Monday, May 19, 2008

The savant frolfs with the good doctor

Last year while playing basketball, one of my friends, for some reason, called me autistic.

This year while frisbee golfing, or frolfing, that same friend made a reference to the Lethal Weapon movies, which I have never seen, which I admitted.

"I guess I'm just culturally retarded," I said.

"I think you're more culturally autistic," he said.

I had never heard the phrase "cultural autism" before. However, it seems to get thrown around a lot but rarely defined (just google the phrase). Some folks seem to use it almost interchangeably with the standard DSM definition of autism, except using it as a limiter relating to only the interpersonal manifestations of the disease. Others use it in a cross-cultural context, relating to those people who are unaware of the cultural norms of other places, such as stupid tourists.

My own definition, at least in the context of what I think my friend was hinting at, would probably be something like this: "an inability to engage with the the popular culture by which one is surrounded." I think this parallels the definition of actual autism: some autistic individuals are extremely intelligent, but lack the ability to interact with the world in a normal way.

So, am I culturally autistic, or autistic in any way?

No. I just haven't seen Lethal Weapon. I was busy doing other stuff. Very important stuff, I am sure.

Also, I am not incapable of properly engaging with others in a social context, I just don't want to, because I hate people.

I do not know why my friend keeps "diagnosing" me as autistic. Perhaps he has some weird pathology of his own that he tries to transfer on to me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must stop typing so that I can rock repetitively back and forth in my office chair.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I just like to call you names, is all.

Like sometimes I call you Sexy Bear.