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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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BUG: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution

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Four, the intended audience for this book changes from essay to essay and from poem to poem. Deal with this. I tried to group things together loosely based on themes, but Iím a weird person who writes about weird things, so this wasnít easy. Furthermore, youíre also going to have to make sense of the following system: A capital ďDĒ in these essays usually denotes membership in the Deaf culture, while a lower-case ďdĒ denotes those who are biologically deaf, yet have chosen not to join the Deaf culture. At times, the line between these two groups of D/deaf people will blur, and at times, thatís as deliberate on my part as it is unintentional. If it seems that the various essays overlap, and even become contradictory, I ask for your patience. You, too, are full of overlapping and contradictory messages. If you doubt this, get your closest friends drunk and ask them what they really think of you.

And finally, five: Where does the title of this book come from? About a year into my writing ďMan on the Street,Ē people began nodding at me as we passed each other in the hallowed halls of Gallaudet. My fame never quite reached the point where people started buying me beers at Deaf Professional Happy Hour (nudge to audience), but thatís okay. Iíll settle for the nods. At heart, at least, Iím a man of the street. I know exactly what I look like from the scholarly heights of the ivory tower: a bug (synonym for pest; synonym for a small thing easily squished). So be it. I resign myself to my destiny.

Understand something, though. Most people no doubt believe that the destiny of a bug is to become a dime-sized bloodstain on the palm of somebodyís hand. But the bug himself?

He believes itís his destiny to start an infestation.


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