Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Balagan and Bullying

Definition: Balagan- chaos, upended reality, fiasco, hullabaloo on steroids.

I have to tell everyone that I write this blog for several reason. One of course is that I hope other parents read what I write and are able to use some of the information that I have learned about raising children on the autism spectrum. But I also write to let off steam. If something bothers me instead of keeping it inside, I blog. I figure its alot healthier than developing an ulcer or walking around really grumpy. Generally it works out quite well.

So there I sat and wrote my little blog post about Glee and how I was none too pleased with the Sugar character. I tweeted it like I do all my posts, hoping that someone would stop by and leave a comment and even begin a little discussion. Well who would have thought that after writing this blog for several years, the post that would have caught fire was the one about Sugar. (Its the post before last so I won't link to it).

All of a sudden I am getting hundreds upon hundreds of hits. Now I generally wouldn't mind the attention except this was not the attention you look for. Since I was able to track back the hits I took a look where everyone was coming from. On some forums and even some blogs, I am quoted by some rather disgruntled individuals. Their choice of language would make a sailor blush. It's not like I haven't been called names before. Demanding the proper services for your children gets you called all kind of names particularly by your neighbors. Also, considering the names some politically-conservative women are freely called in the mass media, I should not have been surprised that there are people in this world who think they can freely use these vile terms, but really society, over a television show?

My questions are simple: Who is raising these children to use such language and think they are entitled to use such language? Does noone teach these young people manners or even the proper use of the English language (most of the grammar was appalling)? Do these children not have school work and if they are young adults, which is the general notion I took from the blogs and forums, do they not have jobs or any responsibilities at all? At their age I would not have had time to mess around on the Internet. I had things to do and goals to accomplish.

Heavens to Betsy. Did you know that you are NOT allowed to NOT like Glee. And everything the writers and producers do on that show is golden. Apparently I have angered some GLEE gods somewhere on the Internet and they have decided to declare war on me and my blog. I actually had to disable the anonymous filter for my blog because while these individuals can call you names, they never think what they say is important enough to lend a name to their nastiness. Now that took care of alot of the nastier comments. But still...really children get a life. This country has real problems. Get out of the house. Go work at a food bank or soup kitchen. Go volunteer at a pediatric cancer ward. Grow up for heavens sake.

I have to tell everyone that I generally don't get surprised by too much. Having dealt with the boys and their issues it never surprises me when they come up against some nasty people or some kind of roadblock. I always tell them to be careful when they go on line to You Tube because there are trolls out there in the blogosphere. What I never expected was to have to deal with trolls myself and definitely not to the extent that I faced over the weekend. Well not here on this blog anyway. On the political blog I write I had expected it because, well its politics. But nope never happened there either. I did by happenstance get a poem telling me to deal with the real world recently on one of my political posts, but it was innocuous and not particularly threatening. Not really all that good poetry either even though I know the commentor tried. (By the way, also written anonymously).

Honestly I have yet to figure out what the balagan was all about.  I didn't like the character and how she was portrayed. I thought Glee missed the mark. Hello, US of A, people are entitled to their opinion. The problem I see is that there are some of the younger generation who think that being nasty is just fine and dandy. That someone trolling and harassing another person on line is fine and dandy. That CYBERBULLYING is fine and dandy.

It's really interesting because I always talk to parents about how to help their children avoid cyberbullies. Just never thought that I would have to deal with it for me. It won't stop me from telling it as I see it, especially how aspergeans or autistics are portrayed on television and mass media. However, there is a truly perplexing underlying issue at hand. The problem that I see in this entire episode is that there is a huge part of the next generation of young people out there who think they are entitled to be as nasty and vile as they want because there are no repercussions. Honestly, I do not think  this bodes well for the future by any means.

Before there used to be consequences for inappropriate behavior, not anymore. Society does need to find a way to deal with this "I can be as mean as I want mentality" before it really becomes the way of the world and a totally accepted part of a generation. I don't think we are there yet, but am not sure we are too far from just throwing up our hands and saying..."oh well." We, the older generation, are responsible for the future we hand to our children. Its not only about high taxes, unfunded social programs and runaway debt. It's also about social interaction and behavior. This Internet version of Lord of the Flies is a wake up call and I hope that the powers that be really are paying attention and not just providing lip service.

I remember years ago I wrote a post about facebook and cyberbullying. Well, the reaction to that post was the same kind of ridiculousness that I had to deal with over this past weekend. But the telling thing that I found was that these young people who had left comments on the facebook post, besides thinking they can call me a "bitch," (little do they know that that is the least I have been called in my life and quite frankly I embrace the term whole heatedly) decided that the problem I had is that I do not get their sense of humor. I ask: how is being cruel funny? How is making fun of someone and belittling them funny? How is holding someone up to ridicule because of their ideas funny?

The sad thing is that I do not think this attitude is isolated. Statistics tell us that despite all the anti-bullying campaigns in the school systems and the anti-bullying rules in these same schools, bullying of all kinds is at epidemic proportions. Violent crime among the young is at an all time low according to the FBI, but I just think those who would otherwise be beating up a neighborhood child is on-line tormenting someone they don't even know. Perhaps in some ways it is better. That nerdy kid down the block (i.e. our children) could be left alone for awhile, but on-line bullying is still bullying and it still harms society as a whole.

No I don't have any answers, just a lot of concerns for the future. As I wrote in response to one of the nastier comments I had been left,  I do not think this bodes well for society. Instead of doing productive positive things, there are myriads of young people who spend their time trying to hurt someone else. These young people are not learning a trade, not concentrating on getting an education not being productive in any way shape or form. In the end it will be children like my boys who are trying to lead productive and positive lives who have to end up taking care of these societal leeches. These cyberbullying leeches do not feel they owe the world or society anything. It boggles, the mind. It really does.

Also one more thing...what the heck is ableism? Apparently I am an evil ableist. Someone with aspergers called me that the other day too on one of the Glee blogs. Since the portrayal of Sugar was stereotypically aspergean I was offended. But because I thought that Sugar was stereotypical I am an ableist...I guess this person never truly got the idea that there are stereotypes of aspergeans in society and they are not all positive ones. For every Sheldon and Max, there is a Sugar. I swear you can't make this crap up.

Apparently now because I think the boys and others like them, should act socially appropriate and I don't make excuses for them, or allow them to make excuses for themselves, but expect them to be viable members of society, I am evil. I expect the boys to act according to society's rules. Learn how to interact appropriately. Learn how to function at a job and at school like everyone else. You can't be nasty to people just because you have aspergers. Aspergers may make things harder to accomplish but that just means you have to try harder. It's the hand they were dealt. Again grow up and deal with the reality of your situation. Accept your responsibilities and your choices. Figure out your triggers and learn to help yourself. The world may give you accommodations (as in school) and access (as in school) but they do not have to give you a future if you don't earn it appropriately. You aren't entitled to a free pass in life because you have aspergers. According to this aspergean because of this I do more damage to the autistic community than any negative portrayal of an autistic individual in mass media ever could. Nope can't make this crap up. I guess Dr. Temple Grandin and I are evil ableists. Oh well.

Truthfully I have decided that some people can't take responsibility for their own lives, their actions and their poor choices. I suppose in the end I learned one thing. To expect the unexpected on the Internet. The post you think will make a splash wont and vice versa. You can't please everyone and some people are truly not playing with a full deck....

Until next time,


Elise

P.S. The first comment below defines ableism...so Dr. Grandin as an autistic is not an ableist. But  accordingly, those of us who are neurotypical, even if we have autistic children, have no right to an opinion about anything having to do with autism. Who knew...well autistics who subscribe to that philosophy  are in for a shock and a half when they have to deal with me.