How do you live in a world with no blind princesses?

Dear readers,

I recently tried to answer a question for a podcast done by a blind dude who specializes in blindness specific things. One of his questions had to do with coverage in the media, and I also included Hollywood coverage. Let me tell you how lackluster at best the coverage is, and it affects not only blind women like me, but if I want to create a fan fiction story, I have to do it right. And there are no blind characters to work with in most of the hot button media series thingies. Here’s what we have to work with.

As a young girl, I grew up with Disney. How well has Disney represented disabled characters in the media? I’d give Disney an F for unfair representation of blind and disabled characters. Disabled characters in literature and movies and such are usually saints, poor beggars, or those who are cured, and examples are few and far between. There is only one blind woman who I would hold up as one who opposes being helpless. Anyone heard of Susan Oldknow? Um, maybe you haven’t, but she is in the Treasure of Green Knowe series, actually the title of the book is Treasure of Green Knowe. In this book, Spoiler alert, Susan becomes heiress to Green Knowe and she ends up overcoming loads of obstacles to get there. Among which, she has to contend with a nanny who’s completely out of her mind, a grandmother who believes Susan is an idiot, and the only friend in her family is her father, a sea captain who wants her educated like her mother and all the ladies before, and this is before the invention of Braille. But the worst thing that occurs usually in a family like this is the son gets spoiled, and Susan’s brother Sefton is no exception. He acts racist toward Susan’s companion, Jacob, who, spoiler alert, is a freed African slave the captain purchased, and yes, the boy was free in England with the captain’s family. The Captain is usually a guy who you would find away on sailing missions, so no surprise that Sefton hates his sister and wants to disparrage her companion.

What’s really sad about the blind issue in the media and coverage in television news stories and other things is this: all the blind are considered helpless, and because the NFB and other consumer orgs want better representation, there is a darker side to finding such representation. When I wrote that I needed help determining what to do with evacuation strategies for my apartment, I personally don’t feel safe here much because of the creepers here, I got nasty backlash comments from trolls who were, oddly enough, blind themselves. The blindness is not the reason I ask for help, beg to get guidance in housing situations, and so on and so forth.

What I do does not represent Hollywood or blind people in general, but I have indeed tried to hold up the community, but they seem to be tearing me down instead of lifting me up, and even local chorus people don’t seem to get it. They want to sit there and tear me down, forget I exist, or try to avoid me. I hate avoidance behavior, but I think the biggest reason we have avoidant individuals around us as blind people is because of that stupid television show, In the Dark, and the NFB’s complaints about that show are numerous. For one, the blind main character was played by a sighted actor. Ugh. This is ableist. It’s the same thing as asking Caucasian people to play Japanese characters in anime, and it’s disgusting.

As a blind girl, there are no blind princesses Disney has to offer. Tiana is the closest to getting there Disney has done with princess representation in the media. However, there is still a long way to go. Disney has yet to put a disabled actress as a princess in a movie, and to make a disabled princess be the center of the story. Because of Disney’s lack of disability positive representation, I’m considering writing Disney a heartfelt note saying that a princess with confidence and a disability would really help the community see things the way I see them. And we need a princess who can lift others up, not have to be able to see and don’t count Ariel’s temporary disability because her voice is essential to her story. ursula, the evil witch in the Little Mermaid movie Disney so violently corrupted, did take Ariel’s voice, but was killed by Eric and so on if memory serves me right. The original Hans Christian Andersen story doesn’t do much justice either. The mermaid has to, spoiler alert, kill her lover or become a child of the air, which is hardly what Disney wants. Disney’s interests aren’t the interests of the disabled community, and the more I see new princess movies come out, the more left out fellow princess lovers and Disnerds who are blind are going to feel.

When you get a little older, superheroes and more adult films are the norm. I still watch princess movies, but what will I be able to do other than write up a fairy tale that explains my life in a child’s point of view/ Nothing explains things I went through that way at all. In adult film and TV series, we have few and rare blind characters that exhibit any form of confidence or enough courage and strength to tell a blind adult or young teen, “You can be who you want to be.” If Disney wanted to do this sort of thing, maybe they should make a movie about a blind woman, not Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder, but a woman who is blind because women who are blind are poorly represented in television sitcoms, movies, and the like. No blind woman should be portrayed as a sexual object to be married off, or worse, a fear based thing you don’t want to become. As a blind woman, how can anyone be so confident in themselves as females if they see a blind woman not succeeding in making some extraordinary changes in the world? I want to change the world so it is safe for girls and women who are blind in all parts of the world to live their lives, no guardianship for girls and women, including all the remote parts of the world who seek to oppose or kill me. Honestly, I’m seriously trying to do this right, but I’m stuck on social media because of transport that’s so crappy here in my end of town. Think about it. Activists can be activists online, and I’m one who can say I’m an online activist for change, and I don’t see such activism covered in the news.

what bothers me most about the lack of Hollywood representation of people who are blind is how feared the blindness is. In classic movies, you don’t see confident blind actors and so on. Even modern movies and shows have no blind characters. It seems Arthur from PBS does, but that’s meant for educational purposes only. Sesame Street is a kid program, but we need to get the word out that blind kids and adults alike need positive role models in the media, in sitcoms, in Netflix and other streaming platform shows, and not the Healing Powers of Dude. Poor representation of disabled people and jokes about us are all over the media, and those have to go.

Luckily, I did do a good initial review of See, a show about blind characters, but why is Jason Momoa, a sighted actor, playing the blind warrior? I hope there are blind thesbians willing to speak out. At least we’re on the way to doing better, but hardly are we any closer than we should have been long ago. In 1990, Disney could have published stuff about not so helpless people with disabilities, but it’s taking them way too long. Other hollywood companies like Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and so many others could benefit from putting blind people on TV and in movies outside an educational purpose only.

Beth

Summary of the Jon Taffer Podcast Backstreet’s Back

Dear readers,

I just about cried listening to a really great interview with Jon Taffer in Vegas featuring none other than Nick Carter, a Backstreet Boy I’ve had a crush on for a few damn years. As a teenager no less. Let me telll you, I’m super proud of Nick for having done what he does now, for having a family, and that’s because I found my own place and my own partner. The thing is he has three kids, three of them just like my own family had. I would hope that his family doesn’t grow too big, after all kids cost money. Everything costs money, and it really hit me hard when I heard Nick say things about how he had lived with fame all his life. Like, since he was twelve, he had fame on his shoulders. He wants to own a bar in Key West, but truth be told, I wish he’d try stopping by here in Denver and try some of the holes in the wall we have for Mexican food. I love Mexican food, and I wish he did too. I don’t know if Nick Carter likes Mexican food, nor do I know if any of the kids like it too. I’d be glad to bring Trenton to a hole in the wall in vegas, but what good is that when we can’t fly there or do things? Vegas already has a mask mandate in place now, in six counties, twelve maybe. I just saw something about Nevada’s emergency mask ordinance. What ever I say doesn’t seem to matter.

I have a message for Nick, and I sent it on Twitter. It was short and sweet, but still I think Nick’s a great guy. I’d still meet the guy on the condition that his wife is okay with this, and that she and Trenton are there for the presence between all of us. I hope that the Mrs. Nick Carter finds herself lucky to be with him in the long run, after all there are too many celebs who get divorced, and that’s bad luck on their part. It’s a heavy load that fame puts on us, and that’s the truth. In any case, I hope Nick and his Missus do not do this sort of thing, particularly because the kids need a stable family home. I would also like to point out that I was the victim of emotional abuse for years, and now I don’t have a career aspiration because of benefits, benefits, and more benefits that the disability gravy train pretty much requires you to make below a certain amount in order to qualify to stay alive. I am trying to taper off my meds, as I am writing this I was mailed 7 mg of my medication, and I am very concerned that it could lead to Trenton not supporting me, friends running away because they feel I’m crazy, and no opportunities to have better care. I would try getting a workaday job, but again, Trenton would lose out or I would lose benefits, and the house would be filthy. I don’t particularly like cooking and cleaning because women have been forced to do that for thousands of years, and I’m reading this women’s history book. It shows how the Father God complex put women below a man. That doesn’t fly with me because this Father God complex could hurt those who worship the Goddess, something I totally believe in. I want to believe there is a way to compromise but my family would never understand. I would hope they don’t read this because they don’t get it. I am not inferior to men, and I certainly don’t think cooking and cleaning is my destiny. I’m not an unpaid maid or servant, and thanks to the discharge of the guardianship, I’m happily on my way to recovering the pieces of my life taken away by guardianship Marriage and children are the two things I want to do, but providing for the kids like what Nick carter does is going to be something hard and tough because nobody will hire a 40 something woman who has no resume and no job skills to do entertainment. I had all my accomplishments in high school, but was never allowed to pursue entertainment as a career. Nick, I am proud of your interview, and Jon is a cool dude. Keep at it, because one day, there will be a Denver Queen on stage, and you won’t know who I am, you won’t know what I’ve done. It won’t be the classical pianist or the teenage Catholic who was doomed to fail at everything. This time, I will bee the new me, transformed by freedom. Thanks for your interview.

Readers, I’d like to think that I could put comments back on this blog. However, because trolls are trolls and they lurk at every corner, I will remain the way I am with comments. Please feel free to like this entry, and email me at denverqueen@gmx.com for more good conversation. Please, I swear to God, my life depends on it.

Beth

Britney’s Freedom is My Freedom

Dear Britney spears,

I feel so much for you it isn’t funny. When you revealed you had an IUD put in to prevent you from getting pregnant, I almost died inside. While my birth control pills are a choice, there is a problematic thing about doing IUD or Nexplanon, and this is what it boils down to. Putting things in your body that are implanted is rather invasive, and an IUD can break and you could die. I’m scared for you because of Amy winehouse, the gal behind Rehab, and I love that song. truth is that she committed suicide by alcohol because her stupid father had a conservatorship similar in scope to your own. Britney, I hope you will hear me out.

I was seventeen when my parents declared me unfit to manage my own affairs, got guardianship, and put me away when I tried to have relationships. There’s a girl in Orlando going through the same thing. guardianship and conservatorship is sexist, ableist, and so much bullshit I know what you want when I hear you say it’s abusive. It is, believe me, you don’t want to know what my parents think of me now that I forced them to discharge the guardianship. I had threatened in emails to have them in a restraining order so they couldn’t contact me because guardianships like theirs are cruel and unusual, and the ones who think guardianship is good for. me are usually stupid evil white men. I received a rather trolling comment, hence why you don’t see a comment field in this blog, from a Wes Derby who ultimately said, “Florida was correct in giving your parents guardianship.” I felt so insulted I had to black out all comments, and it wasn’t just Wes’s, it was everybody. He ruined the comment thing for everybody. And it’s not that I don’t want you to comment, Britney, but you can always email me and we can talk. Britney, I know you have a fortune you can’t access, but you have me. I’m against all forms of adult guardianship for all people, and it’s because the system is set up to benefit the bad guys, the parents and professionals, the people who think it’s rather funny when I don’t succeed in life itself. Britney, you have a lot of blessings amid this. You have your sons, you have a fortune worth millions of dollars I’ll never obtain. And because I was called a moron by so many people, I had to shut down the comment discussion here on this blog. If you really want to, write me on FB or Twitter. I’m on Instagram, but I don’t usually put pics up. Britney, you don’t have to worry about suing your family for violating your civil rights. I do. Because I want to have a little Beth or a little Trenton and I will not have any other kids. Siblings will force me to favor one child or another child, so I will not have siblings. My own siblings were favored, my brother that is. And they made very rude comments about me when I was in mental health rehab. I had no drugs, no substance use history, so you know what? There should have been no damn excuse for parents like my own to have a sexist ableist cruel and unusual hold on my whole damn life. They should have let go, and they didn’t for fifteen years. They are ableist, cruel and racist. When. I mention critical race theory, my dad says, oh it won’t affect you. Wrong, it will affect his granddaughter or grandson. I will of course have to keep an eye on my parents, we will have to reconcile somehow, but I can’t do a full reconciliation because that would put my kid in danger. IF it is a female child, I will have to carefully pick who she hangs out with while she’s between one and six, but beyond age six, she needs to have a moral compass. Britney, I will parent my own child better than my mom did. I will not leave her unattended, in a cradle crying, or in a dark room because she did something or other. Britney, I will not let my child be traumatized in the first six years of her life, for those years are the foundation on which she will grow. For another thing, I will teach my kid to be respectful around law enforcement, maybe even connect with law enforcement so they will know my family. My future child will likely be biracial, which means critical race theory does indeed affect her. IF she doesn’t learn about slavery and discrimination and sexism, she will be ignorant and unable to decipher how to make the world a better place.

Let’s just say that the way things are, blind people will not show up at a baby shower for me. So britney, let me promise you this. IF you have a third kid, do send me an invite to your baby shower. We could do a virtual one, and I could buy you something nice, maybe I’d buy you a cradle for that baby. But moreover, I’ll sing you one of those lullabies you forgot over the years. Hush-a-by baby, don’t say a word. Remember that one? the one where you say you’ll buy that kid a mockingbird? I’ll definitely have that in my repertoire. then there’s Bye Baby Bunting, daddy’s gone a-hunting. Just anything you could think of, lullabies are everywhere and you must sing them to that little boy or girl when it arrives. Why? Because babies love it. Yeah, and when baby gets sick, you’ll at least know how to detect fevers in your baby. Doesn’t every mom touch baby’s face? Duh, and I being blind need to do a serious checkup and get me a talking ear thermometer. My partner Trenton and I are always debating what will come down and what won’t. We have to upgrade tech first, but I said to him I insist on having a baby before I turn forty. Forty!!!!!! So yeah.

Britney, I can’t wait to see the baby pics when you have a new baby with Sam, and I want you to, so get that stupid IUD out of your uterus and get going. Like what the hell are you waiting for? And you can bet your bottom dollar that when I have my own baby, I will show you a pic of her, all new and slimy or all new and smelling like roses. Haha. Babies don’t usually smell like roses anyway.

Good luck ending your conservatorship.

Beth

A letter to the Denver 7 peoples about guardianship

Author’s note: I forgot to mention that because I call people out for being guardian activists on behalf of upholding the status quo, or because I do speak out against unjust things, I got a death threat from a woman in Avilar, someone who was cowardice enough to disconnect her phone after I published it. Well, she deserved whatever came to her because you don’t threaten people’s lives. It’s illegal. And I don’t want hate crimes to be committed against me or my partner.

I’d like to share the email I just wrote the Denver Channel folks, though. Jennifer is their investigative girl, and she’s good. Really good. She and this producer did a story on guardianship fraud. I went and wrote the Great American novel, wink wink, about the whole thing. This is the signification of my email.

To whom it may concern,I’d like to reach out to Jennifer and Joe, who were so awesome in bringing a story about guardianship fraud to a Colorado news media channel. I hope it catches the attention of social services workers in this state as they really don’t seem to, um, care a lot like in the Netflix film. My name is Beth Taurasi. I was the victim of guardianship abuse in my native Florida, so I moved here to escape it. When I learned from LuAnn Fleming and others about what guardianship does, I pushed to have it removed. But removing a guardianship is not easy, not in any state. I was lucky to have a doc and a nurse in Colorado say well, she’s capable and competent and all that crap. But it’s ableist, sexist too. I saw the segments with Britney’s songs, and I was so supercharged because I know for a fact that Britney’s guardianship and mine are pretty similar, but different too.I was born totally blind and could never see the beautiful blue sky. But what bothered my parents was that I wanted to experience teenage girl stuff, dating and the like, but my parents were patriarchal, and my dad is someone I want to call Patriarch number 1. He might have been the one to orchestrate the guardianship and isolation I went through. I was told many times I couldn’t call a friend, talk to someone, and all that stuff. Recently I learned the power of friendship and check ins with friends because I was losing my mind over some things, drowned my sorrows in Gatorade, mind you it wasn’t Jack Daniels, but I always worried that my friends would get irate with me and say don’t call me again. Part of this problem probably stemmed from guardians like the Patriarch number 1 going after my friends and telling them how to interact with me. They treated me like an animal, not like a human being. This went on until I was told how to use the Internet, oh you will only use it from 10 AM to 4 PM EST or EDT whatever. I was living in Florida, and was begging for a trip to Littleton in Colorado to get training on the Blindness front. But I was so emotionally abused and manipulated, gaslit by professionals and teachers alike, so much because they were calling me bossy and silencing my leadership abilities. Now, I can’t even get a job and career and I don’t frankly think I will be able to safely have one because of a few different factors, mainly the activism and such. I read this book called Youth to Power, and it says you have to find your why. Well, my why with guardianship activism is because after five years, I left Florida for Littleton, and even after, I wasn’t given enough support from my parents, and they never wanted me to have money for food. I would be starving in half my classes, I passed out once, though I did get some if not a lot of care. I ended up at one time trying to find a spiritual group other than the Roman Catholic church which was where my parents came from. My partner, Trenton Matthews, is the most supportive partner I’ve had, and he has to put up with me sometimes being angry at stuff but I usually am comforted by his presence more than anything. In the years before I met my amazing partner, however, I had to endure abusive relationships, namely those of a guy online and I lacked any support for my ambitions. I wish I could go to college, but there’s a debt and I didn’t receive guidance or enough Pell grant money to go. I would fill out my FAFSA but my parents’ income might have something to do with why I am afraid I won’t get Pell money. Who would give such money to someone who wants to make a wedding a social justice issue for example? My other problems may likely be the result of me even speaking out about guardianship and the evils it likes to do and the damage left behind. When I posted on a Facebook community help thing, I got degraded by an ex and a friend of his, someone I knew and hadn’t spoken to, and this strange female figure in the blindness community. Guardianships and the blindness community are intertwined. I’m helping a gal in Orlando get her parents to shut up and let her have her SSI check and honestly, the other problem is that all parents with disabilities are liable to either not teach their kids financial skills, after which they steal the check and hold the disabled person hostage from boyfriends, friends, and others. I’m going to work on a book that helps people escape such a brutality, and it is brutality.I”m open to a news interview. I want to talk to Jennifer because when I had guardianship in Florida, the Colorado instructors in Littleton’s Colorado center for the Blind on West Shepard thought I was good for nothing, and even if it wasn’t the director Julie Deden herself, there were people in that group who were toxic. My boyfriend at the time was a Muslim, so I got Islamophobes talking about this and that and not focusing on their work. I trucked on and graduated the center, but then I realized how my expectations and the guardianship subject had been muted. None of my concerns were given to my parents. They sent all the students home from the center apartments, it wasn’t what they currently have, but when I got home, my parents forced the Catholic faith on me, I couldn’t wear hijab, I was a Muslim at the time, and sure I cared about Jesus, but guardianship allowed my parents to do spiritual abuse. I was practically done when I got back to Littleton, so I never went back. The guardianship was discharged in December of 2020 after I was committed by ceremony to Trenton, and I would use the word commitment ceremony, not wedding, in any report because weddings are usually legal and we can’t lose our benefits.The guardianship in this country is the worst thing I have ever seen. I did say I was helping a gal get out of hers, and it’s no different than mine. My former guardians used to tell me that a certain man I liked was “sexually experienced” and they forbade me from calling a school friend because he was younger, black, and Caribbean. I am done with my parents, for the most part because they don’t even talk to me much. Their actions created a rift in the family, the blindness community responded with anger and toxic commentary. My best friend of ten years is gone because he chose to respond that way. Now I can’t even talk to certain people because they’ll call me spoiled for requesting housing and other things. People simply don’t believe when I say that guardianship abuse must be curbed, stopped, even here in Colorado. I am working with Rocky Mountain Human services because the toxic culture of the blindness community contributeed to mental illness and so on, so I make it a point to use in home care services, mainly the homemaker services, and my caseworker knows the story. Rhonda Cordova, however, does not wish to help me get safe and clean housing. I wonder why. I wonder if it’s a privilege or hatred of me in particular, but the guardianship might have made the difference. Rhonda was reported for being apathetic toward my situation, and she got mad. It had to do with my building’s bedbug crap, and I can’t find housing anywhere else but yeah, the guardianship is leaving me unemployed and living in a bedbug infested chateaux. There are many layers of this and other things I could tell you as to why Colorado should get rid of guardianship in favor of supportive decision making. Pat in the story could benefit from this. He needs to be given a pet dog to play with, people need to let him have money, and perhaps the state should settle for more because he lost his estate. pat has intellectual disability, which is a bit different than me, but still, when I heard the story, even Pat knew something wasn’t right. Lawmakers should make it illegal for a parental guardianship to take place in the cases of disabled kids. ask my main caregiver, Maria Weir, she has a daughter with autism and we talk frequently about issues of social justice, one of which is guardianship. Her little daughter could end up even dead from a guardian doing a bad and evil job at caring for her. I’ve become this social justice warrior because of my life experiences, and I’m fighting some battles of my own as well. Please call me at 720-435-7407 and I’m glad to meet with you. Even if care is going on, you may come in. Please don’t scare my landlord it’s not about her.Thank you so much.PS you can check out my blog and website. I’ll copy the text of this email to my blog after a response.Beth

The Tragic Life of Linda: a Brave New World Comparison

CW Spoilers and TW cultural references to Native Americans, please read with care.

Dear readers,

Linda. Where to begin. Her life wasn’t so typical, but in Brave New World, we meet her in two different ways. She started out as a beta plus, which is a step below an alpha plus, and then, we see her as the author was meant to see her. Let’s compare how Linda’s life transformed from book to screen.

In the book, Linda was at first the typical healthy English girl, much like what Lenina was. Linda, a Beta Plus who worked in the fertilizing room, however strong she appeared to be, was left behind in transit when she and the then younger DHC, Tomakin he was called in the book, went to the Savage reservation. In the book, the Savage Reservation was a key negative connotation for Native American reservation. It was probably situated in the Tribal lands in New Mexico. Let’s just refer to the book’s version of it not as a “Savage” place, but as Malpais. That’s what John called it, and for future reference, John is Linda and Tomakin’s child. Back to Linda.

So anyway, Linda was left behind because she fell and hit her head, and some hunters from Malpais found her on the floor and brought her to the lands. Linda didn’t even know she was pregnant at the time, and all girls who are unsterilized in the Brave New World must do what is called “Malthusian Drill.” The numbers, Linda says, go by one, two, and three and so on. Not much is told of how Malthusian drill actually works, and the contraceptive precautions are still on Lenina’s mind in the book after she’s done cavorting with Henry on the golf course, at the cabaret, and then in his room of course. What we learn from Linda is astounding. She had soma before, but when she was forced to live among the Natives in the book, she found herself in a culture shock. One, she was not supposed to just have any man she wanted. People hated her, hated her son John, and it was evident throughout Linda’s future life in the land if Malpais. The Natives sang songs about Linda, not very reverent songs, and the little boys frequently shoved John away, and then, as I wrote prior to this post, the worst of it was when John wanted to do a manhood ceremony among the boys. Now he was able to understand Linda’s world too, but John had some Native American upbringing among the boys and the men of the Pueblo. They taught John about the spiritual practice of the Native American peoples of the pueblo, and he never said the word Ford but said Oh my God instead. John had a lot of respect for the eagle god Pookong, and the son of the One True God, the Jesus everybody complains about in real life. John one day said he wanted to be crucified. If this isn’t a sad person, I don’t know what is.

While John is growing up, he sees his mother, Linda, drunk on the floor or having a lot of sex with Pope, a young man she’s attracted to. Pope brings Linda lots of mescal, which is very strong stuff, but let’s compare this quick to the show. Linda doesn’t drink mescal in the show, instead it’s moonshine.

The most confusing thing about Linda is how she dies. In the show, she’s pictured dead on the marble slab. In the book, Linda’s life among the Natives is brought to a close when Bernard and Lenina rescue both her and her son John. One needs to have at least one reckoning with John and Tomakin, the DHC. Now, Linda’s life in the book and Linda’s life in the show are a bit different. Let’s look at Linda’s on screen appearance.

First of all, Linda is a much the same drunk Beta plus who can’t put up with being happy without drugs. Linda and John are busy trying to get Bernard Marx healed up from a wound he receives at the theater park. Like I said in the previous post, the Native land of Malpais is replaced in the show with a simple theme park, the Savage lands. It’s not about a tribe, but the rebels are hard to tame, according to the all uppity happy Eurocentric New London. Let’s also say that Linda and John were different, and John didn’t share his life story much in Episode 3. The big thing is that John was not greeted by Mustapha Mond, who by the way, in the show was a woman. Why?????? I’m not trying to be sexist here, but if you are going to follow the source material, shouldn’t Mustapha be male? And intimidating? I get that we need progress in the 26th century, but do we want to follow the source material or go our deviant separate way from it?

We deviate a lot when John and Linda are confronted with Madison, the pregnant bride from the theater, and she goes in and says she’s going to kill teh outsiders, Linda, and John. Madison meets her end, which is not saying much of Kiakime, the Native girl John likes in the book. Kothlu doesn’t even speak to John in the book, and Linda tries to understand the whole point of weddings, but then is interrupted by John running away from the wedding procession. The manhood ceremony being the most hurtful thing John is experiencing, he is called the “son of the she-dog.” The Natives’ references to Linda as a she-dog are poignant, but extremely hurtful given Linda’s different culture and upbringing and more importantly, her conditioning.

Linda dies in the book lying comfortably in the bed, the Soma at her side, in the Park Lane Hospital of the Dying, but we don’t see this in the show. Linda is sitting on a morgue slab, the victim of something that went wrong in the rocket, and we don’t know how Linda died … yet. However, John goes mad, and as the happy people of New London will tell you, John doesn’t know how to cope with Linda’s death. This is natural for humans, but with death conditioning, which to me is gross and unnatural, you have tots and little tykes, kids rather, going to a hospital of the dying in the locale and having to eat treats every time someone dies. When Linda died in the book, the young Delta boys in the hospital got eclairs. The boys also got chocolate cream, and this is supposed to make them cope with death? I don’t see that as anything close to natural.

In the show, there is also another plot element. The rebels tell the outsiders, Linda and John among them, that “We are a free people.” They say they’re sick and tired of being fenced in and judged for the amusement of the Indra users, the New Londoners. They’re tired of it. So what will happen next? Stay tuned, and I will write more.

Note that I do like the idea of Mustapha Mond being a woman, but why?????? Why did they have to choose a woman to play the part of a world controller? In the source material, there is quite a bit of gender misinformation, but I see where this is going. The progress to a woman ruling the world is getting stronger every day, and so should be acknowledged in the show. However, do we want to try and reenact Huxley and his source material? Let’s see when I watch next, and yes, I’ll be writing more reviews in the coming days about a future episode or two, but yeah. LEt’s see what the future holds for John, Lenina, and Bernard.

Beth

Introducing Brave New World Series Reviews: Episodes 1 and 2

CW Spoilers, details mentioned here are those involving the Peacock/Netflix show Brave New World, and compares to the original source material by Aldous Huxley. Please skip if you never read the book or seen the show, but read on if you want a serious review.

Dear readers,

I love old books, and there’s something important to note. Brave New World, the masterpiece by Aldous Huxley, has its own special category of awesomeness that I never fail to be dissatisfied by. First off, this book shows you a world utopian society with a scientific caste system, but beyond this, the show is awkwardly different from the source material. If you have read either book or seen the show episodes 1 and 2, read on. I will be hijacking my own blog to review the entire series a bit at a time. See the above CW (content warning) for details and a spoiler alert is in effect.

Here are the highlights from episodes 1 and 2, and how they compare to the book source material. Did the production company get this right?

  1. The beginning. In the book’s beginning, we meet the DHC, or the Director of Hatchery and Conditioning for Central London, which in the show is called New London. Nice job, guys. But that’s where the show is a bit different. We meet Lenina Crowne, whose name in the show is pronounced “laneena”, but I totally understand the alternate pronouncing of her name in book narrations I’ve scrolled through. In the book, Lenina is seen injecting her embryonic patients with the usual stuff, and there are students and guides there to see it all happen. However, in the show, it’s just Lenina, brunette instead of blonde (see next item) and she’s injecting embryos as per the usual thing she does. You don’t see Henry though till the middle and the first man Lenina meets in the book is Henry, but in the show, it’s our hero, Bernie or should I say, Bernard Marx. That’s a big deviation from the source materials.
  2. Lenina’s hair is blonde, and she’s pleasantly pretty in the book. In the show, as described to me through the UK descriptor, she’s brunette. Why the change? Is it that blondes aren’t pretty anymore?
  3. Savage Lands versus Savage Reservation. Oh, did I mention that savages are mentioned in both books and the show? In the book, however, Native Americans are not portrayed well, as was expected in the 1930s when Huxley wrote the source material, and John of course was a British kid dressing up in Native American attire, and we meet John when Lenina and Bernard went to the “Savage Reservations” in New Mexico in the book source material. How it deviates with the show! We meet John before Lenina boards the rocket to the Savage Lands, and the whole land is a theme park, not a fenced in reservation. John is not among Native Americans, but among people who choose to live a so called primitive existence. John also tries to go after a girl, but we don’t see this in the book until John tells his story to Bernard, and the story is a hopelessly tragic one. John wanted to marry a Native American girl, Kiakime, and the girl was actually married to Kothlu, a young Native boy. Sadly, this show iteration of John and Kia’s romance is worse. Instead of the Native born Kiakime, we get Madison, and instead of Kothlu, we get this stranger from the prop store. Madison is pregnant, and we don’t know who did this, and John is an outcast as in the original source material. See next item.
  4. The festival deviates from book to show. John’s status with the Natives (I refuse to use the word Savage here.) is so low because they called him names, chanted songs about him, the whole bit. What bothered me most was when John wanted to do a manhood ceremony with the young boys who were to become men, and they said the most hurtful words. “No, not for you, white hair, not for the son of the she-dog.” They referred to Linda, his mother, as such because of her frequent amatory encounters with their men. However, I wouldn’t go about calling women this because it’s rather hurtful, and to refer to her son as a white hair though was worse. In the show, John is told to stay away from Madison, and the guy says, in no uncertain terms, that he’d kill John if he got close to Madison. Linda, of course, objects. We meet John in the book during a drumming festival, and Lenina constantly babbles on about the drums, and she compares them to everything possible, including “a lower caste community sing.” We. haven’t gotten to the community sings, but I’ll suggest we talk about that soon.
  5. The actual festival in the show was a movie theater, and in that theater, there was a circus of course. This did not include drums, and there weren’t a bad smelling dude who guided Lenina and her compadre around. This seemed odd.
  6. The rest home. Like, am I going to tell you how deviant that whole thing in the show was? Lenina and Bernard go on a rocket to the “Savage Lands” which as I stated before is a theme park for primitive life. Now, let’s talk about the hotel. Bernard, as in the book, is an alpha plus. Taht’s the highest caste in the caste system in New London. Lenina is a beta plus, one step lower but that is to be expected if you want to stay true to the source material. They receive badges, something not mentioned in the book, but in the book they got keys. The rest house was a private thing, sort of. Now the hotel did have a balcony, and it was much more luxurious in the show. Weirder still, the bureaucrats Lenina and Bernard are treated to a bus tour of the Savage Lands. Now, let’s talk further about the meeting between Bernard and John.
  7. Bernard is unconscious when meeting John for the first time, but John meets Lenina after they’re hiding in the apartment in the Savage Lands. Let me tell you, the Savage Lands are about five centuries behind the 26th century, but this theme park is no playground. There’s a lot of violence and jealousy and a lot of what you might call the same behavior you’d see in Straight Out of Compton. It’s not the same as in the book, where there’s a highly charged electric fence, and all the Natives are fenced in and not allowed to leave. Lenina is sleeping when John meets her. But in the show, we have Bernard lying wounded, but unconscious, I’m sure he has to make it, and Lenina has her face cupped in John’s hand in the final scene of episode 2. One more detail.
  8. The Soma rations. Where to begin. The book has lots of instances of the drug known as “soma.” In the show, just about everybody has a soma dispenser, like where to we get creative with this? Soma is amazing, for the most part, in the book. It numbs your mind and it gives you that eternal “soma holiday” as is referenced many times over in Huxley’s source material. However, the dispensers are a show creation. When the people get their soma rations each day, the soma is dispensed to the lower classes in boxes, little boxes, and the boxes hold the little yellow pill in each compartment. Soma rations are given to everybody in the show, but in the show, everybody uses the trains. Where’s the flying? In the book, Henry and Bernard are flying in futuristic helicopters, aircrafts that go from settings like wasp to bumblebee and so on. However, only the lower castes, gamma on down, use the trains and the monorails are packed with them. Every day after the main day shifts are over, you see lines upon lines of these “twins” and so on, and they populate the trains thus far. There’s no helicopters mentioned throughout the show, but you do see futuristic aircrafts flying about New London. I”m impressed with the descriptions of such.

That’s about all the things I can think of for now. For more on Brave New World, watch for the next blog entry. I will also talk a little bit about it on this week’s forthcoming podcast episodes. I’ll do a couple episodes a week of a review, and moreover, this will be incomplete without it.

To find the show, you need either Peacock in the US or Netflix in the UK, but if you’re blind in the US, download from http://www.audiovault.net, and you will need to erase a desktop file in their folder because it messes up the zip archive. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the show if you can.

Beth

Freedom for Britney: First Steps and Major Changes in the California and American Guardianship and Conservatorship System

Dear readers,

The following is a very important bio that I want Britney to read, and Britney, if you’re reading this, this is my message to you. You will be all right, and I hope you will take the time to love yourself and get up on your two feet and walk away from your father’s control.

Britney, if you didn’t know me before, you will know me now. I saw you in concert in Orlando, so many damn years ago, I was in middle school, you were a cultural icon then, and the milk mustachios were a big damn thing. It was a cute sticker that perched on my upper lip, as though I drank the Got Milk thingy. I didn’t, of course, but I love the songs you sang, and you even had a Britney wash. Herbal essence was amazing with you, and you had a great time performing I could tell. Britney, if there’s anything i want to tell you, it’s that my life was almost like yours is now. I had a guardianship at age seventeen, and I lost all or some or most of my rights, and my dad told me not to be with so many people. Like your dad, my dad was a total dickhead. My dad wouldn’t even let me marry Trenton, my partner, should he see that Trenton was darker than all the boys at Titusville High school. I hate that school because the professionals there would not leave me alone, and I was denied my chance to go to prom, have a magical experience, all that. My life was thoroughly ruined from birth, perhaps, and I should tell you I was emotionally abused for wanting to see the Backstreet Boys in concert, meet them, and be in the spotlight. Well, now I am going to write you a song. I want you to let me sing this because though you might be called a bad singer or actor, so what? You can still be an author, you can still be a thing to be reckoned with in the circles of corruption and those corrupt idiots in California and Florida have one thing coming. us. Britney, I’d suggest you get a book and read it, go to law school, or volunteer as a paralegal or something. Hey, you may not be blind, and you’re so damn beautiful, so you can get jobs easier than I will. But if we team up, well, I want to show you that it’s okay to be you and you need to fly. Spread your wings and fly, why don’t you. Just cut your dad and his pinions off, and go for a flight. You’re an eagle, fly as high as you need to, and let your voice be your guide. Just be yourself, and I’ll be there watching you spread your wings, flying like the bird on the wing you are. Britney, it’s high time you knew you’re a grown woman, and your daddy doesn’t deserve one iota of your wealth, so let’s get ‘em, okay?

With love,

Beth Taurasi

The NFB and HBO

Dear readers,

Do you wonder what is going on in an episode of Game of Thrones? Well, the National Federation of the Blind has a good set of resolutions here, including one commending Netflix, and another deploring HBO. HBO is seriously in big trouble with the NFB for not providing audio description. This I have to agree with. While the NFB is right on with about 90% of its total resolutions, this year’s resolutions are about 99.9% on point. We do need audio description so we can enjoy equal access to everything, and I keep telling my partner and other blind young ones that I can’t stand cartoons, can’t stand fast motion animation without description because hell, I can’t see. HBO should discount all the membership fees for blind people not getting audio described content. They also need to have AD for everything … absolutely everything, because a sighted person doesn’t need that. Netflix has done a hell of a lot more for us than HBO, so let’s keep that straight.

What does the NFB need to do more of in terms of resolutions? Perhaps the code of conduct on sexual harassment needs to be addressed. Perhaps we need to also address the objectification of blind women in convention and training center settings. Perhaps more can be done to prevent the 95% rape of women with comorbid disabling conditions. This I know. So how do we go about it without farming off the resolutions committee to study it? Or without farming off the orgs for this purpose? Think about it, and get back to me later.

Beth

The Fantasy Drama You Want to Check Out

Dear readers,

First of all, thanks immensely for the likes and follows on this blog. I’ve had to disable comments, and I think that was the best thing ever, I mean the best ever decision I made so far. However, I do want to be able to engage with you all, so please feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook if you want comments, but you have to promise me you will not troll, use hate speech, or comment in a way that suggests anything lewd and lascidious or such conduct. Thank you for your consideration.

Now, I’d like to turn your attention to a very common set of fantasy dramas based on either books, comics, or Medieval fantasy. Either of these will do, but I want to warn you, some of the actors and actresses are English or British or similarly accented, so the words might not always find you in a heartbeat. Listen closely to what the people are saying.

As a matter of fact, I like the new Netflix show Cursed. It’s about a girl who becomes a priestess, that kind of thing. Then you have the King, so this sounds a lot like an Arthurian legend, big time. My impression so far is that this is grander than most Medieval fantasy comics, but this is an amazing show so far. Nimway, a young priestess’s daughter ends up becoming summoner of the gods and spirits and such, and her adventures are many. I’m going to delve into this particular show.

Let’s get to the old guard with medieval and magical fantasies. Carnival Row, an Amazon Prime show, is amazingly well described just as Cursed is, but this other show is about Fairies, humans, and others in a modern world. It is about Celtic legends, similar in scope to the Arthurian kinds, but best of all, it has a mix of old and new in it, so check it out if you dare.

There are other kinds of shows, including a Letter For the King on Netflix, but Hulu has not gotten into the habit of doing medieval fantasies, but still I think the Arthurian and Celtic fantasy stories are amazing. The bad thing about these shows is that they are not for kids, so keep the small children in bed while you watch this set of shows. I will not be doing a full length review of Carnival Row unless I can get my butt to watch the show more often, but I do want to binge watch Cursed, and eventually review it. It’ll be quite interesting what happens in the show, but if you want spoilers, I will not provide them here. Thank you for reading.

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.