capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Last year, RH completed their Master's degree in Information Studies, with a focus on human-centric design, identity, and privacy (And thus, I think it might be of special interest to [personal profile] dialecticdreamer). This last week, they adapted it to the style of their on their online comic, broken down into five "chapters."

I was applauding inside, by the end, which was posted yesterday.

Robot Hugs is genderqueer, and so that's the primary lens through which they view the phenomenon of "Otherness." But what they say also applies to all marginalized people, probably.

Anyway, links:

Other -- One: Surveillance
Other -- Two: Categorizing
Other -- Three: Uses of "Other"
Other -- Four: Consequences of Self-Identifying
Other -- Five: Methods of Resistance

capriuni: Text; Beware of the words. (words)
The other day on the radio, I listened to an interview with a speech coach. She was actually billed as a "Speech Therapist," but as the interview focused on her work helping people find more comfortable ways to use their voices, to help project their intentional self-image to the world, rather than her work correcting actual speech impediments, I think "coach" is a better fit in this context.

And in "Part 2," the interviewer invited her to rant about the "Epidemic" of up speak (or, as it's listed in Wikipedia, High rising terminal). I bet you're familiar with this? It's the vocal habit of intoning declarative sentences as if they are questions?

Now, I remember back in the late '80s or early 90s -- 25 freakin' years ago! -- when hand-wringing over "up speak" began. It was seen back then -- and reiterated by this therapist/coach the other day -- as a "bad habit" of young women, used as a way to appear less threatening, or socially appeasing, maybe, and was (is) described as a way to infantilize yourself.

Okay. Fine.

And then this woman said that something remarkable and terrible is happening: Men are starting to use it, too (Oh, noez!).

Now, here's the thing: Back-in-the-day, the "cultural explosion" of this strange new phenomenon of "up speak" was explained as being the result of all these young women leaving college and entering traditionally male business careers. And by using high rising terminal speech, they were appeasing their male employers by playing into their expectations that women were all just really little girls (Better that than be a "B--ch," right?).

And I couldn't help thinking: If those who present as White, Cisgendered, Native Anglophone, Business Elite Educated, Males (the people at the very top of the American Privilege Pyramid) are using it now, than maybe it never just about socially kowtowing to those above you in the pyramid. If those who are least likely to need social cushioning have picked it up, then maybe (*gasp*) it might have more value than we first imagined.
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
Sometimes, I encounter a word, and think: "Perfect name for a cat!"* Though, when new cats actually come into my life, their personalities always trump my fancy notions. Still, I keep a growing list, in case a fictional human under my care needs a cat.

Here's a partial list:

1. First name, Octothorp (OED spelling), followed by any fitting adjective, such as: Octothorp Fuzzy, or Octothorp Trouble -- Inspired by this video: #Octothorpe: A symbolistic journey For a cat-of-common-people, who has no need for jargon (is there such a creature?), "Hashtag" would work.

2. Pheno Menon (Pheno for short). For siblings from the same litter: Pheno and Mena.

3. Grawlix -- the random symbols used in speech balloons for "Bleeped" obscenities. 'Nuff said.

4. (okay, I'll admit I'm drawing a blank, and this is padding to make the list come out to "5," but still, it's character that deserves a nod): Oliver Cob -- the character in Ben Jonson's play who's given the line "Care'll kill a cat." (more truth than "Curiosity!").

5. Mumpsimus -- word I learned this morning. Means sticking with a wrong pronunciation of a word (or idea, or habit) simply for stubbornness, or because you like it.

*Funny how it's never "Dog" that pops into my mind, though occasionally it'll be "Horse".
capriuni: A NASA photo of the planet Saturn in a "Santa cap" text: Io, Saturnalia (Saturnalia)
I posted this information a Year-and-a-Day Ago, but I tried to do something with embedding (I think), and got something wrong, so that all that showed up on my journal was nearly impossible to actually read. And somehow, I never caught it. ...I only caught it last night because Audrey commented that I probably made even fewer posts last December than I did this year, and so I went back and checked (I actually posted more).

So I'm trying again:

It all started when I got to wondering why we only seem to use "Merry" for Christmas greetings, and "Happy" for everything else. So I went to The Online Etymology Dictionary to look it up. This is what I found:

Old English myrge "pleasing, agreeable, pleasant, sweet; pleasantly, melodiously," from Proto-Germanic *murgijaz, which probably originally meant "short-lasting," [snip]. The only exact cognate for meaning outside English was Middle Dutch mergelijc "joyful."

Connection to "pleasure" is likely via notion of "making time fly, that which makes the time seem to pass quickly" [snip, again]. There also was a verbal form in Old English, myrgan "be merry, rejoice." [and a third snip].

The word had much wider senses in Middle English, such as "pleasant-sounding" (of animal voices), "fine" (of weather), "handsome" (of dress), "pleasant-tasting" (of herbs). Merry-bout "an incident of sexual intercourse" was low slang from 1780. Merry-begot "illegitimate" (adj.), "bastard" (n.) is from 1785. Merrie England (now frequently satirical or ironic) is 14c. meri ingland, originally in a broader sense of "bountiful, prosperous." Merry Monday was a 16c. term for "the Monday before Shrove Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).

I think that the link to "Short time" is probably key. The fact that "Christmas Comes But Once a Year," has always been key to its celebration, I think, since it's also always been tied to the passage of time -- at least, since the days when the New Year moved to January 1. The happiness you wish someone for their birthday is the the quieter, longer lasting (and less exhausting) sort.

There's also the association with music and singing (Fa-la-la, la, la, la-la-la, LA!), and bounty... And Christmas, is, at its core, a harvest festival. (All hail the Hogfather!)

So "Merry," in its proverbial DNA, contains all those ideas lumped up together. So its stayed tied to "Christmas" even though we don't remember why.
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
I got into a chat about Shakespeare with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer yesterday, and the topic of Original Pronunciation came up. One of the leaders of this movement is David Crystal, and earlier this year, I binged on videos oh his public appearances. Here are a couple of my favorites, both from British Council Serbia, last year.

This first one may be of particular interest to [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, because he's talking about the various influences that bring particular languages into dominance, and shape how they change as they spread, on a global scale. In this particular case he's talking about present day Earth, but the same principles can be applied to the mining colonies of Alpha Centauri Beta, or whatever world you're building where you want to explore interesting cultural textures.

And this one I like because he makes the point that the most important thing language is used for is playing, and being silly. *nods* I like this man!

capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
Still working on that poetry collection* I drafted during July's Camp NaNoWriMo... And a good quarter of them, so far, are etymological-- often snagged directly from dictionary pages, rearranged for the purposes of scansion.

Right now, I'm writing a longish poem on the word "Cripple," and trying to explain why I love the word, even though it is most often used in hateful contexts. And this simile / analogy popped into my head: Etymology is to cultural beliefs what fossils are to biology. People choose words to convey their thoughts, and the meanings of those words change gradually over time as people's attitudes change. So by tracing the meaning of a word, through its different language roots, you can find evidence of what people were experiencing a thousand years ago, even if they weren't writing them down explicitly, in a "Dear Diary" format. Just like the fossils of tiktaalik tell us about how we are related to ancient, bony, fishes, words themselves can provide evidence of the people whose lives and experiences are otherwise not recorded at all

*or "short essays that just happen to be in iambic pentameter"?
capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
I know I've talked about this, here, before. But my recent decision to include the word "Spastic" in the title of this poem has brought the issue of how we talk about about cerebral palsy from my hippocampus to the front-left of my neocortex.


The following quote is the first sentence in the third paragraph on this page: Understanding Cerebral Palsy: Basic Information from a site which digests basic medical information for the lay public, and is thus often the first place many Americans go to learn about different medical conditions and symptoms.

In my Web searches regarding CP through the years, I've found this sentence quoted verbatim over and over (I swear: sometimes I think 90% of the Web is written by 12-year old boys, who think copying paragraphs out of their class textbooks = writing an essay). So that parents, on first hearing the diagnosis "Cerebral Palsy," anxious to educate themselves, and worried about their child's future will see this over and over:

Between 35% and 50% of all children with CP will have an accompanying seizure disorder and some level of mental retardation.

(End Quote)

But how does this enrage me? Let me count the ways (so MANY ways-- cut for length): )

And now, to my allusion to the Hippocratic Oath: Words are powerful. What they denote and connote shape our intellectual understanding and our gut reactions simultaneously. The passage I'm complaining about has only 21 words. These words were reviewed (and, I assume, approved) by a medical doctor [Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on March 10, 2014]. But those words are sloppy, and are skewed toward a frightening interpretation of their subject. Many children will have to live with (And try to find coping mechanisms for dealing with) adults whose preconceptions are shaped by these very words. That is harmful. That is bad medical ethics.

At the very end of WebMD's two-page summary of cerebral palsy, two sources are cited for the information in the article, but there are no footnotes telling the reader which bits of information come from which source.

The first is openly available on the Web: United Cerebral Palsy Association.

The second is a professional handbook written for doctors: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A handbook for primary care (link to the listing in Google Books; there's no ebook version available, and Google hasn't "found any reviews in the usual places.")
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
It'a a combination word puzzle and a Disability Awareness Exercise, and I know folks in my circle who enjoy both, so:

[Begin Quote]
I have always believed that those, 'ride around in a chair for an hour to experience how hard it is to be a disabled person' kind of exercises are both patronising and counter-productive. You cannot take a 'tourist' approach to difference. I believe asking someone to write a paragraph without using the letter 'e' is a much better exercise. I know I've written about this before, but I want to revisit this. The whole time the pen is in hand the mind is thinking and evaluating, options - that's life with a disability.

Try it now. Translate this sentence into one that doesn't use the letter 'e':

My home is my castle where I eat and sleep.
[End Quote]

(and yes, I'm trying it -- haven't gotten there yet).

[ETA: This cut is hiding my solution )]
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)

Readers' Digest version:

English has a lot of odd plurals; before the viking invasion, it had a lot more. But the vikings came over as grown-ups, had too much trouble keeping all the plurals straight, and so replaced most of the weird plurals with "Stick an 'S' on the end." They married the locals and simplified English became the language of Home, and stuck. The oddballs that remained, such as: Men, Women, and Children, did so because they were used so often that they were too hard to shake.

A few of the odd plurals that are no more:

One Book, Two Beek
One Lamb, Two Lambru (and Two Breadru, and Two Eggru)
One Goat, Two Gat (and Two Ack)

And, after all that, how can I not include this video?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Listened to:
From WNYC's "RadioLab" -- A a segment from a show from December last. The first five and a half minutes or so of this 33 minute segment is about the joy of a man at the end of a three-month solo trek across Antarctica. And then, from then on, it's the story of a Holocaust survivor who tried to invent a new communication system that he hoped would end all war... That, it itself, would have been fascinating. I was not expecting it to end up revolving around children with cerebral palsy living in an institutional home/school/hospital in the 1970's in Ontario, Canada... but it did (Content note-- it ends on a fairly tragic, ironic note):

Mr. Bliss

For something completely different, also from "RadioLab": Liev Schreiber reads Italo Calvino's The Distance of the Moon; written in Italian in 1965, and translated into English in 1968... i.e., before we landed there...
(Content note-- one of the main characters is written as Deaf for metaphorical/symbolic reasons as a sort of Magic!wild-man/Innocent-Primitive)

Found by way of "Rolling around in my head": Reclaiming memory: Searching for Great-Aunt Sarah (Content note: institutional life and death in the early 20th century)

From "Rolling around in my head" Directly: The Better Way (content note: neither tragic nor ironic-- includes a crying baby)

And a child shall lead them -- going-on-eleven year-old Stephanie leads a blue-grass band of adult white men... You can tell she's the leader in this particular set, because she sets the tempo for their playing, and signals the final chorus of the first song with a straight-leg kick (a standard signal in folk music):

(Content note-- precocious kid on stage and occasional out-of-focus camera).

This moved me not so much for the cuteness factor, but the aplomb and grace of one so young in front of an audience -- maybe that's her "un-cuteness"?
capriuni: half furry, half sea monster in wheelchair caption: Monster on Wheels (Monster)
Over at Rolling Around in my Head, Dave Hingsburger is asking a question that tickles that special lexicography geek place in my heart (It's another "What's a lexical gap in English that you would like to see filled?" discussion). And since I have people in my circles that identify with various forms of queer- and/or Disability Pride, I thought I'd share it here:

Begin Quote:
Several years ago George Hislop, who was a close friend, told me the difference between someone who was 'gay' and someone who was 'homosexual.' He said that a 'homosexual' was someone who had sex with others of the same gender but who did not identify with their sexuality, denied it as often and as loudly as they could and who did nothing to support the political movement regarding the rights for sexual minorities. A gay person, on the other hand, was someone who also had sex with others of the same gender but had an affiliation to the movement to the rights of others to love as they will that went beyond sex. Gay people, he said, identified with their sexuality and with their community. He saw the difference as the same as the difference between shade and sun.


Begin Quote:
Like the woman I spoke to in Maryland who wanted to talk to me about accessibility in Toronto. When this happened it reminded me of being in a gay bar in Milwaukee and being asked how safe it was to be gay in Toronto. In both cases, it was more than strangers asking strangers tourist advice ... both were experiences of the best of community. Where strangers aren't so strange, and where questions are understood at the deepest level of their asking. Community is community but community requires an entrance fee - identity.

So... while I'll be working on other things, today, this question will be running in the background of my thoughts... I'll probably have more to say about it later.

[ETA: Oops! forgot the link to the full post -- here: ]
capriuni: Illustration of M. Goose riding a gander; caption reads: Beware the magic of words (mother goose)
Just a word or two on word choices (because it's something I've been thinking about, these past few weeks, and that's what these journal thingies are for, right?):

There are those (many, most, nearly all, maybe I'm the odd one out...) who see words like "crippled" and "lame" to refer to people with physical (especially mobility-related) disabilities as unequivocally derogatory, like the N# word, or the R# word.

A year and a bit ago, when I started collecting folktales and other pre-modern literature featuring disabilities, I knew I was going to come across these two particular words a lot. And I had a decision to make: do I reproduce these words faithfully, as they appear in the original (or translations of the original)? Or should I bowlderize them, and replace the offending words with "Mobility impaired," "couldn't/can't walk," etc.

Now, as an English Major, and lover of the Humanities, I can't abide bowlderization. ...after all, the words are part of the history, and the history is part of the understanding, and understanding is crucial to finding justice.

So I made a conscious decision to keep those words in each story as I find them.

And after that, I found I was no longer offended by the words themselves, but only as they've ended up being used in the generations through which I've lived (yes, by now, I've lived through multiple generations -- I'm surprised by this, too).

Used as a simple descriptive word for human being who crawls more easily than s/he/ou walks upright, "crippled" (from the same root as "creep," and "crawl") is no more derogatory than "Wheelchair-" or "Crutch-User") --

Except this same word has been used extensively (or even mostly) to refer to things that aren't even human -- an example:

"The wide-spread power outage on the East Coast today crippled Internet trading, and the Stock Market fell seventy points."

So, then, the word, which once was used as a simple descriptor (even self-descriptor) in literature of the past, has become "Dehumanizing" because it's been used to describe every thing that's ever been broken. And people are not things, and people don't break (in the same way cars do).

So -- in light of that, I've decided to refer to myself as "crippled" and/or "lame," because, by their first meanings, that's what I am. I will, however, take a ten-mile word detour (if I have to) to avoid applying either of these words to any abstract thing (like the stock market, or Government) or inanimate object.

Does this make any sense?
capriuni: Illustration of M. Goose riding a gander; caption reads: Beware the magic of words (mother goose)
Freshly minted -- as of seven minutes ago -- the mold's barely been cracked.

I'll come back later and revise.


In looking down upon my naked self:
My lap, my scars, my hands, and crooked feet,
My posture's slant, my elbow's inner bend,
I sometimes wonder what it means to see.
This looking at myself from the where I am
Is not at all like looking at a rock.

Remembered words -- they echo in my thoughts --
In all the languages I've heard (or seen).
Like forest leaves, they sway in every breeze,
And cast their dappled shadows through my mind.
It's through this tangled forest I must go,
To find my truth, and know just what I am.
And then: one word amid ten thousand words
It catches, like a thorn, with sharp intent.
Although it stings, I trace the tendrils back,
And find a path, and there, the root:
That "monster," once, meant "warning from the gods."
The fear's unveiled. And like a ghost, it fades.
And here's the fruit: it's heavy -- rich with seeds.
I'll plant one for myself, and start anew.
capriuni: footnotes are where the cool kids hang out (geek pride)
So yeah... the other day, I wrote this as a quickie post:

A proposal for a definition of "Geek," which can exist independent of any particular cultural trend (e.g. video-games, comics, or spec. fic):


Someone to whom the sentence: "You're over-thinking this," is inherently nonsensical.

This is the ultimate antithesis of a "quickie post" It has All the Words... But a bunch are under cuts, and I'll understand if you don't actually read them all (though it would be nifty if you read some). Basically, this is where a non-geek would say I'm over-thinking this...

That thought came to me in the middle of watching the newest music video from the YouTube Channel called "Geek and Sundry," which is provided under the cuts below for those who are curious. Go Watch / Read / Whatever. I'll wait 'till you get back.

I'm the one that's cool -- video behind the cut for NSFW or kids visuals )

I'm the one that's cool -- Song lyrics for those who can't watch vid, behind the cut for length )

The thing is, I've always considered myself a "geek,"* but I had to Google about two-thirds the cultural references in those lyrics before I understood them. And I really think "geek" is really more about: 1) A general attitude toward the world around you and 2) your favorite ways of solving problems than it ever was about which particular cultural tastes you have.

I mean, take this soliloquy from Hamlet, for example: if these aren't the words of a Geek-type wishing he could be more of a Jock-type, than I don't what is (whether these are words strictly specific to character and situation, or [as I suspect] the author getting a wee bit autobiographical)

Video of he Soliloquy from the end Act 2, Scene 2 in *Hamlet* as acted by David Tennant )**

Text of the Soliloquy )

Here's where I stop quoting and start babbling my own words about everything above -- Starting with *Hamlet* and finishing with why I think 'Geekdom' is MORE than just science, math, computers, and science fiction, but even so, I understand why so many people think Geek=Science ... What do you mean, I'm 'over-thinking this?' )

*or rather, as someone of that personality type -- the year I graduated left high school, (I stayed an extra year after I was qualified to graduate so I could be in the new Advanced Placement History and English classes): 1982, the first definition of "Geek" in the dictionary was still "Someone who bites the heads off chickens," and I was never that.

**There's also a video that compares the performances of both Simm and Tennant, back-to-back, but of the two, David's version comes across to me as more frantically barely-out-of-adolescence in age, in terms of don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-feelings and resulting social awkwardness, so I think of this performance as one of the geekiest ever. Makes it easier to remember that Shakespeare wrote the character to be college student... Or it could just be because of that tee-shirt he's wearing in the scene ;-)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
A proposal for a definition of "Geek," which can exist independent of any particular cultural trend (e.g. video-games, comics, or spec. fic):


Someone to whom the sentence: "You're over-thinking this," is inherently nonsensical.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
On Tuesday, I posted this:

From the end of the second verse [eta: of Mystery Song]:

Reporting live from the frontline
We carry the torch for the ones who're scared to shine

The last verse:

One thing I know is for definite
Soul, body and mind, you got the same benefit
If you trust your heart, there ain't no way of losing it
Keep doing your thing, against all etiquette.
10, 9, 8, start the countdown
7, 6, 5, about to go down
4, 3, 2, 1, sing along now.

ETA #2: At first, I thought I'd just leave it there, and not burden you guys with me gushing on about a language I love but don't live in.

But thanks to [personal profile] trouble, I learned about a video (reported on by Huffington Post) by a couple of ignoramuses claiming to be covering a song in ASL -- but really, all they're doing is flailing their hands about in a stereotypical, audist, hateful way. And then, they're removing and blocking all comments by actual Deaf, Native ASL Signers who are calling them out on it. So I thought I'd put dedicate some of my space to real True-biz Sign Rapping, to thumb my nose at those fools.

The Answer to the riddle I posed (With video of the whole song) is below this cut )

As my mother would have phrased it: "If I could write like that (in a third language, no less), I wouldn't talk to anybody!"
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Okay, so I've been posting a bunch under my "Signed Languages" filter, which most of you are not on, because it's a small subset of my circles... but twice, recently, under that filter, I claimed to have learned ASL from Dr. Larry Flesicher (who died in 2009). And then, today, I decided to Google the "ASL, S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, 1991" to see what I could find about him.

...And it turns out, I learned ASL from Dr. Larry Forestal, who is still very much alive and kicking... Ooops? Um, in my defense, this was twenty years ago? and I don't think we called him by his last name anyway (since we were first year foreign language students, and clueless as all get out)? And I may have been reading the news of Dr. Flesicher's death online, without my glasses?

Anyway, Look what I found! ... I made it into The New York Times! (not by name... But I was one of the "more than 30 students [who] held a protest earlier [that] month," mentioned in the article). The full article is behind the cut. I'm posting this out-of-filter, because there are several teachers, former teachers, and soon-to-be-teachers in my circles, so the subject might appeal on those grounds.

Campus Life: SUNY, Stony Brook; Sign Language: Foreign Or Merely an Easy A? (New York Times, May 26, 1991) )

I knew the anti-ASL argument was bogus at the time... I don't know how many students actually did get A's. But we were given work in that class... And no, we didn't "speak," but we were required to sign in class.

But now that I've followed along with people working as college and university instructors, I really know their argument was bogus:

"Too many students get A's!"

(actually, you counted wrong)

"Well, it's American Language... That's not foreign!"

(But Navajo is?)

"Well, it's only taught by Adjunct Professors! Everyone knows they're not real scholars."
That last one is the kicker, ain't it? Especially since, I bet, every one of the tenured professors making that argument back then were Adjunct Professors, once upon a time...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
(Cross-posting; this is what I wrote in [community profile] disability, last night):

It occurred to me recently that the whole use of "Crutch" as a derogatory term belies how many people assume we're all faking our disabilities: "I bet they could walk if they really tried; they're just too lazy to carry their own weight.

Compare that with Ladders as a metaphor: climbing the ladder of business success.

And really, crutches are more like ladders than they are not: both are tools to help us get higher than we're capable of, under own own power: ladders help us surmount a steep barrier, and crutches help us get our noses out of the mud. They even kind of look the same, if you think of the hand grip as a rung.

And here are some further thoughts I've written as replies in discussion:

(Further on the idea of ladder as something positive, even though "climbing the corporate ladder" is often used to criticize someone's brutal ambition):

Yes, in that sense, "climbing the corporate ladder" is often talked about in a negative way, but there's also often an air of admiration about it, at the same time-- of the person's energy, ambition, cleverness, and so forth. And even when someone is criticizing the climber, it's never the ladder that's seen as the negative thing, in the same way that crutches are.

(In response to the point that most people think of crutches as temporary, to be used only while an injury heals):

What bothers me is that whether or not the need for crutches is permanent or temporary doesn't matter.

Casting them in a negative light belies the bias that the crutch-user's judgement of their own abilities is not to be trusted, and the Able-bodied Authority (or even stranger) has the right (and duty) to chastise and "reeducate" them.

(The idea that just came to me, about how I can help change things):

I'm going start referring to them as "hand ladders" (like handsaw, or hand drill):

"Excuse me, could you help? My hand ladder fell over, and I can't reach it."

"Your what?"

"My crutch -- you know -- my hand ladder." And roll my eyes as if it were obvious.

It could be quite fun spreading a little linguistic chaos that way. ;-)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Well I did threaten -- ahem -- promise to post a collage of Danny Kaye pics, didn't I? Here it is:

danny kaye arm dancing
(Click to view larger)

After this immersion in his work, the thing that impresses me most is how fluidly energy flows through his body -- especially his hands and fingers.

Knowing how well his mind absorbed the rhythms and nuances of so many different languages, I can't help but fantasize about what he could have done if he'd ever been exposed to American Sign Language: Was his genius specifically aural, or was it generally linguistic? If it were the latter, I'd love to be able to go back in time to an alternate universe and see what he could have done with a "ABC Story" (a story where each sign and/or qualifer must be the letters of the ASL fingerspelling alphabet, in order from A to Z; I've often wondered, btw, if BSL and Auslan have similar genres -- anybody know?)*

Links to my sources, with total running time of each clip (so you can get a sense of bandwith before you decide whether or not to click):

Top center: Finale: "Happy Ending" On the Riviera (1951; copyright 20th Century Fox) 9:46 (Song starts at ~6:38)

-- the Ultimate YAY! shot, non?

Perimeter, counterclockwise (starting from top left):

'The Thinker' The Danny Kaye Show (1963-1967; copyright CBS) 6:08

Louis Armstrong and Kaye: "When the Saints go marching in" The Danny Kaye Show (1963-1967; copyright CBS) 4:06

"Triplets" The Danny Kaye Show (1963-1967; copyright CBS) 2:16

"The Maladjusted Jester" (Paramount Studios; 1955) 6:23

"Ballin' the Jack" The Danny Kaye Show (1963-1967) 0:42

-- Origin of the subject line. This was actually written in 1913; I was surprised to learn that "rock" was used as slang for "dance" as early as that.

"Gypsy" The Danny Kaye Show (1963-1967) 2:13

*One of the best examples of an ABC story I could find online: "Checkmate": about two people sitting down and playing chess: "Checkmate" by Rob Nielson, 2008 1:47
capriuni: footnotes are where the cool kids hang out (geek pride)
How did the meaning of the English word "Nut" evolve from: "a hard, indehiscent, one-seeded fruit, as the chestnut or the acorn" to: "a foolish, silly, or eccentric person"?

Did the word somehow get filtered through the word "Squirelly"?

'Cause I can understand how "Boy, he's sure a squirrelly fellow, ain't he?" can mean "he's a foolish, silly person," because squirrels (from our p.o.v) seem to run every which way in a nervous, nonsensical fashion. And squirrels are associated with nuts.

Or is it that "nut" is also a slang term for "head?"


I'm wondering this because the other night, I found I'm a Nut, by Leroy Pullens (1966), on YouTube. And it's been running through my head ever since*:

I'm a nut, I'm a nut
My life don't ever get in a rut, whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop
The head on my shoulders is sorta loose
And I ain't got the sense God gave a goose
Lord, I ain't crazy, but ...I'm a nut

Is is wetter under water, if you're there when it rains?
Is it shorter to New York, than it is by a plane?
Between myself and I, I wonder who's the dumber
Is it hotter down south, than it is in the summer?

*help me! -- If you dare, here's a vid: Most vids of this song are just slide shows of semi-related Google hits. But this one actually shows four women line dancing to this song, so it actually has a modicum of creativity and effort.


capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)

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