The Face Of A Young Man Hearing For The First Time

25 03 2009


Via Arbroath:

“This photo was taken by photographer Jack Bradley and depicts the exact moment this boy, Harold Whittles, hears for the very first time ever. The doctor treating him has just placed an earpiece in his left ear. Date unknown. “

This is some touching shit.  Insert obligatory blowjob or drug-use joke here.



75 responses

26 03 2009
La cara de un niño que oye por primera vez « ¡EsrarodorarsE!

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26 03 2009
Deaf Man

This is crap! I am deaf and this boy is probably bemused more than anything by the stupid tinny sounds that are playing in his ear. its not natural

I am sick of you “Hearing” peeps thinking deafness needs to be fixed. It belies an deep hatred of deaf people

Why cant you accept the way we are ?? eh?

Fast forward 50 years and you have bionic ears oops I meant “cochlear implants” which are effectively drilled in some poor kids skull.


27 04 2009

…and we should stop trying to make prosthetics for people born without limbs because it shows a deep hatred of disabled people.

If you don’t want to be able to hear then that’s fine, but I’m sure there are some deaf people out there who want to know what they’re missing out on. Cochlea implants are imperfect at the moment, but if they improved to the point where the audio was imperceptible from ‘genuine’ (for want of a better word) hearing, would you turn it down?

27 04 2009

mhm, you said it. I think it might be like people with a treatable birth defect not wanting to remove it because they feel like it’s apart of them. Not saying that being deaf is like a birth defect, but if you have been for all of your life, it must be a big part of who you are, right?

27 04 2009

Lol @ trolling

28 04 2009

Awww, I’m sorry that somebody is a sore thumb. Your ears too messed up to get an implant?

27 04 2009
Not Deaf

HAHA you cant hear

27 04 2009

Man, god bless you in your battle with deafness but do you think the attempt for equal opportunities is somehow evil. It’s the chance for you or others not to assimilate to us “Hearing” folks but for you to hear the sounds of the world. Please do not misunderstand, I think it’s more than noble that you choose to live your life deaf but for some, they would prefer to try and risk permanent damage to try and hear. To each their own, but in no way is this evil.

27 04 2009

I’m not “battling” deafness.
I’m deaf.
Not noble, not fighting, not battling, not in need of blessings. I just can’t hear. It’s quite pleasant, actually.
I don’t need or want pity, sorrow, sadness, prayers, or repairs. I just want to be recognised as a perfectly normal person who happens to have a noticeable error in construction.

27 04 2009

Don’t feed the troll!

27 04 2009

Seriously, stop being such a fucking moron. First off, don’t impersonate deaf people. Secondly, don’t use the word “eh”, people may get the impression that a fucktard like you is Canadian. Third, us “‘Hearing’ peeps” don’t think deafness needs to be fixed, we (like many other deaf people) only want to make the option available to people who are incapable, as it is a very useful function. Lastly, “this boy” has never even heard said “stupid tinny sounds”, which is why he is so “bemused”, it’s because he’s HEARING FOR THE FIRST TIME, regardless of what he hears. You may not be deaf, but I think you should watch out for illiteracy.

27 04 2009

i suppose your right about fixing something that isnt broken. but im curious. there are people (obviosly not you) who would most likley do anything to hear again, or maybe even for a first time. just wondering what you think of that

27 04 2009
also not deaf

your reasoning is stupid. if you could hear you would know that. what benefit is there to not being able to communicate well, or to know if a car is about to hit you, and slamming on its horn.
you would make a bad bird watcher.

28 04 2009
Blind Man


28 04 2009

Well, i’m blind and I think all these “funny” internet pictures sites/blogs aren’t funny at all. they’re just part of some deep seeded hatred of the blind. I’ll bet this”porn” i hear about doesn’t even exist, just two people sitting fully clothed making rude noises and slapping lunch meat together…

30 04 2009

funniest damn thing i’ve heard all day

28 04 2009

Why can’t you just be happy for this boy? I can understand that you say it’s not natural, but I think, in this case, this boy is very happy with it. And look at the picture: these surprising eyes of experiencing something completely new, wonderful!

You said: ‘I am sick of you “Hearing” peeps thinking deafness needs to be fixed.’
I know a few deaf people, who are all very happy to hear a little with their hearing aid. They wanted it themselves.
But I also accept you the way you are, and I guess most people too!

2 05 2009

Thats retarded. And hearing is great. I can hear people talk. I can hear some girl tell me she loves me. What do you have? Nothing. You’ll never be able to hear a girl say “I love you.” You’ll never be able to hear music, and bionic ears would own.

2 05 2009

you disabled freak
sound is one of the most important senses that humans are born with.
just because you’re too prideful to admit that you are, in fact, disabled, doesn’t mean you should go around doomsaying well-intentioned, working fixes for the disability.

3 05 2009

ive never heard of a handicapped person (you deaf guy) being such a prick.

5 05 2009

Maybe we should stop trying to cure cancer since it shows a deep hatred of sick people? Get over yourself.

6 05 2009

Thats probably the most halarious comment i have ever seen in my entire life. Thank you, sir. However, I will not turn a deaf ear to your cries of the injustices of prejudice against deaf people.

14 05 2009
Capt Kirk

I personally like the way you deaf activists advocate withholding treatment for hearing disorders in children in a lame effort to expand your ranks. You are also anti-implant for children in the hopes of sentencing them to a life of alienation and hardship. How selfish of you.

26 03 2009
Carey Pohanka

What a great photo. I think this is what I looked like after our first PLP meeting when I learned about nings, twitter and google reader!

26 03 2009
Harold Heard A Who! « What’s All This, Then?

[…] my friend Tom Ritchford> Via BuzzFeed> Via The High Definite> Via […]

26 03 2009

Wow… Deaf man has some serious issues
nice photo

27 04 2009


26 03 2009

Deaf Man, if science discovered a dormant sixth sense and through technology was able to give me even an approximation of what that sense was, I’d make the exact same face as that kid. A new way to experience the world that I had before had a concept of but couldn’t quite imagine? That would blow my mind.

And I know about the debate over cochlear implants, etc., etc. Given the current state of medical technology, if I had a deaf child I might not opt for the surgery either. But you can’t possibly suggest that parents’ and audiologists’ (and society’s) desire to give a deaf child the ability to hear “belies a deep hatred of deaf people.” Hearing generally adds to one’s quality of life. A parent or doctor can want that for a child without hating deaf people.

3 05 2009

There are a lot of senses which some animals have and humans don’t. I’d like to experience them.

26 03 2009
Top Posts «

[…] The Face Of A Young Man Hearing For The First Time Via Arbroath: “This photo was taken by photographer Jack Bradley and depicts the exact moment this boy, Harold […] […]

26 03 2009

Deafman, I can’t hear you, say again?

27 03 2009
27 03 2009

I don’t expect anyone to understand deaf man cos unless you are deaf yourself you have absolutely no idea what its like.

Explain to me how amplifying already defective hearing improves ones quality of life? If both your ears was damaged and all you get is an auditory white noise all hearing aids do is give you headaches tinnitus etc.

The problem is that people have a too simplistic view of deafness. the ear is one of the most complicated organs of the human body up there with the eye/brain and heart. Recently things have improved with digital hearing aids . Don’t get me wrong I am not against technology but there are limitations.One day there will be a cure for deafness but that is a long long way off. Until people listen to deaf people and not preach at them you will not begin to understand the condition. Every deaf person is different and the most common mistake is to take a one size fits all approach.

That picture is open to interpretation. As a deaf man speaking from experience he looks more bewildered than any sense of “wonderment” at hearing for the first time!!

30 04 2009

i bet being deaf is a lot like having ear plugs in…..only i can take mine out again

27 03 2009
Imaging hearing for the first time. @ ::legblog::

[…] From The High Definite: […]

27 03 2009
Benjamin Burns

I like how deaf people are speaking on behalf of this boy, without actually knowing the degree or severity of his own hearing capacity. Less assumptions please; not all deafness is of the same magnitude. And just because you may hold resentment, doesn’t mean this boy does too. We don’t all think alike too, you know.

27 03 2009

I quite happily stumbled upon this website and being in the line of work I am it was a nice treat.

It’s a shame to read that ‘Deaf Man’ has issues though…

… the thing is daily we see people in hospital in tears when they describe the loss of quality of life that they face when they come to realise what they are missing from the world as far as comunication goes. And oh I would love to show you the reactions that you get when a successfull hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation has gone on because these peope have a new way of life.

As for the cochlear implants, I could not disagree with you more… cochlear implants are wonderful things and in thousands of peoples lifes have been turned around where hearing aids have failed!!!

Perhaps you need to go back and see your audiologist ‘deaf man’…if you’re not happy come and see me and we’ll find the best solution to your needs; I’ve cracked tougher cookies!!

27 03 2009

..and SurdoPhobe, hearing aids are used as a form of treatment (to mask) tinnitus

28 03 2009

Ha ha I love it when people say that hearing aids help tinnitus!! That is clearly rubbish. Nobody ever says they are a main cause of tinnitus!

Clearly PR spin by audiologists.

You miss the point about hearing aids. hearing aids have improved considerably over the years to the point where we now have digital hearing aids that stimulate the cochlear.

Ok some cochlear implants may be successful but what about those that arent!? I know a lot of people that say all they hear with them are background noise and they are no use for daily communication.

These operations are irreverible and once done the person does not have a choice to wear them or not like with digital hearing aids. that is the crux of my argument. Cochlear implants are not yet vastly superior to normal aids and until they are lets just stick to the humble hearing aid which as I have said has a lot more mileage left in it.

28 03 2009
Make an Ass of U and Me = Assume

I don’t like the way that everybody is assuming this boy is overjoyed at hearing for the first time. It is making an unfair assumption of his emotions at that particular moment of time. If in the next moment this boy burst into tears then you would attach a completely different meaning to this picture.

28 03 2009
29 03 2009

I am deaf and you can’t imagine hearing a Bach sonata
or the laughter of your children, the joy those sounds create, after living a life in a bubble without sound.
I could not disagree more with Deaf Man.

31 03 2009
Bach Sonata?

A Bach Sonata? Just wait until you experience Metallica. Sweet stuff.

4 04 2009

or the comedic sound of a fart

6 04 2009
obviosly photo shopped!

Watever people say some hearing must be better than none, for example i am sitting in bed i wouldnt have known my boyfriend just came in the door and now will pretend to be asleep.

6 04 2009
obviosly photo shopped!

anywho its a brilliant photo

8 04 2009
Poor me

It would seem that Deaf Man has a disability. He can’t be happy for some one else.

20 04 2009

Deaf Man is mad b/c if he could ever hear himself speak, he would realize he sounds like a retard or a dying giraffe. So lets just let him stay in his world of silence and selfishness.

26 04 2009

This is brilliant. excellent photography.
but deaf man, if someone wants something, such as hearing, and we are able to offer it to them, why shouldn’t they? No-one’s forcing anybody to have hearing, if you don’t want it, don’t take it. but don’t rant to other people for not sharing your ideas.

27 04 2009
future audiologist

be nice to this “deaf” man. do you not realize that there is no problem with him? he can communicate just as effectively as everyone else in this world and even has better perception than most of us who can hear.

however, sir, you need to realize that there are technologies out there to help those who are born without hearing to be able to. some people born without hearing choose to use this technology. some don’t. just like i choose to wear a coat outside when it’s cold or not, it’s not your decision for the other people in this world.

if you have a huge problem with cochlear implants, you DON’T HAVE TO GET THEM. it’s that simple. and at least summon up your respect for those who do choose to get them.

and they are not drilling a hole in their head. they are drilling a very tiny hole in the temporal bone to drain out the cochlea which ISN’T BEING USED IN THE FIRST PLACE so it DOESN’T MATTER. it’s been done for years now and it’s very common practice.

27 04 2009

…I don’t see why you’re all arguing. Isn’t it kind of someone’s choice whether or not they want to hear? If you’re deaf and are perfectly happy that way, fine. But if you feel the need or to experience it, who are we to say whether or not it’s right or wrong?

27 04 2009
Psst « The High Definite

[…] are gettin all opinionated and participatory about this post, which is a rarity for this blog. Go chime in and make a […]

27 04 2009
hear of the moment

that kid is puttin on his O face probably for the first time too lol. thats funny

27 04 2009
lol faggots

wow you got trolled pretty good

27 04 2009

This is what it looks like to get your mind blown. Great photo.

As for you Deaf Man, of all the things to feel victimized about, DEAFNESS? Holy hell, mankind is now performing miracles on a regular basis and you think it’s because we hate you? You know what? Be thankful it’s not 5000 BC and that we’ve killed most of the 500lbs apex predators that would have happily eaten your sorry butt for breakfast while you were taking a dump in the woods because you couldn’t hear them bulldozing their way toward you in time to fight back. Find another crusade, you’ll get no sympathy from me on this one.

27 04 2009

I work at a relay service… an idea on how deaf persons are (in general) ……better being blind than deaf

27 04 2009

btw congratulations mr deaf man……your spelling and communication is perfect……

30 04 2009

…are perfect…

28 04 2009

What the heck is everyone arguing about anyway? The original post makes no claim that the boy is happy/confused/whatever, it simply says “This is the face of a young man hearing for the first time”. He may be hearing perfectly, he may be hearing tinny noise, we’ve no way of knowing and neither was claimed nor any assumptions made until “Deaf Man” appeared.

If I found out I was missing out on an extra sense you can bet I’d try to experience it and not hide away thrashing in anger at anyone that tries to help me achieve it!

Nice picture, stupid comments.

28 04 2009

damn everyone you find in the comments of stumble upon traffic’d blogs is trollbait. Damn i mean its not even hard. you all get troll’d so hard and don’ even realize it!

luls at the newbs

28 04 2009
deaf...wait no, not deaf guy

Was House reading this thread? Last night’s episode was completely copied from these posts. Way better, though; there were strippers on House and you are all extremely boring.

Also, since no one else took the oppurtunity to “Insert obligatory blowjob or drug-use joke here,” I am happy to oblige:

“This photo was taken by photographer Jack Bradley and depicts the exact moment this boy, Harold Whittles, ejaculates for the very first time ever. The doctor watching him masturbate has just placed an earpiece in his left ear, in order for him to hear the angels weeping. Date unknown. “

This is some touching shit.

28 04 2009
Gooty Hole

I actually am deaf in my left ear (right one is completely fine) and I’d shit if I could have good hearing in my left again. I don’t know what this has to do with anything, BUT I’D SHIT.

28 04 2009

Hey, that deaf guy worships the devil, i saw him at the last meeting. i have a bad sense of smell and all us cripples are bitter and worship the dark lord as a venue of revenge against….well we call you “have-all-your-sensies”. I hear your anger deaf guy, I remember the first time someone offered me a nose implant, I was all like “bitch, you hate my inner nose or something, damned have-all-your-sensie.

28 04 2009
Not Deaf

Keep the flame war going; This shit is hilarious!

30 04 2009

Music. For a deaf man, it’s just a word. How sad.

30 04 2009

I hate deaf people!
Why should I have to learn sign language just because of mistakes you made in the womb deafman?
How tolerant is that?
Lighten up man.
Your just an angry deaf guy that wishes he were black enough to use the race card.

30 04 2009

Isn’t inventing an entire language in order to help deaf people communicate an aid to a disability that improves a deaf person’s quality of life? Before sign language was used, did deaf people argue that their methods of pointing and making gutteral noises were the natural way and if people couldn’t fucking understand them then they must just have a problem with deaf people?

2 05 2009

Our son lost his hearing when he was 6. A year later he received a cochlear implant… the expression on his face was eerily similar… and his words, “I heard that!” carried such joy that now, twenty years later, I still warm at the thought.
Had Ryan been born deaf, as parents we could have accepted that. But he was born able to hear sounds and when he lost that ability through illness, and we discovered the possibility of recovering that which had been lost, we talked it over with Ryan and proceeded with the surgery. He now hears better that I do…
However, I have nothing to say about the deaf community in this town. There are no words to express what they said to us and how they made us feel. The closest word I could find would be to call them prejudiced or if deafness were a race. racist. Deaf Man’s comments are a good example of what we experienced… and it was not very pleasant.

2 05 2009

I’m deaf myself, and I can see the message of what Deafman is trying to say underneath his poorly written hate message. While deafness may have been seen as a disability since the beginning of civilization, it is basically only recently we have banded together and created a community – or even a culture. Many of us, myself included, had faced heavy audism that ranges from hearing people ignoring us because it is too much work to write on a piece of paper to the automatic assumption that we are mentally retarded and incapable of taking care of ourselves.

I am not playing the pity card, I am simply giving you a small taste of obstacles that we face on a day to day basis. It is not so much different than the racism placed on Blacks or Mexicans, or the oppression that people in wheelchairs or CP must deal with.

Instead of looking at our deafness as a disability, we look at it as a positive thing. Deafness is what brought our community together; it is what gave us our unique form of communication that put us on par with hearing people and serves as a common ground for all of us to relate to. We very social animals with a lax set of social rules that you don’t see every day in the hearing world. Check out Gallaudet University sometimes, and you’ll see how well we established our community :). Many of us wouldn’t trade our deafness for anything in the world.

I can see why deaf people feel threatened when the words “cure for deafness” is brought up. It would mean losing the very core of our culture – the very foundations of what tied us all together. Some of us don’t want that but when people say, “Well if you had an Implant, you could’ve been like us,” we feel like everyone wants us to give up the community we worked so hard to build.

For the people that want an implant, go for it. Deaf people *OR* hearing people have NO right to tell you what to do. the decision is yours :). I find it sad when people lose respect for each other, especially in your case, Mark. Nobody should treat another like shit because of a personal decision. I hope the harassment stops.

Sorry for the wall of text. I’ll say something relevant to the photo I guess…

OMG the kid is SOOO cute! 😀 Imagine whats going through his mind! ^.^

Also, for the future trolls–lol i know im deaf! lololol deafies! i cant hear. Blah blah blah 🙂

4 05 2009
the green bastard

Why is it impossible to have any sort of intelligent conversation with an american, deaf or not, on any subject?

4 05 2009

Somebody PLEASE amputate DEAF MAN’S HEAD.
He obviously isn’t using it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 05 2009

After reading all these comments I’ve decided deaf people aren’t really people at all. Round them up and put them in camps so they can’t bring down the rest of society.

7 05 2009

Deaf Man , you have psychological problems next to your hering problems.

Every sense is beatifull and amazing. They are SO AMAZING, so complex and powerfull that you can lack some of them and yet have a normal life.

11 05 2009

Ok, first of all, just because of one comment that one deaf person made it doesn’t mean that you can generalize about all deaf people. Also, ‘Deaf Man’ is entitled to his own opinion and though you may not agree with them, try to at least respect them to some degree.

18 05 2009

Sometimes I wish I were deaf; when I try napping and fail, when my wife snores, when the youngest of my two sisters bursts into song…

Other times I’m happy I’m not.

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