What is Inspiring? Nov. 1, 2019

I need inspiration. 

Wow, this is a familiar place. Here we are, back at the old familiar place of no inspiration. How to get out of here…how to get out of here….  

Well, here’s a place I don’t get inspiration. I don’t get inspiration from my fellow disabled people.  

The dictionary defines inspiration as: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” Well, how is looking at disabled people going to stimulate me to write, for instance? It hasn’t in the past.  

And on that note, people say, “You’re so inspiring! You’re so brave!” 

I think what they mean is: “I would not be able to live if I were like you.” 

As far as I’m concerned, being autistic, that means one of two things: 

  1. You’re weak. 
  1. Living as an autistic does not require as much “bravery” as you think it does. And you’re the one who actually makes it require bravery. 

Neither of these things feels too good, right? 

Why Autistic Adults Hate Blue Buckets

It started here in Kentucky early. Once the Halloween merchandise came out, there they were, in an aisle display: blue buckets. I was not impressed. I’m a member of the pillowcase club, first of all. Second, they are apparently associated with identifying autistic children and adolescents (who still trick or treat). Why do we need a small blue bucket on Halloween anyway?

Number one: a pillowcase is better, in that it holds more candy. I will say it before, and say it again. You have to work hard to beat something that can hold a lot of candy and be used beyond Halloween (on your pillows). It was only this October that I finally saw something that may be able to beat that practicality: a reusable grocery bag. Maybe it can beat the pillowcase simply due to handles. I don’t know.

Number two: Blue pumpkins can easily be associated with Autism Speaks. (I will say the name to reduce its fear and influence.) Now, this may be hard to comprehend, but we autistic people do NOT wish to be just like you. Autism is what we know. Besides, Autism Speaks wants to get rid of autistic people by “curing.” Most of us see curing autism in the same vein most people see something like, I don’t know, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. We see a lot of prejudice against us drummed up by that organization, in the name of so-called charity. Sure, they change the language, but they also promote anti-vaccine culture.

Number three: Do we really need to single out people on Halloween? Think about it: Most children and many adults are dressed as something out of their ordinary. Do we need to make the children feel alienated on all days of the year? To an autistic person, the blue puzzle piece and the blue bucket has a purpose similar to the yellow stars the Nazis made Jews wear in their day. Also, if a child is scared to go somewhere for any reason, there is no need to force them to go to the door of some house. You would not do that to a neurotypical child, would you?

The bottom line is: We know we are different. Stop using blue things to throw it in our faces.

Girls Like Superheroes, Too!

The title should bear no secret. Girls like superheroes, too, and I can prove it.  

I will bring you three cases as evidence. 

CASE 1: Elsa, the Disney Queen with Superpowers 

Now, most people would probably not think that Queen Elsa from Frozen is a superhero. I beg to differ. Consider that she has powers of ice manipulation, and the Queen’s story line is basically a struggle to control her powers. She’s basically a female Iceman from the X-Men series. With that out of the way, I can state that, specifically, her powers of ice manipulation are key to her popularity. With other Disney Princesses, even Rapunzel, there is not such a gigantic following. The control of the powers is key to the development of the story. (No spoilers here, though I’m pretty sure that is now moot.) Now, let’s get on to the impact. I have not seen such a juggernaut of adoration for a Disney Princess films than for Frozen. There are tons of Elsas and Annas trick-or-treating every year since its release. There are cereals, costumes, toys, electronics….and also a sequel being released this year. That is rare for a Disney Princess. Very few of them get that, especially on the silver screen. As a matter of fact, Frozen II is the first Disney Princess sequel I know of to get a release on the silver screen. (Not even Cinderella got her sequels on the big screen.)

CASE 2: Captain Marvel and the Marvel Women 

Now, Captain Marvel might seem to be a weird choice…but I beg to differ. Her movie has made more than $1 billion at the box office. Now, that’s impressive. But here’s the thing about women in Marvel: they are just as powerful as the men, and just as loved. Captain Marvel is one of the top Halloween costumes this year (first one after the release). Also, how many people have gone to a comic convention and posed with the Wakanda Royal Guard (Cosplayers, people)? It seems that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero women have achieved a certain level of equality, if no one else. And watch Pepper Potts work an Iron Man suit like no one else!  

CASE 3: Wonder Woman 

I used to see red that Wonder Woman, up until 2016, had only been played by Lynda Carter. She’s the most recognizable female superhero in existence. Both Superman and Batman had at least 5 standalone movies up to that point. Well, maybe the fact that the 2017 movie was the number 9 grossing movie of 2017 changed all that. Number 9 may not be impressive, but with a year that included Star Wars: the Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast live action, I’ll take it. Of course, Wonder Woman is also a huge costume, no matter what year, especially in the years of 2017 and after.  

So, the point of all this? Women love superheroes, too! Even the Disney Princess market is clamoring for this female-centric gold!  

It Doesn’t Have to End This Way

I heard in the news today that a Korean pop singer was found dead in her home. Suicide is suspected. I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt, but if it is true, I will be truly sad. It is another one in a long line of celebrity suicides. Clearly, celebrity is not a cure for depression.
Celebrity aside, I wish I could give a message to those who died this way. The message is a simple truth:
It doesn’t have to end this way.
Whether you know it or not, there are people who want you here. Nobody may make it absolutely clear to you, but it is clear to them. Leaving the planet this way is NOT a favor to your friends and family.
But people do not seem to get the message. People are still dying by suicide.
How do we get this message to the invisible sick and dying?
I wonder if we need to reach out to them as much as we beg them to reach out to us? I know personally that reaching out is hard when you suffer with depression. My brain was lying to me that nobody would care whether I reached out or not. It’s easy to believe what comes from your own brain.
Maybe we need to remind people that they are important to us. I currently feel I am not important to anybody but my mother and my dog.
But I fight, simply for this one reason:
It does not have to end in suicide.

Politics: Divided We Fall

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing lately. Inspiration has been hard to come by. Of course, with all this impeachment inquiry, I have also been trying to avoid the news. Why? Because I live in Trump country, and talking politics with ANYONE around here is lighting the fuse to a ton of dynamite. Nobody remembers how to be friends anymore. Political stance seems to be worshipped like a god on both sides of the aisle. If they don’t match politically, they have cooties. It’s almost as if politicism is a form of prejudice. There. I said it.  

I remember the old song lyric: “United we stand, divided we fall.” Must we actually fall to learn this?