[nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?

Dewey Bradley dewey.bradley at att.net
Sat Jul 17 13:38:02 CDT 2010


When I bump into someone, I say stuff like"sorry about that, you were in my 
blind spot"
Most of the time they don't get it, but sometimes they do.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Bullis" <mabullis at hotmail.com>
To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2010 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?


> Not knowing what it was, I hit a bush with my cane the other day as I was
> walking quickly by and said excuse me.  I thought it was funny.  Although 
> I
> know that many disagree with me about this, I simply find lots of things
> funny that are politically incorrect or self deprecating.  Humor, perhaps
> sadly, but truly, is very much about the put down.
> Mike
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Mike Freeman
> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:44 PM
> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>
> Ray:
>
> In any discussion such as this, it's damnably dangerous to generalize
> because almost universally, there are exceptions to any rule. But with
> respect to humor regarding aspects of blindness, I think we must ask
> ourselves *why* we (or our sighted coleagues) find any particular
> blindness-related incident funny. Let me give you an example.
>
> Many years ago, I remember a commercial for a particular optical company
> touting the need to wear good glasses (this was before lasic) by using a
> skit whereby a mom's kids on a camping trip with her stole her glasses and
> laughed themselves silly when she got up in the morning over how 
> ridiculous
> she looked stumbling about and doing awkward things because she couldn't
> see.
>
> That commercial burned my posterior because it was pure cruelty for the 
> kids
>
> to laugh about something the mom couldn't help because she wasn't trained 
> as
>
> a blind person and had I been her, I'd have tanned their hides. This sort 
> of
>
> thing is the reason I find almost all slapstick comedy unappealing. It's
> basically cruelty in another guise. And if (as in Mr. Magoo) it gives the
> impression that all vision-impaired persons are like that, it sets us back
> immeasurably.
>
> But something like forgetting to turn a coffee cup over when getting it 
> out
> of the cupboard and absent-mindedly pouring coffee all over the counter as 
> a
>
> result -- that's just plain funny because I knew better and had my head in
> the clouds rather than paying attention to what I was doing as I should
> have.
>
> You see what I'm driving at? Do we laugh over our blindness because it's
> funny or because we are laughing at what we take to be our misfortune.
>
> What we in NFB bridle at our two assumptions: (a) that others (including
> ourselves) assume that we need help when we may not and (b) that we may
> falsely assume that we can't do something so elect not to try. Every one 
> of
> us (including those of us who are sighted) use help when we need it and/or
> when it's convenient for us and others. Where this gets us into trouble is
> when we ask for help so often that people don't think we can do without 
> it.
>
> But basically, it all comes down to how we view ourselves mediated by our
> view of blindness.
>
> Mike
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Ray Foret Jr" <rforetjr at comcast.net>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 9:33 AM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>
>
>> Ah, well, you see John, here's the thing.  As I see it, I don't think 
>> that
>
>> the NFB philosophy is looking to diminish blindness itself; rather, as I
>> understand it, the NFB is trying to make blindness itself a mere nucence
>> according to the perceptions of both the sighted and blind alike.  We 
>> tend
>
>> to see ourselves as others see us.  That includes the blind as well. 
>> It's
>
>> a fact of human nature that when you've got a cause to fight, and the 
>> need
>
>> for help from others seems to fly in the face of any forward movement in
>> that cause, there tends to be at least a little personal or professional
>> embarrassment at the idea of needing help; especially when that need for
>> help and the taking of it, (how ever badly needed) would even appear to
>> set back the cause for which one is fighting.  I note the most recent
>> issue of "The Braille Monitor" for July 2010.  The "Ask Mrs. Whsoit 
>> column
>
>> is particularly worth paying attention to.  Why?  Because in that column,
>> one of the letter writers indicate
>> d that they got the impression that the independent blind in the NFB
>> always would brag about how they could always find their way through
>> airports and never needed help; and therefore, that one was not a true
>> federationist if one either needed or accepted help regardless of how 
>> much
>
>> that help was actually needed.  Barbara Pierce, in her answer, indicated
>> that she wondered whether she and the letter writer were reading the same
>> issues of "The Braille Monitor".  Here, I think the letter writer could
>> have made a stronger case by actually sighting issue and articles.  If 
>> the
>
>> truth of the matter be known, I too was once under the same impression as
>> the letter writer.
>>
>> Now, I'll give you another.  The subject of laughter.  Once, on this 
>> list,
>
>> I made an attempt to explore this issue in depth but it didn't go very
>> far.  I sighted what I believed at the time to be inconsistencies in what
>> some leaders in the federation were saying and human reality.  It's human
>> to laugh at things which are truly funny; even things blindness related.
>> Some among the federation leadership, (barbara Pierce for example) said
>> things which I took to be the attitude that it was not acceptable for a
>> blind person to laugh at anything blindness related; even if it was
>> genuinely funny.  But this philosophy, if you live and breathe it
>> literally, tends to deny human reality.  What say y'all?
>>
>> I'm just trying to poke at a few points here to see what we can go with.
>>
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>
>> E-Mail:
>> rforetjr at comcast dot net
>> Skype Name:
>> barefootedray
>>
>> On Jul 16, 2010, at 10:51 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>
>>> Ah! Actually, you bring up an exciting possibility that never occured to
>>> me.
>>>
>>> No, I can't honestly say that I've been arguing that the NFB philosophy
>>> should be modified. The trouble is that I've always believed that an
>>> advocacy group cannot be effective when its own philosophy is that the
>>> problem it is organized around is fairly minor. Why bother working for
>>> change when blindness is a mere nuiscance anyway?
>>>
>>> You're probably saying, "That's not waht the NFB philosophy means." And 
>>> I
>
>>> think it should be clear that I know that especially after my
>>> dissertation about how similar  the NFB philosophy is to Lombardi's. The
>>> problem, as I see it, is that it is impossible to avoid having the
>>> philosophy to morph into something that blames the victim.  It 
>>> inevitably
>
>>> will lead to a situation where its a sin to ask for an accomodation, any
>>> accomodation.  The only solution I see is to get rid of the philosophy
>>> all together.
>>>
>>> Well, that's the only solution I saw until now. Actually, I'm really
>>> excited about the idea you bring up. Can the philosophy be tweaked to
>>> address the problems I have seen? I'll admit I'm very skeptical. But it
>>> sure is worth some thought and/or discussion.
>>>
>>> Actually, I'd consider it a major victory if someone, anyone, would
>>> acknowledge the problem itself. How can the NFB be effective as an
>>> advocacy group when its own philosophy is that with proper training,
>>> blindness can be reduced to a mere nuiscance? If I were President of the
>>> NFB (scary thought, I know), I could go on for days about how those 2
>>> ideas are not really contradictory. But as a practical matter, I just do
>>> not think they can work together. And you've got to admit that on the
>>> surface, they seem quite at odds.
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray Foret Jr" <rforetjr at comcast.net>
>>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 9:34 AM
>>> Subject: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>>>
>>>
>>>> Okay John,  So, let me see if I understand you correctly.  What some of
>>>> us have viewed as your attacks on the NFB philosophy are actually not
>>>> attacks at all; rather, they are attempts on your part to help the NFB
>>>> fulfill and perhaps even improve on its  philosophy?  I want you to
>>>> understand that I do not intend my question as an attack upon you; but,
>>>> instead, I truly want to see if this is where you are going.  Because,
>>>> if so, I think we may have the beginnings of a rather forward thinking
>>>> discussion about a substantive way of moving forward that if we advance
>>>> it to the leadership of the NFB in exactly the right way, we might
>>>> perhaps gain ground not otherwise obtainable.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Sincerely,
>>>> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>>>
>>>> E-Mail:
>>>> rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>>> Skype Name:
>>>> barefootedray
>>>>
>>>> On Jul 16, 2010, at 9:02 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I'm impressed with the number of swimmers on this list. Its a good
>>>>> sign, IMO. It says something about the NFB philosophy.
>>>>>
>>>>> I may have given the impression that I disapprove of the NFB 
>>>>> philosophy
>
>>>>> but nothing could be further from the truth. Its very close to my
>>>>> personal philosophy of life which is borrowed from Vince Lombardi.
>>>>>
>>>>> A lot of people think Vince Lombardi was the mean old coach who would
>>>>> do anything to win. No, that was not what he was like at all. His
>>>>> players loved him and still gather to meet each year to honor him. 
>>>>> What
>
>>>>> he believed was that life's greatest moments come when you meet a
>>>>> challenge and over come it. That's what life is about. That is what it
>>>>> is to be human.  You've got to have the will to win, to be the best 
>>>>> you
>
>>>>> can be. Strive for perfection, knowing you'll never obtain it but on
>>>>> the way there, you'll find three things. First, you'll do more than 
>>>>> you
>
>>>>> ever thought you could. Second, you'll find the struggle itself can be
>>>>> fun. And third, , when you do succeed, it will be the greatest feeling
>>>>> you've ever had. So when I went blind, I decided I was going to be the
>>>>> best damn blind guy I could be. I learned braille, tried to learn to
>>>>> play the violin, got a guide dog, and got back into running and
>>>>> swimming.
>>>>>
>>>>> The beauty of Lombardi's philosophy is that whenever you run into
>>>>> adversity, you don't say, "Oh, woe is me. Life is so hard."  Instead
>>>>> the response is , "Well, what are you going to do about it?" You don't
>>>>> seek out adversity but when it comes, embrace it. Take it on.
>>>>>
>>>>> Not to create controversy again but like the NFB philosophy, the
>>>>> problem with Vince Lombardi's philosophy is that it is easily morphed
>>>>> into a mentality of showing contempt for losers. You can't live
>>>>> Lombardi's philosophy and be satisfied -- well ever really since
>>>>> perfection is impossible to obtain. You can always get better. But not
>>>>> everybody has the same strengths and not everyone can win.  And no one
>>>>> has any right to tell anyone else how to live their lives.
>>>>>
>>>>> anyway, I think you can see the simularity between Lombardi's
>>>>> philosophy of life and the NFB philosophy. I would say, though, that
>>>>> Lombardi's philosophy is a step beyond that of the NFB in that it 
>>>>> gives
>
>>>>> you a sort of method for carrying it out. The idea of never settling
>>>>> for anything short of success is implied in the NFB philosophy but not
>>>>> spelled out. I think Lombardi's take on the NFB philosophy would have
>>>>> been that the most important thing in life for a blind person is
>>>>> striving to reduce blindness to a mere nuisance.  You may never get
>>>>> there but the most important thing is to never be satisfied until it
>>>>> is.
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Johnson"
>>>>> <stevencjohnson at centurytel.net>
>>>>> To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:10 PM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi John,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I think it is just cool that you are swimming.  I think the best I
>>>>>> would at
>>>>>> my skill level is circles!  Good for you in wanting to be a
>>>>>> tri-athelete!
>>>>>> Steve
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>
>>>>>> On
>>>>>> Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:25 AM
>>>>>> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If you swim laps and if you have a way to stay on your side of the
>>>>>> lane, I'd
>>>>>> like to hear about it.  I believe most lap pools have the swimmers
>>>>>> keep
>>>>>> right like on a road. You swim up the right side of the lane and on
>>>>>> the way
>>>>>> back you come down the other side. The best I've been able to do is 
>>>>>> to
>
>>>>>> swim
>>>>>> with my right arm flailing out so that i can touch the lane divider 
>>>>>> on
>
>>>>>> every
>>>>>> stroke.  That doesn't really work very well.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It isn't really very helpful to tell me my skills need to improve.
>>>>>> After
>>>>>> all, I already asked for tips on how to improve.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:14 AM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> A lane for yourself alone?  Why?  Is it your swimming skills that
>>>>>>> vastly need improvement; or, perhaps your blindness skills?
>>>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>>>> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> E-Mail:
>>>>>>> rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>>>>>> Skype Name:
>>>>>>> barefootedray
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Jul 15, 2010, at 9:04 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> So you're a swimmer, huh?  Do you ever have to share a lane? If so,
>>>>>>>> how do you do it? I have never managed to do that successfully. 
>>>>>>>> Here
>>>>>>>> at the pool at the University of Wisconsin, I call ahead and they
>>>>>>>> set
>>>>>>>> a lane aside for me so I can have it to myself. Its only a minor
>>>>>>>> sacrifice because there are usually several lanes with only one
>>>>>>>> person in them. So when they reserve a lane for me, it only means
>>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>> other person has to share a lane.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Have you ever done any open water swimming? I would like to enter a
>>>>>>>> triathlon but I don't like swimming tethered to someone else. I 
>>>>>>>> just
>>>>>>>> can't get comfortable doing that. It effects my breathing and I 
>>>>>>>> just
>>>>>>>> can't swim normally.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Wm. Ritchhart"
>>>>>>>> <william.ritchhart at sbcglobal.net>
>>>>>>>> To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:04 PM
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I really like the new digital talking book player.  I do wish it
>>>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>>> still smaller and lighter.  With all my swimming gear, lunch,
>>>>>>>>> back-up cane and everything else I have in my gym bag; it is still
>>>>>>>>> too heavy.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>>> Behalf Of Steve Johnson
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 8:22 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: 'NFB Talk Mailing List'
>>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> John, I have not tried one myself yet, so this is good to know.
>>>>>>>>> Thanks, Steve
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>>> Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 3:26 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>>>>>> Subject: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Man, I just got one of those new digital book players from the
>>>>>>>>> National Library Service.  You might wonder why a computer nerd
>>>>>>>>> like
>>>>>>>>> myself took so long to ask for one of those things. Well, I guess
>>>>>>>>> mostly the reason is that I have 2 tape players that I bought
>>>>>>>>> myself
>>>>>>>>> plus the one from NLS. So now I have to use the player from the 
>>>>>>>>> NLS
>>>>>>>>> all of the time.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> But holy cow, is this thing nice. I downloaded a book and put it 
>>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>>> a USB thumb drive and was listening to a book amybe 3 minutes 
>>>>>>>>> after
>>>>>>>>> getting started. And navigation within the book is very nice.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Your tax dollars at work.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
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>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
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>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
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>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
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