God Bless Books

Dear readers,

Books, I love them and I could gobble them up like food. Why? Because I discovered audible, the site everybody loves that has professionally narrated audio books. And I will still use the NLS bard site, but the book limits are dumb and I can’t tell you the half of it. I can’t do the protected notice thing and override it anyway, and I wrote about this on Facebook, saying that Audible might be a better thing because at least I can keep track of credits, and one day I will have books to read that are professional. Here’s a few examples:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is narrated by Claire Daines, but on NLS Bard, the quality is not as great, but Laura Gianarelli is a great narrator period. So … let’s think. Who would you want narrating a really important book? That would be Claire for me, so I’m going to delve into the book with Claire Daines narrating her way through the pages, but I still think Elizabeth Moss’s performance in the Hulu show is bomb. She just does wonders that’s all.

The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter are narrated by Eric Sandvold on NLS Bard, but I think Eric has a good voice, don’t get me wrong. But when you want to hear a good book from the point of view of Michael York, who narrates Brave New World in a so British way, you’ve got to get the Narnia box set I ended up throwing on my bookshelf. And the best thing or part of that entire box set is … spoiler alert, the last book is narrated by none other than the guy who plays Jean-Luke Picard, Okay, I can’t spell the first name, but the guy who plays Captain Picard, also known as Patrick Stewart, and yes, it might sound great on paper, but I can’t wait to hear Patrick Stewart narrate a Narnia book. Trenton loves the Chronicles, so we study them together, and we studied them while eating, but we looked at the Focus on the Family dramatizations, perhaps the only good thing Focus on the Family brought us. I like those dramas because they literally copy the book. But Jadis’s name is pronounced weird in the dramas, but the book does it right. Eric pronounced the words “Calormen”, “Tarkaan”, and “Tarkheena” almost close to how I’d have pronounced it, but remember, I read the Chronicles in Braille too. Harry Potter is a no brainer, Jim Dale is the best, so Steven Frye? Oh please, he can read everything else, but don’t wreck Harry Potter.

There are lots of great books in the audible collection, but I’m working on trying to see what Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book collection has gotten into, but still, I hope she’s doing another book, but I’d love to see a performance from the lady herself on Audible. Books like these are being shipped into Bard, but then, … well, here’s the thing with Bard: it’s a library. It’s weird with that book limit someone told me about, no wonder half the books were unreadable. Ugh. I gotta wait to read those books till August. Ugh.

So what is Audible’s ranking against Bard? I can’t say one is better than the other, but Bard works when books can’t be found on Audible, and the Elvenbane is an example. I love that book, and it is one of those with thought provoking questions to humanity embedded in the subject matter.

With Bard, you can listen while the thing you’re playing it on, whether iPhone, android, whatever, is locked, but same with Audible. The only thing with Audible is you have to subscribe, which I did, and then there’s credits you get per month to get books, and I hope I get audible book credits for my birthday because I want more books to read, good audio books, professionally narrated and performed by good people like … well, Claire Daines and Patrick Stewart. I think Michael York’s narrations are amazing, don’t get me wrong I think British literature is very very important, so yeah.

God bless the ability to listen to and read books, and for this summer, read as many books as possible.

Beth

Redskins no more: NFL Washington D.C. Team should be Called the Redtails Instead.

Thank God the Redskin name will be going bye bye. I’m in support of the Team calling themselves the Redtails, in honor of the Tuskeegee Airmen, and yes, it’s a great name. I’m happy they’re changing this for my native friends and those who are native can vouch for this, but Redskin just has to go.

apple.news/AQK-GQ4ayTMKJAV-Q3FGAIg

Star Trek: What We Have and What’s Coming Next

Dear readers,

First of all, some housekeeping and thank yous. Thanks to the generosity of followers, I guess comments aren’t necessary. However, if you guys would like to cool off and comment like in the watering hole I call Facebook or Twitter, that’s fine with me. Now, on to the meat and potatoes.

Star Trek in all its glorious awesomeness has gotten a lot of future predictions, and I’d like to cover a great deal more than I should about Star Trek, but there are a few things I’m going to cover that might fascinate you lovely people out there. To start with, let’s take a tour of the Holodec.

If you’d like to learn more, I have an article about the holodec, but let’s explain what that actually encompasses. We’re talking virtual reality, but you also see it in Total Recall and many other scifi movies and shows, but virtual reality can make some folks kind of sick. Holodec tech is a close encounter with reality, and to learn more, check this article out.

https://docker.theconversation.com/star-treks-holodeck-from-science-fiction-to-a-new-reality-74839

For the medicine and health category, I’d like to say we don’t quite have the tri quarters there yet, but we’re working on that one. However, we’re able to use the data collected on such devices as … well, I have a wristwatch that detects my heart rate. Isn’t that snazzy? And Star Trek tech is predicting that we will be able to diagnose and treat cancers and diseases. What I’d love to see would be stuff to make food with, replicating things that the Star Trek universe has everywhere you look. The Star Trek universe could have never been more right about self collecting data with medical devices, and what I think we’ll see next is a way to do glucose checks without poking our brains out with needles. Could the same tech we use to check oxygen levels be the same thing that scans a blood vein in your finger and looks at the glucose in it without poking? It would help a lot, and it would save many precious lives.

For societal categories, I think that would have to go to female leadership. Yes, I know some of you think Catherine Janeway is annoying, and I don’t care what anyone thinks, but in Star Trek, women rule. Women and minorities have greater voice and say in everything, but there’s only one problem. Jordy, the engineering guy on the Enterprise, is blind, and wears a special visor that lets him see everything. Could this so called Jordy’s Visor help me, you might ask. I say no, because of the anatomical structures of my eyes and how I was born, and the eye development simply did not happen. It might help those with vision, like this guy I know, he calls himself “Illegally Sighted”, but the visor might help correct the visual acuity things he may have or develop later. However, for a totally blind from birth person, the treatment would have to occur at infancy, and moreover, the eyes would have to be operated on a lot. No, I’ll pass on that.

For the hardware category, there’s a uttload of things I could say Star Trek and the modern space age predicted, and got 99% right. I now have a walkie talkie on my wristwatch, my phone is also portable and I can carry it anywhere, and I also have lots of chips in my computer equipment the size of a strand of hair!!!!! Think about it. As a blind person, I also use Braille which can b replicated with pins and such on a small board thing, a display that basically forms the words. It’s like the crystals in your tablet that form the printed words. Imagine what your kindle fire looks like on the inside, then tell me if Star Trek predicted that. I could go on and on, but I’m going to talk about virtual things in another article.

So what did Star Trek get wrong? Well, hard to say really, except I don’t see Klingons in real life, and honestly they fascinate me for whatever strange reason, but we don’t have sentient beings in intergalactic communication areas … yet. We’re searching for that, but I am still waiting for that ET phone home call from an alien from Mars, just not the aliens from Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, the ones with the weird bodies that try to eat Jimmy’s and the other kids’ parents.

Thank you for reading, and have a great rest of your day.

Beth

Titanic: What Did the Movie Get Wrong and Right?

CW spoilers possible

Dear readers,

If you watched Titanic, the 1998 historical romance thriller with James Cameron as director, you might have seen some things good, and some things bad. One of the things I want to highlight is quite close to home for me, so let’s get started.

Jack and Rose. So what is the story? The whole thing about Jack Dawson and Rose Dewippecater, that story is fake. However, the upper class and lower class divisions are not. There were lots of different types of people on the Titanic, but there was absolutely nothing about a Jack and Rose. Katelyn Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio are extremely good at acting, but their characters, thankfully, are not real in life.

Molly Brown. So they call her the Unsinkable Molly Brown, but her real name was … you’re gonna laugh, but it’s Margaret Toban Brown. She was more than welcome in Denver high society, but in the movie, she is pportrayed as “new money” when Gloria Stewart tells the story as old Rose.

The sinking. This was almost completely accurate, but there was a very important part they got right. While the ship was sinking, the string quartet played “Nearer my God to Thee”, a famous hymn that a lot of people like to sing, but it set the mood perfectly. The tragic parts that were later relayed in Gloria Stewart’s narration were just about accurate. The sinking Titanic claimed thousands of lives, and the number of lives saved however was greater than it could have been, thanks to Margaret Brown. I learned about this at the Margaret/Molly Brown Museum, here in Denver.

IF you ever watch Titanic again, always follow up with a historically accurate book or documentary so you and the rest of your crew can learn some good accurate history, including that Margaret Brown was indeed a good high society lady. She fought for workers rights and other things, and best of all, well, her family is mostly Irish. Her husband was J.J. Brown. Good guy, but then a divorce ensued. Oh well, there were children. If you ever watch the historically centered movies I am going to write about, please make sure you follow up with some research of your own.

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.