Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Friday, April 02, 2010

Battle Fatigue

Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I've been posting less often for the past several months. At first I thought my lack of interest in blogging might have been caused by seasonal depression over the long, gloomy winter. But it's been sunny and warm in my area all week; the birds are chirping merrily, the daffodils are blooming, and the grass is looking much greener; and now I feel, if anything, even less inclined to blog. For now, I just want to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and be part of the real world, far away from all the pointless bickering that has been going on in the online autistic community.

I had a conversation last year with a friend who described autistic rights bloggers as "always at the barricades." That observation struck me as very accurate. We've had so many enemies to confront over the years that we have become hypervigilant, always looking for the next threat. And if we don't have a real enemy at close range, we're just as likely to lob virtual Molotov cocktails at each other.

That level of combativeness might at one time have been necessary, in the sense in which Malcolm X used the word; but it is not sustainable, either for an individual or for a community. Supporters of autistic civil rights, within the broader landscape of disability rights, now exist in sufficient numbers so that we can and should shift the focus away from Internet wars and toward the less exciting—but far more important—work of making the constructive real-life changes that we need to see in society.

As of now, this blog is on hiatus. When I come across general announcements that may be of interest to my readers I'll continue to repost them, such as the information about the Campaign for Disability Employment that I posted last week. I may write original articles on occasion, mainly about social and cultural issues, if I feel inspired to do so. There will be no more Molotov cocktail entries, though. I'll decide whether to return to posting more regularly after I've had a good long time to decompress and to consider what might be done with this blog in the future.

Wishing all of my readers a good spring, with plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors, and for those in the Southern Hemisphere a pleasant autumn.

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  • So long, and thanks for all the fi... Uh, free ice cream. Srsly, It never fails to amaze me when blog readers complain about the quality, or absence, of the free goods provided gratuitously by the blogger, often with great expense of mind and spirit.

    By Blogger Justthisguy, at 2:57 PM  

  • @Justthisguy: Do we have a Douglas Adams fan on our hands? Save your enthusiasm for Towel Day on May 25th, when you can carry a towel around with you to express yourself.
    I can understand how important it is to move away a little more from being "at war" and more towards being constructive.

    By Blogger TheWiredOne, at 3:33 PM  

  • For now, I just want to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and be part of the real world, far away from all the pointless bickering that has been going on in the online autistic community.

    Oh yes, I can relate to this a lot. Since moving to a place where I actually have a yard, I've been experiencing the curious sense that going outside and working in the garden, etc., is what I want to be doing more often than reading endless Internet arguments.

    I mean yes, there's still plenty of value online, and I am personally planning to keep blogging as I am inspired to write about stuff, but there are some arguments and such I just feel like I'm done with. And if I write about autism / disability issues these days I try and intersperse it with other topics so that I'm less likely to attract trolls who go around looking for a fight about specific subjects.

    By Blogger Anne Corwin, at 3:51 PM  

  • Wishing you a peaceful, relaxing, restorative spring. Your voice will be missed but your own life and well being are more important in the long-run. At least, that's how I feel.

    I wish you well.

    By Blogger Niksmom, at 4:32 PM  

  • I hope you have an excellent journey.

    By Blogger A better future for all, at 5:14 PM  

  • This is a little ironic, you make a break after years of internet battle just at the time where for me all begins, there are many things to do in France and in Switzerland, and at this time no sites or blogs in the kind of this one, or about neurodiversity or autism as a (positive)part of human diversity.

    I like your blog, I've read all the posts, sometimes I desagree with some things but I definitely agree with the main points.
    Thank You ABFH.

    I have to ask you something a little special...

    Is it possible to have the authorization to translate some of your posts into french?

    (excuse me my english is probably not perfect)

    By Blogger Ole Ferme l'Oeil, at 5:32 PM  

  • I hope you have a wonderful spring and decompress quickly so that you can enjoy it.

    Fighting battles that are necessary is a good thing to do, but sometimes, we fight battles better left alone, simply because we've gotten used to life being that way.

    Besides getting outside, around flowers and life are wonderfully restoring-- I'm adding pictures of my garden as it comes back to life to a new blog just for them--at flowersarejoy over at wordpress. Imagine a blog for nothing but that? Lovely.

    Thank you for the time and effort you placed into this blog; I learned alot from reading it. :-)

    By Blogger Kim Wombles, at 9:53 PM  

  • Much appreciated, everyone!

    @Ole Ferme l'Oeil: Yes, you may translate my posts, and I thank you for the kind words.

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:36 PM  

  • Best of luck wherever you may go. Lurking here has taught me a lot, and I'm sad to see you go. However you choose to spend your new free time, I hope you enjoy it. I can't imagine how much work it must have been to keep this going for all these years; thank you so much for all of this.

    I hope you have a good vacation/retirement from blogging, whichever it may be.

    By Anonymous rampanthooloovoo, at 11:52 PM  

  • Oh bugger! I'll miss your Molotov cocktail entries. I'll miss all of it, ABFH.

    I'm not surprised that you've become a bit weary. Many I time I look at your blog and I wonder how you keep coming up with thoughtful comment and keep up with the news with such style and regularity. Thank you for all that you have done over the years (which includes this blog and much more).

    I hope your springtime is as lovely as the autumn here. I'll keep checking for occasional articles.

    I'm wondering what are the best alternatives to this blog? Can anyone make some suggestions?

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 1:40 AM  

  • I know just how you feel, abfh, I'm already feeling worn out, but then, I'm probably decades older than you. I'm going to take a break, enjoy the spring and summer, and have some real-life experiences. I've been shut up in this apartment for too long.

    By Blogger Clay, at 5:54 AM  

  • I saw the movie 2012 last night and the majority of the coverage about the movie, including the trailers, were mostly filled with how much destruction there was in the movie. Indeed that makes up the whole movie as well. But what really stood out for me was how even in the face of that disaster, people helped each other, often at the risk of their own lives and how at the end, some still managed to survive and were able to rebuild after exiting the Ark at the Cape of Good Hope. Just like that, even though the constructive aspects of dealing with prejudice are not as exciting as the "wars," without them, anything done to overcome prejudice is for nothing.

    By Blogger TheWiredOne, at 1:14 PM  

  • *hugs* I'm sorry it's worn you down.

    By Blogger stopbeingstupid, at 4:27 PM  

  • *hugs* I'm sorry it's worn you down.

    By Blogger stopbeingstupid, at 4:27 PM  

  • It becomes generally boring when you say the same thing over and over again, and suddenly it dawns on you that those who are causing the problem aren't listening. It boils down to how dedicated you are to the cause - but even then sometimes you feel like you need to recharge the batteries or take a different line.

    I know. My ASD blog has been neglected (it's why I haven't commented on Ari's battle) and I'm trying to find room to change things. Bad time of year for it (the start of the football season down here) although Easter has helped a bit.

    You'll bounce back, ABFH.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • you will be missed when you're not posting...

    wishing you strength

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E., at 9:11 PM  

  • This post makes a lot of sense to me, as a beleaguered sort-of activist within quite a few marginalised communities. I feel that a lot of serious discussion ends up becoming derailed into a bunch of 'you suck' being flung about by supposed allies, and people start creating hierarchies over minutiae. It's just so counterproductive and I don't always have that much time for it.

    By Anonymous Kerry, at 5:02 AM  

  • I SO know what you're going through. My lack of posting has just been dealing with Big Kid's devastating illness in the fall and the aftermath of the constant appointments between doctors, school, therapists, insurance and govt. bullshit.

    I'm so exhausted that I just don't have the heart to blog most days.

    Have a good rest, my friend. We'll be waiting for you when you're tanned, rested and ready!

    By Blogger Attila the Mom, at 11:02 PM  

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