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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Source of Shame

If you haven't noticed I haven't been ranting much as of late. Not that there isn't much to rant to as so much as, I have just been rather overloaded and lazy. Anthrocon was this pass weekend. Once I year I trek up to Pittsburgh, wear a fluffy tail and run around with the other crazy fursuit wearing deviants.

While I can go on and talk about many things, including how I went on a epic drunken rant about autistic identity and how I ran around with a bra on my head on Sunday night. I can talk about how fursuit wearing is a reflection of cultural mask wearing and how that will make a good parallel to the ideaism of passing for typical. However I am not going to talk about that today I will however talk about something else.

The construct of what is to be normal is something of abnormal thing itself. I talked about how humans are paradoxical with their craving for conformity while thusly calling out for more diversity. I've also talked privilege in the neruological context. I've ranted and raved and gone off about a lot of things. Parents, normal people, autistic people, ASAN, AutSpks. Everyone gets a bit of “fang” so to speak. Yet as I step back and look through my essays and diatribe I can't help and wonder what is all doing? What is this all four. Just for me to vent? To show people a less flowery overly saccharine view of being autistic? If not, then what?

I think...I think pride is probably an interesting topic I should share. Iroh said an interesting quote on the show Avatar the Last Airbender. ”Pride is not the the absence of shame, but it's source” I look at pride as a very dualistic concept. It's either empowering or damning and it's often both. There is a reason why Pride is a deadly sin in the Christian mythos. It's very blinding and arrogance often kills you first before any sword or bullet would. Yet when we talk about autistic pride or gay pride, I have to wonder? When will it engender shame? What is the line between subtle arrogance and confidence?

Elitism is not a stranger to the autist rights community or the disability rights group, transphobia is frequent around the Queer community. I am not blind to the autphobia of the AutComm. It's pretty transparent. The schism of low/high is something of a dead-horse topic, but it's relevant to the concept of identity pride. When you are proud that you are autistic, do you wonder how it actually benefits you?

Bard out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Theorm of Compassion and the justification of humanity

The old trope that autistic people are so withdrawn that they cannot connect to the world, thusly they are inherently selfish and disconnected from people. They cannot empathize with people. Therefore, in human context.

We're not human.

Empathy is a socio-political tool. It's used to gain perspectives and viewpoints. Accusing someone for not having empathy is also a tool. It's used to continue the schism of Us/Them, and as well as putting oneself on a pedestal of pity and feed a victim complex. 

"How can you be so obtuse? Can you understand where I am coming from? The suffering and the pain I am in?" 

How many times have we heard this? How many times have we been accused by our peers and by our friends that we lack empathy and emotion during times of emotional distress and pain? As we sit quietly by our eyes trying to access the information that we have been given. 

Juxtaposed is our NT friends looking ashamed at us we struggle in a sea of sensory information. Screaming in pain and or doing anything to combat the input that we cannot process. They advert their eyes or accuse us of embarrassing them. We however don't point fingers and shout that they lack empathy. Instead. We apologize for being autistic. 

Changeling culture has giving us a schism of typical and atypical, in which all those that are neurologically atypical are always at fault. It is normal for typical to look upon the atypical with disdain and to lack the empathy necessary to understand the footsteps and journey we take as disabled people. So we grew apologetic for our nature as disabled. Being overly-apologetic is normal for an autistic person. What parent has heard their son or daughter on the spectrum constantly apologize for everything. We don't apologize for an action but for being who we are. Changeling culture has viewed us as mistakes, problems, unwanted. So we apologize for being mistakes in our families. 

While we nurse a rather large victim complex, autists need to step back and stop saying sorry for being human. It's time to look at what is empathy and what is compassion, NTs and autists alike have seem to mix those definitions up. As I stated in another essay about ToM, every human lacks empathy. A hetronormative male will not understand the feeling of being gay to their homosexual peer. A very rich American can't understand what it's like to really go hungry or what it's like to be surrounded by rubble like their Haitian counterparts. Typicals like to pretend that they do, until someone calls them on their privilege. In all no human being can be 'mindreaders' if we can be, why do we still have sexism, classism and racism then? 

However an autist and a typical both have compassion. Yet they show it in different ways. A little girl has lost their dog. A typical person would hug and use physical affection and soothing words to comfort the child. An autist would find a photo of the dog and make flyers to post all over the neighborhood. An autist is practical whilst a NT is more emotive. However it wasn't prayers and pleading wishes to deities that helped the people of Haiti or the ravaged New Orleansians it was hard work and real practical compassion. 

An autist may lack the understanding of someone looking for their beloved dog, might even suggest that the odds of finding the dog is slim and it's better for them to look for another dog at a shelter. Would even accuse the poor man of being irresponsible and not properly put a collar on the dog or microchip it. Still...

It will not stop him from him from getting the flyers. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is a bit of a response fic to the "Unheard Voice" poem and maybe a response to all the authors that try to write about an Autistic character but do not have autism 

Empathy Test. 

It was just an experiment. That Tikaani agreed to. Aang was simply curious on why Tikaani does the things he does, and one night alone together he found his opportunity. In deep quiet of Aang's room and with a bowl of water. Tikaani knelt with back facing Aang, his eyes looking to the ground. Aang paused for a moment before realize that was incredible intimate of Tikaani to allow him a glimpse inside his consciousness. Toph would be infuriated, stating that it was invasive. Katara on the other hand would be curious as well. Aang took a deep breath and prepared to open his third-eye chakra, he counted down as Tikaani took a deep breath and lifted the glowing stream of water to his temples.


His third was open as he found himself in massive white room, empty and bare. Aang stood in the middle of it, his gray eyes darting around then. Suddenly. He was hit with a flood of words. Aang was surround by massive deluge of words, they were moving so fast for him to understand the cycle around half unintelligible the other half barely had any meaning to him. Gostopnononoyesmoredon'tdothispleaseohmygodsjdfdlfjrudrunrunrundon'tstopeatthisdothisstopstop!

Aang was drowning with the flood constant language that he was trying to process but was having a hard time grasping it. A moment of epiphany happened as Aang was choking on the massive river. Is this what Tikaani feels when people talk to him? Is this what spoken language is like for him? Aang took another deep breath as the massive stream of words abated, only it was replaced with something far more disturbing.

Flashes of brilliant color surrounded Aang, faces he couldn't recognize, places, things and people danced around. Aang was struggling to figure out who they were and where he was, he trying to put the pieces together, only to feel that he got random pieces from a twenty different jig-saw puzzles and he was trying to make them into complete picture. Aang barely had a moment to breathe, when a thousand sounds bombarded him at once, talking, dogs barking, breaking glass, the trolleys, bells, cawing of birds, footsteps, the buzzing of bees, arguing, smashing of rocks, twisting of metal, chalk on slate, laughter. Aang got on his knees as a wave various odors joined in the caphony of sense. Burnt toast, rain, fresh apples, rotten meat, fish, ocean, molten glass, wet clothes, bad breath, ginger, mold, burning wood. Aang shut his eyes but everything kept coming at him at once, he didn't have a second to think to reason anything. Then he lost it when the flood of words came back. Howdoesthisworknoyoucan'thavethatpleasecanyougethisnononobadstopthisyoureafreakyouramonsteranimanimalretardfreaksitdownstopthatdon'tdothiscan'tyouundestandstopstopbouncingfreak!

Aang started to scream.

Katara rushed into the bed room as soon as she heard Aang's scream from down hall in the Fire Nation palace. She ran down to see what happen. She found Aang curled with his hands over his ears and Tikaani still quietly kneeling, his eyes were glazed over and unfocused. She started to piece together what in the gods name had happened. They she remember that Aang said he was going to try something with Tikaani's help. Katara suddenly remembered the last time she tried something with Tikaani using waterbending.

That damn idiot.

Aang took a deep breath as he calmed down, Katara was tapping her foot as Aang finally realize that he was back in the room again, silent and calm. However it was not going to be calm anymore. He looked up at Katara sheepishly as Tikaani came out of his trance looked around.

“What the hell were you doing Aang?!” She said in harsh whisper. Aang bit his lip feeling like a kid getting caught red handed. He sighed and watched as Tikaani crawled into bed like nothing ever happened.

“I was trying to understand him...get a feel for what the world is like for him.” Katara looked a little interested but it was covered over a layer of disgust.

“Well...did you finally have your understanding?” She said with tone that suggested annoyance but at the same time concern. Aang stared at Tikaani dumbly before feeling a wave of dejection hit him.

“No. Not at all, I...I can't possibly begin to understand anything that he feeling or comprehending. It's all so...foreign to me.”

Friday, June 4, 2010


Link to this month's episode 

I am so sorry for not posting as of late. I had virus issue with my computer and I have made a new episode of PrismVox for everyone to enjoy. I deleted the Maka entry because I have lost interest in writing :/ 

Anyway I haven't lost interest in blogging. I read Sarah's entry this afternoon about Autspks being, the same old ableist nonsense. However I did catch sight at the mention of a fifteen year old girl writing about her non-verbal brother in a very off-putting verse. I had to read it just so I get a good idea what she is talking about...lo and behold it's the same sort of crap I've always have seen

The Voice Unheard

I scream
I cry
I bang
You still don’t understand
The words won’t form for me to speak
But alas I have much to say
If only there was a way
A way for you to hear me
From behind the prison bars

The children on the streets stare
Like illuminating eyes in the night
I appear not to care
As they ponder over the sight
Of me walking on my toes
And screaming without no cause
To them I’m an alien
If only they could understand

There’s more than meets the eye with me
I’m not just some freak
If they could only see
I can’t help what I am or how I act
There’s much more under the surface
A truth waiting to be found
I’m not going to die
But that doesn’t make things alright

My mind, my body
Don’t work like they should
I’m trapped
A prisoner
No one’s knows how it happens
Why I can’t talk to you
It’s something in my brain
That went askew

There are others like me that can talk
But their case is different than mine
See we are all very different
Even with the same infected mind

In my case, I’m severe
I can’t talk
Only scream and yell
I bang walls and slam doors
And windows in cars
My senses aren’t like yours
My sense of feeling is off
I bang my head down on a table
Just to be sure it’s still there

Autism isn’t like cancer
There’s no cure
Or solution found
Only drugs and medication
To try and calm us down
But I am lucky to have a family
That loves me so much
They make sure I’m taken care of
And do everything they must

So next time you see me on the street
Or others of the same fate
Think of all we go through
Just to get through each day
Autism has a voice
If you take time to listen
You will hear

Where do I even begin? I know the lot of you will throw up the "She's only 15" excuse, I don't buy it. 15 is not an excuse to take step back and be aware of the language and the context she is using. 

Lets start with the first fact is that she is puppeting. She sticking her words into her brother's mouth. She uses language that ends up objectifying her brother and end up making her look good. "But I am lucky to have a family
That loves me so much" This seems like a typical trope you find in most "poems" written by parents and siblings. They turn the head-banging and the screaming as some sort of symbol of suffering. It never occurs to them to actually talk to an autist on why does their brother scream and cry. It never occurs to them to you know...ask. 

This kind of ego masturbation and martyrism is common among the AutSpks community. It seems all that parents do is go on how either their son/daughter is suffering and how they are suffering too...so you must feel sorry for us. It irritating but that does shit. How is pity grabbing going to stop your kid from doing SIBs? I mean c'mon. Take a step back for a moment. 

Now I know some people think that I am puppeting my thoughts into "Hanai", you might even remark that Hanai is even my soap box. First off. Hanai is fictional, their for I am not really puppeting in the same context if she was a real person. Second though, Hanai is based off of real moms. Not just some idealized version of what a parent of an autist should be but what I have read and heard from other moms. They help color Hanai. 

Siblings need to seriously take a step back and try not to assume what they feel about their siblings is mutual. You go on about we having a voice, but why are you not bothering to really hear it?