Re-Post from 2015
To say that man is a social animal is to say that he never lives in a world of his own choosing.
Not too long ago I was contacted by a friend from high school via a Facebook account I thought I had closed. Like some world-devouring alien monster, Facebook never lets you go. I faced a dilemma in answering her question: Where have you been all these years?
I actually had little to say: as a concrete visual thinker, a stream of pictures flew through my mind, but it’s impossible to verbalize these fragments would be like trying to restore an ancient mosaic floor in a ruined Roman villa including all the human events that it had supported. As the restorer of my life I know what the mosaic portrays, perhaps Poseidon sinking a ship, with playful dolphins rescuing the drowning crew, but an onlooker sees nothing but disconnected patches that may suggest waves or the eye of a gigantic octopus.
My friend remembered me as I was in high school, several life changes ago.
This “social” event brought on confusion: she remembered who I was better than I do. Anecdotes piled on anecdotes: I’d obviously spent a lot of time with her, but remembered none of it. Apparently I’d eaten her mother’s Norwegian cooking; we went to parties, studied for the SAT, wore bizarre clothing, gone to the beach, the city, flirted with boys, all the normal things kids do. All I could do was respond periodically, “Oh, yeah, that was fun” or “I can’t believe we did that.”
Who the Hell was I?
What I remember of high school is quite different: high anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and interludes of OCD and depression, and then, in late sophomore year, the person she remembers appeared: mild mania took over as if “the gods” had taken pity on me and concocted a dazzling new persona to replace my previously unhappy existence. I suspect that emerging bipolar symptoms were the consequence of enduring high levels of stress during childhood, including a severe allergy to social indoctrination. Asperger’s disorder wasn’t on anyone’s radar way back then. No one noticed me at all, except when my behavior made me socially visible. Attention was negative, whether or not it was excellent grades at school or a bout of panic, anxiety or sensory overload. I learned to avoid attention; many Asperger children likely feel the same. In a backhanded way this lack of help with my particular personality required that I learn to help myself, a big asset in an increasingly chaotic and dysfunctional America. Developing adult behavior, which is deemed “defective” by psychologists, was actually an asset. (Wow! Is that an indictment of American child-rearing?)
Many social children want attention so badly that they will “behave badly” in order to have someone notice them. After all, who does our society pay attention to? Psychopaths, sociopaths, serial killers, the morally bankrupt, the illegally rich and narcissistic parasites. Liars. And these predators rarely suffer consequences unless they are poor and minorities.
We live in a claustrophobic society that offers few options for creating an authentic individual. Children are competing for attention with inhabitants of a supernatural reality billed as “entertainment” but which is pervasive: a secular religion with its roots in the Old Testament; whether monstrous male machines that murder everyone in sight, or equally perverted predatory females who are perpetually “turned on” by sexual aggression. These scenarios are concocted by the vast resources of corporations; the media, social media, the film and fashion industries, the advertising industry and gaming. A destructive system has emerged in which the attention that every child needs from its parents, and adults in the environment, has become the lure that inverts the normal process. Adults are thoroughly engaged by violent “entertainment” and children are parented by supernatural characters on the digital screen, large or small. American children are taught “normal and acceptable” behavior and morality (the utter lack of) by imaginary beings that demonstrate the worst behavior imaginable.
The refusal on the part of adults to impart to growing children moral competence, life skills, self-security, and most of all, awareness of the difference between material objects and real, live human beings, is astounding. The treatment of human beings as objects that may be abused, tortured and murdered, merely to fulfill a sick pleasure that drives seekers of power, is rightfully pornography. Children are taught that the natural need for love and guidance can be fulfilled by violence, domination, cruelty, bullying and that the pain and anger that results from this betrayal can be solved by mass murder.
Asperger children are “accused” of being “too adult and old-fashioned” – which reveals prejudice toward children who reject THE LIE that American culture is based on equal treatment, fair dealings, and truthful communication. After all, these are requirements for democratic government, which the United States abandoned long ago, if it ever was a democratic society, which would be difficult to demonstrate.