12 December, 2006

DaRain Man

Posted in Abbott and Costello, Alas a Blog, Apologies and Peace Offerings, Asperger's and Autism, Marcella Chester, Personal Ramblings, Q Grrl at 6:07 am by Daran

Lifts head above parapet, and looks wearily from side to side

Does anyone remember the film “Rain Man“, and how the titular character, a profoundly autistic “savant”, was enraptured by the Abbott and Costello Skit “Who’s on First?” To him it’s a puzzle. He tries to figure out what it means, but he can’t solve the problem, because there is no solution. It doesn’t mean anything. But Rain Man can’t see this, so he keeps on trying to figure it out.

I am an Aspie. Asperger’s syndrome is a neurological condition classified as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). How these conditions relate to each other, indeed whether there is a true difference between Asperger’s, “traditional” (Kammer’s) Autism, “Savantism”, and other ASDs and whether it should even be considered a “disorder” are highly contested issues. For me, it creates difficulties in interpetting some neurotypical (meaning non-ASD) utterances.

It was me who derailed the thread, in comment #4, and I’m very sorry for that. I didn’t realise that Q Grrl’s comment #3 wasn’t intended to be parsed for meaning. It wasn’t even grammatical. It was the textual equivalent of a scream. If Q Grrl wants to scream at antifeminists, who am I to say she can’t?

But I did try to parse if for meaning, and the meaning I got out of it was the proposition ‘Those who say “women lie about rape” should also say “men lie about rape”‘. Since I disagree that antifeminists should be required to say “men lie about rape” I proceeded to argue against that proposition. Everything that has happened in this thread since then (apart from a second derailment initiated by what I guess was another scream, this time by ms_xeno) has been a series of arguments, counter-arguments, and counter-counter-arguments between DaRain Man, and the rest of you, in support of our various position as to who exactly is on first. And we’re still arguing it.

It’s an interesting question, and if anyone else is interested, I suggest we continue the discussion here. But I think I should let the rest of you folk get back to discussing the real topic, which was Marcella’s original post.

You may now all commence (or resume) screaming at me.

Posted to Alas. Also crossposted to Creative Destruction and Daran’s Blog.

Edited to add: Thanks to curiousgyrl whose comments lead me to this insight.



  1. […] Like the deranged scientist in a thousand horror movies, I have created a monster. It has broken free of the laboratory and now ravaging the land, growing stronger each passing day, utterly impervious to my efforts to halt it. The story of its creation is summarised here. However I should perhaps have said that it was as much Marcella’s comment as it was curiousgyrl’s, that made me aware of what a monster it had become. Both comments were made in reply to a post entitled “Women do(nt) lie about Rape”, which I have now deleted. Curiousgyrl alerted me to true facts of its birth, but it was Marcella, whose complete misunderstanding of my argument, and consequent total misrepresentation of it made me realise the true magnitude of the horror I had created. […]

  2. Ampersand said,

    Out of curiousity (because I don’t see any on your sidebar), do you read any blogs focusing on Asperger’s and Autism? http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/ , in particular, has long been one of my favorite blogs.

  3. Daran said,

    Yes, I’ve been reading her for a while. She’s fascinating, isn’t she.

    The blogroll’s one of several things I need to sort out. Ultimately I’d like to dispense with the “Blogroll” category alltogether, and have everything classified.

    Try Hovering over each link,.

  4. Ampersand said,


  5. Daran said,

    Did you notice the jokes?

  6. Ampersand said,

    Yes, I did. Although some of the ultra-long ones (like the one for Hugo’s name) I had to open up “properties” to read, because the little pop-up caption in firefox ran off the side of the screen.

  7. Daran said,

    I use Konqueror, which wraps the long ones.

    Anyone using IE? How does it look?

    p.s. Check out the Cathy Young link again.

  8. Ampersand said,

    p.s. Check out the Cathy Young link again.

    That’s very funny! Whoever your gagwriter is, you should pay him lots of money. And an ice cream sundae.

  9. Daran said,

    You are welcome to an ice cream sundae any time you come round.

    Just don’t mind the mess.

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