Bad Guy by Billie Eilish, danced by Koosung Jung Choreography, signed by Jaquelyn Marcella

I don't know what to think. She seems nice to me. And she isn't a guy. This is not the official video. On YouTube I saw the name Justin Bieber and with him in mind this video and this song make sense.

Let's see what the secondary consumers/creators did with this song. K-pop dancers and Sign Language interpreter follow.

These Korean dance studios tend to show the studio leader first. Often they show the moves that the dancers learn and follow. They're all about seventeen years old I'm assuming and their innate militaristic precision is awesome and a bit scary. The kids practice the moves at home until they have them all nailed. Every single movement on the beat. Often the moves describe the lyrics other times they interpret the music. It is their own sign language in dance. So young, so focused, so able, so determined and self-disciplined, they are wonderful to watch.

Admirable for their precision. That comes from practice. It comes from determining each movement even to the inflections, and sticking with it throughout. Not allowing it deviate over time. Not allowing it to become sloppy.

I use these kids as models for my own sign language song-interpretation and I've not seen anything like it online. Until now.

The lyrics are all worked out in advance and adhered to throughout. Jacquelyn Marcella has another video on YouTube describing each of her decisions. It's very good. A lot of scenes in her very capable video match Billie Eilish's own video. If you were to watch this video independently then you'd wonder what she was up to.


Finally, I found an ASL video that matches the precision of Korean pop choreography.

This is one aspect of a group of deaf friends of mine that shines apart from other deaf groups that I knew. They used their whole bodies to express. They were full body talkers. They pantomimed a lot. Through them I learned that all the precision fingerspelling I mastered was secondary to signs and facial expressions. The idea was to do as little fingerspelling as possible. If you had to spell then it was as a last resort. Then all the signs that I learned were just the basis for further elaboration. Eventually most of our communication was acted out with not very much textbook signs and far less fingerspelling. Those letters, those phonemes in letter-strings, and all those precise textbook signs are supplanted by one's own creative expression.

I'm pleased to see "know" tapped at the forehead where it belongs and not at the cheek where I see it done sloppily so often.

I see "evil" substituted for "criminal."

In English and in philosophy there is a very large difference between criminal and evil, between evil and sin, between robbery and mugging and so on. But there is no sign for crime or for criminal. That is a concept that is finger spelled. All interpreters choose "evil": two bent fingers on the side forehead with both hands to indicate horns. Also mischievous, imp, etc.  Sometimes only one hand, other times one hand at the forehead and the other hand with the same configuration in front of the torso. Such are the different styles and differing handwriting of this idea.

"Steal" is the same two crooked fingers placed at the elbow of the opposite arm and dragged forward to the wrist. As if crookedly snatching something underhandedly in an evil impish hidden way.

"Enough" is one flat hand sliding over the top of the opposite hand shaped like a cup. The one sign I take issue with here, the one that is executed the most unlike K-pop military precision is "enough" with the flat hand shot forward as if chopping the top off the cup and not simply filling it.

That's handwriting for you.

I applaud Jacquelyn's interpretation of the music. That takes guts. To dance, or to imitate the music with full body motion. I never see that outside that one group of deaf friends. This is a first for me and I've watched hundreds of YouTube videos in sign. Wonderful to see it.

Instead I see interpreters lamely sign "music" when music is playing. They don't have the vivacious spontaneity, the fun-loving creativity, the guts that Jacquelyn has. Just wonderful.

"Duh" is signed "clear" or "obviously." There is another way to sign it, two fingers placed on a nostril. It's the facial expression that conveys this English expression, not the sign.

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