make any money.
After all, who in their right mind would walk into a situation like this man
did---blind or sighted? As for the guide dog, anyone knows that a dog who
has bonded with his master, guide dog or otherwise, will fight to protect
his Him. I know this first hand.

Now to address this "super hero" concept, don't you think all of us possess
uniqueness that may place us in the "super hero" category? If the occasion
for one should arise I certainly hope so.
Keep the good work flowing!”

Freda (Dallas, Texas, USA)

**29. “There isn't much I want to add to the comments that have already appeared on "Stories stories tell." However, an observation
on the commercial that is done by Ray Charles for Arby's. He begins by identifying two features of Arby's sandwich bargain
that his "super-natural sense of smell" tells him. First, he detects that there are five sandwiches and second that they
cost $5.95. Clearly, the sense of smell cannot give you this visual information. However, the sense of smell can tell you
the difference between two different sauces, namely, Arby's sauce and horsey sauce. At this point, Ray hesitates, initially
saying that is Arby's sauce; no, it's horse's sauce. Now, you see how clever the makers of the commercial are: they start
out by claiming that the sense of smell can distinguish strictly visual information, but then suggest that it can't easily
distinguish one kind of smell from another. Either they are super-clevber or they area super-stupid. At the end, Ray says,
"And I understand they look pretty good too." If he can tell how many there are and how much they cost, you would expect
that he would also be able to tell that they looked very good, but he seems to suggest that this is something someone has
told him. Now, either Ray Charles is very confused about his blindness or those who made the comercial were. On the other
hand, maybe Ray is playing games with the sighted public who are just as likely as not to believe that blind persons do have
super-natural senses of smell and other forms of sixth senses. Put another way: we're too dumb to use our sense of smell
for the purposes others do in distinguishing smells of sauces, but use it to count items and find prices. In literature,
there are generally at least two elements: the presentation of the individual character and the evoking of some general theme
as illustrated in the person and behavior of the leading character. Getting a balance between these is the mark of great
literature or drama or films. Nowadays, it has become fashinable to illustratethe struggle of good and evil. There is a
touch of this in the story for this provoker and, interestingly, the "good" side is carried by the blind fellow. Defeating
the bad guys and rescuing her girlfriend. Blindness has also been used to symbolize evil, for example, old blind Pew, hte
pirate, in Treasure Island. When Oedipus found out that he had killed his father and married his mother, he could think
of no pun;ishment more suitable for punishment than blinding himself. In the same play by Sophocles, the soothsayer who
knew the truth and saw everything was Teresias who, of course, was blind. According to one legend, his blindness was only
part of the burden Teresias carried; the heavier one was knowing everything. I guess that's the wonderful thing about blindness:
it can be used to symbolize anything. That makes it ckind of toughto be a stereotype when you can't be sure what you're supposed to be stereotyping.”

James S. Nyman (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

FROM ME: “Now, here is an annalysis to be annalized! This is, the above response, a great point on the use of blindness, for its… You tell me?”

**30. “It is the nature of the beast. Movies and television and books are great, but not always accuret. We can use them to spread the good word about visual impairment and how peple do adjust to it. That means from time to time having to fight with an author or producer to change their idea for their story. This means getting their attention by protesting their products and make them think that next time they need to consult us to make sure they get it right.

Maybe we need a new classification for movies that let the viwer know that what they see may not be the truth. UT13 or Untrue13.”

**31. “What would I say to my daughters? Hmm! I have always been honest with
my children. When they were little and brought their paintings home from
Preschool I would sit down with them and ask them what they drew, did
they like it? I have never just spouted the usual "that lovely honey…"
that would have been a lie! I can't see it to know if it were lovely or
not. I have said though, "sounds like you worked hard on it!” Now they are older and doing essays and projects they know they can expect me to say, "you need more research..."
So They have never asked if I could smell how many sandwiches. They
Have asked, "can you tell the different kinds or perfumes?"
My oldest daughter was about nine before it finally hit her that I was
indeed blind ad what that meant. Does that mean I was super-blind to
them? No, I think that it meant they have taken my skills as normal.”

Janet, (Idaho, USA,
I C Q 51610857)

**32. “I found the account of the show to be well-written, but the usual stuff
the media puts out there about blind people--usually guys--as heroes. You
Asked if we could think of any movies in which a blind person was
Portrayed well and my mind goes blank. I am much more aware of shows
that send unrealistic messages about people like us.

I have noticed in the comments made thus far that many blind people seem
disgruntled by movies, their families and friends and just members of the
general public thinking that they are "amazing" if they notice things
with their other senses. The unrealistic stuff, of course, is annoying.
However, I think some blind people may be oversensitive about having
what might seem to be unusual skills because they could be seen as
"compensating." By so doing, some blind persons may not allow themselves
to develop skills they might find helpful and/or interesting. I know
that I have some rather odd-seeming skills which tend to surprise some
sighted people.

I usually can "hear" if I am walking past a tree, pole or other tall
object that is at the edge of a sidewalk, for example. I usually don't
run into parked cars because I can "hear" that there is something in
front of me. I very often hear aspects of conversation that others do
not notice and people are surprised when I comment on them. I notice
music playing softly somewhere, birds singing outside, a cat meowing in
the courtyard, a bus going by a block away, someone knocking on the door,
etc, on and on that sighted people around me tend to miss. Sometimes I
feel designs in clothing, errors in pieces of clothing I am shopping for,
a wooden sculptured fish behind me at a restaurant, sticky pop under my
feet at a fast-food place where things need to be cleaned up, moss
growing on a tree, identifying a type of tree by the shape of its leaves
or its smell, whether the water in an ice machine is going through mildew
inside the machine, etc. and yes, some people have said that dreaded A
word (amazing.)

When I was young my mom had me check clothing before we bought it,
calling me "Fingers." At my last job, the cleaning person had me come
out to smell the ice machine and tell her whether she needed to call the
repair guy to come and clean the mildew out. When my daughter was young,
she asked me "Mommy, what kind of bird is that singing?" (She also asked
me "What color is the sun?" which brought on an article I wrote a number
of years ago. My daughter also wondered how I could make boiled eggs
without timing them and I told her I could usually smell when they were
done. (This is true of many other cooked items besides boiled eggs,
though I do use recipe-timing directions for some things.)

Just recently, my husband and I were snooping around in the "boonies" and
suddenly, as he was driving down a road, I said, "I smell dill pickles."
He didn't know what I was talking about at first. I insisted that I
really smelled dill pickles. Then he looked around and began to laugh.
Across the intersection, there was a pickle factory which he had, up
until then, not noticed. (We have since then bought some and they are

I also have relative pitch and knew how to memorize songs before I could
talk. In various choirs in which I have sung, I do not read music
(Braille music was just too cumbersome for me to learn very well). In
the chorus in which I currently sing, we are all given rehearsal tapes.
They are extremely helpful to me but I have to admit that I usually do
not get around to listening to them until a day or two before the concert
just to make sure I have it all down in my mind. The sighted people
think this is so "amazing."

My point is this. I actually have a partial hearing loss in one ear. I
have chronic sinusitis which can affect my senses of smell and taste.
Every now and then a pinched nerve in my back will get into trouble and I
can get twinges in my fingers, hands, legs, etc which can affect my sense
of touch. I absolutely do not have any extra or overcompensating senses.
I am a very observant and curious person and have been probably since I
was born (maybe before.) However, I am convinced that most other people
can notice as much nonvisual stuff in the world as I do if they need to
or want to. I said this so many times to members of my chorus that guess
what? The Board decided that if everyone could be less dependent on
their music and work more with rehearsal tapes like I do, we would all be
more freed up to do "music theater." We are currently trying a rather
unusual approach to our holiday concert. We all have rehearsal tapes
with both lyrics and music on them. Everyone will be expected to have
learned all the music by memory by next week. Our choreographer is
beginning to work with us on our non-singing parts. They have designed a
set in which all kinds of people can maneuver at their level of ability
or preference and parts cast accordingly. I feared greatly that I would
be stuck in a corner somewhere to just sing. Nope. I have moving to do,
too. I am standing less ONLY because I have orthopedic problems so those
of us with that kind of problem have sitting parts for much of the show. I'm using my cane, maneuvering around tables and chairs and doing some
simple, synchronized actions with the rest of them. We had a retreat
this past weekend so we could begin to learn all this extra stuff. I
think it is neat that these people have realized that I am not that
"amazing" or as "different" as they first might have assumed, but have
used my example to free up everyone and also to help everyone in that
chorus learn that they really do have other senses, too. Their being
less "sight-dependent" will be helpful for all of us and the show will be
a gem. This kind of a neat thing has not happened to me very often in my
life. Once again, my point is, I am not any more amazing than anyone
else. However, I think we are all pretty amazing at times.

Laurie Merryfield (Washington, USA)

**33. “Ah--the image of Super-blink! The blind person who can recognize each
and every person he or she has ever met by the sound of their voice,
who has almost superhuman capabilities in most impossible situations,
who can find their way to a new site without even having to give their
dogs any more direction than "Forward!"; but who at the same time has
to have cords strung around their homes to find their way to the
bathroom or the kitchen!

The situation depicted is ridiculous, of course; a hyped scenario to
prove that right makes might for the poor, righteous blind guy and his
faithful guide dog turned attack dog. This if followed by the silent
advertisement that fails to give anyone not watching the screen any
idea as to what is being highlighted.

It is interesting to me that CBS, at least, has made the move to have a
token blind person in many of their shows. In "Dr. Quinn" the Reverend
loses his sight, and there follow a number of realistic episodes as he
learns to function again in a relatively independent manner. Most of
it was very realistically done, although I wonder if a real minister in
such a situation could have owned a horse he could trust to take him
back and forth around the region as the minister did on the show.

In "Early Edition" the continuing supporting character is Marissa, both
black and blind, who has stayed by Gary for years since the day he
helped her to obtain her first guide dog (that wasn't exactly
realistic, as most guide dog schools do not charge students for their
dogs, and someone from Chicago would be in a more central position
allowing her to choose a school that doesn't charge and that even
subsidizes air travel to get the training and the dog), leaving the
broker's office to partner with him and Fishman as they buy McGinty's.
Marissa has been stalked, and that was done realistically, with her
hiding in a darkened auditorium to even their chances a bit; and you
could see her relying on her hearing to try to locate him. When she
went out on her own to try to help kids who were about to get trapped
in a collapsing abandoned building that Gary had told her of, her
subsequent fall was also done realistically. She uses her cane or her
dog realistically outside or in new surroundings, but on Saturday she
confidently picked up her brailled material and walked normally in the
familiar confines of the bar.

Then, on "Becker" there is the character of Eddie, another blind black
who is again a pretty well realized character with his set routine but
who admits that there are times when he gets so frustrated with the
normal restrictions caused by his disability, such as having to rely on
unreliable public transportation, that he wants to rebel and who is
angry at God for allowing the situation.

Monica on "Touched by the Angel" and Jason on "Promised Land" shared
temporary blindness, and I felt Jason's shock and denial were portrayed
pretty realistically, as well as his attempt to avoid learning cane
travel and his subsequent acquiescence.

What is frustrating is that the network does not hire real blind actors
to portray these characters. It is frustrating that now that we no
longer find the "Longstreet" character, the network, while offering
realistic characters with realistic capabilities, still sees blind
actors as being less capable of meeting production requirements than
sighted actors portraying blind characters.”

Bonnie L. Sherrell (Port Townsen, USA,
Teacher at Large)

**34. “After reading the first one and then the second one and the
different responses from many walks of life and the different views on
one part of a story and the situation in which people can get into with
out trying is one thing and TV and Hollywood can do just that and that is
for the general public as they like that stuff and it sells to make a
person out to be super and always the hero.

I was talking to a blind friend of mind this weekend and this happen to
him as he was taking his dog guide out to relieve him and this was in DC
for general information and this was where he was told to go so he did
and he was approached by someone and was told to give up his money and all
that, as he was about to be robbed and his dog guide started growling and
got very defensive about this and was ready to defend him if the
condition had not changed and it is very scary when you are where you
are suppose to be and you have no control over the other people and
what they might do. So it is not what or how the dog guide was or was not
trained it is the loyalty they have for you and what they do and can do
for you even if it is not your doing.

Yes blind people in general are easy targets for gangs along with any
other disability and they feel like because you are blind you can not
tell who did what but as I have learnt that is not true because of one
small factor and that is a persons voice and this is easy for any person
to know and to remember and each person has his or her own walk, just to
mention a couple of things that I have learnt and to do this our firends
said you think we are super people so blind fold yourself and see if you
can live like this for a week and then you tell me what you found out and
I did. Eyes life is different and things are done different but after all
I was the one that wanted to learn and I did and then got a Large test on
what I had learnt and how much I could remember.

So for those who have sighted friends let them try it and then test them
, Sorry for being off subject.
Sorry for being off subject.

Willie (Benton, Arkansas, USA)

FROM ME: “I like what Willie says he has done, tried out non-visual techniques. I’ve recommended this tactic myself to many sighted persons. The only caution I have, is they have to do it long enough and have an experienced blind person or trained sighted instructor versed in non-visual techniques there to assist. Fore the initial stages of blindness and/or sleepshade training can be the worst part of the whole adjustment process. You have to get past this part before it really starts to make sense. Believe me, if you don’t get on to how to use your other senses along with your common sense, an experiment of this type will only go to confirm how devastating vision loss is. So, watch out with these trials.

Interesting, where I work, when we hire a new sighted staff member, they go through a three-month training with the sleepshade on. They are placed in our orientation and adjustment center along with our clients who are needing to learn the same skills and awareness.”

34. “You know, I sort of like people to think I am super! But, life is funny, if you are seen as super in one area, you are expected to be super in all areas and that just doesn’t happen. Being blind is also funny in that same way. Some thing I am helpless, but then they see me do one of those super things (which may not really be super to me) and then they are amazed, for a little while. So we all get mixed up with this thing of sometimes you are super and sometimes you are helpless. Boy! This makes being blind a mixed up deal. I wish people just knew we were people.”

Marvin (USA)

**35. I sometimes think we blind people get too critical as to how we're portrayed
by the media. No, Longstreet wasn't realistic, yet I enjoyed the series. I
think we need to dream a little, and let our imaginations run wild. When I
was a boy, I wanted to be a pilot, and, who knows, with the way technology
is going, that might just come to pass. Same for driving a car. I pick out
lots of information from people's voices. Does that make me superman? Far
from it! I've had people tell me that if they lost their sight that they
just couldn't make it! I tell them that they'd do what they had to do to

Have a great day!

Brian Zolo (USA,

**36. "I had an experience that reminded me of the thought provoker "The Stories
Stories Tell".

It was near the end of the day, and my wife was going to stop by the grocery
before picking me up from work. She called me on her cell phone and told me
that she would be there in two minutes. Knowing that my wife really meant
two minutes, I packed up and walked outside.

A co-worker was standing outside, having a smoke break. I wished her a good
day and began walking down the path to the road where my wife usually meets
me. "Your wife's not out there yet," said my friend.
"I know," I replied, "she'll be here in about thirty seconds." Sure enough,
my wife pulled up about half a minute later.

The next day, my co-worker greeted me and asked me how I had been able to
hear my wife's car so far away. I thought I'd never stop laughing. I
explained to her about my wife's phone call, and that I do not in fact have
super-human hearing.

Just another example of how these crazy Hollywood images get started."

David Thurmond (Alanta, Georgia, USA)

**37. "In response to this thought provoker and many people's responses to it, I think that, no matter sighted or blind, anybody can be a hero in their own
right if they want to be. Some sighted and blind people do very well in being able to defend themselves against attackers while others don't either because
of their confidence level or because they don't know how to. As for the guide-dog being an attack dog, like many others have pointed out, even though
guide-dogs are not trained to be attack dogs, some dogs will attack while others won't.

I personally don't know whether I could fend off an attacker, but I suppose that I could but just don't know it. Of course, this is provided that the
attacker does not pull their gun on me. Before my husband and I moved to where we live now, we were living in a very dangerous neighborhood in a large
metropolitan area. I had a guide-dog at that time, which kept people at a distance of me for awhile until they saw that my dog was much more docile than
he actually looked. It was not until someone I did not know started whistling to my dog from across the street and saw my dog wagging his tail in response
that they knew he, more than likely, would not attack if they approached me positively or negatively. Unfortunately, the neighborhood was bad day or night,
and, because we lived there, we had no choice than to walk through the bad areas to catch the bus or walk to the corner store. So, does that make me an
idiot for going through dangerous areas? It may be idiotic to walk into situations that you know are very dangerous, but if you have no choice because
you live in such a neighborhood, then there's nothing you can do about it.

Other responses cited other instances they saw or personally experienced in which blind people are portrayed to have unusual abilities or are supposed
to look a certain way. Resp. 9 wrote about a show about a magician who could tell what the different cards were based on the weight. This reminded me
of a conversation I had with somebody quite a few years ago in regards to coins and their weight in your hand or when they hit the floor, and being able
to tell what coin was what based on such information. I never thought of such an idea, so I tried it but still, to this day, cannot distinguish one coin
from another that way. I gave up on it and just go by the method I was taught--going by the feel and size of the coin. Somebody also asked me whether
I could tell the different dollar bills by the smell, but I don't notice any difference other than which ones are older bills vs. brand-new ones just off
the press.
Resp. 9 also wrote about how he was asked why he did not wear sunglasses, being that he is blind. I've never had people ask me such, but I have had
people who saw me traveling confidently down the sidewalk with my cane tapping left to right tell me, "you're not blind". Of course, I just tell them
that I am, and they walk away. As for wearing sunglasses, though. Sure, there may be some who wear them just to perpetuate the stereotypes or just for
looks, but there are many of us who have light perception who wear sunglasses because the lighting is so bright that it burns our eyes or gives us ungodly
headaches. I don't often have to wear sunglasses, so many people don't know that I'm blind from a distance until they see me wearing my sunglasses even
on a partly cloudy day.
Some responses pointed out how you can make humor of these strange ideas about blind people rather than get on the defense. I used to not make humor
of these strange ideas, but I got to the point that life is too short to sit and constantly criticize or get on the defense. That's when I started learning
to laugh more about such stupidity on the part of the media. Such a movie that cracks me up every time I think about it or a conversation relating to
it comes to mind. There's a movie called House Party III, which is a comedy. In one of the scenes, there are about three blind guys in a car driving
down the street with their canes sticking out of the window, one cane out the driver's side window and the other canes through the other windows. Of course,
such a scene may spawn the idea that it's possible for blind people to drive, using such a technique, and it would be dangerous for a sighted person to
get a blind person to actually try such a method out. Ever since I saw the movie, whenever the conversation about driving comes up, I make joke about
how I could get my driver's license, and get on the interstate highway with my cane sticking out the window to find where I'm going.
While many people could think of many movies that portray blind people negatively, one movie that comes to my mind that portrays something positive
about blind people is Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. I don't remember the name of the character, but she's very devoted to her horse-racing. I cannot remember
how it happened, but she ended up going blind. Of course, the script made it look like her horse-racing career was at the end until she made her comeback
on her horse, doing all those jumps off the platform and all the other things involved in horse-racing. I don't remember what all happened in the end--whether
she won a medal or what. What I do know is that, to me, she was a hero in her own right. For one thing, she refused to let her blindness stop her or
keep her from wanting to live. Second, I don't know if I could have been as brave as she was to go back out there. Sure, I would have still continued
living a life, but I could not have been brave enough to jump off those platforms without seeing the distance. Thus why she's a hero to me. As it is,
as a blind person with light perception, I'm scared of heights. I may be a coward in that sense, but that doesn't mean that I'm any less than anybody
else; thus my statement at the beginning of my response.


**38. I found this one quite interesting. I think sometimes blind people are over-sensitive, in the sense that they think movies or any fictional portrayal of
a person with a visual impairment is offensive. I'm reminded of when a certain group of people had something to say about Mister Magoo. I for one don't
ever recall watching an episode of Mr. Magoo, but I don't think I would've been offended by him since he was only fictional. Sure, that is probably not
how the average blind or visually-impaired functions in real life, but it was just a source of entertainment and nothing more, a way to stretch the mind
and make people laugh. I don't know what I would have done if I were the person in the story, since I've never used a guide dog. It would be cool to watch
something like that with audio descriptions. BTW, can we have a Thought Provoker dealing with the subject of audio descriptions and what people think of
them? I for one would really enjoy that.

Jake Joehl, Chicago USA.