Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aidan Mack: New Film Will Promote Awareness

Aidan Mack has pissed me off. She's said things that I completely disagree with, and she most certainly is anti-cochlear implant. Aidan Mack has just launched her new project "I Sign and I Live," and this is the synopsis:


The 25-minute dramatic film, I Sign and I Live, is about Daisy, an impassioned Deaf teacher who constantly faces prejudices and stereotypes in society at large. Unexpectedly from within her own family, she faces a battle of wills with her sister over her niece, Dawn. In a family tragedy, her hearing sister, KAY makes the decision to have her Deaf daughter get a cochlear implant. Daisy is appalled by this. She has always believed that her sister, an average housewife with no degree, accepted her as a Deaf person and respected her superior intelligence and professional accomplishments. Her sister demands that her daughter be made to hear because Kay has always had an inner prejudice against the Deaf.

The niece is removed from her signing classroom and placed in a class where the teachers speak and require children to speak and hear. This tears Daisy and her niece apart because Kay insists her daughter speak and she will not permit her to sign, therefore, Dawn can’t interact with Daisy at all. The battle between Daisy and her sister causes an impasse that leads to a tragic conclusion. Kay, along with the larger society, wins the standoff while Deaf people like Daisy continue to sign and live.


I have no doubt the final product will be intense, because every vlog Aidan creates (once again, I rarely agree with her) is soulful and profound. Her words stimulate discussion because they are oftentimes extremely passionate, assertive and reflective of her views and experiences as a Deaf individual. Many times she has spoken on behalf of the Deaf Community (and even if that may not have been her intention, many commentors perceive this based on their cheers).

Within the email she sent out (I've made her mailing list:)), she wrote:

Please take a few minutes to look at the new post here. I Sign and I Live, the film, is now in production. Deaf and Hearing Actors and Deaf and Hearing crew members are now being sought to join in and help bring this visual story, I Sign and I Live, alive with moving images. Equally important is the "role" of financial support, since a good financial support system works like a "heart" which enables the "body" of film production to function.

Aidan is requesting funding to help finance her film. If I sent out a plea to help Abbie reach her goal to attend a conference, I will definitely blog a plea to raise funds for a film project that will promote awareness on all fronts regarding approaches and lifestyles in Deafness. Donate HERE. Support an extremely talented Deaf Filmmaker (Who drives a Harley, btw.).

I look forward to seeing the finished product and taking part in any ensuing controversy.

Good Luck, Aidan!


Stephen said... may have missed my previous comment - I said "Regarding the smoking and Val's, Luca's and others comments....I REST MY CASE! Regarding Aidan Mack's film...there's only ONE movie that needs to be made here and it's NOT's RALLY CAPS! I've "dreamt it, believed in it" and I'm in the phase of "working it!" I have no doubt that I WILL ACHIEVE IT! And BTW, congrats on your work at the University/Pisa! You are making a difference and I'm very proud of you! LuvDad

Unknown said...

I saw your comment...DAD.
Thanks, your daughter (annoyed as always), Jodi

Stephen said...

Jo....Stop being "annoyed" so much and get off your ass and do the "FEW" things I ask of you.....JADOOO! One day YOUR kids will be "annoyed" with you....and I can't wait! Still LuvU, Dadio

Unknown said...

Um, I believe you have my PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS! And DON'T YOU HAVE A SPORT TO GO PLAY??? Love, Your Daughter

K.L. said...

Gotta love fathers. Of course, he is right. I think there is a new pill available to help people quit smoking. A lot of smokers at my work have tried it with great success. I can't remember what it is, but you could Google it.

On that other subject, I have to ask. Why does getting an implant have to be a rejection of the Deaf Community? Why would the sister have to choose? There are lots of kids getting implants who still sign and who are still active in the DC. This film just seems to be another divisive extreme. It just seems like there are a lot of Deaf who just are not ready to be inclusive. It hurts.

Anonymous said...

Jodi, why does Aiden Mack piss you off? because her film maybe anti-cochlear implant? So what? Your blog ins't the epitome of impartiality!

Unknown said...

K.L.- I was wondering the same thing in regard to the synopsis, but it's possible that still happens- where families may be divided by deafness...sad.

Tony, The part where I wrote that Aiden has pissed me off was in reference to a couple of past posts- it was said in a joking manner. I have no problem with the fact that we have different opinions regarding cis, we both have lived totally different experiences. And if I didn't respect Aidan's passion for those views, I certainly would never have felt the need to promote her film...also, based on what I know about her - which is very little- she seems like the type of person who would find it very difficult to ask for financial assistance for her project if her motivation was anything other than passion.

Stephen said...

K.L. Thank you for your support....I know Jodi and she can stop smoking "cold turkey" like her father did over 40 years ago! Do you know how much a pack of cigarettes cost in's unbelievable - I bet it's $7 or more! Think how much money Jodi could be saving her family!!! Take your husband out on the town to thank him for his dealing with you, JODI! Still LuvU. Dad you have a private email address???? And do you respond to my emails there??? BTW, made an amazing over the shoulder running catch in deep center today and we won 21-13. Still in first place 4-1!

Anonymous said...

Rejection vs. Acceptance

I prefer to watch your movie, Rally Caps. I rest my case!

I have a dream. Gotta to respect MLK's phase.

I'll have to agree with K.L.

Duh.....Remember this Momma (with a deaf son) you tried to help? Sad.

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

I'm all for a RALLY CAPS movie! The story of RALLY CAPS speaks very well about TODAY'S generation of deaf people.

Stephen, and of course, Jodi too, perhaps you might want to start a fundraising program to help get the RALLY CAPS movie in production?! I'll definitely be one of the donors! This movie could help create a HUGE awareness of cochlear implants!

Dianrez said...

Your dad's cute!

As for Aidan's movie, I see a further dimension: the deep division between a hearing and a Deaf sister, which is worthwhile exploring in itself.

I wonder though, if it is necessary to involve the issue of cochlear implants. It might confuse hearing viewers who would then conclude that Deaf people are being retro and are apparently fighting what would help them most.

Actually, (and this is from personal experience,) the strife between some Deaf and Hearing sibs goes deeper and is much more painful than this gross oversimplification.

These days, the CI is moving toward the place of the hearing aid: just another device that actually makes little difference in how culturally Deaf people live and learn.

Yay for your bipartisan support of creative expressions on both sides!

Debbie said...

Just catching up. You are truly inspirational Jodi. You have an extraordinary blend of beauty, brains, fearlessness, humor and respect for others opinions -- not found in most.

Are you forming an army to combat ignorance? How far along is Rally Caps in terms of trying to sell it or make it?

drmzz said...

Really you.. cough. "Anti-CI?" Um, it's allowed. No shame in being Pro-ASL either. I've already donated and I wish Aidan best of luck with her film project.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Jodi. I don't understand how you can support Aidan. I remember many of her strongly worded (you call passionate) and divisive comments from "back in the day" on DeafRead, etc. You try hard to see all sides, all the time but I don't recall her ever trying to build any bridges.

Let me know when you start fundraising for your Rally Caps movie. I bet it gets to Sundance! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,

I wanted to thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate that. You too pissed me off from time to time, like the way you say that I ride a Harley. A big no! I am Suzuki GSR-X girl. Anyway… I am glad that we can agree to disagree and have some tequila shots.

Stephen, there are many films that need to be made where we can get a diversity of views on the issue of a person being a Deaf-being compared to ear-focused being. Don't start, or your daughter will make us to drink another shot. ;o)

KL- Remeber that "ASSUME" = ASS + U + ME! I cant wait for you to watch my film and I expect that your ears will be grow into donkey ears, which means you will realize the foolishness of thinking that my film is based on hating people with cochlear implants. I have friends with cochlear implants. I think they're cool. I have been teaching children who use CIs. I love them. Deal with it. It is OK for people to love people with CIs or breast implants or whatever it is and at the same time disagree about the idea of having a CI or a breast implant. It's the same old thinking that's been going on since the first time you appeared cyberland. I better be quiet or Jodi will make us drink shots. I already have 10 shots from Jodi.

Rachel: This film will promote the awareness of the fact that Deaf people are normal people who live fulfilling lives, that they are whole human beings, not people who try to live up the hearing people's delusional images of what a Deaf person should be or do. There is more to life than cochlear implants. Peace out… Jodi is going to make me drink two shots because you are too young to drink…

Jodi: Don't you think we are perfect candidates to set an example where people see that we are both are on opposite sides. We still can agree with disagree, support of each other and have a shot together…


Anonymous said...

Dear Jodi... The first link's not working right. Can you please fix it? Thanks Anon

ASL Risen said...

Good morning Jodi!

First I am NOT sure what you are talking about your joking or what! Iam confused from what you write on this post! May I suggest you to go view on this copied and paste link:

Hope that you will consider to vlog yourself to explain what you are really talking about from your post... So I can know thyself more clear!

How can we cure the Deaf community virtue??? Can you tell me that? Thanks.

Unknown said...

Stephen - where is your production effort for RALLY CAPS? Have you got something going?

There is certainly room for more movies to be made!

Anonymous said...

That's right rachel, rallycaps [whatever that is] speaks for todays generation of deaf people, not Deaf people! Notice the lower case d in your example.

Anonymous said...

Dianrez --

Don't you forget that we saw "Sound and Fury" documentary? I applauded that Oscar award nominated them for the best documentary feature in 2001.

Nice try, Aidan. This is getting old.

Family Feud.

White Ghost

Stephen said...

I wrote a screenplay (a cut and paste method from our RALLY CAPS book) using ScriptBuddy but it's not polished. I have had a few (long-shot) inquiries from film-makers but nothing has developed yet. I need a professional screenplay writer to review my efforts (on a complimentary basis) and make adjustments so I have a better screenplay to send to the next producer who shows an interest. Recently I sent the Screenplay to a friend who knew someone at Disney. Wouldn't that be PERFECT! Any additional referals/help out there would be greatly appreciated. We have an amazing inspirational and a "feel good" story that can be enjoyed by so many walks of life especially the whole family. Thanks, Jodi's dad

Anonymous said...

Tony, Please. As a culturally deaf person, let me tell you, not everyone subscribes to d/D. This is getting too OLD. Who cares about little d or big d!!!!

I hope Rally Caps gets made into a movie, and I will watch it. I also look forward to watching, I live and I sign.

The more the merrier!

Anonymous said...

Hey Paula! I agree with your comment. An analogy would be if I choose to donate money to a Republican-related organization as a loyal Democrat supporter.

Stephen, Disney would be the PERFECT company! DON'T give up on this project. Just keep on going until the day when people can buy copies of the DVDs in stores!

Unknown said...

I left a killer long comment this afternoon and blogger erased it. At that point I was so annoyed and I didn't have time to repost so, here I am to comment again. I see that my dad has taken over my blog. Go Dad!

Aidan- *smile*
Rachel, White Ghost, Candy, Paula, DianRez- Thank you for your support and your comments always make me think while laughing.My dad is precious isn't he?
Debbie...when I cure the world of ignorance I'll give you a heads up on your blog- for now, I'm chillin' in the "mosh pit"! Kiss Amelia!!! (And good luck:)
Bill- You are the new "go to man" when I have qs regarding captioning- every now and then the Ci Circle goes crazy over the quality of ccing.
ASL Risen-
It is not a question of is a question of the integrity of a community. Aidan understands...why don't you?
As far as RALLY CAPS the movie goes...I have my Dad.

Anonymous said...

Jodi. How it can be a question of intergity if I have been sticking to a view of intergrity the whole time? It's not surprising that I do not advocate the concept of the cochlear implant. Many writers do write what about topics that they are not advocating. Was the whole point of your blog to make sure the community knows that I do not support the concept of cochlear implants? Oh, the whole time I thought you were supporting my film. Ahh... Now it makes sense that you included a few sentences in the beginning making the declaration that I am anti-cochlear implant without explaining the context. Ahhhh... Anyway, did you know that there are many directors who hold negative views about various things, such as George Lucas who is opposed to the concept of cloning, so he produced a movie about clones. What's the problem here? This is a film that I wrote and one that I am producing, with the intention of enlightening and enteraining the audience, with the hope that they will feel moved by it. I'm exercising my freedom of expression as an artist. No one artist likes it when others attempt to interfere in the creative process. Thankfully, we live in a free country where there is freedom of speech. By the way, there will be a few actors with CIs in the film, both adults and children, and there are also crew members with CIs who will be working on the film. Of course my film doesn't advocate discrimination against any of group. :o) Aidan

Stephen.. Wish you luck with your script. Persistence will help in accomplishing your goals...


Unknown said...

What is wrong with you? Why do you NEVER understand me when I write? Why did ASL Risen write such a ridiculous question when I WAS SO OBVIOUSLY SUPPORTING YOU IN YOUR PROJECT (yes, I'm screaming, non offensively, just screaming)
I am so beyond frustrated with everyone having a sensitivity complex in this freaking world.

Integrity to me means respecting others' points of views to the point that you are willing to advocate for them because you view them not only as a Deaf person with a particular viewpoint, but as a TALENTED WOMAN who has probably had to FIGHT HER WHOLE LIFE to get where she is today and to accomplish what she has so that she is that close to making another film a reality. (That would be you, just so we're clear)


I need to go to sleep, it's been a long day. Do you think you could stop being so FREAKIN' suspicious of my motives and just flippin trust me. I think I've been clear that I'm open-minded. I JUST PROMOTED YOUR FILM FOR YOU, NOT ME!!!

Sweet Dreams (we all have them...)

drmzz said...

Jodi, your tongue in cheek remark, "she most certainly is anti-cochlear implant," FYI, not cool, period. U think this is fun and games, no. People have their own perspective and make their own films. What I see here is folks promoting someone else film project. Contradicting and lacking of integrity really.

Unknown said...

This: What I see here is folks promoting someone else film project.
...was not my intention. I think that is obvious. I will not be held accountable for comments made by others. My post was to support Aidan and the remarks I made were to her as a way of saying I know we have different viewpoints, but I am excited for you for your project.
My dad always says, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" I can assure you that I would not have been damned had I not...
Have a good weekend.
PS. Btw, the more controversy generated, the more funds hopefully donated, because there can never be too many films discussing deafness.