A while ago I came across an article that really hit home with me: “Dating with Asperger’s.” Though my case is mild, it would be an understatement to say that this syndrome has hindered by relationships with the opposite sex.
But while walking up to people and bringing up random thoughts and facts relegates one to the realm of “odd” or “eccentric” in real life, this is not the case with blogging. In fact, it could be argued that this is what blogging is all about. I’d be willing to bet that a disproportionate number of bloggers have Asperger’s syndrome. I’ve been thinking about redefining Asperger’s to include blogging as one of its hallmark symptoms. That way, we can be more numerous and maybe even form our own special interest group. We can even have our own “C.A.C.” – Congressional Asperger’s Caucus.
Full-blown autism is similar to Asperger’s in some ways. Of course, this varies with the individual. I do know that autistic men have challenges with the opposite sex; they tend to have challenges with other people in general. Do they make good bloggers? There are lots of blogs ABOUT autism, but who knows how many blogs, relating to other matters, are authored by autistic people?
I’ve always been capable of bringing up awkward facts, which fly in the face of social convention. Over time, I’ve even learned to enjoy it. It can be fun to watch people squirm, especially liberals. Is this one of my “Asperger’s traits” or is it just me? Is it even possible to separate the two? I doubt there’s any way of knowing; lots of non-Asperger’s people have natural personality traits that are often considered Asperger’s traits. This doesn’t mean they have the syndrome.
Autistic people, as well as asperger’s people, have trouble with convention. What tends to matter to us is if something is correct or incorrect, not whether it’s normal or not. Convention holds little sway over the autistic mind, until/unless that mind is trained to respect it. Learning to respect convention, in real life, is key to attracting females. In the blogosphere, however, there are few penalties for breaking with convention – but there can be rewards.
If you’re good at shocking people, you can gain a lot of attention – and attention is what bloggers thrive on. For people on the autistic spectrum, this can come naturally. But while those of us with Asperger’s can shock people with what we say, autistic people have fewer options; speaking is a challenge for them. Blogging does not present such a challenge – so some of them will unleash all their pent-up frustration (and desire to shock) through blogging.
On a related note, I’d like to comment on a blog called “Elderof Zyklon.” The author of ElderofZyklon’s (I’d originally thought he was autistic*) appears as if he’s compensating for what he cannot say in public. Despite his grotesquely anti-Semitic graphics (and the obviously-designed-to-shock name of his blog), I don’t consider him among the pathological anti-Semites. The pathological anti-Semites would get rid of, through murder or some other means, every single Jew on the face of the Earth if they could. For all their claims that the Holocaust is a hoax, they’d be the first to perpetrate it should the opportunity arise. They make no distinctions between individual Jews; as far as they’re concerned, there’s no difference between Noel Ignatiev and yours truly.
Does ElderofZyklon have a problem with Jews? Yes he does – just as I do. If anything, the fact that so many influential Jews are rabid, hateful, genocidal liberals bothers me more than it bothers him. But he’s made it clear that he bears no hatred toward all Jews; he reblogs a lot of my material and he comments on this blog sometimes. Do I find the name of his blog, and the accompanying graphics offensive? Absolutely. If he’d change those, he’d lose some of his shock value, but whoever he’s trying to convince would take him a lot more seriously. As for his anti-Semitic fans, their opinions are not going to change one way or the other; he’s been preaching to the choir.
In other words, though Elderof Zyklon wears a facade of Jew-hatred and venom, I don’t believe he’s all that. Underneath the facade is a human being, with legitimate concerns, who is frustrated and just wants to be heard. Hopefully, he’ll refine his blogging communication techniques and focus more on facts than on shock value.
Am I being too trusting and generous? Perhaps, but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and I wanted to put it out there.
*I’ve edited this post after my error was pointed out.