Cutting through the bullshit.

Wednesday 20 December 2006

The blind leading the blind

Ever since I left the states and encountered the sensible practice of using different size banknotes (‘bills’) for different denominations, I’ve thought, you wouldn’t want to be blind in America. Well it seems Judge James Robertson of Federal District Court has finally come to the party, ruling in a case brought by the American Council of the Blind that ‘United States currency discriminates against blind people because bills are all the same size and cannot be distinguished by touch.’ So, what’s so strange about that is that Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, has written an op-ed in the NY Times arguing that it doesn’t discriminate at all. It is just an inconvenience and the blind are responsible for sorting out their difficulties if someone shortchanges them!

It reminds me of that line in Love and death on Long Island, where the main character expresses his bewilderment at the strange US dialect to Irv, the proprietor of Chez d’Irv’s diner, ‘Here in America, you ask for the check and pay with a bill, while we English ask for the bill and pay with a cheque!’

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