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.