November 13, 2011
New federal regulations make it mandatory for religious broadcasters to put captions for the deaf under their TV programming unless they can prove that paying for running text would bring them economic hardship.
This is very good. All those Sunday TV preachers need captions, because their messages are vital to the nation.
But what about the blind? I believe they should be supplied with an alternative audio track: “Preacher is sweating profusely….Preacher touched woman, she fell over backwards, and her bald head immediately sprouted new hair….Preacher leered at good-looking blonde in first row.”
Federal law mandates that video made for TV must display captions for the deaf. What about pay-TV porn in hotel rooms? Borderline. An interesting court case.
“Well, Your Honor, as you can plainly see, when the protagonist and the heroine are on the bed in the motel room, their exclamations (‘Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby!’) are NOT showing up as captions. Clearly, this is a case of discrimination against the hearing-impaired. If you and I can, uh, pleasure ourselves while we’re watching Route 66 Plus 3, deaf hotel patrons should be able to enjoy the same fundamental right.”
And what about deaf people working as late-shift security guards in corporate buildings? You know, the people sitting at the front desk who watch video screens covering offices, staircases, and elevators? Yes, they can see two thieves walking down a hallway on the 12th floor, but they can’t hear what they’re saying. Therefore, we must have on-site stenographers producing captions in real time on all those screens, too. (“Hey, man, I told you this the was wrong fucking floor!”)
By extension, some blogger who puts up a YouTube video of a woman urging her cat to eat a plastic fish should immortalize her words with captions.