If you are reading this, then take it as proof positive of two things. One, the attempt to put an end to my existence that was promised for a certain date did not go ahead or quite as planned. Exactly what happened is irrelevant. The important point is that I was not found dead.
I have a number of different things I want to say, but I think the important thing right now is to go over a few things that I said prior to this month and clarify them a little. As I tried to make clear beforehand, semantics matter. If there is one thing you learn when you are a linguistically-inclined Powell type, it is that.
Even the concept of linguistic inclination, it seems, requires some explanation. It seems that every autistic individual, regardless of age, so-called functioning level, or other complicating characteristics, has at least one inclination of such a strength that it can be seen as pervasive. In my case, that inclination is toward linguistics, and their role in a number of things. Language can have several roles, but the two that are most important here are to entertain and to communicate. I will deal with the entertainment aspect briefly.
In RoboCop, once we are properly introduced to the central hero, we are given a set of powerful but very vaguely-defined rules that govern his behaviour for the rest of the story. These are:
- Serve the public trust
- Protect the innocent
- Uphold the law
- Classified (later revealed to be that attempting to arrest a senior executive in the corporation will result in the hero “shutting down”)
These rules, as bizarre as they might sound, are in themselves a great example of how semantics play a part in storytelling. A good storyteller already knows that their wordings, simple as they are in construction, are practically a red carpet to conflict. But the important point to this essay is that there are ways to word each and every one of these directives. Although their on-paper meaning may be the same, the manner in which the wordings stimulate the mind of the listener can be very different.
Also complicating this process is the fact that in cinema, when words are spoken or, as in this case, printed on the screen, the images they accompany can change their meaning. The words “serve the public trust” are a little difficult to define in this medium. Screenwriter Ed Neumeier makes no secret of the fact that he got them from a fortune cookie. Their exact meaning is nebulous in a manner that serves the purposes of the story, so I will leave that one alone.
When we are shown the impact that “protect the innocent” has upon RoboCop as a character, it is an ugly scene that splits viewers right down the middle. A skinny blonde in a white dress is running through a seemingly deserted sector of the city, pursued by two men who are whooping like soccer hooligans. A ten year old boy does not grok as well as a seventeen year old man-child that these lads intend to rape (and likely kill) this woman. The seventeen year old does not grok this fact nearly as well as a thirty-something boy. But all three grok very well that when RoboCop gets out of his car and patiently tells the two hooligans to let the woman go, as they are under arrest, they are in so much shit it is almost unbelievable. When the sequence ends with one of the would-be rapists lying on the ground, clutching his groin and screaming like I do when hypoglycaemia takes away my ability to move my limbs in a non-destructive fashion, the command “protect the innocent” takes on a myriad of new meanings that has every member of the audience on board with this new hero.
Later in the film, when the titular hero is throwing his nemesis through a series of plate glass windows, said nemesis frantically reminds the hero through a death grip on his throat that the hero is a police officer. We see a shot of the villain gasping the word “cop” as RoboCop has his throat in what earlier dialogue has assured us is a vice-like grip. And we see the words “uphold the law” flashing in part of the screen like a command from Odin.
These are very direct examples of when context and semantics have a dramatic impact upon the interpretation of a phrase. And if that seems like a very long setup for a point, then I apologise, but it is important to understand that point before I get into what I am going to say next. Last month, I published a statement to the effect that the passives who have commandeered the autism civil rights movement have succeeded in making me feel ashamed to be autistic. And a lot of shit flew about that (not unexpectedly). It is not a nice set of words to chuck together, I will grant that much. But there are important things to be understood about context in order to properly understand the statement.
One Frank Zappa song has Frank at one point dramatically stating that he is not black, but there are a lot of times he wishes he could say he is not white. Given that he is part Sicilian, I think there are still elements in America that would have reassured him that he is not. All kidding aside, however, that is a pretty reasonable approximation of what I feel about the passives in the autistic “community”.
As I have also pointed out, there are phases to the impositions of laws. Let us pretend for a moment that we live in a land where there is no law whatsoever against murder. As you would expect in such a place, a powerful elite are having the time of their lives whilst everyone weaker than them is being murdered randomly, without redress or consequence. So at some point, someone finally gets it into their mind to say that murder is now illegal. However, making the variably powerful sorts who used to murder freely comply with this is not as simple as just telling them to not do it any more. First, one has to drill the idea into their heads that one is serious. That murder will no longer be tolerated, and there will be consequences for further murder. This phase of imposing a new law or a new level of strength in the law is what I have read elsewhere being called the crackdown phase.
In a society where the crackdown phase of a law against murder is complete, murders still occur. But rather than occurring in twenty-five or even fifty percent of the populace, murders might now only occur in point-two-five percent of the populace (0.25%, or about 25 times per head of one thousand). This is what I have read being called the compliance phase, or the phase in which the citizenry understand that murder will not be tolerated in society anymore, and people who commit murder will face serious consequences.
There was a time in history when everyone in America was in the midst of the crackdown phase where murder is concerned. It was the colonial, or Wild West, days of America. Men grew famous for things like robbery and murder, with folk like Jesse James and William Antrim providing particularly well-known examples. The latter, William Antrim, even found himself caught up in the height of a phase where the state government wanted to be seen to be cracking down on the general illegal activity that was prevalent in that society. His notoriety and generally child-like appearance led to him being better known in history as Billy The Kid.
Now, in case you wondered what the point of that was, it seems that the passive, family-friendly, grown-child face of the autism civil rights movement either has forgotten or has no idea that we are in the crackdown phase. That is, we are in the phase where people do not know or respect why it is wrong to murder autistic people solely for being autistic. This is made clear by how a defendant in a murder trial can be virtually let right off the hook simply by claiming that the victim was autistic. As supplemental claims make clear, no reverence is paid to any facts or even the possible spurious nature of the claim. The murderer is let off with all but a pat on the back and an indication that if they feel like murdering another autistic individual, go right ahead.
The law against murder of members of a social majority has been in the compliance phase for a very long time. So long, in fact, that defining an exact time when this was not the case is very difficult. Perhaps it is even more a matter of determining the rate at which the social majority has expanded. In times such as when the murders attributed to one Jack The Ripper occurred, the social majority was small, consisting mainly of rich white men. Although the social majority is still mainly white, the variety of income brackets it consists of has expanded noticeably, and it no longer solely consists of men.
But members of other social groups can still remember a time when laws against murder of their members was in the crackdown phase. Black Americans, the variety of Asian peoples that were brought to America to build infrastructure, or Hispanic folk, can all remember a time when they could expect little, if any, serious response from the authorities when one of theirs was murdered. For some populations fitting those groups, such as the undocumented workers at big-chain retailers like Wal-mart, this is still at least partly the case.
Where the despair and anguish I feel at the behaviour of the passives originates is in their confusion between phases. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, passives, but when a murderous mother can point at her child, regardless of whether they legally still are a child, and say “autistic”, and be let off the hook, then the law against murder of the autistic is in the crackdown phase. All of your pretensions that we are in the compliance phase and that the normies will comply with our requests to not promote or commit organised murder of our kind will not change that. They will simply disregard or even laugh at your requests.
Which brings me to another point about the relationship between the autistic and the rest of the Human world as a whole. Thanks to stereotyping like Rain Man or pretty much anything else Ronald Bass craps out of his proverbial uncreative womb, they do not see distinctions between different autistic individuals. In extreme cases, they are unable to even tell that there is a difference between autistic child and autistic adult. Although the statement the autistic community as a whole makes runs something like “when you have met one autistic individual, you have met one autistic individual”, the exact opposite is still the case in many of the minds that the curebies concern themselves with. To the kinds of people that we need to be educating to understand that Autism Speaks are Nazis in ambition and frauds in practise, we are still a living, breathing stereotype.
Yet the passives continuously behave as if this were not the case, and that everyone other than the curebie is on board with us. This brings to mind the behaviour of both of my parental units during my adolescence, where I could tell them exactly what their behaviour not five minutes ago indicated they wanted to hear out of my mouth, and get a verbal smackdown the like of which you would not tolerate being delivered to your child. Even today, I have to tell my mother that I will not stand for the metaphorical equivalent of being told the sky is yellow when the evidence collected by my eyes and processed by my brain is pretty conclusive towards it being blue. Which brings me to two particular examples of exactly that being done by people outside of my family. The first example is from a discussion group on Fudgebook in which I was told, straight-faced, that my complaints about the state of affairs in which the autistic find themselves are made up and part of a victimhood fantasy. Simply pointing this person (and more importantly, the audience) to links in which the curebies monopolising government ear and the government effectively giving their desired policy free run of the system was enough to destroy the credibility of their statement. So of course, like any good sympathiser, they just shift the goalposts and keep blathering. I left the group, and told its membership that any person who is friends with that… thing… is not a person in my eyes.
Now, in other writings on this journal, I have invoked a similarity between being part of a racial minority such as black Americans and being autistic. Now, this brought one person out that I thought would know better, saying, as quoted:
An invisible disability does not equal an indelible physical trait, like high levels of melanin. We can “pass”, at least on sight.
Sorry, you know who you are, but no. It does not work like that. This is a straw-man of my comparison, and a bad one at that. First of all, as the film Iron Sky makes very clear, if the right kind of asshole applies the right kind of science, no physical trait is actually indelible. In fact, even the sex of a living creature can be altered when people with the appropriate tools and knowledge are engaged to do so.
But this is getting away from a very simple point, and the primary one of the comparison. Being a numerical (an estimated 35 million out of 300 or so million, or twelve percent, as of 2000) and social (nearly twenty-seven and a half percent in poverty as of 2007) minority changes your viewpoint of both the world and yourself. As Kruma Steward has written at length in the past, black Americans have a very different view of themselves as part of society and as Human beings compared to white Americans. And as he rightly demonstrates, none of that has to do with their race, their genetics or what their genetics “tend towards” (even in the minds of bigots), or even their religious beliefs. It all has to do with socio-economic status and culture. In the latter respect, they are at quite a disadvantage even compared to autistic Americans. When one autistic individual takes their education seriously, for example, other autistic individuals will not mockingly ask them if they think they are normies. However, when an autistic adult does not conform to the promoted stereotype of flapping their hands about like they are trying to copy the normie’s “spastic” impersonation, they are all but treated like an unperson by other autistic adults. So whilst the nuances of that cultural disempowerment are different, the mechanism is very similar.
One of the few unifying things about being autistic in a normie-oriented world is the same as the unifying characteristic of being black in a population where white folk are the numerical, social, or both, majority. That is, it changes your expectations out of life and of yourself. There is a saying addressed to today’s parents that the voice one speaks to their child with whilst they are small children is the voice they will think to themselves with throughout the rest of their life. This is true, but with some qualification. The reality is that the voice all of society speaks to a small child with is the voice that they will hear when they think to themselves as an adult. And that is where the similarity between being black in any English-speaking nation and being autistic anywhere in the world lies. Even if the voice from the family at home is the most loving, caring thing in the world, the voice from society is an extremely negative, loathing, and potentially abusive one.
And what if the voice from the family at home and the voice from society is abusive, demoralising, and even dehumanising? Well, the result is much like the best part of Alice Cooper‘s best song, Years Ago. The voice inside the person’s mind that is trying to represent the unspoiled, unsoiled little boy is constantly arguing with the voice that represents the great big man.
Which, when you take a good look at how the rest of the “community” this boy/man is bundled in with by default, presents a real problem. Whilst I do not understand this mechanic of the black community fully, I do understand it enough to use it as a point of comparison. When black men of slightly to noticeably better stature in America behave in a manner that the rest of the black community sees as too compliant or undeservedly compliant with the will of the white majority, they get called an Uncle Tom (among other things). Regardless of the accuracy or origins of this term, the dynamic of this characterisation is very accurate to how I presently feel about the passives. In the science-fiction miniseries V, we meet two black men who are brothers. One is a doctor, the other a streetwise thief. Their father is somewhere in the middle, a factory worker with some specialised knowledge. The two brothers argue incessantly about one being a poor man’s Richard Pryor whilst the other is an Uncle Tom. The argument is never satisfactorily resolved, but laid to rest when the latter is killed as a result of a raid upon the enemy’s supplies that the latter foolishly attempts without any meaningful help from people more versed in such an operation. “The doctor cannot die,” the surviving brother cries. “The other one, he can die,” and on it goes.
Change the family to be white, but make the brothers autistic, and the scene plays out exactly the same way. The brother that caught the lucky breaks in school and managed to get through enough education to be a computer specialist or the like dies, and the brother that got through his life to this point the hard way weeps that the computer specialist cannot die, the “other one” can, and so on.
I hate the subject of history as it is presented in formal schooling. There are no two ways about that, but one thing historians say a lot that I happen to agree with is that when one ignores or revises history, one is doomed to repeat it. The autistic are an underclass that it is for all intents and purposes legal to murder because the social majority ignored what happened the last time a social minority was in this position. And the reason the autistic continue to be this underclass is because the most visible portion of the “community” insists on acting as if we are in the compliance phase of the law saying it is not okay to murder, threaten, or exclude autistic individuals, as opposed to the crackdown phase. I would like to pose a challenge to this portion, in fact. Let us see you live in the same circumstances as an autistic adult of the working class or poor for a year, and then see how much you hope to accomplish by merely sweet-talking the normies.
Yes, there are differences, many significant ones, between black Americans and the autistic. How can there not be? But what the source of the despicable quote above apparently does not get in spite of having been in communication with me for longer than this journal has existed is that the difference on a neurological-physical level is much smaller than they seem to want me to think. Both are involuntary characteristics. Both invoke much questioning, particularly from the younger members of both groups, as to why they have to be the way they are. Sometimes, members of both groups even ask why they cannot trade those characteristics in and be like everyone else (in fact, a book I read as a ten year old laid out the answer to this very question). So the person in question will have to forgive me for seeing two things, both related. One, that the difference is (mostly) only in their mind, and secondly (more disturbingly), that it is not a long way from their language to the disease model of autism that, regardless of all our differences, both passive and Powell type alike (as well as everything in between) are seeking to deprive curebies of.
In closing, I would like readers to take a look at Kruma Steward‘s article concerning the so-called feud between white rap star Eminem and black rap nobody Ray Benzino. My opinions of rap as a musical form aside, what I do respect about Eminem is that he took what would be considered a negative in the field of entertainment he was pursuing (specifically, being so white he could be mistaken for being part of the same subclass of white as myself) and turned it into an asset. Benzino, on the other hand, chose to attempt to politicise this fact and turn it into a feuding point, trying to narrow rap back into the ridiculous black-only stereotype that John Lydon had earlier stated it had fallen into. As the linked article alludes to or points out, Benzino‘s behaviour both as a rapper and as editor of the rap-oriented magazine The Source were so unprofessional that it basically killed both.
As Kruma writes at the end of his article, Spike Lee‘s version of Malcolm X states, “We had the best organisation that black people ever had and niggers ruined it”. Kruma ends his article by stating that The Source has just found its nigger. Well, since the autistic do not have their own equivalent to the meaning that this portrayal of Malcolm X had when using the word nigger, I will borrow it for now. When I said that passives made me ashamed to be autistic, I was simplifying very dramatically a point that I will expand upon here. Niggers have not ruined the autism civil rights struggle so much as dominated it. The passive, or the nigger as they can rightly be called, have monopolised every second of the positive message that is attempted to be put out by the autistic, even whilst the normie is openly attempting to legalise murdering us in mass numbers.
So when I say that the autistic will never have a good organisation the way things presently are because niggers will keep coming in and ruining it, it betrays both the full meaning of this writing and my statement about being ashamed of being autistic. Just as the portrayal I mention of Malcolm X is clearly ashamed to be associated with what he calls niggers, I am ashamed to be associated with passives.
That is what I meant when I said, “Congratulations, passives. You make me ashamed to be autistic”.