Thursday, April 22, 2010

Enemies Part II

The reading for today is "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer", which would explain why my blog is pointing towards Autism Speaks again today.

There has recently been some speculation on line that the Autismo hub much popularised by the New Republic is to be avoided, not to mention to be declared anathema, because it not only highlights the blogs of those who oppose our opinions, it rates our own blogs unequally in a way which the group think of the Autism hub would possibly never countenance. Oh well having been persona non grata on the mainstream hub what should I care? Indeed the alternative hub does make such a pronouncement, that the mysterious administrators do not care to have their decisions challenged so any attempt would be pointless.

This is by the by, because to return to the original theme "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" I do like to read what the opposition are writing on their blogs, it is just as important to the debate as what we write, and if we only stuck to our own circle of blogs it would be like a mutual self appreciation society after all.  I do not need Socrates' sometimes dubious tracker to know who is reading my blog, amongst the readers are the usual suspects of Harold Doherty, John Best Jnr, and of course Jonathan Mitchell, whose comments turn up from time to time, so why shouldn't I be able to access a convenient hub that keeps me posted on their latest blogs too?

Anyway to define who my enemies are, would be appropriate perhaps, after having inferred that enemies rather like to take the roofs of cathedrals in my last blog, it might be better to be a bit more specific and say that I consider my enemies to be anyone who compasses harm to my being, or the being of people like me, which therefore most definitely puts the US organisation Autism Speaks into that category because to eradicate Autism is to eradicate me. That is why I do urge everyone to actually read their blog, it's not just relevant to the USA, having seen the organisation represented at all manner of events and conferences it is very pertinent for us to know just precisely what they do countenance, and if we get through the censorship of the comments section of that blog to put the countervailing argument.

Indeed what is democracy, if there is no debate, and it is all one sided, a dialogue of the powerful and wealthy only. We should speak to each other, whether we can always remain polite is another matter, I have learnt a rather bitter lesson recently that it probably does behove me to be a bit more polite than I have sometimes been.

Politeness does not however mean relinquishing strong opposition. Reasoned arguments from a political as well as scientific perspective are needed, because make no mistakes the battle is for representation. The very name "autism speaks" is a misnomer, for the organisation are not autism, we are and as the old slogan of the disability rights movement says, "nothing about us, without us" it is time to put our individual differences aside, as I have said before, in order to ensure that at least it is autistic voices who are doing the talking, even if they do not always meet with our wholehearted approval, it's better than the alternative.

Of course there is another saying, and I think the opposition know this well and put it to use. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"  something that FDR and Churchill knew well, not that I would ever have wanted to get into bed with Uncle Joe Stalin, but that is another story. That being said one does see this principle played out to rather strange effect amongst our opposition to an extent that sometimes seems to defy all logic.

And before I leave, touching on matters controversial I would urge everybody to sign this on-line petition, since blogging can be hazardous in the UK without the 1st Amendment to protect us. It might be you one day, so lets get this law changed once and for all.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Once in a while I become somewhat self indulgent in celebration of the eclectic mess of eccentricities that I am, in posting things that you can't google.

Maybe someone else will recall a performance by the 'divine' Sarah Bernhardt, where she and her compatriots were on stage representing 'les Cathedrales de France' and she was Rheims, this was after the first world war of course and somewhere in that was a poem containing these immortal lines "enemies shelled Rheims cathedral"

Okay I wasn't there but I nonetheless recall someone else's recollection of the event and I may have confabulated two memories in conflating the poem, but it does exist if someone can but find it. The title I expect would be "enemmis" anyway there was a communal drawing in of breath when the divine Sarah intoned during this performance "Je suis la Cathedrale de Reims" and if you click on the link, there it is the roofless Cathedral of Rheims, not quite as destroyed as the roofless Coventry Cathedral, but proof of enemy action nonetheless.

I saw a German movie once, it was called "field of fire" I think it was based on a story by Heinrich Boll, but I wouldn't be 100% sure but it covered the attitude of the advancing US army to blast anything that stood in the way of the field of fire.

Enemies shelled Rheims Cathedral, Enemies bombed Coventry Cathedral, but then they left the gas holder alone, they needed that to navigate, never mind it had been built by German Engineers.

Well these memories will be gone like those tears in the rain won't they, and what is the relevance of all of this besides this bizarre and prodigious memory of mine?

Well the theme could be La Bernhardt's disability, but it ain't. It could be the folly of war

Or maybe it is just a certain paranoia about *my* enemies.

I have not finished with them (whoever they are, or they think they might be)

In a way I do not matter in this, because what I have to say does not carry the authority merely of being told by me. No it carries an authority that no law or bogus science can contradict, because it carries the authority of what is true about autism and what is not.

And now if you google the phrase "enemies shelled Rheims Cathedral" you will have even less chance of finding Sarah Bernhardt, cos it will lead to this blog, such is the recursive world of Google.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The road less travelled

We all know them, there is a certain tribe amongst us neuro diverse people who speak of cure and curse what they might have been but for the 'demon' of autism that possesses them.

They tend to be resentful of others achievements and condemn there fellows at University as 'shiny aspies' as if we had a life in any wise different to theirs.

Well I shall play with that thought experiment of 'what if there had been a pill I could have taken as a child'. What might I be otherwise than I am now?

I can contemplate an alternative future, indeed the future I was supposed to have if my parents had had their vicarious ambitions fulfilled. I would gone to law school, trained as a solicitor and maybe become a partner in a firm. I would by now be a grandfather, with a doting wife (they are always doting for some reason) with two grown up children, equally successful in their chosen endeavours.

I would live in a comfortable home paid for by the profits of my other investments and I would be nothing like the Laurentius you see today. I would have lost most of my regional accent, I would dress soberly (for business) play golf and go to the opera. I might even belong to some important sounding society with letters after my name.

Then again it might not have turned out so sweet. I might, even this perfectly amenable and tame non autistic and somehow intellectually superior me, not have been able to escape the consequences of an alcoholic and abusive father. My wife may have packed up and leaved me. One of my children might have died from a childhood cancer and the other become a teenage tearaway in constant trouble with the law I was supposedly expert in.

I could by now be a bitter old man, liver ruined by drinking, health otherwise compromised by failing joints not helped by obesity from too many business lunches.  My name might not count for much in the world at all, for I could be the butt of all the office jokes because of that slight common hint in my accent, and my failure to be a ladies man, never mind my secretary was pursuing an industrial tribunal for sexual harassment.

I might have been eternally regretful that I had seen my mum die in a nursing home (I had paid for) essentially vegetating, because I was too distant and arrogant to really care. My dad would still have died early, boasting in the pub about his successful lawyer son, but regretting just as much that he had turned his back on his beginnings and shunned him.

In other words we simply do not know. Life is attended by so many forks in the road, and not many of them lead to that ideal of bliss in the world. That is to say other ghosts of my past, other things that occurred in generations before my Father and Mothers even.

It has been a rough week for me, as rough as could be wished on anybody, and for sure my autism has had a lot to do with it.

There is no point regretting the past, even the recent past because you can't change a thing. However even so my autism never stopped me engaging in the world of autism, much though some people may resent that it is not our business to be swimming in that pond. My autism has not stopped me belonging to an important sounding society, with letters after my name, because I have been a person of influence in the community, a force for good.

I do regret I am not a doting grandfather, some things you cannot recover, but that is the way it goes.

Anyway to continue the Reggae theme, here is some more, mark well the words.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Equal under God, we will not die because you want us to!

"Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war"

Well I add this codicil, that until the philosophy that hold one person Superior and another inferior Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned Everywhere is war.

I will not have it that there are those who seek our destruction and eradication because we do not match their images of perfection. Better for me that I had never been born than that I should face those who hate everything that makes me my kind of human. It might seem that way but that would be to shirk the responsibility that I have to live and to be my kind of human.

Some might accuse me of exaggerating the message or the threat. But no it is very real

Monday, April 12, 2010

Out of Leamington

Out of Leamington came Aleister Crowley but also this :-

And in case that is a bit dated this also : -

Yep you can't take that away from me, no you can't take that away from me. (F Sinatra)

Well see you there at the next Peace festival time coming, I will be there and my flute.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I've seen things....

"I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life - anybody's life; my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die."

Well when faced with uncertain times there is a phrase that carries one through, and that is to live for the day, but what if or when the day does not justify living for? What then?

Unlike Roy Batty, I do not know the number of my days, but I sometimes count them short.

Whatever? Only I have control over the big E button, and when the time comes to press that, no amount of urging by others not to do it, will make any difference because my time will have come.

When all that is valuable in life to you seems threatened, the big E button starts flashing temptingly with it's "push me" signs, "you know you want to"

It's the shadow I walk with, the counterpart to burning brightly.

It's not that I do not feel, it is that I feel too much, the highs are highs, and the lows are abysmal.

Oh well - Time to make myself something to eat - well that is an improvement at least.

I'll tell you this much, whenever you make your life as public as this on the internet you can guarantee there will be as many urging you to push the button as not to. That is the way it is :)

I needed to say that.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Don't let us be thrown to the lions.

All I seem to read on a variety of blogs lately is a lot of controversy regarding ASAN.

Well I will remind everybody of what it says in the book of Daniel. Yes I know this is a rather fundementalist thing to be doing, but you see my religion does tend to give me that perspective of absolute right and wrong. Call it black and white thinking if you like but sometimes we really do need to realise what side we are on.

Mene, Tekel, Upharsin are the famous words written on the wall, and whichever interpretation you put upon it, it is usually considered to mean weighed in the balance and found wanting. These are the prophetic words given to Babylonian King Belshazzar before the Babylonian Empire was divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

Well divide and rule is an old concept that is for sure, and if we do not stand together on certain matters we will be picked off one by one. In fact I sense that happening already.

We do not want to be associated with Babylon. Babylon, stands literally for a historical empire in the book of Daniel, but in the book of Revelation it stands for evil generally, the evil of a corrupt regime, represented by Belshazzars Babylon. Click on the link for Babylon and you will see how our opponents consider us as weighed in the balance and wanting, how they consider us less than human.

If we allow all this dispute to stand in the way of Ari Neeman taking up his position on the US National Council for Disability, what does this really mean?

I fear that it means that those who are really stirring up dissent in the political circles that matter will get their way and secure an alternative who wants to see an end to our tribe one way or another. Can you end autism without ending autistic people?

Let us be sure when the walls of Babylon fall, that we are on the right side of them and are not crushed as collateral damage.