Monday, July 14, 2008

Would You Take A Pill To Become Hearing?

Ok. Josh Swiller is HOT. His writing style is a HUGE turn on. People on the beach where I go here in Grosseto know that I'm a lunatic, but now they think I should be committed. Between beach volleyball games, I can be seen randomly laughing aloud, weeping or gripping my beach-chaise at any given moment of the day as I devour Swiller's THE UNHEARD. Yes, I know I've been reading it for the past five months, but if you've read the blog, you know I've been rather busy...and actually, I'm not convinced I want to finish it, I'm enjoying reading it so much.

On page 160 (I'm making progress), Swiller writes:
"When I was at Gallaudet," I said, "living with other deaf and hearing impaired people, the school newspaper had a survey: if you could take a pill that would make you hearing, would you take it?"
"The vast majority of the students said no. They were happy with their lives."
"And you?"
It was a hard question to answer, now more than ever, which was why I brought it up. "I don't know. If I say, 'Yes, make me hearing,' isn't that some kind of failure of will? Does it mean I couldn't find happiness with all the gifts I've been given? I have money, family, education, hearing aids, and I didn't grow up in a shack in the bush. Shouldn't that be enough?"
"There's nothing wrong with wanting more," Maria said.
"Yeah, but here's the thing," I said. "I've already taken that pill. I'm no longer deaf."

Swiller writes how he "discovered a place past deafness and hearing in Mununga."

*Powerful shit*

This book is quite an experience for me- it provides me with profound insight as to my son's current journey and future journey...and it raises questions that I need to answer for myself...Is there really nothing wrong with wanting more?
Maybe it's just a deeper question of truly appreciating what we have.

Josh Swiller posted this exciting news on his June 17th blog:
In a little more than a month, I’ll be moving to Washington, DC. I will be a visiting professor at Gallaudet. It’s been a lot of work arranging this position and I’m excited about the opportunity. I’ll be teaching a class, mentoring aspiring writers, and bringing in interesting folk for guest lectures, but aside from all that, the main thrust of my work there will be first, to help bridge the gap between the signing and speaking deaf communities; and second, to help develop a program at Walter Reed for deafened veterans.


mishkazena said...

Wanting to hear again isn't a sign of weakness.

Some people who have lost hearing want to hear again so badly. Interesting.. most of them said what they miss the most is music. I would think spoken language, but nope, it's music.

I wouldn't want to take a hearing pill. I am comfortable where I am.

One thing ... if we take the hearing pill, it will not help us understand speech... unless we still have the neural plasticity to recognize and process speech. Otherwise, it will just help us recognize the environment sounds.

So I think a better question would be: If you have a hearing pill and new brain cells to help you process speech, will you take it? ;)

Dianrez said...

Well, Mishkazena, I'd consider it. If the pill came with everything that hearing people have at my age including speech comprehension, discernment of accents, age, gender and nuances, music appreciation, and recognition of environmental sounds...AND it has no side effects!

I'd still remain my Deaf self after taking it. That stuff is hard wired into one from years of living as a Deaf person and having earned one's place in the Deaf community and the world. Our existence proves that hearing isn't critical to humanity.

Thanks, Jodi, for the book's definitely on my list to read this summer!

David Ennis said...

In 1988, Irving King Jordan (IKJ) finally became the deaf president of the Galluadet college (now University). The reporter. who was woman with interpreter from the major TV news. came to meet IKJ
for interview. She asked, "Would You Take A Pill To Become Hearing? to IKJ. He decided to changed her question and asked back to her "Would You Take A Pill To Become Man? The reporter was dumbfound.

Valerie said...

"Would you take a pill to become hearing?"

Would I give up all the hearing aids, the frustration, the lipreading, the made up signs, the lack of music, not hearing my daughter talk, and now the cochlear implants?

Come on the answer is simple....Yes. It has nothing to do with accepting oneself. I accept my life and make the best of it, but it would be different with hearing.

Since there is not a pill, and will never be one, I will just enjoy my life as it is Cis and all.

Anonymous said...

Mishka ..

There IS a deaf pill. That will probably cause you to became fearful, afraid and claim oppression - from CI manufacturers and the DBC.

Here's a question for you:

If there was a pill to increase your brain cell count from 2 to 3, would you take it?

I would suggest that you do - it would improve your mental "elasticity."



Anonymous said...

David ..

Your comment is well-noted but contextually inaccurate.

1988 was a time of homophobia, Ronald Reagan and MishkaZena's "elasticity." People in those days took a very negative eye towards the homosexual population - including transgendered individuals.

The reporter being "dumbfounded" is a reflection of the social/cultural values in 1988. Ask that same reporter the same question today (and 1988 interview did not take place) and you will probably get a far different answer.



MM said...

we had a similar survey in the UK, and the consensus was the opposite most would take the 'heanrg pill' Gally is almost total 'Deaf' environment,with lots of mutlualsupport etc, ask American deaf OUTSIDE that set up, you'd probably get the same answer the UK did. It's all hypothetical and they know it, so saying no means nothing at all, give them real choice and then watch 'em go I'd suggest ! I don't think ANYONE who had any semblance of hearing at any time, would hesitate to take such an option, I wouldn't ! Born deaf here also opted for CI's as we saw on a UK deaf program. When asked why, the woman who took a CI said "I knew I was always missing something, so I wanted to know what it was..." C'mon deafies, aren't you a LITTLE bit curious ?

Anonymous said...

My answer would be yes. I wouldn't see a dramatic change in my life as I can already hear and speak. I would just simply see that taking a pill as an upgrade of the quality of my life as the only change would be that I wouldn't have to worry about handling the external parts of the processors, and I would also perhaps have improved quality of hearing. While I love having my CIs now, and my quality of life is very good, I can't see why I would say "no" to something that would improve my quality of life. It's like upgrading to a new processor with improved quality of sounds and hardware design.

Unknown said...

I'd definitely take a pill that would transport us to a world where Paotie, Rhoemer, and McConnell would just SHUT the KCUF up. In this world, Paotie also would collect all those GNIKCUF pebbles he kicked and shove it up his arse, way high up in his arse.

VBnBama said...

oh, you're ahead of me. I'm still in the very beginning almost. What I've read is soooo good though, can't wait to read more. Yes, he's hot Jodi, are you trying to make him blush? haha, you crack me up. My kids think I should be committed so hopefully they'll lock us up together.

Unknown said...

I would take a pill to become a man, just for a couple of days,(without the facial hair) I'm kind of curious about the experience.

Valerie...sweet and sincere as always.

Mishka- definitely an analytical approach...

Dianrez- put it on the very top of that list:)

Paotie...naughty, naughty

MM - interesting comment...I wonder exactly how curious deaf people are about hearing...I'm curious to be inside my son's head, but I wouldn't want to be there permanently, I wonder if it's the same effect when you've lived your life the same way.

rude...if my blog hadn't been SO boring for the past three weeks, I would have been irritated at your comment...instead, I'll just say that you were quite rude, yet entertaining.

Val, I would let you be the vice-president of the fan club, but you're much too, ME
btw, doesn't strike me as the blushing type.

mishkazena said...


HaHa. Now to think of that, I'll take the hearing pill and give him a kick, too ;)

mishkazena said...

Paotie seems so bitter and angry, attacking Deaf people. Life is too short to be so angry and bitter. Take a break, smell the flowers and stroll around the lake :)

Anonymous said...

After thinking about it for a while, I probably would take the hearing pill, and not tell anybody. Then I'd listen in on all the conversations around me to see if anybody talks about me "behind my back". Hmm...

In all seriousness though, I wouldn't take the pill. I'm happy with the way things are, no need to change anything.

Anonymous said...

Mishka ..

You said:

"Paotie seems so bitter and angry, attacking Deaf people. Life is too short to be so angry and bitter."

I only attack Deaf Experts like you and your two remaining brain cells. Single-celled amoebas have more intelligence than you.

I understand why you project.

I forgive you.



Anonymous said...

Mishka ..

You described DBC/Deafhood leaders as:

"Instead of being willing to discuss this with the concerned members of the Deaf Community, they attacked those who gave them constructive feedback, using intimidation tactics and utilizing some of theirs followers to speak up for them."

Your problem is you think you have NOTHING to do with the above sentence. You drove the getaway car of a bank robbery called DBC/DH.

Your anger is misguided, as usual.



Abbie said...

My answer would be no because I like my quiet sleep WAY too much to pop a pill. I feel that I have the best of both worlds, the option of being hearing and deaf.

mishkazena said...


Do take some deep breaths :)

It's so beautiful outside. I'm going out for a lovely stroll under the full moon with my dear hubby.

MM said...

I'd take it no question about it, since my background 40 years ago was that of a hearing person anyway, once you have had decent hearing there is no equivalent being deaf. I would just be returning to my norm. The really hard bit is being deaf and having a child, you would do anything then to get your hearing back. So much you can really miss, like first words, decent conversations with your child, listening to music is a biggie, I can take or leave a lot of people who talk nonsense, but music, that's really something you can miss, it can calm you, raise the spirit, cheer you up, allow you to relax, there is no substitute for it.