ASL and the Deaf Culture Appropriation of Apple Fitness+

I have been a big fan of Apple Fitness+. However, after completing the workouts for a several months now, I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that Apple’s misuse of Deaf Culture — in particular, ASL — in their workouts, is a disengaging, and phony, cultural appropriation intended to falsely imply inclusion, when the real aftereffect is a complete failure of meaning. At the beginning, and at the end of almost every workout, but never during a workout, the non-Deaf, and non-ASL fluent, trainers toss in a little ASL sign — a gesture, really — like “ready” or “welcome” or “thank you” and it just comes across as clunky; a falsely sprinkled twinkle on a star. Those throwaway “ASL” signs do not fit the spoken words of the trainer, or even really the intent of the class — they’re just movements intended to appease, and impress, and to not really communicate any emotion or context. Apple uses “ASL signs” as a winking trinket without the inherent value of a cultural totem or the magic of a talisman.

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The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro and the Failure to Consecrate

Guillermo del Toro’s new movie — The Shape of Water — is a high-minded movie that looks great, sounds good, but ultimately fails to consecrate the point of the story: Communication Creates Love.

There are all sorts of movie tropes packed into the The Shape of Water — but the center of the swirling is a “mute” janitor, played by Sally Hawkins, who falls in love with a sea monster because they are able to communicate using American Sign Language; and that major flaw in discovery, reason, and accessibility, will serve as the remainder of my argument why The Shape of Water, in the end, fails as a facilitation for a grander, romantic, connection of human/serpent longing.

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Attention and Intention: Contextual Consequences and Cultural Confusion in Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Broadway Revival

Let’s agree on one thing: Deaf West’s excellent Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening” is a fine production currently showing at the Brooks Atkinson theatre in a limited run. The sets and lights are magnificent. The staging is right. The actors are completely superb. The effort is noble, but perhaps, imperfect in the execution of its essence, and it is in that vacuum of those slight flaws in amber that this review reflects — to make you think and wonder in preservation and ponder beyond the simple joy of watching a few Deaf actors on a live Broadway stage.

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For Deaf People Only: Our Latest David Boles Books Book!

After writing four books together in in 2014 alone, Janna and I are now pleased to announce our latest, and first, book published in the year 2015For Deaf People Only! — a brand-new David Boles Books Writing & Publishing book!

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Return of the Deaf-Mute: Our Next Deaf Culture Conversation

Did you know there’s a troubling, but rich, history using the term “Deaf-Mute” in America?  Janna and I have written a new book “conversation” about that pejorative label released by David Boles Books Writing & Publishing titled — Return of the Deaf-Mute: The Lost Legacy of the Greatest American Deaf Generation — and in our book, we examine the “Deaf-Mute” stereotype in history, its effect on common culture, and the role of human tolerance in society today. How did the “Deaf-Mute” label become such a colloquial monstrosity that it has repressed generations of Deaf people in America — just because it was a convenient, default, categorization that had nothing to do with context or fact of condition?

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How to Create Effective 1080p HD Streaming Videos Using an iPhone

With the rise of the iPhone 6 Plus, video — enhanced HD video at a true 1080p — takes center stage as one of the most interesting, and infinitely valuable, features of the phone. Not only is the video great, but the microphone and audio are absolutely incredible.  What follows is a quick iPhone 6 Plus movie test Janna did for me in Washington Square Park on 9/23/14 at twilight.

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Our Latest Book! Day One: Learning American Sign Language in 24 Hours

Our second American Sign Language book published in three weeks — Day One: Learning American Sign Language in 24 Hours written by Janna Sweenie and David Boles — is now available for purchase online as an eBook. You may read the book online, on your smartphone, tablet, computer or Kindle! You also get 150 free HD ASL videos for use with the book!  We invite you to join us in our ongoing effort to help propagate American Sign Language as a proper foreign language!

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