Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Limits of Diplomacy

I'm a fan of the movie Independence Day, in which Will Smith, as a hotshot military pilot, and Jeff Goldblum, as a computer geek (who's autistic, or close to it), team up to save the world from an alien invasion. I watch the DVD every year, on or around the Fourth of July; it's one of my rituals.

I was reminded of a certain scene from Independence Day when I got an e-mail last week from a person who mentioned that Ginger is collecting and forwarding letters to Autism Speaks containing constructive suggestions, and who asked if I might want to write something for Ginger to send.

Some folks who are familiar with the movie may already have guessed what scene I'm thinking about, but for those who haven't seen it, I'll briefly describe a little of the plot to put the scene in context. Alien ships descend toward Earth and start hovering over many of the major cities. The president escapes just before the aliens blow up the White House. Later, on a secret military base where a captured alien is being held, the president earnestly tries to communicate diplomatically with the alien (who can understand his thoughts via telepathy) although most of the United States already has been reduced to rubble by the alien fleet. He asks, "What do you want us to do?" The alien responds by hissing "Die," and trying to kill the president with a telepathic attack (the Secret Service agents promptly shoot the alien).

Moral of this scene: Well-intentioned attempts at dialogue can be worse than useless when they're addressed to a fanatical, genocidal enemy. The leaders of Autism Speaks are very well aware of our concerns, but they have no intention of changing their vile strategy in the slightest. Outraged parents and autistic activists have made it very clear that there is absolutely no excuse for Autism Speaks' despicable images of monstrous children, suicidal mothers, and fantasies of child murder; but Autism Speaks still routinely uses such images as a fundraising tactic for eugenics research. Last week, while I was getting my hair done, I noticed that the May 2007 issue of Redbook magazine had an article supporting Autism Speaks with yet more stories of, you guessed it, uncontrollable kids and suicidal mothers. Autism Speaks couldn't care less what we think of their organization. They just want all 50 or 60 million of us to die.

So I won't be writing a letter for Ginger to forward to Autism Speaks. The only response that's going to have any impact on our would-be murderers is the one that the aliens got at the end of the movie. Forget about nice polite letters, "articles of understanding," and other pointless attempts at diplomacy... and nuke the mother ship.

To clarify, I'm not advocating physical violence against anyone involved with Autism Speaks. In fact, I hope that the Wrights will have a long and happy retirement and that, one day, they will learn to appreciate their grandson's humanity. But the murderous organization that they founded needs to be destroyed in its entirety—ripped up by the roots, torn apart, and shattered into tiny particles of dust to blow away on the wind.



  • Hi ABFH,
    Autism Speaks does not need anyone to destroy it...it is imploding on it's own.
    As more and more parent's are learning that their children are wonderful as they are, they are pulling away from this organization.
    They are a propaganda organization...they use fear to scare parent's of autistic children. That is why it is our responsiblity to let these same parent's know that there are better days ahead....

    By Blogger Mom26children, at 12:24 AM  

  • I wonder if a better strategy would have been to try and appeal to those celebrities who have endorsed Autism Speaks.

    By Blogger Chasmatazz, at 7:30 AM  

  • "Autism Speaks" would not want to hear from me as I am neither suicidal or fanatical. (I can not spell worth a darn LOL).

    Also, as I have written numerous times, Junior is wonderful and makes me smile and completes my life! I love him so much. He is so cute! He is very intellegent and loving and funny...even spoiled!

    No, they would not want to hear about my uncle Billy. He was classically HF but at that time, people just called it backwards. He was very loved his whole life. Grandma even "main streamed" the guy in school before anybody even thought about "main streaming".

    No they would not want to hear me because I am proud of my son and would be lost and deeply broken without him...I love him just as he is.

    I hate to sound simple.

    By Blogger A Bishops Wife, at 10:54 AM  

  • The cracks are showing in Autism Speaks, I believe that what comes out of this will be somewhat different from Cure Autism Now, as like it or not the battle is fought in the middle ground and to achieve anything beyond fund raising Autism Speaks are going to have to come into the middle ground of scientific credibility and respectablility else it is only cranks who will want to work with them.

    I think the cracks are showing on our side as well, particularly the polarisation and the petty arguments.

    It seems like diplomacy is wasted on our own fanatic fringe as well, and I am not talking about mercury here, but this whole Junta who seem to permit autistic status on the basis of who agrees with them or not rather than on individual characteristics. AFF I am talking to you, you need to get your own house in order before you throw stones at others.

    I am the last one to talk about diplomacy considering how I always seem to get myself on the wrong side of the majority whichever side they are on, but I do believe it has its place, and it is raw perseverance that gets the Jerry Adams and Ian Paisleys of this world to agree to be part of the same government.

    By Blogger Larry Arnold PhD FRSA, at 8:38 AM  

  • I agree: Autism Speaks and its radical stance is driving more and more people away. It's like PETA: even real animal-lovers are often disgusted by the way PETA makes its claims.

    Eventually, as autistic people become more and more a part of our society, Autism Speaks should lose a lot of its influence. The key is getting NT people, who often have never met an autistic person, to understand that we're OK the way we are, and just need help getting along sometimes. My housemates--three nice NT girls--are an example: Before, they thought "autism" meant a kid rocking in the corner, off in his own world, nearly soulless. Now they know it means a weird, geeky, introverted girl--gullible and strange, but ultimately human; someone who could be a friend.

    NTs aren't all like Autism Speaks. I know; I've met quite a few of that sort. Once they know what autism is, and that it isn't the scary thing they thought it was, they tend to do what NTs do best: Connect.

    Maybe I'm optimistic. I've said I'm gullible... I do tend to think the best of people. But I've met people who merit that opinion, even as I've met people with prejudice clouding their viewpoints.

    Autism Speaks is a giant snowman... just barely starting to melt in the sun.

    By Blogger Chaoticidealism, at 10:52 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ginger Taylor, at 11:53 AM  

  • ABFH,

    Your stance seems to the the dominant one both on the ND side and the biomed parents side. Most of the letters I have gotten to forward are from NT people in service organizations looking for funding (or not to have their potential funding scooped up) to support autistics in the community.

    I will offer you the same encouragement that I did to Lenny Schafer on the EOH list. Write a letter. Either way you win. Either they listen to you and change, or they ignore you and their callousness is officially on the record. (Chaz - Especially for potential celeb endorsers to see how they behave toward those who they collect millions claiming to serve.)

    'Cause you know as soon as that alien said "die", there was no one left to stand in the way of those who wanted to go nuclear.

    (also... I managed to screw up my email this past week while on vacation, so if anyone emailed me and I did not respond to them, please resend. I didn't get the message.)

    By Blogger Ginger Taylor, at 11:54 AM  

  • Ginger... their callousness has been officially on the record for quite a long time already, IMHO.

    But I wish you luck with your letter-writing efforts, anyway...

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:24 PM  

  • Barack Obama is against the war and has set a proper timeline to get the troops back. Let’s stop wasting money in a war we can’t justify and spend that at home. Barack Obama has a plan to provide you better healthcare and education for your kids. Barack Obama is more concerned about American children than he is about Iraqi children. Vote Barack Obama.

    By Blogger tizzle, at 4:06 PM  

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