[Greater-baltimore] Food for Thought

Chris Paulus chrispaulus at gmail.com
Sat Oct 29 02:18:14 UTC 2011


In comedy, someone is singled out for something. Sure, you wonder what the
intent may be when a random person picks on you/singles you out  when it
isn't expected, especially if it is outside of a comedy venue. Moreover, you
wonder this when it is a total stranger. In this case, anyone in that
audience knew what was coming, since they most likely watch her show. Why
would they be in her audience otherwise? I'm sure most members in studio
were thinking, "I wonder if she's gonna pick on me today?" It is routine,
and it is expected of Ellen.

There is a huge difference between "laughing with" and "laughing at." There
is plenty of room and always a place and time for "laughing with." Laughter
goes a long way toward healing, being happier and taking a bad day and
turning it around. Whenever you laugh, someone is the target.

As a group (I have always been totally blind), we need to be very careful
how far we take things and how sensitive we become regarding issues like
these. If everyone's skin became thin, we'd have to get rid of sitcoms,
comedy tours, satire, and anything funny. Someone would be offended
somewhere, and everyone would be afraid to say anything light-hearted about
anyone. To what end? Is this where it needs to conclude?

I attended a comedy show this year; I will not give the name incase someone
wishes to send an email to this person in disgust, as I had no problem with
what occurred. As you may know, a comedian will pick on/single out anyone
(no matter who they are) if they are doing something during the show. I
happened to be ten minutes late. As I sat down, he said, "Why are you late
sir? Did you try to drive here? What did you do when you realized 'Ah f**k
it; I can't get out of this driveway'? Be ware of this guy. He's got that
folding thing that looks like an over-sized pair of nunchucks. It may be a
weapon. Security, confiscate!" He then went on to discuss how my eyes dart
back and forth, and swiveled his head as if he were panning the room as he
spoke, but very rapidly (as an exaggeration of what my eyes do). He then
wondered if my favorite color was corduroy. He finished by telling me that I
was in Nebraska, and that people are only telling me that I'm in Maryland to
screw with me.

Should I have been offended because he mocked the use of my folding cane?
Should I have walked out because he made light of my eye activity? Should I
have been disgusted because I know what state I'm in, and he should know
that blind people aren't that clueless and unaware just because they can't
see? Absolutely not.

If people don't have enough common sense to figure out that what may
sometimes be portrayed really isn't the truth, then all the educating in the
world will never work on that group of people. Some of the assumptions made
about us are so asinine that anyone with half a brain would know that those
things can't possibly be accurate.

I met this comedian on the way out. He shook my hand and was glad that I was
a good sport. I called him by a different and more-famous comedian's name,
and said that I was sorry I did that, as I couldn't see who he was and
thought he was the other guy. He laughed, shook hands again and we parted

Let us not judge the action, but rather the intent of that action.

 -----Original Message-----
From: greater-baltimore-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:greater-baltimore-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of spclarke
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 7:59 PM
To: greater-baltimore at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Greater-baltimore] Food for Thought

I wish people in general could be more open minded.  It should not matter
whether the woman with binoculars was visually impaired or not.  She had an
absolute right to use the binoculars for whatever purpose she was using them
for.  The point is that no one should be singling anyone out for any reason.
My Multicultural Counseling professor said a few years ago that if you laugh
at a racially charged joke, you are just as bad as the person telling the
joke.  The person telling the joke would say they mean no harm by the joke,
they just think that it is funny.  If a person tells a joke about a certain
religion, they are not thinking about that they may be offending someone
nearby who is a member of that religion.  They are just thinking that they
are being funny.  There isn't a person on this planet who should use another
person for the purpose of laughs.  I think there is a reason why Jay Leno
only pokes fun at celebrities, politicians, and anonymous people in videos.
It's not personal.  When you single one person out and make fun of something
they are doing or something about them personally, that is personal.  It
doesn't matter if the purpose is for comedy.  The potential is there to hurt
the person.  I probably have alot more experience with students at school
being singled out at school for the smallest things...how they wear their
hair, how they wear their clothes, how they talk, how they laugh, how they
eat their food, how they open their locker, how they walk,...the list could
go on and on.  

What would it take for you to stand up against something that was wrong?  I
believe it is wrong to pick on someone for doing something they have a right
to do, sighted, visually impaired, or blind.

These will be my final words about this subject.  Take Care...Care About

Sue-Ellen Clarke
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