The Gonz Twitter Compromise

By BlindChristian

Yesterday, I put out a request for ideas on how Gonz Blinko should behave on Twitter. More than a few people had been confused as to where the fictional Gonz ended and where he strayed into reality.

There’s an interesting book of literary criticism called, “The Gang that Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, thompson, Didion and the New Journalism” (author name not remembered but it is available on It starts with the New York Tribune in the fifties which may have had the greatest writing team in US journalism history. The Trib had Tome Wolfe, Hunter Thompson, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Jimmy Breslin and many more who would create the “new” journalism.

This “new” journalism searched for truth and not facts (read Gore Vidal’s criticism of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”) for an explanation of how facts can ruin truth.

After the Trib went bust, the gang started New York magazine and had most of the Trib gang plus people like Gale Sherry and others. It was in New York magazine where Wolfe would publish his now legendary “Radical Chic” article exposing the limousine liberals for all of their silliness. It was in NY where Thompson would first publish an article about the Hell’s Angels which would lead to the really long pieces in The Nation which, in turn, would turn into the book that really launched his career.

Gonz Blinko is mostly based on a cross between Thompson and me. I would blend fact and fiction and add lots of absurd twists as Thompson did throughout his career. This worked pretty well in the blog format as it had enough space to make the absurdity of it all quite obvious (excepting to the truly humor impaired like FS’s CEO Lee Hamilton). In the 140 character mode, sliding in and out of fact and fiction is much less obvious. Yesterday, I contemplated killing Twitter Gonz until a friend of mine suggested that we try to recruit other people to Twitter as fictional characters and play around purely in the absurd and silly and fictitious side of our worlds.

We will also look back at Gonz blog posts over history and use the fake names I used to describe companies, Freeman Scientology == Freedom Scientific as seen through the lens of real weird alternative universe play. We have names for real world human inspired characters as well and use them in appropriate context.

So, Gonz Blinko will be posting more absurd, flashback inspired tweets and BlindChristian will actually take the world mostly seriously. Readers should assume Gonz has gone over the top at all times and that BC may have fun now and then but will be far closer to the realm of reality.


This transfer from Gonz to BC for real items will take place over the next few days. You can follow Gonz at and BlindChristian at

If you would like to have a fictitious character in the Gonz world, crate one and introduce yourself to Gonz so we know who is real or not as letting us guess may be fun as well. If you want to take on one of the characters already known from the blog, please write to me as they all have certain parameters.

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Gonz and Twitter

By BlindChristian

For many years, Gonz Blinko has entertained readers in the fictional blinkosphere invented by cdh intended to be an alternative universe where all sorts of things regarding blindness could be viewed through a very alternative lens. I’ve enjoyed writing Gonz stories and, based upon feedback, a lot of readers enjoyed reading them as well.

Recently, Gonz has taken to tweeting and his Twitter feed is laden with wisecracks, paranoia, silliness, actual comments about AT and inclusion of fact, opinion and weirdness. SOme people, however, probably those who do not know Gonz from this blog can’t seem to understand that he is intended to be humorous and doesn’t reflect cdh’s actual opinions all of the time.

In the blog, there is a context in which Gonz lives. In tweets, the 140 limit may make him sound a bit too stark and actually serious.

Gonz has never had a terribly consistent narrative but may be the tweets, as random as they are, cannot be seen as funny in such a medium.

So, should we kill the Gonz Blinko feed?

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My First White Cane

My First White Cane
By BlindChristian

In the summer of 1991 or 1992, a bunch of us then working at the now defunct Turning Point Software (TPS, not to be confused with TPG) decided to hold a comrade’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. Being the organizational sort and designated cruise director for the gang we hung with in and out of the office, it fell to me to handle the arrangements.

So, I got us a block of rooms at the Riviera, plane reservations on the only non-stop from Boston to Vegas, fight tickets for Chavez versus Camacho and a few other tasks that elude me.

Like many people who have deteriorating vision, I felt some shame that I would sometimes need help and, more so, I didn’t want anyone to know of this ever worsening problem with my vision.

I still drank alcohol and used the odd illicit drug back then. Sometimes, when in a bar or restaurant, I would trip over something I couldn’t see. Instead of explaining to the bartender or other employee of the establishment and showing them my Massachusetts Commission for the Blind ID, I let them think I was drunk and accepted getting tossed out on my ass. I would much rather have been thought of as a drunk than a blink. I didn’t want any help and used drunkenness and other causes for doing something as a result of my bad vision. The humiliation of acquiring a disability caused me tremendous, albeit irrational, emotional pain so bad that I’d rather be thought of as a drunk, a drug addict, a public nuisance and anything else that people would accuse me of except blindness.

I went through extreme personal anguish during those last couple of years. I didn’t know of screen readers so I made my own crappy little tool for Macintosh. I thought it would be impossible for me to return to software engineering so I enrolled in a creative writing program at Harvard (a program I would quit when HJ made me an offer). Other than quitting the booze and drugs, and enjoying my classwork,very little seemed to go as I would have liked until the offer from Henter-Joyce.

The thought of blindness seemed so isolating and freaky that I couldn’t handle accepting it. I didn’t know any other blinks and made the assumption that most were shut ins who hid from the dangerous real world. No, I wasn’t going into the night of blindness without a fight that I was destined to lose.

The Vegas trip got me thinking about getting a cane. I knew that out there, I would need to hold onto elbows of our all male gang. Without a white cane in my hand, people may assume that my friends and I were gay. Herein lies a strange quandary: some of my friends are gay. I had lived in Greenwich Village for six years before the virus hit and was, therefore, emerged in gay culture. I would hang out with friends in gay bars and my band played a couple of gigs at the notorious Ramrod Club on West Side Highway. Homophobia, no way, not me?

Alas, I found that I would rather be seen as blind than queer – even though I’d flirt with gay friends and listen to Cher and Judy Garland records from time to time. The notion of being considered gay pushed me to make a handful of phone calls and found a place in the Boston area to buy a cane.

I never had any orientation and/or mobility training. How difficult it be, if I hit something solid, don’t walk there as we can’t occupy the same space at the same time. On one of my earliest ventures, I went to a Red Sox game (we had season tickets back then and I could sort of see well enough to keep track of the action) and, as I often did, I decided to walk back to our Cambridge home. On Prospect St. in Cambridge, a car was parked across the sidewalk and I missed it with my can and I came crashing into it.

The motorist yelled, “What are you, blind?”

I said, “Yes.” He saw the cane and I gave him my Commission of the Blind ID. He had identified himself as a cop so I got especially polite as I really didn’t want to spend a night in the clink.

My new cop friend offered me a ride home and I agreed with one provision: that I could ride in the front seat. I’d been in many a police car but always in the back and often handcuffed. He agreed. I then asked if I could play with the siren, he said, “No.” but did laugh.

The trip to Vegas went off really well. It’s a city where no one really cares how drunk, blind or gay you are as long as your money is green. After the trip, I was much more comfortable using the cane and accepting “blind” as a description of myself.

Still, though, when I reflect on those months leading up to my getting a cane, flashes of shame come back but they are accompanied by very funny memories of Vegas and other places where things grew amusing.

If you have deteriorating vision and want to know whether to get a cane and want to talk, you can find me on FaceBook, Twitter and elsewhere.


This article was written by BlindChristian who, for the most part, is actually me. The account above is entirely true as far as my recollection of some drunken nights can be. You can follow BlindChristian on twitter:

There also seems to be some confusion about where cdh/BlindChristian ends and Gonz Blinko begins among the twitter folks. Gonz, as always, is over the top, somewhat outrageous, paranoid and is purely a fiction. Gonz statements on twitter and elsewhere are intended to be amusing, outraging and just fun. I dig into weird parts of my creative mind to keep Gonz going.

If you want to follow Gonz on twitter,

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