I have two very specific and very unhappy memories relating to the time when I was told that the reason I was having so much difficulty in life was because I am autistic. Number one, I was told before the diagnosis and immediate plan was laid out that things would improve from this point. Very specifically, I was told, I might add. So the fact that the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service worker who made this promise to me has not been severely disciplined for making promises she had no intention of acting or following upon makes me angry. Continue Reading
I make no secret of this. I read other people’s online journals. I read them a lot at times. Not because I want to research “the competition” or because the “everything online” crowd says that is what I have to do. No. The main reason is because in spite of how difficult certain neurological quirks that have never been investigated make it, I like to read. I have learned more, especially as a child, by reading well-written writings than from thousands of hours of teacher effort. But the primary reason I read online journals is pretty funny: they are my primary source of news concerning the struggle to make the world at large understand that we, the autistic, are people, too. Continue Reading
As I write this, I realise that in a space of approximately two months, I have written about a hundred posts, each averaging around two thousand words. Continue Reading
I have devoted a lot of words, more than I am willing to admit, to the fact that Black Sabbath are awesome beyond words. For the simple reason that they codified and set an ISO-like standard for the art form that would eventually be known as doom metal. But whilst they took this art and made it mainstream, they were far from the only or first example of music that was designed from the get-go to disturb the listener. So, in the interests of providing wholeness to my represented view of history, today I am going to talk about one of the other great influences upon my visual art, my limited forays in music, and most importantly my writing. Anyone who has heard the sagas of characters like Kronisk and Linula already know the person I am talking about. Today, we are going to discuss a few points in the musical career of one Vincent Damon Furnier, or as he has been signing things since shortly after he achieved fame under this alias, Alice Cooper.
Arrogance is a wonderful thing. No, really, it is. For one thing, it gives beholders a great insight into which people out there should, in fact, be kicked to the curb and left to starve, and whom should be allowed to take over whatever position of say they hold in a society. But everywhere we look, we are unfortunately bombarded with examples of arrogance so powerful and all-inclusive that they are truly flabbergasting to behold.
The arrogance of people associated with disability services, social services, and services in general is something that has the ability to turn stomachs. When I was a child, I heard a number of stories about disabled folk. Usually ones told to me (and the rest of the class) by teachers. These stories always focused on people with obvious disabilities, or the exact opposite of what I call reversion disabilities. Reversion disabilities, for those who do not speak the refined English that I do, are disabilities that, if you were to reverse the ratio between those with the disability and those without, those with would not be considered disabled. Hence the term, reversion disability. The stories I was told as a boy all concerned themselves with things like blindness or paralysis. Now, do not get me wrong, stories like those of Louis Braille are inspiring and should serve as an example to children. But the thing is, being autistic and being blind are two entirely different things.
Being blind entails the loss of one sense. Specifically, sight. And there are different levels of blindness. Just because your eyes properly focus a light signal through your optic nerves and into the receptor cells of your brain does not mean you can see well. Just like your SLR camera (cameraphones are only good for shoving up one’s arse, sorry), your eyes can only be as good as the weakest component. If the lens, mirror, optic nerve, or worse yet the sensor, in your eye is not up to spec, then you have a problem.
Before I say anything else, I just want to be clear about the fact that media of all kinds, whether it be written, audio-visual, visual, or audio, pretty much defines my whole view of life. If you have read previous posts, you know that how I define my view of myself tends to involve drawing comparisons to fictional characters, especially the way that they are represented in television or film. As I like to talk about the small fraction of good things in my experiences and consciousness, it is therefore worth taking a moment to talk about the New York-based vocalist who goes by the name of Julie Christmas.
A couple of years ago, Julie released a solo album called The Bad Wife. The cover art for which you see in the picture attached to this entry. At first, this was being thought of by some segments of the press as a stop-gap to tide us over before the next Made Out Of Babies album. Hopefully now it will be the first of many powerful solo albums.
In storytelling, writers who wish to give advice to others who want to break into the market will often tell people things reflective of their own writing style. One thing that tends to be true is that one should get their reader’s attention as thoroughly as possible, and as quickly as possible. But my corollary to that advice is that one should never let out their strongest salvo at the very beginning. In that sense, both storytelling and musical performances are like a fight. A fight consists of numerous stages, just like a story or a piece of music. You never open with your strongest attack because your opponent will be at his strongest at the beginning of the fight, and thus more easily able to absorb it.
Apparently, the band that I found out about a couple of years ago and had albums of on infinite repeat for months at a time, Made Out Of Babies, is “FUCKING DEAD”, to quote Julie Christmas‘ Fudgebook page and the entry dated March 14. To call this a devastating blow is a bit of an understatement, although I kind of knew something was up when I considered that The Ruiner had been released in 2008 and after four years, the only MOOB-related thing we have seen is Christmas‘ solo album, a great little piece called The Bad Wife.
I ordered all three of Made Out Of Babies‘ albums on Compact Disc in December of last year. Two of them arrived in February or thereabouts. These being Trophy and The Ruiner. The second album, Coward, is still on what the distributors refer to as “back order” (in other words, “we are not anticipating getting it anytime soon”). Unfortunately, this is just the reality of buying music in Australia in this day and age. The market has literally become so cut-throat that the return on investment in distributing to countries that are distant and have as small a population as Australia is very minimal at best. So independently-distributed records generally have to be imported, entailing a greater amount of time and in some cases money.
Although Australia’s government has started to wake up to the futility of banning musical recordings, literature, or films, they really, really do not like bands like Made Out Of Babies. If you happen to be autistic, mentally ill, or just generally not mindless and sheepish, Australia does not like you in general. You conflict too much with their ridiculous “lucky country” rhetoric. As in, I wonder how lucky they would think they are if their population grew to the size of Germany’s overnight. And if there is one thing that Julie Christmas is good at, it is convincing the unwary listener that she really is having a nervous breakdown, and her bandmates simply put a microphone in front of her during the process.