“ignite the light…”

(Lyrics by Katy Perry)

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again

heye all

this is gonna be me last entry for a bit.  i got a beast project to get D-O-N-E so say some prayers to the techno gods that all will go well and all the bad mojo is gone.  pretty please

but before my much belated LOA ; ) im gonna hit u with a bunch of rambling thoughts – enjoy the ride or just “walk on by….” but at least check out the firework video by jason before u go.

now click this video grab the embedded and send to everyone u know – this is a command me pals.  why?  cuz i wanna see the counter skyrocket higher than all the other freaky and bizarre signed songs out there on youtube – you have seen ’em the religious songs, the interpreters, the novices making very weird signed song videos that get clicked thousands of times (just key in signed songs in youtube OY) but have no meaning or value to us.  (see Keith Wann and Wink vlog displaying why some signed songs chuck) lets get this one up up up in the air like fireworks – like the good stuff of Signmarks and Rosalee Timms – ya know get the good stuff to raise to the top and never stop)

yesterday a brilliant and beautiful person stopped by to share a little signed song he made – it is GRAND.  I thank ye Jason for making it and sharing it.  I bow me head at ya cuz “creators” are important keepers of the culture – there is no doubt or never mind about this folks.  (yes i know some will say its debatable but in my book it ain’t and u is at patti’s place so no like – “walk on by…”) and cuz yesterday before this present was dropped in our laps i had gone to see the MLK celebration and Nikki Giovani was there – oh she is a kick butt African-American poet.  she rocks and she rolled and she had me in tears!  and the man concluding the celebration mentioned how the role of artists is “to disturb the peace” (James Baldwin) – false peace that is.  and i said Amen.  and this is what thee beast project is all about so we gotta get it out the door for all to see see.

now about this Firework video by Jason Listman – i dont know if to him it has any Deaf related significance beyond him being Deaf, a lover of ASL literature, and a creator but me think – it fits perfectly to what i been thinking about our Deaf ASL world lately.  About the need to “have the spiritual audacity to assert our somebodyness” (MLK) & how “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything” (Malcolm X) & how “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” (Gandhi) & “Why do you pick on us?” (Rosa Parks to James Blake, the White bus driver)

This being a most valid question with no valid reply.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (MLK)

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

There are more – every day i discover more quotes im in love with, more humans i adore, and more hope i can aspire to (see mandela & Aung San Suu Kyi, see Frederick Douglas, Rick Williams (brother of John T), see Veditz (oh how i love Veditz – just put his name in the “People of the Eye” search box and u will see many entries honoring him) – and many other good folks like…


yep im talking to you

and of you

so take a bow!

ya all been working so hard and so well and so true

don’t ya pretend u don’t know i love you.  i done told ya and i done showed ya!   u is grand me people.  i have seen ya shine when u rally.  i have seen ya sing ur songs w/ all ur heart and soul and ya done honored me so so …. lets get busy my friends.

‘Alf the story has never been told:

So now you see the light, eh!

Stand up for your rights. come on!”

~ Bob Marley (Get Up, Stand Up)

but as u r standing up – check out Aubrecht & Commerson’s latest installment of wisdom

and know as all civil disobedience activists have taught us before –
“We must never become what we hate”

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

so me mateys – the biggest item on our agenda?


it must be the schools my friends.  we can talk about Gallaudet Syndrome but:

1. gally is not the center of the universe even though it is the Deaf mecca and it is to Deaf folks what Israel is to Jewish folks (thank u gloria farr for that analogy)

2. focusing on the “professionals” and not the children when the KIDDIES are the target of the greatest disaffection is not wise just or good

3. linguistic, cultural, and true biz genocides – ALWAYS target the children and the next generation

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
Cause there’s a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

always – eugenics (positive and negative dont matter no nevermind which it is) is basically social darwinism on crack and is a calling

knock knock

got broken ears – just come in here dear

what’s that – u didnt hear them cuz u were too busy trying to respond to some nutter on the internet dissing ya – ahhh yeah that there was a good use of our time

so the schools

(yep i got a theme going here folks and yes i know it done taking me a bit to get to it but im trying to cram alot into a little before i scat so…)

the schools

this is what dear ole george had to say on the subject

“Wherever the deaf have received an education the method by which it is imparted is the burning question of the day with them, for the deaf are what their schooling make them more than any other class of humans. They are facing not a theory but a condition, for they are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye.” – 1910

So here i dont think George Veditz was talking about Deaf as a handicapping condition – he was just talking about it as part of the human conditions we got walking this planet – as in variation as i biodiversity.  George was a thinking chap chappy and i adore him.  So here he makes this astute observation that it is the SCHOOLS that shape the Deaf children.

Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gunna leave ’em fallin’ down-own-own

Now ya all did study about the 5 “agents of socialization” right?

parents / family

schools / teachers etc

peers / friends and foes

work place / coworkers and boss

mass media

so with THE DEAF – families aint always the chief passer oners of the culture – infact the latests is that only 5% come from Deaf parents and many of those Deaf parents have not been schooled in their own language and culture properly – many of them came late to the party too sooooooooo

the SCHOOLS ruled – they were the chief architects of the culture and the language – not via the classroom so much but just via the space – ahhhh Deaf space not by design but more so by critical mass and necessity

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road

this is how the language SURVIVED despite and inspite of the fact that most of the schools went oral / aural only for an EXTENDED period of time – even the original bi-bi school ASD went oral / aural only.  Kids signed on the sly.

oh u crafty kids

and even when no sign language reached these kids they still managed to be People of the Eye – searching for a gesture, a look, a wink, a hope, a prayer, a care

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it’s time, you’ll know

Watch some of those CI videos some of those speech lesson youtubes and u will almost always see “a look” a “searching” a “scanning for data” from the hungry eyes of the child

u will often also see a gesture, a clue, a hint, a head nod from the AVT expert

oh and smile pretty for the camera while we whack ur hand for doing that which comes natural to them – ie THE hand babble

and heye when did “THE SIGN LANGUAGE” get demoted to being “manualism” and then to “a communication mode” or a “modality”

and when did “mute” as in “Deaf-mute” as in “Semi-mute” get tossed


You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

and how did they get tossed – ohh ahhhh via the SCHOOL SYSTEM

but miraculously THE language, THE culture, and THE people have survived

odd aint it?

Yesterday Nikki Giovanni – the poet, activist, professor and grand ole gal said “we gotta study slavery from the slave perspective” then she launched into explaining a bit from the slave perspective that had me in tears


(yes folks u never wanna sit next to me during the screening of Hotel Rwanda, The Long Walk Home, a performance of MLK “I have a Dream” speech, Schindler’s list, Iron Jawed Angels, Ella performing poems in honor of our dearest departed Deaf folks or Nikki’s talk, – im a puddle hear me roar)

Nikki said and “this is true” that there are things to LEARN from how humans survive under those conditions – the conditions of being humans walking the planet happy and hard to be shackled and pulled and tossed into the hold of a ship and called “carGO”

talk about a dark night of the soul

Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

how does one survive such a journey, such a transformation from freeman to noman?, how does one face such an injustice and still sing? and still stand? and still H O P E

there are things to be learned

indeed yes

so back to the schools

our schools

the schools that are disappearing before our very eyes

do u see it folks

can u feel it?

they are going and when they go there will be little high ground to climb up onto

the waves will be clawing away at those clinging to the rocks

aint fair is it?

what ya gonna do about it?

and i ll tell u why they r coming for the schools

it aint purely:

1. economics – cuz educating Deaf children as isolated beings all across the US of A when they require interpreters and CART and audtiory this and that is not cheap – not cheap at all

2. proximity – cuz sending kids away to schools, while difficult for many parents to do and something i would not choose (id move close to the school so me kid could be a day schooler), is not really an issue when for privileged families its considered prestigious and desirable to send ur kids to a boarding school

3. quality – cuz mainstreaming has been around for a mighty long time now and they aint faring no better than the so called “left behind ones” that got “dumped in the Deaf schools”

Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gunna leave ’em fallin’ down-own-own

nah – the motivator appears to be very similar to what it was in AG Bell (the man’s day) – to keep the Deaf away from each other

cuz where there be 2 – there be a meeting and the potential for some organizing and some potential for the “spiritual audacity to assert their somebodyness” and we cant be having that now can we

ask urselves why was it illegal to educate a Slave – to teach ’em to read and write?


Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through

Why? …. so why is it in some sectors illegal to allow a Deaf child to sign?

just to use it – not even to properly study it – just to even use it or see it?

u know it is

u know its true

that some schools do BAN signing – hello oral deaf education and “option” school have u seen the UN’s convention on the rights of Disabled People and the ICED 2010 New Era Agreement, where they ruled that excluding Sign Language from a Deaf child’s life to be not cool??

just wondering

Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Have folks seen Karl White’s missive mission in Volta Review?

Get them young and make them as hearing as possible and for gosh sakes whatever u do – keep them away from sign language and signing people

so we see the premeditated closing of the Newfoundland School for the Deaf (see ridor’s vlog, Shel’s blog, the “iradicating deafness” article, and the in-depth transcript)

Added on 2/11/2011 – Karen Mayes has an entry about the threat to NY 4201 schools for the Deaf

Now Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and many other good folks have emphasized the importance of natural habitats for languages and cultures and diversity to flourish

endangered species and natural habitats go hand and hand

eco-systems, biodiversity – talking too big me??? then just see Avatar – remember them there blue people?  attack the tree and starve off the people from their roots that harvest the nutrients for them to grow and glow and so it goes

and they move on and else were

Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gunna leave ’em goin “Oh, oh, oh!”

ah can anybody spell diaspora???

so this is why folks came from around the globe for the 2 protests at gallaudet

so this is why folks r testy about Signing Spaces

so this is why folks get uppity about the closing of Deaf schools and Deaf clubs

so now that ive thoroughly depressed ya all –

stem cells, bilateral ci at 5 mo old, AVT, mainstreaming, etc

ya should be worried – u should study that there FIREWORK song

u is somebody and so is ur people – now get the F#ck up and do something

im serious folks –

stop yapping

stop flapping

stop crapping

Start a type of SEED school for Deaf kids near u

a good one.  not a crappy or sappy or yappy one

if u cant muster a school – start a summer camp.  if u cant muster a summer camp, start a film festival, an artist colony (the role of the artist is to disturb the peace – James Baldwin), if u cant muster a film festival, make a poem and share it, if u cant muster a poem, hand out AFA cards at the local hospital, clinic, etc,

do something folks – anything

come from love

stand firm

stand tall

no death of the spirit

pretty please

the tide is coming full force and we aint made the land ready for the wee things to cling to

be a whoo in whoovile and shout that mighty yelp

the closing of Deaf schools is the removing of an natural environment for an endangered language and people

so while some parents will run for the latest and the greatest gadget to put in their heads be it ci or stem cells and their child may reap the complications of it later – we gotta give the kids a place to come to when all that falsehoods fail.  when the CI is not the miracle, when the speaking is not the solution, when the kids can hear and speak but still want to B-E….. DEAF

-despite all efforts to make them undeaf

we need places and spaces where folks can BE…. real

“the light of love is perhaps the most powerful tool we have in combating darkness of any kind. Collectively, unified, with compassionate acceptance we become that loving light that shines a beam on inhumane practices everywhere.” ~ Aubrecht & Commerson

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Deaf is Dynamic

Deaf is Dynamite

Deaf is Out of Sight

you aint no plastic bag or house made of cards

You is Deaf.  Deaf is YOU

You, I love!



“ignite the light…”



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Mayes
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 15:07:28

    Beautiful blog. Yes, SCHOOLS.

    Best wishes on your project…

  2. ASLElla
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 23:25:15

    a huge blast of water on my face….
    waking me up…
    knocking me back…
    cooling me…
    refreshing me…

    Amen! and thanks… now me kick you go finish your HUGE PROJECT!

  3. handeyes
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 10:39:06

    Thank you Karen
    – yep schools!

    thanks for ur wishes

    Thank you ASLElla
    – water is good eh?

    thanks for the kick

    eye’s definitely need them both – wishes and kicks!



  4. Trackback: Standing by – evolution vs. revolution « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910
  5. Carolyn Kropp
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 23:11:40

    Would love to subscribe to this blog’s feed…gooood stuff!

  6. Jean
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 13:35:10

    Enjoyed the article. Interesting… YouTube has 2 different ASL interpretations of the same song. One is the one you have here and the other is with Tiffany T. Hill…

    Sorry this is almost too old, but someone recently posted this in FB and I wanted to share both videos with ya.

  7. handeyes
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 12:44:30

    thanks jean


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