Wednesday, April 12, 2006


“According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 166 children have some form of autism. These cases range from mild to severe, and the prevalence of the disorder among the population has been on the rise since the 1980s.”
By Candace Lombardi
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: April 4, 2006, 12:20 PM PDT

HERE’S A QUESTION FROM GEO TO YOU: Why do you think autism is on the rise? Is it genetic or cultural? Comment if you please at the end of this post. . . .

SECOND QUESTION: Is this man autistic?


I’ve got a Myspace, you know, but I haven’t done anything with it. Here’s what’s strange. You know. . . ? You go over there and you see people toting up their lists of friends.

Now what is that—when someone claims to have 62 friends or some musician, trying to sell you his songs, claims to have a million friends, claims you to be his friend in order to sell you something? What does that mean? As far as I can tell from my longish life, if a man has a handful of real friends, he’s got all he’ll ever need. What kind of a friend is a blog friend anyway? What do you really know about someone you haven’t sat down over coffee with, across a narrow table, looked in the eye and revealed yourself. I find it infinitely easier to reveal myself on a blog than one on one. Just look at my other blog, Bottoms Up: the autobiography of a nobody. That’s a tell-all, though still less than a third finished, book. Easy to do so far.

Then—isn’t there something awfully sophomoric about collecting friends, adding them up, like kids seeking out cliques in school to belong to? Frankly, I wasn’t much of a belonger in school anyhow and damn proud of it. I’m softer now and like to have friends about me, people I can hug when the conversations over for the day. There is something real sad about people adding up and displaying lists of strangers as friends, isn’t there?


Dann I. said...

Hey George,
Interesting, your comments about Myspace. I've got one there myself but it was originally because I couldn't access an aquaintance's music without registering with them. I [snicker-snicker] also check up on my kid's Myspace places. Actually it is the only way I know what they're up to. Naw, just kidding.
Anyway, point is if there is one here, is that the whole Myspace thing is about 1] youth- ie; the accumulation of 'friends' who're not really friends, rather internet aquaintances. Myspace tells me that I'm a part of a network numbered in the bazillions, none of which I actually 'know'. And there is some kind of thing now where kids can make sure their school teachers aren't spying on them. 2]music 3]people prowling for sex or romance. Because the high incidence of adult predators looking for sex with kids there is a system of checks and such now in place. Of course I could be wrong and well I've been known to be wrong: translated perhaps into a batting average would look like about a .375.

Dann I. said...

P.S.: You're absolutely right about the clique business. Now it's virtual cliques. Blog cliques.
I've tried to send Boing Boing some interesting things and they totally ignore me. Guess I'm not stupid enough for them.