Still

As written by Simi Linton:

Definitions of the word “blind” found in my computer’s Thesaurus
support the idea that blindness limits . The terms ignorant,
imperceptive, insensitive, irrational, oblivious, obtuse, random, rash,
stagger, unaware, unconscious, uncontrolled, unknowing, unplanned and
violent came up on my screen. My Roget’s Thesaurus also provided
inattentive and purposeless. These meanings lurk under the surface when
the word “blind” is used whether on its own, or in pairings, in such
phrases as “blind passion”, “blind rage”, “blind justice”, “blind
drunk” and “blind faith”.

How can the culture get away with attaching such an absurd
proliferations of meanings to a condition that affects, simply, visual
acuity? Of all the impairments, blindness seems to call up the most
fantastical of responses. These are used, uncritically and without
apparent irony by many and often.

Read Simi’s post in its entirety:  Blind Blind People and Other Spurious Tales

0 thoughts on “Still

  1. I’m not sure it’s so outrageous. Most people are not blind; most people rely heavily on sight for not only navigation but metaphor and the ability to read and understand others. Metaphors of night, darkness, etc. reflect this reliance on sight. To most people, physical blindness constitutes a tremendous and frightening impairment. Stephen, you’re a writer; I’ve known many writers who fear the loss of vision more than anything else. I imagine it’s worse for the painters.
    That’s how the culture “gets away” with it. None of it, I think, is a slur against physically blind people. Nor is it simple thoughtlessness. It’s an accurate reflection of a vivid reality for the dominant culture, which is sighted.
    I understand Sami’s point and the offense taken. However, I think it misses the mark. What it does point up is the gulf between sighted and blind. We fear something you live with; we rely every minute on something you haven’t got. The fact that you live with it and appear whole says that it’s possible to do without sight, but the realities of how that works are not part of the culture. Even if they were, though — even if those realities were everyday public stories — I still don’t think it would be reasonable to expect people with vision to shrug at the costs of blindness, and say, well, you know, one can live with it just fine. The loss would still be real and profound, and the uses of “blind” in the language would, I think, remain both useful and apt.

    Like

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