Saturday, January 12, 2008

Autism Tourist

First let me tell you a stereo-type of an obnoxious tourist.

Note: In this example the tourist happens to be a man. Women can be like this too, but they dress differently.

The obnoxious tourist is wearing cheap sneakers, white socks, plaid bermuda shorts, a ridiculous T-shirt, a Nikon camera around his neck, cheap sun glasses, and a baseball cap that advertises Blue Ribbon beer. Also he drives a Cadillac and he has sunburned knees, neck, forearms, and crusty white cream on his nose to prevent sunburn.

He claims to be touring the town but the most interesting thing in the town are the people who live there. However, he will never find that out, because that's the way it is in the town where he lives and he never pays much attention to the other people there either.

Since he learned a little Spanish on T.V. , when he sees someone whom he judges to be an immigrant, He asks "whats your name?" in Spanish (that no one would even recognize as any language) when what he wants to know is, where is the bathroom. When he doesn't get the reply he's looking for, he talks louder. He somehow figures that if he can't accommodate one of the locals for one of their deficits of not speaking like he does, he will assume that they have another deficit, which is that of not hearing him. He figures that two accommodations for what he assumes to be "their" problem will have a better chance at getting him what he wants.

I see autism tourists in much the same way. There are some great parents of autistics.The parents of autistics that I"m speaking about may not be the worst part of this problem. It may just be that some of the parents I meet are more likely to loudly ask me where the bathroom is in a language they haven't bothered to learn. Actually since I don't even appear to be that sophisticated or valid, I usually just get ignored all together.

I mean think about it. These parents are presented with this being that does nothing but eat, cry, and poop, and it's their job to get them through college so that they can be independent valids, like they are.

Doctors. and teachers are taught that our competitive marketing must become stricter, so our teaching methods must recognize fewer achievers, and therefore we need more division among classes.

If they can't achieve this by showing that fewer are even worthy of life itself, they will show everyone that people have been plagued by this awful disease. This will make the disease - ridden invalids hide or want to, and once the doctors and teachers can show that the standards need to be high and narrow and the education and training budget is low, the parents will these pay these "professionals" all they have, which doesn't do much more than provide more valids with employment and comfort at the expense of validity seekers that are disguised as charitable parents and near-do-well missionaries.

Those that can complete the validity test and show competition for other valids will give us all an even higher bar to strive for that will make us all stronger and fewer. It won't do much for human relations, but there are more important things for people to think about. Right?

Since the typical tourists are seen as (metaphorically speaking) driving new Cadillacs and the locals drive old Mazdas, locals will do anything at their neighbors expense ( and even at the expense of looking foolish to their neighbors) to become or to at least look like a tourist. This way they don't have to relate to anyone and they can be seen as valid. Their life will be miserable, but they will have a little more time to live (most of their lives will be spent in schools, doctors offices, and funerals of course).

Doctors, teachers, and parents will encourage societal validity to parents as the standard to strive for and even autistics themselves will describe themselves as better than valids (by foolishly trying to beat them at their own game). They will claim that they are better than the invalids....I mean the disabled. These proud autistics will claim that "other"autistics" that don't meet the standards of superiority that they blindly assume THEY were uniquely and divinely destined to become, are lazy or that it is the REST of society that has abandoned them and left these invalid, disabled, autistics behind.

Tourist never see or hear anything of value because the valuable people that they won't recognize keep getting in the way.


At 7:36 AM , Blogger Suzanne said...

Interesting as ever, Ed. I never thought about invalids being in-valid, meaning the rest are the Valids.
and as far as the tourist I am, I was never one to see the sights of places I went as much as to try to meet the people, and more or less, just try to live in the place I'm visiting. People often asked me what sights I saw, and seemed to think my trips were wasted if I did not go to the proper places.

At 9:08 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Hi Suzanne,
Your approach to tourism makes alot of sense. Why people miss out on that I don't know.

I probably didn't use the terms Valid vs. invalid in the best way that people could understand my point. My point was that too often people are seen this way.

The terms were used in a movie called Gatica.
In the movie they were describing how vality of human life and poulation control should not be enforced by the likes of eugenics and such.

However they seemed to be advocating for encouraging a social darwinism or "the strongest survive" approach which biggest problem as an alternative is that there are societal views of validity vs. not valid that people need to recognise as not serving us either.

Everyone (NO exceptions)has something to offer and it is our obligation to choose to honor humanity in this way as well as our responsibility to continue our species this way so that we recognise and appreciate who people are and what their contibution is..

At 3:45 PM , Blogger abfh said...

I just looked up the derivation of 'invalid' in my Dictionary of Word Origins, and the word does indeed reflect a negation of validity:

Something that is valid is etymologically 'strong,' and hence, 'effective.' The word comes via French valide from Latin validus 'strong, effective,' which was derived from the verb valere 'be strong' (source also of English valiant, valour, value, etc. The negative form invalid also goes back to Latin, but its specific application to infirm people, differentiated with a distinct pronunciation, was introduced from French in the 17th century.

At 12:21 PM , Blogger Ed said...

It is interesting how a word like that can make its way into our regular vocabulary and become almost second nature to so many people when it implies something that has a way of devaluing human life.


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