Blind or Deaf?

You First.

Yesterday I bumped into Dennis Prager’s talk show ( and listened for about 5 minutes. He offered the hypothetical choice of being either blind or being deaf for the remainder of one’s life. Without pause he then promptly answered (paraphrased), “Of course I’d have to take ‘blind’…otherwise I couldn’t listen to music anymore.”

Of course I immediately shouted at the man, “What about all the Art you’d never get to see again, not to mention all the birds, bees, butterflies…” He didn’t pay me any mind, didn’t miss a beat (pun intended) waxing poetic about the joy of music in his life so I had to take my frustration out somehow. I promptly punched the “off” button for all it was worth.

Even though DP was someone I used to keep up with I couldn’t bear anymore of the chatter. Why? Because the “ deeper concept” apparently escaped him and he’s usually one of those rare “deeper” kind of thinkers. How had he missed the fact that his choice (as opposed to mine: “choosing” deafness) means his very own longterm survival is unlikely? When the blind survive it’s only because they are born into: 1) a “civilized” society; and 2) a polite society.

In case you really can’t imagine why The Blind need such a place to live here it is in a nutshell: 1) they need marketplaces/stores (which are built and run and maintained by the sighted); 2) the markets need the goods – foods and drygoods – to offer (which are manufactured and delivered by the sighted); 3) they need transportation – or well-maintained “paths” – to and back from those markets (which are built and run and/or maintained by the sighted); 4) at the same time they need a dwelling place in which to make use of their market purchases (built and now is maintained by the sighted); and lastly, 5) they need a source of revenue to trade for all of it [even a blind pencil salesman on a corner needs pencils…(and customers he trusts won’t pawn off worthless tokens for those pencils instead of real coins!)].

The deaf-me on the other hand still wants a Polite Civilized Society, but even in the places it is less than ideal in either of those qualities my lack of hearing will be of minor concern – if I’m prepared to defend myself and thereby keep shifting my field of vision (and set a good alarm system when I go to sleep!).

Sorry Dennis, for the world-traveler that I know you are I respectfully submit you’ve missed the big picture and have become way too used to living in (the final vestiges of) the First World.

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