Opinion: Now hear … I mean, now read this!


Hi. My name is Danielle and it’s time to come clean. I’m addicted to closed captioning.

When did it start? Hard to say. I suppose like most things, my dependence on subtitles was gradual. I used them infrequently at first, finding excuses like, “It’s just while Andrew’s banging around in the kitchen” and “I’ll turn them off as soon as Doo finishes his phone call.” But then I became so used to their blocky, black-and-white presence covering the bottom quarter of my 58-inch Panasonic that I found myself overwhelmed whenever they weren’t on. “Meredith Grey’s got legs?” Too. Much. Screen.

Now, I’m to the point that I become enraged when CC isn’t available, and even worse, I’ve noticed myself jonesing for them when I’m not watching television, like when I’m in a faculty meeting or sitting in a crowded restaurant. “What the heck are you people saying?”

Luckily, I think I’ve hit bottom. I went to see comedian Leanne Morgan perform down in Louisville recently. She speaks with a thick Knoxville accent, and from my seat in the balcony of a huge theater, I couldn’t understand roughly 20 percent of her show. My frustration drove me to contact her demanding a refund and/or a promise to install jumbotrons with voice-to-text capabilities for the remainder of her tour. “Your fan base is old, we can’t hear!” Clearly, I’ve lost my gosh darn mind.

It’s been quite the journey, to be sure, but I’m finally working on accepting the things I cannot change and garnering the courage to either learn lip reading or acquire hearing aids. My name is Danielle, and I’m addicted to closed captioning.

Peace out.


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