Archive for the ‘Creating Accessibility’ Category

Sometimes, even in the midst of this current Mandela Memorial Fake Interpreter debacle…you just gotta laugh.

And that’s what I and some of my Facebook friends were doing yesterday. Laughter IS the best medicine, after all.


It all started when I received a withheld comment on WordPress to my prior blog post – Mandela’s Fake Interpreter – in which I shared my thoughts about this international incident and the impact it was having on the Deaf Community, and on myself as a Deaf Pagan.

This spamming troll – whose comment did not make it onto my post – felt it necessary to let me know that this whole fiasco is due to nothing other than witchcraft.

Yup, you read that right.

Apparently this whole fake interpreter situation can all be attributed to Black Magick. After all, this is what happens when witchcraft is involved – you’re not doing God’s work, you’re doing the work of the devil.

Ohhhhh yeah. Right. We all know how witchcraft is responsible for the multitude of sins in the world…

including crappy interpreters.


I first shared this with my Spirit Sister, Crystal. Naturally she rolled her eyes and heaved a sigh…and then asked if this commenter thought the “interpreter’s” gibberish gestures were actually some sort of spell or curse.

Hmmm…now that’s an idea. Maybe those angels the guy claims to have seen were actually demons.

Well, I couldn’t resist. I just had to post this to my Facebook wall:

Image 1

Hmmm…interesting. According to a (now deleted) comment left on my blog post, this whole fake interpreter situation is all attributed to “black magick.” After all, this is what happens when witchcraft is involved – you’re not doing God’s work; rather, you’re doing the work of the devil. 

Oh yeah…right. We all know how witchcraft is responsible for all the sins of the world…

including crappy interpreters. 

Crystal was the first to pipe in with her thoughts, undoubtedly inspired by a caffeine high:

I’m still laughing about this. (Of course, that afternoon coffee has helped to fuel my giggles.) Witchcraft – causing bad luck, poor crops, disease, and fake interpreters for centuries.

Yup. Apparently we witches have been conjuring up lousy communication facilitators since the dark ages. Maybe it’s about time that the rest of the world knew about this, so I decided to respond with my own comment:

Of course, we witches all know that those hand gestures were actually the guy conducting a spell…right, Sis?

Now you know, folks.

Fellow Pagan, CODA, and Interpreter Kiki had to join us in our laughter:

Lol. That sounds crazy.

Ridiculously so. But hey…let’s have fun with it while we can, n’est-ce pas?

My Deaf friend Janel – who isn’t Pagan but does share my occasionally twisted sense of humor – came along and inquired politely:

Am I allowed to say that was funny?

Sure you are, Janel. We’re all having a case of the giggles about it here.

Then along came another Deaf friend, Ken…with his own question, as well as an interesting observation:

He was casting a spell? That’s a new one..and not entirely impossible.

Nope…not impossible, Ken. Highly unlikely, maybe…but not impossible.

But then I started to feel a little guilty. Maybe I was saying too much here. After all, the ethics of spellcrafting encourages us To Know, To Dare, To Will, and To Keep Silent. Obviously I wasn’t doing a good job of keeping my mouth shut:

Shhhhh, Ken…we’re not supposed to give away our secrets.

Next to join the party was my same-sort-of-crazy-sense-of-humor Deaf friend Jodi, who posted a link to a video spoof of the fraudulent interpreter standing next to President Obama making balloon animals, and commented that obviously THIS was witchcraft:

balloon animal

Witches caused this, I tell ya! WITCHES!!!

Actually, I kinda wish this fake interpreter had been making balloon animals…at least that would have been entertaining to watch.

My friend Cedar, herself a Pagan who has worked as an interpreter in the past commented that

I sometimes wish we *were* that powerful. There would be a lot more good in the world if we were, I think.

Indeed, Cedar. There would be a lot more good in the world…and a lot less bad interpreting services.

Then I chimed in with some new thoughts and my own observations. You see, when I first read this comment, this is what was actually said:

This is what happens when witchcraft is envoved, you will get fack intrepters who are not doing God’s work. He is doing work of the devil.

Now you can understand why I deleted this comment. Sorry, but anyone who can’t even spell “fake” right doesn’t make it onto my blog.

So I commented on how I am now left to wonder if WTF actually stands for “What The Fack???”

Of course, we all then had to jump on that comedic bandwagon.

My friend and well-known Pagan Author Edain posted her own tongue-in-cheek comment:

Maybe that’s why I’ve been off FB for a month…too many facking witches doing their own thing. 

And my Pagan pal Fyre posted the following meme:


So apparently the F stands for Fack, Foxtrot, or F-bomb. Gotcha.

Of course, Crystal thought that was FACKING FUNNY! while Melanie chimed with FACK THAT! 

Yup, this whole witchcraft accusation is pretty facking hilarious. But at least it gave us all a chance to groan, giggle, and guffaw for awhile, and served as some healing balm in the midst of the pain and anger this situation has stirred up.

But as I woke up this morning, took another peek at that FB status post, and had a final chuckle over the sheer nonsense of it all, I started thinking about Ken’s comment.

Laughter aside…the concept of this being a spell isn’t all that impossible.

A spell is a formalized intention…it is a wish that is sent out into the universe, with the energy to manifest itself in reality.

It has long been the Deaf Community’s fervent wish that our culture, our language, and our communication needs gain the recognition and respect that they so rightfully deserve, and that the world comes to understand the importance of qualified interpreters as a part of achieving Equal Communication Access.

With his “gibberish gestures” Thamsanqa Jantjie has made that possible. Our wish is now manifesting itself in reality.

Magick is indeed taking place.

True magick is the art of creating change. It is the art of creating possibilities.

As Marion Weinstein, herself a respected leader and author in the Pagan Community, states:

“The work of magick involves transformation, and the first transformation is the shift of perception.”

The shift of perception. As I read the countless news reports and articles which have circulated about (and continue to circulate) in regards to the Mandela Memorial Fake Interpreter; as I watch the various videos and observe the various  comments being made on Facebook, the one thing that has become pretty clear is this:

The transformation is happening; people’s perceptions of interpreting…of communication access and sign language and Deaf Culture itself is undergoing that shifting. The change is taking place. It may take some time to see noticeable results, but this is the first step.

But change to what?

To a fuller range of possibilities, to a broader spectrum of spirit. Not change to something else…but to something more. First we can all learn to know ourselves and to gain some understanding of each other. And then with that understanding, and a little love and patience we can expand – stretching our hearts and minds and souls, and exploring and developing new territories within ourselves, and within our communities. We can begin to implement many of the beliefs, practices, and philosophies that Nelson Mandela himself stood for.

For as every good witch knows:

She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches…changes. 


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »