Racism

In my journey in trying to find a place to live, a city, town or village I can call home, I have to be mindful of the fact that racism can rear its ugly little head from time to time. Typically, small towns have a conservative mindset and may not be readily accepting of outsiders. I do like small towns, though, because its far away from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities and you can breathe easily there and, in my case, lack the substances I was addicted to for years.

But racism doesn’t exist solely in small towns; large cities like Seattle, New York, Boston, Nashville, Portland and L.A. have also sprouted incidents that would shock any decent living person back to the Stone Ages. In fact, where in America can someone be immune from racism? These days that’s probably an impossible proposition but I’m hoping a small, liberal-minded, artistic, immigrant-welcoming town like Port Townsend would fit the bill.

So far I’ve been exposed to incidents in this town that smacks of racism, and interestingly, both relate to Obama. In the first incident, I overheard two women speaking at a bar. One woman said, very clearly, that Obama did nothing in his eight years in office but fund ISIS. That’s just her opinion, of course, but it speaks volumes. In the second incident, a police cruiser was speeding up a main drag, its lights flashing and siren blaring. This man came up to me and asked, “Do you know where the cops are going?” I answered, “No.” He said, “They’re going after Obama because he’s busy fucking himself, and Hilary’s helping him do it.” Well, to me, that’s a strange statement for a white man to make to a black man out of the blue, but I could be wrong. At least the owner of the pickup truck I took the picture of in Port Hadlock is doing his best to address racism. Kudos to him.

You know what I’ve begun to notice in Port Townsend? I’ve run into at least four people who speak in word salad, what Wikipedia calls logorrhea. They just go on and on speaking incoherent gibberish which, to them, must make sense, but to other people, is just mindless one-sided conversation that could make one’s head explode. As soon as they think they’ve found an audience (that is, me) they unload every single idea that pops up in their minds. Very tiring, to say the least. Maybe they’re schizophrenic, or aspie like myself, or suffer from brain damage. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn’t happen to me. Then again, if it did, I wouldn’t be aware of it. Somehow, though, I get the feeling that if I stick around here, it’ll happen eventually. Yikes!

 

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Autism, School Shootings & Gun Control – The Interview

The HulkQ: Thanks for coming by on such short notice. I know you’ve been busy lately.

A: Yeah. Heading up to Montreal for a conference soon.

Q: Did you notice that, this morning, POTUS is planning to issue some kind of executive decision on gun control?

A: Oh, yeah? The President of the United States? What’s he planning?

Q: Strengthening background checks, making it more difficult to buy guns…

A: You know, you gotta be real careful about disarming law-abiding citizens.

Q: I don’t think it’s about disarming people.

A: The criminals are getting their guns dropped to them from the sky like pigeon poop!

Q: Oh, come on.

A: Yep. I’ve seen it. These single-passenger, one-engine planes come flying across the border dropping contraband out in the fields where people just drive up, pick them up, and drive off.

Q: Scary.

A: I know, right? And Joe and Mary in Peoria is supposed to leave themselves vulnerable while the criminals are shooting up the place?

Q: You know, you digress.

A: Why?

Q: This interview is supposed to be about the myth of autistic school shooters.

A: Oh. Okay. Well, what do you want to know?

Q: I’ve read in different places that the biggest school shootings in the U.S. were perpetrated by autistic young men.

A: Yeah, I’ve seen that, too. I don’t give much credence to these rumors, though. Just hearsay.

Q: Can you tell our viewers what has been said about it?

A: Sure. They say that the Sandy Hook, Columbine, University of California, Virginia Tech and Umpqua Community College shootings were done by autistic young men.

Q: And you don’t believe that?

A: I don’t.

Q: Why do you say that?

A: I’ve been studying autism and Asperger’s for quite some time now. I think autistic people are an untapped potential. Their focus and determination on getting a long and difficult job done is legendary. I think they’re finding out now that some of the greater creative minds in history were on the spectrum. I guess, for good or bad, once they’ve set their minds to something, they don’t stop till it’s complete.

Q: You got any examples?

A: Sure. You got composers working tirelessly through the night to finish their magnum opus; scientists eschewing sleep in favor of discovering that new vaccine; Victor Frankenstein not resting until his monster gets up and starts walking…

Q: Frankenstein was autistic? He’s fictitious, dude.

A: True dat, but the model was based on odd individuals who spent inordinate amounts of time tying up that last stitch, crossing that last ‘T’ and dotting that last “I”.

Q: And what does all this have to do with school shootings?

A: These bullied kids felt rejected by society; that’s what some of them wrote in their manifestoes anyway. [They’re] freakish outcasts who couldn’t get laid, get invited to the prom, skipped homecoming, had no one to relate to, and so on.

Q: So they go on killing sprees? That makes no sense.

A: I never said it did, but these are young developing minds. They don’t have a mature grasp of the consequences of their actions. They feel like society is iceberg cold so they exhibit their detestation by shooting up the place. And you know what? All this talk about gun control won’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to these guys. Taking away their guns will mean nothing. They tend to think outside the box. Hell, there is no box as far as they’re concerned. Remember that Jeff Bridges movie, ‘Blown Away’, where they said the terrorist was such an expert he could make a bomb out of Bisquick?

Q: So, basically, you’re saying not to get an autistic kid pissed off?

A: Well, you can, just don’t do it when I’m in the room with you.

Q: Oh, come on.

A: Hey, I’m being honest.

Q: So what should be done?

A: Recognize that autism isn’t a disorder. It’s just a difference in the way their mind is wired. Work with them. Foster their creativity. Don’t try to change them and force them into this world, this society. If your son writes with his left hand would you cut it off so he’s forced to use his right? No, so you help him embrace his uniqueness and not make him feel like an unwanted reject. Like Bruce Banner said, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Q: Scary.

A: True dat.