Monday, August 6, 2007

Do You Speak "Autistic"?

Ballastexistenz wrote an interesting piece today attempting once again to explain her somewhat legendary video In My Language. She said she produced the video for Ashley, the little girl who's parents were hacking on her so she would never grow up, but also for "anyone whose language is considered lesser than the dominant language."

Interesting concept. I have often found myself thinking that I may, in fact, be somewhere on the autism spectrum because my use of language can often be quite different than that of the neurotypicals.

Although, somewhat ironically, of course one of the things most striking about In My Language are the many channels of non-verbal communication that Ballastexistenz utilizes - auditory, tactile, etc., and it would seem also that some of my personally more baffling points of neurotypical communication are non-verbal - dressing a certain way, lying through your teeth about certain issues in exactly the right way, etc.

Ballastexistenz goes on to say, if I understand her correctly, that frequently her work is interpretted not as an honest attempt at correcting the injustices of the world, but rather an exercize in individual self-aggrandizement.

Well, of course there generally would be a little of each involved in such an endeavor. Apparently your average neurotypical doesn't seek public recognition. They pretty much like to hide in the sidelines and go to their kid's ballgames. No, apparently it takes a certain artistic obsession and a really intense case of The Big Head to get involved with such endeavors.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. As was once explained to me by a rabbi from Canada, were it not for impassioned righteous indignation we would have never had Ralph Nader go after the car companies to make a safer product or John Walsh go after people who hurt and kill children.

But, pretty much, all I would advise is that Ballastexistenz tell her detractors to go get stuffed. I hope she does have some luck in getting the humanity of the differently-abled recognized by the Neurotypicals - and not just the "flamingly" disabled, but also the "slightly touched" - like my mother, myself, and probably The Dean ... :)

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