Total Recall: What It Got Right and Wrong, The Future is Here!

Dear readers,

I love Total Recall. Yes, it’s based in a future drawn from Philip K. Dick’s stories, but it’s interesting. I want to let you guys in on a weird secret: what did Total Recall get right and wrong? Note: I’m focusing on the 1990 Total Recall, not the 2012 reboot, as the 1990 one has a bit more jazz with Arnold in it, and Arnold is the best. So without further adieu, here we go.

Virtual reality. This is a promising thing. Just imagine yourself going on a virtual vacation. If I had it my way, for instance, I’d forget the lost luggage, lost things, ticket crap, passports that don’t get stamped, travel bans. We’d want a vacation in the islands, but imagine doing that without actually going there. A virtual reality vacation in Antigua with a few warm sips of tropical air, lime drinks, and so much more. It is a promising thing, but virtual reality has hit the gaming world first. However, I don’t see us doing Saturn cruises any time soon. Virtual reality also allows med students to perform virtual surgeries and use their hands and robotic medical assistants, like Da Vinci Surgical System, to do complicated procedures. Virtual reality helps the med student to learn fast, and simulated surgeries and scenarios might help docs get it right the first time. It’s highly important that surgeries be done right the first time, and using virtual means, the students learning medical procedures will do just that. Now, I’m not expecting anything like implanted memory chips though. Arnold’s character, Douglas Quade is derived from a Douglas Quail, and he has a billion identities, and goes off as a secret agent. However, doctors can’t guarantee they’ll be doing memory implants. Not yet, and hopefully not at all.

Transport. Imagine you’re Douglas Quade, Arnold’s character, unconscious and dumped in a cab. Spoiler alert, the cab talks. And imagine what could happen if you wanted to go somewhere in that talking cab. “You’re in a Johnny Cab.” Oops, there’s a couple things wrong with this picture. While there is CarPlay, Apple’s version of automation in travel, I don’t think we’ll ever quite get to the idea of a mannequin driving you around and talking strangely about a “hell of a day.” Arnold’s character gets noticeably frustrated, and honestly, I think a cabby in a human form is preferable. In any case, transport is not quite as automated as one would think. We do have Waymo, the google smart cars, but they just don’t talk like the cars in Total Recall.

Space colonization. I hope this is wrong for a few reasons: one is that Mars is a red planet that takes a whole year to get to. Two, the whole terror of Martian society being ripped up by an agency sounds much too much for those who are different. Third, why bother colonizing another planet when we could either terraform or destroy it as a human race? While science tells us that Mars is a desert planet with almost little life on it, we’re bound to see more. Thanks to NASA’s Mars rovers, we’re looking at so much of Mars we haven’t seen before. However, we might not even get to Robert Heinlein’s Red Planet either.

If you want to watch Total Recall, do so with a critical eye. However, be careful because you could find yourself wondering if the next cab driver you get is automated or the guy who drives rebels around.

Beth

What Sex Ed Should Look Like in the Future

Dear readers,

Before I get into the details of what the sex ed curriculum could look like in the future, I want to tell you how the current state of sexual education not only hurts girls with disabilities, but puts them at risk. I was sent to a private school in fifth grade, graduated there in eighth grade, but before I could, I had to do a joke class. New creation, this class was called, taught us about pregnancy, the birds and the bees, and sexual immorality and all that crap. First and foremost, I’m glad I never spoke about that kind of thing to too many people, the part about new creation being a joke, but it is a real joke. Yes, there are a few things the class gets right, and I’ll explain how. First, let me analogize sex ed with driving a car. When you first meet the car, what happens?

In this one book on sexuality I found, written by a certified health and teenage sex pro, I found an interesting analogy to introducing teenagers to the concepts of sex and such. Michael Basso wrote an entire first few paragraphs in the first chapter as though he were talking about driver’s education. It makes sense, but what Mr. Basso wanted to know, regarding the car, was when do I get to drive it? Mike from Monsters Incorporated is best known for that little reason for buying a new car, so he could drive it. But I think both Mr. Basso and Mike from Monsters Inc. could have used a lesson on the behind the hood parts and pieces of the automobile, something akin to what we do when we teach about sexual anatomy. So here’s what the vagina and penis do for each sex, okay, and here are the ovaries. Okay, that’s the same thing as explaining what the clutch pedal of your car does, and here’s the steering wheel. Okay, it makes sense to always make people aware of what parts are private, behind the hood, that sort of thing.

If it gets any better, the school version of “new creation” class gets pretty serious. Morality and eighth grade new creation/family life included discussions about love and dating. Unfortunately, it did not prepare me for the obvious problems I would face in finding a date. It was patriarchally biased so that it would validate my mother’s awful diatribes on how “girls don’t call boys” and “girls don’t ask boys on dates.” Boys at Titusville High probably were threatened in the patriarchal gut when I asked them out for dates. Ugh, I can’t stand the idea of Jason and others I wanted to date in situations where they rule and dominate the female species. It makes me vomit thinking of guys trying to make sexual harassment at school stick, but when a boy gets the same complaint when a girl says it, it doesn’t. Sexism much? Yes.

What the St. Teresa morality classes never would have taught me was that 90% of girls with disabilities like me will have been raped this year. Many women with disabilities, grown women I’ve spoken to over the online platform Skype, have been prior rape victims and they are now survivors, some are thriving. I learned later about the victim survivor thriver system in a rehabilitative spot in 2006, and it took me years to process. My parents did not utterly prepare me for the possibility of smashing the patriarchy, rather they were the patriarchy. I will never try to sum up what the patriarchy is; one should know what it is by now. The matriarchy is a lot more energy driven, and I’m sorry, sorry to see what people say in class is a joke.

St. Teresa did not teach the facts, only the predictions and not based on a scientific facts. They want to tell you how to live right, be clean, all that jazz, but it doesn’t work. STS and THS were both patriarchally programmed against girls with disabilities, and I frequently saw no effort on STS’s part to make girls with disabilities welcome and actually teach scientific facts about rape and the evolutionary explanation of rape. Evolutionary consequences abound for rape victims who end up pregnant, on top of the fact that they are disabled. The rape victims have to either carry or adopt out the baby, according to Catholic doctrine, no abortion is acceptable, and that could hurt someone whose uterus can’t technically carry a child. I knew a woman who had twins, but one of them didn’t make it. It wasn’t her fault, but the Catholic church would have been so obsessed with her keeping both babies, even the one dying, and that’s kind of not what happened. The baby that didn’t make it had to be cremated, and an autopsy report was mailed to the mother, and it was just sad. When a baby dies, sometimes even the woman dies, but that didn’t happen. However, angel babies, as one would call the baby that didn’t make it, are a blessing in disguise sometimes. For this mother, I hope she raises the baby that did make it to understand that sometimes, not everything goes as planned. However, when a baby passes in utero, it can endanger the life of a second baby or woman who carries it. None of this information is found in the STS approved science curricula or sex education no less.

So what should a real sex ed textbook look like? For cisgender heterosexual white males, this book should not even be placed in the hands of such to be ripped apart. So I think the males would, however, benefit from reading such a book if they would please pay attention to waht the book says.

Here’s the basics of what curricula should be acceptable for children in the next generation whether Catholic or not, disabled or not.

1. Starting with the anatomy, all sex ed curricula should give an overview of body parts, and this should start with preschool. Okay, give the preschoolers the proper names for genitalia as well as the physical limbs, lungs, etc.

2. When a child reaches pubic age, around ten or eleven years old, please, I beg the writers of sex ed curricula, include something about evolutionary fertility in a scientific perspective. Talk in this curriculum about girls and transgender boys having periods and such. Persons who have periods should be given a proper heads up about what pregnancy and menstruation does, etc etc.

3. LGBTQI+ individuals should have history in a separate textbook, but any sex ed book should include tips for dealing with parents who won’t accept you as you are. If a parent threatens to kill you over being transgender or gay, or whatever, there should be one or two things in there about this, and resources at the back of the book to help said children. All kids should be accepted as they are, but that doesn’t happen. Catholic schools don’t understand that their dress codes don’t help (see the posts on dress codes), and the worst part of it is that these schools aren’t for kids who are LGBTQI so please, do us all a favor and send them to schools with acceptance policies, good curricula that validates their existence, and so on. Threatening a child with death or punishment for being who they are or for who they love is a bastardly and cowardly thing to do, and as a Christian parent, you should look to Jesus for the answers. Jesus did not say to kill the gay child, he only said love thy neighbor as thyself, blah blah blah. However, the love has become twisted, and Jesus’s teaching has become very patriarchally programmed more than a call to love and care about everybody in your circle. STS simply won’t get that part.

So what to do with Catholic schools? Yes, government shouldn’t stick their noses into private schools, but how can we help disabled females who end up raped in Catholic schools after being exposed to this dangerous curricula? Well, here’s what we need to do.

STS should not have any more family life discussions with second grade classes, and marriage should be edited out of their curriculum. As hard as this will be, the only way a school like this is going to thrive is that they teach consent, acceptance, and comprehensive safety measures for all students, including those with disabilities. Self defense and RAD (rape aggression defense) should be taught to all students, including especially the young ladies and those of female persuasion. I like how my choir director for Soar calls the women and higher singers of chorus “those of the female persuasion” or, because a nonbinary member joins us later, she said, “Soprano and alto” or “trebles”. That makes sense. This director demonstrated full inclusion, and I’m proud of her for that.

STS should never emphasize dating norms. As hard as this is going to be for any religious framed school, keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, as one girl puts it at Notre Dame. In fact, please, if you are at a Catholic university or high school, allow the students to perform the Vagina Monologues, all with women, or transgender male to females, whatever. Study the Good Body, and I Am An Emotional Creature. Those books by Eve Ensler are amazing, and she founded V-Day, so please, whatever you do, do it right. Teach that it is not okay to do violent acts against girls and women for any reason. Teach the boys not to take advantage of girls with disabilities, period. Teach the girls that it is okay to express yourself and have feelings. Period.

Any Catholic diocesan school should work closely with a special school for disabled children, and this might be a good way to get students aware and accepting of those with disabilities. However, all diocesan high schools should be educated in developmental and physical disability history. As part of the service project at MCC, Melbourne Central Catholic High School, I think there should be a requirement for all students to serve the disabled and go visit them on occasions like Christmas, Birthdays, etc. The students will provide friendship like in Best Buddies, but this would be a requirement for all students. The requirement to join a Best Buddies service team would help the disabled students not be isolated in their own special room all the time. Behaviorally handicapped students are often abuse victims themselves, and some are like that because of brain anatomical anomalies. However, that need not encourage MCC students from doing the right thing and being generous with the disabled population. I also believe that diocesan schools should be required to teach scientifically based psychology classes, so that they learn about things like what happens with schizoeffectives and so on. If a schizophrenic individual hears a voice or sees things, it’s a symptom they have to deal with. Also, psychology classes would help the students consider, not require them, to get a career in psychological therapy and specialize in disabled people and their needs. There is a need for psychologists in all school avenues that can believe disabled women so that these women can get the care and services they need while recovering from rape and sexual abuse. Family members often molest the women with disabilities, so this might require the women to leave their immediate home families, but it would be worth it if a psychologist says to the parents, “You need to keep this registered sex offender away from your disabled daughter.” IS it that hard? Social work should be an emphasis at all schools, including Catholic ones, because we the human race are going through a big transition point in which the patriarchy is happily being smashed, and women are doing the right thing.

Diocesan schools should be required to do service at nursinig homes, unpaid service that would require them to visit, feed, and care for elders just like in the Giver, but for all students. If you’re a med student, ditto for that.

All these things do have some relevance in the sex ed curricula. We should be teaching our children that the elderly do like it, but they do it amongst themselves. That we should also teach that adults should never ever have sex with kids is a ditto for those who are under eighteen. Mary K. Letourneau obviously had problems, having had sex with a sixth grade student, bearing two children for him, and after being married for a time, they split up. Now, she’s dead. However, let’s define Mary’s action as abusive, and then we need to be cautious in looking at what Mary did. Yes, the consequences for her children in both marriages have been bad, but for her, Mary wasn’t the right fit for Vili anyway because of the generation gap. Even if she didn’t abuse Vili after he turned eighteen, there’s a problem here. Women offenders are traditionally relationship driven, so it’s hard for me to analyze this without saying that what Mary did was wrong. Yes, it is common for boys to have crushes on female teachers, but what these copycat Mary Letourneaus are doing is wrong. There are many copies of Mary K. Letourneau running around in many schools, and these women are usually insecure. Kids in all schools should be encouraged to step forward and report the male or female offenders to a trustworthy adult, and I’d have done it if God forbid a coach molested me. I’m glad it didn’t happen, but to hell with the way a school might have handled this. FSU lost a great teacher in James Nally, convicted of soliciting sex from a minor out of state, and she might have reported it. Good for the girl who did this, and sadly, Nally had been a professor of piano music until that incident. Now, he’s a registered sex offender in the state of Florida or Kansas, I don’t know where. He was disgraced, rightfully so, and his disgrace should be a lesson to other adults who plan to solicit sex from minors. A minor with a disability should be more cautious because even family can’t be trusted. If Nally’s victim was disabled, who would believe her? I don’t know if anyone would.

The big thing that schools are not doing is believing women. If you are interested, please read the book “believe me” by Jessica Valentin. It’s a good book, and I can tell you, it’s awesome. Thank you for reading, and if you want to comment on this post, please use the Facebook or twitter thread from which this post comes. Thank you again.

Beth

What happens when Steve Jobs announces the iPad and Gets the Surprise of His Life?

Dear readers,

It’s kind of weird when the founder of Apple is portrayed as he was, and I have no problem with Steve Jobs … honestly, I know he had to be an asshole to get his work done and get the company back on its feet. But Steve Jobs now has his own set of YouTube poops, and his daughter might want to consider reading or listening to what the YouTuber did here with Steve’s iPad announcement. Oddly enough, I’m sharing this on my iPad 7th gen, a well loved tablet that many apple freaks bow down to and worship but still, I think it was the iPod that was Steve’s crowning glory. Here, below the dotted line, is the video of Steve announcing the pad and getting heckled, as seen through the lens of YouTube poop partygoers, and I have to warn you, the joke’s on everybody who listens. It’s funny, and if you laugh, I’m still not responsible for guts hanging out of the bodies of those who die laughing. You may want to consult your families before listening to this, but don’t put anywhere in your death wills that “I died because of a YouTube poop of Steve Jobs.” So here you go.

Which Disney Movie Would I Most Relate To?

Dear readers,

It’s hard to find out what Disney movie any young blind woman can relate to, but let’s face it: all the princesses were able, sighted, and yes, pretty in pink and blonde, except for Princess Tiana, who later wanted to open her restaurant, and … spoilers, yes, she did. But even Tiana has some sort of a dream and a hope for her future. I’m sorry, but none of the Disney princesses can be relatable to me as a blind female, though I do confess to having a couple favorites, Belle being among them. But Belle wasn’t blind, and she sure wasn’t unable to walk or talk, so what princess could possibly become blind? When I was searching Hailey’s YouTube username, which … shameless plug, blindprincess is her username, but I got these weird Nigerian films that popped up in my search results, and I am now wondering why Disney refuses to do a movie about a princess who can’t see, walk, or … can’t do something uniquely physical to the condition of man. You have a black princess, but most of the others are blonde, so … ditto on Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Arielle the mermaid, Princess Mia from the Princess Diaries, Elsa from Frozen, Ana from Frozen, there are no princess figures in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, so … let me browse some more. Oh, Deja from John Carter was Martian, and we don’t even know if Tartis Moores is going to ever be for real, but really. Then you have princesses in other Eurocentric stories, ones that don’t have a name, and epic adventures involving every manner of aspect, Wendy is not a princess in Peter Pan, but you do have that Native girl, Princess Tigerlily, but she gets kidnapped by pirates, so ditto on the damsel part. Okay, and there are princesses well known in books, including Aravis from the Chronicles of Narnia, Trenton’s favorite books, but alas, Aravis was still a damsel, so … totally not relatable and stuff. The only blind princess ever has to be that strange Nigerian story in a film that nobody talks about, and I feel like nobody’s going to understand the story of a blind girl as princess role. Just picture the kids in bed: “Mommy, why aren’t you a princess?” Or perhaps, “Mommy, how did you get blind?” Ugh, I’m sorry, but I can’t tell my children the Eurocentric princess stories because none of them are relatable to black kids, so guess I’ll have to stick with Tiana for my sighted kids of one day far in the distance, but then they could get the wrong impression. Kids are malleable, impressionable, very unable to lie. Like my worker’s daughter doesn’t lie when she says to her mother, “That house smells like poop.” And her mother couldn’t help but believe her daughter because yep, kids are not always dishonest, but kids know stuff adults don’t. But what kills me the most is that a princess is never depicted as blind, and she is never depicted as what Raoul Midon called, “badass and blind.” Yes, I like a princess who’s badass, but please, Disney, I need a way to relate my story to my kids one day. I need to do this for theh worker’s daughter because she’s just too sweet not to do that for. I need to concoct something that she can relate to, a princess who can’t see that represents the women with disabilities who are hurt, traumatized, god forbid raped, and dragged down to the dustbin when they try to find work or find their places in the world. Princess Mia might have had an anomaly in her body image and stuff, but she … I repeat this a million times, was, not, disabled. Should my worker’s daughter, let’s call mer Mia, have to settle? And for less in life? The princess in my story has to be blind or autisticc or both, and Disney won’t pursue any such things. Princesses aren’t blind, my mother said, but guess what? Mom, Dad, you treated me like a badly beaten or browbeaten damsel, so now I have to explain to my kids why I live in a bug infested loft instead of a nice chateau, or why I have no pets or kids in Mia’s case if I told her because yeah, this princess is not supposed to be badass, can’t drive or if I lived in Medieval days, ride horses wherever I want, hell I’d be dead if I was born in the fourteenth century, where Sleeping Beauty takes place. That’s like 13 somethings and so much time ago that automobiles were not invented, cars were scarce later anyway, but there was a great deal of misconception and stereotypes about blind people. The princess in my story has to come from a modern age, which isn’t that magical. Yes, what can I say … we have no fairies, but we do have Wiccans, but if you say the word witch, that’s actually does not have a negative association with it like it did in the bad old days of hanging and public whippings for being a witch, etc etc. Gone are the bad old days of slavery that is more noticeable, but now today’s wording is “human trafficking.” The princess in my story is going to have to be fictional, of course, but I want a story that a blind or disabled kid can relate to. Mia can’t relate to stories about blonde or brunette princesses, especially ones that don’t have to face bullies and kicking feet all the time at school. Since when did a fairy tale princess go to school? Unless you’re Amelia from Princess Diaries, no. Most rich royals had tutors, but this isn’t relatable. Yes, the Disney stories are fun and full of magic, but for an autistic or blind child, this is pure fantasy. It is not only fantasy to be a princess, but to find a role model in the menagerie of princess characters to relate to. I am definitely not Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, the brothers from Germany, and I liked their animal stories and woodland adventures best, Hansel and Gretel being one of those. But let’s start the story at the beginning. Maybe I should do a separate post later on. IF you guys think a relatable princess should be in the cards for those with disabilities, I think that would be good. The only story I can think was one called Silent Bianca, one about a maiden who could not talk, but the only way to hear her words was by the fireplace, because her mouth was basically silent, her words were like slivers of ice. In the story, spoiler alert, Bianca uses her powers to win a kingdom and fool a bunch of noblemen and soldiers into going home to their wives, they couldn’t believe the voices coming from the cookfires in the morning. So the king made it a point to marry Bianca, and she became a queen. Ugh, does she have to be a marriage piece? What if the protagonist in my story isn’t a princess at all? What if she’s one of the peasant girls like in some of the Grimm stories, like Sweetheart Roland? That one’s about a wicked old woman who tries to kill her good daughter so the ugly daughter can have something and everything she wants, but then she killed her ugly favorite daughter instead, and it gets creepier. Really creepy.

One thing I want to make clear: girls love princess things, stories, themed accessories, but I want to make my story a bit exaggerated for the effect, embellish a few small things, but I do not do not want a marriage piece, a sad ending, or god forbid a wicked old woman. I want the guys to be bad in my story, but the status of the girl must be unknown for now.

If you want to make a comment, please do so on Facebook and Twitter as always, so … there you have it.

Beth

What Happens When a Guy Calls Your Restaurant, Bombs a Job Interview, and then Tries to Fill Out a Visa to Stay in Canada? Watch this video and find out.

Dear readers,

Ownage Pranks has some pretty weird stuff you would love. Please watch the following video, and before you do, watch the previous videos referenced, but make sure you are sitting down and relaxed so you can laugh without your guts spilling out and filling the room. My blog here is not responsible for anyone’s death by laughing funeral costs, so … watch away.

What BTTF (Back to the Future) Got Right and Wrong

Dear readers,

Who here has watched Back to the Future? Who wants to know what Biff is up to these days, or has a passing recollection of the Chicago Cubs breaking the Billie Goat curse? I don’t believe in baseball related curses, and never have I believed in the Curse of the Bambino, please don’t ask what that is if you can avoid it, but yes, Back to the Future got a few things right and wrong. Here’s what the predictions stated:

Hover boards are a thing, but not as big as one would predict in BTTF. When Hover Boards got invented in 2014 or 2015, one of those being a year that our hero, Marty, ends up traveling to, hover boards are everywhere. However, these hovering substitutes for skateboards got a bad rap when they were found to be explosive, fire hazards, whatever, in real life. Now they’re getting there, but a bit later than BTTF predicted.

The world series in baseball has been a contentious thing of dark and good legend, the stuff of reality being a lot weirder than BTTF has predicted. The Chicago Cubs managed a world series title in 2016, not 2015 as the headlines in BTTF predicted. Biff probably would have stolen that prediction because that’s just him. Biff is evil, weird, and altogether hard to deal with.

What Back to the Future does not truly predict in our future is the invention of myriad technologies that enable all of us to connect, to be together, to be able to do more than we ever could. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby among other personal assistants, including Windows’ Cortana and Hound, all of these were invented around a scientific concept known as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Many people are very aware of this, but machine learning goes deeper. For example, BTTF did not truly predict the things that music services will be doing in our lifetime. LEt’s take a look at Apple Music, for example. Apple Music predicted that I would be looking for things I’m in the mood for, and there’s a whole tab there called “for you”, a place where I can look at new releases from my favorite artists, and it predicts with smart phone precision what I do want to hear, but when I pick things out, a row appears that says, “because you like this artist” or “because you like that artist.” Want a better explanation?

Let’s say you chose to add Millennium by the Backstreet Boys to your music library. I love the Backstreet Boys, and truth be told, still listen to their older and newer musics. When I added their albums and discography to my music library, a thing in the “for you” tab popped up and said, “Because you added Millennium/the Backstreet Boys”. Or it would say, “More like the Backstreet Boys”. Then, it would show you things like the music similar to the Backstreet Boys and their bubblegum pop genre of music. There you have it, what BTTF almost couldn’t have predicted.

The other thing that BTTF could have never predicted was the societal changes that could occur in the 1984 or 1985 future. What I want to see is clear: equal rights for all, no hate crime, etc., but 2015 saw the legalization of gay marriage before, transgender bathroom bills were the big topic, but then you had gun control, black lives matter not having been as big a movement as it is now, but there are many other things to think about. In BTTF and its weirdness. In one scene, Marty’s friend Jennifer gave him a note with a seven digit number, but not long after the 90s came to a close, we all went the way of ten digit dialing. Ugh. I hate it, hate it, but it does have its benefits. You can call out of state numbers with no long distance charges these days on a cell phone. Jennifer and Marty could still talk and text in our future, whatever the weather, but still, we have yet to invent the hyperloop.

Summer of Boredom Getting You Down? Here’s some bingeworthy and Good Netflix and Other Streaming Content

Dear Readers,

Whether you are a child, teen, or adult who’s bored out of their damn mind this summer because of that darn virus that everybody’s catching, there is quite a bunch of content I can recommend. LEt me review some of the best new and old content I’ve run across on Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus.

First, let’s start with how to become members of these streaming thingies. You have to shell out $10 at minimum for Netflix and if you’re a household with multiscreen usage, I’d recommend the 2-screen plan, $15 plus or something around there. However, the cheapest streaming service you can get currently goes to Apple TV Plus for $5 per month. That’s actually not bad. Disney Plus and Hulu can be purchased in a bundle, but that includes ESPN, and you sports enthusiasts might like it, but I didn’t want all that extra content.

Now, let me show you the five or maybe even as many cool new and returning things on all the streaming platforms that might get you over this covid summer.

1. The Baby-Sitters Club books have always been a staple in many a 90s girl’s library, but check this out: Netflix users rejoice, especially if you are a female who grew up in the 90s. This is the Baby-Sitters Club show and the first season begins with Christy’s Great Idea, and honestly, it’s a really great idea complete with the same nostalgia, but with a modern touch to it as well. We meet Christy, the great founder of this glorious club, and she ends up realizing there’s a competitive need in a world where adult baby sitters are not fun. Sitters in my view were teenagers, and girls are more than good at this, but Christy says boys can try it too. OF course, there was an old movie with guys baby sitting in it, but this show is sure to please everybody who grew up with the actual books.

2. For the younger crowd, again on Netflix, we find Danger Mouse. My partner, Trenton, loved the classic DM series, but I’m here to say that the new reboot series is audio described in detail, and the lady who does it has a great British accent, even better there’s a little narration a la Rocky and Bullwinkle. See below for more on that one too.

3. On Amazon Prime Video, which boasts some pretty silly and weird comedy shows, there’s a scifi comedy called Upload, which I completed myself. Imagine a world where you can upload yourself to a big digital server after you die. Now it gets scarier when Nathan, a party boy in his twenties or something, gets uploaded and falls in love with his customer service “angel”, Nora. It puts both of them in some rowdy and wild adventures, danger included. Get ready for some thought provoking questions after you’re finished.

4. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is now voiced by Tara Strong who is famous for her voice acting in My Little Pony among other things. Rocky is a big moose, and I believe Bullwinkle is a squirrel, if I’m not exactly mistaken and if memory serves me right. Rocky and Bullwinkle has some interesting narration, and all that stuff you imagine them going through? They see it. Rocky and Bullwinkle had a movie, but this Amazon Prime reboot is great for the whole family.

5. Warning: This one is not worth watching alone, but the Handmaid’s Tale is due for another season. I’ve written so many references in here about the Handmaid’s Tale, but for those who haven’t yet gotten acquainted with it, here’s the premise: the United States becomes an ultra Christian republic, and every word of the book of Genesis becomes law. Gays are hanged, priests of other faiths hanged, you see a bloody mess in a lot of this, but this show captures what could happen if we don’t get off our butts and speak up sharply that our rights belong to us. The Handmaid’s Tale is on Hulu and recently became audio described so enjoy it while we have the recent seasons to muddle through.

6. The Order has a recent new season, and I’d like to thank a certain Chenelle for recommending this show for me. The Order is about a college boy who explores a secret society of magicians who may be responsible for his mother’s death. This series can be found on Netflix, and is a thrill to watch.

7. If you want some trashy comic and humor stuff, jump over to Amazon Prime video and try the Marvelous Mrs. Mayzel, in which a comedian who marries and has kids finds herself having to topple the barriers placed in front of her for being a Jewish woman in New York in the 1950s or so. This takes place at a time when women had to wear skirts, couldn’t even say the f word, and so much more. I think you guys will love this one a lot.

8. In the world of Hulu, we find Shrill, which is abouut a woman making her way in the world. If you want an adult chic flick, this is your passport to chic flick happiness.

9. There’s a good chance you haven’t seen the show Diary of a Future President, but on Disney Plus, you will meet a girl who wants to be the president and … yes, she keeps a diary about her life in middle school. This one’s good for teens and adults alike.

10. F is for family. Ugh, you want a family guy like show that doesn’t include Peter Griffin and his drunken escapades, but does include some stupid gags and such? This one’s for you. Turn it on over to Netflix, and try watching this four season show. Also similar to this one, we have Bojack Horseman, which will be doing its final things, and that is six seasons.

Disclaimer: All of these items here have been audio described for blind and visually impaired audiences, so your blind friends will be able to watch these things. If you have a suggestion about some bingeworthy content on any streaming service, please coment on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you bunches.

Beth

Ask What We Can Do For Our Country: My Concerns About Elections This Year

Dear readers,

Imagine a world that was modern, except for the race relations being that of the nineteenth century, when Africans were enslaved in AMerica, when they became the property of whites so much so that they were bred like cattle, sold like property, and the women? They had to wear dresses, skirts, and corsets, but could not vote, speak in public, or do anything to make themselves established. Imagine that you had to worship the KKK or be a member of a similar group, the Proud Boys, Daughters of the Confederacy, or similar neo-Fascist groups. Imagine you, a woman in her thirties, had to have sexual relations with a man you didn’t like, all because he was the higher bidder of your genitalia. This is a world I don’t want to see, where I wouldn’t be allowed to exist. We have a buttload of changes to do, including the removal of white supremacy from every corner of our culture, but I’ll give you an idea of what we must do if Biden gets elected.

Dear Mr. Biden, I’d write, I understand freedom of speech allows people to associate with whomever they want, but the responsibility isn’t there anymore. When I was in civics classes and social studies in fourth grade at Imperial Estates Elementary, I ended up learning that with great power, rights, and freedoms comes great responsibility. Right, Uncle Ben? I’m talking about the dude from Spiderman, not the rice bowl guy.

I’d like to propose something to my Congress peoples, but I want the President to work with Congress to establish a registry of all groups and orgs that do business in the U.S., and color code them based on bigotry and hate, which by consequence could lead some to say, but that’s against freedom of speech. I don’t care anymore because freedom has a cost, responsibility being that cost, and nobody wants that anymore. Nobody wants to shoulder the responsibility to keep your hateful thoughts and violent compulsory crap to yourself, but if you don’t, tragedy could strike. For instance, how many mass shooters write manifestos on 8chan, 4chan, and other sites before committing their crimes? I wouldn’t be surprised that the recent ones did, but these mass shooters, including the Columbine High shooters, wrote evil manifestos about their actions and why they committed their crimes. The El Paso mass shooter wrote on 8chan, a hotbed for white Supremacy, that he hated the Latinx community obviously, and he was irresponsible and hateful. It doesn’t help that you have a president that hates people from Africa, and I won’t let Trenton be deported there because it would mean no Internet contact, no sexual relationship, no nothing. However, a Norwegian immigrant, according to Trump, is more acceptable. Well, I’d like to propose that any Trump supporting hate group fall under two different color codings: yellow and red. Red means that the group might commit the most violent acts, believes in racial purity and hatred, is bigotrous towards disabled and LGBTQI+ individuals, and cannot receive government support. IF a group is yellow, all the other things I mentioned above but violence would be considered in that category. Biden would have to put aside a racist past, barring none, and work with congress to get rid of the KKK, and classify it as a Terrorist organization, which could then open the door for prosecutions of domestic terrorism for anyone who utters a single word, boogaloo. The boogaloo boys, as I like to call any followers of this, could face maximum of ten year prison sentences, spend time being monitored for life, and not be allowed to be associated with one another or the group they had ties to. LEt’s take a typical domestic terrorist, and I’ll show you what it would look like if he was even found to be associated with any fascist groups here.

Once a tie is detected, this person would have to spend years in jail, or be monitored by the FBI, watched by the CIA, and interrogated on every move he makes. Wire taps would be placed on his phone, the same thing we did to the Muslims but this time, it’s time for white people to be surveillance taped and stuff. Yes, it would have court challenges, but I would hope Biden would figure out the truth behind these stupid groups. I believe the KKK should be a terrorist group for several reasons: Trenton, my family, and others would not be safe. My dad might be Bostonian Italian, but his wife is part Irish, German, and others who aided the blacks to freedom. There were Germans who did that bravely, and for this we should bless their memory. My mother’s family has a slave or child of a black slave somewhere in it, but still, she’d not be safe in a world ruled by the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys, and other groups that want to divide our nation.

What can we do to stop these neofascists? I know the registry is only half the battle, but a green group which means the group does not advocate violence or bigotry would receive government grants and suport if applied for. For example, I’d like to applaud Soar and Denver Women’s Chorus, the Rocky Mountain Arts Association, and all other GALA orgs for their great good work and their steadfastness against bigots who want to torment their funding sources. Under a Biden or similar Democrat administration, I want to see this type of praise go to green groups, but the other colors mean the group has hints of bigotry and hate in it. Example, most churches might go under green registry colors if they can prove that they can welcome gay and trans folks, but if they are homophobic and transphobic, they will fall under a code yellow or code orange, which is a step below yellow, but orange would mean no racial hatred, but still it would be hatred of a different lens, hatred of LGBTQI+ and disabled people. People should also be able to rate orgs so that grant writers can zero in on the groups receiving more than 3 stars. I’d rate both Soar and DWC 5 stars, but St. Teresa’s Catholic Church would have to be exempt from the U.S. rating system because their church doctrinal headquarters in Rome is located in Italy, not the U.S., but Italy doesn’t have the same law structure we do. In any case, STS and the attached Catholic parrishes would have to fall under an orange color registry unless the Pope makes a serious change to policy surrounding gay marriage and married and female ministry. The Catholic church can’t escape revolutions of any kind, and must conform to human rights standards, whether their headquarters is in the Vatican in Italy or any other nation besides. I would have to subject certain Diocesan housing things to a green registry color because if they follow the teachings of Jesus they have to welcome everybody. Plus federal housing law, blah blah blah blah blah. Whatever, it gets better.

I would like to see an end to neofascism groups like Boogaloo and KKK and the Proud Boys because personally, my partner, who is African American, would not feel safe. He already doesn’t because of masks, pandemic garbage, and so much other stuff. The police killing of Elijah McClane doesn’t help matters either. I don’t wat to live in one of Margaret Atwood’s weird predictions as in the Handmaid’s Tale, I want to live in a world where I can go out and feel safe equally with my partner as well. I want no penalty from church or goverment if we marry, and I want to have children in a place of safety for all, and we need to ask ourselves many questions. JFK Sr. wanted to say this, and he said it quite eloquently when discussing moon landing prospects: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” What can we do for this country right now? First, we need to shoulder the responsibilities. We have the power of opinions, opposing viewpoints, and many debates, but we want to keep that power. As Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben once said, and I’ll say it again, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We need to hae that responsibility, and learn to coexist with our fellow man, whether black or brown, pink or polka dotted, and we need to realize MLK Jr.’s dream sooner rather than put it off till later. I have his vision, his dream, where I can wake up in a world where my kids one day will not be judged by the color they give off on their flesh, something they won’t be able to change, but by their character and what they can do for the country and the greater human race. When you go vote, whether by mail or in person, remember these things, remember that your safety and responsibilities comes first, remember that all of us are different. Ask not what the government can do for you, but ask what you can do for the government … right, JFK? Yes, the guy was a total washout, a womanizer, but whatever. His words ring true when I think of what is coming for us in a few months. What would JFK do and say if he were able? Well, honestly, I’d like to quote the words of Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death.” Well, there’s more: give me safety, responsibility, or freedom to be myself and life without penalties for who and when I get married to or whatever, or move me somewhere else. Canada probably, but I don’t see why the U.S. can’t shape itself up in November, get rid of neofascism, and start thinking about ways it can rebuild after this pandemic and racism struggle, and avoid a second civil war.

Beth

Blind Alive Fitness Review: The Importance of Blind Friendly Fitness and Why 95% of us Don’t Do It

Dear readers,

I’m writing here to encourage my fellow blind people, whether you like, don’t like, or despise the blog, you should consider this. If you’re like 95% of us, you are thinking, forget fitness, the Corona Virus has closed my local gym. Personally, I’m finding the Blind Alive fitness things a good start, and I promise you guys I’ll be on a true health journey, but first, we have to get moving. We have to get moving because 95% of us will likely die of heart attack or stroke, will not be able to do normal activities at age sixty, let alone age 90 or above, and some of us will end up dead before we turn fifty. This isn’t acceptable, and there’s many reasons why:

  1. Gyms are not always accessible. We often think that going to the gym is a good thing for us blind folks, but it’s not always the case. Today’s exercise machines are equipped with touchscreens that don’t talk, things that drive most blind fitness enthusiasts crazy. The National Federation of the Blind, which I admit I criticize for very personal reasons, has passed resolution after resolution asking fitness places to be more accessible to blind peoples. Instead, these gyms, such as the Titusville YMCA, the ohnly Y in Florida that seems open at all, use touchscreen equipment that cannot be used independently for blind people. Do you know how much a personal trainer costs?
  2. Step aerobics is mostly done visually, and visually means “do it like this”, but I’ve found yoga and other exercise modalities to be better and such things like this make more sense. Toning is not my choice, but I enjoyed spinning at the Titusville Y, and there’s an added bonus of having accessible to use bikes. To Hell with Pellanton, the bike that makes you work out and costs thousands upon tousands that we don’t make per month.
  3. While gyms are closed, a lot of workout videos like those of Jane Fonda are still visual, so what is a blind person to do to learn good fitness moves? There are a few different things, but I would highly recommend blind alive, http://www.blindalive.com, because the moves are great, and there are descriptions of the moves. For the interval training, be sure to go through each move carefully and read or listen to the descriptions. The trainer is great, but there are a few kind of weird moves, so just give yourself time and patiently go through the descriptions. The moves are not super complicated, but then again, I’m only a level 1 person right now, but that’s okay. You don’t have to be Jane Fonda in order to be serious about exercise and fitness, but then again, Fonda’s workout videos I’ve never seen with my own blinded eyes.
  4. Sports teams don’t often include blind people. Blind people are also excluded from sports leagues because of one stupid L word: liability. Ugh, you say, but what can I do to make my child’s time with athletics more bearable? There are a few regrets I have about sports: one is that I hate football, period. I hate basketball, and all ball sports in my mind don’t bring people together. I should have been a wrestler, and I would have enjoyed it because so many of the blind dudes I know did it, but for me, I would have been too light, in the featherweight class, and a girl to do wrestling. Ugh. I only weighed 93 pounds at one point because of antidepressants, parental abuse, and a bad psychiatrist. John E. McCarthy was later found to have had sexual encounters with patients, against medical board rules, right? So my parents found the headline, and that, the dean from Neighbors would say, is “a bad one.” No doctor should ever get sexually involved with a patient, their family members, or even the maid of the house. Period. End of story.
  5. Blind people risk having comorbid physical or mental disabling conditions. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve met so many disabled people in my life. Some can walk, some can use their hands, but some others need special feed and a feed tube to survive. Some need special nebulizer meds every morning, noon, and night. Others have comorbid mental health diagnostics, most stemming from ableist parental and peer abuse. Why is this, you ask? I think this is because the moment a blind person is born blind, or even becomes blind, the expectations are low, the bar lowers into your lap so fast you can’t even get up. As a blind woman, I am told that expectations are that I won’t have children, that I should have my tubes tied, etc etc. That’s society being stupid, but the truth is that Colorado is one of the best states to be a blind parent in. Meet the Batrons, the LaBarres, and the Nietfelds, all of these people being blind parents. Some have comorbid disabling conditions and stuff, but that’s not stopping them from being parents. For Instance, my friend Maureen, who toughed it out for years in college, taught me to make my first omelet, and said that everything I cooked smelled amazing, she had a baby boy, and that baby boy has the same genetic thing she has, but still, she doesn’t care. She’s fighting for herself, her husband, and her child every day. Who wants to bet that her little boy will still get into mischief, climb the walls, and as a teen, he might sleep in? These are all normal growing up things, and blind parents are like all parents. They’re ready. But Maureen has comorbid things going on, and she will do the fitness routines that feel good to her. This is great, but what if her son went blind at an age when most boys are like, I want to be playing sports? This little guy might be left out if not for the warrior princess/queen that is his mom fighting for his inclusion where possible in sporting events at school. Her son might develop the same sequence of things going on with Mom, but still, it doesn’t stop either of them from doing normal things like running around on the floor and looking cute in his case, and in her case, the mother can still cook and she’s still a bubbly woman who, legend has it, sang and danced as she cooked. I say legend has it because I haven’t seen it actually happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised because that lady is a dynamo.

So what can we do? First, we need to make gyms accessible as the NFB has been ruthless in saying in its resolutions. Second, we need to realize that ableist abuse and vilicide must be stopped at all opportunities to do so, including that involving blind people. Down’s Syndrome babies, though not always blind, are usually the first to go. However, vilicide has been known to occur with autistic kids, blind kids, other disabled kids. We also need to be absolutely sure that society changes its viewpoint on blind people because we’re not going anywhere. I mean it, we’re existing, breathing, and kicking, we’re not going anywhere.

If anyone has any questions, please submit your comments via Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.

Beth