Saturday, December 25, 2004

christmas eve

hope everyone's enjoying themselves.

my mother's gone insane over geoffrey rush since watching pirates of the carribean, so she forced me to watch shine tonight and now is watching quills about the marquis de sade. i left after the first head was chopped off.

Monday, December 20, 2004

no, i'm not positive

This is kind of a bad blog for me to write. and i hate writing it. but gonna get something off my chest.

I had pneumonia. after that i had segmental atelectasis, which is a common result of pneumonia. Part of my lung was blocked off by *yucky* snot. because i wasn't given treatment for it, it expanded my time sick by a month or so. Afterwards, people would ask me how i was doing. and they all had this same look in their face. Eventually I realized what the look was, because some finally asked the question: am I HIV+? did i get pneumonia because I was HIV+? and the answer is: no, i got it from someone else at work. I'm not positive. and i don't like the automatic assumption that because I'm gay and got sick, I've got HIV. I got the disease from a straight woman, and I'm pretty sure nobody's giving her looks of pity.

What bothers me about this is I support and care for many people with HIV. I don't like being made to deny having HIV as if it's some sort of crime or stigma. But it is, in the deaf community and elsewhere. I feel guilty because by denying it, I feel like I participate in the stigmatization of people with HIV. But if I don't deny it, I support the stereotype that if a gay man gets sick, he automatically has HIV. I'm fucked one way or the other.

But for the record, I'm healthy. Right now I'm struggling with people in my office giving me looks and NOT asking me the question, so I have no appropriate place to say anything about it. I just have to deal with this cloudy assumption in the air. Which sucks.

Friday, December 17, 2004


not been blogging for a while. life got too exciting.

still recovering from the damn lung problems; breathing's easier now. what's bitchy is i only had pneumonia the first week! After that the fever and everything were caused by the segmental atelectasis - which means part of my lung had been cut off due to the fluids of the pneumonia. it's like a collapsed lung, but it's only part of the lung. consider it like a broken finger instead of a broken arm. and nobody told me i had this until i went to a specialist. if i had known in Week 1 or 2, i would have had the right medicine instead of spending a fortune on shit i turned out to be allergic to. and i might be perfect now instead of "getting there." yay, modern medicine.

so now im healthy i've been re-connecting with everyone i know. that takes time. but it's been wonderful. don't spend too much time online this holiday season....

Thursday, December 02, 2004

world aids betrayal

I'm still crying over this. I have no idea how to react. I have no idea how to comment. We will never hear about it on the news. But it happened in our own city. I saw the link on Cursor. What percentage of that 23,000 were put through hell?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

cheery day yesterday

my family drove up from Jersey to wail and moan over Sick Boy (me) and bring me tons of food which i will eat but slowly, slowly! evening brought Madame Olivia, queen of hearts, and we had fun playing Clue and watching silly movies for hours. happiness, gotta be good for me.

but today brings me back to the terrifying right wing agenda taking over our lifes. Here's one example - And the Daily Howler shows that not only do the Rich NOT pay more taxes than we do - we've been giving them damn money. Is this really a big surprise to anyone?

The New York Times does us its usual crap when it discusses the costs of Bushie's new Social Security program (Note: Reg. required.) which is apparently going to need billions to trillions of dollars borrowed - when we are in debt and at war and, let's face it, not being encouraged to buy Made In America anymore. You can see their lack of journalistic integrity by their refusal to look at these two paragraphs at the same time:

"The president does support personal accounts, which need not add over all to the cost of the program but could in the short run require additional borrowing to finance the transition," Mr. Bolten said. "I believe there's a strong case that this approach not only makes sense as a matter of savings policy, but is also fiscally prudent."

Proponents say the necessary amount of borrowing could vary widely, from hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars over a decade, depending on how much money people are permitted to contribute to the accounts and whether the changes to Social Security include benefit cuts and tax increases.

Uh-HUH. Right when we need someone to pick the way through their tangled legal and financial talk, the Times fails to do its job. Bolten believes there is a strong case - he doesn't explain what the case is or why it's strong. (You all know how I feel about politicians who use the word BELIEVE - they usually use the word to avoid having to prove anything. It's a red flag and journalists should jump at it.)

How is it fiscally prudent to dig a deeper hole? He also uses the phrases "short run" and "additional borrowing" - well, a decade isn't exactly short, especially when we don't know where we're gonna be in ten years-and we're running a war that costs several billion a month. And wait a second - ADDITIONAL borrowing? Additional on top of what? Could be talking about what we've already borrowed. Could be referring to borrowing already earmarked to finance the program. When will the Times get some balls and ask some who where how when why and what? (Not to mention where we're gonna get the money to pay back all this shit in ten years?)

Friday, November 26, 2004

still trying to get this damn crap out of my lungs....

Meanwhile, I had this idea which, well, I wonder if y'all be willing to try. (This is mostly for my New York friends.)

I'm really tired of getting holiday gifts each year which you know, are totally meaningless. Yay, gift certificate for Barnes and Noble. Yay, new pullover from Gap. I mean, thousands of people have this shit. It has nothing to do with the meaning of any holiday whatsoever. It's just people buying stuff, and it's annoying.

How about we get together and each pick one person out of a hat or whatnot and work on finding a truly meaningful gift? Something handmade, maybe, or something with special meaning to the other person. Not just CRAP. Something you'd hold near your heart for the rest of your life. Something special and real.

Today's Black Friday, the day everyone runs outside and starts spending money in their SUVs. Which is great for them. I'm looking for something a little more special, and we as Deaf people have a community that lets us work on something special. I'm not saying we can't buy things - but if we do, it better be something unique, eh?

Well, comment if you think this is an interesting idea and if anyone wants to try it...


Monday, November 15, 2004

still sick and miserable and more than willing to share ;)

i am considering that all of this is a message from the whoever saying "go, before it gets worse, because it's going to."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

more on "gay marriage"

I didn't realize this, but apparently a lot of the so-called "gay marriage bans" did a lot more than just ban gay marriage. The Boston Globe reports:

In pivotal Ohio, for example, the voters may not have realized it but they voted to strip people of the right to contractually arrange distribution of assets, child custody, pensions, and other employment benefits. They most definitely were not "protecting" marriage; they were attacking gay people. That is why the political and business establishment there, including Republicans, opposed the measure.

It seems that the language of "ban gay marriage" was used to cover up a whole host of other things. This is troubling. Personally, I don't believe the State should be interfering with marriage at all; that should, in theory, be left to the churches. Problem comes because recognition from the Church leads to rights by the State - and it is these rights we want, not just the "right" to walk down the aisle. Although I definitely want that for myself one day.

You know, I never understood one thing. Right-wingers complain all the time about gay people being promiscuous etc. Well, here's a big bunch of gay people wanna get married and, apparently, not be promiscuous. Right-wingers don't want us to do that either (maybe because they would have to face up to the fact of their own bullshit.)


a lot of people have been talking about the anti-gay marriage initiatives around the country. found this poem on the internet, kind of hits it where it hurts:

Democracy, by Langston Hughes

Democracy will not come

Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.

Is a strong seed
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

another stolen election?

Uh-huh. Nobody will do squat about it now because Senator John Kwik-vanish! has conceded the election. But it's becoming clear that all over the country, the Diebold voting machines performed exactly as expected: by ringing up lots of Bush votes, sometimes an absurd number:

From Ohio:

Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

Bush actually received 365 votes in the precinct, Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, told The Columbus Dispatch.

The article goes on to wonder if this repeated in other counties, but officials "decline to comment," of course.

In Florida, it appears the machines were hacked:

In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.

The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.

Why isn't the media reporting on any of this? Probably to support Bush's dreams of "unity" - as if the election gave him a clean slate, as if we were supposed to forget about the bodies in Iraq (which is now, I believe, in a state of emergency), and as if accepting another lie at face value cleaned their consciences of all those they ignored before. More importantly, the fact that all of this hacking benefits only Republicans is more than a little suspicious - and a full, national investigation should be happening as soon as possible. Should bes won't be, of course, But if this is more widespread - if we see it in New Mexico and all the other states Kerry was supposed to carry - we may be in trouble.

And I wonder what, exactly, people said to Kerry that day to make him change his mind from fighting for every vote to that outrageous, undignified "unity."

Update: Story is now on CNN.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


After Monday I slept all afternoon. When I woke up I had a fever of 103.

Yep. Relapse. They took me off the antibiotics after the allergic reaction and didn't replace them with anything. So the infection came back.

They put me on Biaxin. It's like a super-powerful new antibiotic. It's giving me stomach cramps. That plus the coughing equals really, really, miserable joe.

And I was doing so well on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


you heard me, now do it.

but don't vote for "republican family values" - liberals have better ones.

and don't vote for your beliefs. vote based on the facts. and double check them.

Monday, November 01, 2004

right, improving...

today kind of sucked. i wasn't really feeling that good but i decided to try going back to work. huge mistake.

i get on the subway and start coughing right away. not little coughs but the deep ones from the stomach. hurts like a bitch. then some old crazy guy sits next to me and starts... pushing me. Like I'm right next to the metal gate on the seat next to the door, and he's trying to shove me through it like pasta dough. and the side he's pushing on is the lung that had the pneumonia. and i can't get up and move because the train's crowded. so all the way to 96th st. i get poked and I'm pushing back like you would with a child - not really pushing, just holding his crazy old elbow back. and when i get up at 96th to switch to the express, he pushes me from behind.

that's right, pushes me.

i turn around and glare at him but i have to run catch the train so there's no time to beat the bastard upside the head like he deserves. he smiles at me triumphantly.

i think, the morning's got to get better.

but walking out of the subway kills me. i mean, kills me. by the time im at ground level im barely breathing and i look like i've run a marathon. okay. i can cope. really. or so i tell myself. i keep walking to work, take the elevator up, put my stuff down. it's 8 am; i came in early to see, you know, if i could catch up a little. i walk to my mailbox and pass my boss; she takes one look at me and asks me if i really think i should be in the office. i start coughing and i can't answer cos im short of breath anyway. she sends me home.

but it takes a while before i can get on the subway again after all that. so i walk really slowly to park place, to give myself time to recover, then just huddle and cough on the seat all the way home.

honestly, it feels like i'm not getting any better at all. i hate this.

i spend the day on the couch lying down alternately coughing and breathing hard. my friend Elizabeth comes up from jersey to say hey; she's home for the summer. we watch waking life, but i keep falling asleep; body's way too tired to cope with sitting up. elizabeth is sweet and takes good care of me. we find this horrifying website on voter suppression which i encourage everyone to check out.

here's to future health... joe

Saturday, October 30, 2004

still alive

and that was the worst experience of my life.
seriously. Insert october below.
18th: started feeling real sick. Decide to stay home.
19th: Doc says I have flu. Gives me medicine.
20th: Lips swell like balloons. People ask who punched me. Terrified have weird disease.
21st: Totally unable to breathe. Rushed to emergency room. Have pneumonia, not flu. No lung sounds. Nearly dead, in serious pain on the side of one lung, and since taking wrong medicine making everything worse. Given new medication, told lots of serious things, and sent home. End up pretty much in bed for the next several days. Which is fine because I have no cable or internet in my new apartment anyway. Since I need to get up to vomit/cough/other disgusting things, feeding cat is no problem!
22nd: Lovely friends help me in time of crisis. Jen P. brings me beautiful digital thermometer. Katie R. brings me lamp and does dishes. Can barely see their faces but is nice.
25th: Lips swell up again. This time I can tell it's an allergic reaction, but to what?
26th: More lovely friends. Keri comes and helps me do smelly sick person laundry since cannot walk more than one block at this point without passing out. Love Keri. Love fresh laundry.
27th: Allergic reaction to new medication. Covered in painful, red itchy hives. Also cause of non-collagen lip swellings. Rushed to doctor while dressed in hoodie to avoid scaring small children. Told to stop all medication (including pain medication, and my damn side still hurts) and take new medication, something called MethylPREDNISolone which is basically horrifying hormone that can really fuck you up if youre not careful.
28th: Begin new medication. Not fucked up. Someone gave me a break! Hives begin to disappear. Children reappear in my neighborhood. Dad screams at Time Warner about his dying child until they come and install internet and cable. For first time I can talk to friends etc. Choose to sleep instead due to exhaustation.
29th: Nick comes by to cheer me up. Feeling very woozy with new medication, but still improving. I go to food store (yay!) but am in bed by 7:30 (still easily exhausted.)

Hows that for a horror story? And just in time for halloween.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

keep it up yanks

just a little note there... watched the yankees with my father last night. lots of fun.

in other news, kind of frustrated with deaf politics these days. why does so much of it revolve around entertainment? yeah, captioning movies is cool. but it's not exactly the kind of thing people rally around. movies? television? how about taking back our community? our schools? how about forming foundations to tell the government more about deaf people (since Gallaudet refuses to adopt that role?) how about forming a cross-cultural and cross-social group to help unite various oppressed groups with one voice? god knows we have plenty of issues in common with women, racial minorities, and other social minorities.

right now most deaf-politics seems to revolve around the meme that we want to be the same as hearing people. access same, equality same. yet we want to remain different. we want to value our cultures and our indigenous languages. the two aren't always contradictory. but it would be unproductive to not recognize that, yes, sometimes, they are. like: if we have equal access to schools, is it possible to retain a healthy identity as a Deaf person? okay, possible, but likely? what about our linguistic development?

you know, i'm what international signers call half-deaf: i live in both deaf and hearing worlds, not really because i'm hard of hearing (i'm not) but because i was raised by a very loving hearing family. and while i love deaf people and the deaf world, i'm not going to let go of my family. and that means being open to the hearing world, being interested in what hearing people do. as an outsider and observer, yeah, but still, interested. i went through mainstream programs like a bowling ball. and finally, one day, i was given the choice: try a Deaf school, MSSD, or keep going to hearing schools in New York.

and I chose MSSD. and it changed my life forever, in ways I'm still trying to understand. I know a lot of you reading this went through the same thing. i mean, before then, i didn't really have many friends. a few people here and there. but you understand, the friendship was limited. it was like... saying hello, that kind of thing. how are you. and then all of a sudden i realized i could predict how someone would react, and I could do stuff i knew they would like. i had people i felt comfortable with. i didn't always need to talk to them because i knew how they would feel about things, and they were the same to me. and i became a part of people's lives, and they became part of mine. it's called community, and based on personal experience and stories shared by others I feel this is what's denied to mainstream students: the opportunity to be part of a community, specifically the community that is a school.

mssd was cool because gally was right there. we were part of a bigger community. and kendall was there too, which meant we could see ourselves as we were, to some extent. it can be kind of mind blowing for those of us not born into deaf families. but what bugs me is how this isn't... admitted to. community isn't seen as important. but we find ourselves through other people. yeah, you can go off and soul-search all you like. but growing up? as a teenager? adolescent? we have all those friends, all those phone calls. because we want to find ourselves, and we do it by talking to other people, trying on opinions, attitudes, ideas like excited girls in the mall try on clothes. i'm not sure someone who doesn't have that, and isn't lucky enough to happen onto a community elsewhere, will develop into a multifaceted person... i dunno. whatchall think?

and bringing it back to the yankees - i stopped watching them when i became deaf. now i think this is largely because i didn't have anyone to watch with... now i do... galore... and it's fucking awesome. plus ive rediscovered my childhood ga-ganess over pitchers... YO MOOSE!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

deaf people voting

oh yeah. we do. click here to see why, courtesy of Bree.
as for me, i know that deaf people have a lot at stake in this upcoming election. we all do. that's why Chiromeme is excited Deaf people are lobbying for Kerry. If any of those people want to talk about things here, feel free - comment away.
meanwhile, has everyone registered to vote? i was walking down the street when I picked up my voter reg card from a very nice-looking boy who looked both really eager and really bored (hed been campaigning that street for weeks.)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

72nd street station

this is my 72nd post. so it made me think of 72nd street station, maybe one of my favorite areas in the city... might describe why another time. when i actually have time. for now, YANKEES RULE. char and i went to the slaughtered lamb (which is pretty much my favorite pub in new york - got proper food, good drinks, and weird shit to look at. plus: a fireplace) to watch the team beat the crap out of the twins. well, great game, they scared the shit out of me but as char said "never count the yanks out...." and they came through.
equally interesting were the fact that five or six drunken firemen came and were hovering round char... i THINK they thought i was her boyfriend... hehehe... sorry for losing you a big ol fireman, char!
on the way home i talked to a guy on the subway who turned out to be a rugby player who played with the gotham knights. i love rugby and admire the knights so this was pretty cool for me... mind you my favorite team will probably always be the king's cross steelers.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

no deaf people in de debates

this is all just theory but im curious... have any deafies ever been to presidential debates? i don't think ive ever seen one... 1) chances are the terp would distract the debators and 2) deafies dont hear tone of voice. 2) is very important... because i think a lot of people use their voice powers to control the minds of voters. like shrubbush is supposed to have a really good voice. deaf people are not victims of their verbal powers so we see their actual words which may or may not make sense...

maybe this is why they push implants and other hearing devices so hard. so that one day they will be able to control us with their ... what's that bubbly pink thing in the back of your throat?

i hope to hear about an apartment today. everyone who comments on this blog will get sushi, handmade.

maybe vodka. if i don't finish it first ;)

yep, you knew it was coming

more apologies, this time to just about everyone:

DICKY: And you will vote for me, cos I got C-O-N-V-I-C-T ooh baby! I-O-N! What you need, what you need... just a little bit of me... Ain't gonna back down, you can fact-check my ass, you can say I've run out of money and gas, but I beliiiiiiiieve...... I did it my way.

JOHNNY: Believe me, Cheney's gotta go... and it'll grieve me, cos I love war so... but we both know: your way has got to go -

CHENEY: Wish I could say the right words to make you understand; wish I could play the father, and ground you where you stand - we had to baaaaaaand together on Iraq!

JOHNNY: We were under your spell; I wish it wasn't true - why did we listen to you? You led Halliburton way too well; all the things you do - playing with our memory; nobody knows what's true - our soldiers go through hell: Dick, this ain't a game - There'll be nothing left to save - you made us belieeeeeeve -

DICKY: I had to play the father and lead you by the hand; I had to say the right words - you want me out, but my time just hasn't passed - how can you lead if you're not going to stand fast?

JOHNNY: I won't stand fast on lies; we need the truth. We won't get it from you - Wish I could trust that it was just this once but you have lied, lied, lied, lied way too much - We can't adjust to this disgust - So we do what we must; you're done and I just

DICKY and JOHNNY: Will do it my wayyyyyyyyyyyyy....

Did anyone else fall asleep during the televised debate?

interesting story: friend Mary, physics queen, notes that a conservative radio show was discussing who was "sexier" during the debate last night-her husband was listening, "spying" on the conservatives. when someone called in and asked them why they were wasting their time on something so frivolous and useless they said they were trying to decide the undecided voters... by convincing people that Cheney was fatherly and therefore sexy, when compared to young puppy Edwards.

frankly the idea of Cheney in spandex and leather has a certain appeal, but more for MAD magazine than serious voters. but maybe the republicans ran out of ideas. or - scarier - maybe they do think he's sexy. in which case all republicans are from planet Bizarre-o-matic.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

middle east signs

kind of sad now. i know im sentimental but:

...prior to the Gulf War, there was no sign in the Arabic Sign Language for "scud missile". Within days after the start of the war, the Arab deaf community created such a sign and it is readily understood throughout the region today. -Robert Moulton, Ph.D.; Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D.; and Marshall Smith, Ph.D., in

thing is deaf people are by and large peace-loving people. sure, we sometimes get into arguments (usually of the type where "she said something about our friend who did this and do what") or we get drunk and have bar fights. but, you know, we like each other too much to fight for long. unless you're Ridor, and then you've got a grudge for life. but even then I think it's mostly drama.

so now an entire region of deaf people has to develop a war-based sign language... yeah, maybe it had to happen. still: sad.

early morning

kind of a beautiful day out there.

still apartment hunting. sort of. we found this one apartment with an amazing landlord. and we want it. it's kind of refreshing to not have someone discriminating against you in ways big or small. this guy took it easy - you know how people can just sort of step slowly when they know they're not in their world? and if you do that you somehow manage to not hurt anyone because it's obvious you're taking it easy and waiting to see how things turn out? that was what this guy was like. he didn't seem to have any assumptions. he remarked he didn't know relay had been established and that he used to work with d/d children and it would have been great for them. he asked me if it was hard working as a deaf person. just a lot of intelligent questions you know?

unfortunately he seems easy going all over and i want to sign the fucking lease yesterday.

meanwhile, the republicans are still holding the cherry out from the broken pie and saying one cherry means everything's okay. Will the little 'tards never learn? the republicans have refined their technique: now they just say all the bad stuff first then put "we saved the world from Saddam the Useless" at the end and lo and behold! the sun comes out! ah, kiss my ass.

my friend's in the hospital with pneumonia. i think her lung's collapsed. i'm too worried to write much more. i wish i knew more stuff about healing. i barely know how to stop blinding headaches.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

kill all the arabs

been thinking. had a friend tell me the other week - a deaf friend - that it was time to nuke all the arabs. kill them all in order to protect us. don't think he knew i had a bit of arab blood, don't think it mattered. i tried to talk about it but he said he would do it for his own safety and for the people he loved. wouldn't i?

well, no. i couldn't. the thing is, it's racist. not all terrorists are arabs. not all arabs are terrorists. most of the US terrorist experiences have been with white supremacists, for example (which goes to show something but i can't think what.) killing a bunch of arabs won't kill terrorists. most likely the terrorists will know it's coming and get out, and all that'll be there to kill is a bunch of innocent people. (well, they're dark skinned aren't they? de facto guilty.) and then of course we get a bunch of people who hate us a LOT because we've killed their friends. and they will then become terrorists. and don't forget not all of america is white. lots of americans are multiracial, too. that kind of racist act - killing a physically different group because you have a problem with an ideologically different group - can only lead to more suffering for everyone. plus we'd have the deaths of millions of innocents on our shoulders. murder is murder, wholesale or retail.

problem is a lot of americans have been trained to make no distinction btw act and race. we hear about a crime and, the news tells us, it's probably committed by a black person. frankly, i grew up without being trained to have the bit in my head that lets color lead to blindness. it's not anything special. it's just my mum liked being around black people and danced to reggae. she loved asian music, indian, and yes, arab; these things were part of my life from the ground up.

when i see terrorists commit a crime, i see criminals. i don't see... a group of people defined by their skin color. i see a group which has chosen to perform specific acts. a criminal group. hell, even "terrorism" is something you can break down. sometimes into "freedom fighters." you could say america was started by an act of terrorism - the boston tea party. when you cut anything down into a simple block of color - whether it's people or an idea - and forget that anything humans get involved with gets simultaneously stained and shiny, you lose sight of the real world. you start seeing people as things....

Friday, October 01, 2004

transcript of presidential debate

with apologies to joss whedon

KERRY: I'm strong -
BUSH: I'm stronger -
KERRY: I've been a soldier longer -
BUSH: I've been a whole lot wronger and I'm still standing here.
KERRY: I think, he blusters -
BUSH: He flip-flops and he flusters -
KERRY: He gave the Army feather dusters to save money on gear!
(musical interlude)
KERRY: He lieeeeeed-he said it's easy-
BUSH: He tried - but there's some fears he just won't quell -
KERRY: He's just looking for a pot of gold -
BUSH: He won't look good when he's gotten old -
KERRY: And our lives will be real stressful cause he's never quite successful -
BUSH: It'll be another whore house with a Kerry in the White House -
KERRY: Is he crazy?
BUSH: He's a dreamer -
KERRY: He's a drinker and a sniffer -
BUSH: There'll be another terror if he wins in the fall!
KERRY: So that's why I'll never fail -
BUSH: I swear that I'll never fail -

the two dance together on stage.

KERRY: When things get rough, he just hides behind his Cheney; now look, he's getting grumpy 'cos he knows that I know-
BUSH: He's rich, he's greedy, he's also kinda stinky; he never -
KERRY: His eyes are beady!
BUSH: This is my verse, hello? He -
KERRY: (spoken) Look at me, I'm dancing crazy! dances. bush joins in.
KERRY: He's dumb -
BUSH: He's dumber -
KERRY: (suspiciously) He looks a little number -
BUSH: He'll never ever tell you anything but lies.
KERRY: I've read this tale; there's election, then betrayal; I know there'll come the day you'll want to run and hide -
BUSH and KERRY: The viiiiibe... gets kind of scary...
BUSH: Like you think I'm ordinary -
KERRY: Like the world is secondary -
BUSH: Like getting Saddam's negetary -
KERRY: Will you stop the eyes and stammer?
BUSH: If you'll stop fixing my grammar -
KERRY: Admit you were in the slammer!
BUSH: I think I hear the ending bell -
KERRY: You see? He'll never tell - I swear that he'll never tell -
fade to black

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

feud! feud!

tonight i'm gonna be in a kind of family feud game with ridor, cyn, and der sankt... as well as a couple of interpreters... against a hearing team. i don't wanna make this about deaf vs. hearing but it's going to be hard not to... especially when we win... hehehehe!

yesterday was terribly crappy. wallet got stolen (i got it back, minus the cash;) fights with a couple of important people over silly things. plus i got caught in hurricane jeanne's remnants... the rain was DEADLY last night.

still working on my third script; it's gonna be pretty damn good. where can i find a really strong deaf actress to carry off the main character, im not sure. she has to be in her late 20's and, well, my friend JP said she has to have experience cos it's a really complex part. see how it goes. and soon i'll try to write a comedy... god knows i have enough material from life...

meanwhile, you politicos, look at this and this. Ridor has an interesting post on his page about Bush's 'success' too. If nothing else, we should get rid of the PROVEN failure and see about this new guy, right?

one thing driving me fucking NUTS lately is the Bush admin's use of getting rid of Saddam as an excuse for the mess. Blair's been doing it too. "I am not going to apologize for getting rid of Saddam." Well, good and fine, but you know, if I make a cherry pie and you step on my cherry pie and totally fuck it up then bend over and pick one whole cherry out of the mess and say "see, I'm not going to apologize because I saved you a cherry!" i'm not exactly going to be happy, right? Saddam is Bush's cherry. But Saddam is only part of this whole big thing and it's not right for Bush to use one good result to justify 1,000 bad ones. Especially when the whole thing is death and death and death.

i had a discussion the other night with someone who believes killing all the arabs is the answer. i have arab in my ancestry, though i'm mostly italian. it's hard for me to understand such a feeling. yes, terrorists want to kill us, but if we let ourselves descend to the level where murder is just another option and not something to be approached with fear, they really have won. if some immature bastard punches me, i will defend myself, yeah. but im not going to punch innocent people because im terrified of ever getting punched again.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

family matters

spent the weekend with my fam. it was pretty damn restful, except for the parts where we freaked over the hurricane (my sister's boy is in florida, his son, my other sister's down there too... couple cousins....) but frankly jeanne seems to be just a dream of a hurricane as it's sort of melting away. still on top of all the other damage down there it's got to be awful. any deafies out there evacuating who can tell their story? i wonder if it's tougher for deaf people to evacuate... or easier, since deaf people seem much more willing to let people hang out.

my sis and i discussed the election - she asked me if i thought it was wise to change presidents in the middle of a war. my response was pretty much threefold - one, this president believes the war is over. two, kerry isn't being dropped here with no idea of what's going on - he's been in the senate and he's outlined plans for how he wants to deal with this. three, bush has no international respect right now, and we need international respect if we're going to get what we want done in iraq. whatever that is. anyone see flaws in my reasoning? i mean, it is POSSIBLE bush is some kind of supa secret agent with all kinds of inside information and if kerry becomes president we lose a genius... um... no.

after all, he said this:

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."—GW Bush, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

yeah, lots of international support. shouldn't a president at least be competent geographically?

in other news, the ride home from the ferry was... interesting. lots of beautiful islanders - staten island people can be pretty goodlooking. meanwhile, trash everywhere. and i don't mean paper - i mean people. this girl started yelling at this guy about her baby (i think) and the police had to separate them. the guy was laughing and his girlfriend looked totally stoned. plus she was missing a tooth. everyone made a circle around them and the police took them away. more street theater i guess...

yeah, people believe this....

which is why we need more money for education in the USA.

Friday, September 24, 2004

deaf people voting

hmmm, deaf awareness week. is there a deaf program to get out the deaf vote?

what should deaf people vote for anyway? the problematic ADA is generally the starting point for deaf people. many of us depend on the ADA to force employers, shopkeepers, etc. to make sure their stores and businesses don't discriminate against us. (I am NOT going to use the term "access." The term is "anti-discrimination." if i want access, trust me, I'll get the access on my own.) bush's stand on the ADA is weird. on the one hand he keeps saying he supports it and he's signed this New Freedom Initiative (which basically tries to absolve the government from some responsibility in ADA enforcement from what I can understand of it.) on the other hand many remember the Jeffery Sutton debacle; Sutton was a judge nominated by Bush with strong anti-ADA views. Generally, I think Bush is okay with the ADA as long as it doesn't cost businesses or the government anything, which is kind of counterproductive.

on the other hand, kerry and edwards have a strong history of supporting the ADA; this group called Americans for Democratic Action did research on Kerry/Edward's voting record for the ADA. eddie's lowest score is 65%; kerry's is 85%. Can't apply this to bush/cheney: not on the senate or house of reps. KB might know more about this. KB? fess up darlin.

im curious if anyone wants to come up with shortlists of issues we as deaf people need to be aware of for our own security. for example, heres what i can think of:

  • the FCC - they control our paging systems and a lot of other communication tools and often control how much we pay for them. are there any deaf people working with the FCC? no. their disability dept is led by an audiologist i believe. which goes to show the kind of perspective theyre gonna have on us. this is gonna be VERY important in the next couple years.
  • education - we have a serious education crisis in this country for deaf people and unfortunately those people who should be leaders are not leading. instead of using research to prove points about deaf education, we have been forced into a "reactive" role, letting scientists and politicians set the agenda.

I would really love for other people to post things they are concerned about politically related to deaf stuff. even if it's weird and small.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


can anyone post here? i set the comments to "yes" but nobody's posted like ever.

maybe nobody's reading. come on, seattle, im listening... to someone else....

kwazy klowns!

tonight i enjoyed a little participation in one of the great traditions of new york: street theater.

for you nonyorkers, let me explain. NYC street theater comes in two varieties: intentional and unintentional. Unintentional is when KB for example (just for example!) walks over one of those grate things and a train goes by underneath, sending a huge wind upwards (for a change) and making her look like a perplexed marilyn monroe.

intentional street theater can be just as fun, plus it has clowns.

tonight i went to see circus amok which you can read about on their webpage. there is someone who interprets for them occasionally, but she wasn't there tonight; the show isn't really verbal though except for a total of maybe three minutes, and even then there's so much action it quite justifies the cost... which is zero. yes. this really fucking awesome circus, with these really fucking amazingly talented people, one of them my fucking gorgeous friend cypress (hi cypress!), can be seen for free. the schedule's on their webpage; apparently it's part of this large loosely scheduled series of performing groups which can be looked at here. And in my experience, since these are fringe groups, they actually give a shit about who watches their show, and if you call them as a deaf person and ask for an interpreter, they're FAR more likely to know what you're talking about. (That enough of the fuck word for you, rt?)

please take the time to go to this show. it's worth it. havent laughed so hard at a circus since i was 2. (as I told cypress' friend.)

name change and assorted crap

Not gonna be colorrific like RT here but yeah, a name change. I'm getting tired of politics. It will keep popping back up here and there but the fact is it's all bullshit by bullshitters. Mind you I'd probably vote for John McCain ... or would have until he compromised himself by deciding to stand up for Bush in the RNC when he's been lambasting the texan since he first took office.

so why deaf in the city? mostly cos it looks nice, and because i want to talk a little bit about being a deaf person in a messy city. who says a title has to stay the same forever?

right now I'm apartment hunting. Have a friend looking with me and we're kind of enjoying getting to know each other - she just found out I read tarot and collect tarot decks; we both share an obsession with clean bathrooms and kitchens. but let me tell you it's effing disgusting, the way some of these people treat us when we call them using relay. almost as bad as the human resources people. "We don't take calls from relay people." "Agggh, this is frustrating, I'm going to hang up, call me back later." Yeah, some of it is crappy relay operators, but by and large it's just mainly people being idiots.

which makes me wonder what the point of deaf awareness week is. it's really just a big deaf party in new york. there's no political action, there's no outreach to other communities. my hearing friends are shocked. nobody in my office knew about it till i told them and i work with other deaf people! i wonder if schools study helen keller the way we study martin luther king in black awareness month? or is it african american now? i forget. when is someone going to call me a deaf american?

by the way, all of you should know that fahrenheit 9/11 is showing in the clearview theater this weekend and monday next week - schedule posted at deaf nyc news. I worked my butt off to get this movie subtitled and showing in new york, so i'd appreciate it if you bought a ticket - i'll be there monday, maybe both sunday and monday depending on my mood. i don't care if you're republican, democrat, or shish kebab - the point is this is a big thing and we finally can participate by watching and talking about it. dig? dig.

why do I use lowercase letters when I'm not talking about politics? next blog!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


im stepping out of my usual political shit to speak straight from the source to your eyes, girls and boys. things have been kind of nuts for me lately. yeah, inside and outside and all the other sides. im in love, im looking for a home, im looking for a real job. i have a lot of stress and pressure from all sides, especially inside. you know what, when you're 25 nothing ever comes fast enough, and when it doesn't you have a tendency to blame yourself. such is life.

we're deaf people in a really fucked up city. one of the most "kultyyyyyural" places in the world, yeah, and one of the most prejudiced. try being a deaf person calling about a job. trust me, nothing more depressing than having a relay person tell you "they said they don't take calls from deaf people and hung up." assholes. they even turn you down secondhand. and yet we have shit like the deaf awareness festival which brings hundreds of deafies together and advertises how wonderful we are.

does anyone think it's kind of funny that on deaf awareness week all deaf people want to do is be with each other? funny funny and funny nice, but not funny peculiar (eh defbef?)

tonight i had this voice in my head. it was a really dark voice. it said my education was wasted. it said i was a failure and probably would always be so. it said the universe was against me. it was the kind of voice that builds walls around you in your head and mesmerises you so carefully you never notice youre being bricked in until it's too late to do anything but scream. and yeah, a lot of this voice comes from being here, in a world that does not care for fairness, as a deaf person. but you know what? i told the voice it was an idiot. i said nobody was a failure at 25. i said their (meaning hearing peoples') criteria for success were just that - theirs. hell, it's not that unusual. it's the same thing artists and gay people and black people have seen. and other deaf people too. but this time it kind of took.

and maybe love has a little to do with that. and maybe not. sure, this is the real world. what of it? im real, too. and i know how to use a shovel, and really, in the end, you wake up, you go outside, and you step into this rich texture of the world, and it feels like everything is singing to you, just waiting softly for you to join in, and i'm supposed to listen to a damned voice telling me how much of a failure i am?

so: deaf awareness week. not for failures. that's my awareness. that's my week.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Powell the Diplomat, take one

Via Cursor, I found a link to this transcript of a discussion between Sy Hersh and Colin Powell. Some interesting points:

  • Powell discussing the cause of going to war in Iraq:
    We have not found those stockpiles.  We certainly have found the history of the use of such weapons and the intention and capability.  There's no doubt in my mind that if he had ever been freed of international constraints and the pressure of the international community--if we all said, "Never mind" and walked away, he would have gone back to developing those weapons.

    Fair enough. Was anyone talking about saying "Never mind" and walking away? Nope. Not even the French. We were going to keep our eyes on them and keep sending inspectors into the country. The inspections were obviously working - even though we blasted the rubble into bits, they found no weaps. Ergo, effective inspections, right? The only way to say the inspections weren't effective would be to find weapons. Which we didn't. Who was going "Never mind," Mr. Powell?

    Powell then goes on to talk about how even though they didn't find weapons, sending troops to Iraq was justified because if Saddam had had a weapon, he might have used it. This is embarrassing, as you'll see later.

  • Another interchange:

    MR. RUSSERT:  Do you believe if John Kerry was elected and we were attacked by terrorists, he would simply treat it as a criminal act?  Or would he deal with it in a robust way, an act of war?

    SEC'Y POWELL:  I can't tell you how he might respond to it.  As commander in chief, I think he'd respond in a robust way.  The vice president clarified those remarks later in the week.  He wasn't casting any aspersions on Mr. Kerry by those remarks.  What he was essentially saying is, "You know how this president has responded, how President Bush has responded to this kind of terrorist attack, and so you know where we're coming from and how we will deal with this kind of threat."

    Personally, I'd hope Kerry would have more than those simple two options. The fact is the latter option hasn't worked; it's impossible to wage traditional war on something that isn't a country. Without being grounded, centered, and hierarchial the way our military is, a terrorist individual or organization has the advantage of not being as susceptible to the weapons the military possesses - weapons developed often because the military examines military weaknesses.

    The former option is equally problematic, although slightly better; focusing as it does on the individual or the group as perpetrators of a crime, it permits a large variety of responses, from police surveillance to, yes, large scale intervention. Neither response would be effective at eliminating the cause of terrorism or preventing it. In fact, since most terrorists indicate the war-like status of the United States as one of their prima facie, we get stuck with this dualistic thing where our punishment - becomes our punishment. Even bounty hunting, about as close to the edge of legal as we've gotten, hasn't worked. Every time we start having this discussion, someone complains that we're pandering to terrorists. No. We want to find an effective solution.

  • Last comment:

    MR. RUSSERT:  You said that in Sudan we are witnessing genocide.  In Bosnia, when we witnessed genocide, we sent in American troops.  Is there a possibility we would send American troops as part of an international force into Sudan to stop this bloodshed?

    SEC'Y POWELL:  I don't see that as a possibility at this time.  In fact, there's not a need to.  I don't think it's the right solution, and no European troops are prepared to go in.  The African Union has sent in a small number of troops, but they've indicated a willingness to send in a much larger number of troops, in the thousands.  And so the strategy we're following now is to press the Sudanese very hard in the Security Council.  And as you may have noticed, we're the only ones who have declared it as genocide. 

    So what's happening in Sudan is genocide. An entire people are dying. Yet it's far more important to invade Iraq, because they might have weapons. Right. Of course.

No wonder we're losing international support, with our foremost diplomat making these kinds of brainless statements in one interview.

Monday, August 30, 2004

does protesting work?

Hmmm. I've said it before and I'll say it again, and probably here:

Freedom of speech means nothing without the obligation to listen.

It's become rather clear that the most exciting tactic - and possibly the most successful - the GOP now possesses is the ability to ignore. Zones of silence surround the right-wing facilities. Even Bush is only dropping in and out of New York, ears covered, eyes averted. What this distancing shows is not a desire to conduct their activities in peace, or even for the rather shaky concept of protection: what it shows is that the GOP no longer considers themselves stewards of a populist state. Nobody wants to listen. They only want that one percent that allows them to do what they wish, and screw the majority - at least as much as it takes for them to get that one percent on the record.

So what does this mean for protesting? Nonviolent action is often centered on the premise that there is someone listening; it's a kind of hopeful play for the ears of whoever is in charge, with the assumption that that person cares about the (often well-thought out) logic and reactions of those closer to the ground. I'm no longer convinced this person is there; if he ever was, Bush fired him.

At its best protesting can be an excellent way to get the ears of those who have not had a chance to listen. (All this listening crap is going to hurt my Deaf head, but this IS english, and hearing people come up with the terms. Silly buggers.) When I protested cochlear implants at various conventions, there were always that cool minority of people who came across the picket lines and listened to us, took our flyers, listened to our reasons for being anti- whatever activity we were anti-ing. And it was cool. Some of those people changed their minds. Some of them just allowed their minds to open. Regardless, those people went back to their conventions the next day with a little more information about the people they'd never met who they were supposed to represent.

When people like Bush, however, say "Oh, shout all you like, I'm all for free speech. But I'll be over here. Behind this wall, behind the cops, behind my cops, behind these people, and thus too far away from you and your friends to hear anything. Isn't freedom of speech wonderful?" it's a direct insult to democracy. Hell, it's an insult to all Americans. Right now? Half the country doesn't give a shit, because Bush is good at blinding people to the fact that he's stabbing them in the back. But two, three years from now? Four? If he's still President, and we all have dead relatives in Iraq, and we're all poor and jobless... yeah. Then you'll start caring.

Until then, I do.


Hmmm. Morning's frustrated coffee-fueled rage over, I can get to the point of this morning's post:

That we need to find new ways to protest. I think getting together in one big group is very important. But doing it reactively, going to the Republican National Convention for one, just allows us to underline/highlight/emphasize how little our voices matter. And gives them the opportunity to not listen. It doesn't give us the opportunity to be, as much as I hate the word, proactive. Which should be the actual as well as epistemological point of the word action.... It also, I am afraid, gives the government and media time to prepare for ignoring us, thus divorcing us from the other people we want to talk to, the American people. Vietnam's horrors were stopped when the public saw burning children. We can no longer show burning children on the television, on the grounds that reality is too horrifying for America and thus must be kept from it at all costs (although it certainly wasn't kept from children.)

We also need to challenge their legitimacy in preventing or containing our protests. Their concerns about 'safety' et al are too easily ridiculed and ridiculous (would you rather have protestors wandering the streets randomly looking for a place to gather or would you rather have them tell you where they're gonna get together? Protest will happen one way or another... but as August suggests, if security is your concern, having people tell you where they're gonna be is pretty much the way to go.) I'm not as optimistic as August; I believe they waited so long to give "permission" for people to employ our legal right to protest in order to create disorder, not order. What would have happened if Bostonites had asked permission to form a tea party?

Friday, August 20, 2004

just a personal note to a friend....

happy shish-ke-birthday.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

breaking the implant myths

It's important for Deaf people to fight the implant myths wherever they go. USA-L linked to an article on implants, which pretended to be about genetic alteration of children (but then went on to talk about you know what!) Two common myths appeared in this article which I'd like to talk about:

  • Cochlear implants are the most effective form of "treatment" for Deaf people. While it's true that for Deaf people with no hearing whatsoever benefit greatly from implants, by and large implantation is not appropriate for Deaf people. Hearing aids, for example, are much more powerful. HOWEVER, I have a problem with this whole part of the discussion. If it's so okay for people to be Deaf - a concept which I agree with - why do we counter one form of "treatment" with another? It's true hearing aids are more powerful than implants, for those who can use them. But if our argument is "It's okay to be Deaf," if we're marching in the Deaf pride parade, why use these tinkertoys at all? Let's not forget the brainwashing we go through from childhood. We've been told since we were kids that we're broken and we need the tinkertoys to survive. Psychology sucks.
  • Oh, I love this one: The device, especially when implanted at an early age, is so effective that many of
    those who wear it no longer need to communicate with signs or with lipreading. For all intents and purposes, they are converted into full-fledged members of the hearing community.
    One thing that pisses me off is how authors like this one never actually talk to Deaf people or go to schools for the Deaf, despite acknowledging that implants and genetics are great issues in the Deaf community. It's like someone writing about Black people without going to see one, you know? You wind up with this totally twisted picture of what Deaf people are about, mostly made up by other hearing people who've never been there. Jason Silberberg, who wrote this article, is no different, and it certainly seems as if he hasn't spoken to many - he quotes one Deaf person from the World Federation of the Deaf, that's it. So: what about the "effectiveness" of this "device?" First off, if you look at implant company webpages, many caution you to realize that implanted children will still be Deaf. Secondly, I've been to a lot of Deaf schools and see tons of Deaf children who just aren't using the machines anymore and who are signing happily. As for Deaf people not being part of the community, the fact that Gallaudet has set up an "implant centre" and thousands of students with implants are applying for this culturally Deaf university gives the lie to this argument. I've personally never thought Deaf people needed to fear implants destroying the Deaf community; the danger lies in implants taking away time from our education, deluding parents, and causing medical problems later on in our lives. Not to mention the fact that to be implanted once is to be implanted for ever, and therefore a medical patient and perhaps truly disabled, for the rest of our lives. We just don't need them to survive, learn, or be full able-bodied people, and those who "push" them have never spoken to or tried to be a part of us-does anyone know about the Walter Nance this article mentions? The one who claims Deaf people are now embracing the "cochlear revolution?"

Well, there it is. The other little bits of audism in the article - things like saying "people don't need to communicate with signs" (as if Sign wasn't a language, or was something really dirty and onerous....) you can look at yourself. But this is hardly very good reporting in any case.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

frank bartolillo

SHOUT OUTs to Frank Bartolillo, the Australian Deaf fencer who will be competing in this year's Olympic Games. I spent many happy hours learning to fence in college and miss the sport intensely. So every time I hear about a Deaf fencer, I get a little excited.

I have a problem with his biography however. Under "awards and honors" whoever wrote the bio quotes the Miami Sun-Herald: "He is one of only a handful of deaf athletes who have competed at the able-bodied Olympic Games." (Sun Herald 18/04/04) Um, what? Yeah, there havent been THAT many Deaf athletes competing in the Olympics - but they've been there. And Deaf people are able-bodied. The whole sentence just feels like, you know, a Black person putting "One of the few Black people on the US Senate" as an "award or honor" on their webpage. It's kind of more emphasizing of the discrimination people experience, than how special the person themselves is, you know?

Or - worse - it makes it seem like he's there out of special dispensation. Letting the Deaf kid play with the big boys. Fuck that. I kicked ass when I fenced for college, and so does Frank. GO AUSTRALIA!

Addendum: One more thing - why didn't they just list the competitions and stuff Frank has won? You're telling me Australia would send an untried fencer to the Olympics? No fucking way. They just put "it's an honor for him to be here." Stuffy assholes. Probably - and I couldn't guarantee this, but Sneaking Suspicion - they didn't bother to try calling him on relay.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Doctors out there?

Hmmm. Something's smelly about this article by Robert Pear in the NY Times. (Note: need to register for NY Times online for this.) Basically he says in the first paragraph.
The federal government is offering $1 billion to hospitals that provide emergency care to undocumented immigrants. But to get the money, hospitals would have to ask patients about their immigration status, a prospect that alarms hospitals and advocates for immigrants.

I can understand the need of the federal government to restrict illegal immigrants. This is not because of the Republican reasons about taking jobs and destroying the economy which I believe are a little stupid - obviously, more people means more jobs. More people means more work - the people need food, someone needs to sell it. I believe this because it takes time for the economy to adjust to the influx of people. Yeah, more people means more jobs, but it takes time for the jobs to appear.

I think this is SO the wrong way to go about it though. Hospitals and other groups seem to agree:

Hospital executives and immigrant rights groups said the questioning would deter undocumented immigrants from seeking hospital care when they need it, and some hospitals said compliance might cost them more than they would receive in federal aid.

Now you might be thinking, so a few Mexicans don't get medical care. They didn't pay for it. This is true. But taking care of them is also for our own protection. What if they get Flesh Eating Disease, don't go to a hospital, and the next thing you know all of California is bloody and runny? I do NOT intend to look like Freddy Kreuger at my time of life.

Plus it's gonna cost hospitals more money, when they already don't have it.


to make things worse for Deaf people, guess what? They're "not supposed to" but come on! They're gonna check on the people who don't speak or sound like they speak good English. So us little Deaf people with our funny voices? They're gonna mess around with us. Trust me, enough people ask me if I'm French or Spanish each week to make me wonder if I was born south of El Paso. We already get harrassed by police. And right now, with the unemployment rate so high, especially among the disabled, and Deaf people at the bottom of the list for potential hirees (like we always are) we're even more fucked. I don't want to have to worry about being marked for an immigrant next time i break something.

One more thing:

When such families hear about the questions asked by hospital employees, Ms. Urrutia said, "it's likely that the undocumented immigrant parents will be terrified to seek care for their children, let alone themselves.''

So we're gonna wind up with broke hospitals, fresh flesh eating disease, and dead children.

Plus I really feel bad about doctors being forced to break or bend that little oath they made, to help and heal people.

Hey, Kathy!

Note to Katharine Harris of Florida fame:

I see you working so hard on a daily basis to try to be a big player in the Republican corner. But I think you've overlooked something: they've already got enough token females. Try cross-dressing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

surprise, surprise!

Newspapers all over are talking about how the "specific information" the government is talking about is four years old or so. The assumption is that Bush is using the information to make himself look good and distract people from the Kerry convention. That would explain why the information came out on Sunday, right after Kerry made his speech - and might explain why the polls didn't look so good for Kerry.

I thought of another very clear and easy to understand point which looks bad for Bush: if we had the information four years ago, why would it be coming out only NOW if not to help Bush in the polls? If this was at all serious, people would have informed Citigroup etc. a while ago to give them time to protect themselves. At the least they could have had months to investigate their buildings and check out their staff. Instead, the information was held back until now and people are told an attack could happen any day. So there is reason to believe this information is not genuine. Bush is wasting New York's limited money on a false alarm. This is horrifying because there are real terrorist threats out there. One day a real attack will be imminent and we won't have the money to do anything but buy gum and spit it at the terrorists.

I recently went to England and was reminded of a day three years ago when I first went to attend University there, right after the 9/11 attacks (should have flown on September 12th, but flight was delayed of course.) I was very gung ho about meeting people and learning BSL, so I flew over a week before classes began in order to go to Blackpool for a Deaf party despite not knowing anyone or having a place to stay - about a thousand Brit Deafies were there, and a few Americans too. When they found out Americans were there - this was on September 15th or 16th, I think, 2001 - the Brits immediately organized, collected a few hundred pounds, and forced us up on a stage. They told us they would put the money together and send it to New York right away. People were crying in the audience. The support and love and sympathy was so palpable; it was really a beautiful scene.

Bush threw away all this love and sympathy with his lies and bad policies.

The thing that pisses me off is that he and his friends like to say people hate America. People do not hate America. On my recent visit, people loved meeting me - they liked the American. But they all said negative things about Bush. I heard again and again from Deaf people that Bush makes people more afraid than terrorists ever could. The recent false alarm is an example of this. I'm convinced the world still loves us quirky, funny Americans and the things we make, do and create. They like American TV, American books, American art, American cars.

The fact is that the sympathy the world had for America after 9/11 is still there. People still love us. But they don't trust our leader, and who can blame them? When John Kerry takes office, that sympathy will be available to him and he will be able to do amazing things with it. He will need it. Bush will leave this country a wreck, and the effects of many of his policies won't be felt for many years. It's easy to destroy, it's hard to build. It's easy to divide and hard to unite. I only hope Deaf people over the world will continue to support us Deaf Americans. I still feel like crying when I remember those faces in the audience, and my own embarrassment at how inadequate my words of thank you were to the kind of unsolicited love and support British Deaf people showed us.

Is it any wonder I fell in love with England?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bad Democrats! Bad!

I am so tired of the democrats.

Right now the whole big thing is "We won't attack Bush. We won't be negative. They don't want us to be negative. Let's not be negative."

Hello? The twinkie in office has turned our country into this terrified icebox, with citizens hiding and huddling. He's destroyed our economy. He's destroying our environment. And we can't be negative? We're not allowed to criticize poor Mr. Bush? What kind of politics is this? Be nice to the cute guy from Texas? If the incumbent president has made mistakes which are ruining the country, don't people have a RESPONSIBILITY to point out those mistakes and show how they would fix them?

Isn't that what we want?

Someone to fix all of this shit?

Nah. Better to be nice. After all, none of this is really happening, is it? It's all on television.

This weekend I had to hold my mother while she begged me to quit my job, which is downtown. She doesn't feel safer. If Bush has been so tough on terrorism, why are we still living in a climate of fear? Why did al-Quippy wait until after Bush cut money for terrorism protection to attack us? Think they didn't know? Think people aren't watching us as closely as we're watching them?

Questions. Questions questions questions....

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Been away from the States for a while. Just got back. Feeling a little pensive. Was really inspired and stimulated by the Deaf community in England; realizing I need to get more re-involved with the community in America. So I've been working on that. I've been working on it for a while actually, but now I'm putting more effort into it. I thought the simple fact of working for a Deaf organization would be enough, but the longer I'm here the longer I realize my particular organization has very little involvement in the Deaf community. I don't really have the power to change this, and maybe it shouldn't be changed. I can work at changing myself though.

Politically I've also had to ruminate a bit. I'm not thrilled by the whole DNC speech thing, although I admit Bill Clinton came through with a huge bang. I've just never liked partisanship. I think there are people who vote for people, and people who vote for parties; I prefer to vote for people. If I ever saw a Republican whose values matched mine - and it's come close to happening now and then - I'd probably vote for them. Most Republicans seem to be obtusely short-sighted, however, focusing on short-term and mostly financial gain these days.

One thing that's been on my mind is a story August wrote about with some justified anger. I am also angry about this, but more from a personal and security standpoint. First of all, I've also been racially profiled. Although technically Italian is my darkest skin color (hehehe) I've been stopped and questioned by police. Didn't put in a complaint at the time; it seemed too surreal, and afterwards I realized I hadn't got a name or badge number. So I know how it feels. It's alienating, and a point most people miss is that alienation creates anger, and anger creates... you know.

Secondly, from a general security standpoint, I think racial profiling is pointless. Oh, if you're looking for a specific person, yeah, it's helpful to know their race. BUT - if you don't know what you're looking for, if you're just keeping a general terrorism watch - you have to remember that terrorists can be any color. They're criminals. Criminals can be any color. And in fact, if you watch the news really carefully, we've been catching quite a few white terrorists with bombs, guns, etc. in all parts of our country lately. They don't talk about it in the White House or on the news - I read somewhere because they want to focus attention on the Middle Eastern problem. Of course, this means people like Annie Jacobsen become unneccessarily upset when they see Middle Eastern people. I read her article. It just seemed really paranoid to me. If I saw a white woman staring at me in fear as I boarded a plane, I would not smile happily at her. I would give her the stony look of disdain that she reported. I talked to a couple of my Black friends and they reported similar experiences - white people staring at them, maybe with a look of fear or terror, and what are you supposed to do with that?

I'm afraid that the focus on people with brown skins - who might not be Middle Eastern, you know, just kind of brown - is going to put us at risk from the people with white skins. Who seem to be doing plenty of terrorising lately. Just saying. Me, I'm not really gonna be afraid of anyone. What's the point? Ulcer development?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

this is not news

Two Americans were gored by bulls in Pamplona. The first thing Bush said when he heard of the incident was, "Spain is supporting the terrorists!" Think he's a bit jumpy?...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Some questions and thoughts on outsourcing...

Does it matter if the company saves money by using outsourcing-when Americans can't get a job to pay for that company's products? Of course, the lesser-paid outsourced person would not be able to afford these products.

If a company can outsource, is the American business playing field less level? Does this damage our capitalist ideology?

Can a government agency outsource a job in a country with unemployment and still claim they're doing the right thing?

Why do we outsource jobs, why does the government outsource jobs, then blame people on welfare and unemployment for their own financial problems? Do new jobs mysteriously appear which these people should see and capture as if such jobs were wild animals in forest, growling and biting?

If the business is turning a profit, and only outsources to increase that profit, what does this say about the failure of that corporation to 'spend' on the American economy which fuels it? If we're living in a credit economy and all that money companies are making doesn't flow at least partially into the American economy, doesn't this kind of turn our whole financial state to paper mush?


Friday, July 02, 2004


This made me speechless - via August.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

the poor fight back

In what has to be one of the coolest nonviolent protests ever, homeless and poor people are banding together to fight Bush policies by setting up "Bushvilles" across the country where poor people gather to build tents and raise visibility and awareness of their conditions. In a country where it's increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to find a job, where it's equally impossible to count the true numbers of homeless and jobless and the percentage keeps increasing despite the lies of the Bushitos (can't eat just one!) this kind of action is desperately needed to remind people that Bush's decisions affect more than people in Iraq. How many more Americans will be beggared before we work to meet their need?

The news media have been strangely silent about this - perhaps because, despite high feelings, it's still less controversial to talk about the effects of Bushonomics on far-away Iraq than to focus on the problems he's caused at home, especially since it's very embarrassing for a previously inattentive media to admit their culpability. I'm not, like some people, going to scream and shout "I told you so" at the New York Times, but their example in the case of Judith Whoever and Ahmad Chalabi only demonstrates how difficult it is for them to reverse their tracks in the middle of a story. They're like beginning writers who hate to self-edit. In any case, only small-town newspapers have carried any stories about this - and, of course, foreign newspapers. But this movement is going to carry across America, and it deserves far more attention; indeed, it demands such attention.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

the politics of believing

Lots of interesting trends in politics have surfaced lately which bother me; the concept that the president is above American law, for example. My least favorite of late is the "believe" trend. From Cursor:

The Post article refers to a April 2004 Harris poll, in which 49 percent of Americans said they believe "clear evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda has been found." And according to a March 2004 PIPA poll, 57 percent believe that before the war Iraq was providing substantial support to al-Qaeda.

Believe. Believe. Lots of believing going around. The President believes Saddam has connections to Al-Qaeda. People believe things are going well in Iraq.

Fuck this. I'm tired of belief. I want to see evidence. I want to see a paragraph going by without the word "believe." Evidence means "that which is seen." Mr. President, if it's so visible, why isn't anyone else getting it? Are you letting belief get in the way of your eyes? Or are we all supposed to do that? Suspend whatever critical faculties we possess in favor of the race-inspired belief that all Middle Easterns are terrorists? Fuck all this "belief" shit. This is the real world, not a church. You have proof, you show us. What are you so afraid of? Saddam's in fucking PRISON. What is there left to compromise on your evidence? And why are people so reticient about pointing this out?

The administration's dependency on belief is a house built on a lot of straw men - largely the race thing I mentioned (grouping all Middle Easterns together makes it easier to believe in a connection;) the alienness of their language (Look! Iraq and Al-Qaeda both have Q's!;) the alienness of their religion for many Americans (who still aren't well-informed enough to truly perceive the distinction between Muslim groups, who are often as distinct from each other as Baptists and Catholics.) The administration relies on this lack of information - this lack of evidence, if you will - to create an atmosphere where belief is not only possible but necessary. Add to the stewpot Bush's dependency on religious language and his invocation of the Crusades - and of course the terror of a populace devastated by Nine-Eleven - and you have all the elements needed to create an uninformed populace, dependent only on the words of the Bush-hydra (so many heads from the same body), who will believe whatever they are told, ignoring the various cries not only for common sense but evidence.

This might be one of the reasons why the Bush administration is insisting so strangely that they are right despite the commission's evidence and findings. They are hoping to confuse the issue by confounding proof with authority. They hope that speaking loud enough will make people, you guess it, believe. They can't contradict any of these findings with papers, photos, confessions, or anything. All they have are loud voices, with which to make us believe.

Maybe that's one reason I see past him so easily; Deaf people aren't swayed by political voices! Hmmm!

Has this occurred to anybody?

I don't know. Maybe it's this, or the fact that Bush didn't go after bin Ladin or the guy who killed Nick Berg. But I had a scary thought this morning and I want to put it out there.

Bush has based his political career on fighting (he doesn't say ending) the War on Terrorism. Does that mean he has to make sure the war continues, for his political career to continue? Is this why he's gone after the wrong people? To make sure there's always terrorists for him to fight, and help him get the support of the American people? It would sound like a silly conspiracy theory to except for the fact that he's gone after zero (0) out of (millions) of terrorists and managed to capture one (1) Hussein instead. And even his insistence that Hussein is a terrorist, in the face of all the evidence, seems to hint more that he's afraid people will see him as unsuccessful in the War on Terrorism than that he really believes Hussein has ties to Al-Qaeda.

And then, of course, there's the ominous foreboding Bush keeps putting out that the War might take years and years...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fried=fresh, lawmakers!

I laugh at this. Basically french fries are now considered fresh vegetables for commercial purposes. Aside from the bit about them being fried, and often covered with various chemicals and batters in the process. Next up: belgian waffles with ice cream, the new vegetable! Oh come on. This is just blank.

Fahrenheit WHAT? Can you repeat that?

Great. One of the most important political movies of the decade, and guess what? It's not subtitled in English. Anywhere. Can anyone tell me any different? Please do. Because to excise an entire portion of the populace is NOT good tactics.

Monday, June 14, 2004

cold oil

In some traditions, putting a drop of oil into a basin of water is a prelude to prophecy; the seer would sit in semi darkness and watch the rainbow-patterns of oil on water. It'd provide a focus for their concentration and they'd see visions in their basin.

These days I'm pretty sure they'd use Canola oil. Much cheaper.

The gas situation in the States today strikes me as more than just mildly humorous. If you go hunting on Yahoo for "gas prices," you'll find hundreds of sites dedicated only to current listings of those costs for specific areas. There are even nationwide sites where you can compare gas here to gas there... It's like we never considered gasoline was a finite resource? I mean, hello? In March, 1998 Scientific American wrote that, at the rate of usage in 1998, we would run out of oil in 200 years. That was six years ago. The rate of oil usage, especially in America, has gone up a LOT since then. It will continue to go up. That number's probably been shortened by a few decades.

Now we're all rather shocked because oil's gone up past two bucks a gallon. By rights it should have been past that point years ago. I suspect government subsidization (paid for by your taxes) has kept gas prices down; now the government's new habit of cutting taxes forces some of that money to come out of your pocket. But that isn't the point. The point is, the prices aren't going to go down.

Not gonna happen. Ever. It will continue to get more and more expensive. It can't not. It is limited. Nobody can make more. So please
cease the surprise
and open your eyes
the oil's being drained
your wallet's being maimed
and the government's taking no pains
to find an alternative
before we end up having to walk whereever we want to gooooooo
and dont forget bikes need oil too
to be made
and repaired
so... ooops! (Sorry for the musical interlude, I'm having that kind of day.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Welcome to June

So I took a week's hiatus to just kind of relax. Not that the relaxation kept the news from stopping. The last week's just been kind of silly. I haven't got much patience for people any longer. I mean, how many stupid mistakes does Bush get to make before we take him out of office? Is there a number, anyone? The whole Iraqi governing council debacle is bad enough; now we find out Bush is supporting a double agent. The fact that he claims to be conservative, while fiscally bankrupting the country, is bad enough; yet he and his cronies continue to lie about the financial situation of Americans while covering up how they themselves profit from bunking Americans out of their hard-earned money. He's contributed substantially to the decay of our environment, too. So basically the country's in line to be poor, desert-like, and yelled at by angry Muslims.

Nope, wrong. See, it's all a conspiracy. Bush really loves middle-eastern countries, so he's trying to turn America into one. Only thing that makes sense. That explains why our educational standards have gotten lower, we're becoming more religious, we don't investigate rape, and he's engaging in politics which destroy our environment - he WANTS us to be just like the Iraqis. Because then he can keep freeing us, and we'll be just as grateful as the Iraqis!

But please, Mr. Bush, don't bring over the Iraqi Spiders.

Monday, May 24, 2004

our government, run by... drug addicts?

I somehow missed this way back when. This makes a total of four Bushes arrested for something related to substance abuse. I'm not sure whether to worry more that they abuse substances or that they get caught so often.

Oh yeah, and there's this

Deaf people need to get off their asses. How many Deaf people were at the March in Washington, for choice, recently? Hmmm? Anyone else interested in control over their own bodies? The Wedding March in New York ain't very different, either. Yet somehow, I didn't see anyone there. How you expect anyone to give you any fucking political support, even on cross-group issues, if you don't fucking support them? Remember what happened at Gallaudet after DPN.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

things deaf people should be worried about?

So this is supposed to have some Deaf shit in it. I've been focusing on the war and Iraq because they're, well, huge - but we still have a future of our own and a lot of things to be concerned about.

  • Who's managing the subtitling of films in this country? When I returned from a visit to the UK, I contacted one of the major subtitling groups offering to volunteer in order to help bring more subtitled movies to theaters in New York. There's really so much that could be done, that isn't. Well, I don't have the e-mail anymore so I can't quote it, but basically, they just gave me a blurb about their company with no further information. I reworded my e-mail and sent it twice more with no luck.
  • What about other forms of subtitling? Television and radio are fast being replaced by the internet. Newspapers too. You can download and watch a ton of shit. But none of it has closed captioning or subtitling, despite the fact that Quicktime and Windows Media Player have closed captioning and subtitling layers in their programs already established. We have to think about the future here.
  • The rights of Deaf children. I still believe implants are a personal choice. Therefore, I feel that distrait parents and infants are in no position to judge such a difficult issue. (I was offered the choice of Deaf school or mainstream school at 11. I didn't fully understand it then. How is a kid supposed to understand an implant?) Other countries and the EU have established "rights for Deaf children." We should be working on that. We should also have more support groups around the US composed of Deaf people and hearing parents of Deaf children to go meet new parents of a Deaf child. My mother never, ever met a Deaf person til I was about six - and I didn't know Deaf people could even drive till I went to high school. With such preconceptions about Deaf people's lives and abilities, it's no wonder doctors so easily drive through experimental, invasive and cosmetic surgeries to "defeat deafness."
  • The decreasing job market. Has anyone been exploring the problems caused by the ADA? We had so many frivolous lawsuits - some initiated by Deaf people, some initiated by unscrupulous lawyers taking advantage of Deaf people - that employers are understandably weary of hiring Deaf people. And this is part of the next one too...
  • Deaf people should be working on being in charge of Deaf services. It should have been Deaf people organising film subtitling, Deaf people arranging support groups for new parents, Deaf people teaching businesses about the ADA - not hearing people handpicked by the government, who probably view Deaf people as medical problems and burdens to be borne rather than opportunities to be plucked.

Ok, them's some thoughts. Discuss!

Friday, May 21, 2004

she liked it, she really liked it

So Chimpy enjoyed the shirt and more importantly the dinner party. Nice. phew.

I'm having a really cracked day. I mean I've done a lot of good work this week, which is totally ultra, but I've been alternately outraged, frustrated, or upset every day this week. It's really difficult to keep the engine going when it's running on overload all the time. I think I have a larger capacity than most, to be honest, but that just means I kinda go blooey all at once when I go blooey. And today I am so close to bloo, I'm green. (Bad Surdus. No puns! No puns!) At times like this one depends on one's friends to cheer one up, but today it seems all my friends are in Grumpy Bitch mode. So. No cheer.

One politically related thought: Interesting how it's okay for us to say the official American soldiers in Abu Ghraib don't represent America, but the terrorist who chopped off Nick Berg's head, in the uniform of his terrorist organization, is taken by the right wing to represent the Iraqi people.

One stupid thought: It's not the solders. It's Abu Ghraib. Seen the movie, The Shining? Like that. There's an evil spirit in the prison that reaches out and forces otherwise normal soldiers to torture people. I'm just waiting for reports of blood seeping out of the walls.

One funny thought: Why does Bush keep bombing STRAIGHT marriages when he's against GAY marriages? Someone give the man an explanation... unless maybe he thinks the women are men under all the veils.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

shopping sucks

Who knew getting a t-shirt printed would be so hard?

It started months ago when my friend Chimpy sighed romantically over the use of A Certain Word on Sex and the City. Well, she decided she'd like a t-shirt with the Certain Word on it. And since her graduation was recently, I, being Surdus, decided it would be fun to find a place to print it up and send it out to her.

Uh... Chimpy, I love you, don't get me wrong. But next time you graduate you're getting flowers. Hear me? FLOWERS.

I first went to the printing shop, designed how I thought it should look, and they said they'd take care of it. Mind you, it was tough to find the printing place. I knew it was on 30 and 8th, but that was it. Walked around in the rain for 20 minutes. Went to 7th on a hunch and there it was. Did all the designing, paid, left. When I went back the next day they looked at me like an idiot. Turns out I was supposed to supply a t-shirt. They didn't mention this. Went to a sports shop nearby, bought a nice black tee (which Chimpy said she wanted.) Went back to the store. "Ah! Is black! Is black!" I'm thinking, ah, t-shirt racism, but no, this wasn't the case. They charge more for black t-shirts. Why, I don't know. I asked, but they gave me an incomprehensible answer in an Indian language I can't identify. Okay. Whatever. The price wasn't an issue - it was just, hello, why didn't you mention this when I said I wanted it on a black t-shirt? Then I asked for a list of typefaces. They didn't want to let me pick a typeface. Turns out they just printed a t-shirt with one type of face and wanted to keep, er, facing it. No, I said. I wanted a certain kind of typeface, I said. Finally they let me pick it out.

I'm not even GOING to explain the problems I had explaining "hot pink." They were lucky I didn't bend them over and spank them til the color came out right.

I get the feeling they were playing with me.

Then - sorry, Chimpy - I told them it was for my girlfriend. Thought this would help quell the arguing and get me what I wanted ASAP. They gave me lots of winks (because of the Certain Word) and told me they will make it beautiful, beautiful! I'm to pick it up today at 5 pm. Pictures may appear if they get taken. Hope it's all worth it - if she loathes it I shall beat up some serious ass. I'm just cringing, thinking of all the things that could go wrong...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

freedom of bleach

Found this while reading posts on DailyKos. It’s well to remember freedom of speech is still under attack at many levels in this country, even in our educational institutions, where we’re supposed to learn certain lessons about our government and democracy. Another example is this guy, who I actually wish I could meet – Jarred sounds awesome; the NYT quotes him as saying “It’s okay to encourage student drinking, but it isn’t okay to be gay?” Lovely.

But this censorship isn’t limited to the usual liberal stuff; Christians are getting their shit censored, too. And for stuff as small as a biblical quote in a yearbook. (How’s that different from Emily Dickinson?) The general theme is, if anything is even slightly controversial, ban it. Yet this logic is counterintuitive. Schools should be places where controversy is examined, where students are given tools to examine it. Removing the controversy just gives students the kind of pablum that bores them and drums them out of schools, as James Loewen has noted in his excellent books, Lies My Teachers Told Me and Lies Across America. Controversy is the essence, not just of America, but of life itself; remove it, and kids know they’re not learning anything of value outside of maybe math class. And senseless censorship, like that employed in the Michigan case, just tells kids they’re under someone else’s control.