Another one for signing?

As a special treat for Sinc, here is an exerpt from an absolutely hilarious piece by Mark Steyn on the Mandela funeral and the signing snafu, in which a violent schizophrenic was given the gig because his quote was the lowest.  (The IRONY)
(I have always fancied myself as a signer – maybe my dream can be fulfilled.  After all, my application for jobs can begin: “Let me make it clear in the first instance, I am not a violent schizophrenic ….)
Here is part of the Steyn piece:
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”
Still, South African officials are furiously pointing fingers (appropriately enough) to account for how he wound up onstage. “I do not think he was just picked up off the street. He was from a school for the deaf,” Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for Persons with Disability, assured the press. But the Deaf Federation of South Africa said it had previously complained about his nonsensical signing after an event last year. Mr. Jantjie was paid a grand total of $85 for his simultaneous translation of the speeches of the U.N. secretary-general, six presidents, the head of the African Union, and a dozen other dignitaries. Ms. Bogopane-Zulu notes that the going rate for signing in South Africa is $125 to $165. So she thinks a junior official may simply have awarded the contract to the lowest bid.
That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. 
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10 Responses to Another one for signing?

  1. Interesting, isn’t it, how the Right always holds up anything to do with assisting people with disabilities to ridicule. It says a lot…..,
  2. Carpe Jugulum
    Oh dear the shrieking loon is here too.
  3. Docket62
    When someone holds themselves out to ‘sign’ for the deaf, and makes a complete arse of themselves, not to mention the security of every person there, one can but sit back and laugh one’s own arse off. How that can be interpreted as a mockery of the deaf, as you suggest numbers, beggars belief. It is however the you tube sensation of the year, an early christmas present to one and all. Ho Ho Ho
  4. entropy
    Actually, I don’t think this signing meme is a joke. It is all about demonsrating how caring you are. Even if it would make more sense to just scroll the text of the speech alongside he bottom of the tv screen, thus removing the distracting presence of the signer.
    But prominently putting the signer up there demonstrates how caring you are, and thus it is good.
    Deaf politics is something I have trouble relating to. There is a culture that denies it is a disability, but a viable culture to be promoted. Taken to extremes, you have deaf parents wanting to select children for deafness. Many proponents aggressively criticise people that try to ‘cure’ deafness. Things like bionic ears are bad, presumably because it threatens the culture.
    I have dealt with people like that, and it was all I could do to remain polite.
  5. candy
    If the Mandela family didn’t feel offended an unsuitable person was chosen to do the signing and it’s no big deal to them, then it probably doesn’t matter.
  6. Megan
    Oh dear the shrieking loon is here too.
    Carpe, he’s everywhere, a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel but without the looks, √©lan or French accent. Or brains, obviously. Expect an inundation, now that the teachers are on a well earned break.
  7. because his quote was the lowest
    What deserves mocking here is Marketism.
    Prime example of how it screws most things.
  8. ACTOldFart
    if it would make more sense to just scroll the text of the speech alongside he bottom of the tv screen
    And what about deaf people who can’t read? How can you be such a hard-hearted, cognito-normative exclusivist? I am appalled
  9. Brett
    It is all about demonsrating how caring you are.
    Save that they clearly do not care sufficiently to ensure that it is done correctly.
    What deserves mocking here is Marketism.
    Prime example of how it screws most things.
    What needs to be mocked here is yet another oxygen thief public servant who is either to stupid, lazy or incompetent (or possibly all of the above) to check even the most basic facts. Come to think of it, I am sure the union drones in Canberra can find a spot for him; he’ll clearly be needing asylum shortly.
  10. H B Bear
    I thought it was nice the way Mandela didn’t try to upstage the Magic Negro and his teleprompter.

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