Saturday, July 29, 2006

Peccavimus (we have sinned)

We are incestuous and cannibalistic

We feed off each others posts in a parody of the construction of co-dependency. We feast upon each other in a parody of the Eucharist, and beyond that we indulge in practices which are tantamount to inbreeding.

We don't see ourselves in this tiny fragment of the blogosphere as part of anything much larger than the world as we see. We have not reached Piaget's stage of recognising the permanency of objects metaphorically speaking, and certainly those distant trees are falling and we don't believe they are making any noise.

I have seen far too much amongst our neat little culture here, that assumes that there is no way of believing but ours, we are the Autistic Amish as it were, or worse the Autistic Exclusive Brethren.

Neurodiversity came to us as a concept via someone whom we now regard as apostate, but the idea came not out of autism at all but out of mainstream disability politics (not that it is that mainstream in terms of wider issues either, but we are an enclave in an enclave)

I feel I need to make these criticisms, to force on us the realisation that we are all talking to the wrong people when we talk amongst ourselves (talk as a metaphor for blog/list/NG discourse)

Reading the criticisms of Kam Nazeer today I was struck by the pomposity of our own positioning, in that we are almost issuing Fatwas against our own kind simply because they are like the Hellenistic Jews of the first century (now there's a mixture of religious metaphor for you) absorbed by a culture which would seem to alienate and distract them from what we believe is the proper way to keep a covenant with our autism.

I spent most of my adult years as an Autist in a different culture, not a mainstream one but a generalist disability one and that is where I learnt the most pressingly important things about autism before I even knew about my own autism or anyone else’s to the degree I do now.

There are many autistics out there who are neither pretending to be normal or aware of being part of our Cosa Nostra. I am bloody sure I spotted one today. Some of them are going to be like Kam Nazeer, well placed and successful in the political economy.

We have to realise we are not the only game in town, and to act on that in a sensible way.

It's like David Blunkett, for whatever you think of him as a politician, he has been in the cabinet as a politician not as a blind man and if he were only a blind man with blind mans interests he would never have advanced that far.

7 comments:

abfh said...

Larry, you're quite right that Nazeer is not our enemy, but I don't think anyone in our group has been attacking him personally.

Pointing out that he doesn't know much about the neurodiversity viewpoint is just a statement of fact. I don't see anything pompous or hostile in that.

Kristina Chew said...

Perhaps it could be said, diversity within neurodiversity is possible? is needed?

I'm always glad to keep opening the conversation up and out.

Joseph said...

Hmm, I see what you're saying. But let's use an example on a different context. How should a black rights activist deal with someone of their own kind who sees the black race in a negative light?

laurentius rex said...

The black analogy doesn't work to be accurate the comparison should be toward some successful black person making it in white society.

Anyway my point is that we are being exceedingly arrogant if we assume that someone like Kam Nazeer has made a conscious choice to snub our Cosa Nostra rather than simply having existed in ignorance of it. This is a different thing to those "whiners" amongst us who are a part of the on line discourse.

Nazeer simply moves in different circles, and rather privileged ones. I think apart from the other subjects of his book, there are a lot of others like him, from my time and before who benefited from relatively benign intervention, who have seen no reason to become autism alumni as it were when all the societal pressures would be pushing against that. We are not always as free agents in adopting our attitudes as we think. I have adopted mine because I already knew about disability discourse .

Joseph said...

Kam Nazeer has made a conscious choice to snub our Cosa Nostra rather than simply having existed in ignorance of it

For the record, I don't believe Nazeer has made a conscious choice to snub us. Like Amanda said, he just hasn't talked to any of us at length.

Joseph said...

BTW, Bill Cosby comes to mind. Though I think some self-critism is healthy on occasion.

laurentius rex said...

S'funny Bill Cosby was exactly who I had in mind when I made my post.