Why Does This Bother Me So Much? What's the Big Deal?

Anonymous wrote, in my previous blog entry:

I don't get it... why does this bother you so much. There are so much more things to worry about than trying to get swear words to show up on the screen. The world is bad enough already as it is... focus your time, energy and efforts on something that would change the world for the better rather than some crude measely words that aren't showing up on the screen.

Good question. Why does this bother me so much? Yes, there are millions of other things I could be focusing my time and energy on that could possibly change the world for better. Yes. The world is bad enough as it is. True.

Let me explain.
  • It bothers me because it is personal. I enjoy watching the show Breaking Bad and I rely on closed captions to help me follow what it being said. I don't like looking at several words with dashes in them, like h---, b---, b------, G--, J-----, s---- when I am trying to follow what is going on. But, that is not the point. What bothers me is that they are only censoring the captions, not when it is spoken. I would not care if the spoken version was censored too. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is to me.
  • It should not matter what I complain about or choose to spend my time making a big fuss about. If there are things you are worried about and would like to see change, then by all means do something about it! That's what I am doing. I see something that upsets me and I want to see something done about it.
  • Obviously you do not follow my blog if you think I don't spend my time, energy, and focus on other important things. I am an itinerant teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students mainstreamed in public schools. I spend five days a week, 9-10 hours a day, fighting for my students and educating teachers, administrators, and parents about the various problems and issues these students come across daily. I make sure they have their accommodations. I make sure that they are included and given the same opportunities as everyone else to fully participate in class and outside of class. I have to constantly remind teachers not to cover their mouths when speaking, not to seat the student in the noisiest part of the room, not to ignore the fact that the student's hearing aid stopped working or that their FM system stopped working, not to dismiss my students' feelings of frustrations because "It shouldn't be a big deal." and etc., etc. etc. I am constantly fighting for these students. I have dealt with teachers who did not think it was a big deal that they could not provide closed captions or subtitles for my severely deaf student when she showed movies in class because a) She was not going to grade or test the student on the material shown in the videos, because it was just for fun. And b) "It wasn't a big deal. The student seems fine with it." I provide the students and their families loads of information they can use and insight of what it is like to be hard of hearing. I help families find places where they can get hearing related services for free or at discounted prices. With my own money, I bought some students hearing aid batteries to last them for six months when their families were going through tough times financially. My shoulder gets cried on at least once a week. I sit and let people unload their frustrations on me just about everyday. I recycle. I take care of a cat that lives on the street. I spend time with my family and friends as much as I can. There are a number of other things I do to try to make this world a better place for someone, and one of them happens to be to make sure television shows and movies provide quality closed captions that caption everything that can be heard, even if they are swear words.
  • Some of the words they censor are not what I would consider to be swear words such as "balls" or "fiddlesticks", which I think is ridiculous and worth getting upset over.
  • I have a lot of energy and somehow I find the time to blog about things that I am passionate about, things I am concerned about, and things I wonder about.
  • If no one talks about things that upsets them, nothing will get changed. If we can somehow convince one network not to heavily censor only the words found in closed captions, it would make a difference. If anything, I am raising awareness about the importance of providing quality closed captions.
  • It is a great learning experience. I am learning about who to contact, how to do it, what to do to raise awareness about issues I care about. Maybe this will be great training for when I try to tackle even tougher issues like getting more movie theaters to provide open captions or subtitles for newly released movies.
  • If nothing comes of it, at least I can say I tried. I stood up for what I believed in, regardless of what others say, even if it seems meaningless to some.
Hope this explains it.

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