With the release of Apple TV Plus and its amazing awesomeness, I have something good to write here in the blog for a change. For one, I am pleased to announce the service has AD, or audio description for all sorts of shows. The content includes an animated show about helpful monsters, called “Helpsters”, a post apocalyptic adventure story involving blind people, a show about morning shows–go figure–, and so much more to come. Some people say I’m crazy but I have become very addicted to this new show, starring Jason Momoa and company, and bear in mind the guy did Game of Thrones, so this has to be good.
See is a show unlike any other. According to the folks at Apple who spoke about this in WWDC last summer when they introduced this thing, blind people were consulted, which is a far cry from what usually happens in a show like this. Blind people are accurately portrayed doing ordinary things in the woods, something I would never imagine happening. For one, some of the people use dogs, something I’ve seen firsthand. Other people use sticks, but since we’re talking about a decimated post apocalyptic adventure that depends on surviving the wild, trendy looking white canes are not necessarily the thing to have here. Let’s take a deep look at what this is about.
In this show’s plot points, we. have a lady who is blind giving birth to babies. That’s ordinary. A queen sends witch finders to find the babies, and this is something interesting. The babies are born with the gift that is considered heretical in nature, the gift of seeing. This is the centerpiece of the story. Jason Momoa plays a character who defends his tribe, a wandering band of warriors and such, from the queen and her frightful witch finders. We have blind people doing various things to survive the wilderness and rule government and all the things ordinary sighted folks keep from us head on. Now, this might make sighted people question themselves, “Why are we hurting blind people?” In the backstory, the deadly virus caused its surviving victims’ blindness, and humans simply stopped seeing centuries later. But think of this: sighted people might question the logic behind this because let’s look at the reality of blind people, sighted people think blindness is heretical, and I’m not trying to overgeneralize the sighted, but the blind are considered a curse in some parts of the world. Rosemary Mahoney did some extremely accurate research, in person in Tibet to be exact, which proves the point. IF you’d like to take a look at what she found, her book For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind is a must read. While the world of the show See is ten times the opposite of our current state of affairs, it shows us a dire warning and some valid points. Here are the points the show makes about vision, and some of my own, that might validate the warning of this masterpiece.
- First and foremost, the spoiler alert for this point is in effect. The Queen made a point in a scene where she stopped and met with officials that vision caused people to burn whole states, and I might add that the gift of light caused so much crap with humanity. She prays a modified version of the Lord’s Prayer, something with “For thine is the power of the darkness” … and so on and so forth. She wants that light vanquished, and for some reason, there are warnings of this in real life I can almost see from a few miles away if you catch my drift.
- Another issue with vision in our world? Racism, prejudice, and discrimination are a big no no in this new world. But in our world, blindness is feared, but think of its benefits. Not that being sighted is bad, wrong, and evil, but in our current state of affairs, we’ve created a world far more visual and racy than what we’ve imagined. For example, I would never have known that a friend of mine was black because he doesn’t give away that information, talks with what we consider proper grammar, and for another thing, I can’t see the complexion he possesses. My own fiancé is black, but none would know it. Vision allows people to discriminate against everybody from black to female, and if you see a color you don’t like, you can sit there and try and vanquish it. If you’re blind, color would never matter. But there’s another catch in the next point.
- While the sighted fear blindness, the blind themselves are incoherent. This is something Mr. Momoa and company never understood nor would they get. Blind community members fight amongst themselves, some being apologetic for sighted ableism, others being more radical and considerably militant. The militant blind try to smear the pride of those who aren’t in line with their teachings, which is a sighted thing as well. Sighted churches and established religions and cult groups try and emphasize the point of light being good and dark being bad, and it gets to interesting new heights.
- The symbolic sacred healing of a blind man in the Bible has up to this point been bothersome for me. Perhaps the blindness as curse thing has been ancient, but in See, the sight as curse thing shows us what can happen if sighted people get carried away with themselves. Here’s another sub point to make: blindness allows the other senses to come full circle. As a sighted person, if you are sighted and reading this, you’re probably not letting the words wash over you with a piece of audio or feeling the words in Braille on a display, but you are visually seeing the words dance across your screen. We’ve created the world of complete visuality, and it makes a big difference in the lives of blind people. Blind people don’t get access to urban employment, can’t do many occupations by choice, or are crushed of their dreams by well meaning but stupid professionals who say, “How are you going to perform this task blind?” We think that to be a police officer, for example, you have to drive and handle guns. That doesn’t always ring true. Police work can be done in other sub categorical things like forensic analysis, crime scene tech, and so much more that goes into law enforcement and protecting people. You could train dogs for the police, and training a dog is fun. You have to have a good keen sense of animal behavior, but that can be taught without vision. Look closely at the dogs trained in See. They guide their handlers, just as guide dogs do in our current world. They are very important animals throughout the history of mankind, period.
- With a world of visual stuff, we often lose our ability to appreciate music too. When Sputnik went up in space, the whole world was like, “AAAAAAAHHHHHH, we need science and math. Like right now.” The problem with science and math today is it’s made into visual concepts, and people require visual aids. Close your eyes for a second and listen to the chimes in See, descriptions included. Spoiler alert: those chimes are a sound cue for the blind warriors to follow a trail. The trails in our current world have visual markers, but has anyone tried the braille trail in Colorado Springs? There are other Braille trails out there, but orienteering is a great skill to have, so keep this in mind. Visual stuff dims the appreciation of sound like the chimes, and feeling things like the message ropes in the show. Try for a moment to imagine the livelihood of a blind musician. They have blindness and can still read music, in Braille of course, but written language somehow became more basic in the world of see. One thing I’ve learned is that the Queen’s attendants, spoiler alert, actually had good voices singing, and blindness does not play a contributing factor, but it does give me attention to detail about singing. Let’s try and imagine my choir directors, and think of what might happen if they became blind. They’d have to close their eyes, of course, but they’d have to learn to pay close attention to what each sound set means in the room where the choir sits rehearsing. For example, an “ah” sound that is pure in nature makes a different sound than the bright “ah” vowel that comes with bad pop singing, or perhaps laziness on the part of some singers. An “oo” vowel becomes pure when the right sound is made, which is not a visual thing at all. Vowels can be dark or light, and the tone color becomes frighteningly obvious to someone if they learn to use and adapt the way they do things without sight. With sight in the picture, however, things get real annoying.
I’m going to tell you my last impression of the last episode in a future blog post, so stay tuned. And make sure you have your thinking caps on while reading this stuff and analyzing the show. I enjoy it as much as anyone else, but let’s be clear. I don’t believe sight is heretical, but it can be a deadly form of misused privilege if given the right leverage. Sight has indeed put humanity in a box, a visual box, and I feel that with time, and understanding, people will come to realize that skin color and complexion, appreciation for auditory things, and other blindness specific things might become more second nature to those wishing to survive a deadly viral outbreak should this come to pass. Funny I had a dream about a species or subspecies of human that was all blind, and they feared lights. This is sort of a dream come true for me, and I hope you guys like what you see in this spellbinding story.
To get Apple TV Plus, first you might want to make sure you own a couple of new Apple devices. Secondly, make sure you follow the prompt banner thingy you might come across in the Apple TV app, where the plus service is, and make sure you confirm payment details with Apple Pay, which on an earlier model phone, you can do with a home button touch, or with the new phones Ten or later, with your face and the side button, located on the side of the phone opposite two buttons known as the volume buttons up and down. For those who are confused about how to hold the phone in the event of face recognition, the speaker holes and lightning port should face down, and the camera thing should face upwards. Hold the phone gently about six inches or more from your face, at least until the thing makes a click and haptic is felt. If either of those happens, your home screen should pop up, but in the case of apple payment confirmation, you should hear a double ding to confirm. I hope this helps a lot of my iPhone lovers in the area get on board and enjoy this stuff.
For more information on streaming services, another source of stuff is Cord Cutters’ News. It’s on YouTube, and there are new issuances of the news clips every day except Sunday, so you can enjoy news regarding streaming stuff and cord cutting, which some of you might want to consider as cable companies noticeably hike prices like crazy and take channels away. Ugh. One day, cable will go the way of the dinosaurs of course. It might happen, so be on the look out.
After well over ten months, exactly twelve months, if you own a new apple device, your Apple TV Plus service will be $5 per month about. It’s trying to compete with Netflix, and doing a good job.
Thank you all for reading.