Quickshot – 21st Century Snake Oil

SNAKE OIL: a substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases.

There was a recent bust in a so-called Florida church selling a bleach-like substance as a cure for autism, a whole bunch of other diseases, and, you guessed it, COVID-19.

I am not surprised that autism is one of the conditions it is supposed to cure. Apparently, my existence is a apocalyptic doomsday scenario.

But, even if my genetic condition was not one of these apocalyptic doomsday scenario you’re supposed to drink this pseudo- bleach for, I am still against it.

Why don’t we call these things what they are?

Worthless, useless, dangerous snake oil.

Towards a More Democratic Beauty Ideal

This was originally going to be a post about why we need more than one token black model in the runway show. But then I realized this was bigger than the runway shows.

You might think a white girl complaining about white-driven beauty ideals is weird, given that she would win out in this scenario. But I have realized I am not as tribal as I once thought I was. Plus, I’m fat and a brunette. That automatically makes me a loser in the beauty dictatorship.

To be honest, there is only one woman in the world that matches the white, blonde, tall, thin beauty ideal so well.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to rag on Paris Hilton. I am just saying that the beauty ideal is so narrow and dictatorial, she is practically the only person who fits it. But does she even realize she is so beautiful?

Here is a more personal example:

I literally had to go back and look at photos of my youth, like this one, to realize how pretty I actually was at one time, after I lost my looks. I did not enjoy my beauty, because I thought I was ugly. Remember, I’m fat.

Now, let’s show pictures of people who also do not fit this narrow vision of beauty:

Yes, these are Viola Davis, Bai Ling, and America Fererra. I think they are all beautiful. But here’s the rub: these women could be cast out as “ugly” or “exotic” (which means foreign), but there is hope.

Hopefully, we are moving towards a more democratic and diverse notion of beauty. But I am seeing resistance from those in the fashion industry. I’d like to send a message to the fashion industry on moving toward democratic beauty ideals:

MOVE IT!

My Thoughts on “Trump is Unwell” and the Black American Experience (Yes, They’re Related)

Well, it’s been a while. The protests for racial equality are still going on. Coronavirus is still a threat, with what I believe a second wave gearing up in places that did not heed its lessons before.

I don’t speak up much about racism because I am still listening and processing to explain it to ears that will not listen.

You know what grinds my gears? The ableism presented in the “Trump is Unwell” argument. Now it’s presented in a new political attack ad from Donald Trump against Joe Biden.

I just saw an ad (at 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday June 23) that “Joe Biden is slipping.” It presented a few quotes out of context to present the case that Joe Biden in mentally unfit for office. And then, at the end….”I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.”

Did you not think, ableists, that the tables of “Trump is Unwell” would not be turned against you? And guess who it hurts?

ME.

Ableism doesn’t hurt Teflon Donald. Ableism doesn’t hurt Joe Biden.

Ableism hurts ME.

Due to the autism I hold in my genes, I am the one hurt in all this ableist talk.

Look me in the eye and tell me you’re not discriminating against me.

********

I just realized something. This must be what the Black American Experience is like. I read somewhere that to be black and semi-conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage and fear. I admit I could never truly experience the real nuances of the discrimination against blacks in America, but realizing I am being discriminated against in the political campaign might bring me closer to it.

And that in itself might bring me more empathy towards black people.

So You Think I’ve Forgotten About Coronavirus

So you think I’ve forgotten about Coronavirus. Trust me; I haven’t. I worry about the people at the protests being too close together. It intensifies when I see a person – or people – without masks. Now don’t get me wrong; I support the protests 100%. Racism is definitely a sin. It leads to sins of commission; it also leads to sins of omission as well. Racism is a gateway sin.

I just want to help people stay safe, even during protests. Most of the people at the protests are wearing masks. That is good. It’s just the ones who don’t who worry me.

Even if I do forget, I have a very scared mother who reminds me every now and then. So, no, I haven’t forgot about Coronavirus.

Quickshot – Baby Steps to Justice

Well, I can see that the police involved in George Floyd’s murder have been charged. No progress on Breonna Taylor’s police involved in her murder.

Honestly, I think they’re still taking baby steps to the justice we so desperately need.

I’ve got one thing to say to those who are taking baby steps to justice:

MOVE IT!

Divide and Conquer My Mind: Confessions of a Media Molded Sheep-Person

TRIGGER WARNING: Racism, Slavery, Prejudice

When I was younger, my father would often say that black people were “blaming [him], but [he] didn’t do anything.” I don’t believe it was a blame as much as it is a resentment, a resentment of the white male privilege that he enjoyed but was unable to understand. There is no evidence my mother understands the white privilege she and I have. I’m not sure I understand the resentment myself.

For example, I have an upstairs neighbor and friend who is black. Don’t get me wrong; she is kind, cares for her grandkids on the weekends, and often includes us in on her generosity. But just because she is black, every time she has called the police about something, she has been threatened with arrest. She has told us this many times. Well, let’s compare that with my own experience. We have NEVER been threatened with arrest, not even when my mother was prescribed Ambien and suffering from sleepwalking for this. Anyway, these are personal examples in my own life; what about you, other white people? Can you identify differences in life among you and other black people?

I know my parents tried to promote equality among us children. They would say “everybody is equal,” but how were we supposed to achieve that? How are we supposed to achieve that when we are taught only white people are kind and good, black people are aggressive savage beasts best corralled by a form of slavery, Hispanics are hysterical crazies best out of the country, Asians are brilliant enemies….see where I’m going with all this? Much of these stereotypes and concepts are fed through the tubes and lines of the internet, television and the like. I know there are exceptions, though, however rare. I will never not watch “The Neighborhood,” for example. It’s about a pair of families, one black, one white, confronting the prejudices they face every day. But it is still woefully an exception.

This is a very hard post to write for me. It includes confessions of things that I never wanted to admit of myself, because I never thought of this before.

I admit it; I am racist. But I don’t want to be.

I am racist because that is what American society wanted me to be. With the constant pummeling of my brain with the stereotypes and statements made by the media by privileged white males who want to keep a godlike power over other people.

Let’s get serious for a moment: you have been trained to think certain things about yourself in order to cough up money for the things the companies want you to buy. It was all about divide and conquer.

Perhaps the proponents of slavery felt that owning people made them feel like gods. Perhaps they were unable to earn their money and keep their power any other way – or were unwilling to consider it. Whatever it is, slavery and racism, the twin sins of American culture, have remained unchecked to run and now ruin our experiment known as American Democracy. And now I am pledging to fight them.

On George Floyd and the Protests: Still Processing (and Waiting for Better Voices to Speak)

There’s really not much to say from a white person like me without sounding like I’m bending over and speaking out of my rear. That’s why I’m not speaking on the protests yet. Besides, I think there are much better voices who should be listened to. My fellow blogger The Unabashed Autist is one of them. I’ll get you guys some more when I find them.

The truth is, most of my fellow autistic people stand in solidarity with the protesters. We believe that brutality and prejudice is widespread inside the many police forces, often giving pressure for even good ones to act with brutality. The FBI even warned about Ku Klux Klan infiltration back in 2006. With the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other on a list too long to mention, I believe Klan infiltration may be complete. That is not a good thing. How can a people that believe themselves better than others treat anyone outside their supposed inner circle fairly and with justice – at all? Ask George Floyd.

The reason we say “Black Lives Matter” instead of “All Lives Matter” is simple: Of course all lives matter. We just have to prop up the black ones in order to get them to the equal levels the white lives enjoy without question. That is why when people say “All Lives Matter” to a black person, it sounds like “white lives matter more” (which I do NOT believe).

I guess, in my long winded way, I am trying to say this: there are much better voices to listen to regarding the tenets of racism and its infiltration. I mentioned one of them above.

Let’s amplify those voices, shall we?

I’m Boycotting TikTok. This is Why.

I’m not on TikTok. Normally, I would jump on this as a new app. I’ve even got a new phone for this occasion. But there is a big, giant thing in the way. 

The Autism Challenge.  

Remember that?  

Well, the gist is, people would mock the autistic by “acting like them.” Basically, doing the “universal hand gesture for mentally disabled.” This bugs me to no end. First, the big hand gesture. Normally, a person would have something like a stroke for that particular hand movement. Second, there is no evidence autistic people even do that hand gesture without the above mentioned stroke.  

And secondly, the app is suppressing the voices of disabled users. I would be a disabled user. Would they suppress my voice? Yes. 

TikTok suppressed disabled voices.  

I am being discriminated against by TikTok.  

And the people of TikTok like it. They like to discriminate against me. TikTok hates me.

Until TikTok apologizes to the Actually Autistic, I will not use its service. Until TikTok apologizes for the discrimination and hate it displays toward me, I will boycott it.  

Global Accessibility Awareness Day – May 21, 2020

This one snuck up on me. Normally I am on top of these things, but this one, I admit, snuck up on me. An important day, too. There is, though a need to make my site more accessible. So, I’ve decided to go online and get the accessibility guidelines in order to, from this point on, make my site more accessible. (I already see gaps in the fact that I need short captions for the pictures. It’s a start.) Give me some time, in order to make this blog a better place for all, to get things working.  

Also, I want to go back and retrofit the articles for accessibility. It gives me something to do for those spaces I have writer’s block.  

In case this snuck up on you, too, let me explain: Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD for short) is to celebrate accessibility on the web for those with disabilities. And, if we make it better for the disabled to get on the web and communicate like the not so disabled, would it not be a better place for all?

QUICK UPDATE: I have tried to find a way to caption my images here, which would give a great deal to accessibility, but I can’t. There’s also seemingly no way to contact the WordPress Administrators about this issue.

What It’s Like: Covid-19 Testing

My mother and I just got tested this morning. The county health department is doing them for free…and it’s….quite an experience.

The experience goes as this: my mother and I go to the health department, in our masks, and they direct our car around the building. We show them the IDs, they mark the car, and we get packets of information, with tissues and a mask. We go to the next station, where they do the main testing.

What they do is take a swab and stick it two or three inches into your nasal cavity. (I forgot we have such large nasal cavities!) It goes all the way to the back. (I didn’t know it could go that far!) They get a good sample, and put it into a small tube they have on them with the basic information. (I guess.) Apart from a little discomfort and a bit of mind blowing, it was okay. We’ll probably have the results on Tuesday, because it’s Memorial Day Weekend. As for the tissues, my nose was actually dry, but I do recognize noses are different. If you need a test and can get it, get it.

The big issue is, there’s a pandemic going on out there. I am honestly surprised I did so well at the test with my sensory issues. Isn’t it better to know? We have no plans, per my previous post, so if we have anything, we can isolate properly. And I’m saying “IF.”