Thank You! — An Open Letter to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison

Dear Sheriff Harrison,

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Image Credit: Pixabay

I wish to express my gratitude for the outstanding professionalism and humanitarianism demonstrated not just by your Detention Officers at the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road and my own arresting officers of the Cary Police Department, but equally for the kindness, helpfulness, and camaraderie of my fellow arrestees and the few inmates I had the pleasure to meet. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting before my arrest, but it certainly didn’t include any of that, and I must tell you that I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover it as part of the overall arrest/booking/charging experience.

Now, before I convey the wrong impression, I should tell you that despite that very pleasant surprise, overall I actually found thoroughly unpleasant the 13 or so hours between the moment the cuffs were placed on me at about 9:00 AM Friday morning and the moment I was finally granted release at 10:00 PM Friday night. Although as it began I was quite curious about what would happen next, it only took about two hours for my curiosity to be completely gratified, and then it all became thoroughly unpleasant. Although the anxiety was fairly mild, the 11 hours of uncertainty and chilly, gelatinous boredom were all but excruciating.

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Although my own jail experience involved clothing, plenty of light, and absolutely no bars whatsoever, this picture does convey the intense boredom I felt for, like, 11 hours! Image Credit: Shutterstock

I tried to transform it all into a kind of meditation retreat, but my meditation skills are sorely lacking. For the most part I was bored, bored, bored. Oh, my goodness, the boredom. If that’s all by design, then kudos to the designers. Eleven hours of sitting or standing around in a jail cell with a bunch of other equally bored arrestees, all of us waiting, waiting, waiting for the next step in the process, or at least for information about when it might take place.

That is actually not a complaint, by the way. I wish to express my gratitude even for that aspect of things. I think jail should definitely not be seen as pleasant. Really nobody should enjoy jail. Of course, nobody should be gratuitously tortured — even psychologically — but I see nothing wrong with boredom, even though I find it very uncomfortable. I actually think perhaps the best time to meditate is when one is bored, so when we bore prisoners, we’re actually giving them a chance to practice meditation, which is a good thing, I think, and could lead to less crime, to the extent that the prisoners accept the opportunity to practice mediation.

Of course, I realize that’s easy to say from the comfort of my own home, but still, as I reflect back on it all, I have to say that I find myself actually looking forward to going back to jail for more of the same. I am actually excited about my upcoming trial, and half hoping that I lose badly. Part of me seriously wants the full Orange Is the New Black experience. Naturally I’d write my own memoir. I even have a possible title for it already: How to Help Save the World and Make An Honest Living as an Ex-Con.

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To be clear: I’m only half-hoping for that. I actually have plenty enough to write about, so the possible 3-months maximum sentence I could receive is definitely not something I really need. And of course there are many ways in which even a brief period of incarceration or a small fine would be extremely inconvenient for me and my family. I’m not too concerned with the criminal record I would have (this is probably an autism thing, but I actually feel proud of my new arrest record, and will probably feel even more proud of an actual convinction record) but I do have two young children whom I love dearly, would miss terribly while I was away, and who would no doubt suffer from my absence. And of course, their mother would suffer too. Obviously, she needs my help to take care of our children.

So…there’s that too. I guess my real point here is that I’m feeling quite ambivalent about the outcome of my upcoming trial. However much I may actually want to lose, I also have a lot of good solid reasons for winning too. I’m not quite sure yet what to make of all that, but I suppose “time will tell”, as they say.

But what I’m not ambivalent about is my gratitude for all that I experienced last Friday as a result of my charges (“Breaking and Entering”), my arrest, and my day at your Wake County Detention Center.

Once again, I thank you, your staff, the Cary Police Department, and everybody else who helped make the day such an amazing one for me — including the inmates and my fellow arrestees.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


Image Credit: Pictures of Sheriff Donnie Harrison can be found on the Sheriffs official campaign website.

 

Why I Gave Back that Laptop I Stole: Introducing, Mr. Phicks

Turns Out, Kindness Is My Kryptonite

laptop_with_other_objects_323x210Remember that laptop I stole from the most recent company that fired me for being autistic? Well, I decided to give it back.

I know, right? What happened? Did my civilly disobedient cyber-crime actually work? Did I get cold feet? Did the FBI raid my apartment? Did I succumb to torture? Am I now writing to you from a prison cell?

Uh…no, none of that happened. What happened, basically, is that some guy — let’s call him Mr. Phicks — called me up, explained that he represented my most recent employer (the owner of the laptop),  and then asked me kindly to give back the computer.

Then I pretty much just said “OK”, and gave it back to him.

For the most part, that’s what happened. I’ve left out a few details in that telling, but at the end of the day, that’s pretty much the size of it.

Now, the missing details can all be packed into that word kindly that I used to describe how Mr. Phicks asked me to give back the computer. He asked me kindly, by which I mean that he seemed genuinely concerned about me and my troubles and sincerely interested in understanding my tale of woe — including all the stuff that happened with MetLife. We actually spoke for about a half-an-hour, during which he really listened and expressed a genuine interest in helping me. He was warm, friendly, honest — i.e., he was kind to me. He was a really nice guy about it, and in the end I found it impossible to refuse his request to give back the laptop.

Turns out, Kindness has an effect on me something like Kryponite affects Superman.

And how do I know he was being sincere? Well, at first I didn’t, but I decided to take a chance and trust the guy. He assured me that if I gave back the laptop, it did not have to be the end of our conversation. He said we could certainly continue our conversation and that he’d be happy to help me explore other solutions to the problems I need to solve.

And I decided that the opportunity to talk things over with Mr. Phicks was much, much more attractive than going to jail for stealing a laptop, so I accepted his offer and returned the laptop.

Well, that was a couple of weeks ago, and now tomorrow morning we are scheduled to speak again. I have no idea what to expect from the conversation. Maybe nothing will come of it, but maybe something will.

I’m really curious to find out. 🙂


Image Credit: (olive branch) Pixabay

 

 

 

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 6 (Conclusion)

In His Viciously Deceitful ‘Position Statement’ to the EEOC…

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Attorney Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith, Partner Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith (a.k.a. “Batman“, left) actually did make a number of mostly true statements. For example, on page 4 he wrote:

“On May 17, 2017, Mr. Scholten sent an e-mail to an unknown number of recipients which he titled, ‘Humiliation is Not A Performance Enhancer (ASD Lesson #1) [sic]… In his message, Mr. Scholten announced his dissatisfaction with the Company’s handling of his medical condition. He then provided examples of how ASD manifests, identifying other individuals with autism, including Adam Lanza, whom Mr. Scholten identified as the person responsible for the massacre of elementary school students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Although Mr. Scholten declared in his e-mail that he is not like Adam Lanza, he stated that, when he is provoked, he has ‘a personal arsenal of highly-automated (knee-jerk) defense mechanisms.’… He also described his mind having ‘been trapped in a whirling neurological firestorm of autistic obsession’ due to a recent dispute with a Company director, presumably Mr. Xxxxxxxx… The Company later determined that Mr. Scholten sent the message to Mr. Xxxxxxxx and 62 other MetLife employees.”

Yup. That sounds about right. Although Fritz deceptively omitted some highly relevant facts[1], he was otherwise reasonably accurate in his basic description of the email itself, and especially the comparison I truly did make between Adam Lanza and me — a comparison on which I have greatly elaborated in Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this post.

pinnochio_long_nose_210x280But then he wrote this libelous bullshit:

  • “…Employees noted that Mr. Scholten’s message was not only inappropriate but potentially threatening, with employees stating they now worried about their safety when working at the Yyyyyyyy [MetLife] facility….”
  • “…Following the May 18th e-mail, the Company [MetLife] received further complaints from employees that Mr. Scholten’s e-mails made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, with at least one employee forwarding the message directly to the Company’s Corporate Security office….”

[Emphasis added.]

I call this libelous bullshit because:

  1. Had anybody seriously felt threatened they would have called 911, not Corporate Security. Nobody called 911 — not even Corporate Security!
  2. Also, somebody would have called my wife, but that never happened either.
  3. Also, had anybody seriously felt threatened, I would not have been fired; rather, I would have been committed to a psychiatric hospital and heavily medicated. Of course, then MetLife would have had to pay for the short-term disability coverage, which the company is loathe to do.
  4. Even if someone had felt afraid, fear is a highly unreliable indicator of actual danger. Nothing is more common than an irrational fear. People can be afraid of all manner of utterly harmless critters — spiders, dogs, autistic people. For crying out loud, many people are terrified of cats. Cats!
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Many people are terrified of kitties. Kitties! Image Credit: Pixabay

No, I didn’t get fired for safety concerns. I got fired illegally for being autistic. What really happened, basically, is that roughly a dozen MetLife employees felt frustrated by Autism, so somebody pretended to feel afraid so they could cite safety-concerns as part of their cover for firing me illegally.

Now, in Part 5 I referred to what is probably the best reason I have for becoming a “lone-wolf terrorist”, but then I didn’t actually tell you what it was. Instead I left you hanging on the question: What should I do about the fact that I suck at persuasion?  The idea here is that once you understand what I’ve decided to do about my chronic persuasion-failure, this “best reason” for becoming a frustration artist will be much easier to understand.

[Note: for the complete background and context to this post, please see Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. In particular, in Part 1 I explain that when I use the phrase lone-wolf terrorist, I don’t literally mean an actual lone-wolf terrorist, but am rather using this expression as a metaphor for what I’m calling a frustration artist, which is basically someone who strives to make some sort of Art out of frustration, and this for the general purpose of educating and improving Humanity, in general, but in particular the individual(s) who had to endure the feelings of frustration.]

3be8196a-ecee-4ede-aa5c-abc9968808b6To summarize thus far…

…the reasons I have so far revealed for why I must become a frustration artist are as follows:

  1. Because I am autistic, it is inevitable that I will frustrate at least some people.
  2. Because I don’t want to be an asshole, I feel obliged to offer some sort of benefit to at least the people I frustrate, but preferably to everyone — Humanity at large. For my part, the term Frustration Art is a good label to use for this benefit, whatever else it may work out to be in the details.

But now I would like to present the final and what is arguably also the best reason, and which follows directly from the fact that I suck at persuasion:

It Just Makes Sense to Me

Before I clarify this, let me assure you that I have spent most of my life trying and failing to do the obvious: improve my persuasion skills.

Yes, yes, of course that’s what a “normal” person would do — should do — in response to discovering that he or she sucks at persuasion. And back when I believed that I was such a “normal” person, I absolutely tried to do that. Believe me, I tried earnestly to get better at persuasion, and maybe all that effort was not without benefit. But what I’ve come to see — especially since learning that I’m actually autistic — is that my capacity for improvement in that area is quite limited. Sure, maybe I can improve — even more than I already have — but at this point in my life this just seems like a lot of wishful thinking.

Although I probably won’t give up completely my efforts to improve my ability to persuade, it has become quite clear to me finally — and in no small measure thanks to what Fritz and his impromptu inappropriate behavior police did to me and my family last year — the so-called “gang rape” I endured (yes, yes, figuratively speaking) — it has become clear to me that I need to stop wasting energy on that whole persuasion-improvement project altogether. I need to try to accept the fact that there will always just be some things that I cannot explain to others, no matter how hard I try; that once I’ve made a reasonable effort to clarify for others my thinking, my emotions, my motives, etc. with respect to some event, experience, or course of action I may undertake, that once that’s done then anything else is just a waste, and so it’s time for me to stop, and to brace myself to endure the fact that I will be misunderstood.

To help myself cope with these inevitable moments of persuasion-failure, I’ve developed a kind of catch-phrase that I can use — a kind of go-to, last-ditch, for-better-or-worse, all-purpose explanation for why I think, feel, or behave in some way that seems otherwise inexplicable to another or others:

I’m sorry I can’t explain it better than I have, but somehow it just makes sense to me.

And this is where I think we are with this very long blog post. At this point I’m truly hoping that you now understand why I must become a “lone-wolf terrorist”, by which I mean a frustration artist. If there’s any residual or unresolved questions you may have, please pose them in a comment below and I will do my best to answer them, but when all is said and done, at some point I’ll just have to leave you with this:

I’m truly sorry that I can’t explain it better than I have, but somehow it all just makes sense to me.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to the Cocks Not Glocks protesters for inspiring the title!


[1]For example, he deceptively omits the fact that the first time I sent the email was on Friday, May 12, and that I had sent it to just 3 recipients: my manager, my former manager, and an HR Director. Mr. Smith also fails to point out that these 3 individuals had more than 4 days to discourage me from sending it to the 62 recipients, but that none did so, and in fact one of them (my manager) actually encouraged me to send the email by telling me that it was “well-written” and that it was my “right” to send it to whomever I wanted.

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 5

For background and context, please see Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4Part 1 is especially important because that’s where I explain that I’m not literally going to become a “lone wolf terrorist”, but am rather using this expression as a figure of speech. It’s a metaphor, for better or worse, by which I mean a literary representation of something else, which is to say, something that is not at all literally a “lone wolf terrorist”, but which in this case (as explained in Part 1) is something I’m calling a frustration artist: essentially anyone who deliberately and artfully attempts to elicit an experience of frustration in another human being (or possibly several) for the general purpose of improving things for all of us, especially the frustrated person(s).

Why I Must Become a Frustration Artist

Unshorn and unshaven young guy with piercings on his face opening his mouth and screaming on gray background.

Because some people will always find me frustrating, I see it as my responsibility to do what I can to make it all worth it — to them, at least, but to all of us, if possible. The process of doing so — deliberately, artfully — is what I call Frustration Art.  Image Credit: Adobe Stock

To put it as simply as I can: I must become a frustration artist because, and for starters, autism can be a real pain-in-the-ass, at times, and not just for autistic people. I doubt I’m the only autistic person who can see that his (or her) autistic neurology can be intensely frustrating for at least some others on at least some occasions. I know this is true in my own case. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I know I can really frustrate the shit out of at least some people some of the time. That much is a given. There’s really nothing I can do about that basic fact. It appears to be a natural consequence of the fact that I live in a very different world both conceptually and perceptually. Yes, yes, of course, if I am very careful — if I’m extremely polite and pay close attention to the words I choose, which, as a rule, should always be few and preferably muttered below ear-shot  — then it seems that I can minimize the frustration I cause others, but such vigilance is exhausting and ultimately impossible to sustain. Sooner or later and somehow or another — no matter how hard I try — I am doomed to slip up eventually and make at least someone feel a good deal more frustrated in some situation than in which they probably ever imagined they’d feel frustrated.

And because I do care about people and really don’t want to be an insensitive asshole, it seems to me that I therefore must try to find some way to make all of this inevitable frustration worth it — worth it for all of us, if possible of course, but especially worth it for the particular people I frustrate. I have to find some way to make it beneficial for them — if not immediately so, then at least in the long run. I think the expression “to turn lemons into lemonade”

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Image Credit: Adobe Stock

captures this idea fairly well, except in my case maybe the lemons are kind of rotten. The gist here is that I’m hoping to re-conceptualize (re-purpose, upcycle, etc.) all of this inevitable frustration as some sort of a resource — as something that might be useful, and the term Frustration Art is essentially a label I’ve chosen for that, whatever “that” turns out to be. As an alternative, I suppose I might also call it something like Frustration Engineering, which would make me a frustration engineer, but I’ve only just now thought of doing this, so I’ll leave that one aside for a future blog post.

But there’s another reason, too, and it’s perhaps the most important. But in order to understand it, you’ll need to know this:

I Suck at Persuasion

Last year when my Civil Rights were violated by Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith of Seyfarth Shaw working in illegal collusion with roughly a dozen MetLife employees and at least 3 employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — an experience I have described here and elsewhere in all seriousness as a form of gang rape (yes, yes, figuratively speaking, whatever) — I was consequently forced to embrace a terrible fact: I suck at persuasion.

Of course, there’s a sense in which we all do. Because each of us has a unique and highly personalized perspective on everything that is or that happens, then to the extent that any two given people are unable to find common ground between their respective unique and highly personalized perspectives, they are predictably going to disagree with each other on any manner of topics.

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This guy looks like I’ve been trying to persuade him of something, and he’s just not having any of it. Image Credit: Pixabay

But as a matter of observable fact, and no doubt due to my autistic brain, I’m rather convinced that I tend to find myself in a good deal more of these kinds of disagreements with others.

Now, I have been struggling with my lousy persuasion skills for my whole life — butting heads with people is a more direct way to say it — but it was only about 15 years ago that it began to dawn on me that I’m simply not as good at persuasion as I tended to believe myself to be. But even though I’ve been gradually getting my head around this characteristic of myself for more than a decade, it was really my “so to speak” gang rape last year at the hands of Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith and the others — and especially my subsequent utter and relentless failure to convince anybody of its significance — that has finally forced me to face and eventually embrace completely this characteristic of myself. Here it is again:

I suck at persuasion.

And whereas I’m sure everybody has moments where they could say something similar,  it seems clear to me now that in my case such incidents of persuasion-failure are much, much more frequent and problematic. I don’t just suck at persuasion in the way that we all do. Rather, I suck exuberantly at persuasion — passionately, enthusiastically, magnificently, pathologically. I suck to the max at persuasion.

Which raises the question of what to do about it. Now that I know this about myself, what next? Surely it’s a problem that I suck at persuasion. But then, what’s the solution? How does one accommodate such a personal weakness?

The answer to that question will make it easy to understand what’s probably the best reason I could give for why I must become a frustration artist.

To be continued…

Continue with Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 6 (Conclusion)

 

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 4

For background and context, please see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Part 1 is especially important because that’s where I explain that I’m not literally going to become a “lone wolf terrorist”, but am rather using this expression as a figure of speech, if that’s important to you.

I Have A Lot In Common With Adam Lanza…

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This is a kangaroo. I’ve never owned one, and neither did Adam Lanza. Image Credit: Pixabay

…For starters he was a male, like me, and after all, a great deal of violence is perpetrated by men. I also have two hands and both have the fingers required to pull a gun’s trigger. Then there’s the striking fact that Lanza didn’t own a kangaroo as a pet.

I have never owned a kangaroo!

I could go on — teeth, eyes, hair, legs, internal organs, nerves, bones: he had them, and so do I. I’m also sure Lanza spent much of his life in one school or another, not to mention all of the supermarkets, playgrounds, and living rooms he frequented — as I have done and continue to do. We both grew up in the “Civilized West”, on the East Coast of the United States of America. We both endured the G.W. Bush administrations, suffered the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, etc. Truly the resemblance between Adam Lanza and me is uncanny for sure.

Oh, right, and he was autistic in some sense, as am I. And did I mention that neither of us has ever owned a kangaroo?

If one knows anything useful about Autism, one knows that it is highly variable in how it manifests in the actually autistic. This is what I mean when I say that Lanza was “autistic in some sense”. This is why the DSM-V now calls it Autism Spectrum Disorder, where the word spectrum is meant to capture this idea of variability across the population of autistic people. This is what I mean by the term autistickish, because there is no single, static way of being autistic — rather, we are all of us more or less autistic-ish. Every one of us autists develops his or her own unique and highly idiosyncratic way of being autistic. It is often said that “if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.” Clearly there are resemblances too, similar to the way resemblances exist between penguins and vultures — both are birds, after all, which definitely means that one can learn a great deal about vultures by studying penguins. But in the end, if it’s really vultures that interest you, then at some point you are going to have to study vultures, not penguins.

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This is a Glock, not a mock (nor a cock). Image Credit: Pixabay

Likewise, if you are worried about the Adam Lanzas of the world — the real lone wolf terrorists, like, in the literal sense of the term; the ones that choose actual Glocks over mocks (or cocks); and especially those that are autistic — then in the end, you’ll have to go study them. Someone like me — i.e. a lone wolf “terrorist”, figuratively speaking — can only take you so far in your learning.

What We Might Call ‘Autistic Alienation’

I actually know quite little about Adam Lanza. I’ve read a few articles about him and his schoolhouse massacre. For me he is more of an Urban Myth, than a real person. In saying this, I hope I don’t seem insensitive to the families of his victims. I do understand that for them he was and remains horrifyingly real. But for all I know he was nothing at all like I imagine he was. If I’ve made any factual errors in referencing his case, I hope you will point them out to me so I can correct them.

But despite all of our obvious differences (he had easy access to an armory and wasn’t repulsed by guns, whereas I abhor guns, and therefore avoid them), and of course our wholly irrelevant similarities (he was also a male with hands and feet), there is at least one characteristic that I share with Lanza and which I believe is highly relevant; and this in much the same way, perhaps, that a penguin and a vulture both have wings. Both birds have wings, of course, and this fact is highly relevant to their both being birds, but the structure and function of those wings differ in important ways. Whereas a vulture’s wings are structured and function for flying in the air, a penguin’s wings are structured and function for swimming, or as I’ve written elsewhere, flying in water (flymming).

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What’s causing all this traffic? Is it something or someone blocking the road? Perhaps a walrus?  Image Credit: Pixabay

Regarding Lanza, the characteristic that I’m referring to here — that I’m quite sure he must have struggled with and that I still struggle with and which I believe is highly relevant to the general topic is something we might call autistic alienation, by which I mean the persistent and pervasive sense that I don’t really belong anywhere, that I am forever some sort of an outsider.

An image that I like to use and which captures this feeling is that of a walrus, lost in a city, with no water or ice anywhere, completely out of place, lumbering and lurching slowly down the middle of a street, angry drivers honking furiously at him from behind to get out of the way and to let them pass. Although I hesitate to speak for all autistic people on any point, I simply must guess that this sense of being both trapped and excluded is a characteristic we all have in common. Please let me know if you disagree, but it just strikes me as a natural consequence following from the fact that Autism is fundamentally a communication disability. Feeling connected to people demands a certain kind of communication and therefore communication ability — one that I know I lack, and which I have to assume is lacking in all of us.

To be continued…

Continue with Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 5.

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Greetings! Image Credit: Pixabay

 

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 3

Note: For part 1, see Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 1. For part 2, see Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 2.

It May Seem Strange…

…That I have recently begun to see my ability to frustrate the bejeezus out of at least some people as a genuine ability — a gift, so to speak — and not merely some “ability”, where the quotation marks signal that I’m actually ashamed of it, view it as a character flaw, never did it on purpose, never wanted it, never asked for it, never gained anything by it, and have in fact lost heavily because of it — relationships, jobs, financial security, reputation, health, well-being etc. Although I really have paid a steep price for this ability over the course of my life, it’s only recently that I have been able to see this all not as some wasted expense, but in fact an investment — a kind of training or education; an apprenticeship; the diligent, focused, determined acquisition of a well-defined body of expertise.

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Butt is it art? Don’t ass-k me (butt-ump-rump)! Frustration art needn’t be funny, but often is. Image Credit: 2016 Turner Prize winner Anthea Hamilton‘s Project for a Door

In short, I see now that all these years, and without realizing that I was doing so, I have nevertheless been gradually mastering a craft — in particular, the craft of  consciously and artfully eliciting varying degrees of frustration in observers for the express purpose of helping those observers to attain their most lofty aspirations; to become the very best possible version of themselves; and to actualize their potential for wisdom. It has only been a few weeks or so now that I’ve been able to recognize this as an especially good way to interpret one of the grand themes of my life. And now, finally, after all these years of arduous diligence and struggle, I believe I am finally ready to do this work professionally, in fact, that I must do so.

Frustration Artist or Diversity Acceptance Consultant?

frustrated_man_210x315In case you missed it, recently I announced my decision to begin my career as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant (DAC). Although at present my main goal as a DAC is actually to clarify what it means in the details to do this kind of work, at the very least I see it as a profession with the overall purpose of helping people become more accepting of Human Diversity in general, but in particular more accepting of whatever unique and special kind of diversity happens to be embodied by any given consultant (me, for example). By diversity here I’m referring to those diverse and potentially unacceptable traits of the consultant doing the work — perhaps she is a woman, or has brown skin, or is homosexual, or is some mix of these; or perhaps she has a chronic medical condition, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Cancer, missing limbs, Obesity, Acne, or even chronic halitosis. In my own case, because I am autistic, my main specialty is autism, but I also hope to do side work in psoriasis, general obnoxiousness, and sitting down while I pee (you’d be surprised how many men and women see refusing to pee on the floor as somehow degrading for a man). The general idea here is that in the same way we might up-cycle say, an empty yogurt tub into a crayon container, it is also possible to re-purpose into a form of useful expertise all of the direct experience gained by the consultant by actually living and coping with these kinds of physical, neurological, or cultural traits, attributes, qualities, customs, habits, quirks, anomalies, etc.

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Just as we might repurpose old license plates into lamps, we can also repurpose our most objectionable physical, psychological, and cultural traits, qualities, etc. into credentials for doing Diversity Acceptance Consulting. Image Credit: Pinterest

Although it remains to be seen what kind of money can be earned in this profession, money is probably not even the greatest reward to be gained by doing this work. For one thing it’s a fantastic way to network and connect with people while doing something beneficial for everyone you care about; but perhaps most intriguingly, Diversity Acceptance Consulting is nothing less than an easy and fast way to fix anything you judge to be wrong with yourself simply by re-purposing it into a credential or licence to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting.

And yet here I am this week announcing my decision to become a professional Frustration Artist. What’s up with that? Will I be changing my mind every week? Do I want two careers?

In a word, no. Actually, and in my own case at least, I view both Diversity Acceptance Consulting and the creation of Frustration Art as exactly the same work employing the exact same skill set — i.e., my own freakish ability to frustrate at least some human beings to the point of total baldness. Although I do not view these terms as truly equivalent — not all Diversity Acceptance Consultants will also be Frustration Artists — in my own case, at least, my Frustration Art is a primary resource I will bring to my work as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant.

So, when I say that I’ve decided to become a “lone wolf terrorist” (figuratively speaking), what I actually mean literally speaking is that I’ve decided to become a Frustration Artist.

“Well, Next Time Lead With That, Asshole!”

furious-girlI’m curious to know how you feel about this blog post so far. If it pleases you, then you may be one of the many who are mysteriously immune to my gifts. But if you aren’t enjoying it — if it  frustrates you in some way — then I hope you will see your current frustration as a kind of training exercise for you; an opportunity to practice becoming more aware, understanding, and accepting of not just me and my own idiosyncratic version of autism; and not just of autistic people in general and the myriad ways they too may frustrate you from time to time; but really of everyone (including yourself) who frustrates you, and really for any reason at all.

To be continued…

Continue with Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 4.

brillo_box_art

I kid you not. Image Credit: Andy Warhol, Brillo Boxes, Museu Coleção Berardo of Modern and Contemporary Art, Lisbon