|Photo: Lydia Callis’s Face for NYC Mayor|
Mayor Bloomberg may have been doing the talking, but my eyes were riveted to Ms. Callis, whose amazingly expressive facial expressions made her signing fascinating... and almost intelligible to someone like me who has no clue about ASL. In a better world, she would be teaching a Ph.D.-level course at the Colorado School of Mimes.
Sign language is not funny business, especially when serious messages about Big Events are being delivered. And yet, expressiveness - even exaggerated expressiveness - is an important component of ASL’s ability to convey information. What at first glance may seem ridiculous or comedic is actually a legitimate aspect of physical communication. I will be interested to hear Elder Daughter’s take on the matter, given that she is currently engaged in graduate studies of advanced performance art.
If there is not a Saturday Night Live skit featuring someone playing (and not being quite as interesting as) Ms. Callis, I will be both shocked and disappointed. And I wish her a long, happy career.
On a more serious note, our prayers and best wishes go out to those affected by the blow variously known as Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy, and Frankenstorm. Our family in the New York area has, thankfully, been spared any major consequences aside from the ubiquitous power outages... but not everyone has been so fortunate. May their burdens be lightened swiftly.
Update: Sure enough, SNL has checked in:
(Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to both Bou and the Mistress of Sarcasm for the link!)