I published an essay in the National Post this weekend about deaf culture.

I’ve made friends with people in the silent world since March this year, and constantly became more and more enamoured with their language, their music and their spirit. I’ve never come across a group of kids with such a brazen attitude towards life – read all about it here.

As I describe in the piece, their language is astoundingly complex and versatile – it still floors me, especially how regional it is and how many different variations you can find in the UK alone.

Little did I know when I was writing this piece – and I wish I had – that the gay deaf community has its own lexicon, “Gay Sign Variation”. And it’s brilliant. This handy guide outlines some of the linguistic and grammatical rules of the dialect – and this is my favourite:

“Another common feature among the men was to sign with their elbows close to their body. Of the 21 men recorded, 16 of them displayed this feature. This is quite opposite to masculine Deaf males who would use a much more open and forward style of signing. It has been commented, jokingly that “this is to ensure their handbag doesn’t slip off their arm whilst signing” (personal communication, Jackson, 2008). This in itself is a ‘camp’ comment and one,which could be described as ‘tongue in cheek’.”

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“Go away” – gay sign variant on the top, normal BSL on the bottom.

Genius.

I’ll be on Start The Week on BBC Radio 4 on December 22nd at 9am to discuss hedonism, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director Greg Doran, who is staging Henry IV this month, and Kurt Lampe of Bristol University, an academic studying the tensions between the Hedonists and the Epicureans in the 4th century BC.

To discuss the science of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll – all explored in my new book– I will be speaking throughout the UK this autumn and winter…

September 25th – The Bus Driver’s Prayer, Kahaila Café, 135 Brick Lane, London. 7.30pm. Tickets Here

September 28th – Wigtown Book Festival, The Booth, Wigtown, Scotland. 2:30pm Info Here

October 10th – Lichfield Literature Festival, George IV Pub, Lichfield, 7:30pm.Tickets Here

November 19th – Last Tuesday Society, Hackney, London, E8 4RP. 6pm. Tickets Here

November 26th – Salon London, The Proud Archivist, N1 5ET. 7pm.  Tickets Here

November 30th – Sunday Papers Live, Cecil Sharp House, NW1 7AY. 8pm. Tickets Here.

December 3rd – Salon London, Shoreditch House, E1 6AW. 7.15pm Info Here. (open only to members of Soho and Shoreditch House)

February 4th – Dalston Darlings WI, The Duke of Wellington, N1 4BL. Info Here.

Have I mentioned lately that I loathe both Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke with every shred of my being? And how much I adore Marvin Gaye? Everyone remembers his sexy stuff (which, admittedly, was fucking blistering), but few recall his political polemics. The man had more mettle in his little finger than Pharrell has in his entire PR staff combined.

Eight ways till Sunday, Mr Gaye.

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As a child, I was the biggest nerd in the universe – Lisa Simpson can’t hold a candle to me – yet for some reason I wrote these two things for my yearbook quotes:

“Don’t limit yourself to the confines of a school. There’s so much more to see and learn elsewhere in the world.”

And, in a similar vein:

“Of all the most important things I have learned over the past five years, virtually none came from here.”

Times change, but the song stays the same eh.

Yearbook Photo

I’ve decided to dive back into writing about musical history and culture, because music is my first love and the one person, country or entity I will undoubtedly love till my dying day. Here’s my first stab, regarding Liam Finn.

Thank you Kier and The-Monitors for giving me the chance to compare a Kiwi folkie to Charles Manson.

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Aaaaand, the quote of the day goes to Daniel Farrell: “I am sitting in Pizza Express, reading your book, using a Durex instruction leaflet as a bookmark.”

Durex Bookmark

Dear Scotland,

I love you with every shred of my being. It was with a heavy heart that I left your sparkling shores. It is my singular intent to communicate my deep devotion to your nation with this photograph. 

I believe the expression you are looking for – verbally as well as facially – is “doe eyed”.

From The Bottom Of My Heart

Zoe Cormier

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I just spent 20 minutes watching a cow eat grass while listening to a chorus of moos.

Nature has the capacity to rock out.

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You can listen to an interview on Scottish radio with me here. I start at 109.00.

The interviewers gasped when I used the f-word at the end, but they said at the start: “Wigtown is a great festival to pop your cherry at.” Ha.

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