Jazz hands as a substitute for clapping approved at the University of Manchester

A new report from the BBC and the Independent (click on screenshots below) discussed the banning of clapping at certain events by the student union at the University of Manchester, the school where Matthew Cobb teaches:

BBC:

The Independent:

 

What the papers report is that the student union at the University of Manchester has voted to ban clapping or other ‘noisy appreciation’ of speakers and replace them with “jazz hands” for student activities like panels, debates, and talks. They’ve also encouraged other student groups and societies to move toward jazz hands and away from clapping. (Jazz hands are also described as the sign of approval in British Sign Language.) The National Union of Students (NUS) has been recommending jazz hands since 2015.  And, as The Independent reports:

What’s more, in 2017 the NUS said there would be “consequences” for students who clap and whoop at events, following requests for people to stop.

Here are what jazz hands look like:

The rationale? Inclusivity. The action started with the deaf (from the BBC):

The action was created not only because deaf people wouldn’t be able to hear clapping, but also because people often clap their hands in their laps or at waist level, which isn’t always easy to see.

It’s thought the action originated in France, where deaf people would wave their napkins in the air at banquets to show applause and approval.

. . . Union officer Sara Khan said traditional clapping can cause issues for students with autism, sensory issues or deafness.

. . . Ms Khan, the union’s liberation and access officer, who proposed the motion at a recent meeting said clapping can “discourage” some from attending democratic events.

So-called “jazz hands”, she said, encouraged an “environment of respect”.

“I think a lot of the time, even in Parliamentary debates, I’ve seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,” she said.

Yet jazz hands discriminate against blind people, who can hear applause and thus can join in, but can’t hear jazz hands. Blind people have to hear something to join in. Or maybe the audience can just shout to the blind: “Make jazz hands now.”

My view? I am not outraged by this, but I don’t think the student union should require everybody to accommodate the relatively few who can’t (or so they say) tolerate applause. The question is how much should we alter our behavior to be inclusive. Should we be inclusive of everyone? What about those people who are allergic to perfume, can’t tolerate it (I really don’t like heavy perfume), or even get migraines from it. Should everybody be required to ditch the perfume before an event? If not, why would you ban applause?

I think it’s fine to say that people can use the gesture if they want, and there should be an explanation of why it’s used, but its use should not be mandatory. Further, the behavior-monitors have to realize that they’re discriminating against the blind or visually impaired when they mandate hand-waggling.

This is of course not a huge issue compared to, say, the choice of a new Supreme Court justice, but it’s another symptom of how authoritarians seek to control everyone’s behavior to conform to their own ideology or preference.

Here are some tweets from the BBC North West:

Here’s a psychology professor associating clapping with other kinds of raucous behavior. But those different behaviors need not be used together, and that the combination of shouting, clapping, and gesticulating, as seen in Parliament’s “question time”, can indeed be disruptive to the discussion and speakers.

In the real world people applaud, and they’ll continue applauding regardless of the demands of student unions. The onus, I think, is up to those disturbed by applause to learn to tolerate it. I, for one, was afflicted by depression a couple decades ago, but applause never bothered me. To imply that every depressed person, or person with autism, can’t tolerate applause is simply wrong. So what proportion of objectors would it take before nobody is allowed to applaud?

Let’s take a nonscientific poll. Please vote, as I’m curious:

130 Comments

  1. Laurance
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh Jerry…now I’m feeling guilty!

    “Should we be inclusive of everyone? What about those people who are allergic to perfume, can’t tolerate it (I really don’t like heavy perfume), or even get migraines from it. Should everybody be required to ditch the perfume before an event?”

    I do love perfume. I learned to love perfume when I was a wage slave in a department store working at the perfume counter long ago. But then during my 16 years living in the Ithaca NY area I sure got a snootful of political correctness and behavior and learned to think that loving perfume is as outrageous as lighting up a cigar in the Intensive Care Unit.

    I’m home in central PA again, and I love perfume. But I do give some thought to when to not wear it. I don’t wear perfume when I take my Sweetie to the doctor or to a place where there are likely to be people with health issues.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I don’t particularly like perfume but I can’t stand other people’s sweat either.

  2. Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    If I’m going to use jazz hands I’m going to wear Al Jolson make-up to go with it.

    Appreciation should be spontaneous. If you have to pause to think of the appropriate way to show it it isn’t spontaneous.

    In any case, jazz hands make it look like you are taking the piss out of autistic people because it resembles stimming. I have sensory processing issues but I’d rather put up with that than have people make fun of me. What with this, the Kipling nonsense and the recent Pride event where a speaker said if ‘Terfs’ tried anything there they’d be ‘dragged away by their saggy tits’, Manchester can fuck off, I’m spending my nights out in Liverpool instead.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      That was the first thing I thought of: Al Jolson in black-face with white gloves.

      • Doug
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of Jolson . . I was reading about the early days of Vaudeville. Theaters put up signs telling audiences that the only proper way to applaud was by clapping; they were trying to break audiences of the habit of banging their walking sticks on the floor, which evidently used to be the standard.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, if any functionary is concerned with this level of human activity, they should recognize that they are a step away from being a tyrant. What a bunch of kranks! I would like to object on behalf of all pirates who have a hook for a hand, and can still slap their leg to clap, but for whom jazz hands would be a demeaning reminder of their loss.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for claims of cultural appropriation from the deaf.

    • Laurance
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes! I studied American Sign Language, and waving the hands is indeed applause in ASL. I can well imagine that for hearing people to do that would be condemned as cultural appropriation. (Actually that’s what I thought when I first read the post. How long till the SJWs are yelling about it?)

  5. Posted October 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was an example of the fake studies and papers in your last blog post. I am right, am I not. This is another spoof. Seriously.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      No, this is real.

      • Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I knew it was real. That was my approach to indicate how stupid I thought the idea was.

  6. Kieran
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of Jazz hands, it’s very popular in situations like concerts for the deaf and other organisations were the individual or group cannot hear applause.

    It was quite common in Taize France to do the Taize wave as thousands of people clapping disturbed the locals.

    Or raise your hands while clapping same effect a visual and auditory signal of approval.

    Yes certain groups will have an issue with a loud sudden noise but it varies from individual to individual and if a speaker or guest has a particular issue then that can be raised by them during a talk

    I think the issue is mandated or forced to. If the students union had gone with a suggestion at SU events we adopt Jazz hands for this reason but the choice is yours would be a lot better.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I have to ask: concerts for the deaf?

      • Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        My first thought too.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        There are music events for the deaf, there are clubbing/rave events for the deaf Glastonbury & other festivals feature BSL signers on the main stages. I have met a deaf DJ.

        Most deaf have some residual hearing and/or have memory of the full sound from their youth
        At deaf concerts & clubbing gigs I’ve read that the bass is boosted, there’s light shows, there’s a person on stage ‘interpreting’ the music through movement, the audience can dance & shout & also there are ‘ring circuits’ installed [might be the wrong name for them – working from memory] that puts the musical output straight to digital hearing aids over BlueTooth or similar radio band.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          For some reason, when you said “clubbing” I imagined people using actual clubs to whack things.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            Does Seal go clubbing?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 3, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

              Only when he was a cub.

        • Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:16 am | Permalink

          So why would there be a need for jazz hands rather than conventional clapping?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

            The way I read the original source – there are profoundly deaf for whom no ear activation occurs for sound energy less than 90dB & then there’s those hyper-sensitive to noise – ASD & the like.

  7. Christopher
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Free ear plugs or similar device for those with autism or sensory issues, jazz hands for the deaf (who know people are clapping, they are neither stupid or unaware, AND they’ll have sign language interpreters, FFS!), normal socially acceptable clapping and other methods of demonstrating approval for most people, and people like me with social anxiety will stay home. Solved.

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    That has not happened at my university, but here we are experiencing a steady creep of new policies which don’t seem really necessary. One is that our course web sites must be in black and white text for those who are visually impaired or have strong attention deficits. This is to be done to the detriment of all students even though the tiny number of impaired students can and do just adjust their computer monitors, and they always have electronic text readers and they can have a personal assistant with them all day if they need it. But, supposedly, now everyone must spend hours staring at black and white course pages with less clear content, rather than using colored text or highlights to provide content separation and special alerts. The html code in our course web sites has now been scrubbed to not provide tools for using color. But I, like most instructors, simply work around these restrictions by using ‘bootleg’ html code to insert color!

    Our syllabi have become bloated with I call ‘edu-speak’, which is this vague but wordy language that summarizes the course ‘Learning Objectives’ but also its ‘Cross-Cutting Capacities’. These are scrutinized by… someone? But the students sure don’t read them. I could go on, but right now I am feeling cranky.

    • Posted October 4, 2018 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      That is utterly ridiculous, but not for the reason you mention. The technology to keep everybody happy was invented in 1994 and became practical to use around 2000.

      All your university needs to do is mandate that all styling on web pages is done in separate CSS files. Then you can supply a sale sheet for visually impaired people and a style sheet for everybody else and a means to select between the two – a few lines of Javascript would do it.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Are the terms “formative assessment” and “summative assessment” (instead of “test” and “exam”) now used at the university level? They are used at the U.S. public school K-12 level. (I gather because “test” became somehow “triggering.” Instead of SAT/ACT it should be SASA/ACSA. Or to get into law school the LSASA.)

  9. AJ
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with it. It’s a simple, tiny change to make to make events open to more people.

    Plus, keep in mind that so many of the articles are misconstruing an important point. It’s not being banned. They are encouraging the behavior. See here: https://mancunion.com/2018/10/02/banning-clapping-students-union/

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I can remember when beatniks in Greenwich Village coffee houses used to snap their fingers instead of applaud — ok, I can’t actually remember it personally, but I remember there being some popular media portrayals of it when I was a kid. Mighta been an “urban legend,” avant la lettre, for all I know.

    Any-way, I’m generally opposed to anyone having to do anything they don’t wanna unless there’s a damn good reason to, but this seems pretty anodyne as these things go. Put me down for a lukewarm “aye.”

    Lord knows, they could do worse.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      The idea is for people to do better.

  11. mikeyc
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    The visual one gets with an early meaning of the word “Jazz” puts this stupidity very high on the “ewwwwww!” scale. Still, given the amount of intellectual masturbation that must have accompanied proposing this idiocy*, I suppose it is appropriate.

  12. ploubere
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The rationale for this reveals that it’s just another futile attempt to create a safe space. The deaf can see people around them clapping, so that’s not a reasonable argument, and if clapping causes you psychological anxiety, you need therapy, not for the world to change for you.

    • Damien
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Therapy can only do so much, and in this case, I suspect, not much.

  13. Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    In the British Parliament, the traditional way to signify applause is to wave your order paper. Clapping is not the done thing.

    • Trevor H
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      When you use the British Parliament as a standard to judge things you’ve lost the plot entirely

      It’s full of ancient flummery and ceremony

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        “It’s full of ancient flummery and ceremony”

        Are you saying that like it’s a bad thing?

      • Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        My comment was a response to a specific point made in the post.

        But those different behaviors need not be used together, and that the combination of shouting, clapping, and gesticulating, as seen in Parliament’s “question time”, can indeed be disruptive to the discussion and speakers.

        I apologise for my laziness in not making the context clear. I did consider putting the quote in but chose not to in the end because I couldn’t be bothered.

  14. Dave
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Would this mandate *still* not exclude people that have no hands or arms? Maybe we should just flail around…except that would exclude the paralyzed…

  15. chewy
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Well, that would certainly change the Opera house environment! We have been using “jazz hands” at auditions though — now I know what to call them.

    • chewy
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      To follow up … if you are in the front of the audience in the opera house, you have to turn around to see what is happening behind you. Just remembered the sore neck I get from sitting in the Apprentice Showcase event at Santa Fe Opera.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I thought you yelled Brovo.

  16. Davide Spinello
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    “Although I don’t like jazz hands from a few young people concerned with social justice, I would like to remind you about the growing influence of the far right (i.e. anyone I don’t like) that poses a real threat, not like these few kids. The far right is empowered by privileged heterosexual white cisgender binary carnivore gluten-constrained constrained-range males that like to read Quillette to reinforce their echo-chambered anti left anti SJW ideas and reassure their privilege.”

    Freely quoted from a conversation I overheard in the bus.

    • JezGrove
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      What bus number? I’ll be avoiding it like the plague! (Apologies for the anti-bacterialism…)

  17. Sastra
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    In the United States, it’s fairly common (or at least was fairly common) for elementary and middle schools to require that students use Jazz Hands instead of applause in assemblies. The rational was that young children often get carried away when given the opportunity to make noise. I’m not sure if the students themselves were told this or not. We Moms and Dads, however, were informed and thought it a good idea. It was another version of “the indoor voice” when dealing with large groups of bored and/or excited kids.

    I wonder if the students and administrators are coming up with other explanations for what became a familiar habit formed for a younger age.

  18. Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  19. KD33
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Once after I gave a talk at a German University, the students “applauded” by wrapping their knuckles on their desks. I’d heard this was a tradition but it still caught me by surprise, and for a second I wasn’t sure if it was a favorable response! Maybe this would be a good compromise since it’s not as loud as clapping, and the blind couple feel the vibrations…
    That aside, the whole no-clapping thing seems silly.

  20. Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    My view is that this teaches students that the way to get what you want in life is ban anything you don’t like. Works well in North Korea.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes. This is a Trojan wedge. Tell the people they can’t do this, it becomes that much easier to tell them they can’t do that. Or say that. Next step? Not allowed to appreciate viewpoints that go against the approved narrative? It’s happening rather too often f9r comfort.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Oops; ‘for’

  21. Simon Hayward
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s been said before elsewhere, but doesn’t this discriminate against the blind. They can hear clapping. Or do does the student union favor the deaf over the blind……

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      The deaf guy simply got in first. If the blind guy had been at the meeting when it was discussed, they would have banned *not* clapping.

      The serious point is that the real problem is the instinct to ban (or make compulsory) some behaviour that is (often only marginally) considered preferable. That is the truly dangerous instinct, and one that should be resisted.

  22. Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    This ableist against the handless.

  23. Trevor H
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    If people cannot cope with the clapping – how are they supposed to have coped with the ‘performance’ – I’m guessing it will be noisy

    This is ridiculous – if I hadn’t read it, I’d assume it was an Onion piece

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      And how are they going to cope with the real world?

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      People go to see a firework display and are ‘triggered’ by the clapping.

  24. Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    In some cultures they waive their Spears in the air and chant.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I fire my rifle in the air when I’m pleased.

      I culturally appropriated the habit when watching news of the Middle East.

      • Filippo
        Posted October 4, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        “I shot a bullet into the air,
        It hit a human, I know not where (or care.”

  25. Harrison
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ll resist the urge to snark (which is not easy as evidenced by many of the replies so far; this really is a ludicrous situation ripe for the mocking) and simply say that if I were a public speaker and had to request some sort of inaudible gesture of approval from an audience I’d much prefer a simple thumbs up over jazz hands.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I’ll go with Rodney; just give me one of these:

  26. Damien
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    You’re never going to be inclusive of everybody. Some people cannot stand noise, other people seem to need it.

  27. Richard Sanderson
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Remember….the regressives, New Racists, and SJWs, all insisted we were exaggerating or making up this type of stuff.

    We were right. As per usual.

  28. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    OT but, since you mention Matthew Cobb: I just received my copies of his ‘Eleven Days in August’ and ‘The Resistance’. Can’t wait to dig in!

    (Still don’t know how to do italics in this venue, even though it has been explained to me by a kind reader here. It kills me not to have the book titles in italics!)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Italics
      put this in front – NO SPACE:
      put this at the back – NO SPACE:

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        front:
        back:

        remove spaces

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Since angle brackets are part of HTML tags, they don’t show up in HTML.

          <
          >

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            That worked. To make an angle bracket that shows up, use the HTML codes “& lt ;” and “& gt ;” (remove the spaces)

            For italics: < i > to start and
            < /i > to stop them

            cr

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      halfway down: THIS LINK

      • rickflick
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        This text is bold if I did it right.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        This text is italics if I did it right.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          forgot the forward slash

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            Very effective – your words seem to be whizzing along at breakneck speed now.

            • rickflick
              Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

              Pardon my dust!

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 3, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

                Was that Dorothy?

              • rickflick
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                Dorothy Parker?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

                YES AS PER HERE

              • rickflick
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

                Now that’s an entertaining web site! Perusing which, I found another lovely quote – this time from Bertrand Russell:

                most people would die sooner than think—in fact, they do so.

                This seem to pertain to the current political ambience.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

                Indeed – I have it in my RSS feed so I get the latest investigations. That Russell chap – not a barrel of laughs & that quote is most to the point for him, as is his “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong” – I think he was sometimes witty by accident.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        By the way, I can most warmly recommend the w3schools site. It is so clearly written it makes HTML seem almost easy.

        I just lost myself for a quarter hour in their ‘colours’ pages (RGB etc colour values of course have applications far beyond HTML)

        cr

  29. rickflick
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s a nice gesture (pun intended) but I’m sure you can’t accommodate every individual in every circumstance. Where you draw the line is where most people feel an accommodation is appropriate. Accessibility ramps for wheelchairs is appropriate. Besides what would happen to a standing ovation to bring the performer back out for and encore?

    • ubernez
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      yes! The encore!
      I guess performers will just be EXPECTED to come out again, for anything less would be considered a trigger for feelings of self-worth…

  30. Thanny
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I, for one, find an auditorium full of people doing jazz hands infinitely more disturbing than a stadium full of applause.

  31. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    So how do you signify DISapproval? Presumably booing is out, since the deaf can’t hear it. I suggest mooning the speaker. 😉

    cr

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      I too was wondering how to express displeasure. I say farting. It also includes the blind. It will take practice to fart in command.

      • Posted October 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        I giggled and chortled at these two suggestions. Almost followed Diana’s suggestion. Didn’t try mooning myself in my office. In the guise of spontaneity of human forms of approval, I’m thinking an audience could use whatever techniques they prefer to show approval (barring weapons and other violent means). Pandemonium.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          I too laughed at our suggestions. More than I should have.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        😎

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvJF0j-RLxk

        cr

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Haha. I SAY this a lot. It’s funny the looks you get when people don’t know Monty Python.

      • Posted October 4, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        But what about the anosmic?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          They can hear the farts.

  32. Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I don’t like hearing lots of noise when people clap in an auditorium over the middle of a speech or something.

    • Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I always liked hearing applause when I was speaking. I would wait until it stopped and continue speaking.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Well those days are over. It’s all jazz hands and farting from here on out. 👐🌬

        • Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          Glad I retired when I did. Jazz hands are not something that would have made me feel better or something I would have wanted to looked out and seen.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Pausing your speech in expectation of applause or laughter is an error that can be embarrassing for everyone. I recommend not giving speeches, they’re rarely worthwhile.

        • Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          I never paused in my speeches, but I was often interrupted by applause or laughter. I enjoyed speaking.

          Those people who do not enjoy speaking should not give speeches. That part I agree with.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            It’s only half a day or so out of the life of a speaker, but perhaps 20 days of ‘ear hours’ wasted for the audience. A bad deal nearly always 🙂

            • Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

              Sorry for your experience. You must have heard a lot of bad speeches. So did I.

              Are you saying you never heard a speech you enjoyed?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 3, 2018 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

                Never, Ever. There’s very few people with anything to say that’s worth hearing. Like sermons most of them are constructed from other peoples old speeches, recycled puns, bits of The Bard, platitudes, clichés & the odd contextual in joke to show you know your audience. It’s fake all the way down.

                The worst I’ve heard live is the jolly Welsh ego of Max Boyce. There’s a lot of blown politicians & sports ‘personalities’ on the circuit, cashing in on the fame generated by ten minutes of wonder or cock up or disgrace from decades before – crap & embarrassing.

                Except for a few fine, dramatic examples from Shakespeare that I’ve heard

                AND an eve-of-battle speech made by Colonel Tim Collins to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq in 2003 [which I’ve only seen on video].

                AND a bald headed Christopher Hitchens’ commentary on the necessity of empowering women to relieve poverty at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas [2010 I think – the church of course tried to kill the video].

                … there’s absolutely nowt I remember hearing from my time [’60s onwards] that was worth my ear.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

                Oh that’s because you haven’t heard my Agile presentation. 🙂

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

                Diana, I’m sure I could listen all day to your Agile presentation! Possibly showing my appreciation in your preferred alternative to jazz hands… 🙂

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

                Ha ha. Careful, I also did a webinar and it exists in electronic form.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

                I’ll have a gander if you’re brave enough

  33. Posted October 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I don’t like hearing lots of noise when people clap in an auditorium over the middle of a speech or something.

  34. Roo
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    My theory continues to be that these things are largely about creating different norms to mark different social classes, and have frick-all to do with inclusivity. Do university students still go to clubs to dance knowing full well that people in wheelchairs cannot join them? Do they still allow foods with peanuts on campus even though minor accidental exposure could literally kill someone? Do they still have pet dogs even though some people have paralyzing phobias of canines? My guess is the answers are a resounding yes, yes, and yes. The topics that get highlighted for new norms are those that are often largely ornamental and etiquette based. Someone not immersed in that world will likely either unwittingly begin clapping at the end of performances or feel awkward about engaging in behavior that seems contrived and unusual (Kind of like if you’ve ever been to a music festival for some style of music that you really aren’t into. It’s not like I was traumatized by going to a Phish concert in college and seeing everyone doing the same hoppy-skippy-circle-jump dance that they all randomly knew how to do, but it did make me feel distinctly out of place and ready to hightail it to a Jimmy Buffett concert. You know, where people wore coconuts as casual attire, like *normal people, geez!)

    • rickflick
      Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      How do you wear a coconut?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s élan, one can wear almost anything with a certain insouciance including coconut shells, but not even Keith Richards can carry off Crocs or shorts for unathletic, grown men [ridiculous both]

        • rickflick
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Grown men? Don’t you mean (groan) old men? I read that Mick still does 5000 pushups a day in case they go on tour again in their wheel chairs. I’ve seen coconuts worn as hats and as bras. That’s it.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

            Mr. Google tells me: The Jimmy Buffett country pop singer has a holidays in the sun image. His 10th crap album [they’re all crap] is called Coconut Telegraph. His fans leave their MAGA** hats at home & don the plastic coconut bras & lei [sp?] garlands – so you wuz right.

            ** He supports the democrats because conservation among other things, but I suspect his 100% white, parrothead fans are far right of him. Just looking at concert photos.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          What about Bermuda shorts?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 3, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            Bermuda shorts are a great invention – they can hide a lot of sins. For formals they should be one colour & married with long [just below knee] dark socks + airy shoes*, belt, shirt & maybe a jacket + restrained straw hat [no corks on string 🙂 ]

            * NO, not “he’s not with me” sandals FFS.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

              I think you should name clothing lines. I’d like to see “restrained straw hat” in the gentlemen’s hats line. Also descriptions like Elaine used to write in the clothing catalogue. That sandal one “not the I’m not with him kind of sandal, FFS” would be perfect.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

                Thank you. Much appreciated. I’m one of those who can’t abide eating on the move [an ice cream cone is barely OK I suppose] or the wearing of hats indoors other than when it’s absolutely required for the occasion. Also Tee shirts with slogans once one leaves the ‘teens behind.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

                “The sloganless tee. The shirt that acknowledges that while the teen years have passed, there is still plenty of youth left”. This stuff practically writes itself!

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 3, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

                I few clothing lines have positioned themselves in that exact spot, but they’ve missed the ironic humour aspect. Their base of wannabe outback cattle herders, who are accidentally accountants or biology profs don’t really reflect on how they look to others. In the UK we have Boden & Cotton Traders online for such frustrated “I’m really rather devil may care” blokes.

  35. Posted October 3, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Do they also ban laughing. To be consistent seems like they should. Or is there a different hand signal for laughter. And how about booing. I get it. Another hand signal for booing,
    Falling asleep is an acceptable commentary to represent boredom. Do I have to stay awake and give a hand signal to demonstrate boredom.
    Then there is the one finger salute. That I presume would still be allowed along with the other usual hand signals of pleasure, displeasure, or defiance. And walking out is still the ultimate rejection.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:35 am | Permalink

      A historical overview book is needed. Peanut [& other fruit] gallery & all. It needs to explore audience types such as the chap who knows the production thoroughly who chuckles loudly at the obscure [Chaucer, Shakespeare] jokes/ribaldry so peoples thereabouts knows he’s edumacated. Or the women in the front row at the ballet with flowers ready to launch onto the stage at curtain down – what’s that game about? Is it a setup among luvvie darlings?

      Opera audiences are the worst – don’t get me started.

  36. Adam M.
    Posted October 3, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Yet jazz hands discriminate against blind people

    Not only that, but almost all deaf people can see clapping, so jazz hands is really less accessible than clapping.

  37. ubernez
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Applause can be louder and louder to call for an encore. How do you change the ‘volume’ of jazz hands?
    Just how wildly can you flail your hands before you begin smacking the person next to you?
    Also, doesn’t jazz hands, raised above the head, obscure the view of the person behind you – frowned upon behaviour (much like big hats with lots of fruit at a concert – or is that just me…)
    Also also – sometimes you just like to give a little clap of appreciation, when maybe no-one else is. Now, you cannot be subtle! I can imagine individuals just raising their jazz hands here and there – drawing attention to themselves, distracting the performer, (and if NOT distracting them, because they cannot see ‘scattered jazz hand applause’, then they are not getting the encouragement it was meant to deliver).

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Jazz hands are almost as antisocial as the winter cough [STAY AT HOME!] or the surgically attached mobile phone user. Below that we have the “plot explainer” in the row behind.

  38. Hugh Bennett
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    “combination of shouting, clapping, and gesticulating, as seen in Parliament’s “question time”, can indeed be disruptive to the discussion and speakers.”

    The reason they shout and wave papers in parliament is because clapping is effectively banned. Members of the Scottish National Party have been warned about clapping by the Speaker several times in the last few years.

  39. bobkillian
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    This will be blatant discrimination against the blind.

  40. wiseape108
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I hate jazz.

  41. Filippo
    Posted October 4, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Applause is one thing; “Whooping” another. The latter smacks of, “Hey, look at (and listen to) special ME!” A speaker happens to mention a certain state or city, and someone from there happens to be in the audience and is somehow compelled to ululate, “Whoo-Hoooo!!” Well, “Yee-Haw!” Good fer yew. I contemplate the speaker repeating the name of the state/city until the Pavlovian “whooo-hooing” stops.

    I went to a TED talk at a university. The collegiate whooo-hooing manifested itself. My self-discipline faltered and I whoo-hooed in response with all the mockery I could muster. Only did it once and no more, for the sake of not totally embarrassing my dear wife.

  42. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted October 8, 2018 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    I actually think jazz hands instead of clapping is a great idea! The performer gets the positive feedback visually instead of having the noise of the clapping force her to stop the performance or speech or whatever it is. Jazz hands save time or pack more performance into the same time frame. Doing it because some people might be triggered by it is silly, but doing it is still a good idea, IMHO.

    • ubernez
      Posted October 8, 2018 at 3:37 am | Permalink

      Wait a sec – did someone say this was good because then deaf people know when to ‘clap’?

      Why are they clapping if they don’t know what’s going on?

      (Also, I feel I cannot partake of ‘jazz’ hands, as it clearly is a cultural appropriation. I must simply sit silently – the performer suffering my hostile silence).

      (Also also – is the laying on of hands and speaking in tongues at fundamentalist churches also an affront to the deaf? They can speak in tongues themselves, but do not know when others are – what could be the appropriate ‘gesture’ for tongue-speaking..?)

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 8, 2018 at 3:58 am | Permalink

        This is what happens when you don’t read the OP you’re commenting on Ubernez:

        “Wait a sec – did someone say this was good because then deaf people know when to ‘clap’?”

        Yes, some idjit likely said that & you also more or less are suggesting that’s the reason for ‘jazz hands’ I suppose, but you & the idjits would be wrong.

        Read the first & second BBC North West tweets displayed in the OP [you haven’t got to open the tweets] for a clearer picture of what’s going on – you will see that the deaf are not the only target group.

        Something not mentioned in detail in the OP is the effect of clapping & other loud noises on deaf people – the vast majority of deaf can hear something & use hearing aids. Cheap & medium quality hearing aids can’t handle loud, sudden noises causing distress to the user. Try listening to Sinatra on headphones & switch to death metal randomly – you’ll get the idea!

        • ubernez
          Posted October 8, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

          Yikes.
          Why Evolution is True comments – where humour goes to die…

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 8, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            You could be right Ubernez – yours is on life support that’s for sure 🙂

            • ubernez
              Posted October 9, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

              Wow…

  43. Naughty Autie
    Posted November 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m severely autistic, and I find this ridiculous. Yes, loud applause hurts my ears, so I just cover them, leaving blind people still able to follow events. Intersectionality, people!


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