The Life Autistic: Things NOT to Say to High-Functioning Autistic People

IMG_0213.jpgSometimes the best things you can say to us are the things you choose not to say. Here’s a short list:

“Why can’t you just be normal?”

Because we’re not dishwashers and clothes dryers. It’s not a setting we can just switch to.

“You’re not really THAT autistic.”

I’m sorry that I’ve socially adapted to the point where you think my autism isn’t as prominent as you think it should be.

“I need you to grow up and get over it.”

Really? You think we’re somehow unaware of the illogic in our response to stimuli, frustrations, and otherwise outlandishly inconvenient meltdowns? Autism isn’t a maturity issue.

“You’re just using autism as an excuse for [insert something negative here].”

This is where I buy you a dictionary and educate you on the different connotations behind “reason” and “excuse.”

“Can’t you just use your autism to [do something here]?”

What are we, mutants? Autism and its perks aren’t just ‘powers’ we can trigger, sorry.

“I wish you got along with people better.”

Likewise.

Forget Gun Control: We Need “Crazy White People” Control

Never let a tragedy go to waste, right?

In light of (yet again, another) mass shooting, here we meet again at the intractable crossroads of gun control, mental health, and 2nd Amendment rights.

It’s easy enough to outlaw firearms, repossess said firearms from the safe, gun-having havens of America, force criminals to pinkie-promise not to use firearms in future violent misdeeds, liquidate gun manufacturers, and repeal the 2nd Amendment.

withdrawal

Original image at Caffeine Informer


But that’s not getting at the root of [most] mass shootings: the crazy white people. You know the types:

Read on…

Here’s Where—not Why—Gay Characters Don’t Belong in Star Wars

If you happen to follow Star Wars intently enough, i.e., familiar with recent Star Wars Expanded Universe books, then you may have noticed two things about the latest novel, a lead-in to The Force Awakens:

  1. Star Wars: Aftermath features a gay protagonist
  2. Star Wars: Aftermath is receiving some backlash

This makes for a hazardous syllogism, highlighting where—not why—gay characters don’t belong in Star Wars.

Stormtroopers

Holding hands” by Kristina Alexanderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Gay characters don’t belong in the Star Wars universe as shields against criticism. And that’s it. They’re fine otherwise, and I’m not here to argue why they shouldn’t belong.

But in place as “criticism-deflectors?” No.

Aftermath is picking up its share of positives for people who like the author’s style, fresh takes on Star Wars, and appetite-whetting for the new film. There’s also a share of folks detracting for that same writing style, plotting, the novel’s artistic merit, and gay characters.

Fair enough, unless the narrative becomes “You’re a Homophobe if you Don’t Like Star Wars Aftermath.”

That’s not fair to the art of criticism, the author, his work, his reviewers, the gay community, the Star Wars community, the gay Star Wars community, or anyone. If gay characters are shielding a work from otherwise fair criticism, then you’re doing it wrong. (As for unfair feedback? Also doing it wrong.)


Here’s a hypothetical: think back to The Phantom Menace, everyone’s favorite Star Wars prequel, with its numerous criticisms. Anakin. Jar Jar Binks. Midichlorians. The amazing dialogue. Jar Jar Binks.

If a single line of dialogue had made Qui-Gon Jinn the first openly-homosexual Jedi Knight, would critical opinion of the film have changed? Should it have? Would it not be reckless to assert that “You Only Hate the Prequels Because You’re a Bigot”?

Gay characters will—and do—have their place in Star Wars canon. Just not as the deflector shields for critical turbolasers.