Saturday, November 22, 2008

In Context, Denis Leary Is an Even Greater Asshole

A few weeks ago, the New York Post published an excerpt from Denis Leary's new book, "Why We Suck". The quote, from a chapter titled "Autism Shmautism", caused a stir because Leary claimed kids who were nothing more than brats were diagnosed with autism so their "inattentive mothers and competitive dads" would feel better about themselves. Leary later said the quote was taken out of context and if you read the whole chapter and book you'll see that right after the offending paragraph he talks about autistic kids he knows personally, which would demonstrate that he knows that autism is real.

Well, folks, I've read the chapter. It has been posted online. In context, it is even worse. Here's the part about his friends' autistic children:

"I know a couple of autistic children and let me tell you something they both have in common-they are extremely bright and attentive and­ much like Rain Man-have individual talents and abilities that would lay your empty little tyke’s video game-addled soul to waste. A truly au­tistic child may be able to reproduce music he or she hears with perfect pitch-entire classical pieces, the rock opera Tommy, the latest hit Broad­way musical-over and over again. OR tell you instantly upon hearing what your birthday is-what day it has fallen on every year for the last four decades. What the weather was on those days. Who the president was at the time. What the number one song on the radio was just before singing it note for note and word for word. THAT’S an autistic child. Not some fat-assed simpleton whose brain has been fried by television and the Xbox and no proper daily attention from his or her supposedly caring parents."

All he knows about autism comes from Rain Man and two (yes, that's 2!) autistic savants. The idiot thinks you have to be a genius or have some memory-related superpower to be truly autistic. Apparently, he's never heard the often-repeated saying "once you've met one person with autism, well, you met just one person with autism".

Leary then goes on to say, more or less, that Asperger's Syndrome does not exist. After describing the definition of Asperger's, he has this to say:

"Where I come from, we don’t call a guy like that a victim of Asperger’s. We just call him an Asshole Who Won’t Shut The Fuck Up. You wanna find people who don’t think it strange or boring or mind­numbing to listen to you ramble on and on and on about what it takes to plug electronic boxes into electro converters and then into tubeless amplifiers THROUGH a remote-access special effects board and blap blappety blap until shit shoots out of a guitar played by a guy wearing fourteen-inch-high platform-heeled leather boots and a girdle? Here’s the list:

1. The guy in the girdle
2. You
3. People with Kiss T-shirts on

That’s it.

You don’t belong in the spectrum of autism disorders. You belong backstage with a shitload of AA batteries and a suitcase full of roman candles. Long-winded and one-sided."

I hope his book tanks.

1 comment:

  1. "I hope his book tanks."

    Hmmm... I wouldn't be too sure of that: cultures that promote individualism tend also to blame the individual for everything. It's quite bizarre (if not downright disgusting) that someone has such opinions about something like autism but it's par for the course in the American discourse. I often feel many Middle Americans confuse freedom of speech with the non-existent "equivalence of all opinions"... I am, after all, constantly told to keep "an open mind" on Intelligent Design (for instance). I always ask whether I should keep an open mind on the Holocaust (for instance) too. Needless to say I don't get a response to that...

    Just my two cents...