Iron Man and Batman: Same Guy, Different Universes?

Now, put down your torches and pitchforks. I am not here to make you choose between Marvel or DC comics. This is not a versus post. To be honest, I am surprised that no one will observe or admit that this is even a thing. I find it proof of the old adage “Great minds think alike,” but if you’re itching for a fight, go down to the local bar and have a drunken brawl, and LEAVE ME ALONE.  

If we are going to be civilized, I would like to point out that there are many similarities between Iron Man and Batman, which I have laid out in this chart:  

Batman Iron Man 
Born into family of rich industrialists
Born into family of rich industrialists 
Parents killed  Parents killed by the Winter Soldier (under brainwashing) 
Uses a powerful suit filled and gadgets Uses a powerful suit filled with gadgets 
Part of a team of superheroes Part of a team of superheroes 
Industrial Genius Industrial/Technical Genius 
Intense Fight with Superman Intense Fight with Captain America and Winter Soldier 

Now the question is begged: How would this play out? Honestly, it could go one of three ways: One, it could end up in an intense techno-fistfight a la intense fights with previous superheroes, which leads to the destruction of both men’s inventories. Two, it could bring about a bonding over shared experiences. The most likely scenario, though, is a combination of both. What I mean is, there is potential for a large fistfight with, just before the destruction, others intervene, like Superman or Doctor Strange, for instance, revealing the good in both…and eventual bonding and fight against who or what led them to clash in the same dimension in the first place. That is how comics tend to go nowadays.  

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What’s Funny Now?

CONTENT WARNING: Talk of offensive humor 

I remember, some years ago, I was  at a Christmas party at a former therapist’s house.  She had dioramas of little taxidermized Titmice (small birds) decorating the house. Being the somewhat humorous person I thought I was, I looked at them, and as somebody passed by, remarked, “Nice tits.” She got the joke of course, but if you said that to any woman, or with any bird nowadays, especially in the age of #MeToo, it would not go over well. So, there’s a question I am asking now: 

Was it even funny back then?  

So now, I’m wondering what’s funny now?  

I mean, blonde jokes, those holdouts from the 1990s, are no longer funny. People joking about trans urges are no longer funny. Here’s how that played out: “Family Guy” had characters remark that Bruce Jenner was an “elegant and classy woman.” But now, what is Caitlyn Jenner but an elegant and classy, albeit majorly tone-deaf, woman? Also, there were so many jokes about Donald Trump being president, but guess who is president? Donald Trump. No matter where you are on that issue, we can all agree that offensive humor is broken. Besides, using “retard” or “autistic” ought to garner a swift throat punch from any person who falls under the hate, am I right? 

Maybe you have to earn being the butt of a joke now, and that’s perfectly fine by me.

Yanny or Laurel: Something Else at Work

Can you believe it? There is a debate raging through English-speaking society, ripping the fabric of society even as we sepak. It’s gotten on all major news outlets, divided the country and is basically causing World War III. It is the “Yanny” vs “Laurel” debate.

Now, let’s get this out of the way. I usually hear “Yanny.” However, when you isolate the higher tones and play the lower tones only, I distinctly hear “Laurel,” and in a much lower register. Now, why is that? I have a theory. It has to do with what dominant tones a person hears. “Yanny” has a high, somewhat nasal effect to it, while “Laurel” has a lower sound. The “Yanny” people might have trouble, as do I, hearing lower tones.

Here’s more evidence of my theory: I have trouble hearing Benedict Cumberbatch at times, especially when he speaks fast. Of course, he is definitely a man of lower tones. But I have no trouble hearing the higher-pitched voices seemingly everywhere in the voices of Japanese animation. Now, think about that for a minute. What if what you hear from that creepy robot voice indicates something else at work? Maybe you have trouble hearing specific tones.

Due to this theory, I would like to propose being kind to those who hear differently. It might actually repair society’s bonds. Oh, who am I kidding? World War III is around the corner.

Your Family is Dysfunctional? Mine Too!

So, the tabloid TV people are ragging on Meghan Markle’s family for being somewhat dysfunctional. It only seems fair to point out that the various lines of the British Royal Family have been dysfunctional since 1066, and earlier if I could ever get the records. Even Prince Harry’s own immediate family has been dysfunctional. I won’t get into it. You can Google that yourself.

I would also like to point out that family dysfunction is actually quite common in this day and age. What is the right marriage? What is the right family? Just about everybody enters adulthood somewhat messed up. I won’t get into that either, but just remember that.

Oh, and one more thing: I opened your closet, you judgmental being, you, and a few skeletons fell out. You might want to clean that up.

My Fuzzy Valentine

OK, let’s get silly for a minute. It has come to my attention that I don’t have a someone to love and love me this Valentine’s Day. Or tdo I? Let’s see the requirements for me:

1. A male (This is MY requirements list.)

2. A heart full of love

3. A handsome look

4. Good character

5. Good Natured

Let’s see….

Bear

Close enough. He IS cute.

 

How Christmas Went This Year

After a day of rest, I have enough energy to talk about how I dealt with Christmas.

I don’t really have any more tips, other than know your autistic relative.

Christmas Eve was basically spending an evening at my cousin’s place for food, family and fun. The funny thing is, it was almost entirely about vegetable casseroles, almost all of which I like very much. Off topic, it’s funny how I have come to like vegetables as an adult, even after thinking I would never like them as a child. Somehow, trying new things and culinary adventure came to include veggies in adulthood. Sometimes, one just needs to bite the bullet and try it. There’s no shortcuts to that one. We also got games, good family talking and even some quiet times, too. It was great. I was disappointed in one factor, though; I wanted to talk to the parents of an autistic relative of mine. He’s a young boy, but I would like to have a talk with his parents, you know, to provide some perspective. But they were not there. I was not exactly going to grill them or provide lectures, but it helps when you’re not alone in a family, as I have so often felt.

Christmas Day was a little different. We invited a couple who had just gotten together, but the man in the two was a friend, so it was alright. Much of the food was on my shoulders, but it was very easy. We had Prime Rib, steamed vegetables, rice pilaf, rolls and a salad, plus cheesecake for dessert. It’s not easy to screw up Prime Rib. Twenty minutes at a high temperature and then 25 minutes per pound. It was done within three hours, resting included. That was the hardest part of the meal. I mean, rice pilaf is very easy from the boxes, and I’ve done rolls many times for Thanksgiving. So, easy meal, good food, good friends, and an overall nice time. It started to get very cold when the day was done, so we had to get them home early. We had a nice time, with blocks of quiet book ending the day. Could not have asked for more.  

Real Talk About Autistic Halloween, from a REAL AUTISTIC

Now, I know this comes a bit late for some families with autistic children, but here it comes anyway. It’s an open secret that Halloween is tricky for many people on the spectrum. However, I have come to love Halloween just as much as any other holiday. I am autistic, so I’m going to pass on some tips that have helped my particular hue of the spectrum.  

  1. Let the autistic person choose the costume – early on. The anticipation and buildup were key in my case, and coming up with costume ideas that were either accepted or substituted for better ones was key to my preparation. I had, and still have, a vivid, active imagination, and could come up with a bevy of ideas. From an angel, to a medieval peasant (substituted for flapper later on), to a witch, I always had chosen my costume early on.  
  1. Don’t even mess with a mask. Growing up in the 1980s, the only masks available were those terrible plastic ones that left a line around the face because they were so small, and the breathing holes were barely there. “Was that even legal?” I thought half the time. So I never wore a mask. And the question of makeup? Well, that is an individual thing. Your kid knows if they can handle makeup. Let them help you with that answer. But, I digress. The point is, just don’t even mess with the mask. 
  1. Keep it Simple, Silly. One year, all I needed was a black sweater dress, tights and a witch’s hat. That was the costume. That was a modern (1980s) witch. Maybe the costume is a simple pun. One time, a sibling went dressed in black, with various (small!) pieces of clothing pinned to them. What were they? Static Cling. The point of this? Don’t stress too much. You’ll stress out your kid by accident! 
  1. Early celebration helps me. Nowadays, Halloween is stretched out to begin on midnight, September 30. Helping to plan the entire month actually helps autistic kids. If you won’t listen to us autistic people, listen to the parents who give dry runs for trick-or-treating.  
  1. Make sure the costume fits the rules of the party. Many times, I would go to a “Harvest Festival” or “Fun Zone” at the church I was attending at the time. I would have to go as something non-scary, which was no problem to me, because I could be a huge number of things. What a tragedy it would be for your autistic kid to be turned away from an event because their costume did not follow the pre-set rules! Honestly, who would want to relive that every Halloween?                                      
  1. Do not restrict movement! This was discussed a little bit in Tip 2, but restricting movement is horrifying to an autistic child, especially one that has suffered the abuse of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). If the movement is restricted, the child will be uncomfortable, and therefore will not want to participate. So, ask yourself a few questions with the costume you might be forcing on your child: 

-Can you sit in the costume? 

-Can you go to the bathroom in the costume? 

-Can you run from a creepy sex predator in the costume? 

  1. Do not force a child to do something they do not want to do. This is the most important rule, and the one which will give the child the most pleasant experience they can have. If the child does not want to wear the mask, do not force the mask on them. If the house is too scary with the decorations (or the barking dog), don’t force them to go up to it. If they do not want to go in the scary maze, do not go! Would you force your neurotypical child like this?  

I hope these tips can be helpful, even if they are delivered a little late.