If you were raised by the rule that says respect is a key factor in any relationship, including those you may share for just a moment as you pass each other on the street, then chances are you expect a certain level of tact when discussing topics in professional forums. Emphasis on the word expect, of course.
After my blind husband, Joe, reached out via Kickstarter to help raise completion funds for his first feature film, we were faced with a number of negative comments. Earlier this month I talked about someone who said Joe needed to stop chasing the abilities he’s lost, and do something else. My post was written to hopefully bring awareness to the millions of blind people who are perfectly capable of carrying out unique and admirable tasks.
Naysayers aren’t anything new to Joe – he’s been busting through hurdles and proving doubters wrong ever since he began working on The Bunker nearly five years ago. On Friday, though,, things took an unexpected turn when I was accused of being Joe’s surrogate. You read that right – a question’s been raised over me having supposedly directed the film, passing credit off to my husband, ostensibly for the sake of him getting 15 minutes of fame.
Unlike other party poopers, who claim Joe’s simply not capable of carving out a career in filmmaking – this guy decided to instead accuse both Joe and I of outright fraud. His post is filled with utter ignorance and disdain, going so far as to say that even having Joe on set is a health and safety risk for the cast and crew, rendering any production uninsurable.
To guys like this, I can only offer proof via video. I wasn’t surprised to find out the so-called fellow filmmaker had not read one single interview or article, nor had he watched any of the clips from the Making of… documentary which show Joe at work, directing his cast and instructing his crew.
Can’t view? Watch the video directly at YouTube
While people like this spend their days labeling those with unique challenges as either unqualified or incapable, I choose to label them as simply uneducated. Such naysayers, who spew nothing but doubt and dismissive comments – in an arrogant, accusatory way – have clearly missed out on some key life lessons. Such as:
- Educating himself about the project being discussed. Had the poster spent a single minute going to any of the sites linked in the forum, he’d have found not only video evidence of what Joe’s done, but seen that Joe’s been sharing his filmmaking experience with the online world via his blog since day one. Seriously, why would he (or we, in this case) spend five years hyping up a hoax, to then hit Kickstarter with a goal of $5,000? I say if you’re trying to cash in, go big.
- Having some semblance of knowledge about the blind. This hits a nerve with me because there are so many stories about sports-playing amputees, deaf actors and paralyzed mothers, which are all easy to believe. Yet, similar stories concerning the achievements of the blind scream ‘impossible’.
- Professional tact. This accusation was posted in a group devoted to industry pros – not some Yahoo group riddled with trolls. The fact that he chose such a venue to, well, act like a buffoon? Shows him to be just that.
Adding insult to injury, he closes with a rather startling and abhorrent statement… That my argument that “anyone can do anything they put their mind to” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Perhaps he’s experienced many failures in life. Perhaps he’s concerned that a blind director might possibly steal some of his own thunder. Or, perhaps he’s just so arrogant that he thinks unless someone is born “perfect” they’ve no shot at attaining their goals. I couldn’t tell you which – heck, maybe it’s all three – but I will say this: It’s people like this guy that make society appear pathetic. It’s people like him that crush people’s spirits, making them believe they’ll never be recognized for what they strive to accomplish…
Save for the strong and determined – both of which describe my husband. While very below the belt and shocking, Friday’s rant didn’t make Joe hesitate for a moment. He rebutted the post with politeness and facts. After which, he did what he always does when confronted with an ignorant naysayer. He moved forward, because something much bigger is at stake, and within a hair’s breadth of being realized.