I’ve not been too well lately. So, breakfast this morning was a simple lazy affair – oatmeal flakes, rice bubble, soya milk and cranberries. No raisins for me, though I love them, because I refuse to risk Lucy picking one up and being poisoned by my greed and hers. Interwoven into my lethargy, has been a musing thread about fools and the oblivion of folly. Something we all are guilty of some time or other, but some of us tend to personify this embodiment more perpetually and with better flourish than others.
Not a rant against neurotypicals, in fact, the trigger for this particular muse is a conglomeration of too much exposure to the doggedly annoying babblings of a few Aspies of varied ages. This may surprise a few, but us Aspies are not superior people, we are not smarter people, we are not prettier or uglier, we are not more or less impaired – we are just different. It is hard for many people to grasp this concept: simple differentness, devoid of value-assessment, seems to be so abhorrent to the human brain, whether autistic or neurotypical, that it is a concept many struggle with.
Popular media likes to paint autistics either as geniuses, idiot savants or just bizarre oddities. Yet, there are as many variations among neurotypicals as there are in the world of autism. Heterogeneity is both lauded and yet avoided by humans. I have met as many Aspies as NTs who become upset with me when I hold on to a differing viewpoint from theirs. I wonder if this has anything to do with the innate primal desire to perpetuate a species? Anyhow, I will not go into that here. I was merely thinking about the erroneous idea among too many Aspies that we are somehow superior to other-minded humans. Blame it on those silly television serials like Big Bang Theory and whatnot?
A Wagnerian hissy fit? Nah. I am just letting off some steam and being pompous about it. There. The truth. Bald and bare.
A friend of mine, someone I respect as a moral, kind, gentle, strong person, who is also extremely intelligent and insightful, has remarked many times about me, that I “do not suffer fools well.”
These are the folks who ‘trip up’ the researchers, and who provide ample fodder for narrow minded studies to zero in on negative cliches – on all dimensions in the dizzy eclectic neurological spectrums. The ‘typical’ specimens, who are far from representative of the whole. So, we have the ‘typical’ neurotypicals, and the ‘typical’ Aspies. The NTs who are oblivious of their own lack of empathy and drive their neuro-colonial ideas across with enthusiasitc insensitivity – “Wow, you can’t be autistic, you seem so normal!” – and the Aspies who pursue their exasperatingly ignorant and narrow viewpoints with a stubbornness so amazing that I cringe, because in so doing, they expose their utter ignorance (apart from just being tiresome, and taking up space whether in a time-based conversation or on my Facebook wall). Ouch. Such a mouthful. I am on a roll. Bear with me. Or just move along.
OK. I am learning. Forbearance. Patience. Not every foolish or silly person, Aspie or NT or whatever, deserves to be cut down to size. Some of us (myself included, since I too have been foolish at times in my life and insisted otherwise) do learn from our imprudence and strive to improve.
So, my resolution has been not to slash away with my usual radiant determination. It is difficult, because, to me, fools are not actually people with limited intellect, but those who sincerely believe that they are smart little tasty buttons, and refuse to accept the wonderful multimodalities of existence. They do not respect what they do not know because they do not know that they do not know. As a consequence, they proudly expose their lower order thinking so vehemently that I shudder with embarrassment on their behalf (ah, such empathy, are we impressed yet?). This is not about the grand spectacle of an IQ evaluation. I have met fools with university degrees, professors, students, people from all professions, or non-professions. And then, I have met individuals with so-called diagnosed ‘intellectual challenges’ who are in no way fools. They are beautiful individuals, untouched by social diseases of either Aspie or NT strains, and thus by far finer company than the fools that I have had to learn to be kind towards. Seriously. I am trying very very hard. After all, (I am repeating myself here, for emphasis) I have behaved foolishly on many occasions too, and I have had to check myself mid-opinion too often to recount. Ah, that empathy thing again, huh?
My friend, the physicist, will laugh. I can hear his dry, undulating chuckling already. Are you reading this, M? See, I can learn new things too, I am being elastic, my brain is stretching, bouncing, and churning. Yes, churning. Get it?
Rant over. Turn the page. Fetch yourself a good strong coffee. Whatever. 🙂