Archive for September, 2010

In this post Ocean shares her views on common perspectives about sign language, and its use…especially as an artistic form. Stroll down to the very end of this post to see a truly rocking video of an ASL interpretation of a song by Marilyn Manson!

A little over three years ago, I put up a series of posts here at the Crossroads which related to perspectives about sign language and how it is commonly viewed by the general public:

“Is This Putting ASL On a Pedestal?”

“The Sign and the Music”

“Bridging the Cultural Gap”

I would encourage anyone who checks out these posts to not merely read my own writing, but more importantly…check out the comments as well. They offer some very interesting insights into the Deaf Perspective and can be a good introduction to “Deafology 101.”

The posts themselves were written as a response to the use of sign language in a music video, and how said video could be contributing to that “narcissistic complex” that American Sign Language (ASL) can develop as a result.

As I explained in my post, it gets tiring to see people constantly referring to ASL as this “beautiful language” in tones which clearly demonstrate an awestruck attitude towards its use and a tendency to want to place it upon a pedestal and worship it in some kind of reverent manner.

Get over it. As my friend Allison says

It is not beautiful. It is not poetical. It is not transcendental. It does not sweep its acolytes into waves of ectasy…Simply put, to the daily user, ASL is not an artistic endeavor: it is simply language – ours.

This is not to say that Deaf people do not enjoy ASL utilized in artistic form… we do – when it is used correctly and respectfully by skilled sign artists who know how to do so properly. There are many Deaf people who do enjoy seeing sign language utilized to interpret music, translate theater, tell stories, or share a poem.

But the point here is… let’s not think that ASL (and by association, Deaf People) is all about sweetness and light. Trust me…we aren’t – and neither is our language.

And at last, I’ve found a video that brings home that fact, while being pretty dang artistically awesome at the same time. To put it buntly, this video rocks! But as B Storm explains in his introductory disclaimer, the content certainly is not family rated.

But that’s the point. Neither is sign language. For that matter, it’s not rated at all. It’s a language, and it can be utilized for various purposes, to communicate various thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. The content of such thoughts can range anywhere from a sweet preschoolish G to a hot and sizzling mature XXX.

Since the singer being portrayed here is Marilyn Manson, I’m sure you can guess which side of the spectrum this video swings toward.

So consider yourselves forewarned. And enjoy!


Deaf Pagan Crossroads would like to thank B Storm for creating an excellent video. Your efforts to open up a new dimension of music for the Deaf Community is much appreciated, as well as the indirect message to the public in regards to how sign language can be used to express those various thoughts and opinions. You are correct – not everyone will agree when it comes to politics, religion, or sex…but hopefully we can agree this is one heckuva ASL Music Video!


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