Saturday, February 23, 2013

Autistic People Should

I read blog posts this morning that referred to the latest outrage on FedBook oh of course I mean FakeBook, no let me think, SpaceCaseBook,  oh crap--- Face Book-- whatever.  Apparently, the auto-complete there is currently set on the word "die" for the phrase "autistic people should."  Well, I protest.

Back in the days when I was using Live Urinal, I mean Live Journal, before it began to use me a common comment on the word "Aspergers" was to turn it into the word "Assbergers."  This was frequently done by folks who didn't know any better, were themselves infected with assholiness expressing their ignorance and prejudices openly.

I affirm that part of the risk of freedom of speech/self-expression is that I risk running into someone using their freedom to express ideas which I consider to be bigoted.  I support their rights to say what they want to.  I also support my right to say what I want to and so I will say this:

Anyone who thinks that "Autistic people should die" is not someone that I care to associate with.  The thing about neurology is that all of us are eligible too.  While you may yack and yuck it up about the difficulties that those of us who are neurologically a-typical [which includes the labels denoting Autism, Asperger's, and Autism Spectrum Disorder but also includes labels that can and do happen to neurologically typicals throughout life such as: Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, various forms of cetera, ad infinitum...] the fact is that You're Eligible Too.  We all are.  While people off the Spectrum may not have to face Autism in any real sense, other stuff can and does happen.  And the disability caused by these other things can and does trigger bigotry in those who are unaffected.

You mock the peculiar gait of an autistic child today.  Tomorrow or the next day or someday in the future, you yourself may be told that you have Lewey Body Dementia and then boom-- others will be mocking your own peculiar gait.  So while you are of course free to express your ideas and to laugh at the misfortune of others, I am free to cross you off the list of human beings that I care to associate with.  I am equally free to call you names.  Although tempting, I won't bother.  Instead I will just say a heart-felt, "Screw off."

Autistic people should not die by virtue of having autism.  Autistic people should be heard.  Not in the way that Autism Squeaks tends to do, but in our own ways.  We the people.  Not we our parents, caretakers, professional helpers.  Not we the outsiders who like to mentally masturbate over what this all "means."  We the people.  We the affected.  We the disabled.

The time has come when we the autistic and we the disabled no longer tolerate being told what we ought to feel, think, do, say, or believe.  We the people as people no matter what our labels deserve to be heard by whatever manner we communicate-- be it via signing, a communication board, words, song, dance, art, voice or any other way.  We the people are also individuals.  As individuals, we deserve to be heard.  

You who perceive yourselves as being non-disabled, clean, uncontaminated, non-blemished, pure, average, good enough, smart enough, and the pillars of society take your status for granted.  You expect to be heard.  You expect not to have to shout or organize or protest in order for your rights to be recognized.  You take so much for granted.  This is the way that I perceive you.  My perception may not apply to all of you.  But I know it applies to some percentage of you.   

When I began learning how to sign, I did so with the hopes of being able to communicate with that part of the population that uses sign to communicate.  Besides learning how to sign, I learned some things about deaf culture.  I learned that there are deaf people who consider us hearing folks to be the ones who are disabled.  

So this I will say to you the ignorant, the bigoted, the proudly enabled, the ones who think that autistic people should die or who think that we the disabled should shut up and be satisfied with the crumbs or who think that you are our doctors and that we should be working regardless of our medical status or who think that my friend Jeanne now dead from Von Recklinghaus should not have availed herself of the "handicapped" parking space because from the back she "looked" normal; this is what I will say to you: If you aren't going to help us, then don't hinder us.  Get out of our way.  We are tired of your suppose-es.  We shove your limited dreams for us back into your "treatment plans" and then burn the pages.  We unite in solidarity with the South African disabled community and we say, sign, shout, dance at you, Nothing about us without us.  Ever again.

We are people.  We are people who deserve to live.  We are people who deserve to have dreams.  We are people who deserve to act upon those dreams and do the work so that we can reap the results.  Oh sure, we will have to work harder at it than a good lot of you.  Oh sure, we will have to fight for what we want to achieve.  And while societal acceptance of autism, disability, different ways of being may lag behind us, we will continue to do what we do in order to get somewhere else.  And that somewhere else will not be making under minimum wage in your corrupted sheltered workshops.  That somewhere else will not be within your damning professional opinions and lowered expectations.  That somewhere else will be where we determine that we want to go.  And we will get there in spite of your shitty auto-fills that dictate that some of us should die.  We will get there in spite of what you believe about disability.  We will get there.

We are getting there.  So while you continue to laugh, we continue to strive for a piece of the good life.  Don't look now, we are catching up to you.  Don't look tomorrow, we will surpass you and leave you in the dust.   

sapphoq n friends say: Here are the links to the blog posts that I read about what autistic people should do:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dead People, Living People

When Doug lay dieing in the hospital, his bed sheets were shit-stained.  Someone had parked his lunch outside the door of his isolation room on the floor.  I was the one who screamed at the nurses to "fix this."  The youngest nurse was sent in to change the sheets.  I helped her do this.

When David lay dieing in a different hospital, some nun had come into his isolation room and pinned a cross on his night clothes.  The sheets were clean and the food was served directly to him.  But no one had thought to ask David about his religion.  He was a "none."

When Paul lay dieing in yet another different hospital, he was surrounded by compassionate people who had chosen to work on the unit.  He died surrounded by his people-- friends and professionals.

When Tea died, her death was counted as having been caused by a heterosexual relationship.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  She was a proud lesbian who had been raped by a repeat sexual offended.  The C.D.C. was counting deaths of lesbians who had ever had sexual relations with been frucked by a man as het.  Because of this policy, woman to woman transmission got to be ignored.  It still is.  How disgusting.

My mother was my first example of a social engineer.  As my step-grandfather lay dieing in the hospital, she taught me what to say.  "Tell them you just drove in from college," she instructed me.  I was in high school at the time.  Visiting hours were more strictly adhered to back then.  I got in to see him with no problem.

Had my mother been born later, she would have been a hacker.

My mother is vindictive.  She denied me an invitation to publicly grieve my step-father and my half-sister's husband.  She told me after they'd both been buried for days.  She told my aunt the day that my step-father died that she had talked to me.

My mother is a liar.  My mother is vindictive.  When she dies, I think I will mourn long and hard for what might have been.

My dad saved me from my mother.  Now he is doing a slow zig zag tap dance with death.  When he dies, I will have already been mourning for several years.

When gramma died, I cried.  During her last weeks on earth, I was the one who made the end-of-life decisions.  My aunt was unable to.  I was angry for a long time at the stupid Christian doctor who wanted to do a biopsy of a lump that she had always had on her chest.  She was ninety two years old.  What treatment did he reasonably expect to give her?

When Miss Davis died, my former classmates decided not to tell me.  They mistook me for someone who was frail and must be shielded from life's harsh realities.  They didn't really know me.  Even back then, I had already gone through far more than they had to think about in their sheltered existences.

Virginia must be dead by now.  I think I will miss her for awhile longer yet.

When Janet died, I was pissed that she had gone to quacks instead of the medical establishment for treatment.

When Cindy died, I was pissed at what the medical establishment had done to her in the name of treatment.  I was also grateful that in her despair she had finally found the voice to tell them, "Enough."

When I die, I will have some regrets.  I hope that I will know that I did the very best that I could with what I had.  Until I die, I willfully endeavor to live.

sapphoq n friends

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Tweet Like Deepak Chopra or #TweetLikeDeepak

 I don't know who started the #TweetLikeDeepak hash tag that night.  I do know that it was loads of fun.  Here, for the sake of hysterical preservation, I present my own tweets for the #TweetLikeDeepak event:


Gobbly gook is still gobbly gook no matter what kind of fancy cover you put on the book. #JustSaying.

Neither slanderous nor sleezy; neither riotous nor racist; neither hate-filled nor hasty:  #TweetLikeDeepak   And Nazi?  No.  #Atheist.  Yeah.
In response to a tweet accusing atheists of being racist, hate-filled Nazis.  Deepak has made it abundantly clear that he has no use for us atheists, agnostics, skeptics.  Surprise, surprise.  We've no use for his pander either.

Screw  #TweetLikeDeepak.  TOTAL compensation:
Mens Warehouse 2011= $201,865. 
Stock ownership 2012=  $ 15,904. 

Dude is seriously money-rich.

#TweetLikeDeepak.   Scientists do or do not have a sense of wonder and stuff like that:

That's the best he can come up with? 


"Shut Up" and everyone went nuts in a #TweetLikeDeepak.  I disagree with what he is doing, but he can say "Shut Up."

I don't mind that he tweeted the word "Shut Up."  It briefly made him appear more human.

You can #TweetLikeDeepak all you want to.  But  no way I'm washing my eyes with toothpaste spittle & tongue scrapings.
A reference to something he does himself and recommends. 


#TweetLikeDeepak. Will the real Jeff please stand up?   #JustSaying.

Here ya go: Bunches of #TweetLikeDeepak.    Rather revealing.  Enough ammo for many religious persuasions peeps to get mad.

#LogicalFallacies must be committed or it just ain't a #TweetLikeDeepak.   Learning these fallacies improves arguments.

#TweetLikeDeepak. Seriously now, dude calls skeptics ill-tempered.  So that makes woo woo? What? Sweet-tempered?

#TweetLikeDeepak.  Holy Crapola Batman, these #Atheists/
#Skeptics are annoyed by Gawd.    Wow, man. You wrecking my woo.

Ohyeah, and one last #TweetLikeDeepak. My organismystical being requires rest cuz I've not yet mastered the quantum assholiness of my sole.
Translation:  Off to bed now.  #AwayFromTwitter

Although #TweetLikeDeepak did not trend on Twitter that night, it was loads of fun.  Lots of other people participated with witticisms, but not being mine I did not reproduce them here.

sapphoq n friends

Something About Big Brother

 We  are  the  product.

A Duck Duck Go search of the phrase "We are the product" reveals that quite a few people have uttered this under varying historical and modern circumstances.  I'm guessing that some percentage of folks find this phrase when applied to web platforms and services as distasteful  as the notion that we are each of us alone in our own skins.  And the rest-- well some won't give a damn.  Others will shrug.  A few will claim that fear-mongering does not bother them.

There is something there within the observation that when we avail ourselves of "free" services on the internet that we do indeed become the product.  Business is business, as my dad always told me.  People usually go into business with the idea of making some money.  Very few people will continue to foster a business that is losing money.  When a search engine or an e-mail service or a real-time social stream sets up camp, there has to be some return on the investment.  At the very least, the company has to pay its' workers, which for all practical purposes includes the C.E.O. or whatever the top of the pyramid is called these days.

Enter those obnoxious ads.  Ads have become such an interwoven part of the web experience these days that housemate did not realize the computer was infected when the words "ads not from this site" began to appear and words began to be underlines.  Housemate is not a dummy.  Housemate does New York Times crossword puzzles in pen in minutes.  Yet, there was a failure of realization.  Why?  Because the average person on the average operating system using the average browser and the average e-mail services and the average social networks-- and so on-- expects the ads to be there.  My first time using the average browser [I usually don't.  I have alternatives] to check on something non-related that the housemate wanted me to view resulted in some cursing and then a flurry of activity to remove the infection.

When a company's ambition is to own huge chunks of data, we have become the product.  When we have to opt out of [rather than into] ads targeted to our "interests," we have become the product.  When a company keeps copies of  every e-mail that we have ever sent using its' "free" e-mail service, we have become the product.  When a company keeps copies of every conversation in voice or text that we've ever had using its' messaging platforms, we are the product.  Business is business.

Enter everything that happened in the United States after 9/11.  We've got Homeland In-security, a watch list of words that will cause scrutiny of what we are writing about in our blogs, airport security lines [but virtually no existent security for trains], the planting of news items by folks getting paid to do so in order to influence popular opinion in various countries on various topics, dissidents being called "terrorists," and the false idea that we have to give up some privacy in order to have security.

I reject that idea.  Security without privacy is the true oxymoron.  There are reasons why I do not use my wallet name if I am accessing Fed Book in order to investigate people and organizations that I am writing about.  There are reasons for the zillions of e-mail addys spread across the world.  There are reasons for sandboxing browsers, having a V.P.N., and not obeying the latest Big Brother video on "how to create the coolest, safest password in the universe."  And no, turds-- I mean Big Brother-- I am not going to give you my mobile phone number in order to follow your two step verification thingy.  Furthermore, my cell phone is not compatible with your data mining products.

Big Brother is no longer a singular entity.  Big Brother now has associates.  There are Big Brothers all over the place, everywhere.  On the street corner an installed camera.  In the air, drones and mini drones.  And more drones to come.  Big Brothers are in the Cloud, on the Internet, at the local airport, woven into the fabric of social media.  

sapphoq n friends say: Big Brother is not your friend.  Big Brother can beat on you, isolate you, make fun of you, imprison you for the sake of national security, spy on you, collect information on you.  And we continue to let him do it.  Big Brother has many masks and tells us lies.  We are the sheep, trusting in Big Brother and his associates to keep us safe and happy and well-fed.  

I resist.