In 1979 someone started the Silent Network, a network catering entirely to the deaf and fans of the deaf. Inexplicably, it was still around in 1983 for MUSIGN to do a show there. MUSIGN is an "electrifying internationally famous hearing-impaired dance troupe" that uses "sign language, mime, dance and theatrical interpretation" to make sure that people of all hearing abilities hate them.


The video opens with a glimpse... INTO THE FUTURE! I should explain that in 1983, everyone had a bleak post-nuclear apocalyptical view of the future, so here they present one where the only clothes will be space pajamas and nuclear fallout has made everyone a dumbass robot impersonator. Each MUSIGN member slides into view, slowly turns toward the camera, then dramatically puts on a pair of giant sunglasses. Except for Ed Chevy, who leaps from off camera, then slowly turns around and dramatically puts on a pair of giant sunglasses. It's exactly how I imagine everyone will one day introduce themselves, you know, after our future society catches up with modern day deaf mimes.

By this point, you're expecting a group of blind people dressed like Indians to pop out and throw water balloons because there is NO WAY they're serious. They are. They think this is RAD. They break off in different directions, again: they're completely serious, and start dancing like robots.

Above: "Do doo pchu! doo dooo pchu! pchu!"

Click here to watch the beginning of MUSIGN.
The entire robot dance is slightly choreographed to a beeping future song. I say "slightly" because they have no idea when they're off by a few seconds. They're constantly missing their cues, so you'll see one of them freak out and hop across the floor, then have to wait for the surge of musical lasers that his seizure was supposed to accompany. I'd say they do a pretty good job considering they can't hear the music, but that only means that they had to spend hundreds of extra hours putting this lame routine together, which is more depressing than if they'd have just brought out sick kittens and watched them die.

To get inside the mind of their intended audience, the deaf, I turned down my TV all the way. To complete my transformation, I had my neighbor come over and move her lips at me like she was saying something important I couldn't possibly understand. The people who produced MUSIGN would probably call me brave, or maybe a hero, at this point of the experiment. What I learned was shocking. I realized that without the music, you'd have no idea that this was dancing. Every deaf person watching this thinks that four retarded karate masters came back from the distant future and are violently choking on our atmosphere. It's probably what caused the Hearing Impaired Panicked Rampage of 1983 that destroyed what was once called "Pony Paradise" and is now call "Canada: Deaf-Trampled Wasteland of the North."

There is a lot more wrong with these MUSIGN people that can be explained by hearing-imparitude. Put some earplugs in. Keep them in there for awhile, and take a few minutes to get used to how there's no noise. There. Now look down.

Are you dressed like this?

After the electrifying MUSIGNers are done mocking both the future and their own handicap with their robo-thing, they go Broadway. The four of them put on tuxedos and lip-synch to pre-recorded show tunes. It's like a seventh grade talent show, only now you're in the awkward position of looking like a dick when you notice it's fucking terrible.

They get a little kooky in the middle of "Money Makes the World Go Around," and let loose the comedy that will someday move mistimed broadway lip-synching into the mainstream. Rita makes a funny face while she pulls Bob's top hat off and bonks him with it seven or eight times. Even if you're used to this kind of highbrow theatre humor, I have to warn you, the human funny bone can only take four or five hat bonks before it spiral fractures from hilarity!

Between songs, the talented and internationally-famous performers sit down for interviews with the deaf host of the show, Robert Daniels. In one of them they blurt out, without being asked, that they've won three awards. Hey, trophy-makers. Deafness is not so horribly debilitating that we need to give people sympathy awards for it. I'm not saying deaf people have it easy, but I think the reason they have three awards is because they're lumped in a category where they compete against theatre troupes that are missing entire heads and sets of chromosomes. I'm sure you think I'm being an asshole, but judging by this video, deaf people clearly have many more serious problems than worrying about whether or not I like it when they badly lip synch to music they can't hear.
For example, fixing whatever happened here...

should have priority over getting pissed at me...

On to Part 2

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