Friday, December 30, 2005

"I'm trying to tell you"

Note: When I was 19 I had a friend who refused to write poetry. Know why? Because in the Deaf school she'd been in growing up, her teachers had said Deaf people couldn't write poetry, or only crappy poetry. Uh-huh. So while some Deafies I've talked to dislike my obsession with music and poetry (I can understand why y'all avoid the singing) you'll still see it popping up here now and then. Just cuz.

Saw President Bush on my tv last night
Tellin my nation the country's all right
Well Mama lost her job at the store last week
And Daddy's got to close the farm to earn his keep
And it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

They were saying the Pressie had powers galore
"he doesn't deserve them" "but we're going to war!"
Well, Mama's got a wiretap on her Nokia phone
and Daddy's sweating it out in a jail cell alone
but it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

He was sayin somethin shallow bout the Clean Air Act
well my sister in New York gets asthma attacks
a whole lot of coughing since 11-oh-Nine
The government gave our money to Jack and Tom
but it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bush and Bush continue to not have oral sex

Today George Bush, in an effort to boost his flagging poll numbers, once again raised the specter of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, claiming to have steadfastly continued the fine Bush tradition of not getting blown. "Can you demonstrate how you avoid having oral sex?" one reporter asked after Bush's speech in which, according to the Onion, no other member of his cabinet has had oral sex either. There was silence for five minutes as Laura and George stared at each other with implacable hatred. "As you can see," Bush continued, "Laura's blue dress is remarkably free of stains, and lipstick has fortituously refused to appear on my collar." When one reporter pointed out that Laura's teeth had been honed to a fine razor edge and that her gaping, salivating Discovery-channel-special jaws could be used to circumcise unsuspecting children, Bush refused to discuss what he claimed was a "national security matter."

The Onion notes there was no cream on the celebratory cake.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Monday AM News and Coffee Blog

dKossacks seemed to like my previous blog about Deaf people and culture. Any readers here have thoughts?

Some interesting news this morning. First, some politics; from

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) expressed its concerns about the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the United States Supreme Court. Of particular concern are Alito's previous rulings in the area of states' rights and his approach to federal laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and their families. ... NAD attorneys have reviewed Alito's rulings in the area of disability discrimination and congressional authority and are not certain that Alito will uphold laws that protect individuals' rights to participate in society. Accordingly the NAD is asking the Senate Judicial Committee to ask Alito questions similar to the ones they asked Chief Justice John Roberts before approving him.

They point out that Judge Roberts had to go through a similar process:

"It is critical that the Senate Judicial Committee gets a commitment from Alito that he will respect the ADA and Congress' authority to enact that and other civil rights laws. Senator Arlen Specter, the Republican Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee argued that Judge Roberts should directly answer questions about the ADA," noted Lange. "Senator Specter should expect the same thing from Judge Alito."

Glad to see the NAD on top of this. Next on the page: Deaf Nigerians protest corruption:

Deaf sportsmen and women on Friday threw caution into the winds, when they rough-handled the Vice-President of the Nigerian Deaf Sports Federation, Mr. John Yusuf at the National Stadium, Lagos.

The deaf athletes, who were 30 turned down all pleas from passers-by as they descended heavily on Yusuf, tearing his shirt and beating him for alleged misappropriation of a sum of N400,000.

Yusuf, after the fracas, tendered a letter of resignation as first Vice-President of the body to save himself from further assaults from his aggrieved colleagues.

No word on whether Yusuf is Deaf himself - but there is a long history of corruption in hearing people who take charge of Deaf clubs. So too of Deaf people - there was that scandal recently where Deaf people were selling pyramid schemes to others, and it seems this is happening in New York too. It's not just about money though:
The athletes, led by Bello Bala, among other things, asked for the cancellation of the recent elections conducted in the federation by Mr Elias Gora, which they claimed was fraught by fraudulent practices.

“The supposed recent elections was illegal, due to the fact that, Mr. Gora had already selected the would-be executives long before the elections without due processes,” Bala said.

He explained that, the vote of no-confidence passed by the entire athletes on the former executives, was as a result of financial recklessness and visionless leadership style and unacountability of the last board, led by Mr. Suleiman Kaita.

Wonder what Mr. Bala looks like - nice to see activist Deaf people all around!

Next up: Hearing people shocked Deaf people can play basketball:

In addition to hand gestures for each play, Horvath is constantly looking at the sideline to Erin Lynch, his interpreter, who signs to him everything coach Jack Freeman is saying to the team. During team huddles, he looks to Lynch to get whatever information is being forwarded to the team. And he never seems to miss a beat. But as with any situation requiring adjustment, sometimes there is regression.

‘‘I have to always watch and right next to the coach is the interpreter,” Horvath said. ‘‘The players, we’ve set up signs. Everyone is supposed to sign, but sometimes they forget, and I won’t know where I’m supposed to be, it’ll take a minute.”

The reporter is also surprised that this student has chosen not to go to Rockville, which is close by. Makes sense to me - he can visit his friends and take advantage of the facilities of the hearing school. Obviously this guy signs really well... and he's doing perfectly well in school and even becoming a celebrity of sorts. In related sports news:

The England Deaf Cricket team are to begin a recruitment drive to find more players as they look to build on their success at the second Deaf Cricket World Cup in India.

Australia have also expressed a keen desire to compete for the Ashes in England during the summer of 2007, meaning officials at the England Cricket Association for the Deaf (ECAD) know they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

Deaf people playing cricket in cute white uniforms... almost like those kitten photos everyone keeps forwarding me. Go ECAD! England prevails!

General Jen thinks the script I want to work on right now is too long and complicated, and I agree - need something simpler in structure so I can get settled in to direction. Was up till 4 am working on the new script which is more of a silly family comedy - it's not too bad; becoming amazed at my newfound ability to buckle down. More on this as it progresses; I already know who I want starring in it, just need to get more settled on the script.

from a comment i posted on dkos

The fact is I am a deaf man. I have perspectives on the world by virtue of that difference. The difference itself does not prevent me from participating fully in the world with or without technology. The difference in perspective - who could tell what value that might have? It is, after all, difference in perspective which precedes discovery and progress. To make everyone too alike, in body and in mind, is therefore counter to progress.

If health is the concern, then the health of the individual should be considered, not some sort of comparative health which stacks everyone white or black or man or woman up against some abstract generated average individual. Can the individual function on their own and with others well in their own way? Can they make a contribution to the world? I don't even know if these questions are right. I don't know if any could be.

And where do parents come in? The parents of Deaf children often do not know about deafness or Deaf people. They get told. They get a perspective handed to them on a plate. Now, they may do more research on their own. Some say they should. But when you're in mourning over something somber doctors inform you about, and these people you trust give you information... you tend to accept it.

They are told more than just that their child is deaf. They are told there is a Deaf world and a Hearing world. They are told that sign language is bad and may leave their child retarded. They are given quite a bit of ideology.

I know some parents who have Deaf children. They learned to sign with their child. They were lucky to have the time and opportunity to be able to, yes, but the point is that they are very involved with their child's life. Their child is very involved with the family life. They communicate and care. There is no "Deaf world" and "Hearing world." All this is possible without technology or invasive surgery. Yes, it requires effort. But so do technological options. But the contigent of Deaf people who are against cochlear implants have much of this at heart. There is also the point that the intimacy gained from this work is quite valuable.

There is more to being normal than being able to hear sounds. Far more important things, that too often get lost in this hubblebubble. What is the goal? For all children to be safe and healthy? Most likely, then, very little of this genetic engineering is necessary. Is the goal to make everyone superhuman supergeniuses? Would that do anyone any good, including the geniuses?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ugh. Just got to the third part. No introduction. But they had one for the cubans and the australian. Why not the russian clowns?

Please forgive me if i sound pissy. waited three years for this crap. I've made five dvds so far and three look much better than this.

Deaf Way II DVD

I got it. Watching it now. The first part cut off at 11:08 so my grandma and I saw lots of fluffy clouds. Watching part II now. The cuban dancing is good and Rob Roy is awesome but I have NO idea who the hell was doing the videography-theyre zooming in really close and you can't see his whole body. I mean, PLEASE, next time, hire me, ok? I'm not too experienced but a blind monkey with one testicle giving himself a handjob could hold the camera more steady.

On the other hand-rob roy? Hot.

More later.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Oh hey, its Friday

Damn cold.

Mad, Mad Monday: Bush's Brain Segment

Lying here in bed with a bit of a cold (too many days walking through transit strikes?) and I had a thought.

Bush admitted to running a secret wiretap program recently. Now, he claimed this program would be to spy on terrorists; instead he used it to spy on PETA and other liberal groups. American groups.

Republicans are now saying Bush should go after and throttle the leaker for compromising national security. But you can't have it both ways, folks: Bush couldn't even keep the secret that he doesn't care about going after Osama bin Laden.

Still, in the end, he's right, Bush is: revealing the existence of this program is a huge threat to national security, because now terrorists everywhere know Bush is focusing on people trying to free fur rather than freaky fascists. Way to overdo the partisanship, man.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

mainstreaming improving?

Reader Jennifer sent me a link to this interesting link about a young Deaf woman in North Carolina who's apparently doing great in a mainstream program and very involved in all activities. This girl is exceptionally lucky for three reasons: an openminded school, a determined drive, and involved parents who learned ASL.

I was lucky because my parents were involved with my life. I believe most successful Deaf people have involved families. I did not, however, have an openminded mainstream experience. Consider:

  • At the age of 6 I wore my first hearing aid to school and was accosted repeatedly by a group of hearing kids who kept banging my head on the floor to try to knock out whatever was blocking my hearing.
  • At 9 they finally assigned me my first terp. Who proceeded to sit in front of me and speak Italian. Not ISL, actual Italian. You know? S'io credesse che mia riposta fosse? He left soon. Two tries later I got an uncertified terp and made do.
  • At the age of 10 I tried desperately to get involved with the theater group in my middle school - it looked like a ton of fun! No luck. They said I should be happy with speech class.
  • At the age of 12 I was assigned to an advanced math class but the teacher threw me out because she "didn't want a deaf child in her class." I didn't protest at the time; my interpreter refused to work with her, and since she was the only one I'd been able to find that was even remotely good, I had to, as usual, make do.

This is why I still support Deaf schools. I also believe what holds true for women's schools and men's schools holds true for Deaf schools - sometimes you learn better in an environment where you don't have to compete with certain things and deal with discrimination. I still get tired of going through the Deafsplanations. Yes, I can write. Yes, I can read. Yes, I can drive. Yes, I speak well, thank you very much (that never means much to me coming from typically bad-mouthed New Yorkers, grin!)

American wages fall

According to bonddad from dailykos (and this is worth quoting in full):

After inflation wage growth is still negative. Non-supervisory wages rose from $15.90/hour in January to $16.32/hour in November, for an annual increase of 2.64%. Over the same period the overall inflation gage has increased from 190.7 to 197.6, or a 3.61% increase. In other words, after inflation non-supervisory wages dropped .97% this year.

To make-up for this shortcoming in wages growth, consumers have taken-advantage of record low interest rates. Total consumer debt increased 9.1%, 11.1% and 11.6% in the first second and third quarter respectively. Total consumer borrowing over the first three quarters of 2005 was 929 billion, 1.158 trillion and 1.235 trillion, respectively. Total consumer debt outstanding increased from 10.4 trillion to 11 trillion from the first to third quarter of 2005. Total consumer debt outstanding now stands are 87% of US GDP.

Personal savings (gross income less all monthly expenditures) dropped from 47 billion to -132 billion from the first to third quarter of 2005. Unfortunately, there are no figures for contributions to various retirement plans for 2005 yet. However, over the last 5 years, the highest contribution level of all plans (defined contribution, defined benefit and IRA's) was 2.2% of GDP. This low figure combined with the record low economic savings figure of 3Q 2005 indicates that personal retirement savings was probably abysmal this year (again).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Song (for freedom)

Wrote the original version of this as a rant on DailyKos. Then ended up changing it a little with some feedback. The final version is here. Christ, whose holiday we will celebrate this weekend, was the champion of the poor, of truth, of freedom - he threw out the moneylenders, the liars in the temple. And Representative John Conyers spit in his face the other day, claiming Americans should be glad they are alive and willing to sacrifice their freedoms. To this Senator Feinberg replied: I wanna quote someone to you who once said, give me liberty or give me death.

They say "Go die for liberty,"
but take our liberties away;
they let our sons and daughters die
but live to lie another day;
Now Liberty's a golden thing
as strong and glowing as the sun
to lie and tarnish Liberty
means all the terrorists have won.

Now Liberty's a shining torch
(Just see the Lady in the east
whose Flammifer is held up high
whose robes are floating like the Sea;)-
What light can come from secrecy?
What light can come from squalid lies;
When darkness comes from infamy
It means that Liberty may die.

I choose to die for Liberty
I choose my freedom, like the Sun
I choose the dawn that feeds the land -
That rises, foaming, burning blue;
To burn inside the arms of Truth
Saved by the cloak of Liberty
As she holds fire from the land -
Land of the true and fierce and free.

Transit Strike: Day II

You can find out more about the strike at which is the union website of the Transport Workers Union Local 100. I continue to support the strike. I only wish everyone had such a powerful support and would like to remind people who say that these are "greedy" and "selfish" that they are not LOOTERS but SURVIVORS and if they were white people in business suits we'd be bending over so they could sign the blank checks we give them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Transit Strike in NYC

Am in a cab with the Dominatrix Sparkly Spanker heading downtown. The streets in our area were deserted. Car service refused to take us downtown so we ended up finding a yellow cab at the GWBT. Took an hour or so to get to 96th then there was a checkpoint we had to go thru. Once past that no traffic and now speeding thru the 60's. Hope I get to Penn-need to get from there to the office. Though how anyone expects us to concentrate with all the excitement is beyond me.

Sorry no posts yesterday. I saw a couple interesting articles about the formation of a Deaf/hearing coalition in the middle east to discuss the formation of a pan-Arab sign language (which I thought was AMC-no offence to anyone. Anyone know more than me?) Will post link when i get to office.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

happi sundai

Not much to report on today. People still freaking out over Bush's insane statements and revelations. Much talk of impeachment or other form of punishment. Do I think anything will happen? No - but only because I don't want to be disappointed.

Deaf news today - again, not much. I saw this interesting bit about parents of Deaf children coming together in Hawaii to learn ASL with their children. I would LOVE to go to Hawaii to learn ASL with Deaf children right now. Still freezing in New York and many are concerned it'll get worse before it improves.

On a side note, Ridor is pointing out that there are still rumours stating Jane K. Fernandes, currently Provost at Gallaudet University, may be appointed to the position of President of the University. Ridor comments:

By itself, it does more harm than good to the welfare of Gallaudet Community. Dr. Fernandes has not set up a good relationship with faculty, staff, students and alumni. She created a lot of bitter resentments amongst the groups at Gallaudet. I heard the stories about how she has done to students, parents and staff at Hawai'i and in DC.

These are serious allegations - I appreciate his feelings, but I would suggest he back them up with facts. Too often Deaf people have serious concerns but they do not provide the proof to back them up. Even Ridor refers only to rumours in his post. He goes on to say that Gallaudet is important to everyone Deaf or hard of hearing. This is true. This is why I encourage him to find proof for his argument if there is one... yeah I guess I got courage to challenge Ridor!

I had my own experiences as an MSSD student with this individual and they were not pleasant. In hindsight, I realize I was not at fault in that incident, but at the time it was bewildering. I would be interested in seeing if others had similar experiences.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Oh my fucking god

Congress is apparently WORKING THROUGH THE WEEKEND for the first time in American recorded history. Yes, folks, its true; not since the Iroquis Confederation or League of Six Nations, when the Great Law of Peace of the Longhouse People was first established, not since the Deists led by Jefferson and Franklin and their ilk wrote the Declaration of Independence by the light of the fires of the Boston Tea Party, has a government on American soil WORKED OVER THE WEEKEND.

How else can you explain why its in headlines on Fox TV?

Saturday morning sunny-side-up

Ugh, slept 11 hours. Long week. The Wallace just made his tired Gromit some coffee and yummy oatmeal, so i have strength to blog (and do pushups. Ridor is shaming me with his commitment to, ah, physical change.

Watching CNN. Am happy to see the President getting totally hammered. His spying program is not going over well with the nation. Why? Because we do expect a freedom of privacy, and we don't want to be in prisons in exchange for the kind of protection George Bush can give us. This is the man who failed his country in two major disasters; look at the recent findings of the nonpartisan 9/11 committee, look at the suffering of the suddenly impoverished and destitute citizens in Louisiana and Mississippi. What cover can he give us? He's not JFK. He's no gunslinger, may it do ya fine, if I can borrow Stephen King's expression. He been relying on the strength of others, and much of that has been tapped and peeled away, or being poked at by Fitzgerald the Hardcase. He's asking people to trust far too much, even with his painted-clown-face version of Christianity and his pictures behind cardboard flight suits. Should it have happened long ago: yes.

But all cardboard crumbles. May it do ya fine.

Update: fuck! The president said Senate authorized his spying, senate fighting back saying none of them knew! Feingold ripping Pres a new one on CNN now.

Friday, December 16, 2005

newsprint and coffee blog (with cream and sugar)

  • Foxy Brown in *agony*: check it out

    Rap diva Foxy Brown took the stage yesterday to detail her hearing-loss agony - saying she hasn't heard a human voice in six months.

    "I have spent many confusing, agonizing nights crying in isolation and silence," Brown told reporters at a W. 57th St. soundstage owned by the BET network.

    "But today, I stand before you blessed with only the voice of God in my ears as a vessel of inspiration."

    Hearing voices Foxy? Meanwhile the article goes on to note that:

    The 26-year-old, Brooklyn-born artist, whose real name is Inga Marchand, wore a black leather Gucci jacket and a pair of tight Gucci jeans and was surrounded by supporters, including music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons.

    Brown is due in Manhattan Supreme Court on Dec. 23 for allegedly attacking a manicurist at Bloomie Nails on W. 23rd St. in Chelsea last year during a price dispute.

    Yeah, agony in Gucci. I included the last paragraph because, well, it's hilarious - she's wearing Gucci and complaining about prices at Bloomie Nails? Well, if she was deaf at the time, that makes sense... remember, Deaf people are cheap and smelly....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

New York Freezing City

It was 17 degrees when I left this morning-not sure what it is now. But my fingers aren't begging for Starbucks-type warmth so I'm thinking its just above freezing now. Thinking about all the homeless Deaf people in NYC without a place to even be warm (well, relatively-my place has pretty good heat and it was still a little shiver-and-shakey this AM.) Wonder if anyone knows how many homeless Deafies there are around?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Deaf Blog Awards 2005

By any standard the COOLEST thing about DBA2005 is the fact that I get to see so many Deaf bloggers! I added some of the more interesting looking ones to my links section. If you want to be there and you're not, send me your blogsite... but remember if I'm going through DMS (deaf man simmering) period of the day I may just publish a SCATHING CRITIQUE of your blog instead... grin...

I am apparently nominated for best Political Blog. I guess that's appropriate since it is a sociopolitical blog with occasional literary injections. I encourage everyone to vote for whoever you want... I really don't care, it's just cool that Ridor is doing this. Kinda proves he's a little more than the National Deafquirer.

a new implant fear?

From the Olympian in Olympia, Washington:

It was October at a church playground. Taylor, deaf for almost two years, ran to her father. She told him her cochlear implant — an electronic device that lets her hear — had suddenly fizzled.

It had been zapped by a static electric shock. Chris Zinderski hadn't switched off his daughter's implant because he didn't believe that static could really be a problem.

*clip and skip*

The type of clothes and length of the slide didn't matter much. But humidity did. In the cold, dry air of winter, Morley's daughters achieved charges of about 10,000 volts. Morley says that in the dry air of Tucson, Ariz., a colleague measured 20,000 volts after a slide.

In coming months, he will apply those voltages to test implants, which are rated to withstand 8,000 volts, according to Doug Miller, an engineer with Cochlear Americas, one of the manufacturers of the devices.

The story goes on to say that most of the materials they use today in playgrounds, made from PVC and cheap plastics instead of steel, have a higher chance of causing such shocks to implants. They can be repaired easily, if, of course, your insurance covers it.

Question to any Deaf people reading this: What does your insurance cover in terms of hearing aids and implants? Find out?

should've waited and saved the $$

Today in La Crosse Tribune: a success story about a Deaf woman being one of the first Deaf people to successfully navigate education at Western Wisconsin Technical College.

Ms. Stanek seems like a cool woman with a focus on exercise science. What struck me was the juxtaposition of the following quotes:

At age 5, she became the first child in Wisconsin to receive a cochlear implant, a device that would allow her to hear sounds but not speech.
(oh, NOW they recognize that the implants don't help you hear speech? jeesh.) And two:

Stanek, 24, was born deaf. She no longer uses the cochlear implants, she said, and cannot hear any sounds.

You know, I have friends who chose to get the implants as ADULTS. They are learning to use them perfectly well. Some can even speak on the telephone now. When I read stories like this about people who decide to stop using the implants, I wince. Why? Because that surgery turned out to be unneeded.

The big argument is that in order to fully develop, people must have the implants as children. But the point is language development, not hearing development, and sign language can do language development better and faster than cochlear implants can with their inaccuracy and years of required training (and repeat surgery.) Why not give adults the right to choose - and kids the freedom from such pressure? In the end it is parents who want the best for their children, have little knowledge and experience of Deaf people, and who are being persuaded by doctors in their expensive outfits who we must reach.

Ugandan Deaf Road Show?: In Uganda the Silent Theatre is putting on a new public education play about Deaf people. (Don't talk to Deaf people! Don't take candy from Deaf people! Keep your hands under the table so the Deaf people don't see you talking about them! Sorry, couldn't resist: it sounds like an Afterschool special.) They seem like a good group helped and started by friends in Sweden. An example of the international nature of Deafies...

Idaho school for Deaf and Blind in peril? Check out this link. Anyone know anything? Of course our Deaf schools are all in danger these days from misguided mainstreaming efforts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

news and coffee blog

Interesting morning news roundup:

  • iPods to make entire generation Deaf. I can't wait for the day when ASL teachers target current iPod users. "Uh, you know, your hearing will be gone soon, right? Yep, that iPod Nano is currently burning your..." whatever hearing people have that burns.
  • Zambia Deaf have high, high rates of HIV. While it seems a few voices are speaking out from the Deaf community there they have little sign language and most activism is being done by the association of sign language interpreters of zambia. Anyone know anything about these people? They seem very religious as noted by this quote:
    Benefits are just too numerous to account and that we can not find suitable words to describe your well intended, but brilliant initiative. We humbly offer the entire WORLD BANK to the ALMIGHTY GOD, and that may your efforts be BLESSED continuously to bring positive difference/change on whatever you lay hands on world over. May you eternally receive SHOWERS of BLESSINGS as you work with the Deaf/Mute and Hard of Hearing globally.

    Why these people still calling us mute? Why? WHY?
  • Baby Boomers going deaf... hearing aids become fashion items! You read me. Read the article - they are comparing hearing aids to Lexus cars. If only they considered our sensitive fashion needs as carefully! But then Deaf people can't be counted on for money, right? Better to sell the good shit to rich people who need something so they can continue to iPod. *grin*

By the way, that last link? At the bottom is a description of a recent development in hearing aid technology:

The Extra hearing aids have fewer features than the Savia models. For example, Savia hearing aids have adaptive directional microphones that can pick out the direction of a speaker's voice while tuning out unwanted noise. The Extra devices have fixed microphones that simply assume that speakers are standing in front of the hearing-aid users. The Savia devices also can be adjusted with remote controls while Extra users will have to fumble with the devices in their ears.

Remote. Control.

Maybe I missed something. Is this normal? And if so, will Gallaudet have to come up with rules about them? Are there already rules? Like, Adjust your hearing aids before you come into the classroom because everyone's remote control controls everyone's hearing aid and you'll all get headaches from the electron flux?

hot naked morning blog

London's burning - or something. There was a giant explosion and now an equally giant plume of smoke is spreading over southern England, France and even Spain. I am waiting to hear from locals about this.

For the Hudson Heights clan - a Village Voice review of our area! Yeah we have a small Deaf neighborhood growing up here... looking forward to seeing this grow as we meet more locals etc. And as this review shows there's lots of things to do in all parts of new york!

Lastly- I said to hell with it and nominated myself for Deaf Blog Awards. I doubt I'll win anything but chagrin but - why not!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

deaf people are insane

or so says Rimjob on Dailykos. He was posting about overweight people who say it's okay to be overweight and saying that that is insane. He then said that it's similar to Deaf people who choose not to get a cochlear implant:

I just don't get the "Fat Acceptance" people. It sort of reminds me of the segment of the Deaf community that objects to Cochlear Implants. There are norms to the Human condition. Should people be made fun of if they don't fit that norm? Absolutely not, but it's illogical to argue that a feature that is defective or unhealthy IS normal. Saying that there is nothing wrong with being 300 pounds or not being able to hear, is just distrubing to me. Hearing, and not having a coronary because of being grossly overweight are pretty standard.

We're used to this aren't we? Since most people can hear, then hearing must be normal and the best way to live. Just like being straight, white, male, and rich. I tried to explain, but Magatsu got there first:

Well, I just don't get the 'hearies' (term for hearing people) who'd prefer to pick being blind over being deaf. Hearing is soooooo overrated while sight isn't. and never will be.

What's the 'true' definition of normal exactly? Look, I didn't attack you or your perceptions but I'm here to share what some deafies would think of what you said. You know, some of my deaf friends who had these thoughts that hearies themselves are not normal. I mean, who started the wars? Hearies. Who created the atomic bombs? Hearies. Who caused these mass-murder activities? Hearies. The list is near limitless... so should I declare you or any hearies as 'not normal' because of your nearly limitless list of violent activities? Or should I say that hearies and their 'grossly' violent activities is pretty standard? I'm definitely not going to generalize the hearies because I know that there are many good hearies (example: Howard Zinn, John Perkins or, not all but many Kossacks & DU'ers) as many as 'bad' hearies (example: rightwing conservatives).

Again, I didn't attack you or anyone (especially hearies) or anyone's perceptions, I'm here to offer you some deafies' view of hearies. What you said about deaf people insulted me, my deaf relatives and deaf friends that which made me post this comment. What's wrong with freedom of choice? I can understand your opinion of obese and I agree with you in certain areas but deafies have the rights to tell anyone to fuck off (emphasized) about Cochlear Implants.

The argument continues. Read more from Magatsu and other people, including me, at the thread - and feel free to participate - here.

For what its worth this reminds me most of my friend Butterfly's statement. She'd been a med student at Duke University. She reported students asked if Deaf people can think. So: can you?

can small fish live in a big lake?

it's funny. a lot of people where I work in a big uproar. me, I'm like, "So?" I work out in the community. a lot of CBO's can't really deal with the financial situation in the US today. the government's not helping very much. the community they serve often has little money.

then I see this e-mail from John Lee Clark up at

Sign hey:

My name is John Lee Clark, and I am the publisher of The Tactile Mind Press. My wife, Adrean, and I started the company by establishing a print literary journal, called The Tactile Mind, offering the best in today’s signing community literature.

In the beginning, we knew that the journal would be a losing venture financially, but we hoped that the number of its subscribers would gradually grow up to and beyond the point where it would support itself.

Unfortunately, this has not happened. Our journal has received high praise for its physical quality and the quality of the work published in it. We are also finding it impossible to keep on pouring thousands of dollars and months of work into its publication. Before we close the publication, however, we would like to give the community a chance to save it.

So we are having a subscription drive. Our goal is 300 new subscribers by 31 December 2005. If we succeed, the journal will continue publication, and the new book-style issue we have already assembled, including the best of what we have already published in the first five years of the journal and new exciting material, will go to press
immediately. If we come short of the goal, we will close the journal and refund all subscriptions, old and new.

We have tried our best, but now the journal is in your hands. If you want to subscribe, you can order a subscription on-line at or send a check for $28 (for two annual issues of more than 200 pages each) to: The Tactile Mind Press, PO Box 581667, Minneapolis, MN 55458-1667.

The progress of the subscription drive will be posted weekly in our free e-zine, The Tactile Mind Weekly, and you can subscribe to it by sending your e-mail address to

Hoping that the journal will continue, I am

John Lee Clark, Publisher

I too hope the journal will continue. It's great. And $28 is not very much. But this is their marketing plan? E-mailing deaf people my age for who $28 is kind of a bump? And right when they're announcing the magazine is going to close?

JLC, this would be my suggestion. PUMP YOUR ZINE. TTM is fucking AWESOME. It's the ONLY mature Deaf arts magazine in the US today. The closest thing I've seen is Deaf arts UK magazine. Send copies to all Deaf school administrators. Deaf programs in colleges around the country. Find other Deaf magazines and find someone to work as your marketing specialist. ASL programs are everywhere. USE THEM. Contact Deaf agencies OUTSIDE the US. Colleges. All colleges have a huge collection of journals. Deaf people have no money. Sell your work to people who do-the organizations and the schools and the universities. Libraries. Can you ask Deaf people to go to libraries and request Libraries order the books if they can't afford them themselves? I believe libraries take requests and suggestions sometimes. And TTMW is a great addition.

I'd also suggest getting a group of people together and having everyone publish their own magazine under one umbrella company. As I said, it's becoming rapidly clear that community based stuff cannot survive in today's world. Even the big companies - the only way they can survive is to borrow money from people. Look at freaking Enron. Also, what about advertising? Would be kind of cool to see a cochlear implant advertisement next to my anti-implant poetry.

I'm not trying to be a pessimist - but I wonder if we need to find ways to survive in a world increasingly hostile to the minority (the one without money anyway.) What do you guys think? Any ideas for TTM? Will you be subscribing? I wouldn't mind having a group of Deaf New Yorkers doing an awareness drive. A lot of us are writers or bloggers, from defBef to urbanversusrural.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

some things come slowly

written to pacts, with the knob in mind. not sure why, but she was. perhaps because St. Alleviator comes to us all...

Contemplating slowly the meaning of the julethide, the winter, the yule... the feast that calls the sun, the food and prosperity in the middle of desolation, the candle that burns in the snow.

In these days the king of the holly, the night and the shortened sun, is kissed and killed by his son and lover, the king of the oak, the strong light and the lengthened days. and as the summer waxes and then wanes, the oak becomes the holly, and springs forth the red berries: and knows one day his son, the strong one, the unyielding, will put unresisted his pretty hands around the neck of the one made weak by the poison of the winter berries...

And underneath it all, the moment of the kiss, when the darkness kisses the sunlight, and the young girl laughs and begs with her eyes at the strength of the dancing, running man, and they meet under the boughs of holly, red with the lips of winter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bang bang

Apparently WB news at ten is going to show a report about the new stress relief - shooting people. Apparently shooting people relieves stress.

This probably shouldn't be shared around Gallaudet campus.

New York was weird weatherwise today. This morning was freezing and snowy, the afternoon everything had melted, the evening blustery.

Finally got all my writing into binders (the General Jen will be happy. She's wanted to read some of this for ages.) Well, all the stuff from 2004-2005 anyway, which I felt was worth printing over at work. Housed it in some classy used d-ring binders from Accounting. Mulled it over the other day. Perhaps it's time to get serious. Will see.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Deaf Man Sues Strip Club

Douglas Marchbanks, 18, had the bright idea of suing a strip club. Marchbanks, a Deaf man, claimed that he was unable to fully access the services of Greased Lightning, a notorious haunt of truckers and priests.

It looked as it his case would be successful when one of the entertainers, a dancer named Melodee, came forward. She claimed that had Mr. Marchbanks simply asked her when they met in the club, she would have been able to provide access as she had formerly been an American Sign Language interpreter. She had "given him a tour of the dressing room." The jury asked why she had not volunteered the information to the guest; she casually replied "My hands were already full at the time."

if you live in Vermont or California, this might prove useful...

And if you don't, contact your senator and follow what Kevin Drum suggests:

IDENTITY THEFT....A while back I got an email asking me if I'd learned any good ways to stop identity theft during the research I did for my identity theft article earlier this month. The answer is yes — but only if you live in California, Louisiana, Texas, Vermont or Washington, the states that currently allow you to request a "credit freeze" from the three major credit reporting agencies. describes what a credit freeze is:

With a credit freeze, no one can open any form of credit in your name. Your credit file is off limits to potential lenders, insurers and even potential employers. Here's how it works.

When you apply for a loan, credit card or cell phone, the company issuing credit contacts one of the three credit reporting agencies and requests to see your credit file. If you have a freeze on your account, the company will be told that it cannot see your credit file because your account is frozen. At this point, most companies would not allow the loan, issue the credit card or activate the cell phone.

But this does not mean that you won't be able to get credit for yourself or allow potential employers to run a background check. The three credit bureaus assign a personal identification number for you when you freeze your report. Using this PIN, you can lift the freeze when necessary.

In other words, you'll be notified whenever someone tries to take out credit in your name. If that someone really is you, you just unfreeze your credit report using your PIN and the credit is granted. Unfreezing costs a few dollars each time you do it.

The downside? If you open up a charge account or try to take out a car loan, you'll have to wait a few days until you're contacted and provide your PIN. No more driving off the lot the same day. Plus it costs a few dollars to freeze and unfreeze your account.

The upside? Almost no more risk of identity theft. Crooks can still steal your credit cards, of course, but that only costs you a maximum of $50 per card and doesn't wreck your credit report in any case. You just have to report them as stolen.

Thanks to Debra Bowen, who's currently running for Secretary of State here in California, I can request a credit freeze on my credit reports, and I'm planning to do exactly that. Other states are following suit.

But ask yourself this: why is this happening at a state level anyway? Why not at a federal level? And why do you have to pay for it? And why can't you make one request instead of having to send a certified letter to three separate companies? And why does it take "several days" to unfreeze your account each time you do it? Why not a few hours? In fact, why isn't a credit freeze the default option for credit reports in the first place?

Those are all excellent questions, and the answer is simple: because the credit industry doesn't like credit freezes and wants to make them as confusing and hassle prone as possible. But that's why we elect a government, isn't it? Call your representative and complain.