Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jokes, Evil, Mysterious Visits, and Smoking

1. Intrigued by the debate over whether or not Denise Scott's jokes about Aspergers and Celiac disease were offensive and inappropriate.  I can't say I thought they were hilarious. I didn't have a laugh-out-loud moment.  But  I didn't find them to be offensive. I'm more offended by the people who treat the subject in such a condescending and overprotective manner.  Don't laugh at Aspergers.  It's a SERIOUS disease!

First of all, I don't think it is a disease.  I think it's a personality type.  I think there are things about Aspergers that can be quite funny. Some say the opposite of Aspergers are neurotypicals. I think those types of people can be hilarious as well.

We talk about preventing stigmas.  One of the best ways to create a stigma is to forbid joking about it.  When we request people to be overly serious, it makes them uncomfortable?  What is drama without comedy? Creepy melodrama.

When we're allowed to laugh, we become more comfortable.

2.  Had conflict inside myself, because I feel I'm sort of hypocritical.   I remember my dad making a joke about Bulimia at the dinner table, and I was offended by it.  I don't remember the exact joke.   But I don't think it was the joke that bothered me.  I think it was the fact that I've tried to talk to my family about my issues, and most of them have dismissed the whole thing.  They paid little attention to my my emails about it. They get uncomfortable when I talk about it, and change the subject. It's like an untouchable subject.  And then a joke was made about it.   I actually think I'd be more okay if the joke was directed AT me.   Yeah.  Now that I think of it.  That's exactly it.   If they said the joke to me, it would be like saying Yeah, we know you have this problem.  Maybe if we joke about it, we can all feel more comfortable.  But the joke wasn't aimed at me.  It was said around me, as if they forgot or didn't acknowledge that I might identify with it.     

Here's another thing.  I had a really bad day in 2008, and slammed a plate on the floor.  My family witnessed it, and it was traumatic for all of us.  Now we often make jokes about it, and that makes me feel SO much better.  Joking about it makes me feel normal, because I felt really out of control and freaky that day.  I love that we joke about it.   I think it's cathartic, therapeutic, and...funny.  But if my family never talked about it—if they avoided the subject when I brought it up; and then they made a general joke about dish-violence, I might feel hurt.   

3. Decided we all have our things.  Some people get very offended at jokes.  They don't want to make light of their problems, and they also don't want other people doing it.   I think it's important to respect that.  If someone is missing an ear, and they don't like jokes about it; we shouldn't joke about it.  But that doesn't mean we should assume all one-eared people would be offended.  Some might love the jokes.

Some people (like me) don't like silence and avoidance. That's my thing.  I'm more offended by people avoiding the subject than I am with them making jokes about it.

Some people have issues and they don't like talking about it.  Let's say you go up to your aunt and say I heard you had breast cancer.  How are you feeling?  If she looks really uncomfortable and answers by saying, How do you like the fruit punch?  I think it needs more ice-cream; it's probably not right to pursue the subject.

4. Dreamed about Geoffrey Rush.  Geoffrey Rush is planning to use two autistic children in some way that will benefit his own health.  Later we learn it's all a bit sinister. He plans to do it without their permission, and it could result in killing or harming the kids.  

I'm guessing the dream was somewhat influenced by #1; I read the article about the jokes before going to bed. But I'm not sure why Geoffrey Rush was there.

5. Found an Australia-related dream in my archives.  It's from November 2005.  I look out window of our house and see all these animals. The first thing I see and remember though is Koala bears. I tell Tim, with the idea we need to call some authorities and tell them these animals are hiding at our house.

But it ends up Tim knows and we are using our backyard for some secret animal refugee place. I think I feel it is neat we're helping these animals. But I think it's too easy to see them. We haven't hidden them very well. People can just look out our window and see them.

I'm a bit embarrassed that I said koala bears.  I didn't think koalas were bears. I think it's just figure of speech type thing. Like I know a silverfish isn't really a fish.

6. Read Red Nomad Oz's guest post on the Ache for Distance blog.  It's about toilet euphemisms.    Apparently Australians sometimes say "Thunderbox".   I guess that makes sense...depending on what type of business you're doing in there.  We're Americans, so we say bathroom.  Sometimes I'll just say I have to pee.   That's when I'm with family.  It's better to be specific. If you just say I have to go to the bathroom, someone's going to ask Pee or Poo?  They want to know how long they're going to have to wait for you.   

I'll sometimes say toilet instead of bathroom. That's usually because I'm trying to sound all cultured.   The first time we went to Australia, I felt very weird asking Where's the toilet? Now it seems very natural to me.

7. Almost acted like a total hypocrite on what I wrote in yesterday's post.   I was commenting on a girl's blog and started to write You're so lucky that you work at a children's book store.   She probably does feel lucky about that, based on what she said.  But still.    I'm just going to say I think it's cool.   I need to follow my own damn advice.   Right?  

8. Noticed the formatting from my post yesterday was all messed up.  I fixed it a bit. I probably should check these things sooner.    

9. Mystified by the fact that Australians visiting this blog are finding their way to my Harry Potter blog.  I can't figure out why or how it's happening.  At first, it made sense because I had the blog listed on my profile page.  I had meant to hide it, but I clicked the wrong thing.  But now it's hidden.  I have signed out of my blog to see what others would see when they came here.  I see no connection.

Okay, but there are Australians coming to the Harry Potter blog, and according to my Statcounter they're not coming from the Magic is Might site.   See, that would makes a little bit of sense.  I do have links to Magic is Might all over the place. They could go there which MIGHT lead them to my HP blog.  

It's all a bit unnerving to me.  But there must be some obvious thing that I'm missing.

10. Remembered that the other day that I said I felt lonely having a blog with no Australians visiting.  Maybe something out there felt bad for me, and now they're making Australians MAGICALLY find my blog.  That's the only reasonable explanation I can think of.   

11.  Figured out that one person went to the Harry Potter blog first, and then landed on this blog. The visits were eight seconds apart. 

Wow. I haven't had something this exciting on Statcounter since my Bulgarian William McMahon stalker. 

12. Decided to give up trying to solve the mystery. I'm going to assume it's just some kind of glitch.

13. Saw an article  which confirmed my belief that there's evil in the world.  There was a little boy in Queensland who died in the floods so his brother could live.  Other kids didn't like that this family wasn't getting attention by the media.  So what did they do?  They beat up the surviving child, and made a Facebook page to brag about it. What the hell is wrong with people?

14.  Saw this article about animal cruelty. Teens killed a black swan by throwing rocks at it. That's incredibly depressing. 

15. Hoped there'd be no Tsunami in Japan.  Enough is enough.

16. Thought more about Denise Scott's jokes.  What she was really poking fun at is the way everyone is labeling themselves with some kind of disease or disorder lately.  And I don't exclude myself. I say I have an eating disorder, and I probably do...or did.  Too often though we use it as a crutch. We might as well all wear buttons that say Be Nice to Me and Ignore my Bad Behavior.   I have Aspergers (or whatever). 

That's not to say that we all have problems that make us moody or misbehave.  We ALL have times in our lives where we need people to be extra patient and compassionate towards us. 

My feeling is that in many cases our problems/disorders can be seen as REASONS for our behavior. 

But reasons do not equal excuses. 

Let's say that psychiatrists come up with a new personality disorder called Chronic-Lateness syndrome.  Unfortunate victims of the disorder have trouble managing to show up on time.  If this disorder existed, Tim would its perfect poster child. So if he's late, should he say Oh, yeah.  That's my chronic-lateness syndrome.  People have to learn to deal with me.  OR...should he try to adjust his behavior as best as possible? 

Sometimes people truly can't help themselves.  I respect that.  But if we take on that attitude too often, then we end up allowing ourselves (or our children) to believe that progress isn't possible. 

Although he hasn't been officially diagnosed, we believe that Jack might be Aspie or mildly autistic.  We appreciate when people understand this, and give him a LITTLE more patience and understanding when he's having an issue.   But that doesn't mean we're just going to shrug our shoulders when he acts out and say Oh, yeah.  That's his autism.  I mean I DO do that with stuff like arm-flapping.   I don't see a problem with that.  But if he misbehaves or does something I feel is wrong, I'm going to scold him and encourage him to behave appropriately.  

17. Watched the video to Men at Work's Down Under.  You know....I don't think I've ever watched the video before.  I totally love it. It actually made me a bit emotional.  Maybe I'm hormonal. It's funny.  I hear that song a lot, and I don't give it much attention. It usually takes me awhile to think to myself oh, that's about Australia.   It just kind of drifts through my mind in an empty meaningless way.  But watching the video gave it something a bit more.  

18. Would like to go back in time to 1980's Australia.  Although I don't stalk celebrities, I might make an exception for Jimmy Barnes.

19. Read Ian MacFarlane's first speech to Parliament.  I think this part is very true.   In our modern and at times highly materialistic society, all too often people expect government to fix everything and, when we don't, they complain bitterly about the failure of governments and politicians to deliver. This has bred the culture of complaint-an environment where people's expectations that a government can solve all their problems all the time can never be met.

Although I think much of the blame goes to government.   In order to get elected, politicians promise to deliver what the opposing team cannot not.

A politician can come onboard and be honest about what he or she can deliver.  But how does that politician compete with those who are making false promises?

20. Liked what Ian MacFarlane says here.   I am no stranger to hard physical work, long hours and getting dirt under my fingernails, but I am also no stranger to the cut and thrust of business and industry and the intensity of lobbying, and I have grown to understand now the complexities of urban life.   I love how he shows respect towards both urban and rural workers.   They both can entail a lot of hard work; it's just a different type of work.  One doesn't necessarily have more merit than the other.

21. Listened to Jaden Cornelious sing Tenterfield Saddler.   He does a very good with it.   He puts a lot of passion into his singing.  I think he gets a bit teary-eyed at the end. That's really sweet. I cry a lot when I try to sing.

22. Saw Jaden Cornelious's website.  He's not Australian.  He's British.  His site is pretty awesome.  He has this little mini-me version of himself talking on the site.  It's hard to explain.  Just go see it.  

23. Looked at Jaden Cornelious's YouTube page.  

He does a lot of work for breast cancer.

He likes Twilight and Harry Potter, so totally my type of person.   

Or maybe not.  He seems to be a big fan of The Secret.  Oh well. We can say he's my type of person in SOME ways.

24. Saw article about the cigarette packaging plans.  I didn't know this; but they're not just planning to use a generic ugly green color for the packaging.   They're going to have gruesome photos of people damaged by smoking.  I have a feeling that could backfire. I kind of imagine people buying the cigarettes just because they WANT the gruesome photos. It goes well with people who like horror movies, and it kind of reminds me of the Garbage Pail Kid cards. Did you guys have those in Australia?  

Maybe people will buy the cigarettes so they can have the packaging, but then not smoke them. That would probably be okay.

I really don't understand the appeal of smoking.  I mean I don't get why people start doing it when there's so many warnings against it.   One of my Facebook Friends answered that question going around.  Do you think smoking makes people look good....or cool?   I forgot it exactly.  She said yes.  That really surprised me, and I really can't understand her viewpoint.  

I know some people think it makes people look cool.  It's the bad boy/girl image.  To me it looks like someone who thinks I am so desperate to be cool, I'll spend money on unhealthy things just to give myself that image.  

My feeling is if you want to look bad boy/girl cool, get a tattoo or pierce your nose. I think that looks much more cool; and it doesn't small awful.

25. Saw that someone in comments said the packaging looks cool. I'm sorry, but I agree. At least two of them look like covers of horror movie books.   In fact, I'm getting excited to go to Australia so we can go into the shops and take photos.   I can totally picture the cigarette packages becoming collectors items.

I think the idea of scaring people might be a good one, but I feel it may backfire. The photo of the sick woman in the hospital bed, might be better choice.   It's less gruesome horror movie, and more sad.  Yeah. I think they should use people and not isolated mutilated body parts.