Well. Hi there!
You could have found my blog any number of ways. You could have clicked the link in my Twitter, or you could have been searching every dark, dust-clogged corner of the interwebs trying to find a blogger who blogs positively about autism and superheroes. Whatever the avenue, I’m purringly happy that you’re here. Read more
Let’s imagine for a moment that Earth is being invaded by a hostile alien race. (Why, yes, my curiosity was stirred by that needle-like asteroid that just went hurtling across our solar system.)
I’ve been meaning to do this post up for a somewhat longer while than intended. But last week, we lost a truly amazing human being, whose passing left a gaping abyss in the soul of the realm of music. Gord Downie was one of the most inspirational singer-songwriters who ever walked the earth, and if his likes should ever be seen again, let’s please step up brain-cancer research — for it was to brain cancer that he succumbed after almost two years, without giving up on his creating, his performing, or his social activism. I have never cried over the loss of a performing artist before, but I couldn’t seem to tweet about him without losing my shit.
Gord Downie was Canadian, the front man of a stage-scorching rock band called The Tragically Hip. In a few songs — with the band, and solo — he included a handful of lyrics in French. Was he bilingual? Beats me; his private life was none of my damn business. But even if he didn’t speak fluent French, he spoke two other languages effortlessly — those of poetry and music. He’s been lauded as the “poet laureate” of Canada with his profound lyrics and his intimate knowledge of some of the darker corners of Canadian history. If you weren’t as familiar with that subject, you probably could only take the wildest of guesses what the hell he was singing about with some of those cryptic lines. For much of his career, he sang in English, Poet, and Musician all at the same time; and if you didn’t understand his language, it made absolutely no sense — unless you decided you wanted to learn more.
It is of language, and learning it, that I curl up to write this evening.
Does anyone remember reading “The Scarlet Letter” in high school (or any other time for that matter)? Well, if you do, you surely remember that the book’s eponym was the letter “A”, meaning “Adultery”, and that the protagonist was forced to wear it everywhere she went as punishment for committing such. But as the book wore on (and on… and on), the “A” lent itself to one or two other meanings, such as “Able” and “Affection”. And I’ve just recently gotten to thinking…
And the news articles keep pouring in saying this, that, and the other thing has been “linked to autism”. Read more
(Sorry, Alistair MacLean.)
Another day… another mass shooting… another disturbing trend — the suggestion that the shooter was on the autistic spectrum.
https://respvblica.com/2017/10/05/did-stephen-paddock-have-aspergers-disorder-does-that-explain-what-he-did/ Read more
One thing you will very rarely, if ever, see me blog about is politics. I despise politics. I have lost friends because of politics, more last year than ever. Politics and politicians destroy more lives than they save because they could care less about people’s livelihoods than they could about a horsefly ramming itself against a window screen trying to escape. FWIW, I didn’t vote for Trump; I won’t say who I did vote for, but I do wish they’d amend the Constitution so that the qualifications for the president must include Unassailable Character. (Yeah, I know it sounds like a pipe dream, but look at where we are vs. where we could be.)
Anyway, there’s been a bit of a fuss about a recent article in Newsweek which quoted commentator George Will as saying:
“There’s such a thing as a kind of social autism—that he just doesn’t connect with other people. There’s no point in saying, Well, maybe he’ll acquire it. This is not part of his genetic makeup….”
Once again, the articles are coming on hot and heavy about the “causes” of autism and the “risk factors.” A couple of months back, there were a great many news articles lately saying that fever, anti-depressants, etc. during pregnancy are shown to increase “autism risk.” The rage over the past few days has been that consuming multivitamins during pregnancy can “decrease autism risk.” I could talk for entry upon entry about how studies like these are suggesting without any empirical proof, but I’m not a scientist or a researcher; I’m just an autistic adult who has experienced more than my fair portion of ableism. No, instead I’m going to talk about something we’re all too familiar with — harmful language.
Has it occurred to anyone else that “risk” is a four-letter word?