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I’m obviously not on first. August 2, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in media.
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The Rain Man is on TV right now. It is one of the very few movies I can say that I hate without ever watching the entire thing.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that as a movie, it’s great. I can’t use it to speak out against institutionalization of autistics, either, since it would be highly hypocritical of me to criticize a movie I’ve never seen based on its content. My problem is that I am sick and tired of hearing “oh, like that guy in Rain Man?” whenever anybody comes “out” as autistic.

There’s also the fact that these same people tend to be the ones who assume that every single autistic person in the world is like Raymond, and they are the most intractable on this topic. They’re the ones who ask “Oh, you’re autistic? What can you do, then?”. It’s like assuming every neurotypical person is Paris Hilton. Sure, there’s one who is her, and others who act like her, but the vast majority of people — both NT and ND — are much more useful.

I don’t mean this post as a condemnation of neurotypical people, either, and don’t want it to come across as such. My problem is the people who call watching a piece of fiction “research” and use it to make blanket assumptions about a large group of people.

I don’t watch Love Actually and assume that all English people are just like its characters. I’ve met people who have, though, and they drive me just as much up the wall as the Rain Man people.

Cluelessness is not a virtue, people. Really, it’s not.

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