can you read my lips? Deaf but neither dumb nor blind – Let’s Carpe thehell out of Diem

This morning I sent all my facebook friends a private request. Something I never did before and usually do not like myself to receive, worse, sometimes not even bother to read. For a cause or campaign or however you want to call it.

This is what I wrote [copy+pasted] 301times:

On behalf of my Turkish/ Scottish God-daughter Dilara Earle who is deaf and a film maker herself, with CI, but that is not enough, I would love you to sign this petition

As a Dutchy I grew up with subtitles on both TV and movie screen, the most normal thing in the world for me, but not so in English speaking countries. Lots of hearing people find subtitles annoying hence the missing link for the audio impaired.

Thank you,
Carolien Geurtsen

Yesterday that same god-daughter of mine posted her own strong [and for me heart breaking] message on Facebook into the digi-verse, in order to get people involved:

“All I want for Christmas is Subtitles!”
Please sign this! It won’t happen for this Christmas but it would make the rest of my Christmas’s!

All we want for Christmas is subtitles


There have been so many times I have had to:

Leave the cinema because the projector has broken and they can no longer screen the subtitles.
Return the DVD I just rented and that still uses up my Lovefilm quota, even though it wasn’t my fault.
Wasted money on a DVD that I can’t return because it doesn’t have subtitles.
Can’t watch the extras on the DVD because they only put subs on the main show. I mean, why?

I studied film as a degree and because I need subtitles, suddenly I can’t access what I want to learn from the commentaries and behind the scenes shows. ARGHH.

I still remember going to the video store down the street on a Friday night. I’d look for the square speech bubble before genre, actors, pretty covers, titles, or interesting blurbs on the back. That small square determined everything.

There are exciting new advances with glasses (like 3D) that allow you to watch subtitles alongside a hearing person who won’t get annoyed by them. Captiview is also a gadget that let’s you take in an adjustable screen that pops into your cup holder and although it had flaws it did an okay job. I’m used to watching lips, the screen and action and sentences all at once. But it’s still not up to scratch!

I want to finally go to the cinema on the same day as my friends to see the exciting new release and talk about it after.
Not 3 weeks later, after which the entire thing has been talked about on my Facebook news feed….!

I want to rent DVDs without being frustrated, embarrassed and guilty that I can’t watch it with someone and that they feel like they can’t watch it now. Which is a bit rubbish all round!

I’ve cried over this. My deafness is just something I have. But the fact subtitles aren’t on every DVD by now and the cinema isn’t 100% accessible just isn’t fair!

Cringe? Whatever. I don’t give a pig’s shit anymore. Just sign it, for me. I’ll give each and every one of you a big massive sloppy kiss and be eternally grateful for when the day finally comes round!


And there she got me going, remembering when she was a baby and how her mother found out that she was deaf, and all the difficult years, with there own challenges, to follow. And I do not care shit to become even more dramatical: As I have witnessed from so close how dramatical it has been for all involved and therefore for so many more on our ‘civilised’ planet.
I imagined my BF and her mother reading this post sitting at the kitchen table where her laptop is (so I happen to know from our recent Skype sessions), looking at the gorgious picture from her smiling daughter, who is terribly far away right now, somewhere Down Under, so you might magine with me as well:

This mother is weeping. A million likes.
One of the few things we can be grateful for is that this has given you a taste for world movies and taught you more tolerance than the insensitive people who say they can’t concentrate on a film with subtitles. Pah!
The technology’s there – it just needs folk to put it in place and others to be grateful they have all their senses, if not their common sense.

Cringe cringe. As I am reading that one, not that far, but away…
For me as a Dutchy who knew subtitles (from the cinema) before they had TV at home, this really was a revelation yesterday.
That people can be disturbed by subtitles bacause they are not used to, I can vaguely relate to. That’s how it was for me watching English movies with Turkish subtitles in the Open Air Cinema in Kusadasi when we lived there. But that people actualy can oppose it because of this ‘disturbing factor’, beats the H out of me.

To give some more idea, if this is A Far-From-Your-Bed-Time Story, another sensory impaired friend of my D:

Don’t get me started on airlines, I flew all the way back from Mauritius and there was not one single subtitled English speaking film.
Also Sara Cox angered me several years ago when she complained about going to the cinema to watch a film because it was subtitled! RANT!

And than over to my tube You Tube via mum:

Absolutely, Disgraceful.
Also youtube, particularly when the subject is relevant to sensory impairment and it’s not subtitled.
Anyhow, I put a lot of Dilara’s (and possibly your) good grammar and passion for books down to reading subtitles from an early age (let’s excuse the odd slip whilst ranting).

So, H.I. folks:

1 – Hearing folks who can’t cope with subs: 0 on that score.
Dilara Bien-aimée will enjoy waking up in Oz to our rants!

To sum it up a little more with the last titbit of the personal life of being a BF to a sensory impaired:

I would just like subtitles because after watching so much TV with Dilara, my brain can no longer muster the extra concentration to actually listen to what they are saying in addition to watching the film.

So, I guess we could make this work for the sooo many audio impaired people living on our Planet Earth.  So, yes, as one of my favorite quotes from another dear friend:

Let’ s Carp theHell out of Diem

[and yes I put it on purpose like that, otherwise our Digital Bros will expell my blog from the digi firmament

due use of #swaerwords++

 All I want for Christmas is subtitles

P.E.T.I.T.I.O.N – Love Film