A correction and a few things about my Apartment Building versus a House

Dear Readers,

I’d like to do a couple things. First, a correction. Karim Abu Zaid is not actually Somali, but a large portion of his congregants are Somali Muslims, and the Somali population of Denver is the third largest in the country. Karim is actually Egyptian, so I goofed on one posting about religious orgs, and why they’re unsafe. I deeply apologize for any goof ups I’ve done regarding who’s what.

Now, to the meat and potatoes. Let’s talk about why my apartment building sucks:

  1. Notices on the door are in print, not Braille. And not emailed, which I could easily have copied into a txt msg to my PCP at the company I use for personal household stuff, and that email should be proof enough of what’s going on now. There is a special planned power outage for two hours. Ugh. I’m done with this cutting power and water crap, and the notices were not hung at a time when the PCP could read them.
  2. You’re pretty much at the mercy of the landlords saying that they don’t want to email or Braille notices for blind individuals because of fair Housing. Bullshit. That kind of behavior is unacceptable and is a violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1970 to 1974 or something along those lines, and blind people need extra support in reading because print is not our primary medium. Got it?
  3. Bedbugs are a major reason why I got assistance and it’s ruined everything. I’ve also been targeted because of blindness in the housing project, and though the landlady is okay, doesn’t outwardly abuse any of her tenants, she seriously has to think about what violates the ADA and Section 504. See above.
  4. There’s not enough space for a studio and microphones will not be placed in an echoey room. Echoes can be heard from our living room, so I continuously argue with my man Trenton about the possibility of my new MIDI controller being in that room. It is not practical because I want to do vocals, period. And the keyboard will be too big for the bedroom, and we don’t have a row house with a basement, period. The row house would have more spaces, a large living room, and yes, more carpets and a possible few more mods we can make to the office space so I could place my microphones and such in there. Period.

Now, here’s what I would like in a neighborhood, especially if we decide to go the house route.

 

  1. Walking or bussing distance to all things, including grocery stores, convenience stores, or sundry stores. And there has to be a bus stop within a quarter of a mile so that Access A Ride eligibility is no issue.
  2. The house itself would not have interconnected or central power and electricity, and we could modify our lightbulbs and door the way we want to. If I had it my way, the door would be operated on August or other smart locking equipment so that only certain people like Trenton’s mom, a PCP, and other things would be allowed into the house. I mean other people, of course.
  3. The row house has to have a neighborhood school located about five miles or if within two miles, there has to be a safe and easy walking path because I’m not walking my child alone to school. If the school is over two miles away, the child or children will absolutely need to take the bus or city bus to school because I can’t drive them anywhere.
  4. The house has to be affordable under a government program and some of our bills will have to be paid by the government because we can’t get jobs, period. I’ve been told repeatedly by Rehab that this and that doesn’t work for me, and I am mad as Hell about it. But I have musical skills, and can learn softwares pretty fast if you ask me. I do plan to play with Garage Band at some point. My buddy Clayton, now known as Blind Guerrilla will probably end up teaching me how to turn my keyboard into a musical pad for recording instrumental crap.
  5. With that said, the job I might have to do won’t bring a steady income and that’s to be expected. I can’t expect a steady job with a steady pay rate at all because of Rehab and the problems this country has with blind women being rebel rousers, so there you go. I thought of monetizing this blog, but it is a bad choice because who is reading this blog anyway? I write here, and nobody reads. I am no echo, so people, read my damn blog.
  6. As for the row house, we would have more control over the heat, over the electricity, and not have to worry about the water being turned off unless God forbid we hired a plumber. Jimmy Carter started this Habitat for Humanity thing, but we’re not sure we can handle this stuff. HFH requires sweat equity, some sort of construction work, and other things that are absolutely not safe for … let’s say I was pregnant already. I want the house built before I get pregnant and can’t work, besides I’d lose the baby doing the construction work. Who hires pregnant women for such jobs? I have no idea, but driving a forklift is out of the question.
  7. IF we get a row house or town house or something, I hope it’s at least two or three bedrooms on the top and bottom, the bottom one being the master suite. This way, we can do what we must and keep the kid rooms separate, and with this ghastly building we’re in, we can’t have babies in here. Children are not allowed here, so if I got pregnant, guess what? Legal eviction. Ugh. So this is what I’d like to do. I’d like to talk to someone so Trenton and I don’t get separated and we need insurance so we don’t have to sleep at his mother’s condominium which is also in cramped quarters. The apartment building will likely have people not wanting us here after a baby arrives. Ugh.

Yes, the most important things in a house or shelter are more important for me as a blind woman who wants to keep the family together, and moreover, I want to be able to do something normal for a change and not have a guardian hover over my medical tests and charts. Period.

Anyway, I might have to see what the guardianship does at the end of October, and I don’t know what the ruling will be till January.

Beth

My Thoughts On the Joker and Halloween Things

Dear readers,

This is a very important topic for me, as I have been treated and diagnosed with mental health problems before, but these mental health problems are, and I will iterate this carefully, they are not a costume to be worn, joked about, or made fun of in any way. Let me tell you guys, I’m okay with the Joker, only in one way: that Batman throws him back into the Asylum, where he belongs, after all he is probably in need of treatment as much as the next guy. If you’re wondering what costumes are appropriate for yourself, your loved one, your child, look below.

 

  1. There is a wide variety of princess costumes and yes, even guys could wear this. Put something on a wheelchair and it becomes a princess carriage. I’m not kidding. Target has special costumes for kids in wheelchairs, so now you can accessorize your wheelchair bound child and their chair itself. It’s something I might not have seen in my youth, but it works.
  2. The usual princess and pirate thing might not work for everyone, so try dressing up as an occupation you’d like to be instead. For example, if you’re a Catholic person interested in the religious life, you could go old school with your Halloween party and say dress up as a favorite saint, a nun, or your own patron saint. Or even more, if you’re a guy interested in being a priest or something, you could dress up as either a priest or a favorite saint, given that the sacramental garments are sacred and can’t truly be worn outside church. Priests in my life did not do this, but still. If I asked someone if they wanted to be a judge, they could dress up as one too. Be whatever you’d like to be.
  3. Food costumes are popular these days. I had a girlfriend dress up as … you wouldn’t believe this, but spaghetti and meatballs, and forget the cheese. Cheese and meatballs make spaghetti all the more better, but dressing up as a favorite dish is something comical and fun. If you want to be a chocolate bar, wear something brown. Chocolate is brown, am I right? Or you could dress up as Skittles, M&M’s, or anything else you like that’s sweet and tasty. You’ll make everybody laugh and start a conversation.
  4. DIY costumes that make fun of every spam email you’ve received are a favorite of mine, though I never tried it myself. I’d really like to see what people think of someone dressed as something called The Spam Monster. All you need to do is save up a month’s worth of junk email, a piece of masking tape to write something on, and you must wear black or white under the paper you’re going to tape on yourself. With Scotch tape, make a little vest or shirt with your junk emails, and the things on the email, the writing should show so people get a glimpse of what the hell is going on in your mind. Next, put the shirt or robe or little vest over your black or dark or white clothes, then put the masking tape on your forehead. Write the word INBOX in big bold lettering on your forehead masking tape. This will surely start a conversation.
  5. Then there’s the usual monsters, or you could try objects of horror. Such things might include vampires, ghosts, and zombies. If you’re doing a zombie walk, do one if you find it. I know Denver had a Zombie Crawl for a while. Denver’s Zombie crawl is just one such thing, but there are plenty of zombie crawls to be attended. I’m not so much a fan of zombies as I am more a fan of The Mummy, and I could throw in my costume the Princess Amanet, who recently made an appearance in the recent The Mummy installment. I like Amanet because she really doesn’t think guys should simply take from women, and in ancient Egypt, women did not have as much say as men, not till Queen Hatshepsut came around and said, okay, I will rule in my own name. Her stepson was the heir to the throne at one time, but I think Amanet has quite a character built on some things and not others. I could scare the living crap out of people by dressing as Amanet before she was mummified, minus the dagger. What I need is really ancient dressing and some form of headgear, plus the golden beard of the Egyptian Queen. And makeup, and then, voila. That’s just another idea of throwing princesses and horror in the same category.
  6. You could dress up as an item, something that doesn’t get eaten. For example, dress up as something like dishwashers or a dustpan, a broom or something else. If your hair is thick and straight, and you don’t know what to do, dress as a broom. It might work, provided you don’t get put on your head and used to sweep the floor.
  7. Celestial bodies and creatures of the celestial type are also another thing you could try. Dressing up as a star or even an entire unearthly planet might work. You could try even dressing up as aliens from a science fiction franchise, Star Wars anyone? Or Dr. Who or Star Trek. Those are all good choices for science fiction and celestial stuff. You could also dress up as mythical creatures in nature. Unicorns, anyone?

These are the things that might interest you, your child, or your other loved ones. But please steer clear of dressing up as blind people, deaf people, and I don’t think it is a good idea to dress as Donald Trump either, even if his political leanings are good somehow. Trump doesn’t get it. He doesn’t deserve to be a Halloween costume, and dressing up as a favorite movie character might suit you best in this case. Don’t use hate symbols, and Hitler is out of the question for costuming. I will never dress even as Magda Goebbels, as she was practically the wife of the right hand asshole who practically ruined Germany in the 1940s, and sacrificed one of her family members because she hated him. She used to be a Friedlander, but no, I don’t know how she could have married a top dog Nazi commando. So yeah, I would never dress as her for Halloween.

However, if I were to choose a costume, I would choose a person who actually did good things. Try Joan of Arc, for instance. Yes, she might have had a mental health thing too, but Joan was a saint, and nobody back then could prove otherwise. She was burned at the stake for being a witch, which today is just ridiculous. St. Joan of Arc actually freed France from English rule, thank Goodness. I admire Joan’s courage, but still, there are others.

I could also dress as Athena the Greek Goddess of Athens, wisdom, and so much more. Athena sounds like a really good goddess, either her or Artemis, goddess of the hunt. I could choose others, but if I chose Artemis, someone on my Facebook might kill me because she has a cat by that name. Oh well, but I do love Artemis, and her image is in a book called The Immortals, which is the first series book in this collection called Olympus Bound. I personally can’t wait for the next Olympus Bound book to come out, but still I love Greek Goddeesses. I could also try another character from a book or movie franchise I like. Those are just a few things I like about Halloween, being free to express yourself within reason.

So what are you going to be for Halloween? Try to come up with something good, something scary fun, or something laughable or something neat. Comment here, and I’ll see what I can do at some point.

Beth

China: The Land of Censorship

Dear Readers,

I’d like to bring something to your absolute attention. If you’re planning an international getaway, and I don’t know how many of you are planning an international getaway to Hawaii or some other country outside of the U.S. border, there’s something you should know. China is out of my list of favorite places I’d like to visit. Here are the reasons why, by list. Not in any particular order, I might add.

 

  1. China is ruled by the same model of government proposed by Chairman Mao Te Sung, and it’s a Communist Big Brother style government that hates all of the below things I’m about to discuss.
  2. China, in all its beauty, still has censorship issues. For instance, it hates blind people who make a fool of the government, like Mr. Chen Guang-Sheng. You need to use a VPN to find any of the real deal about him in China. He escaped because he could not get freedom and justice as a blind man in China. Also, the Tiananmen Square Massacre and other subversive, or seemingly subversive crap has been wiped off the Internet. The Great Wall of Internet Censorship is in place, and all Chinese computing machines come installed, last I checked, with Green Dam Youth Escort software, malware in my opinion. This is no trick of the light, it’s real.
  3. China is reeducating its Uyghurs who are Muslims, all in an effort to supposedly “fight Terrorism.” But if the Uyghur population does not want to be reeducated, then by God don’t do that. They are Muslims, and they are responsible for taking Jihad out of the picture. Let them handle their own affairs, but don’t sit there and make me believe that the kindergarten classes are going to spout “I Love My Motherland” and not commit a suicide bombing tomorrow. I’m not suggesting the Uyghurs are Terrorists, but the whole idea of suicide bombings and martyrdom operations is right there in the Qur’an, but it’s up to them to decide whether to be peaceable about it and aggregate the peaceful verses over what Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls the “sword verses” or better, the “Medina verses” that are considered violent in nature. Uyghurs are a lost people, but not worth reeducating people to adore a regime, and they will fight back and get the government in lots of UN trouble indeed.
  4. China is complacent in dog meat distribution. I’d rather have American Chinese General Tao’s Chicken rather than the damn dog meat they are complacent in distributing in some establishments. When the Olympics came to Beijing, they sure knew how to put on a mask. There was a whole article that said the dog meat would not be served to foreign or native peoples in China especially when foreigners will be all over Beijing, but face this fact, people. I’m a dog lover, not a dog eater. I wouldn’t eat my dog even if you put a gun to my head and killed the dog for me, and told me to do it. Just … don’t.
  5. China hates blind people and makes up ableist excuses for itself when blind people are discriminated against. Chinese people are supposed to be friendly and gentle at all times, but do they get bigger social ratings for discriminating against disabled Chinese and foreigners alike? If I read another nightmarish account of Chinese officials telling someone they can’t see the Great Wall with friends, they should know that I won’t be going to see the Great Wall no matter how many times a friend might say, “Oh, Beth, you should see the Great Wall of China.” Now don’t get me wrong, food in China and dumplings are wonderful treats to have every so often, but I’ll pass on the going to China, having my stuff stolen and censored, and having to deal with the lack of history and the glory of the precious Chairman Mao style government, even with its capitalist aspects.
  6. China won’t let American tech companies be themselves, even when Hong Kong is mentioned. China has a lot of work to do in regards to respecting American tech companies and their freedom to partner or not with China. Yes, the country boasts a huge population, but is it worth partnering with China because of the things I described above? Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and other tech execs should reconsider selling things and their services to China and Chinese national government peoples because of the Uyghur reeducation camps, the harassment of the Uyghurs, and so much of what I describe above. I think American tech and gaming companies should never partner with countries that discriminate against disabled people, are complacent in political cruelty as I’ll describe below, and puts people at risk of being harmed in factories and reeducation camps in general.
  7. China hates Tibetan freedoms. What will happen to Braille Without Borders over there? I hope it’s not going anywhere, but China might think to tear down the school for the blind, and they have every reason to believe the Tibetans should overtly adore the regime. Education should include critical thinking skills, something the Chinese schools lack completely. And the weird thing is, as with radicalization in islam, there is already a weird system of family association in place in the Chinese culture that allows this. And girls … let me describe this too.
  8. Girls are often given up to wealthy white couples. Example, Susan Brees and her husband adopted little Maya Lyn from China, which cost them thousands of dollars, and Maya’s first year was spent bound up in a Chinese orphanage, all because she was a girl. First off, her mother had to give her up because of the then strict single child policy, which the Chinese government has since probably relaxed, but this would apply in crowded cities. Lots of girls in Shanghai are aborted too, so the boys born there will not have good mates to couple with when they get older. Mrs. Brees’s adoption was just one of thousands if not millions of girls’ adoptions that takes place in China. There is a long and arduous process, which Brees described to her class in an early year of my youth. I was in the sixth grade, and Mrs. Brees was my math/science/homeroom teacher. She described the process of adopting a child from China, and then the problems could arise later on in Maya’s life. Thankfully, Brees will have told her now grown daughter about China and what she must do to do the right thing and do her own thing, it can be said she probably did. Maya is somewhere out there, and so are so many others, and there’s another example. A Chinese born blind child was adopted by a family in Minnesota, and he’s lucky he was adopted at the age of four. Little Ben Han is now learning to play piano, learning to exercise his skills in intellect, but moreover, he will have a thorough education in critical thinking and other good things, things that the Chinese simply will never get. He will learn about Chen Guang-Cheng, if he should choose to read his book. Ben will learn about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and he will also learn about the region of Hong Kong and the protests happening now, which leads me to the next point. But more importantly, Ben will have an opinion and be brave and proud as an American citizen, and no, his mom and dad will assuredly not let him cause trouble. Wink wink. Children, especially boys in my experience, are mischievous and can raise hell if they want, but they can be fun as well.
  9. China lacks compassion for Democratic values, and Hong Kong is on everybody’s mind. I feel bad for my friend Ming Chung, resident of Hong Kong, and I hope he is safe. He should be able to talk to me if he wants, and his Facebook Messenger page still waves at mine but the time might come when a malware program will disable Chung’s ability to message me, the government’s server will interfere, and Mr. Chung will be put out to pasture. He currently works in Hong Kong, but will this last? If Beijing interferes with the region, there will be loads of problems.
  10. Social credit is a joke. Let’s imagine if Maya was in China, had been accepted by her family and not forced to leave. She would have either been told to be a good Chinese citizen or get the hell out. As a Chinese citizen, she would have never gotten the critical thinking skills Mrs. Brees so carefully taught her students at St. Teresa’s School. But furthermore, the social credit system would have caught up to the poor girl. If she gets bad ratings, who would marry her? The way it’s set up now, China rates its people from poor to excellent depending on how loyal to the Mao Big Brother the citizens are. It appears the Communist/Capitalist hybrid government seems to work, but for how long before it starts making more million man armies against us? We Americans have a lot of work to do with China in order for it to be a viable trade partner.

Those are just ten things in detail that are wrong with the region of China. China might I add, in any case, won’t let me adopt little boys like Ben, little girls like Maya was, and so on and so forth. The government bans blind parents from adopting, and even in Korea, and other parts of Asia, blindness is a factor in discriminating against potential parents. I have a friend in California and she and her husband have no choice but to adopt from the domestic foster system here at home. At least we protect blind parents, and we see value in them, not devalue them for their disabilities. The girl wants to be a mom, but she knows what she needs to do in order to get there. Her husband is kind and sensitive, not things a man is expected to be these days. My husband-to-be is very supportive of any decision either I make or we discuss. But in China, there are worse cases where I could never marry, get a real job outside of massage and have a family. There was a blind woman I read an article about in a magazine once who said her parents had signed her up to go to Australia, but she was told no because of her blindness. She was forced to take low jobs at a massage hospital of the blind, and it is no surprise there. The government does not particularly want to protect the rights and life of a blind tourist or national alike. I think tech executives should read this carefully, and consider whether partnering with Chinese companies who work with the government or selling to that market when the government is snooping on what those items contain is appropriate or proper. IF I get banned from China, who gives a flying two bits? I’ll wear that ban as a badge of honor, courage, and something more because I’m blind, angry, and sick of ableist countries doing dirty things to blind people, taking our jobs and giving them to sighted people, taking our right to be tourists and hang out with friends, taking our right to adopt, and so much more. I would be willing to do the process if China’s holier than Mao government would please open its doors and let me adopt from there. And please, no snooping on this blog unless you’re a Hon Kong pro Democratic person with a VPN. Then and only then can I extoll what it is truly like as a blind person in the United States. As for an international getaway, try Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and so many other places who tolerate difference and so on. If anything, I’d rather New Zealand give me the chance to express myself if I was tourist there, but if I became a citizen there, I would be dying in gratitude. Why? Because well, Jonathan, if you’re reading this, and I’m talking Jonathan Mosen, imagine there’s no countries. I need to read his book. I want to read his books and study more of what he thinks of patents, censors, and other crazy American ideas. I speak as an American looking through the lens of a foreigner. If a lot of international people were sitting in a room with me this moment, I’d ask, “So what do you think of us?” I’d guess they’d rather marvel at the plenty of food we have here in the U.S.A., and they would say, boy, things are different, but the British international tourists might be a bit caught off guard about the road system here. “Why do you drive on the right side of the road?” I honestly would prefer some British terminology and styles, like there’s a uniform for everything in Britain, and England particularly. And I’d love a cup of tea and cakes, but not the biggest tea fan. God, I don’t know what else to say. But on the other side of the road, well, I just hope the British learn when they visit here how to drive on the correct side of the road. We have a lot of crazy drivers in this country, and I speak from experience being the passenger in cars where people screamed at people on the road, “Drive the car!!!!!! Get where you should be and drive the car!!!!!!” Thank you to my friends in Denver for this one.

But anyway, if you’re planning an international getaway, please, stay away from China and some parts of Asia. You’d be glad you did.

Beth

Should a Social Justice Oriented Choir be Required to Follow the Law?

Dear readers,

Recently, the Denver Women’s Chorus went through a few shakeups in membership. A few of my close friends, meaning geographically close ones, left the choir temporarily. The choir is now full of members who don’t live too close to me, and don’t hang out with me as much as they should. Now, I can’t get a ride to regular practices like I should, and have to use Metro Taxi to get back and forth, but it seems they don’t even want anything to do with me at all. I am first of all blind, and second of all, because of the blindness and people’s views of it, isolated. It has nothing to do with me being anything sexist or anything people have called me in the past, it has everything to do with the sighted community refusing to do anything. And in my view, this is laziness. The sighted community has long held that blindness is a disease among other things, and blindness is, in most parts of the world, considered a curse. Because of the sighted view of blindness, in most countries like Tibet, Somalia, and parts of Eastern Europe, blind people cannot get an education, get jobs, and moreover, have a piece of land to farm on in some of the more agrarian parts of the world. The families of blind people often have to make a choice for their lives or the lives of the blind family member. Does the DWC realize this? I think it’s hypocritical if they don’t.

As a blind woman, I am subjected to “slut” and “whore” shaming by the blind people I’m supposed to get help or help myself. This causes incoherence in the entire United States blind community, but imagine what it’s like in places where agrarian practices like farming are common. Blind girls are oftentimes subject to rape, killed, or abused all because they are blind. I’m not naming any ethnic groups that practice agrarian lifestyles, but the lifestyle of people in these parts of the world are something that every choir member should be aware of.

As for the taxis, I have standards for my drivers. First and foremost, the driver should be fluent 100% in English either British or American, I don’t care about which. However, English fluency is required if God forbid the car was involved in an accident with airbag deployment, and the driver had to if possible call 911. I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to bear the responsibility the driver has to bear, calling 911 and pinpointing a location I don’t know where we are and such like. The driver cannot have speeding or DUI charges on his or her or their record. It is highly important that any driver attempting to get this job or volunteer opportunity abide by these rules, especially the DUI and speeding rules because I can’t afford drunk drivers, and so many others probably don’t get it. Drunk driving kills many people, and I’ve seen the results of drunk driving. There was a woman at LaAmistad, a rehabilitative facility in Winter Park, and she had an ankle bracelet on. She’d been on probation and was required to do residential treatment for alcoholism. Most of the residential treatment people were either AA or NA people, and that was also a requirement. All the drug users had to go to chemical recovery twelve step programs, but I was exempt from that requirement because I was not a substance user. What I do know is that my friend Liz who was in the AA program had to pee in a cup before she could proceed after coming back from a pass. The nurses and such like wanted to track her progress, which is all well and good. But trust me, if Liz and the other lady hadn’t gotten their treatment, who knew what those women might have done on the road?

My friend Katherine, a lady who picks me up for Soar practice is trying to find volunteer driver orgs, but with no luck. They would have to work on Sundays, and Sunday nights are a boon. Access a Ride wouldn’t work because Montview Presbyterian is not located on a fixed route bus stop, but even still, the bus stops running after six. Even after seven on weekdays. But this is
Sunday.

I’d like to thank a friend who stayed over with me when this apartment was better about things, and they offered to email a director or something like that. The friend is coming up with solutions. Solutions I may come with later might include a buddy system, checking in with chorus members who need a check in, and all of us need to be accountable for ourselves but most of all, for each other. I should also point out that the use of the word “liability” is in and of itself unethical, and unethical behavior should include exclusion of persons with disabilities. The reason is that persons with disabilities who cannot drive cannot often afford transport without having to buy food, laundering supplies, and soap. The insecurity is big here. I only get under $800 a month and I’m supposed to pay for retreat and costumes, dues, and other crap? This fully excludes those on SSI benefits, and I’d like to volunteer and such but how are people going to believe I have any skills at all? I eventually want to arrange music with garage band, but will the choir believe me? I don’t think so.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 as revised says that blind people are entitled to auxiliary aids, so says my friend Clayton, but I don’t know where to go from there. I hope my friend Ulysses and I can arrange something, something that would tell people how much inclusion needs to be done in order for more blind and visually impaired people to join any choir, anywhere.

Beth

iOS 13 Bricked A Friend’s Phone and Other Technology Matters of the Day

Dear Readers,

I got a very disquieting email but it began thankfully with birthday wishes. A friend told me, of all the things that I am encountering with iOS 13, that his phone was bricked. Voiceover refuses to turn on and won’t turn on with shortcuts or Siri. For whatever reason, he can’t see the setup screen and can’t get through the Two Factor authentication crap. So let this be a lesson to Apple. Be careful with releasing updates with major bugs, and this bug is not a good fit for certain phones. This guy emails me saying your OS on his phone bricked the phone, and Voiceover, which he heavily relies on, cannot be used? As John Prosser from Front Page Tech would say, “Timmy, Timmy, what are you doing here?” Mr. Prosser would have a big problem with this if he only knew how awful iOS 13 was treating my friend. So if other blind people have problems, here’s what you do:

  1. Write down on an alternate device the steps you took to simulate the problem for the rep. This is to be done on something other than an iOS device obviously.
  2. Take the phone to the store, and before you do this, email accessibility@apple.com and report this sort of thing you encounter to Apple. They should be wary of blind people having to face such serious VO bugs in the future.
  3. When you get to the store, have the rep factory reset your phone, and if needed, give them passwords and codes so you can set it up later. Of course, you’ll need to make sure VO works and does not mess up when you’re doing your thing.

Now, the biggest tech thing I want to truly write about is killer robots, not this.

Beth

Thoughts On Where the Blind Community Sits

Trigger warning, content warning, talk of serious trauma issues/mental illness.

 

Dear Readers,

Recently, I vented my frustration, wanting not to put this on my choir’s Facebook page for the Denver Women’s Chorus, but ended up receiving a nasty and vulgar comment from someone I’ve known for years. It’s times like these you find out who your friends are, and let me explain how I figure things out.

  1. The commenter said I was entitled and whining. Goddamn, that is not the truth. Entitlement award should really go to Donald Trump, who fires people he doesn’t like, discriminates against black and brown people, and doesn’t give a fuck about people’s illness and cancers, and if that was me in the White House, none of this would happen. Ever. Because Mr. Trump is inhumane toward everybody but his little buddies in Congress. And by the way, the entitlement thing should really be reserved for criminals and sexual predators, predators like my exes.
  2. Disgusting post? Bullshit, do I have a right to vent my frustration? Yes, and I do anywhere I want. Without being hanged or whipped, I can write that the prophet Muhammad is a child molester, and I can subvert anything I want. This is America, and you accuse me of being entitled or whatever and being the kind who throws a pity party? Beware, the words are dangerous, and calling out people for being entitled is absolutely disgusting in itself.
  3. Do you guys have any clue what happened to me at seventeen? I think not. I’ve been given a very bad hand of cards, and that hand included a fifteen year stint in Guardianship Hell. This included not being able to choose and dream, to collect myself, to go to college, not without a guardian hovering over all the papers. I will never go to university again, never read another college textbook, and not without the support of people who actually believe in me. I’m done with people who have jobs looking down on me and saying you’re an entitled brat. I’m done with people subverting my freedom to blaspheme God, putting checks on everything, saying inappropriately hurtful things about me. That’s why I got someone with a football prank, thank God he caught it but he was fucked majorly. I’m not going to tell you the last of it. I have a story to tell here in the blog.

I was on the bus in 2011, going to a vocational rehab required test by a psychologist, Dr. David Benson, who used an office in the Anthem Building as part of the practice he kept. I walked into this intimidating but huge building, sat down and was greeted with “Okay, we are going to administer some verbal and numeric tests.” I was put through a battery of memory tests, IQ bullshit, and other things I could name that are extremely grueling. But then the doc walked in, and I walked into the office. With hijab and all, the doc accused me of flatly pretending to be Arab, but the truth was I had been studying Islam, and in my studies wanted to wear hijab, but the doctor’s reaction was adverse. At best, compounding the guardianship and the fact that I would probably lose my then boyfriend, Deq Ahmed, this adverse reaction and adverse statement which is, simply put, racist and antimuslim, Islamophobic, was not welcome. I could not get a job after this statement was read. I never pretended to be any ethnic group. So to those blinds who think it’s okay to say this, stop it. The ethnic diversity of Denver will teach you all to mind the Muslims and other people who live here. I’ve had enough of people saying that I should “get off my ass” and get a job. There are traumas in life that simply cannot be resolved without punishment of the perpetrators. These traumas include rape, rape and impregnation, ID theft, death of a loved one, and above all, the guardianship that made me unable to make decisions about my life. I want to marry Trenton, but who’s going to support it because of race, money, and the fact that his choice of bride is questionable? I’m done being disliked, disinvited, and disunited with people who should be a coherent community, getting things done. It’s you all that make the civil rights of people like me impossible to have. It’s the idiots on radio, television, and book media who make it impossible for people to view me as a person. The inhuman ways you’ve all talked to me, behind my back, think that committing a mentally ill person is entertainment, etc. Guess what? You’ve lost something precious, a jewel. I hope you all fall down and don’t talk to people as much after you do, and stop talking whatever you do unless it’s something positive or nice or uplifting. There are times people think it’s okay to talk entitlement with me, and that is a dangerous and awful … what I call “fighting word.” Fighting words are protected free speech in some but not all circumstances. The blind community uses these awful fighting words as a weapon, a way to threaten and destabilize the community that desperately needs a 07% unemployment rate instead of that 70% unemployment rate that people often talk about. I am going to be honest, these fighting words, the entitlement, this all has to stop. Just stop it. You all are digging a big hole in the world, and I certainly don’t want to end up in the center of the Earth, so you all can go in there and watch the molten core float about in the lava mantel. If you want to reach China with that same hole you’re digging, you won’t. Not without burning up.

If you dare to read this, realize you’re no more closer to becoming a supporter than becoming the last person in line. I’ve had it with people saying I’m a whiner, let them go to a place where they don’t let you speak my name.

Beth

Amazon original content and Other Strange Matters

Dear Readers,

I’m happy to say that promoting this blog has gotten me some traffic, so keep it up yall. I want to point to several things. First, the Amazon original show Good Omens rocks. Why oh why do Christians have to take their sensitivities to satirical media so seriously? And they also got the show’s platform wrong when they attempted a Change petition so that Amazon or in the case of Netflix, whatever it was, the petition called for the cancelation of Good Omens based on Christian sensitivities. I’m not firmly attacking Christians altogether, but let it be known that real mainline Christians should take satire for what it is, satire. Amazon did a really cool thing with Good Omens because they made fun of Christians for what they’ve been and where they might be going. Think about the Hulu show and the book the handmaid’s Tale. That is a super dark satire about a United States called Gilead. Gilead is a dire warning, so how do repressive regimes fall? You’ll find out in the new book the Testaments. Yes, the Handmaid’s Tale is dramatic in its portrayal of the Gilead commanders, but it isn’t as bad as 1984, which has obvious players it makes fun of. Big Brother might be likened to Joseph Stalin, for instance, thanks in part to the mustachio he has on his face. The mustachioed figure in every single hall of Victory Mansions is today perhaps likened to the Kims of North Korea, but in that time, that place, it’s a satirical affront to Stalin. Then you have Winston, who tries to do something about it, but can’t. O’Brien is an interesting character. I wonder who he might present as in the time the book was written.

Animal Farm is a definite weird satire, and Orwell was making fun of Communism. Obviously, Karl Marx and the wise old boar are the same character. Then, you have the pigs, or the Gosplan or the high dictators. Napoleon and Snowball are two different important characters in the Communist party of Russia obviously. What Orwell did to both Animal Farm and 1984 was called satire, same with Amazon’s Good Omens. The Handmaid’s Tale is a satirical but dire warning. Dark satire can be found in Ralph Nader’s the safe Car You Can’t Buy as well. I wrote several darkly portrayed satires on violent video game sales. I basically said something about Microsoft and Sony sued for violent video game creations that portray Jesus’s crucifixion and other deadly things that people would find appealing to play. What I was getting at with those satires was that video games and other console related work are not to blame for violence, but people over exaggerate the mental health versus violent video game argument. Imagine, for a moment, just once, that we did not scapegoat mental illness for gun violence. What we need to understand is that Swedish soldiers use video games to learn diplomacy and what they call “soft skills.” That’s great, but training through video game simulation doesn’t predict everything.

Before I get too far into one topic or another, let me just say that Carnival Row is awesome. I love it because it’s got fairies and such, but I think there are some things that Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu could try.

I miss the Mystic Knights of Chernanom. What ever that was called. There’s a badass princess in there, and the other knights do battle with very weird creatures, and then there’s this dragon, Fire. He’s Rowan’s pet, and this queen who’s evil wants to use the baby dragon for bad purposes. Things like the Mystic Knights should come back on Amazon or Hulu or something because I know how much people might miss it. I hope it’s lurking about somewhere.

Power Rangers are on Netflix, but oh no it’s not described. Only the movie with Elizabeth Banks is. But I do miss the Turbo adventure, but Queen Eve is weird. It’s just weird.

In any case, I think Disney should consider doing less weird animation, but they messed up the Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Snow White. I’ve read the original Grimm stories so there you go.

I love how Dreamworks made fun of Disney. I must say satire is very important in our lives as literary lions of the human race. But face it. Good Omens should not be canceled, rest assured Amazon has its way. So if you don’t like satirical work, seriously lighten up.

Beth