tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Harry Potter Analogies: Love (Ned: Harry Potter Analogie: Liefde)

Voor nederlands klik hier

Love is a big part in the Harry Potter universe. I have talked about love in a past blogpost here, but this was from personal experience and it might be easier for some to relate to the Harry Potter universe and see love in that way.

As I said earlier, Love is a big part in the Harry Potter universe. Love is the sole reason that he vanquishes Voldemort in the first book. The reason why he is “the boy who lived”. His mother used a very powerful form of magic intertwined with her love, something Voldemort never knew, so to protect her son.

The reason Snape, for me, is the most powerful character (also for me also the most relatable) is because of his love. He loved Lily. He loved Lily immensely. Most autistics will get this if I say that he has a weird way of showing his love. From what I get in the flashbacks of their meeting, he loves showing her his magic. What he can already do, and this showcases his brilliance and his mastery of magic at such a young age, it also shows something different. It shows that he is comfortable sharing his most inner feelings, his most inner side with Lily. Snape is a difficult character to love, but he is the most multi-layered person you will come accross in fiction today. Without a doubt we can say the he devoted his life to Lily.

He loved her very, very much. He never stood in the way of her relationship with James, his bully. But he suffered. When he first saw Harry, all these feelings came bubbling up again. He saw the face of his former bully, but as most in the series remark, he must have seen that he has his mother’s eyes, and this is what makes him melt, although not visibly. Snape would never admit such a thing. Snape vowed to look over the boy, all because of his undying love for Harry’s mother. He knows he screwed up the relationship. He knows that he will never have a chance anymore with her. He could just as easily let the boy die and have it over with, but he loves that woman so much, that he can’t. He just can’t. When Dumbledore asks him, “after so many years?”, his one word reply of “always” is the crux of the whole series. Afterwards in the epilogue, we see that Harry acknowledges this act of bravery and self-sacrifice in a man he has hated for so many years and gives him a place in his family by naming his kid with his name. In a way through his bravery, Snape has etched himself into the Potter family and redeemed his remarks that drove Lily and him apart.

You can also see how he changed from the young boy that loved her and could smile and share his feelings, to the cold distant man we see in the series. Something changed in him, after the death of Lily. So much even, that his patronus is hers.

Platonic love also has a place in Harry Potter. Ron, although they occassionaly have a fight, never would harm Harry. We even see this at the end of book 4 when it is revealed that although Harry and Ron didn’t speak through most of the book, Ron never stopped supporting his friend.

You also have family bonding. You have the weasly family as a whole. A tight knit wizard family that welcome every other wizard that welcomes them. They bare no grudges. You can see this in how Arthur Weasley greets Lucius Malfoy in the bookstore. Although the two aren’t friends whatsoever, he still greets him very warmly.

You also have the Weasley twins and their strong brotherly love. This is a theme in the Weasley clan as a whole. No Weasley will stop supporting another Weasley (best shown in the movies by the line by Molly Weasley in the fight against Bellatrix: “Not my daughter you, Bitch”, and she duals one of the most dangerous witches in the Potter universe).

Eventually, new couples find their true love in the Potter universe (even Malfoy finds his ideal match). Potter has Ginny, whom reveals her love for him quite early in the series by blushing and running away. Obviously Harry Potter is a celebrity and when he shows up at their table she is shy and runs away.

In a later book, there is a love potion that makes Ron fall in love with a girl and we see Hermoine get really jealous, the same goes for when she is dancing with Krum during the yule ball. We see a very jealous Ron, and this shows that even though they didn’t like eachother early  in the series, they eventually fall in love. Although it is more obvious in Ginny and Harry, it isn’t with Ron and Hermoine. Sometimes who loves you isn’t that noticable. Sometimes it takes years to build up the courage to confess your love for someone, but when you do you have only 2 options left. Either she loves you back or doesn’t.

Off course there is love shown for their daughters and sons, although sometimes harsh love. You see how Draco is treated by Lucius and you see a boy that has no other way than be mean to kids different from him, because he has no other way of showing things. Although, in later books is revealed that his mother, Narcissa, loves her boy unconditionally and doesn’t want any harm come to him, this is why she asks Snape to engage in the unbreakable pact that leads to him killing Dumbledore.

I already spoke about the Weasley clan and their unconditional love for eachother, even for Percy, although his alliance is somewhere else, he is never not loved by his parents.

You also just have unconditional love. How would you explain why Hagrid is kept as groundskeeper, even though he was thrown out of Hogwarts during the first Basilisk outbreak? Why does Dumbledore keep professor Trelawney, even going against the direct orders of the ministry on this one?

I love the fact that J.K Rowling doesn’t go out of her way to write a gay character into her series, although I would’ve loved more diversity. Also, one thing that I love is that she wrote McGonnagall as an asexual character after her first (and most intense love) fell apart. She stayed true to that one love. (although she retracts that statement about Dumbledore while writing and shooting the second fantastic beasts movie).

All these different kinds of love, in what is essentially a children/teen/young adult book series.


Nederlandse versie

Liefde is een groot deel in het Harry Potter universum. Ik heb in een eerdere blogpost al gepraat over hoe liefde voelt hier, maar dit is uit persoonlijke ervaring en het kan makkelijker zijn voor sommigen om liefde te relateren aan het Harry Potter universum, zodat het makkelijker begrijpbaar word.

Zoals ik al eerder zei, Liefde is een groot deel in het Harry Potter universum. Liefde is de enige reden dat hij Voldemort overwint in het eerste boek. DE reden waarom hij “De Jongen Die Bleef Leven” is. Zijn moeder gebruikte een krachtige vorm van magie gebundeld met haar liefde, iets wat Voldermort nooit heeft gekend, om haar zoon te beschermen.

De reden dat Snape, voor mij, het meeste krachtige karakter is (ook het meest herkenbaar) is omwille van zijn liefde. He hield van Lily. He hield immens veel van LIly. De meeste autisten zullen mij begrijpen wanneer ik zeg dat hij een rare manier had om het te laten zien. Van wat ik kan zien aan de flashbacks van hun samenkomsten, is dat hij er van houd om zijn magie aan haar te laten zien, wat hij al kan, en dit laat zijn brilliantheid en zijn meesterschap over magie zien, op zulk een jonge leeftijd. Het laat ook iets anders zien. Het laat zien dat hij zich comfortabel genoeg voelt bij haar zodat hij zijn meest innerlijke gevoelens kan laten zien, wat hij bij anderen niet kan. Sneep is een moeilijk karakter om van te houden, maar hij is het meest complexe personage dat je tegen zult komen in fictie tegenwoordig. Zonder te overdrijven kan ik zeggen dat hij zijn leven heeft toegewijd aan Lily.

Hij hield verschrikkelijk veel van haar. Hij stond nooit tussen haar en haar relatie met James, zijn pester. Maar hij leed. Wanneer hij Harry voor de eerste keer zag, kwamen al deze gevoelens terug naar boven. Hij zag het gezicht van zijn vroegere pester, maar zoals zo vaak terug komt in de reeks, zag hij ook de ogen van zijn moeder, en dat is wat hem doet smelten, maar niet zichtbaar. Sneep zou zoiets nooit toegeven. Sneep heeft gezworen om te waken over de jongen, allemaal door zijn onsterfelijke liefde voor Harry’s moeder. HIj weet dat hij hun relatie zelf verkloot heeft. Hij weet dat hij nooit nog een tweede kans zal hebben met haar. Hij kan net zo goed de jongen laten sterven, maar hij houd zoveel van die vrouw dat hij het niet kan. Hij kan het gewoon niet. Wanneer Perkamentus hem vraagt: “Na zoveel jaren?” is zijn één woord antwoord: “Altijd” de crux van de hele reeks, waar de hele reeks om draait. Na het hele verhaal in de epiloog, zien we dat Harry erkent hoe moedig Sneep is geweest en de onbaatzuchtigheid erkent van deze door hem zo gehate man, dat hij hem een plaats geeft in zijn familie, door één van zijn bloedeigen kinderen naar hem te vernoemen. Door zijn moed, heeft Sneep zichzelf verankerd in de Potter familie en zo zijn uitspraken die Lily en hem uit elkaar dreven, afgelost.

Je kan ook zien hoeveel haar dood voor hem betekende aan hoe hij veranderde van de jongen die aan mensen zijn meest innerlijke gevoelens kon laten zien, in een koude afstandelijke man, na de dood van Lily. Hij hield zoveel van haar, dat zijn patronus veranderde in die van haar.

Platonische liefde heeft ook een plaats in het Harry Potter universum. Ron, al hebben ze ook wel eens ruzie, zou Harry nooit iets aandoen. We zien dit op het einde van boek 4, wanneer hij onthuld dat al hadden ze ruzie en spraken ze niet tegen elkaar, Ron nooit is gestopt om zijn vriend te steunen.

Familiale banden spelen ook een grote rol. Je hebt de gehele Wemel familie, een hechte tovenaarsfamilie die elke tovenaar en heks verwelkomen die hen ook verwelkomt. Ze koesteren geen wraakgevoelens. Je kan dit zien in hoe Arthur Wemel Lucius Malfidus verwelkomt in de boekenhandel. Al zijn de twee geen vrienden, hij groet hem nog steeds hartelijk.

Je hebt ook de sterke broederlijke liefde van de Wemel-tweeling. Dit is een thema van de Wemel clan in zijn gehele. Geen wemel stopt met het steunen van een andere Wemel (beste vertoning hiervan in in de films door Molly Wemel in haar gevecht tegen Bellatrix)

Uiteindelijk, vinden nieuwe koppels hun ware liefde in het Harry Potter universum (zelfs Malfidus vindt zijn iedeale partner). Potter heeft Ginny, wiens liefde al heel vroeg in de reeks word getoond wanneer ze blozend van tafel wegloopt. Natuurlijk is Harry Potter een beroemdheid en wanneer hij aan hun tafel zit, wordt ze verlegen en loopt ze weg.

In een later boek, is er een liefdesdrankje die Ron verliefd laat worden op een ander meisje en zie je hoe jaloers Hermelien word, hetzelfde kan worden gezegd van Ron, wanneer zij gaat dansen met Kruml tijdens het yule bal. We zien de evolutie van hoe ze elkaar eigenlijk niet moeten, naar hoe ze verliefd worden op elkaar. Al is het duidelijker in Harry en Ginny. Soms is wie verliefd op je is niet altijd overduidelijk. Soms kan het jaren duren voor je de moed hebt om op te biechten dat je gevoelens hebt voor iemand, maar wanneer je het doet heb je nog maar 2 opties: of ze houd van je, of niet.

Natuurlijk is er ook liefde voor zonen en dochters, al is het soms een strenge liefde, zoals je kan zien hoe Draco wordt behandeld door zijn vader en zie je waarom hij geen andere manier heeft om met mensen om te gaan, omdat hij geen andere manier heeft geleerd thuis van zijn vader. Al, wordt later getoond in de boeken, dat Narcissa, zijn moeder, haar zoon onvoorwaardelijk graag ziet en niet wilt dat er hem iets over komt, daarom vraagt ze Sneep om een onbreekbaar pact, dat hem ertoe leid Perkamentus te doden.

Ik sprak al over de onvoorwaardelijke liefde van de Wemel clan, zelfs voor Percy, al ligt zijn trouw ergens anders, hij is nooit niet geliefd door zijn ouders.

We hebben al een paar voorbeelden laten zien van onvoorwaardelijke liefde. Hoe anders kan je verklaren waarom Hagrid op het terrein mag blijven als sleutelbewaarder, ook al was hij uit Zweinstein gegooid tijdens de basilisk episode? Waarom houd hij professor Zwamdrift aan, tegen de directe orders van het ministerie in?

Ik hou van het feit dat J.K. Rowling het niet schuwt om homosexuele karakters in haar reeks te schrijven (uit een interview in Carnegie Hall in  (al trekt ze die uitspraak later terug in tijdens het schrijven en filmen van de tweede Fantastic beasts film).

Ik had wel graag wat meer diversiteit gezien. Eén ding dat ik wel fantastisch vond, is dat ze Anderling geschreven heeft als een asexueel karakter, nadat haar eerste (en meeste intense liefde) afbrak. Ze bleef trouw aan haar ene grote liefde.

Al deze verschillende vormen van liefde, in wat is, in essentie, een reeks voor kinderen, tieners, jongvolwassenen.

Do we look autistic yet? (Ned: Zien we er al autistisch uit?)


Voor nederlands klik hier

Maybe you can look at our genes, the way our brain works. Maybe you have better vision than most people or superman’s x-ray vision.

Maybe it’s the pigment of our skin, the wrinkles, the way our skin looks. it’s colour. It’s tone. It’s general feel. Skin sensative to touch or not sensative enough at all. Good against cold. Good against warmth. Sensative to certain fabrics or ointments.

Maybe it’s our nose. Maybe it’s the tip that betrays that we might be something you are not. Maybe it’s deceptively pointy or looks like a nose you haven’t seen before. A nose like no other. A nose for things you haven’t seen in your circle of friends. A nose full of curiousity for the world around it and the people and animals that inhabit it. A nose that picks up smells you don’t, picks up things you can only imagine.

A mouth like you haven’t seen before. Lips that feel. Lips that look different. Maybe it’s that. Lips that show a different complexion. Lips that kiss different of how lips usually kiss. Lips that might not kiss at all. Lips that tell the strangest facts and might not ever shut up at all, or lips that don’t talk and make sounds. Lips that nevertheless will love you.

Eyes. Eyes in every colour. Eyes that might look at you or don’t. Eyes that perceive. Eyes that perceive every detail and then make up a whole. Eyes that notice everything about you. What you wear. What colours. What fabric.

Hair that exists in all colour or just in the colours you know. hair in all shapes and sizes. Braided. Long. Short. Shaven.

I don’t know what you look for when you say “we look autistic”, but do we look autistic yet?

Nederlandse versie

Misschien kan je kijken naar onze genen, naar de manier onze hersenen werken. Misschien heb jij een beter zicht dan de meeste mensen of heb je Superman’s x-ray visie.

Misschien is het het pigment van onze huid, onze rimpels, de manier hoe onze huid eruit ziet. De kleur. Hoe ze voelt. Huid gevoelig aan aanraking of niet gevoelig genoeg. Goed tegen de koude. Goed tegen de warmte. Gevoelig voor bepaalde stoffen of zalfjes.

MIsschien is het onze neus. MIsschien is het het puntje dat verraad dat we iets zijn wat jij niet bent. MIsschien is het verraderlijk puntig of een neus zoals jij er nog geen hebt gezien. Een neus zoals geen ander. Een neus voor dingen die jij nog niet hebt gezien in je vriendenkring. Een neus vol nieuwsgierigheid voor de wereld rondom en voor de mensen en dieren die het bewonen. Een neus die de geringste geuren op pikt, die jij niet waarneemt, dingen waar jij enkel kunt van dromen.

Een mond zoals jij er nog geen hebt gezien. Lippen die voelen. Lippen die er anders uit zien. Misschien is het dat. Lippen die een andere complexie laten zien. LIppen die anders kussen dan anders. Lippen die misschien helemaal niet kussen. Lippen waarlangs de raarste feiten passeren in een almaar blijvende stroom. Een stroom die voor jou onophoudelijk lijkt, maar voor ons maar een seconde betreft in de database vol feiten. Of lippen die niet praten maar geluiden maken. Lippen die onherroepelijk zeggen dat ze van je houden.

Ogen. Ogen in elke kleur. Ogen die je aankijken of niet. Ogen die waarnemen. Ogen die elk detail waarnemen en dan een geheel vormen. Ogen die alles waarnemen aan jou. Wat je draagt. Welke kleuren. Welke stof.

Haar dat bestaat in elke kleur of gewoon in de kleuren die je kent. Haar in alle vormen en lengtes. Gevlecht. Lang. Kort. Geschoren.

Ik weet niet waar je naar kijkt wanneer je zegt “dat we er autistisch uit zien”, maar zien we er al autistisch uit?


How it feels: Depression

Although Depression is a comorbid of autism (it happens so freakishly many that it could almost be a criteria of autism), that I want to talk about it.

I only noticed that I was depressed as of january 2015, when I first tried to commit suicide. Thanks to Alexithymia I never noticed my depression, although I exhibited all the symptoms. My mom never told me about them, although she has them herself, and I never bothered to look, because I didn’t feel them.

It has crushed one relationship I know of, and one ended while I was suicidal and it drove me of a clif, hence my suicide attempt a few years ago.

Did I become less suicidal since then? Nope. It goes in remission and strikes with a vengeance. Although I don’t attempt anymore, thoughts about it frequent my brain more than I dare to admit.

This is when I know that I should do something about it.

Yes, I am one of those that takes anti-depressants. I am one of those. I am one of those statistics. Although I do everything in my power to not be one of them, I can’t help it. It happens. My brain is wired to be depressed, thanks to a society that doesn’t value it’s autistic community.

Although, I must admit that I have an awesome supportnetwork build around me, it is not enough. I still am suicidal, which is a far side of my depression.

I have days that I don’t exhibit any symptoms and you could say I almost look happy, and I have those days that I can’t get out of bed, but I must, out of necessity (I live together with my girlfriend and she wants to at least see my face every once in a while).

When I know I am depressed there is no sense in my body, I have a very heavy feeling, I don’t feel like eating and I have nothing I want to do. Absolutely nothing. I can be fairly active in the beginning of the day, and it comes in the afternoon that I feel heavy and don’t feel like doing anything.

I think it is triggered by an unconcious thought that triggered something and made me feel that way, I don’t know.

I write this article because as of now, I feel more and more depressed, suicidal even. It is not a great feeling, but apart from that, I try to write my articles for this blog.

Some days I have great inspiration for this blog, but I think you ought to know that on some days, I will be depressed (maybe even suicidal). So there is no shame in feeling this way and if you need help, in any shape or form, there is no shame. Although society thinks there is, you are not the whole of society, as am i. You don’t need to wear a mask for me, as I won’t wear a mask for you (hence this openhearted blogpost).

If you need help, look for help. Not all people will be enthousiastic, but seek out help anyway, talk about it with people, it will help.

Logitech MX Sound

Music is an important part of a daily routine for most people. It brings rest, relaxation and focus. In movies it is a large part to bring the suspence and to bring atmosphere. A good set of speakers is a therefore a must. Is the Logitech MX sound a viable option?

The MX sound are the latest generation speakers of Logitech. When you take them out of the box you get 2 black, sleak speakers and cables to connect them (3.5 mm jack) and a power cable.

You will notice, when you take them out of the box, that there are not buttons or dials on the speakers itself, also you will notice that in the design they put a large L and R marked into them, so you know for sure how they should go on your desk, or wherever you want to put them. For many this will be a silly thing to point out, but it is helpful for many of us. They are even noticable with bad eyesight.

No buttons or dials? How do you work with it? How do you raise the volume? In the right speaker there are pushbuttons marked by lights (which light up when you wave in front of them). They go out after a while (thanks to the power saving technology). You have 3 of these light up buttons. Two to control the volume, and one to connect with bluetooth.

Bluetooth? Indeed. These speakers have bluetooth 4.1 technology installed and can be onnected with up to 3 devices (2 through bluetooth and 1 with the 3.5 milimeter jack). Thanks to the Logitech Easy Switch technology you can switch between playing with different devices. Thanks to the 3.5 mm jack you can play these on most common devices, even those that don’t use bluetooth technology.

It is not a surround set, so probably not so good for the movie-buffs amongst us. This is a great set to set on your desktop to be used as desktop speakers and to connect your mp3 player or smartphone.

If you are thinking of passing this by because of soundquailty? Don’t. This set has a very decent sound and play bass up to a decent level (not so that your desk starts to shiver. The volume is also loud enough so you can play music for the whole appartment, not just for you alone, in front of them. These are not speakers to be used on tommorowland, but for home-use they are certainly awesome.

If I was in the market for a good set of speakers, I would certainly buy these, as they give good value for money and will let you enjoy your music for years to come.

soldering: what do you need?

To be really spartan: the only thing you need is a heat source and solder (and something to solder to). To be more safe and do soft-soldering (the thing most people think of when they speak of soldering), in my opinion you need the following:

1. A soldering iron

A good soldering iron is never wrong. You can go with just a soldering iron or one that you can control (although those are generally more expensive. I myself have both. One that I can control the heat of and one where I can’t. For a good soldering iron, I recommend Weller, for beginners, although when you are more experienced, you can go with more expensive options (but it’s not necesarry).

2. Solder

I heard you smack your head. Off course you need solder. In Europe, solder with lead is illegal, so there is no lead poisoning here, although to be on the safe side, always solder in a wel ventilated area. In other parts of the world they do sell solder with lead, although easier to work with, it is toxic (the lead in the solder is not good for you), so be carefull. I recommend using solder without lead.

3. A surface

This is a duh! moment, but once I start explaining it, it won’t be so obvious. I have thought about this. Where are you going to solder? Do you have a dedicated area for it that is fireproof (or at least heat resistant)? I don’t have this dedicated area, so I had to go look for another option. A ceramic tile is an option, as these are heat-resistant and fireproof. Another option is those materials used to set bunsen-burners on. Those are available through ebay (if you want them cheap). A third option (and the one I went for) is an ESD-mat, used to work with electronics (so also heat resistant up to a certain temperature for soldlering). Very cheaply available through ebay.

4. A third hand

I don’t think you are able to hold the thing you need to solder, your soldering iron and the solder while soldering, so this one is obvious a necessity. You can go for more expensive models, but you can get one as cheap as 7 euro on ebay.

5. A tip-cleaner

Although some soldering irons come with a small sponge to clean your tip, I don’t have to tell you that heat and water don’t mix that well. This is why to keep your tip in optimal condition, it is better to clean your tool with a metal sponge (with tool I mean your soldering iron, not the other thing), you can buy those ready to go for 15 euro, but you can also just buy a metal sponge used to clean out pots for 2 euro for 6 and cut a hole in an empty soda can to keep it in, so you have a means to clean your tip in a cheap manner that is also good for your tip.

Optional: solder sucker

Only if you are going to desolder things from electronics (or maybe to resolder your own mistakes, you will need a solder sucker. I was able to find one for 2 euro on ebay. Although I can’t compare the quailty with other solder suckers this one works perfectly.

Teriya Chapter 1

It was a quiet summer day. Children playing outside. The smell of barbeque filled the air. Dad who cooked the meat. Mom who prepared the vegetables. Molly playing on the trampoline. Everything was awesome. I was behind my desk as usual. My computer. It had drawn me in again. Everything was tuned out. Apparantly my mom had called me to help a few times, but had given up. She told me later. She was crying when she told me. Asking why I had done, what I had done. What they had told her I had done. She didn’t believe them at first.

My computer has been my life and my friend the past few years. I was to sick to go to school and my mom had gotten me this computer, cheap from a friend, so I at least could follow school, from my bedroom. I was a pale small kid and constantly picked on, so I was glad that I could stay at home. I learned quick. I learned to program thanks to what I found online and had gotten into a community for programmers. They learned me all kinds of tricks. I had gotten this old machine up to 25 procent faster than it was supposed to go. Even though it was an old machine, it still worked flawlessly. The only thing that bothered me, was that the cd drive wasn’t working properly. Sometimes it took my cd’s, at other times it spit them back out. Great if you wanted to play a game. Now it didn’t do it at all anymore. So no more gaming.

This is when I started programming more and more. I started making text-based adventures from the books I had lying around. The three musketeers where you could make your own musketeer to take on an adventure. 20 000 miles under the sea where Captain Nemo flew an airplane, that kind of crazy things.

I heard the dog bark. It wasn’t at all unusual that Daffy barked. Daffy barked at anything. Daffy was my german shepherd. I had gotten him when I was  4 years old on christmas day. I came  downstairs. My eyes still half-closed from sleeping. I saw my present. A big box that seemed to move on it’s own. I lifted the lid and saw this German Shepherd puppy staring up at me. I picked him up. His eyes staring in mine. “Are you going to be my friend?” As an answer he licked my face. I took that as a “yes”. When I used to go to school, he walked with me to the busstop and got back home on his own. Smart dog.

I heard him barking again. I was at the computer. My mom, dad and sister Molly where at the back. The barking came from the front. I heard a gunshot and then no barking anymore. I stayed at the computer. I kept typing. I didn’t know my dog had died. I heard my dad cursing. My mom rushing to the front. My dad running after her. I didn’t know where my sister was, as I didn’t hear her. I heard the front door crack. Yelling. I didn’t know where my parents where this time, but I heard boots on the stairs. A few seconds later I had guns pointed at me. I was 12.

A few months later, my mom and dad divorced. My sister was living with my dad. I was imprisoned. A virus I had written had infected a few thousand computers thanks to a bug in how the operating system stored certain things in memory. Not so complicated. I didn’t know that much computers still worked on that kind of processor as it had been stopped being manufactured some years ago. Apparantly, a few hundred were government. My parents were fined and I was imprisoned. Juvinile delinquent. I was put into a sort of prison for guys like me. Some had commited murder. I had destroyed a few dozen hard drives with a few lines of code. Apparantly my lines of code were as grave as having stolen and beaten an old lady so you could go and buy a bottle of liquor. I heard the sentence a guy got and what he was in for. 10 years, I had gotten. 10 years of my life away. 10 fucking years.

Now I’m free again. Waiting for mom to pick me up.

10 autism myths and causes of autism

This article is based upon this article by Autistica.

Autism myths are annoying for everyone. First for autistics themselves. We have to write the same things over, and over and over. Ad infinitum. It get boring pretty quickly to type the same information each and every time the topic of autism flashes before my eyes.

Autism awareness is a beautiful thing. More people know that we exist. Most information out there are misinformed pieces written by neurotypical parents about their kids and so, we are in dire need of some good information about autism. So here comes some autism mythbusting.

Myth number 1: Autism is caused by vaccines.

This is a myth that affects not only us daily, but also those that can’t be vaccinated because of conditions. Diseases that were practically eradicated have flared up again and are now a global epidemic once again because of one doctor and his tampering of research. I hate the folks that still believe vaccines cause autism and call us vaccine-injured (yes, I had this happen to me. it’s difficult to keep your cool in that discussion).

Here is a good article that dispels that myth in great detail. (https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/04/28/vaccines-and-autism-a-thorough-review-of-the-evidence/)

Myth number 2: Autism is a childhood condition

Most information you read and hear about is about children. This is because most autism warrior parents dominate the stage and talk about how grave their life is with an autistic in their midst. And still… Here we are. I personally know autistics that are 40-50 years old. Some even older. I was diagnosed at 29, a few months before my 30th birthday. This to proof that autism is a lifelong something. Most diagnoses happen in adults, after a long search for their identity.

Myth number 3: Autistic people have a special talent

This is one of the first things they ask: “what can you do?” like I am some kind of super hero. Some autistics develop savant skills. One thing I am good at is magic and mentalism. I am not an expert, but I can watch a magician and reverse engineer his effect with the obsessive knowledge I accumulated over more than a decade. I can’t draw in perfect detail. I can’t play music (except a few notes of Satisfaction by the rolling stones on electric guitar). Most Aspie Supremacists will give you an extensive list of things they see as their skill that they have thanks to autism and also the highlight on autistic savants keeps this myth alive, but actually it is what it is. A myth. We are only human.

Myth number 4: Autistic people have learning difficulties

I went to a normal school and scored average points (although in some things I was better than my colleagues.) During my autism testing I was told that I could have studied in a higher level than I was in during my schooling, if only they had told me sooner. This is anecdotal evidence, but I know enough autistics that have no learning disability whatsoever. They all went to a normal school, had normal results, finished their schooling together with their peers. Yes, there are autistics with comorbid diagnoses, but these are what they are. Comorbids. They shouldn’t be seen together as if it was caused by autism, because it wasn’t their autism that gave them the intellectual disability, otherwise all autistics would have them, which is not true. Not being able to use their mouth to communicate is not a sign of no intelligence. Look at Niko Boskovic for an example of a young man whom doesn’t use his mouth parts to communicate, whom is very, very intelligent.

Myth number 5: Autistics are anti-social

I talked about this with my counselor. It’s not that we, autistics, don’t go out often, that we are anti-social. It’s not because we don’t actively go out looking for social contact, that we are anti-social or are lonely. We just don’t feel the need to socialize that often as neurotypicals, but whenever someone comes over to visit, I will sit with them and talk with them. I don’t retreat in my room or ignore them the whole time. I just don’t have the need to go out and meet people everyday, because that would quickly become overwhelming. I think most autistics feel this way. Wanting to be alone is not the same as loniless. The same is true for not wanting to go out and meet people all the time as being the same as being anti-social.

Myth number 6: Autism can be cured

I have removed someone whom told me that autism could be cured. He asked me to stop spamming his IM on facebook with articles that were of better research that proved him wrong. I could refute every claim he made, and eventually had to remove him. Autism can’t be cured. I want to meet someone face to face whom tells me this and what cure they suggest. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a physical confrontation. Chellation is one suggested cure, which is basically diluted bleach inserted through the anus, which is said to cure autism, but slowly tortures autistics and destroys their bowels. Another suggested cure or therapie is ABA. ABA is invented by Lovaas (although ABA practitioners will wrongly attribute it to Skinner). ABA uses techniques that are used to train dogs with a surplus. They use electricity often (as by Lovaas’ cattleprod) and often will hit the autistic or take away items of their interest to get them to comply. It will make them comply, but it won’t cure their autism. It destroys the child to make it more manageable for the parents. Most autism warrior parents are in favor of ABA (No surprise there).

Myth Number 7: Only boys are autistic

I will counter this one easily: on my twitter feed I see more posts by female autistics than by males. Case Closed. (except that most autistic females are misdiagnosed with other conditions before being rightly diagnosed as autistic. Their search and diagnose of their true identity is a long and tedious struggle. Most “experts” of autism that are gatekeepers to a diagnose, use outdated criteria and often oversee females in this diagnose as most outdated criteria are entirely male-centered).

Myth number 8: Autism is caused by bad parenting

This is a myth sent into the world by Kanner and Bettenheim that the mother is to blame for making their kids autistics in the “refrigerator mother” theory, which still haunts women today. They still blame themselves for their kids autism thanks to more myths that circulate (but I can’t list them all, because that would be to much work), there are theories that stress during pregnancy causes autism, or the women’s age during conception.

I think this shame is the cause for autism warrior parents, because moms blame themselves for their kids autism and want to eradicate it, so they want to undo their mistake and make their child normal, which brings us to the next myth.

Myth number 9: autistic people have no empathy

This is a myth that is overdue as well. If we have no empathy, how do you explain the fact that we care for animals and other human beings? Some of us have a comorbid (if you can call it that) which is Alexythimia (I have it), which makes emotions difficult to understand and recognize in ourselves and others. I think this is the basis for this myth. Yes, I will have difficulty understanding your emotional state, but if I see a negative emotion that I do understand, I will do everything I can to make you feel better. Most autistics have to much empathy and will shutdown or have a meltdown when they can’t handle it anymore. Some of us are depressed because of the state the world is in now and how humanity is doing. We are helpless but we want to help and get depressed because we can’t.

Myth number 10: “You don’t look autistic”

Because of a lack to put it in a better sentence, I put this last myth like this. How does an autistic look? This is something we get very, very often. The same as: “you don’t look like… (an autistic they know)”. Which means that we might have in their eyes, a better way of functioning. They don’t see our day to day struggles. They only see a snapshot of how we behave, or are on our best days online. If they really would live beside us, they would see that we are not that difficult or that we really are autistic (as if our diagnose isn’t prove enough). The fact that most laypeople have no notion of autistic culture or how diverse autism is, they don’t know what autism can be and don’t know that what I am for example, is also autistic. This is also in line with “everybody is a little bit autistic”. No, certain traits can be seen as being similar to autism, it isn’t autism. The same as having diarrhea (sorry for the graphics) a few times and exclaiming to a person with a bowel disease that you had what they have (I had this happen to me… just No!). You wouldn’t say that everyone has a little bit of cancer in them (to a person diagnosed with cancer), or everyone’s eyesight gets worse over time (to a blind person), the same is true for autism.



Black Mirror: why this title?

They could have chosen a more apt title. Maybe something snazzy even. But why Black Mirror? Why a title so simple? They could have taken something like “The matrix” or “Ghost in the shell” and made a title referencing those. Maybe a title referencing “1984”, or any work by Philip K. Dick. Why did they use a scrying mirror, but it’s more common name, as their title?

Because they show us an alternate future, a future ingrained in the things we do now, the things we are researching now, so they show us the future we are headed towards.

Some things in Black Mirror already became a reality. In China they are using a system based on popularity as a form of currency, obviously there is the reference to the pig scandal with the real former British Prime Minister, although because of very different reasons. There is the caricature of Waldo and American government now.

Black Mirror is showing us a future. A future that we are headed towards with the technology we have today. A future that doesn’t look like it’s making us any happier. Although, some of the episodes have a more bright future, most of them are indeed, black.

Most people don’t like being confronted with such a bleak view of the future and would opt for something happier, something more optimistic. This show obviously isn’t for them. This show is for those that like to look at the future and look at the implications our choices of today have on that future. Thintelligence is not an option here. This is how the chess game of real life plays out. You make choices now and they are reflected to you back when you least expect it.

The same is what Black Mirror is showing us. We look at the future as it is presented there and see the impllications of technology we invent now. How the technology in the future might infect us then. This is what “Our final invention” tries to warn us from.

As you might notice, I am not an optimistic person. I have a depression disorder. Although I continue on living, I don’t see any hopes for a good future for all of humanity. This is what Black Mirror shows you. I don’t think you can live a life without depression if you think about it enough, on a wide enough level.

Black Mirror doesn’t go away and paint a pretty picture. It shows us human nature, in all it’s colours. Although there isn’t an episode yet focused on disability, there are dark episodes, and those make you think just a tad bit harder.

Next in the series, I will be talking episode per episode and the ideas explored within and my view on these ideas.

Harry Potter and autism: opening the chamber of secrets

I wrote part 1 in this series (sadly with a less creative title here)

(the first was more like a stream of ideas that popped into my head and that I had to get out. This is going to be more structured. The way I want it to be written).

If we look at parenting in the wizarding world, you see 3 different kinds. You have Hermoine’s parents, The dursleys and the weasleys. The three stand for: neurotypical parents with an autistic child, the autism warrior parents and the autistic parents. You also have the aspie supremacists (the malfoys)

In the books, when Hermoine gets her letter from Hogwarts her parents are very supportive, as they get her all the things she needs and she already has read everything when she enters the train. In later books (and movies) you see that her parents are very supportive of her and really enjoy her being a witch. They want to see her developed the best she can into this new state of being, and this really empowers her. They never restrict her in going this path and meeting up with friends that are also neurodiverse. They support her studies and encourage her to do so. Never is there anything bad written about her parents. You see that she develops throughout the series as a strong independent woman, which can only be accomplished if she is also supported by her parents, as well as her friends.

Ron grows up in a bit typical autism family. Poor (as most autistics are), almost out of tune with the neurotypical world, but enough so we can manage. In later movies and books you see Mr. Dursley (by far one of my favourite characters), go through a train station trying to mask. Harry has to help him get through the gates, but he manages. He isnt’ noticed as being autistic, although in the first encounter with harry, you notice that he isn’t a typical parent. He loves how his boys experiment and in this way you see the power of autistics parenting other autistics. We all have our idiosyncrasies, but they are respected in that household.

Another all autistic household is the Malfoys. The Malfoys don’t like other autistics and see themselves being better. They don’t like to mingle with wizards (autistics) they see less than them. They also don’t want to mingle with neurotypicals, with muggles. They want to be their own elite group. I don’t know if this is completely accurate with a lot of aspie supremacists, but this is how I imagine them. I tend to steer clear of them as they can be quite toxic and deprive you of spoons for the following year.

Last ones are the dursleys. They adopted Harry and told him a different story of how his parents died than how they really died. They never told him his parents were wizards (or autistic) in this way denying that he is what he is: a wizard (autistic). This is the way a lot of autism warrior parents are with their autistic child. They deny that he (or she) is what he (or she) is. The dursleys force his hair to be cut, only to have grown it back the next day. Autistics, when they don’t like a certain thing, can be very, very stubborn, but also, because we have our sensitivities.

The first signs of harry potter being a wizard (making the glass plate dissapear) can be seen as his autism starting to shine through, like not making eye-contact. This is the time that the dursleys can’t deny anymore that Harry isn’t neurotypical and they start to treat him even worse. They look him up in the cupboard under the stairs and deny him even food. Denying him contact with his friends in book 2 is also something that isn’t done. This is also denying that Harry is a wizard (autistic) and wanting to shelter him away and try to make him neurotypical in a way aba would do. They never in the whole series see him as a human being, like in the secon book. When Mr. Dursley tries to get the big contract. Everybody has their role, and Harry’s role is to pretend that he isn’t there. That he doesn’t even exist. This is how ashamed a lot of autism warrior parents are of their autistic child, that they will deny that this child exists, wanting it dead or denying that it is autistic and making it as neurotypical as possible by therapies, drugs, remedies, chellation and other vile things.

This article chronicles different parenting styles according to Harry Potter. A next article will probably show up.

The power of naming things

This could be a continuation of my harry potter analogy. Also as a talk about labels.

In Harry Potter, everybody seems to shun Voldemorts name. Nobody wants to talk about them. Even the Dursleys don’t like to talk about wizards and seem to shun their naming.

The same happens with autistics. We are called person with autism and rarely autistic person, as most of us like to be called.

Autism parents are still a thing though, as if they have a patent on being called autism, because their child is “affected” by autism.  As if a terrifying thing can be named, but an identity is something to be shunned. A black person is a person of color. How would be call a colour if we werent allowed to call it that way? What if we discover that blue likes to be called magenta?

This post was inspired by a non-autistic person hating to be referred to as an allistic person, as if labeling things is a bad thing. Labeling things and giving them a name is a very powerful act. The fact that most autistics like to be called autistic is because autism is nothing to be scared off. It is part of our identity and of who we are, so off course, we are not scared of it, but a lot of non-autistics are scared of it and how to react to it, so they prefer to put person first, because they have to see the person first otherwise they are scared of the thing called autism.

There is a great power in naming things, as featured in the later books of Harry Potter. Dumbledore advises Harry to name his adversary by his name, because shunning his name, implies that you are afraid of the thing. Implies that you have to hide it.

I like the fact that in Ursula K. Le Guin’s books the power of the magic used is in knowing the EXACT name of something before you can wield the power of it. I love this.

This is why naming a non-autistic Allistic or Neurotypical is a good thing. It distinguishes between autistics and non-autistics and keeps us seperated because no, we are not all a little bit autistic. You are or are not autistic. The same goes with blue. Blue is not Red.

The fact that we label you as allistic is not unrespectful, but out of respect that you are not autistic, but still you are named in our discussions. You are a part of our discussions. A lot of talk amongst autistics is how can we communicate with allistics. We have no problem talking amongst our peers, because we are accepted either way, and we are learned the jargon along the way. Yes, autistics have specific jargon we like to use, like allistic is one of these terms.

Naming things is not bad. It’s a way to wield power. A way to identify. A way to talk so your peers know what you are talking about, and about our terms for the non-autistic community, no allistic has any say in it. These are our terms. The way we talk about you. We are the minority here.

Another example: The most powerful thing you have is your name. If you are lucky, only one person exists with your name. But it is something you will always respond to. When you are in a group or in a setting that is loud and you pick up your name (mostly your first name) in another conversation, you interest is piqued instantaniously and if you are like me, you would want to know what they are saying about you. This is the power of your name and of naming things in general.

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