A bevy of emails announces cures for blindness.  Treatment breakthroughs promise sight where there was none.  Artificial retinas produce distinct images.  Cell transplants bring sight to dogs.  I’m curious, naturally.

Take the Bio Retina, the electronic eye part that produces 516-pixel, monochrome vision where none existed.  Got to go to Europe for the operation, but, hey, I’ll take Paris in black and white any old day.  At $60,000, the Bio Retina is only half the price of its rival, the Argus 2, and you don’t need to wear those funny-looking glasses or have wires coming out of your head.

At the Bio Retina website, I find seventy-three public comments.  I’m ready for testimonials, first-hand reports, the facts behind the claims.  I’m eager for news of Phase Three human trials, FDA fast-tracking, money-back guarantees.  What I find in comment #1 is this: ”You’ll never see this with Obamacare.”

OMG!  Partisan politics at the scientific website?  Personal ideology in the medical model?  The nerve!  Comment #2 begs for objectivity, for an open-minded appraisal without prejudice and personal agendas. OK.  Now we’re back on the right track.

But no.  In thirty subsequent comments, I am told that Creationists impede scientific progress, that Science has no business in God’s work, that Democrats have bleeding hearts and Republicans have no hearts at all.  I’m told that if God wanted the blind to see, He’d arrange it and that those who’d interfere in His work are Godless.  I’m told that if you’re blind, you probably deserve it, so quit your bellyaching.

I’ve heard enough.  I exit the Bio Retina website, thirty comments short of the last word.  Jeez.  Honest, all I wanted to hear was if there is a chance that I might see again.

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3 Responses to Politicking

  1. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, Greetings from a disaster response command center on the east coast. Sadly, I am not allowed to say exactly where I’m located for security reasons. I wrote a response to your last post, essentially thanking you for writing a blog which honestly talks about what it is truly like to lose your sight, and it truly helped me on a day when I was feeling down and annoyed about losing what little sight I had been born with, even if that loss was over a decade ago. Actually, I had been doing some investigating of those same resources, and I was saddened and a bit disgusted at how people can turn something into a political commentary. But, it seems to be a facet of our society. I have been working as a crisis response volunteer and logistical coordinator for victims of the recent storm. I talk to people when they just want someone to talk with, and help get supplies to those in need. Even though I’m currently in graduate school, my professors were kind enough to allow me to deploy with the response team that I’ve been training with. Even so, as I’m turning in my assignments over the web, my professors continuously bombard me with political questions, such as who are you voting for, and will you be back in time to vote. Even the people receiving help have asked me about my political affiliation, as if my telling them would change the help I’m giving or the help they’re receiving. One thing I can say is that I’ll certainly be happy when this election cycle is over, but even then, I don’t think we’ll ever escape politics. Thanks for another wonderful blog. Sorry about the long comments, but working 17 hour days makes me talkative, even over blogs. Jenny and her wonderful guidedog Blazer

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your story and thank you for the work you are doing in the storm’s aftermath. I only hope that inquiries about your personal voting practices are made to encourage your voice to be heard in this election process and not from intrusive or selfish motives. From your words, I know we share a desire for leaders who inspire, who reflect understanding, compassion and care, the same qualities you are carrying into your volunteer work. Thank you for what you do and thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Please come back and check in often.

  2. bethfinke says:

    Thought you might be interested in the following, a writer in my memoir class forwarded the link to me and it looks like, ahem, the device will particularly help people with RP:

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