The Daily Moth 4-25-19 (Full Story)
Biden joins 2020 race; Updates on dumpster puppies and missing boy; Emirati woman wakes up from coma after 27 years; Woman killed by factory meat grinder; Pete Buttigieg signs ASL response to Deaf supporter; Marlee Matlin shares memories of Mark Medoff
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, April 25. Ready for news?
Biden joins 2020 race
It is official, Joe Biden has entered the 2020 presidential race.
He announced it in a video that had captions. He talked about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia between white supremacists and counter protesters. Biden criticized President Trump for saying that “there were fine people on both sides.”
Biden said we are battling for the soul of this nation. He said he cannot allow Trump to be president for eight years.
AP News said Biden is now at the front of the Democratic race with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
AP also said Barack Obama has declined to endorse him, but Biden said he asked Obama not to endorse him.
President Donald Trump tweeted, “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe.”
@realDonaldTrump: “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”
Biden is 76 and is from Pennsylvania.
Updates on dumpster puppies and missing boy
Last Monday news I mentioned about a woman throwing 7 puppies in the dumpster. This is an update on it. The woman’s name is Deborah Culwell and she is 54 years old. Deborah has been arrested. Authorities said that they found 30 more dogs at Deborah’s home without kennel permit. She is in jail now but we do not know for how long.
The other update is from Tuesday’s story about the missing 5 years old boy. This 5 years old boy’s name is Andrew, “AJ.” AJ has been found dead wrapped in a plastic bag and buried in a shallow grave. The parents, JoAnn Cunningham, 36 years old, and Andrew Freund, 60, both face multiple charges for killing AJ. The police found some cellphone records which raised more suspicions so the police interviewed the parents which eventually led them to confess where they buried the boy. The community around the area is in mourning about the situation. They decided to put flowers and teddy bears on the spot where Andrew was buried.
Emirati woman wakes up from coma after 27 years
A woman from the United Arab Emirates was seriously injured in 1991 that caused her to be in a coma for 27 years until last year she woke up in a German hospital. Her son decided to share her story now which became top news in many articles. The name of that woman is Munira Abdulla. 27 years ago when she was 32 years old, she was riding in a car after she picked up her son. Her brother in law was the one who was driving. This car collided with a bus. When Munira saw the crash coming, she covered her son,Omar who was 4 years old at the time, to protect him. Omar was not hurt however, this accident caused Munira to have a severe brain injury resulting in the 27 years coma. After years of being treated and waiting,, there was one day (last year) in the hospital that Omar was in an argument with someone there. Munira somehow was responding to it. She was making some noise. So, Omar called in the doctor to make sure she was okay then a few days later, Munira was calling out Omar’s name. Omar was so thrilled to hear her voice. Right now Munira is getting physical therapy to improve her posture and help her muscles. Her son Omar wanted to share with everyone to not lose hope with loved ones. The articles mentioned that Munira’s situation was very rare.
Woman killed by factory meat grinder
Last Tuesday, a woman named Jill Greninger who is 35 years old, was killed after falling into an industrial meat grinder- a machine for you to put in raw meat and it will grind the meat to pieces (ground). She worked at the Economy Locker Storage Co., Inc. in Pennsdale, Pennsylvania. In that building, there is a 6 foot staircase right above the industrial meat grinder. There was no one around at the time. It is unclear on whether Jill fell from the stairs or she was putting meat in and somehow got drawn in the grinder. A co worker was hearing weird noises then this co worker went to see what was going on and saw the situation and called 911. It took the firefighters 2 hours to disassemble the meat grinder and collect her body parts. Jill’s friends expressed that she will be sorely missed as she was loved by many.
Pete Buttigieg signs ASL response to Deaf supporter
A Deaf RIT student, Anderson “Andy” Pleasants tweeted a video of him giving a name sign to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who responded with video in ASL.
[Video Tweets by Pleasants and Buttgigeg]
Nice, Buttigieg’s signing is impressive.
I reached out to Pleasants to ask why he supports him.
Pleasants: WHY DO I SUPPORT PETE? WHEN I FIRST SAW HIM ON TV I WAS INTRIGUED BY HIS HONESTY, EMPATHY, AND INCLUSIVE VISION TO CONNECT WITH ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES. AS A MAYOR HE HAD TO WORK WITH WHOEVER WAS AT THE TABLE TO GET EVERYDAY THINGS DONE FOR HIS CONSTITUENTS. I ALSO GREATLY BELIEVE IN HIS VISION FOR A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP, “GENERATIONAL JUSTICE” TO BRIDGE ACROSS THE GENERATIONS, AS WELL AS HIS VIEW OF THE PRESIDENCY ITSELF. PETE UNDERSTANDS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF A PRESIDENCY IS MORE THAN JUST THE 4-8 YEARS IN OFFICE, AND HAS THE CAPACITY TO BE THE DEFINITION FOR THE BEGINNING OF A NEW POLITICAL ERA FOR CHANGE. ALSO, IT WAS AN APPRECIATED ADDITION TO HIS INCLUSIVITY TO SEE ALL HIS VIDEOS CAPTIONED (INCLUDING HIS LIVESTREAM ANNOUNCEMENT ON YOUTUBE) AS WELL AS ASL INTERPRETERS AT HIS EVENTS!
I asked what does it mean to him and to the Deaf community that he responded in ASL?
Pleasants: IT MEANS SO MUCH FOR ME AND THE DEAF COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE TO SEE A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PUT IN THE EFFORT TO MEET US HALFWAY IN THE COMMUNICATION DIVIDE SO MANY OF US ARE BURDENED TO CARRY ALONE. IT SETS AN EXAMPLE FOR THE KIND OF INCLUSIVITY OUR SOCIETY SHOULD STRIVE FOR. ALSO, HIS VIDEO RESPONSE WASN’T A BIG TWEET, IT WAS IN A REPLY SO IT FELT ALMOST LIKE OUR OWN PERSONAL LITTLE CONVERSATION IN ASL AND NOT A BIG “FOR SHOW” GESTURE. I FINALLY FELT A BIT MORE VALUED, NOT JUST AS A DEAF INDIVIDUAL IN OUR POLITICS AND SOCIETY, BUT AS AN EQUAL INDIVIDUAL OVERALL. HIS LEADERSHIP IN BRIDGING ACROSS THAT COMMUNICATION BARRIER WILL ONLY BRING MORE RECOGNITION AND APPRECIATION FOR ASL AS A VALUED LANGUAGE, AND BY EXTENSION, DEAF CULTURE AS A VALUED CULTURE IN THE AMERICAN MELTING POT. I HOPE HE CONTINUES TO OPEN HIMSELF TO LEARNING ABOUT OUR CULTURE AND OUR POLITICAL ISSUES. IT’S TIME TO ELEVATE OUR VOICES TO THE MAINSTREAM, AND I BELIEVE PETE HAS THE OPEN MIND TO LEARN AND HELP ELEVATE THAT CHANGE.
Thank you for your time, Andy.
You can follow him on his YouTube at AndySigns or on both Twitter and Instagram at @Pleasantandy.
Marlee Matlin shares memories of Mark Medoff
I’ll show you an interview with Marlee Matlin about Mark Medoff, who wrote the play “Children of a Lesser God.” He passed away at 79.
Alex: Hi Marlee, thank you so much for doing this interview.
Recently, Mark Medoff passed away at age of 79. The news of his death has gone viral. I saw your tweet in which you reminisced about Mark who fought with the studio to ensure the deaf role would be assigned to a deaf actress.
Can you elaborate on what you remember from that dispute?
I remember...some high level executives at Paramount Studios including producers and others involved with the movie, "Children of a Lesser God", said that Medoff made such a noise.
Medoff was loud and clear that my character, Sarah, should be assigned to an actor who is deaf, an authentic deaf actor, instead of a hearing person playing deaf.
Because Paramount was in its beginning stages, while writing the script, was casting for actors and they were aiming for well known celebrities who could bring in money. They could bring in money and help the movie achieve success. It was purely about business instead of focusing on the craft. It wasn't authentic. When they wanted to pick a famous actress, though she was a really good actress, Mark Medoff basically screamed, "NO! NO WAY!"
"Not on my watch, not on my play, not with my words!"
"No way, I forbid it!"
Paramount was initially stunned and realized that they needed to cast a deaf actor and they ended up choosing me.
Wow, and it's made such an impact on your career and your predecessor Phyllis Frelich.
*Shows Phyllis' sign name*
He's had an impact on the both of you.
What impact do you see that he has had on deaf actors worldwide?
Really, Mark and Phyllis were friends for a long time, very good friends, and he really understood her passion for acting. She told him, cautioned him, that there are no roles for deaf actors. None at all.
When Mark realized this, that was when he decided to write "Children of a Lesser God" specifically for her. That's very special so that shows she...obviously she did such a beautiful work. She won a Tony award. He understood this concern and really paved the way for deaf actors. It was because of him and Phyllis. He understood the need for us to work in the entertainment business which is very hard even to this day, but what's changed now is that we are more vocal, more...we can make more noise. We can say, "Hey, I am an authentic actor, director, writer!"
We can be anything in the entertainment business.
So Mark really began to understand this and made things happen by opening the door for us.
Can you share any favorite memories of Medoff? Did you know him personally or...?
Mark and I didn't know each other well at all, but we had respect for each other. He and I almost worked together again on another project which didn't pan out and that's okay. He did continue his work almost up until his death. He still created works, roles and ideas for us. He absolutely loved his work, loved what he was doing whether it was writing or creating (productions). He was very genuine, very passionate, very smart and very private. He will be truly, dearly missed by a lot of us.
Wow, do you consider him a worthy part of deaf history because of how much he's impacted us all?
Oh yes, "Children of a Lesser God" was such a widely acclaimed piece of work. A lot of high schools use that play to create their own productions all over the world. It influenced people to learn ASL. There were a lot of meaningful things that happened in that play, in the script and in the movie. There were many underlying messages in both works. Simply historical.
Thank you very much for your time, Marlee. I really appreciate you sharing your wonderful insights on Medoff.
Thank you very much for having me here.
Thank you for your time and for sharing, Marlee.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!