what i am is what i am, Mozart and the Whale

Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks
Religion is a light in the fog
I’m not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean

– Edie Brickell and New Bohemians

Have you heard of the book, and now the DVD, of Mozart and the Whale?
Here are some video clips…


watch video clips

what i am is one of the indie songs on the video. Absolutely love it! Just bought it on iTunes, couldn’t resist.

I seem to have some things in common with Isabelle. Although the math thing I have is more like Donald’s … I love numbers too. But I don’t think you have to be aspie to love numbers. A lot of accountants do as well, and they can’t all be aspie. Nor can all the mathematicians, although with them you’re clearly dealing with people who are at the very least eccentric. And yes, guilty as charged. But does that make me and other people who love mathematics aspie? I once met this statistics student packing groceries and probably bored to death with the monotony, was saying that he liked numbers more than people, and I agreed with him. Me too. People are scary shit. As Donald says in the movie ‘Numbers, you can count on.’

And the animal thing, OK, so I notice that I’m much more attuned to animals than people, always have been. I’m a lot like Isabelle in that respect too. So is my daughter. Is that an exclusively aspie thing? Plenty of people even boast that they love animals more than people. People who love animals and have a rapport with them might even become veterinarians or work in a zoo, or for animal rights. Do they all have aspergers? 

And the endless monologues. Maybe not the best thing to do when you’re driving a cab, but when you’re giving a lecture, it’s even expected. Maybe he could just learn to write his monologues, get it down on paper, or blog, or word. That’s what the rest of us do, aspie or otherwise, if we have a lot to say and people don’t always have the patience to listen to us or it’s not always the best time to talk, we write.

And taking things too literally. Well, I got a surprise for these people. Anyone who’s terrified takes things too literally and out of context. Wish the people who call themselves experts would do some studies on trauma and PTSD. There was this one time, after I’d been raped and was going through PTSD, when I had a hard time concentrating and making any sense of news headlines, because I was overwhelmed by flashbacks and what was going on inside me. 

And blurt out and shock. I’m thinking I’ll make it work for me too. Some people just have big mouths. It’s their personality. I’ve known many people with big mouths. They were usually outspoken Europeans. Were they all aspie?

Lack of social skills – sounds like a lot of people in my family. In fact, sounds like most of the kids at my daughter’s school, and their parents. School staff as well. Neighbors too. You have to ask yourself why a book like ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie is a classic. Is it because the
NTs – http://isnt.autistics.org/ are all so good socially?

There was this autistic woman who was asking for advice because the mother of a friend of hers had just died and she didn’t know what to say. She didn’t like it when I told her that it’s a very common problem, even among NTs. So common in fact that I found several pamphlets on the subject at a hospital, including how to respond to someone in grief, and how to help your child deal with loss. Considering what bullies and jerks some NTs are, I think the emotional dysfunction is more a problem on their side, but that’s just, like everything else on this blog, an opinion.

I believe Mozart and the Whale is more about a bunch of people who’ve been convinced that they have some difference that deserves to be pathologized. Donald was rejected by his family at a very young age. That’s bound to have been traumatic.

But here is the thing that I believe most people miss. That how we see ourselves can be greatly influenced by how others see us, especially when we’re young, helpless and dependent. If most everyone reacts to us badly, if especially our parents rejected us, and psychiatry wants to give us some label to pathologize what they think is the reason for that social rejection, then that’s how we’ll see ourselves. It can become our identity and overpower us. We could internalize the label.

If you have it in your head all the time that you’re aspie, then regardless of what happens, you’ll always see yourself or your aspergers as being to blame. The other person may have been a total jerk with you, an asshole, but you’ll blame yourself, you’re at fault because you’re the aspie with the emotional dysfunction and lack of social skills. At least that’s what psychiatry keeps telling you. Why are people so easily misled? 

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