Monday, February 4, 2008

Blog Backlash and Jordan's Letter to the Reader

Emergency clarification necessary. I walked into the cafe here in the Stiacciole and my friend who reads the blog and comments shot me a look from hell. This friend left me a highly aggressive comment on the Blinging Boas blog and I could not understand for the life of me where that came from. Well, she let me have it this morning - she called me every name in the book and proceeded to tell my friend what a slut I am. I was like, what is wrong with a little innocent flirting with Paotie? All I did was lick my lips and talk about an experience with a boa. Apparently this was not the issue...the issue was with this question:
...They are the best when you are PMS, can you believe I got my period a week early? Do you know how aggravating it is that I missed the opportunity to be a bitch for a week? Totally shocked me.
You see, while the word "bitch" in English should be translated as "stronza" in Italian, Italians translate "bitch" as "whore." Well now, reinserting "whore" for "bitch" sheds a whole new light on that little sentence doesn't it? After I blushed for twenty minutes and tried to defend my virgin soul, I explained to her that my blog is not the place to share my entire being with the world...just bits and pieces. *smile* This is a family place, after all...

I am the queen of sticking my foot in my big, fat mouth. I believe I've already made that quite clear.

Yesterday's blog caused a bit of a reaction, especially in regard to Melissa's comment:

I have to take the opposite view on this one, and I wrote Pepsi and told them so. Before Rachel was born and we were introduced to the world of deafness, my notion of the deaf was that they couldn't hear, period, and that they all communicate with sign and attend special schools for the deaf. Over time, I found out that it is actually only 25% of the deaf who consider themselves part of the deaf culture.

I have worked for the past 20 years to ensure that accurate information is out there readily available to parents of newly diagnosed deaf babies sbout all the options available to them. Unfortunately, most of the general public still have the same misconception of deafness that I did 20 years ago. Pepsi could have used this ad to inform others of what deafness can be today and possibly change the life of a baby born deaf today. Instead, it perpetuated the stereotypes. The public already knows about the deaf culture, but most people don't know that deaf kids can hear and speak very well with appropriate early intervention.

I understand this perspective and that was why I shared the information regarding how the FIADDA tried to raise awareness during the international airing of "Lo Zecchino D'Oro." I believe it is AgBell's job to advocate for the oral approach, avt etc in Deafness, therefore I understand the point of sending the letter. I am the first to say how important it is to raise awareness in regard to how effective the cochlear implant is in giving a deaf child the tool/s he or she needs to hear and speak.

However, the letter was not only advocating, it was a subtle demand for support, just as the Pepsi commercial was not only produced for the mere purpose of making the Deaf Community happy, but to reach a specific target audience and win bonus points with the family members of this audience, so they would think twice when confronted with a Pepsi machine chillin' next to a Coke machine. Btw, the commercial did not air in Italy.

Just my humble opinion...

McConnell original, too cool not to add:

And this is Jordan's letter to the Reader that will be a part of the Italian edition of RALLY CAPS: (My son is a star!)(translated from Italian)

Dear Readers,
My name is Jordan Eric Del Dottore and I am eleven years old. I have a five year old sister named Sofia Madyson. I am in the first year of the Leonardo DaVinci middle school with a specialization in Musical Education, where I play the guitar. In my free time, I read, play baseball, study English, practice playing the guitar, play Playstation with my friends, go to the movies almost every Sunday, go to the beach, sleep at my friend Simon's house and spend a lot of time with my grandparents and Uncle Ale.
To be deaf for me, means that when the processor of my cochlear implant is off, I can't hear anything. Sometimes I like not hearing anything and to be in complete silence without noise, for example when my sister asks me a thousand questions or after a long day of school.
Instead, ever since I received my cochlear implant (after eight years of wearing hearing aids) I am able to hear all sounds like my mom's voice, people who talk to me on the telephone, music on the iPod, the voices on the television, the noise the chairs make when my classmates move their chairs and my dad when he calls me from the basement to come and do my homework.
My Nonno Steve and my mom wrote RALLY CAPS to allow you to meet a deaf child with a cochlear implant just like me and many others.
Have fun reading!

Jordan Eric Del Dottore

Yeah...that's my boy!


Karen Mayes said...

Ahhh... I really enjoyed Jordon's letter especially since he is 11 years old (my son will turn 11 on Feb. 23rd, and he is on 5th grade choir.) Voila! (sorry, could not resist trying out this Italian word *giggle*)

Oh, don't worry about what people would think of you and Paotie. I was quickly looked down by leaving a positive comment on Paotie's blog... as Paotie said long ago, "guilty by association". I do enjoy your flirteous comments since they show your humor and I appreciate it. I feel a little more alive after leaving your blog... go gal! :o)

Karen Putz said...

Ok, that translation cracked me up!

I understand where Melissa is coming from and why she is trying to get the word out about her experience. I, on the other hand, want to advocate for a non-biased approach to families receiving information at that particularly vulnerable stage after diagnosis. Wouldn't it be wonderful for parents to have a guide who is indeed familiar with deaf and hard of hearing people from all walks of life and all modalities and can openly discuss all aspects without having an agenda for that family? :)

Valerie said...

My heart is melting over Jordan's letter. What a sweet child. I love how he explained how he feels deaf. He has the magic of words like you.

About Paotie, the flirting is so cute! He is a doll and I look forward to more flirting between the two of you. Don't stop!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Jodi, I am with you!

People think of what! I like people calling me bitch. That is fine. You are *NOT* the only one.

One commenter in Paotie's blog tried to sell me the whore thing with the $$$ and I kicked him off. That was *NOT* for sale! Paotie banned that *idiot* commenter. Thanks to Paotie and kiss my red-lip on his cheek!

I *LOVE* flirteous jokes. Live, Laugh, Love, the 3 L's. Keep it up, :-)

White Ghost

Abbie said...

Looks like Jordan is an aspiring writer just like Mama! :)

Unknown said...

Karen M. - Thank you, I will continue to do my best to keep you entertained! *smile*

Karen - It would be so important to establish just what you've proposed, there is too much of a hole where all different types of information would be so important for new families...

Thanks, Val *smack*

White Ghost...You Go, bitch!

Stephen said...

Great job, Jordan! I can't wait for you to read the Italian RALLY CAPS version. Luv U Nunno Steve

Unknown said...

After reading 110 posts, you finally figured out how to post a comment!!! Well, I know who I get it from:)Jodi

Anonymous said...

A big wink....thanks. ;-)

White Ghost

Divided said...

Jordan, you rock!! It's clear that you are happy just the way you are and doing so well! I love it that you admit to taking off your processor when you want some peace and quiet (I think it's great when you have the best of both worlds). Do the things you enjoy and don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't!!

Jodi, you crack me up! For those who don't care for your flurteous comments can stop checking in. They're just gonna grow old fast!

Karen, you are right...that would be a dream come true if it was possible. USA is such a big country with vast opinions and what not. Why not join up with NAD and work with them to set up something. NAD is a non-profit organization and I am sure they would welcome the opportunity to work with all.

Wouldn't it be fun if we all could get together?!!

MKChaikof said...


There is a terrific book for parents called "Choices in Deafness" A Parents' Guide to Communication Options." Here is a description of the book from Overwhelmingly, hearing parents raise deaf children. Most of the time they have no prior exposure to people with hearing loss and must face some very difficult options, for deaf education has been divided by controversy and bias for decades. This work provides comprehensive information on various methodologies with straightforward delivery, offering the perspective of parents and of children who have grown up since the publication of the first edition. While only three methodologies were discussed in the first edition, total communication, oralism, and cued speech, the auditory-verbal and bilingual-bicultural approaches have been added here. This edition also covers in depth the medical causes of hearing loss, the diagnostic process, meeting with the audiologist, and the pros and cons of the newest technology, the cochlear implant. This work guides parents through the choices they must make for their child, covering conditions and treatment from both the parents' and the child's point of view. National organizations serving the deaf or hard of hearing are listed, along with contact information.

The book contains stories by families speaking about their approach, and their accounts are only positive. It is one of the best resources because it is positive, thorough, accurate and unbiased. I think that some charitable foundation should fund giving a copy to every parent dealing with a newly diagnosed deaf baby for the first time.

Kim said...

Jodi-- I loved Jordan's message. He's a good writer and must take after you!

You know what? Only a few of my real time friends know I have a blog and they are mostly late-deafened. None of my hearing friends know much about it. I think they would be shocked by some of the things I say in comments to others. I try to keep my blogs cleaner-- just in case someone stumbles upon them. But this is why my last name isn't on my blog, so if someone googles me it won't come up.

I think I know how you feel though. One reason I blog is to connect with other D/deaf people since most my friends and all my relatives are Hearing.

I'm sure blogging with other Americans must seem like youre connecting with "home" in a way-- people who understand your messages, your humor and the word bitch. You're just flirting with someone who lives thousands of miles away who you've never seen who you're not likely to meet. GoodGrief!

Late-D/deaf people miss those flirty, borderline raunchy, suggestive exchanges that used to come so easily when we could hear. I bet you miss that too sometimes-- living in Italy where people may not always understand the rhythm of your jokes.

I get it. This was an eye-opener and lesson that others are reading and watching though. Be careful. :-) Hugs.

Unknown said...

Karen,(and Melissa)
I second Melissa's recommendation of Choices in Deafness...bigtime. That was like my Bible in the beginning, the only book that allowed me to meet diverse deaf families-parents and kids- and I found it on my first trip back to the States after learning about Jordan's deafness. Actually, I took it to my audiologist in Pisa to try to encourage their CI team to create such a resource for Italy, but there it rests. Guess who I found in that book whose story inspired me?...Curtis Pride, who ten years later endorsed our book. The world is just so strange sometimes...Jodi

Unknown said...

I reaaaaalllly appreciated your letter, so astute of you, and very motherly all at the same time:) You so understand me and that is why I like writing and receiving comments because for some miraculous reason, people understand me and I can finally be me...after such a long time. Although I still haven't figured out if this is a good thing or a bad thing...Jodi