The Urban Dictionary has some interesting definitions of the term “Aspie”:
A superior being, while deficient in chaotic morasses such as small-talk, inferior double-standard-laden customs and values trumpeted by Neurotypicals, and deciphering Neurotypical body-language, more than makes up for it with a sharp, penetrating mind that is highly adept at developing an intense focus on a subject giving them a near-savant level of proficiency, an inborn sense of principles that allows them to develop practically consistent characteristics and values, and an ability to reason independently, reducing their susceptibility to dogma, acceptance of groundless assertions, and the hazards of groupthink.
The eccentric man with the encyclopaedic knowledge, monotone voice, and static facial expression must be an Aspie.
An aspie is one who has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is believed to be part of the autism spectrum. Aspies, while being quite gifted verbally, have social, emotional, and sensory integration difficulties, among others. Aspie is an affectionate term, and is not meant as a put down.
My son is an aspie, so he’s not so great at making idle chit chat at parties, or even at being in crowds, but he can get us home from anywhere. He says he just consults the map in his brain. Continue reading
I have never read VS Naipaul, but this passage from the New Republic is striking:
Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, is known for what one commentator described as a “terrifying honesty”—but not so much for his sensitivity. As his first wife, Patricia Hale, battled breast cancer, Naipaul left her alone for long periods, carrying out serious affairs with other women. When Hale was temporarily in remission, in 1994, Naipaul discussed his past visits to prostitutes in an interview with The New Yorker. “I think she had all the relapses after that,” he told his official biographer, Patrick French. “All the remission ended.” Of her death two years later, he added, “It could be said that I killed her. It could be said. I feel a little bit that way.” The day after the cremation, Naipaul invited Nadira, a Pakistani journalist, to move into the Wiltshire home he had shared with Hale.
“I must thank Nadira for bringing Augustus into my life,” Naipaul continues. He is visibly upset, and I ask when the cat passed away. “This last September,” he replies. It is October 1, and I offer a cliché about time healing all wounds. “No, no, the previous September 26th,” he explains, sounding deeply wounded. “A year ago. The terrible part of it is that people suggest to me that I get a new cat, that I invite this new cat into the home I shared with Augustus. As if this one should just be replaced so soon. It shows a lack of understanding.” Continue reading