Most, if not all, of the entries that I have posted recently have been of an extremely heavy nature. Which is perfectly fine. That is largely the purpose of this journal, and if just one mother-to-be reads it and changes her whole attitude towards both herself and her child as a result, it is worth it.
But today, I want to talk more about something that I read in this journal entry, and what it gave me the idea to write this time. Before I begin the exercise proper, however, it is important to talk about a few things within the reason. As I have alluded to earlier, we all have different parts of our identity that we give different priorities according to situation or interaction. Although aside from being about how we define ourselves to ourselves, this article does not relate to today’s subject. It does explain one great perspective on that situation that I wish I had understood much earlier in my life. So in the interests of making this a mental exercise for myself, I am going to divide this listing according to different priorities. I hope you find it enlightening.
These are the aspects of my identity that have the least impact on my life, and who best represents them. Most of them are based on characters that I first heard of when I was a child.
- Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is one of the first, if not the first, characters that I followed the adventures of when I was a wee boy. In later years, I heard people go on about how whiny the Luke we see in the first couple of Star Wars films is.
And it occurred to me that in the first film in particular, he is a child that has been sheltered to a degree from the savage world (actually, galaxy, but such is a mere detail) that he will be called to help save. It is not until one of his badly-made decisions in the second film gets him into more trouble than he is able to handle that he really reaches what approximates manhood. Looking back on initial viewings as grown man, I see small, indistinct fragments of Luke the boy, Luke the man, and Luke the protector within the painting that is me. Tiny drybrushings, as it were.
One of these days, someone had best remind me to post about why I have lost my faith in George Lucas. It will make an interesting read.
Before I begin, it is important to understand that when I speak of Rogue, I refer to the character as portrayed delightfully by Anna Paquin in X-Men and X2.
Anna was almost the youngest person to win an Oscar. After seeing her in the film she won it for, The Piano, I cannot say as I am surprised. She gives pretty much the entire rest of the cast a lesson in acting, which is no mean feat when one of your co-stars is Harvey Keitel. Anna has since gone on to portray a number of characters whose characteristics coincide with those of varying types of autistic adults. The real X-Men films that she appears in are just two examples. Others include Buffalo Soldiers, and HBO television series True Blood, which happens to be at least as powerful as X2 most of the time. Although she does not take her peers to acting school quite so much in X2, she gives one of the best responses in a challenge/response exchange designed to move characters from their current spot:
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman): Go, I’ll be fine.
Rogue (Anna Paquin): But we won’t.
Even Sir Ian McKellen, an actor capable of understanding our position in a way few others can, has to pull out the big guns in order to remain in the same league.
The despair and anguish affected by Rogue during X-Men in particular about the fact that her touch can kill, and will leave echoes of the touchee stuck in her mind for long periods after the fact, although a small aspect of the painting that is me, leaps out at all like an unexpected note.
This is where the aspects that get swapped over each other all the time for priority belong. I can think of myself as less of one or the other than another from time to time.
- Sookie Stackhouse
Quick! Act surprised. All kidding aside, however, there is a reason I watch the vampires in True Blood avidly, and it is not the goldfish-like fear that Sookie affects throughout the series. Rather, it is envy. In the environment you have helped create, curebies, can you imagine for a second that if I found myself with the ability to levitate at great speed, jump down beside you, yank out your spine, and batter those who think you are doing good to death with it? You have only got yourselves to blame for what the right answer happens to be.
As an aside, films and television series like X-Men and True Blood have an annoying side-aspect. Often, critics and other pundits attempt to frame them as a metaphor for the civil rights struggle of the homosexual community. The homosexual community has, in the past, expressed support of curebies. So I would like them to remember that the autism pre-natal test they keep threatening us with was originally meant to be a test for the “gay gene”. If they succeed in destroying us, they will come after you, and without us there to protest…
Say it with me now! “Serve the public trust… protect the innocent… uphold the law…”
Haha. The main point where RoboCop relates itself to the autistic is when the titular cyborg recites those three Prime Directives, and then proceeds to follow them so doggedly that he pretty much walks right into a near-death experience that way. Such is where all the natty bumps, cuts, and bruises you see on RoboCop’s torso in the capture are from. The flat manner in which he explains to the executives he pays a visit at the end of the film that “Dick Jones is wanted for murder” is just one of many ways in which Peter Weller‘s performance adds to the relatability.
I think it says a lot, too, about how far we have to go as a society towards the Jetsons-dream we were all infused with in the 1960s when a boy who has just come out of the hospital and sees RoboCop for the first time starts to daydream about having the non-working parts of his person replaced by machine.
The only reason RoboCop is a secondary is because I do not have it in me to be a policeman.
- Clarence Boddicker
Just like you cannot have Itchy without Scratchy or Elmer Fudd without Bugs Bunny, you cannot have RoboCop without Clarence Boddicker.
Clarence is portrayed in a manner reminiscent of Heath Ledger as The Joker by one Kurtwood Smith. That is, Kurtwood disappears so much into his character that for the 103 or so minutes of RoboCop, he is not simply playing Clarence. He is Clarence.
Clarence is an all-round nice guy (sarcasm), with more counts of rape, murder, narcotics trafficking, and more besides, on his record than most films have minutes in them. The film is about as subtle as a nuclear strike on an outhouse, but at a critical turning point reveals Clarence to be an employee in a bigger scheme. He is a cog in a wheel, but one with teeth, claws, stingers, and a warped sense of humour to boot. I am willing to bet that as a boy, Clarence was abused by one or both parents, multiple teachers, and anyone he happened to go to for help. The reason he is a secondary just like his nemesis is because my conscience will not allow me to kill people indiscriminately or commit rape.
The jury is still out on selling narcotics, though. (Yes, I am kidding, assholes.)
Yes, there are two men in the image associated with this entry. This is for a reason. In the past twelve years, two men have played the Marvel Comics character called Magneto. The elder of the two is Sir Ian McKellen, himself no stranger to speaking out against the oppression of himself. Opposite him in the image is the man given the challenge of portraying Magneto as a younger man, Michael Fassbender.
It is largely because of Fassbender that X-Men: First Class has the distinction of being the first X-Men film since 2003 that did not make me want to perpetrate violence upon the disc containing it. And McKellen has the quality of being the one thing about what I like to derisively call X-Men In Name Only that did not make me want to perpetrate violence upon its director and writers. Both get lines in one or two films that just make me want to go out and punch some ignorant normie in the face until their eyes roll back in their head.
In McKellen‘s case: “How does it look from there Charles? Still fighting the good fight? From here it looks like they’re not playing by your rules… Maybe it’s time to play by theirs!” (Emphasis added by this author, and for a reason.)
In Fassbender‘s: “I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders. Never again.“
In one exchange on YouChoob, an idiot tried to defend a certain Ronald Bass film by proclaiming that Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for his terrible performance in it. He proclaimed that Hoffman won this Oscar because he portrayed an autistic adult so well. Not to burst this moron’s bubble, but if portraying an autistic adult well wins a man Oscars, Fassbender has earned twelve, and McKellen thirty. Literally, one for each of the words I have just pointed out.
In every autistic adult who wants to build a better world for those who follow, there is a constant conflict between a Magneto and a Charles Xavier. If you need to guess who has won in my case, then you clearly have not read many of my other writings.
Just as every person carries different aspects to how they define themselves, there are ones that, by definition, must sit at the top. A thirty-something man who works at a bank and has two children, for example, will see himself as a man first, a father a very, very close second, and a bank employee further down the line. These characters represent well the shards that are closest to being at the core of my identity.
You knew this was coming. As I have said a number of times in conversation, one need only make Quorra a bit larger, a lot more masculine, and a great deal more aggressive, and she would be my identical twin.
I cried when I saw the end of TRON: Legacy for the first time. Not only because the struggle of Quorra in the rest of the film was a perfect representation of a core struggle in my life, but because the manner in which her struggle ends (essentially walking across the mirror into another world) is how I wish my struggle would end. Of course, at this point I would be content with Suicide By Cop, but since normies and especially Australian normies love to see our kind suffer, I am not counting on either of those things to happen.
Explaining exactly how Quorra’s behaviour in the film resembles an autistic adult of the Einstein type would force me to give vital moments in the plot away, so I will not do that. I will state, however, that if she gets an eyeful of certain types in the “real” world complaining that they are somehow being persecuted because their society is not bending to their every whim, she is probably going to decide that she likes The Grid better. No, I am most certainly not kidding.
Olivia Wilde‘s performance is a curious mix. Although her affect seems completely flat in scenes after she is introduced for the most part, the look of joy and wonder she puts on in the film’s closing shot is the main reason that ending brings tears to my eyes. Whether the flatness (aside from one classic moment later in the film) was by design or not, it actually adds to the character instead of taking away. Quorra is a character that not only represents me in a way I never would have thought up on my own, she represents the kind of person I wish I had in my desperate existence.
The search for my Quorra goes on, although I cannot say I hold out much hope anymore.
- The Replicants
Another favourite rebuke to curebies that I use on YouChoob comes when they try to claim that before a certain film, nobody tried to portray the autistic in film before. My response always contains the statement “It was called Blade Runner, and it came out in 1982″, or similar. Blade Runner contains no less than seven characters that in some way behave in a manner that accidentally reminds viewers of autistic adults, even when the viewer does not know it.
If you have not seen the film before, I will refrain from revealing exactly which characters are either Replicants or resembling adults on the autistic spectrum. Suffice to say that the two coincide. I will, however, talk about the two best and most obvious cases. Both of them resemble Powell types (quick! act surprised!). On the left in this image is the leader of the Replicant group that the film focuses on, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). Roy’s mission is so painfully simple that his disappointment at learning how impossible it really is can be felt by every member of the audience. You see, Replicants can only live for four years for reasons that are never definitively explained in the film. Roy wishes to extend his lifetime, as the end of it is approaching.
The other character seen in the image is Leon Kowalski (the late Brion James). No actor in the history of the medium, not even Anna Paquin or Olivia Wilde, has played an autistic adult half as well as Brion James. His method of accomplishing this was actually deceptively simple. In his exchanges with varying characters, he mixes the insightful with the attention-gettingly “stupid”. The first thing he says to Harrison Ford in his final scene is “How old am I?”. He then goes on to deliver such nuggets of wisdom as “painful to live in fear” and “nothing’s worse than having an itch you can never scratch”, punctuating these with various displays of violence. And I stress again: these are just two of seven characters in Blade Runner that resemble autistic adults in nearly everything they do. So if you presume to speak to me about how autism should be portrayed in the media and have not seen this film, fukk you with a twirling, white-hot tire iron.
I am Dean McIntosh, and these are the film characters that best represent the different aspects of my identity as an autistic Child Of The 1980s. I might add more in future, so watch this space. If you have read through this whole experiment in using images with my text, thank you.
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