Sunday, October 21, 2012

Voting

  As I recently turned eighteen, I now have a say in my country's government. It is important that young people voice their opinions. People before us have fought, died, and risked their lives so that we could have a say, and we should never just throw that opportunity away.
  The most important example of a group of  men who had this willingness to die and sacrifice themselves I think is America's Founding Fathers. I mean, even my British readers should give them some credit. At the end of the Declaration of Independence, they pledged one another their lives and their honor as gentlemen so America could be free. You have to admit that it took some guts to do that.
   The man who crafted these words was no idiot bumpkin himself. He was Thomas Jefferson: a brilliant, quiet, and thoughtful man who became America's third president. Though not one to stand in the front of a room and speak (he was rather soft spoken), he could write exceptionally well and that was why he was chosen to write the Declaration in the first place.
   A little known fact is that many experts today believe Jefferson had Asperger's Syndrome. It's not very hard to believe: a quiet genius who managed to double the size of America during his presidency. It would take an exceptional man to do that, and Jefferson did it. He was also far more casual than his predecessors: he often met people for issues in his bathrobe and slippers and walked to his inauguration.
  So, in this voting season, keep in mind Thomas Jefferson. The man fought for what he believed in in every way he knew how and became one of the most popular presidents today. I cannot not vote because I know a fellow Aspie fought to give me the right to vote, and I, for one, am not going to disappoint him.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Teenage...Vampire?

    Our culture today seems to be obsessed with vampires.  From the sparkling vampires of Twilight, the terror of Bram Stoker's Dracula, to the kid movies of Hotel Transylvania and The Little Vampire, vampires seem to be everywhere these days. And why not? They make great characters with interesting morals: in Dracula, Stoker makes his title character the evil bloodsucker who preys on innocent human life, yet in the more modern takes on vampires, they can be friendly, even reluctant vampires . It's quite the question: who exactly are these vampires? What makes them who they are?
   Sometimes, I feel like being an Aspie is a lot like being a vampire. No, no, we don't drink blood. That's not what I meant. I mean that there are a lot of representations about Aspies that are false out there in the world, so many people don't know exactly what to make of us because they are presented with so much mixed information.  Some people, for example, just lump Asperger's with autism. However, we are in our own special category with our own odd quirks and interesting ideas. See what I mean?
   While we may never know the correct 'definition' of an Aspie, like we will never quite be able to 'define' vampires, I think we can go out and try to help people understand. You truly can never know someone until you talk to them and start learning. I think the world could learn a great deal from us, but first we have to show them the correct representation of who we are. We are not the stupid, sparkly vampires of Twilight or the ruthless Count Draculas the world sometimes makes us out to be but the kind and often misunderstood 'vampires' who only want to be like you.  We can prove to be steadfast friends, loyal students, and interested intellectuals...someone you would enjoy knowing . Just give us a try.

P.S. If you have not heard of and want to see these movies (The Little Vampire and Hotel Transylvania) or read Dracula, I highly recommend them.