Mar 312014

Oy. If you need to load up on a steaming load of codswallop, here ya go:

Why You Shouldn’t Share Those Emotional ‘Deaf Person Hears for the First Time’ Videos

I’m a CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – and involved in the Deaf activist community. [Note: writing Deaf with a capital D separates people who can’t hear from people who consider deafness a major part of their cultural and political identity.] So usually I’m thrilled when people read an article about people in the Deaf community or see a cool video in American Sign Language and think to send it to me. It means that I’m making a difference, however small, in helping to educate people about the Deaf community. However, the “deaf person hears for the first time” videos don’t make me smile. They make me want to throw my computer out a window.

These “inspiring” videos continue to push one of the most problematic narratives in the history of the Deaf community: that deaf people are broken and therefore need to be “fixed.”

Look… if you are deaf, you *are* broken. Or at the very least, you have broken equipment. Same goes if you are blind. Or paralyzed. Or missing limbs. Or diabetic. Or have cancer. Or you’re tarded, psychotic, alcoholic.

A car that is otherwise functional but has a non-functional radio *is* broken. But a human, unlike a car, has half a billion years of hearing heritage behind it. Humans are *supposed* to hear. That’s why they come with ears as standard equipment.

But deafness seems to be fairly unique in having some sort of “identity” that other forms of organic brokenness doesn’t have. How many blind people do you see bitchin’ about technologies that might allow other blind people to see? How many quadriplegics think being trapped in a wheelchair is Pure Awesomeness?

My guess why deafness is – at least sometimes – different in this regard is that the deaf  have their own form of communication. Sure, the blind have Braille… but they can generally hold a regular conversation with anyone else in society, face to face. But the deaf are often stuck with sign language. This separates them from conversing with the great majority of society. So I guess it makes a measure of sense that some in the “deaf community” would see themselves as apart.

So, why are these videos so popular, and why does a new one make the rounds on social media every few months? Because viral videos aren’t about the people who are in them, they’re about the people who watch them.

These videos are of interest to at least *me* because they show that humans can sometimes overcome that evil bitch-goddess “Mother Nature.” What nature made wrong, or at least could not repair, humans sometimes can.  Despite the fact that many people think we live in a world that was made for us and which is precisely suited to us, the fact is that the universe is out to get us. The slightest slipup will take out an individual or a village; the amount of energy required to exterminate the entire human species is entirely trivial within just the confines of the solar system, never mind the galaxy at large. So if we want to survive as a species, we must be ever vigilant against nature. And as unfortunately prone as humans are to gullibility, having people complain about clear medical progress, or complain about other people celebrating that progress, is just not helpful.

 Posted by at 1:11 am
  • Trimegistus

    I’ve had bad vision and allergies my whole life. If I could afford it and a permanent fix existed, I’d take it. My identity is based on who I am, what I do, my family and community. Not my diseases.

  • Kelly Starks

    The “deaf community” can get really sick sometimes. The worst to me were lawsuits to get the FDA to stop allowing implants in deaf kids, since it was a act of genocide against the deaf community.
    Reminds me of the “bug chasers” in the gay community trying to get HIV to belong to the “AIDS community”.

    • se jones

      I rationalize “War of the Worlds” (2005 version) by assuming the aliens were “bug chasers” who engaged in some sort of mass Russian roulette in order to prove something to each other or the home world aliens.

      • Anonymous

        “Bug chaser” is a term I’m unfamiliar with. Off to wikipedia!

        Bugchasing is a slang term for the practice of pursuing sexual intercourse with HIV-infected individuals in order to contract HIV. Individuals engaged in this
        activity are referred to as bugchasers. It is a form of self-harm.

        Bugchasers seek sexual partners who are HIV positive for the purpose of having unprotected sex and becoming HIV positive; giftgivers are HIV positive individuals who comply with the bugchaser’s efforts to become infected with HIV.

        Bugchasers indicate various reasons for this activity. Some
        bugchasers engage in the activity for the excitement inherent in
        pursuing such a dangerous activity, but do not implicitly desire to
        contract HIV.[1][2]
        Some researchers suggest that the behavior may stem from a “resistance
        to dominant heterosexual norms and mores” due to a defensive response by
        gay men to repudiate stigmatization and rejection by society.[2]
        Some people consider bugchasing “intensely erotic” and the act of
        being infected as the “ultimate taboo, the most extreme sex act left.”

        Oh for gods sake.

        • Adam Holtz

          I think there was actually a piece on this in one of those Fusion magazine issues supplied by the link you left a while back.

          It viciously attacked a group of people who wanted to preserve the AIDS disease and give “human rights” to the disease in order to preserve the aforementioned “AIDS community” and the activity of the Bug Chasers.

          How’s that for left-wing tolerance?

          • Anonymous

            The usual left-right political “spectrum” is often shown as a one-dimensional “X-axis.” But you thrown in stuff like fascism and libertarianism and whatnot, you have to add in a Y-axis, and perhaps even Z-axis. But when it comes to the LaRouchies and the bug chasers… I think you have to add an “i-axis.” Those who remember high school math remember “i” as imaginary, as in the square root of negative 2; these sort of nutjobs can only be understood in terms that cannot be expressed via rational mathematics.

        • Herp McDerp

          You know, I was much happier before I knew that these deranged idiots existed.

          And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they view it as the fault of us “breeders” when they die of AIDS, because we didn’t care enough to save them.

          • Anonymous

            As memory serves, in the early days of AIDS, perhaps before it was even called AIDS, a whole lot of people at very high risk of the disease pitched a fit when places like bathhouses were closed.

            If smallpox, or some Captain Tripps superflu, or something of that level of horribleness broke out, society would go along with quarantining the infected. But for some reason, AIDS, which, nearly 40 years later is only *treatable,* with no vaccine or cure available except for a few limited instances, was never something that seemed to merit quarantine.

          • Kelly Starks

            They are anointed as a persecuted minority so no blame can be assigned to them for anything ….and they have political clout to burn.

        • Kelly Starks

          Just when you thought folks could get stupider..they ‘amaze you”.

          In some club scene I read folks tattoo “H-” on their arms when they are looking, and change it to “H+” when they are successful, … so folks can congratulate them or something.
          Of course were both extremely un-PC for being so judgmental of their lifestyle choices, and cheap for not being happy to pay the cost to save their dumb asses from the consequeses of it.

        • se jones

          Not f(*^ kidding.
          Not sayin the WOTW aliens were looking to bugger us naked monkeys.
          Just saying any civilization capable of interstellar travel and making giant tripod war machines, is gonna know basic biology.

          Ergo – those aliens were engaged in some sort of cultural Russian roulette game by exposing themselves to our environment. In essence, not that different than the uber popular “Predator” franchise.

          For that matter, The Thing took a lot of unnecessary chances assimilating people and animals. I could have just assimilated one guy or dog then shut up and waited. Clearly, it had some irrational drive to assimilate other sentient beings for some reason.

          “Bug Chasing fits”.
          Maybe the Tripod aliens who survive win the ‘leader of the pack’ award.
          If none make it – there’s always next time.

  • Anonymous