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.

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

 

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 2

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

Adam Lanza Was Autistic…

…but other than that I actually know quite little about the guy. In my mind he’s more of a frightening myth than anything — an infamous mass murderer, or maybe a bogeyman, or even a comic book super villain. Of course, I know that he was anything but a myth for the families of the 26 people shot to death by Lanza in 2012 — most of whom were young school children. I know that for his victims and their families, Lanza was a very real and monstrous madman. And I also know that that once it became known that Lanza was autistic, the first thing many tried to do was make it clear that his atrocity had nothing to do with autism. I think they were understandably worried that the vast majority of utterly harmless autistic people would be stigmatized by Lanza’s actions, and so these well-meaning people tried to shift the topic of conversation to that of Gun Control and Lanza’s personal armory, as if Lanza’s obsession with guns was not a true example of the sort of “restricted interests” that are an autism stereotype; as if his school house massacre was not obviously a rare but virulent form of “autistic meltdown” and in no small measure a disastrous consequence of a lifetime of having been marginalized, ostracized, and rejected.

What am I missing here? In what sense did Lanza’s own idiosyncratic version of autism have absolutely nothing to do with his monstrous deed? It looks to me like it had a great deal to do with it.

Frustration Art: A Kinder, Gentler, and Occasionally Hilarious Form of Lone-Wolf Terrorism

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Is this art? Or just a drop cloth? In my opinion, Jackson Pollack was a master frustration artist. Image Credit: Jackson Pollack, Convergence, 1952

If my autistic neurology grants me anything like a superpower, surely it’s my freakish ability to frustrate the shit out of at least some human beings. (Many others seem more or less immune to my gifts, and of course most people have simply never met me).

Although quite mystifying (especially for me), of course there’s really nothing magical about this ability. It doesn’t make me bullet proof, nor allow me to fly, nor see through walls. And I didn’t acquire it after being bitten by a radioactive bug. It is simply a natural consequence of the fact that I live in a very different world than do most, both conceptually and perceptually.

Technically or psychiatrically speaking I am not considered delusional nor am I hallucinating, but it’s almost as if my whole brain has an unusual astigmatism that makes some things seem much larger and more important, figuratively speaking, and other things seem smaller and more trivial than they might seem to a so-called “normal” person (whatever that is). You might say I suffer from various kinds of value delusions — by which I mean that my values (what I consider more or less important or trivial) are so very out of sync with the values of most other people in my life, that the disconnect often interferes with my ability to function in society: to maintain healthy collaborative relationships, hold down a full time job, etc. Of course, everybody suffers from this more or less to some extent, but with autism the differences are often more striking and consequential. It’s one thing to argue with people, but quite another to argue so much and so often and about stuff that seems so utterly ridiculous to them that few can stand to have anything to do with you.

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Frustration Art at it’s best — a kinder, gentler form of terrorism that happens to be hilarious. Image Credit: ABC 7 Chicago.

For example, back in March (2018) I turned down an opportunity to sell my signature for $37,000.00. All I had to do was sign my name on a standard settlement agreement, and MetLife would have given me $37,000.00! But I couldn’t do it. I tried to do it. I almost did it. In fact, I shudder now when I think about how close I came to signing that damn thing. But in the end I just couldn’t do it. I had to really think it through — bake it thoroughly in my thought furnace — and I did, but I realize now that it would be easier for me to chew out my own tongue than to sign that settlement agreement.[1]

And why? Well, subjectively speaking it’s just this feeling I get. It just feels wrong — really wrong, like I’m making a deal with the Devil or something, an unholy alliance.

That’s the subjective and executive summary, but I can at least try to articulate my reasons. This isn’t the place to go into all of them, but I will tell you that one of them begins with the fact that I once spent a good two years of my life obsessing about Actuarial Mathematics and still know how to calculate an Actuarial Present Value (APV) — essentially a rational estimate in today-dollars of some future payment (e.g. salary), accounting for interest and random events that might impact the final amount paid out — and when I did that for the MetLife career opportunity that was essentially stolen out from under me last year by roughly a dozen autism-ignorant individuals working for the company, I came up with an estimate of $1.7 million, which is a hell of a lot more than $37,000.00. So, one really important reason I couldn’t sign is that I knew these 12 or so individuals were trying to rip me off to the tune of $1.7 million dollars, give or take.

Now, if this is the first time you’ve ever encountered the concept of an APV, you’re not alone. Most folks have not, and unfortunately, if you have not and you’re response to all of this is anything like “WHAT ARE YOU NUTS!?!?” then I’m sorry to say that you’re simply wasting your time. For me, “what are you nuts”, with or without the caps and punctuation is simply not an argument against a given APV estimate. In order to challenge such an estimate, you have to challenge the assumptions that undergird it, which you cannot do with the “what are you nuts” tactic. If the best you can do is “what are you nuts”, then you might as well be trying to convince me that Santa and the Easter Bunny are both real and are in fact the true authors of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette. However crazy I might seem to you because I turned down an opportunity to make $37 thousand in exchange for a signature, you seem to me something like 46 times more crazy than that for suggesting that I might sell off an opportunity to earn $1.7 million for just $37,000.[2]

Like I said, because I am autistic, I live in a very different world than most, both perceptually and conceptually, and sometimes these differences can frustrate the shit out of people. This sort of thing happens a lot with me, and it’s all due to my autistic neurology.

To be continued…

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

Also, here is a link to a short and entertaining promo about a documentary being made about the inspirational Cocks Not Glocks protest movement.


[1]For an overview of my MetLife fiasco, try An Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director, although when I wrote that I hadn’t yet begun referring to the events in question as a form of gang rape, and I was still protecting the identities of MetLife and the company’s Seyfarth Shaw attorney Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith. In that document, the  “gang rape” was described more literally as a Civil Rights violation, MetLife is called the “XYZ Insurance Company”, and Mr. Smith is referred to as “Batman”.

[2]The number 46 is just the ratio of my APV estimate of $1.7 million to the $37 thousand offered by MetLife to replace it. That is $1.7 million/$37 thousand ≅ 46.

Image Credit: Pixabay, unless otherwise specified.

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 1

Adam Lanza was not born a monster…

…He became one. He was born as innocent as any of us — a slippery, naked, screaming victim of that naive and narcissistic parental urge to feel validated by a child. Though I recoil as much as anyone at the monster he eventually became, my heart sincerely breaks for the baby he was born; it breaks every bit as much as it does for the 20 children and 6 adults which that baby eventually grew up to murder. If this “sympathy for the Devil” that I feel for baby Adam seems aberrant or repellent or frightening or like a good reason to reject me, then you too have my sympathies, because that strongly suggests that you are at least as arbitrarily harsh and judgmental not just with yourself, but especially to those who struggle to love you. If that’s a true statement about you, then I sincerely hope one day you find your way to accepting whatever it is about yourself that you only imagine to be so awful.

After all, we are each of us only human.

Oh, Relax, Please, I’m Not “literally” Becoming a Lone-Wolf Terrorist!

lone_sheep_316x210

Beware the lone wolf! (Kidding! It’s just a sheep. Awww, givess a kiss, Mr. Sheep.) Image Credit: Pixabay

In case you haven’t heard, last year I got gang raped, but “only” in a figurative sense. This year I’ve decided to let that nasty ordeal transform me into a lone wolf terrorist, but also “only” in a figurative sense.[1]

That seems fair to me. Nobody literally gang raped me, so I’m thinking I really shouldn’t let a “merely metaphorical” gang rape transform me into some actual lone wolf terrorist. Holy cow, yeah, that would definitely be taking things too far!

And just like my rapists did not literally gang rape me, but rather “only” violated my Civil Rights, well, I too have something that I’m going to do quite literally, but which I think can be fairly characterized — figuratively speaking, mind you — as lone-wolf terrorism.

Once again, that’s SO TO SPEAK lone-wolf terrorism (especially if you happen to work for the the FBI, DHS, or maybe if you just seriously believe that Donald Trump should win a Nobel Peace Prize)…

We might call it Frustration Art, which I see simply as the conscious and artful elicitation of feelings of frustration in an observer for the purpose of elevating, educating, illuminating, and bettering Humanity, in general, and of course in particular the given observer (the one actually feeling the frustration). It has only been a few weeks or so 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 many years of arduous diligence and struggle, I believe I am finally ready to do this work professionally, in fact, that I must do so.

Continue with Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 2.

You might also enjoy watching this video by a true Frustration Art master practitioner,  the late Andy Kaufman:


[1] The “Mockery Not Glockery” part of my title for this post is a reference to the name of the Cocks Not Glocks movement. I see their clever and hilarious use of dildos to expose the absurdity of gun culture as an inspired example of Frustration Art. Their core technique of “fighting absurdity with absurdity” is an important device in any frustration artist’s toolkit.

A Privileged White Man’s Solution to Privilege Guilt — You’re Welcome!

“My Life Sucks, But I Still Feel Guilty!”

exhasperated_business_man_299x200Let me guess. Life has dealt you shit cards, but you actually feel guilty because you know so many others have it worse than you.

Tell me about it. If you think you’ve got privilege guilt, check out my sob story:

To begin with, I’m autistic, which, frankly, is basically the world’s greatest excuse for pretty much any situation in which one might need a great excuse, and let me say that I can hardly get through a week without needing at least one of those (“bro, I’m sorry I knocked up your girlfriend, but after all I am autistic”).

But even though my life has always been something of a train wreck because of autism, I nevertheless still feel guilty because I also happen to be a white, college-educated, fairly handsome man (or so thinks my best bro’s girlfriend, heh, heh); and not, for example, a black, dangerously underweight, crack-addicted, HIV-infected baby girl born 16-weeks prematurely to a teenage sex-slave and tossed into a dumpster by her mother’s pimp to starve, freeze, or be smothered to death by all the trash that will soon accumulate on top of her.

I know, I know — it’s like these days everybody’s a victim!

Well, if you find this situation to be as frustrating as I do, today is your lucky day! Because after pondering this problem far more than I ever really wanted to, I have finally figured out what to do with all of my frustrating privilege guilt!

And for the low, low price of just $2,000.00 US Dollars, I will share with you my amazing solution for the problem of privilege guilt!

Har har, just kidding.

No, seriously, I’m going to just give you this sweet little fix for free as a public service because, honestly, I suspect that this whole privilege-guilt situation is actually accomplishing the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to accomplish, which is to help us all be kinder and more caring human beings. To be clear:

I’m pretty sure that privilege guilt is a force for evil in this world, for the most part, and that whatever good it may appear to do in some situations, in the end it actually tends to make its practitioners more selfish and cruel.

I especially think it likely that the sooner we all abandon privilege guilt — yup, toss all of it straight into the aforementioned dumpster instead of that black, dangerously underweight, crack-addicted, HIV-infected baby girl born 16-weeks prematurely to a teenage sex-slave — really the sooner we can all fulfill our true potential as kind and caring human beings. The core epiphany here is that privilege guilt may actually be a trick we play on ourselves so that we can hoard privilege (surprise, surprise)!

Let me say it again:

Privilege guilt is a trick we play on ourselves so that we can continue to hoard privilege!

I know, crazy, right? — paradoxical, even. But I really think it’s true.[1]

It seems to work like this: because I have all these great privileges following from the fact that I am a college-educated, fairly handsome white man (more handsome than my best bro, apparently), I know people are going to think I’m a selfish bastard if I just hoard this bounty for myself. Ah! But if I torture myself enough with privilege guilt — maybe even throw a few bucks at some charity — they’ll think, “well, at least he feels bad”, and then leave me alone to enjoy my white-man privileges. And because these privileges are truly wonderful and do indeed make my life quite the vacation resort — that is, with respect to the vast majority of human beings on Earth, and this despite my autistic neurology — oh, heck, a bit of privilege guilt is really a small price to pay in comparison with all to be gained by privilege-hoarding.

Doesn’t that strike you as wicked? Honestly, when I look at it like that, I suddenly I feel quite gross and have a really hard time feeling guilty for hoarding all of my white-man privileges, which — and here’s the kicker — actually makes me want to share those privileges with others!

Isn’t that weird? It seems paradoxical, and please don’t ask me to explain it, but somehow it’s only when I stop feeling guilty that I actually feel motivated to help those in need. It’s almost as if my privilege guilt is gobbling up the very motivation I need to actually do something to help others, with the highly suspicious end result being that I get to keep all my white-man privileges to myself.

“But What If I’m Not A Privileged White Man?”

smiling_woman_300x200What’s great about this solution to privilege guilt is that it will work for pretty much anybody. Of course, privileged white men like myself are the ones who tend to suffer most from privilege guilt, and really if this solution can work for us, believe me, it can work for you or anybody else who happens to have less cause to feel privilege guilt. Really, the only possible exceptions that I can think of all involve babies who are simply too young to feel guilty about anything. For example, I find it quite impossible to imagine that, say, some dangerously underweight, crack-addicted, HIV-infected baby born 16-weeks prematurely to a teenage sex-slave and tossed into a dumpster by its mother’s pimp to starve, freeze, or be smothered to death by all the trash that will soon accumulate on top of it might ever suffer from privilege guilt, even if the baby does happen to be a privileged white boy!

So there it is! Now, please stop wasting your time and energy on useless privilege guilt, and instead, get out there and actually share whatever privileges you may have with some poor abandoned dumpster baby — beginning with all of the baby black girls, of course!


[1]In my opinion, for now, of course, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind. Note: if you think you may have such evidence, please share it with me in a comment, below — thanks in advance!