Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Autistic Rambling

They like old nineties games because their dads are mostly geeks who played games like Sonic on the Mega Drive. Also I now feel very old

They are able to forgive surprisingly quickly. Example: "Johnny called you a dickhead because he had a bad day." "Oh. That's okay then. I'll try to be his friend now."

Confusion and anxiety are prevalent in almost every single student with ASC. That is the single common factor. Variations include: American accents despite the child never having visited America, caused by an overload of American media; nascent aggression caused by crossed wires of communication; stimming of walking rapidly from wall to wall in a room; emphasis on morbidity, finding pleasure in the deadpan, inhuman nature of death and gore; love of images over words; eerie mimicry of others' speech to the point where all signifier is lost (i.e. a child being told he was being disgusting using that word to criticise others despite the word not being at all applicable to that situation); creativity beyond the reach of most NTs; hyper-acuity to the extent that a sound two rooms away will be not only picked up but given all the student's attention; social detachment (a student playing cards with me will without warning pick up the cards and walk away when done with the game, despite my entreatments to continue); psychopathy, or at least pseudo-psychopathy (ironic psychopathy, toying with one's own emotions or lack of emotions).

The last point leads onto a theory I have which is that high-functioning autists are able to switch their emotions on and off, leading a life of simulation, but allowing that simulation to overwhelm them. To use a clumsy analogy, a surfer may leap into the waves with the board despite not being able to surf; when finding themselves struggling for breath underwater, they count that after-effect as evidence that they have surfed. This logic is entirely flawed, completely missing the goal, but, for those who work with these students, the importance is not in fact with the surfing, but with the after-effects. So a child such as one I saw today who is able to reproduce an emotional response as taught by others, who perhaps does not even truly feel it, but only feels the simulation, nonetheless is able to create a simulacrum so precise as to warrant attention and praise owing to its resemblance to a true reaction. The child in question, when seeing another student in crutches, visibly reproduced a reaction that was so out of character with this particular student's usual mode of behaviour that I saw his response as nothing but a practised, deliberate response: he asked the student in crutches whether he was OK, before giving him a prolonged pat on the shoulder, whilst talking and supporting him; this sort of body language is not expected of an eleven or twelve year old (I'm aware this is subjective, but I'm drunk so leave it) and I cannot help feeling it is a reproduction of the students' own experiences of sympathy, from others other than himself, or perhaps from teachers. The reaction seemed practised, stilted, old, fake. But a fakeness that functioned as a more than adequate substitution for the real.

The autistic manages to fake humanity so sufficiently as to show us up for the phonies we are. For true reality ought not to be perfectly reproduced, or even bettered in reproduction, yet this student managed it. And that is the world of the alienated autist: to realise that one's hollow reproduction has a greater effect on NTs than anything else, despite the feeling behind it not being there. A world without emotional qualia, only effects. My point is:

The high-functioning autistic is a postmodern human.



Friday, 24 January 2014

Dan!

My dad...

this evening I came in and said I had a headache and was going straight to bed.

Around 8:00 PM I'm woken by the sound of my phone vibrating. It's like a drill going through my head. I ignore it and try to go back to sleep.

A minute later I am woken by a whistle from downstairs. It sounds like a million birds screaming into my skull. I ignore it and try to go back to sleep.

Another minute later I hear another whistle from downstairs. This one sounds like Woody Woodpecker stabbing me in the eye.

So I go downstairs, my head killing me, my limbs ruined, my face finished.

"What is it?" I ask.
"Mastermind's on ((:D"



Still not as bad as the time I was in the middle of foreplay with Amy and he yelled up "DO YOU WANT SOME BISCUITS?"

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Old Noob

So it's been four years since I first went in the shit. Scratch that. Five years. Godamn. Five years since I first played a seemingly meaningless game killing zombies. And I've left the shit and come back to it. I'll never stop being a noob, simply because I'm not particularly amazing at shooting games generally. Haven't got the reactions, or the internet connection, or the spatial awareness. But once I've gone through a particular level enough times, I know which places are best to duck into, what spawns could happen and how I'll respond to them, and where to go when tanks appear.

I'm 28, and I'm old, and shouldn't be playing games, let alone the same game I was playing five years ago. It's okay to revisit old childhood games for some reason, and yet because you only visit them then leave again, it's acceptable. In the case of L4D, I return to it and am not sure when I'll leave. Civilization is a different matter entirely: that's become an ontological requirement in a manner that worries me a tad, but then the world worries me so that's nothing new.

Anyway, back to the game. As noobish as I am, changing my name to Noob to pre-empt the inevitable insults, I'm still better than most of the players now. What makes a decent player? Skill? Not just that - the ability to carry the weaker members of a team (up to a certain point where even my tolerance can't hold out). The definition of a noob was something that became clear to me a while ago: the player who heals himself and not others, and writes 'help' when he/she gets grounded, etc, etc. The list goes on and it's tedious for me to describe.

For I want to focus on the positive. And tonight, I think I made someone happy. Yes, even this stupid old game that's entirely violent and stupid and repetitive, something like this can produce an emotional reaction.

So we're at the beginning of Death Toll, up in a church tower. We're fucking about in the safe room looking for shit when I open the door and start sniping. Then I go downstairs to find a melee weapon. Foolish mistake: for I didn't realise until then I'd been the leader of my team, and had subsequently confused the shit out of everyone. They stood there waiting, instead of taking over my sniping duties as I expected. They were, essentially the noobs... but my point is that noob is subjective.

So what happened next?

Well, some excellent zombie spitting and hunting and charging (and booming) resulted in all three other players going to ground above me, while I stood waiting at the bottom of the ladder. The spitter had taken everyone down, and only I remained. I knew the spitter was still out there, but I had to get up before the other zombies spawned. So I went up: and a spit came. I somehow dodged it, and killed the spitter.

"I'm dying" said the guy, whose name I've forgotten. Let's say Bob.
I saw the message, saw his health, but realised if I didn't get someone up literally within the next second, we'd be dead. As I was getting someone else up already, I didn't interrupt and go to him (especially since he was nearest the door). A moment after getting the other player up, a boomer got Bob, and although I managed to kill the horde, one second after killing them, Bob died.
"This is too violent" typed Bob, as I got the other one up and we healed ourselves etc.

"Ok... I guess I'll go get a drink" said Bob. In that instant I felt bad for two reasons: his death was basically my fault, and the way he took it was stoic and yet you could hear sadness, instead of anger. Somehow that made it worse. If he had called us idiots or called me a noob (or 'not even a noob, the worst player ever!!!!' as someone had said earlier for no reason) I wouldn't have cared about his death. But he didn't. He didn't lay blame - he only accepted it.

The three of us knew we were probably not going to get very far. The others were below average ability, as was Bob. I could help them by telling them to go this way for only so long. So off we went, taking the shortest routes, being quick, and so on. We got about three minutes into the level, getting about a third of the way in, when I found a defib.

"Guys, we're going to go back and defib him" I wrote. "Come with me."

With not a word of protest, the others dutifully followed me.

"Guys what?" said Bob, not sure if we were joking. But, killing the odd horde here and there (as well as a couple of smokers, hunters etc) we made our way back in.

"That's amazing thank you. I've got a tear in my eye" said Bob, as we made our way to the safe room. "You came all the way back for me?"

I spammed Bill saying "No. No possible way. No can do," even as I applied the defib.

The zombies, unrelenting in their pursuit of slaughter, stormed the safe room again with a boomer, a spitter and a charger. But we pulled through. We made our way, poor in health, back through the level. I didn't tell the others I was now black and white. They didn't need to know.

Finally, having fought valiantly, we made it to the beginning of the event, where I stayed back on one health and entreated Louis to start the event just for the glory. I was too slow so I camped out and covered him back at the other fence. A jockey leapt on him. I sniped it off. A hunter leapt on him. I sniped it off.

"Start the event, Louis. Just rush... "

A boomer slapped me and I died. My last sight was of Louis heading into the horde.




- addendum-

The other team did marginally better than we had and were ten points ahead by the time the final level came along. Then, for some insane reason, three of them all ragequit. Seeing that the game would shut down if the last player quit, I switched teams to salvage the game. Bob understood. We kept talking through the game, even though we were officially enemies now. I told him once he needed to heal and he did. His team made it to the final event and died in the same manner as we did. My team won by fifty points, but it wasn't really about the score. It was about the game.

"That was really fun!" said Bob.
"Yeah it was! gg" I said, before adding him on my Steam list and riding off into the sunset of my desktop. Which isn't a picture of a sunset. It's actually a picture of the Grand Mosque of Djenne.

Either way, I'm astonished that a game can still produce moments of magic. You never know. Maybe Bob had a shit day. Maybe he spends his days being the quiet one in the corner no one cares about. I like to think I helped him feel better about the day, and maybe even about people in general. I remember being a rookie. My life was harder at 17 than it is at 28. About that I am sure. I'm still a noob inside, but it's fun pretending to the others out there that I'm not. And when they believe you know what you're doing, that's when you garner authority. I guess.

Irritation

"I've had enough," said Peter, sifting through his old collection of postage stamps whilst attempting to juggle with a set of bananas tied together by banana-fibre, "Everything's fucking irritating."
"Tell me about it," I said, before adding, "Actually, don't tell me about it, because you would bore me to death. Oh. Too late. You've already started going out about stuff that irritates you, and I'm already feeling the need to cave your head in using a spastic mushroom."
"A what?" he ejaculated, as crumbs flew from his stupid fucking mouth based upon the shortbread he was at that moment consuming and making enough noise to cause fifty pots of coffee to come to the boil, grumbling as they did so. "A spastic mushroom?"
"Oh, you're racist now, aren't you? That's great," I interjected, seizing the opportunity finally to tell him the exact thing that pissed me off about him. "You're racist, homophobic, spasticist, and you eat food as if there's no tomorrow. And because of fucking global warming, there isn't really - we're just living in suspended animation and our world has already ended. Fucking cunt entropy. Cuntropy I call it. Everything is pointless. Look at me with this report on my desk that I needed to hand in two hours ago. Who cares? Heat death renders doing anything meaningless. And don't get me started on nihilists. They declaim anything worth doing as meaningless.Yeah, like love is meaningless. Like affection. Love and affection."
"Joan Armadtrading song, that," piped up Wendy Borscht, local lackey and moon-faced gesture captain who articulated all her plosives using a combination of grunts, schwas and shrieks that she liked to call phonics but I called phobics because I mistyped phonics.
"You give me phobias," I interjaculated, pointing at her accusatoryingly, "Your hair is all over the place. You care about your hair. Your eyes are wonky. You slather makeup on then spend all day moaning about how ugly you are. You're overweight and spend all day moaning that you're overweight. Nobody cares. You care that nobody cares. Your problems are yours alone. I don't give a toss about how you feel about yourself and I'm not here to make other people feel better about themselves."
"That's not very nice," replied Peter, patting a bunch of dough and flour on the desk in order to make pizza.
I stopped for a moment. "Yeah, okay, maybe that was out of line. I hate being so fucking nice and considerate all the time. I sit and nod and listen and take in people and then it's like I've absorbed their souls and then when I try to sleep at night I can still hear their souls screaming and gabbering inside my head."
"Sounds like schizophrenia," said my boss Louie, handing another report to me like a baton.
"I took it as you would a baton if you were a relay runner. And godamnit, I'm tired of how I narrate every event of my life like it matters."
"Me too," said Debbie.
"Me too," said Edwina (Currie).
"Me too," said Bananaman.
"So... are you all saying that I irritate you lot as well?" I said, nonplussed.
"Yes," they replied, plussed.
"Oh. So I should stop moaning and just be polite because actually my problems are the same as everyone else's problems and that moaning about them makes me a hypocrite?"
"Pretty much," said Nonchalant Fred, munching on a toaster. "Thing is, humanity has turned into a sardine tin - we meet more people in a day than our ancestors did in a month, and we have the Internet meaning it's even harder now to be fully separate - and yet we still expect people to get along as if all this constant communication wasn't a hindrance - and yet our actual skill of being able to put up with people's foibles becomes increasingly worse until we isolate ourselves, thus further creating problems by then getting rid of any social skills we might have had left - and then."
"Stop it," I said, holding a hand up. "I can't stand your incorrect use of dashes."
"It's my style," said Nonchalant Fred. "It's how I roll. People are different. We all have our quirks - add a bunch of quirks up and what do you get?"
"Quarks?" attempted Science Man.
"No - you get culture. Art. Love. Beauty. Fascination." Nonchalant Fred now held the entire room in rapture and thrall and thrapture and rall. As well as ant. "We are all different. We have idiosyncrasies. Some have more than others. These are the eccentrics. You get the introvert eccentrics who just find everyone hard work. You - you are one of them," he concluded, pointing at me.
I was, all the while, holding my right hand up whilst pointing with the other. I realised my fatal error and put them back where they belonged. Meanwhile, my face had forgotten that a few minutes ago it had acquired a raised eyebrow expression owing to reading about a man who bonked a tangerine and had kept it that way for the ensuing time, thus making me look like a mental. "I'm tired of being a mental eccentric," I sighed.
"We know. We love you anyway," said Irritating Fucking Prick Cunt Face, also known as Dave.
"You... you love me?" I said, feeling tears of infinite irrationality cascading down my cheek like fractals meeting an Euclidian plane. And fucking it. "But I hate you all."
"You don't really."
"But I actually do. You could all die and I wouldn't care."
"But that's not true."
"Stop being psychic. How do you know?"
"Because we know you better than you know yourself."
"How can I not know myself when you do?"
"The owner of a house with boarded up windows does not know how pretty the house looks from the outside."
"Similarly, the people outside aren't aware that the person inside is doing the V-sign at everyone outside whilst having a wank."
"But if we can't see it, then it doesn't matter."
"DOES A BEAR SHIT IN THE WOODS?"
The office stood in consideration.
Then came a randomninja who aimed a sword at my face, saying, "No."
Then we all went, "Shit! A talking sword!"

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

thought i'd use the word generator thing then i got bored

The Sex's Destiny

Pellmell: in utter confusion with confused violence. That's what they told me it was. First came the sirens, then came the screams. They never did manage to alter time properly. Sex - it had gone wrong. First came the babies, then came the process of... fuck I've forgotten the word.

Either way, the whole nature of things got screwed up. Last thing I heard from Johnson Ray was that he had achieved a vasectomy around the age of 45, even though the last time I saw him his age was 82. Never mind: never mind, because in the end, we all deteriorate, even the Sasquatch. I ought to tell you about what happened regarding Judo-Basher Harry. The man had an awkward eye and a squashed gait. Never managed to rise more than four feet. Like a man caught permanently in a medieval pub. The guy wore spectacles but only on weekends. For afters, he consumed artichokes. After he choked, he bore his merchants many a tale of woven spaniels, and for the whole time he was in shock. Shock: the new therapy. Shock therapy, they called it. Best way to cure the whole Sex thing. 

Destiny, that great whale of a twat, which beseeched humanity into reproduction and fertilisation (there's the word) until it gave up and started creating Death instead of life. A woman in downtown Barnstead gave birth to a baby that was dead before it was born, so that the whole 'being born' process was no more than a consolation. She won a wooden spoon, which she later used to destroy half of Barnstead. It was a hard time - especially since

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Glimpse

I wake into darkness. I had dreamed of the baby again.

“You ever notice when you get those moments in your life that you take a photograph of and recollect forever? That you can bring up again and again, that same image?”
“Yeah.”
“You ever wonder why those particular moments are the ones photographed by your brain?”
“No.”
The voice goes on about memories and moments and how life is a collection of moments. I feel like I've heard it all before, although I haven’t. If I could collect a bunch of moments and present them to this voice then maybe she might stop the conversation and I can go on thinking about the thing I was thinking about because there was something I had been thinking about that was important.
“So your life,” it says, “is largely defined by your memories. You exist as a story and that story is made up of these moments.”
“Right.”
“What moments in your life are the moments you can conjure up?”
“I don’t know. You tell me.”
“You have to think.”
I don’t want to think about this stuff. She doesn’t have control over me. She can’t tell me what to think. Can’t tell me what to do. Nobody has the right to tell me what to do. I’m fine as I am. Leave me be.
“I’m trying to remember.”
“You’ve been trying to remember for long enough. Because of this, you are forgetting.”
She keeps telling me these things and I guess she’s doing it for a reason, but all I’m feeling is jarred, shaken about. I sit inside my cauldron mind.
“It’s been a hard year.”
She tells me this and that’s too much information so I retreat. According to her report which I was given permission to read afterwards I spent the next ten minutes or so rocking back and forth saying ‘not ready yet’ over and over again. But that’s not me. That’s not who I am. That’s not what I do. But I acknowledge I did it. I know at the time of doing it I thought I was doing what I wanted to do. I was lucid in my own way. My memories are the only real things. My mind’s not a skipping stone - it’s the river that’s fake.
The memories we have as babies and as very young children are banished and buried - does that mean they never existed? If life is a collection of moments then any memories that are not part of those moments are meaningless? No. But how to juggle the meaning of things when you look at something present and it’s already past? A child weeps at the pain of a needle. But the pain is not permanent. It does not matter and the child will be over it in a matter of minutes. But within those moments of pain there is a reality. A thing. With feelings within that moment.
And yet, because it is forgotten, because a child’s memory can only hold so much the moment is essentially non-existent. What I’m saying is, there are moments of sensory interaction but they are without importance. So essentially the being without memory does not exist.
“You say that but that’s not true. A feeling felt, even if not held in linguistic memory, is held by something. Not God. But something. You need to recognise that your behaviours are linked to a moment and your only mode of catharsis is to acknowledge that there was an original memory that put this in place.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
“But you haven’t been doing it properly. You’ve been assigning a process that’s detrimental to catharsis. You need to fictionalise it. Delegate emotions. Sentimentality.”
“I don’t do sentiment.”
“That’s why you’re struggling right now.”
“Struggling with what? I don’t remember anything, so how can I be struggling?”
“You’re struggling because you forget.”
“If I don’t remember anything, then there’s nothing to forget.”
“Solipsism. You need to listen to me and stop doing what you’re doing. You have a problem - not being able to recognise it yourself doesn’t mean it’s not there. You need help.”
That’s not going to happen. People spend their whole lives assigning trauma to themselves in a vain attempt to justify their own sickly moods. Fictional abuse. Placebo disorder. Simulation sectioning. This makes no sense.
“Then why are you here?”
“I don’t know. Where is here?” I reply.
And I recall. And I recall. I attempt to backtrack. And I recall. There was a room, and a hall, and a queue, and a selection of people in a semicircle, and smiling but sad faces with labels on their pale blue shirts denoting names. These rooms were different but the same. The same air. The same feeling, a feeling that was illness itself. Closeted emotion. Reduced movement of both body and mind. And yet socialising for some reason despite this crippling and overbearing environment of illness. Shared illness. Common ground of some kind. A speed date without the date or the speed. I was one of many. And we were there. Voluntarily.
“Voluntarily,” I say. “Except not really, in my case.”
“Yes,” comes the reply.
“I chose to be sectioned by you.”
“Yes.”
“I paid money to you in order to be sectioned.”
“Not sectioned as such. Depends how you judge society.”
“Society is a prison for a truly free mind.”
“I see.”
“I saw it advertised didn’t I?”
“Yes.”
“So I’m actually sane, but deliberately wanted to be certified.”
“Yes.”
“Doesn’t that make me insane?”
“Depends how you define insanity.”
A pause. I attempt to recollect why. What happened? Why might I be insane? What time there was in this room had been taken from me. Who was to say how long I had been here? Or not in here? My hands could be those of a fifty or thirty-year old. No mirrors. Only the lone white window at the peak of this darkened room, a room that feels as though it is a rung on a spiralling lighthouse stretching into heaven. My place is as a cog. I was never part of any system before. That might be why. Perhaps I was over-isolated, without goals, with nothing but chaos and lost dreams. Being part of something bigger - even if it was an insane asylum - might have been part of my plan. Or maybe I was normal before something happened and then I lost time, lost myself. But how can we know who we are if we don’t know who we were?
“What were my reasons for coming here?”
“You asked us to let you in.”
“So you don’t know either?”
“No.”
“So I’m in here and nobody knows why.”
“You paid for the privilege.”
“So my wallet knows.”
“Yes.”
“Who exactly are you? How can you not know?”
“Because...”
“Yes?” I say.
“Because I’m you.”
“Oh.”
“Can I leave then?”
“Yes.”
I get up and try to gather time about me. It is strung out along the floor, a red fluffy mess. Stone walls. I creep my way along them until sudden smoothness. Warm wood. Further down, a door handle. I grab it and open the door.
And I awaken.
The wife lies asleep next to me. My eyes are not quite open but are. I open them and they still don’t feel open. Only touch serves adequately. Not wishing to wake her up, I fumble into the bedroom, onto the carpet, which bristles at my leaden weight. Another door handle. I open it, and enter the corridor. A set of rooms that diminish into darkness.  Bathroom at the end. Perhaps that was why I got up: for the bathroom. I shuffle towards this destination. An open door to the right. I enter. A baby’s room. Blankets lie in a cot. And there, inside the cot, lies the baby. It is on its front. My mind takes a photo as time and space freeze forever.

I wake into darkness. I had dreamed of the baby again.