The blog of Paul Wady
|Posted by Paul Wady on August 5, 2016 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
August 5th 2016, the day before I travel to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three weeks.
Recently I broke a cardinal rule of mine. I publically outed someone. Last time I did that the woman involved ended up bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival about it. True.
After the long list I gave of autistic properties that I felt my target possessed, I was asked whether I was a doctor? The question implied either, did you train at length in a proper medical frame of reference to know what you are talking about, and/or that only such people could make such lengthy judgments. It does not take into account Asdar, autistic gaydar. Or that aspies know aspies. That because we have empathy for our own kind, we know them when we see and experience them.
Making a diagnosis of neurodiversity is usually broken down into elements like ADHD, OCD, PDA and lots of other specific properties. As an aspie I just see it all as the ordinary and varying properties of an aspie. Its neurodiversity – everything else is the individual. Simple. Actually this week I filmed two experts making a training film in which people where discussed by them property by property to see whether they fitted the profile or not?
So what have I done apart from be born one? I have read the books over the years. (Regular daily access to Nas library helped in the first few years I tell you). I have read the papers and worst of all I have looked at the dreaded internet. The home of authority that needs nothing behind it. Like this blog? No wonder the anti vaccine movement lives there.
I think that to all the other kinds of conspiracy theorists as well, the electronic medium of written information that can be accessed (and edited) anywhere in the world is more than a blessing. It is the perfect base of authoritative expression. No more soap box standing or long conversations in pubs. Now you just type it all in and it sits there. Brilliant.
So…what’s the difference between that and what I wrote? Simple. I have spent nearly 12 years diagnosed and over 10 in a relationship and married to another autistic person. By my 53rd birthday I will have met more autistic people than I can recall. I had a purpose in doing that too. Before I was an aspie I was a Buddhist, spending all of my 30’s in the same movement. For me it was all about self awareness. Meditation retreats (30 over 10 years, from weekenders to two weekers and the buddhafield retreats and festivals on top. I loved the cold harsh light of stripped down self awareness).
On the 24th May 2016 I spoke for the Royal College of GP’s at a meeting in Edgbaston, Birmingham. I can provide the PowerPoint presentation I wrote for them. I became one of many autistic people who have had the privilege of training doctors.
I do this kind of thing all the time for my day job with the National Autistic Society, running around the UK making presentations as part of a bigger training day. But that is not why I assume any authority in making the diagnosis I initially referred to.
For five years, we had an autism rights group based in London. I was closely involved with it on and off, witnessing both its formation and its ultimate disintegration. Four men came to rule it absolutely to a degree that would have made Stalin feel like a considerate man to his old friends, or Mao rather inclusive of the opinions of non communists. You literally could not speak during meetings unless it was on the monthly agendas. People would turn up and say nothing all meeting. No slot allocated you see? You could be just as brutally shut down.
Eventually the four dictators turned on each other and over the course of two months, two of them expelled the other two. One each month. Years before I emailed that it was getting ridiculous and wanted nothing to do with it. The reply from one dictator was…WE HAVE THE POWER TO VETO YOUR RESIGNATION. WE WILL SUSPEND YOU INSTEAD.
There then followed a macabre series of meetings, some of which were held between one or two individuals and noted in the comprehensive and detailed minutes as ‘secret’ or private. These were not young men by the way? One had a family and ex partner. Some were older than I was. Finally a huge letter arrived with a 1p stamp on it. I had to get it from the postal depot. I had no idea what was going on by then as I was too busy either laughing about it or avoiding it all.
Inside the huge A4 envelope was a big document, carrying various macabre charges. I still have it somewhere. I showed it to people to great comic effect. I should take it to parties? Anyhow, my point here is that if there is one kind of personality I can relate to, it is the Super High Functioner. That is, autistic people who don't look sound and act like we are supposed to (Rain Man. Maths savants who cannot go into public places without having screaming meltdowns etcetera).
I had an autistic father who embodied quite a few of the characteristics I detail below so I know the behaviors. Hell, I spend my life trying not to be like that myself.
The four dictators could be characterized thus:
· Nice guy but really obsessed with a left wing communist organization and prone to lines like WE ARE NOT A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION BUT WE MUST PROTEST ABOUT THIS AWFUL COALITION GOVERNMENT.
· Manic. A man who would spend the entire meeting on minutes arising from the previous ones if unchecked. All of it. Prone to literally screaming and shouting if something was not done properly or a point made incorrectly. A man with an attention to detail that was not humanly feasible to maintain. In his 40’s and devoutly religious.
· An alcoholic in some sort of bizarre and quite brilliant world of his own in which was a CEO, a Political and Campaigning person, A Support Worker and a great savior of the autistic world rolled into one. Described to me as employing Stalinist tactics where you eliminated people how had helped you get to where you wanted to go, once they where of no further use. Had the advantage of alcoholic delusion where you believe that what you decide is real, is. Charismatic and very well read too.
· Always right. A very intelligent and educated man who if the books said one thing and he remembered another, knew which was right. He would literally ignore screaming and shouting at him if he was certain he was right. Years before in one situation where he met with other autistic people, someone hit him in the face because he was so intractable. Could only be right. Often incoherent because he spoke from his own perspective all the time.
People would only last a few meetings before they either left or stayed on as minions. Really. Those small dinky yellow creatures? More or less what you had. There was always a small crew of such people going along with whatever the gang of four got up to. I often wonder what they had to say later on about it, but attempts to get sense out of them usually fail. They just sort of smile and say it was all a long time ago now. Nice harmless aspie folk.
This then is my specialty corner of the spectrum. The folks who don't live and behave as if they are restrained by having stereotypical neurodiverse natures. People who never get any kind of formal diagnosis and look after themselves, and sometimes others so well, that they never get noticed as being neurodiverse. Odd, eccentric, brilliant, criminal, problematic and even dangerous yes? Hiding behind addiction, depression and mental health issues yes. But not regarded as being autistic.
Now, if you where involved in the online exchange I was initially discussing, do you see anything familiar here?
What good does it do to out someone? To make sense and explain someone’s personality and characteristics? Well I think the more of us actually know what we are the better. However, public outing is problematic. In fact it may be disastrous in the personal work and living scenario closet aspies may have been forced to construct to survive. Also there is the matter of not having the individuals permission? Someone’s nature is a private business and I for one should not feel I can go around doing things like that to people.
So should I be going around doing this? No, and I conceded I may be wrong in the example I started this blog discussing. However, my tactic in the instant in question was to leave breadcrumbs. To suggest and actually allow defeat. To maybe look like I am mistaken. But I felt I had to do all of this simply to save the poor person in question. Because I really do think they are going to get hurt. Rejected and ignored by their own people in the scenario they have personally created and that is clearly deeply important to them.
I don't think they can let go and that as time goes on, the people around the aspie will simply ignore them and do what they want. I think the scenario will simply evaporate gently. I also think the closet aspie will not be able to adjust to and go with this evolution of what is a huge and long standing structure of organization. Now something of an institution.
I have already had first hand proof that a small number of people involved in this entity can be found to be using it to mitigate mental health issues. Awarding themselves with power and authority, and the chance to do what they really want to do. Whereas anywhere else in any other situation, they would not be able to do this. Using the scenario to stand tall and believe that others acknowledge and relate to them as having strengths and abilities and authorities they are desperate for.
I don't think that is a bad thing actually? Why not if they don't hurt anyone and perform their roles okay? Sadly such a person was very harmful to me. (I bet you where just waiting for that one?) Although they where also responsible for bringing me into this ‘world’, which this year I am yet again cheerfully entering. I am certain that although the first time ended badly, the third this year will be like my second. Great fun and an adventure. Although surely I am getting too old for all this….
Or not. I see my work in all of this is to positively represent my kind. A hybrid of my Dharma/Buddhist aspirations and practice, and the skill set I developed as a teenager and in my early twenties as a would be actor (I cringe to write this but its true. I performed in a huge amount of plays between the ages of 18 and 24, ultimately spending a year in the East 15 drama school and not completing the 3 year professional acting course. Just as well one way or another). Nowadays I go out in front of audiences and I relate what it is to have experienced, read and seen so much of my own kind whilst being one myself.
I try to be a sort of Rosetta stone. Someone who spent all his life up to the age of 41 not knowing who and what he was, then ended up married to someone in the same position. My working and private life coupled with my past all focused on this one time of my life. To go out there and tell the truth, whilst forever acknowledging I maybe wrong. When I do a show, I invite the audience to join in? Correct me if you will? Come on, let us all create an aspie space and share?
At the end of the days training in Birmingham, two of the GP’s came out to me as being on the autistic spectrum, let alone having children who where. I made a comparison with gay people that was commented on when I was writing online, outing the man I have mentioned. Yes, I responded, I do indeed see the spectrum of sexuality as being a perfect parallel and metaphor for our kind. Aspies are on a neurodiverse spectrum in relation to being non autistic – which is as relative as sexuality. It is not an absolute. Only when you have enough properties occurring at once can I notice you in that special way, and know you are one of our tribe.
Sound familiar? Well if it does, maybe best not say anything.
|Posted by Paul Wady on April 9, 2016 at 6:30 AM||comments (0)|
On the 18th March 2016 my father finally passed away. He had been fading for months. His body reduced to a fraction of its size. His mind too diminishing in its awareness. Did I watch my own fate slowly appear? I dont know if anyone will be around to bear witness to my end, who does? But we can always have these romantic dreams that there will be loving people to see us off at the end.
My brother and I missed my Dad's dying. He finished around one thirty on a friday afternoon, quietly dying. I made it across London to arrive just before two. He was still warm. We spent time with him and left him there, at peace. We had brought him to London from Liverpool eight days before, and it was touch and go if the ambulance could do it with his precarious health. I had seen him in the Royal in the centre of Liverpool. He was fading in and out of focus then, slightly delirious. I fed him what he could stomach to eat. His Parkinsons had suppressed his ability to swallow, aiding and abetting the pneumonia he had contracted at the same time as my wife's immuno suppressant drugs for rheumatism gave her it too.
Elizabeth recovered. My father did not. We had a good funeral for him and I helped carry him out of the hearse to the crematorium dias, where we said goodbye. My brother and I said a few words and I wished blessings of holy Dharma upon him. We had a great Irish Catholic priest to officiate.
He did all sorts. At one point he was going to be a concert cellist, but was called up and given a Bren gun to play. Then something even more deadly - a saxaphone in the Royal Signals band. The rest of his platoon went off to Burma. He never knew what happened to them. After National Service he played the bass in dance halls and then became a salesmant to support his family, whilst still playing in clubs. Eventually he ran his own business and loved that. Repairing equipment then selling it himself.
Now I go around doing the Guerilla Aspies show and selling my book, which as of an Amazon sale today has sold 303 paperback copies and about 45 on Kindle. I have found a focus of everything I have ever tried to do creatively. Self advocacy. Acting. Singing. Stage performance skills in general. Writing. Even film and audio production. All of it is to be found utilised in the Guerilla Aspies project. Finally I can tell the truth on a huge scale, making a difference through the positive representation of our kind. A subset of humanity. A race and a kind instead of a disorder or perversion. I meet lots of autistic people too, which is the idea. I want to be a conduit of us all. It feels great to be able to go out and be honest.
All blessings of all Dharmas upon my Father now and forever. He taught us to keep working everyday and that relaxation and lazing around means nothing except sliding backwards. It was always about going forwards and 'getting on with it'. Sadhu and love you Dad. xxx
|Posted by Paul Wady on January 12, 2016 at 5:00 AM||comments (0)|
I'll make you a deal, like any other Candidate?
We'll pretend were walking home because your future is at stake.
My set is amazing it even smells like a street.
Theres a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend.
When its....good its really good and when its bad I go to pieces.
If you want it, boys, get it here thing.
Well on the street where you live I could not hold up my head,
for I put all I had in another bed.
On another phone,
in the back of a car,
in a cellar like a church with the doors ajar.
Well I guess we must be looking for a different kind,
but we cant stop trying till we break up our minds.
Till the sun drips blood on the seedy young knights,
who press you on the ground whilst shaking in fright.
I guess we'll cruise down one more time,
with you on our side should be fine.
we'll buy some drugs and watch a band,
and jump in a river holding hands.....
If you want it boys get it here thing.
Because hope boys is a cheap thing, cheap thing.
Is it nice in your snowstorm,
freezing your brain?
Do you think that your face, looks the same?
Well let it be.
Its all I ever wanted.
Its a street with a deal,
its got taste,
its got claws,
its got me,
its got you.
THESE ARE ABSTRACTIONS FROM THE BEST SONG I HAVE EVER HEARD, WHICH FOUNDED ALL MY CREATIVE SENSIBILITIES WHEN I WAS 14 BACK IN 1978. IT IS THE CORNERSTONE OF ALL MY APPRECIATIONS OF EVERYTHING. SWEET THING - CANDIDATE - SWEET THING REPRISE. A TRILOGY OF SONGS ON THE DIAMOND DOGS ALBUM. HIS VOICE. HIS VOICE. MILITARY DRUMS, THE PLAINTIFF SAXOPHONE. LYRICS I COULD NOT DECIPHER DUE TO THEIR HOMOEROTIC TORTURE. BRILLIANT.
Now do it yourself.
Woke up early hours feeling so awful and I did not know why.
Well I do now. I am terribly upset. Love to us all and especially Iman, their children and Zowie. David Buckley said that became him. We live our lives as he did, doing the things he did.
Walking through the market square,
So many mothers crying.
Style as a disembodied and self rediscovering abstract. I found things in his work that I used as my template for everything else in any art form, and any activity that required approach and coherence and passion. Sweet thing - Candidate - Sweet thing reprise was the song sequence I played to my GFR group one day. We each had to select a piece of music with personal meaning and those songs where the cornerstone of all my sensibility from when I was 14. My Dad brought 40 cassette albums into the house. One was Ziggy the other The Diamond Dogs. My 14 year old self explored it, had more experiences in one place than anywhere ever before in the Diamond Dogs,, and grew up.
He did it all for you. He had the sex, the art, the thinking. At my funeral, Moss Garden from Heroes will be played. Bowie took mine, theatre, Kabuki and song and created something as original as he could. Pre Low, It all ultimately seemed to be about crying out about his repressed sexuality as a means of mirroring everyones suppressed and alienated selves. Low onwards he was 'David Bowie' and everyone subscribed to his visions, album by album, until he faltered with Lets Dance and the stuff after that.
He made straight people realise that straight was a bit of a myth, and people who had a sexuality they never looked at twice, appreciate others. He bridged community gaps and made us all grow up and see it as cool. I am personally bereaved and amazed at the extent of my grief for this stranger I only saw once in the flesh.
He always exposed his self to us. He selected film parts where you could see the mans humanity. Watch the tv series The Hunger, season two where he did the pilot episode and introduced each one thereafter? He loved to tear down his own statue and be ordinary. What he did, the way he did it.
|Posted by Paul Wady on December 31, 2015 at 5:50 AM||comments (0)|
WHY DO I ADVERTISE MYSELF AS HAVING TAKEN 4 YEARS TO GET A 3 YEAR DEGREE (Poly of North London) AND IT'S A PASS, AND HAVING BEEN THROWN OUT OF DRAMA SCHOOL AFTER MY FIRST YEAR? (FOR BEING TOO INTENSE).
Surely as we all know, you are supposed to boast about going to Cambridge Uni and getting an amazing degree? Why tell people you got the opposite? Surely that makes me look a bit dim, daft, weird and all over the place?
Well, in my case, the truth is a bit different.
· In order to graduate I had to battle daily ADHD lack of concentration. I have never had a formal diagnosis for dyslexia, but after playing the Festival of Dyslexic culture the other week, Annie Morris and I will be meeting up again. Annie tutors and supports dyslexic students and invited me to play, as she organized the event.
· I would find myself up all night, slowly getting my brain to kick in. Finally midnight and the early hours the thing would start to work and I would get some good concentration. Attempts to explain this experience to people met with confusion and some degree of fear. Also there was some mystery as to why I was failed on an entire semester, but lets not start with that? I prefer just plain not being able to do it… Surely the fact that the student political societies were lying about me at that time and actually scaring students had anything to do with it? Surely it was not an actual attempt to get me out of the place? Well the staff certainly helped me thereafter, having discovered after the fact what was going on. Bit late though. But, as I said, I sincerely hope that is merely an idea and not the truth. It was impossible to get people to be honest. Especially if you could not relate as well as I can now. I was only diagnosed at 41 and I was 27 then.
· I would rather not make myself out to be something I am not. I deal in cold hard realities which is what the show is about. I always thought I had not done well but now realize it was all the other way around. It was remarkable I got as far as I did. Also I really did spend too much time listening to The Sex Pistols, Clash, Stranglers, Siouxsie and the Slits in my youth, and never did get over punk rock. This for me is that.
· Why can’t I make myself out to be a bit dim, daft, weird and all over the place? I don't think I am, but if telling the truth sells myself short that does not bother me because I have confidence and believe in my ability to tackle and handle each individual situation and encounter I have in life, every day of my life. Bring all and everyone on, and lets see what I am made of.
· I have this style I like where I am forever filtering people out. If my grim qualifications put people off me, that is fine. I would rather be known to and seen by people who want to give me a chance. People who are curious rather than going on glowing statements that assure them of something worth investigating.
· If in life you are doing something worth bothering with, something that works, then the world will sooner or later acknowledge that. Word gets out. If not, it really does not matter what you say about yourself. You wont succeed compared to if your product, your show or yourself is something universally valid. As it where. It is surely just a cruel rule of thumb.
· Finally, I clearly don't have a clue about publicity…
|Posted by Paul Wady on December 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
YAWN...Still married to the poor woman. Still working for the National Autistic Society. Still living in the flat (and not consigned to the shed we have at the bottom of our garden on the grounds of Elizabeth's sanity maintenance). I dont know? I did my best to be me.
What do I have to do to ruin my life? Edinburgh was great. Good company (perfect flatmates. Perfectly good run. Fine audiences. Money! Book sales! Seeing Lou Reed's Transformer performed in its entirety etc) Good flat location. Goes on like that. But wait...a pal of 20 years comes to stay in my room? A RECIPE FOR DISASTER? No. We got on better than ever and I was very glad he stayed.
I went to Canada? That was good. Sadly I was summoned at zero notice due to my aunt being ill, and by the time I arrived she died so suddenly that it amazed her immediate family. A form of cancer that is too stealthy for anyones good. Got to see a moose though? I put it in show too.
This is why I have so little blog posts really. I lead my daily life and do shows (please see the new dedicated SHOW BLOG PAGE on this website), try to do some stomach crunches, dont meditate enough and toddle on. Not a bad life.
Boring to relate on here, surely? See the odd old friend (Old friends of mine, so odd) and make some new ones. Ho hum.
HAPPY XMAS 2015. I'm off to drink too much decaff tea. I gave up on the obsessive herbal tea start of the year. I had a 3 mug a day habit (plus what we drank between us from the pot) and its all over now. On the wagon.
|Posted by Paul Wady on December 1, 2015 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
Hmmmmm. I am trying to put together a new blog site on a new website and its driving me nuts. It is meant to be the ongoing diary of the show and I created this thing with a menu screen and different pages. Show all the pictures I take. Buggered if I can get it working.
This was me last night in The Social, a subterrranean central London joint full of cast concrete, brutalist, Ballardian table & bench booths. Briliant. First look at the place I thought it had been a garage.
In the end it was best just to use this one, but I keep using this to complain about the nutter I performed with at Endinburgh in 2013. (probably bipolar so no point in going on about her) and also I wanted to avoid dragging the readers into the murk of the past best forgotten. Besides it is pretty grim when strangers have to wade through animosity without any positive resolve. That is not what I am about.
This format seems great though. Why cant all the blogs be like this? They wont let me embed pictures etc. This one will?
|Posted by Paul Wady on November 7, 2015 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
Neurodiversity is the reality of humanity. We are actually divided up by brain structures and types, as now discovered in MRI machines. Nature v nurture factors, but people like myself, my wife and family members on both sides have enough neurodiversity traits to identify us as a subset of humanity - the autistic. We relate as if members of a huge extended family and even have aspie-gaydar. You can spot your own kind. We share exactly the same character traits (commonly called symptoms or disorders) which we all seem to have unique spins on.
Just like gay people used to be called perverts because they were measured in relation to heterosexuals rather than their own kind. We are called disordered because we are forever related to in terms of something we are not - neurotypical. A rather high standard of capable achieving neurotypical as well. We don't have a positive culture in our community and our natures are forever stigmatised to ourselves let alone the world at large. Classically autistic people are dominated by their natures, and the mechanisms inside us such as ADHD and OCD.
I merely grew up right from the start and got the better of my nature. I matured. All 'curing' and 'recovery' is, is when aspies can grow up and mature to do 'neurotypical' either in the face of their natures or despite their natures - or channel their natures really well. Eccentrics! Academics! Artists!
I am honestly still making all this up as I go along. This is the best piece of writing I have yet produced and it has taken me nearly 11 years to think it up. That is how bad things are in terms of a positive autistic self image. Its like the field of women's studies permanently thought of and described in relation to men and not being male. I just posted this on Facebook as a response to the question, and proceeded to copy it and put it up again on my page. Now I have placed it here.
I seem to be chasing the dragon of making sense of it all in a positive way and getting closer to something that works. Feedback is good. In fact everything so far seems to be getting somewhere. An unusual time of my life. Good job I stopped using my creativity to have fun and started communicating all this instead.
Neurodiversity is also severly stigmatised by mainly traumatised parents, who dont understand they are on some sort of personal vendetta against the fact they have autistic children. The cult like faith that the more you do that the closer you get to a cure wont leave the hearts and minds of some of them entirely sane. It will be many decades before the reality beomes apparent I would say. Post Neurotribes is a wonderful world to live in now.
Yes, we traded books. He liked it! He said so on my Twitter. Steve Silberman, the most approachable and straightforward man on the planet. Genuinely charismatic for it. We met when I filmed him for the Nas in a Neurotribes book event to launch it, held in headquarters basement. A very good night it was too.
|Posted by Paul Wady on August 26, 2015 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
I was up at 3 this morning. Full of fun. I only just realized what was going on. Post Edinburgh Fringe inertia. I am absolutely flying. We stayed in a great flat by Arthurs Seat, where 4 of us enjoyed excellent company and lived in fear of internal doors clearly designed to wake everyone up when they closed by their spring loaded selves. My friend Nityabodha/ Malcolm came to stay with me and took over the end of my room by the window. It was a flawless share. Everything went far too well for a cynic like me to believe it would.
The joint was next door to the Pleasance Courtyard, and the kitchen looked directly into it. I made no journals each day, just went with the experience of arriving, doing shows, doing my own 4 day run then having a few days with my room mate to see more shows. The run was perfect. It got better each show. I wish I had had more of them but what I achieved with the piece was enough. Audience wise the feedback was embarrassing. Lots of money in the buckets, 11 books sold and praise. NOOOOO. Not people being nice to me. Cannot handle that.
Basically the show worked. I am going to continue it for the next few years and create an extended version over time, then play whichever is appropriate to the given time on stage. Audience interaction was great as well. I ask the audience to interrupt (it is surely what true Aspies would do?) and during the 3rd house, someone finally noticed 3 different spelling mistakes in 3 different slides. About time. In future I am going to tell people they are there. Somewhere. Its not getting that easy for them.
The venue was perfect with fine helpful staff and a bloody great monitor on the stage. I did email in advance and got no reply. So having lugged my parents antique cine screen up there with my 2000 lumens mega video projector I found I needed none of it. Heheh etc. Just plugged straight in. Last minute a comedian appeared from nowhere and pointed out the 3.5 jack interface on the telly that could go straight into the mixing desk, thus saving me from silence since the audio would have gone into the hdmi alone. Thank you. I could not praise him enough. The house held up to 60-70 people I think? I got 50 odd on the 3rd day I reckon, and a fine tricky house they where. Including a pal I met in 1981, who was a Doctor Who authority. A very handy man to have there one way or another. Old pals turned up, one from Tel Aviv, and it was all very humbling.
I think my highlight was Johnny Woo and his band, recreating Maxs Kansas City bar in Transformer, the show. He played Lou Reed and sang the entire album. I got Candy Darlings bum in my face, all of it, and had him/her sprawling all over me at one point. Not my cup of tea, but utterly appropriate. Well I was in the front row singing along? Anecdotes of the scene peppered a fine full on show. You live this meta life where you wake up at an ordinary time and stay up late, wandering from performance to performance. I made friends with Josh, who performed a fine piece on a Czech student who burned himself to death and changed everything at the time. Their venue, Moriarties, was far out of the way and had trouble getting people. Good shows though.
I attended Chella Quint’s radical positive about periods show, where more men than women attended, and learned extraordinary things about periods and how advertising has made a lot of money out of creating stigma around their existence. She made a good case. I saw the play Run about 4 City of London high flying interns all competing to be taken on full time in a financial company. Very clearly defined characterization’s in a tight script that managed to surprise and take us on a good journey. Saw a few things. Paid for more theatre than 2013 and do not look forwards to spending months recovering from the horrendous shock of what happened last time. One day and I was back to normal. I previously spent months exhausted by what was done to me by the maniac I tried to work with. Who was there but never once appeared around or in front of me. Good good. I hope at the present to go back and do a full run. This time I want to bring my wife Elizabeth too. So far no argument. But there is a while to go yet.
Ria Lina and Don Biswas where fine companions and Don flyered for me voluntarily outside the venue and around which was incredibly kind of him. Next time I intend to pay the man. I met new Aspies such as Kirstin MacGregor, an 18 year old stand up comic who outs herself as an Aspie first thing in her show, and makes good capital on it in her material. Tom Bowes who runs the Autistic Genius site on Facebook. He came down with another cast and I met him on the Royal Mile. Both young people with a big future. Cian Binchy had his own solo show about being autistic, The misfit Analysis. I missed it as I left on the 19th but joined his emailing list in the hope of seeing it sometime. So some presence of the neurodiverse as there was with Robert White last year.
I had fun on the Royal Mile in my custom made Aspie t shirt, making eye contact and wisecracking to pass on my flyers. One woman came from Glasgow to see me. I met many fine crew. Book signing! I never thought in a million years I would be signing books. Yet tis so. Weird. Where was all this when I had the hungry petty ego that would have so been engorged and fed by such things? Even the weather kept it together well save one day. Yes, not bad. No problem so good. ☺
|Posted by Paul Wady on August 25, 2015 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Great success in the Edinburgh festival. I did a 4 day slot in the Three Sisters pub, which was perfect as at the time I booked, I had no idea if I could do that. My wifes health was such that I suspected I might have to run off at the time. However months after booking, everything turned out to be okay. Besides a friend stayed in our home to keep an eye on her.
The shows were the best I could do. Each better than the last. There turned out to be a perfectly situated monitor on the stage, which they never emailed me back to reveal the existence of. I did ask. Ah well, just as well. I sold 11 books to the audience over the run and on the 3rd day, got over 50 people.
Don Biswas kindly flyered with me days 2 to 4 which I am sure made a difference. He did a great late night run of his show, Dyspraxia and Politics, the two sides of Don Biswas. Ria Lina was good company two, being out aspie in her show. I met other fine Aspies I am going to mention but my evening meal just arrived in front of me. So! Back in a bit.
That was good. A satisfying after taste and all. Watching Simon Munnery on dvd. He sold it to me personally after his 3pm show off Princess street. A basement bar, nice and intimate. Ticketed show. There seem to be lots of mini promoter fringes around. My pal Ria was with the same one. Very good to be literally a few metres away from the comedian. He inspired a format I could try the same way. But what you always need is a test audience. It is all about mileage in performance I find. Keep doing it. Anywhere, with anyone. Develop a performance environment and put the gun it represents to your head. As it where.
Right. More writing tomorrow.
|Posted by Paul Wady on March 23, 2015 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
I was interrupted last post and now, recovered from a relatively light cold, I'm sitting here at home. Been shopping again. I'm plumb with crumpets and need to bust my gut as usual, lose a few kg and rehearse the Edinburgh show. Actually I need to re write the script again from the start, so I've got a formal version.
Normally I blast through and try to cobble a narrative together in relation to how the audience react? Decided to have a backbone to it rather than the complicated thing I wrote months ago. An actual, streamlined series of statements. Gulp... Actually now its more of an immersive theatre experience than comedy? More serious comments. But still, the new section on AS AUTISTICS WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH A LOAD OF **** BEING SAID should be fun? That covers barometric chambers, chelation, therapies and curing. Heheh.
I have 3 people keen to rent the flat I procured and will be off down there for the 8th, although only doing 4 days performing? I really dont take the thing seriously at all, and will be glad to buy enough flyers and posters for the period 9th to the 16th which is only 8 days of distribution. 200 a day say? why thats, erm... a lot more than 100 for sure. But I think that with an entire week before hand on hand, I should get someone in. Famously, one autism icon never even needed people present to perform? Isaac Newton that rumoured to be neurodiverse figure, once turned up to give a lecture in Cambridge Uni only to find the place empty. True to his aspie projected nature, he did the class anyway. Damn right! Same with me. THE SHOW YOU DONT NEED TO COME TO SEE...
Weather awful. Drizzly, grey, twilight stuff. There was an eclpse on Friday and I could not see it for the clouds.... We saw episode 14 of season 4 of Grimm, and made such a noise of hysteria at the end that our poor cat bolted in fear. What a plot? Brilliant. I'm very grateful I am not a writer on that show. How on earth they are going to sort things out now I dont know? We love it.
Right, off to do more with my Powerpoint presentation Guerilla Aspies. The 2nd reprint should be happening within the next few weeks, which will be double the first one. That's sold out. Oh joy...
|Posted by Paul Wady on March 4, 2015 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
Oh what's the term? You know, when you are responsible for producing a book label, like a record one? Anyhow, I am now the FREE AUTISTIC PRESS, since we used it as a sub imprint of Dark Windows Press. I have two Aspies interested in using the title and will be happy to work with them. Friends of mine too.
I've got another cold. This took me out of the office today and back home, making me forget my dentists appointment which is just as well. It is just a check up? I dont need anything that I know of. Yes, too poorly on the 3rd day of it and back in the house.
The run up to Edinburgh consists of getting an offer for a venue. This second attempt means very little to me at all? I would rather be at home with Elizabeth now. But I have got this flat booked and if 3 people pay £800, it only costs me £90? I make no secret of this and people are informed when first acquainted with the idea. Easy.
The show was performed last week in the Full Stop Cafe on Brick Lane. Hilariously, not using the Mac laptop I used an SD card and hoped to pause the printers automatic default of always scrolling through slides. Well the bloody thing did not stop and so everyone got an 'adhd' speed show. Which actually worked.
I'm convinced that the more I get to dialogue with the audience and make it up the better, whilst my pal Ria reckoned you needed a template script so everyone knew what they would be getting? Caroline my pal, reckoned I should stick with A3 laminated pictures and put all the focus on myself. A very good point and one which Ria disagreed with, liking all the slides....hmmm...
A lot of kind friends showed up and I valued them all attending, together with Jude holding a light for me so I could read bits of the book at the end (I i did it for her once. Teamwork is all). It's a fine old venue. I used my Dad's old screen too, the one we used to watch Charlie Chaplin films on in the 70's
Okay, more to come.
|Posted by Paul Wady on November 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
This weekend was going to be fun. On Saturday night I was meant to be co presenting my friend Jude Cowan Montague's World News Vision Oratoria (3), in St Johns church in Bethnal Green. It was a fun script and really enjoyed doing a run through with Jude a few weeks ago. The day after my wife and I were meant to be on the train to the West Country, for my aunties birthday do (in a train carriage attached to a pub).
But sadly we both have a cold. Throbbing heads. Running noses. Funny ideas.
Actually the ideas have not been that bonkers this time? I'm curiously focused for a period of illness. Usually I lose my reason a little as a precursor to the illness hitting. The night before, things slip a little. A journey across town becomes monstrous? I take the longest route I can find. I get intense negative ideas, which are not necessary. Stuff like that? However, this time it was just a light affair. A night of running nose, bunged up nostrils and off to have a good coughing fit in the living room around 5 in the morning?
My hair has a habit of standing on end in the mornings to the point that Elizabeth usually calls me Tufty, which is appropriate. Her hair is always good no matter what happens? Really. She looks great messed up, tousled or anything really? There is nothing more lovely than her face in the mornings, having had a good sleep, all warm and red and flushed and kinda diluted capilliaries all over her, you know?
Anyhow, we are now getting into position to watch the weekly episode of Grimm, which we adore. Elizabeth reckons we should always embrace the achetype of Morecombe and Wise, sharing a bed on the show. They loved each other too, but you would never think it?
|Posted by Paul Wady on October 19, 2014 at 5:15 AM||comments (0)|
Over the years since I parted from the political autistic people, and their self advocacy groups, it has become apparent from speaking constantly with other autistics that really, there are no valid politics of autism.
Constantly? Well yes. Working for Nas you get to know and spend time with the calibre of people on the spectrum who can make it that far? To the Nas's daily table as it where. It became apparent just how real the whole thing ever was in the first place?
In the minds of many in the UK, Aspies need support. They need understanding. They need training to behave and relate in NT ways. They need money. Jobs. Relationships on their terms. Surely this all sounds reasonable?
Well, no actually. Because there is this constant, underlying idea that once given the means, people with autism will use them to be okay?
In fact, its just like anyone anywhere in the world, neurodiverse or not? Some people are smarter than others. That's life. Smarter in lots of different ways. Capable and incapable. I cannot juggle. I've tried and had training. Never could. Point is that many of us could never, ever change enough to be who and what we want to be in life? It is how we are made.
Really cruel stuff, eh? No wonder the USA is so obsessed with healing? With curing. With making the square peg round. Assuming you get the metaphor?
I dont knw if anyone ever bothers to read these blogs, but one day I thought they may be 'discovered'. Then you the reader, would find out what actually happened as far as I could see? That the attempts to advocate as well as self advocate, ended up coming to this? That in the real world of local government as well as global, in the private realm of the single individual, on the street and in larger society? I'm afraid it all came down to the single persons capacity to do things.
Understanding is all very well but when someone is intractable and won't modify their behaviour, or in any way consider others....well? Most people with autism reading this will understand my point in theory. But can you and I do it in practice? WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW AND UNDERSTAND ABOUT WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN SO FAR?
Having spent a lot of time in a buddhist movement, you realise in the end that people are people? That you can have all these wonderful ideas about evolution and change and BECOMING SOMETHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY NOT in order to achieve your goals, ambition and raw survival etc.... But there is a rejection of who and what you are right now? See? Your present reality.
What is the answer? Well, the point of this piece is that the very question and its frame of reference is a bit dubious? If you are on the spectrum in this country, just hope you have money around you that supports you. Hope that it does not run out and that people support you well. There is only so fast that anyone can run? Only so much that someone can do before they are overwhelmed. Parents the world over are being 'overclocked' to deal with their autistic family members. Aspies are deprived of what they feel they need and what they think they do as well?
This is not necessarily a scenario that will change. So evolve your perspective and change your expectations? Become someone who is dedicated to more cold blooded and crude survival. Do not dream of things you cannot have and be. Get real and if that hurts you then it will. Simple as that.
I have often, in my early life, faced such scenarios without knowing why. Now I know, and I see that really there were no alternatives but for me to go through what I did. I guess now I am lucky compared to many, but that's only relative.
Good luck. x
|Posted by Paul Wady on July 12, 2014 at 4:10 AM||comments (0)|
Among many there seems to be an belief that when you eliminate the traits (or symptoms) of autism, you have a neurotypical. The goal of 'curing' does not appear to be upgrading an aspie or making them able to completely relate as a non autistic. It is to eliminate their status as an autistic person?
Who agrees with me that when you have someone who looks, sounds and act like a neurotypical, they nonetheless may still be an aspie. No matter how much they feel like an NT, and have everyone believing there is 'nothing wrong with them', our innate nature may still be there?
High functioners in long term relationships who successfully bring up kids? Aspies relating to each other? Growing social groups of people who are supposed to be uniquely alienated from each other and, well, anyone else including their own families? Aspies whom their own parents cannot relate to, doing that?
Autism is a human nature. its like curing yourself of being normal.
RESPONSES FROM FACEBOOK:
Yeah, having autism just 'is'.
10 July at 21:28 · Unlike · 2
Totally Agree. Its like dying your hair blonde and tell people you are a natural blonde. Not that there is a blonde joke with NTs LOL
10 July at 21:29 · Unlike · 2
Monique Blakemore 'mainstream programmed' children are being taught to not identify with themselves. and it is sad.
10 July at 21:37 · Unlike · 3
You have put that across so well Paul! Couldn't agree more that lots of autistic people have to mask lots and most people then don't get who they are - very sad.
10 July at 22:26 · Unlike · 2
Also agree. But this is what behaviourlists believe. we are nothing more than we appear to be...and so many people agree with that crap
10 July at 22:58 · Unlike · 2
A really exceptional actor can be king Lear one minute on stage, and then 10 minutes later they are just person x, having a drink and takeaway dinner down the road.
It was interesting really, with my illness recently, I certainly felt less myself beca...See More
Yesterday at 01:16 · Unlike · 1
Autism is very very VERY deep within who I am as a person, my stims haven't really changed since ever I can remember, as far back as 4/5 years old. Tbh, I am surprised my diagnoses took as long as it did.
But if people don't know what to look for, then they are likely to not see it, even when it is right in front of them.
|Posted by Paul Wady on July 8, 2014 at 1:35 AM||comments (0)|
Back in 1988 I finally gave up on being an actor. Within a few years, it felt very very good.
In 2013 I went to the Edinburgh fringe to consolidate the working relationship I had created with Elise. We had spent 10 months making comedy films collectively called MonoMania. Great. I decided I only wanted to do 15 days of the festival, because I had become suspicious during our 'rehearsals' (three films you can see on my YouTube channel) and thought it best not to do an entire 3 weeks. Elise indicated she would be fine to carry on alone. Everything would be fine.
Yes. I recall the sunny disposition. The constant cheery 'oh that is all right'. Now you see how I had no idea who and what she was?
Once in the city, I spent the entire festival being told how things between us where. What was going on. Everything was aggressively defined to me daily. There was no mutual between us. There was just what Elise said was the case about our show.
The so-called show was a sham. I reckon now all Elise worried about was her reputation on the internet, and the show was a scam she pulled off to kid people online she was something she clearly was not.
What went wrong? A friend of mine recently commented that the rehearsal films were among the best work we did? If so, any mutual chemistry and fun vanished when we actually performed. Also the show had no reference to anything else I saw at the festival. I had no had anything to do with the medium in that way for a very long time. I was watching 3 comedy shows a day there. The standard appeared to be explosive laughs ever 10 seconds? We were lucky to get that every minute. Elise would not write a script with me. She cleary did not want to work with me.
So my concept of historical comedy, of Edgar Allan Poe being funny, never worked. In fact it was awful. Wtihout the two characters conspiring and interacting onstage, without that spark of fun, it was dire. I was dire. I can admit that.
Elise posted on Facebook afterwards, DEAD FAMOUS WAS A GREAT SHOW.
But ultimately it got stranger. Because Elise was just one of a small collection of people I met who, far more pleasant to live with and meet I might add, seemed to be in the same boat? A club defined by not taking any notice of critics? Of not having any visibly successful career in acting? Of not having been to a major drama school or having any substantial career that has connected them to others? This last bit is significant. Theatre is notoriously social and clicky. People network to survive. You come to be known to others and are selected for things on this basis to a far greater extent than anyone would like to admit.
One thing I was upto in my early years as an undiagnosed autistic, was surviving and having fun pursuing an acting career in the North of England. I was lucky to enter a newsagents, buy something and thank the vendor without looking terrified. Yet somehow I was known as being good at what I did. I got to East 15, although that was partially due to them taking on rather more people than they needed that year. Or was it? Who knows.
I have no pretentions and claims. I'm the man in this video, and that is all I want to be:
I am very proud of this film and push it upon the world now. Instead of some showreel thing, showing acting or comedy ability, I would rather be this man. Very much. Because I spent far more time in my life pursuing Buddhism than theatre and it shows now.
I am not an actor. I could have applied for membership of Equity union last year. I could not bring myself to do it. Meanwhile this year something very odd is going to happen, since Elise has a new show and it is being publicised by her. It is on the Camden Fringe and god knows what she thinks she is doing?
Again as with Dead Famous, this concept of what it is to perform Fringe Theatre emerges. I was drawn into it and thought we could make the format we had in our films work. Was anyone interested? No, I did not think so. I wanted to bring the characters to life, then after Edinburgh start live performances on the basis of the live working relationship we had created? Then you went on to create half hour webisodes in which the characters interacted. Simple.
If you look at what Elise is producing now on her YouTube, you have it all. This is all a very very long way from professional theatre as I understand it. In fact one reason I am writing this blog entry is so that anyone who decides to research my involvement with Elise, finds it.
I tried to tell her? I tried to help? In return she blocked anything I said to her publically and dedefined everything I said. So the people who know her, never got to know what I thought at all? Instead, as is usual with her, you get her opinions on everything. Reality as defined by one person.
It is not a sign of good mental health to spend all day exhausted, tired and wiped out. A performer who shared our venue and is now a friend of mine, commented 'She looks lost?'. I remember Elises' face during our shows. The dead eyes full of mournfulness. The mouth pouting in an 'o' shape, always open as if in shock. Her skin, pale. Not eating properly because as she tells you, she cannot afford it. The woman was 43 in 2013 and I had no idea until afterwards.
Appart from a performance in the Montague Arms this year, I've not done anything at all. We moved home & I've started making films in and for my work. I guess that something real became more important than something made up for...what purpose? What end? Where's the gain in all this? The perpetual trying and pushing and attempting to get somewhere creatively for a living? I only did the MonoMania project to see if it would lead anywhere? To develop my abilities? Well, look what I found out?
I'd love to take some negative responsibility. But how? Elise was in such a state It kind of eclipsed anything I was doing wrong. Besides, what on earth does it take to blow a simple thing like our show? It was no big deal. Just a bit of fun with guests?
Now if you will excuse me, I've got things to do. Currently films for work. That damned book. Re pointing brickwork. Returning ladders and putting together storage boxes. Real things. My wife is lying in and the cat is on my lap. My Dharma practice will always need addressing.
Theatre? I really don't think I am cut out for it. Much better to mow the lawn.
|Posted by Paul Wady on May 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
When I was 22 I could actually relate to where Elliot Roger was coming from. The infantile self obsessive ego. The blindness to anyone but himself in a really intimate way. Sexual frustration because I could not relate to women to any real depth of mutuality. (I can now admit). I never slept with anyone until I was 25. I did not have a relationship with another Aspie until I was 30. I do not consider sex with anyone but a bipolar or an Aspie appropriate, and anyway if Elizabeth died I could not do it with anyone else. That's why it would be a good job to die before her.
His insane energy, directed utterly inwards. His pain, accumulating away because he was all alone inside his head. The need to use superiority and superciliousness as COPING. But he'd see it as his being better than normal people.
He says in his film he does not understand why all these girls don't want to have sex with him? Because all he wanted was sex. Could this 22 year old relate to anyone to any depth? Did he see himself in anyone else? How could he get physically close? Besides, he may have been terrified of it but not known it. His lack of self awareness coming from forever living in a neurotypical world, not the one people like me are trying to create now?
Aspies need our own realm. We are a clearly delineated sub set of humanity and its not appropriate to pretend we are and should see our selves as neurotypical.
Who the hell gave him semi automatic pistols? I've handled guns like that and they looked and felt just like the toy ones I had as a child. He still was, and some idiots paid for those things for him.
Did he see prostitutes? Why not? He was special wasn't he? He was pure, divine and aristocracy. He had the family and the money to back the belief up. Coping and coping with being an Aspie. Did he have anyone in his life who was the same thing as him?
Does this help anything? I don't know. Just trying to make sense of it. The really important and terrible question is, did Elliot Roger enjoy murdering strangers? He stabbed three of them. What did he get out of it? Was there anything good for him in all of this or was he simply a child, gone into shock at his own actions and not aware of it?
Who bullied him? When? At what point did he detach from everything? Maybe some brains just aren't built to take the alienation? What is sanity? A relative value? A convention? A construct? Aren't we all?
|Posted by Paul Wady on April 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
Neil Coombs is going to start work on Guerilla Aspies in May. He's designed a wonderful cover concept picture from my idea of a Che Guevara image of me on the cover. Gawd 'elp me.
All is good. Thank fully no communication or sense of any sort from the by now, infamous Elise Harris. Her most recent video blog shows a rabbit and a cat interacting in a back lane in Wales, filmed on an Android camera phone. I think that says it all really?
I seem to have become the in-house film maker for the National Autistic Society in their head office.
I've made friends with Miss Roberts, Cos Chapman and the Rude Mechanicals. Nice people.
Wife good, Life good. Need to get back to the gym. Need to put a fence up. Got everything including a sledgehammer, which made me feel like Thor going home on the tube with it. Wonderful how no one comments on a man walking around with such a thing in the evenings in London. I did not get one single "DON'T BE SO INSECURE?" at all?
There will be a Guerilla Aspies Workshop cabaret, when I've thought of something I think works, workshopped it, tested it out, had it criticised and generally produced something that is not improvised in front of Edinburgh audiences with a maniac every night.
I seem to be at a bit of a fork-in-the-road?
Thank you. x
|Posted by Paul Wady on November 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Right now, I feel between events. This year there were a lot of small performances with my friends and of course, the Edinburgh Festival Experience. I want to develop a viable public show. Be it to push the book (which I'm waiting for someone with a book - line to read to see if they want to publish it. Else I will just pay for copies to be printed and push that. Not many but a private run to start it all off. Cause trouble, get sectioned etc?) or perform a show.
Development on The followers of the way of Yaah Yaah, and anything else, has been arrested by our waiting to move home, my heading towards being 50 at nearly Xmas time when we should be moving...and so on. I need collaborators as they help to raise the energy. I'm raring to go but it is very difficult to find people? Especially when you don't operate from templates or work in genre's. It's all innovation with me so you don't know where you are going to end up? I've got some fine pals but I don't want to encumber them when they have their own projects - one of which I'm looking forwards to working on soon.
I will be glad to play Edinburgh again and forever, but that takes booking venues and I do not intend to do that without some sort of coherent and actually proven to work show. Which means I may miss the boat there.
So that's it. There is this sensation of awaiting the ball to start rolling so you feel your energies and actions actually mean something and will go somewhere? I've never been someone who could do stand up, despite everyone telling me I do it all the time. I just dont know how to collate material yet, no matter how many of these folks I've seen. There are courses and maybe I should consider these in order to focus? Why not? Again its the lack of template business.
I have been performing since I was 18 years of age and have been in front of a huge number of audiences between 1982-1888. God knows how many plays in Liverpool alone? Maybe 20? Certainly over 200 actual performances in front of people. I know I have a great deal of stagecraft I can use which is worth people bothering with, I just don't know how to focus it at this point.
You see, the idea of the Dead Famous Edinburgh show.
was that we would conspire to make it work each night. The opposite happened. Instead of having fun, Elise seemed to revert to some sort of monologue template. I AM A STAND UP COMEDIAN. I AM DOING STAND UP COMEDY. There was no flexibility. No imagination at all. The format died and looked pointless. A stream of bum jokes in the end?
It was meant to work because we would both develop the fascination of the audience in these two characters being there in Edinburgh. Instead it just looked awful? It was not stand up either. In fact I seem to have succeeded in innovating because Dead Famous will surely remain, something outside of any ordinary frame of reference. Sadly, not an effective one too.
Okay. So I've got a collection of pictures to publish at A3 size one day when I'm rich.... Music to write, comedy to think I can do??? That bloody book to push and a Bullying Film to complete. It exists but its a private link on YouTube for comments. I need feedback to work from? I've got a nice cheap old Apple laptop with a mind of its own that suddenly dies on me, which I write stories on now. I'm trying to get into the random habit of roving around with the thing, spilling hundreds of words into it. I remain in this utopian existence, happily married with a wife and a moggie, and our obsessive habit of watching HBO shows. The action is all on the telly now, they say?
So If you want to see it, just let me know through the site?
|Posted by Paul Wady on October 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
I would like to post the text of the film I'm making right now, with my friend Fred Price.
(Subject to my changes at the time of filming, flashes of inspiration etc).
THE BULLYING FILM THE JOY OF CASUAL SADISM – HOW AND WHY TO HURT PEOPLE.
By Paul Wady
ANYONE CAN GIVE PAIN TO OTHERS. NOT EVERYONE CAN TAKE IT.
What is bullying? – the use of the term appropriated by the autistic community.
• What kinds of people do this? Anyone. Of any age, anywhere in the world. Bulling is a universal experience, and has existed as long as humans have felt the need to assert themselves on others when they did not pragmatically need to. So already bullying is definable as an unnecessary and avoidable action. Although as we shall see, that does not mean it has no merit to the people who bully?
• Fun from domination? The action of dominating, controlling and manipulating people can generate a powerful buzz and euphoria in the bully. Juvenile behaviour is not restricted to school children. People of all ages are capable of appreciating and perpetrating this phenomena, even pensioners. (Perspectives like this are all part of a mature, ‘higher teaching’ perspective on the overall phenomena of bullying. Like many other things in my film, they go to make up the greater, awful whole).
• Power games. Rape as a form of control, power and revenge. It was my best friend Catherine who explained to me that the act of rape was where people sought the most intimate and primal, animal power over another. So men used rape to assert themselves and conquer women for their own pleasures. In the Polytechnic I went to, I reckon I encountered women trying to take this phenomena out on me.
• Personal development. How bullying people can help you develop life skills. In the school I grew up in, there was a visible ethos of personal development through picking fights with people weaker than yourself. Fighting people you knew you could win. This can lead to someone developing a certain confidence. When you have had the actual experience of getting the better of someone else, it gives you a euphoric experience and the social skills experience to do this again. You can then quite clearly be seen by others to be someone who can relate successfully in that way.
You become someone to fear if challenged in certain ways – or to be taken seriously in some social environments. Such was the world of money, business, street selling or any activity where there is always a potential threat or danger from other people. These are clearly not the kinds of social world and scenario that people with autism usually enter or get involved with. Someone like myself however, has always sought out situations beyond my handling and in some cases, survival.
As someone who went to a drama school, or my rather awful experiences of school and the Polytechnic I studied at, I subjected myself to years of varying forms of damaging abuse from people. But I am someone who heals very well and very quickly, and felt I had no choice at the time but to do these things. Besides, what did I do wrong? Why should I not be in these places no matter how hostile they were?
• Social skills for the real world. Why you need the capacity to do this kind of thing to be able to deal with adult life, to an extent that many will not acknowledge. As I have acknowledged above, in order to complete a degree course or finish school, I had to go through considerable and prolonged pain. For many of us, this is intolerable. We simply don’t have the kind of capacity that I personally have to take daily pain. (This is not a boast. I wish I’d never been in these situations believe me). The phrase ‘fight fire with fire’ is often the way people expect you to respond. Bullying as a form of animal communication. Hurting people to see if they hurt you back, in which case you recognise them as ‘okay’ since they ‘know the score’. They can relate your way, in your cruel style. So they are cool, acceptable….normal people?
• Fear generates fear, hurt makes people hurt. How abusers can be motivated by personally being abused. The circle of abuse can be infinite, a baton of deep pain that people are traumatized enough to want to continue by giving it to others. There is of course a feeling and experience that many people know, that this action can actually purge you of the offence and pain that was caused you. So some may bully in order to heal themselves, and some exclusively due to others doing it to them.
Our school bully got in contact over 30 years later. By then he had become a heroic autism parent, raising two NT daughters and one son who was on the spectrum A stepson whose mother had abandoned him as well. He explained to me that when he got him, his father was a Liverpool policeman. He faced a whole different scale and arena of bullying himself.
He was forgivable because he never used psychological violence, only physical. In the face of the bitching and horrendous treatment I received from many others, this for me gives him a redemption. I’ve never found physical violence to be a harmful event in the long term because I’ve never been harmed that badly. But some are. Very much so.
• Peer Pressure. How being part of a group can lead to bullying individuals. Welcome to the world of mindless behaviour – wanting to be a certain kind of person and belong to a specific social group through hurting others IN ORDER THAT YOUR GROUP SEE AND APPRECIATE YOUR ACTIONS. The shared euphoria and amusement of taunting the vulnerable. Group membership and belonging. Power games and the acknowledgement that in the real world – that is all there is to life. Knowing the score, that this is what it is to be ‘real’. It is all there I’m afraid. It has a lot to do with perspective. With how people come together because they can all appreciate certain experiences that some cannot. They all see things the same way. They feel the same way.
• Often people in the world of autism don’t have the maturity or experience to comprehend the experience of abusers. They don’t really know about why people hurt others. They do not see the motives or gains. People with autism cannot understand the often complex, gut-level issues that cause people to attack and hurt others for pleasure. This is one reason why they get abused, and how it generates joy for the hurters. Their ignorance is part of the fun.
• The world of autism contains a lack of acknowledgement of how the real world often works. Parents too can be part of this. People who are often bullied daily by their own children, to the point of it causing them mental health issues. The need to be able to assert yourself to make money? To survive in rough environments such as lower working class societies and environments? To daily negotiate people who are in charge of situations that are aggressive, competitive and demanding (banking work, finance and business, marketing, competitive industries, nursing, you name it that involves a large daily turnover of the general public).
HOW TO HURT PEOPLE.
Ways of doing it.
• Gaining trust and abusing it for fun. •
Asserting greater strength – showing someone there is nothing they can do.
• The innate deep-rooted ecstasy of power. Being stronger than others is beautiful.
• Gaining confidence and power over other people through learning to bully.
• Doing the above as subtly as possible. The art of intimate intimidation and manipulation.
• SADISM. The psycho –sexual experience of deriving pleasure from hurting others.
• Masochism – anti bullying? An unknown experience. Where the bullied enjoy the pain inflicted upon them. Sometimes people can be both sadistic and masochistic, a term known as ‘sadomasochism’ which is also used to derive the overall phenomenon of sexuality involving physically and mentally hurting oneself and others.
• The knowing over the naïve. Where bullying is merely the objective assertion of greater understanding of the neurotypical ‘real’ world?
• Trying to get the victim to relate. Where bullying is in fact an attempt to make someone equal.
OKAY DOKAY. COMMENTS LADIES N' GENTS? REMEMBER IT WILL BE A LOT MORE SENSIBILISED AND ACCESSIBLE IN THE FILM.
|Posted by Paul Wady on August 22, 2013 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
WELL.... Here I am on the Thursday, having returned Sunday morning. I think I am somewhat rested by now.
As vistors to my website will have gathered, I ended up on bad terms with Elise Harris. It did not work out. We did not relate, gel, or have a good time in front of the audience. Indeed, some nights were described by people as painful, with a bad atmosphere in the venue. We clashed instead of blended.
We were getting on fine before we went, but despite my asking Elise would not let me script anything. Nor was there a coherent running order. Instead she took the lead and expected me work around what she improvised night after night. Any record on YouTube you may find is entirely material she made up during our time together, with further embellishments. There were no previews.
There was also no imput from others. Next time I play Edinburgh, I will be bringing a proper show. Workshopped, ripped to pieces and commented upon. I will never do anything so self-centered to an audience again.
The reviews were terrible. One was a small paragraph - a perfect description. The bigger one was practically hate crime, and as each day passes I lose more and more ability to argue with it. The term narcissism applied to both of us, makes sense now. A vehicle for a pair of ego's? Hmmm.
Well, I was one of them. Anyhow, back now from what was otherwise a briliant experience. Up all night talking to the fine crew Elise and I shared a flat with. Danny, the mainman and organizer of accommodation and his own venue. Hayden, of the Elders of Zion show, a very talented man whom I dont think I'm in a position to give advice to now! I'm listening to him. The remarkable Clare, with her own show in a yurt in the Three Sisters venue. Two nights in a row she arrived for her late night show to find someone had vomited in there. Dear god...
Clare and I got an idea of the ground we called The Followers of YaYa. A workshop introduction of the YaYa movement. A spiritual discipline and community.... We had a great time fleshing out the characters involved in a cult in denial. I want to continue that one very much.
I have seen several shows a day. learned a great deal I think, on what is needed to have a successful comedy experience. I saw shows that did not work where they could have (great start and premise) and shows that were polished and slick and did the job well. I saw ordinary basic stand up, shows with video projectors and audience participation and themes.
I am still keen on character comedy. if the characters relate to the audience and are actually consistently delivering laughs. I am also keen to do something that is just plain one - man - facing - an - audience. No technology. Next year I will play the Free Fringe again, and do a 3 week run. All being well.
My friend Ria Lina delivered a show called Thpethial, which is apparently due to my telling her she was on the spectrum. I made pals with Jan McArthur, who brought her amazing Echolalia show to the Fringe from Wellington, New Zealand. Dance, clowning and theatre all combined to betray all the behavours I have tried to hide from the world all these years. It was a very intimate expression of our kind, which many may not understand. Sarah Hendrickx (with an x at the end, yes) the autism trainer and author was playing in my venue, as was Kate Fox with her thought provoking show about not having children. Good for you Kate.
A show called Red Bastard was the talk of the Fringe. An American who had to have something interesting happen at least every ten seconds of his act. I think that maxim is worth bearing in mind?
So apart from my particular act, a great time indeed. I also got to join a second show and perform as Poe...
One day on the Royal Mile, jammed with people as usual, I met a group of young Oxford university undergrads who were staging Midnight at the Rue Morgue - the madness of Edgar Allan Poe. It was a promenade show in a nightculb. I asked if I could come as Edgar and see their show. They thought that would be 'awesome'. So I did.
Towards the end of tracking around the different performances of Telltale heart, Usher and Annabel Lee, Alice in the cast pointed a bloody finger at me and said YOU ARE EDGAR ALLAN POE! We got a picture together and I heard her saying it was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to her. Thank you Alice.
Thereafter we all kept in touch online, and they let me in for free anytime I wanted. So I did another four shows with them, two on the same nights as Dead Famous. First night Eddy just lurked and stared. Second one he got quite energetic and moved around a lot, ending up on the side of the small stage pinned down by a small light that had collapsed from behind a curtain whilst hysterically doing The Raven along with the cast. Other nights he got smashed on his laudnum/run mix in his hip flask (bought the day of the show) and became scared, confused, intense and manic. He always ended the evening collapsed upon the floor, gibbering to himself twice and one time in a foetal position. An ordinary night out in Baltimore in those days you know?
Thank you so much to Tara, Alex, Alice, Clare, Raffe and Brian. What a great experience to be part of. It really made my fringe to end with you all instead of my show, which I abandoned on a tuesday night, came back to wednesday then gave up on thursday through to saturday. I left sunday morning.
Phew! What a pace. What a frantic mad thing to do day and night. I will return indeed.