On the Aspie Side

My Interview – Part 1 by Tom Gisler on His YouTube Channel

As part of Thomas’ journey of self-discovery since his ASD diagnosis – “Discovering Autism” became a way to share the experiences of individuals with autism and those who’s lives have been touched by autism, to promote a better understanding of autism by all. You can see other interviews and more about his experiences at “My ASD Journey” on YouTube. You can also see how he expressed different thoughts about becoming autistic in his “posters” on FaceBook called “Signs of Autism”.

Seeds of Autism

A social justice mural was vandalized in less than 24 hours after it was painted on the seeds of autism12th of this month in Gainesville, Florida. “It was shocking because Gainesville is a very friendly, open, groovy, inclusive town,” Shirley Lasseter, member of the Gainesville/Ocala chapter of Women’s March Florida, told CNN. And the rest of the country thought, “It’s still the South.”

What is glaringly new is the use of Autism in a political statement. It is so out of place I have to wonder if it doesn’t mean the same thing to the fringe right as everyone else, since they have their own little hate glossary with meanings drawn completely from conspiracy conman Alex Jones or some such place. I’m going to have to dig to find out how they believe this ties together. Perhaps they think liberal values have caused the so-called “autism epidemic”? I had to investigate.

I tested out a bunch of terms starting with “seeds of Autism” since that was the phrase they created. That came up with one BBoard site called Ar15. I’m not linking to their dross. You can google that one yourself if you must. But, the line that stuck with me was one post that asked, “What fun is it trolling the leftist if they are too stupid to understand the joke?” A few other posts list other seemingly unrelated memes about a frog, and I was still perplexed.

Next I googled “‘Autism’ right wing glossary” et voila. Buzzfeed produced. “The Normal Person’s Guide to How the Far Right Troll Talk to Each Other” or “A Glossary of Far Right Terms and Memes”. And, my expected translation was fairly close except it was a trolling joke. So, for all my lefties, here’s how the thought process goes:

NEETS stands for “No Education, Employment, or Training” which self-deprecatingly refers to 4chan’rs that are loony right wing and also live in mom’s basement that spends all day playing video games or on the internet that may be on the spectrum. They call people who work, oddly enough, wagecucks or wage slaves. Unclear how they think the “free market” economy can work if all these twats don’t contribute, but whatever.

REEEEEEE! is the angry shriek of a 4chan’r. “Typically, it’s used to show anger at “normies” for invading their online spaces. There are memes of Pepe the Frog making that noise when he’s angry.” Presumably, Pepe then becomes the image of an angry alt-right loon when a lefty enters their forum.

Pepe the Frog is “A cartoon smiling frog created innocuously by comic artist Matt Furie that has, over time, become the official mascot of far-right extremism in the US and parts of Europe.”

Don’t you feel educated now? So, to sum up, the followers of Pepe, aka NEETs, were accusing the left of causing Autism with our politics to rile us up in some PC froth, but only managed to confuse everyone. Now they are just licking their wounds and blaming us for being too stupid to understand their memes without a f’ing translation. I’d call this a fail for the home team.

Further this has nothing to do with Autism really, good or bad. There’s nothing further to read into it. It’s for the most part been ignored post-CNN coverage, so, of course, I had to understand it, as if making sense of the alt-right is even feasible.

“Am I mad,” as the troll face always asks? No, I find it childish and in amazingly poor taste, but no, I’m not mad. I have plenty of real things in my life that warrant more of my energy, but I am angry that this mural was graffitied. Someone on that BBoard called the mural graffiti and likened the vandalism to the mural itself, as if the two can be equated just because it portrays politics they don’t like. Talk about twisting facts! More alt-facts. I’d like to know if there were any arrests.

Anne with an E

With the exception of her lovely fantasy world and her terminal vanity, I identified annewithecompletely with Anne with an E. I see Vanity Fair is having a fit over the reworking of the story, but I just adore her. Her battle to survive and be accepted feels so much like my normal. Including her understandable PTSD, she’s definitely an Aspie.

Okay, so what if she saves the day twice in one season? So what if turn-of-the-century Ontario isn’t all roses and sweetness? This seems more like a real world, and rough like life is for an Aspie child. Imagine if you, Miss Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair, actually understood what it’s like to be misunderstood and feel constantly like one giant shredded nerve.

Conversely, if you want to complain about a movie not matching the book. You should be far more offended by the movie version of Hitchhiker’s Guide. It was a terrible disappointment because they ruined Douglas Adams’ jokes. Never mind the pathetic version of Zaphod, all the missing scenes, and the reduction of a brilliant Trillian to a dim damsel in distress, they actual cut his humor, which is far more of an atrocity than the rest. And, this was never claimed to be “based on”. It was supposed to be half of what Adams had adapted, written himself, as a script before he passed. I wish I never saw it. Let’s keep outrage where it’s appropriate, hmm?

I don’t honestly care how well Anne with an E keeps to the Anne of Green Gables story. It’s only based on the story, it isn’t the exact story. The exact words from Wikipedia are, “series based on the 1908 novel”. They intentionally made it their own, and I think they created a new version that beefed up what many had suspected about Anne’s neurotype and her devastating life. Perhaps it doesn’t mirror the book, but it certainly mirrors the reality of being the outcast.

I’ve been the girl a parent says their child can’t go near for nothing more than horrible assumptions. I’ve been the girl the popular girls corner and taunt. I’ve been the girl that hides in the tutoring room during lunch because I had nowhere else to sit. I’ve been the girl that was punished by teachers for things I never did, publicly humiliated and privately apologized to. Is Anne with an E believable? Emphatically YES.

It certainly more believable than the an poor orphan being immediately popular with wealthy townies. Seriously, what does everyone think of foster kids right now even? Humans were no nicer or accepting then than now. Let’s get a grip. Life was never Little House on the Prairie.

That all said and certainly more importantly, the Aspie traits I see in Anne are as follows, and feel free to comment and deny or add anything you like.

  1. The fantasy world Anne retreats to to get the acceptance she craves.
  2. The loud and very chatty behavior Anne has on topics of her interest.
  3. The well-read knowledge she has for her age, including the large vocabulary.
  4. The “get out of my way and let me fix it” attitude, even towards adults.
  5. The inability to tell what is inappropriate knowledge to share with peers.
  6. The play acting out how she thinks conversations with go in a social setting.
  7. The desperate attempt to follow the social rules she’s told directly.

After watching the series with my father, my mother for the first time in my 41 years actually said she finally could comprehend the abuse I received in grade school. Imagine that!? That’s enough for me to give this puppy an A+.