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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Sorry, but life isn’t fair, so get over it.

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

I had to check the date at the top of the newspaper this morning to make sure I hadn’t slipped into a time warp and landed on April Fools Day.

US judge rules Netflix subject to disability act

A federal judge in Springfield has ruled that Netflix and other online providers that serve the public are subject to federal disabilities laws, a decision that could require TV shows and movies streamed over the Internet to include captions for the deaf or other accommodations.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Michael Ponsor rejected Netflix’s argument that it is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. He declined to dismiss an ADA lawsuit against Netflix for failing to provide captions on much of the content it streams to subscribers.

Web-based businesses did not exist when the disabilities act was enacted in 1990, the judge wrote, but the US Congress intended the law to adapt to changes in technology, and it should apply to websites.

The complaint was filed by the National Association of the Deaf, the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, and Lee Nettles, a staffer at the Stavros Center for Independent Living in Springfield.

Nettles said Netflix discriminates against the hearing-impaired, forcing them to to avoid its streaming service and pay for more expensive DVD rentals to ensure the movies and TV shows they rent are equipped with captions. “It has to be equal accessibility to all people using it,” he said. “It has to be 100 percent equality.”

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

100 percent equality. Think about that for a minute.

If everything in life has to be made 100 percent equal for everyone…

— Professional sports should be forced to change their rules and practices to accommodate overweight couch potatoes who want to play pro basketball, or baseball, etc. Instead of choosing players based on ability, we should have random drawings from a pool that includes everyone who wants to play.

— All bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers should be unisex.

— Movie producers should be forced to provide “descriptive service” (essentially, a verbal description of what is happening onscreen from moment to moment) for every movie. And all old movies on DVD should be recalled so both subtitles and descriptive service can be added to accommodate those who are blind as well as those who are deaf. For that matter, they’ll also have to figure out something to accommodate those who are both deaf and blind.

— Comedians should be forced to take time to explain each joke after they deliver it for those humorously challenged, or too slow, to get it.

— Websites should be forced to provide descriptive service for each of their web pages. No matter that it would effectively bankrupt many of the companies behind the sites.

— We should eliminate elections entirely, since the ability to smile and raise money and lie come easier to some people than to others, which makes the election process inherently unfair. As with sports, each position should be chosen at random from a pool of people who want the job. The same with judges and all other public positions. It should not matter that a person has no experience with electricity. If he or she wants to be an electrical inspector, he or she should have a fair shot at the job. And there’s even precedent for that since that’s the standard we applied in the last presidential election.

The only thing I think would have to be exempt from the 100 percent equality rule is reproduction…unless scientists can figure out way for women to impregnate men and for men to carry and deliver babies. But everything else should be fair game for it.

Yes, I know how stupid all that sounded, but it is no more stupid than forcing Netflix to do things it determines will not be profitable just to accommodate a small number of subscribers.

The plain, simple fact is that life is not fair. If it was, I’d have a voice like Frank Sinatra’s, looks like Matt Damon, a physique like David Beckham, a bank account like Bill gates, and be hung like a porn star.

But life is not fair. It never was and never will be. And these efforts to force fairness are absurd and destructive as well as being unreasonably costly in many cases.

I’m sorry that some folks are deaf or blind or have mobility issues or are intellectually challenged or anything else that hold holds them back. But my disability should not create an obligation on you or anyone else to do anything. I believe we should help in any way we can if we are so inclined, and I believe the vast majority of Americans would do so willingly, but forcing everyone to pay for other people’s problems is what lay at the root of the decline of America and most other nations in the civilized world.

Life is not fair. It’s time we all accept it and get over it.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable again?

What other things would have to be “fixed” to accommodate 100% equality?

13 Responses to “Sorry, but life isn’t fair, so get over it.”

  1. Denice Says:

    100% equality?

    The government doesn’t even follow this.

    My children should be able to qualify for scholarships offered to minorities.

    I would be able to apply for that job which offers a good salary and benefits, but is being offered only to minorities.

  2. Mandi Says:

    It’s a “Harrison Bergeron” world, baby. Maybe it’s a blessing that Bradbury died this year. He has been quoted as saying that he didn’t write to predict the future but to prevent it.


  3. Karena Says:

    Maybe this blog should be written in reverse so people with dyslexia can read it. LOL

  4. M Laffey Says:

    If you ask my sons what is the most important thing Dad has taught you they will answer (with a grimace) “life is not fair.”

  5. Glenn Proud Says:

    I agree, “Life is not fair so get over it”!!!!!
    100% equality does not mean that I have to provide the means for everyone else to get what they want, it just means that they have the same right to go after it themselves, that I have. Our Country was founded in part on that principle and I don’t think that it has become outdated or has fallen behind the times. Sorry but movies from netflix should not be the domain of the courts. I believe there are more serious and farther reaching issues that the courts should be addressing.

  6. Oliver Says:

    !sknahT .aneraK ,aedi gnitseretni na s’tahT

  7. Leonard Barnes Says:

    If only those persons responsible for enacting laws, regulations or rules could ever stop to think about the “unintended consequences” before or during the oft forgotten rule to think before you act, we would all be better off. Take for example the soon to be re-instated regulation concerning swimming pools and the mandatory installation of lifts for all pools. ADA is good for those places and thing that pertain to the disabled, but it is not everything has to conform. Closed captioning for steamed video or movies is a good idea but once again it may prove to be very costly to too many people in the long run.

  8. Oliver Says:

    Leonard, the world is filled with good ideas. The problem begins, for me, when someone wants me to pay for their good idea.

    I agree lifts in swimming pools would be nice as would subtitles and descriptive service for movies, but it should be up to those who own and/or manage the pool and those who own and run the movie business to decide if it makes financial sense for them to move forward with a good idea. Does that mean the answer will often be “no” and that some folks will not get to use the pool or enjoy the movie, yes. But that is life.

    The ADA is just another socialism-based government agency sticking its nose where it does not belong trying to turn equality of opportunity to equality of results, no matter the cost.

  9. Paul Says:

    Some things you missed:

    My computer screen is not brail ready.

    The government should pay for exterminators for those who suffer from arachnophobia.

    People with agoraphobia should have everything delivered to them…free of charge.

    People with allergies should sue the Dept. of Interior for not eliminating the pollens and molds that may keep them from enjoying the great outdoors.

    I should be able to go to college (at no expense to me) even if I failed high school. (After all, I may have failed due to a “learning disability”.)

    The blind should be allowed to drive or fly.

    A mute should be able to be a radio disk jockey.

    The list could go on forever.

  10. sherry Says:

    Oh, Oliver, you’ve discovered the truth. Shout it from the rooftops! No, life isn’t fair. If it were, inmates would be living in a nursing home, with all it’s comforts (note: sarcasm) and the poor people currently in the NH’s would be treated like royalty in the prison system…

  11. charles scamman Says:

    that uni-sex bath room isn’t such a bad idea… we have one at my house and it’s working out fine, except when the wife takes too long a shower and uses up too much water….but it’s fair….

    Life IS fair. When you go to your favorite dictionary to look up this four letter word, not that it takes up half a page and has a multitude of meanings. One such definition is ‘to each according to his needs.’

    Life teaches us the lessons we need to cross over to our next destination. Not everybody needs to learn the same lesson, not everybody needs the same experience.

    Governments may not be fair, but that’s a different blog….

  12. mike Says:

    One of these days, people will realize that many laws, while well intended, are written to provide lawyers a living.

    Think about it.


  13. Harbinger Says:

    @ Mandi: Harrison Bergeron is Vonnegut, not Bradbury.



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