The past couple of months have made me really come to understand myself and my autism. It’s hard to do that because to realise how you’re different you have to use society and neurotypical people as a kind of mirror to understand yourself, a reference point to compare and contrast with. Something that I imagine is hard enough at the best of times but when autism itself affects your ability to understand people it’s really not a picnic.
Alexander Gordon Jahans
What I do know though is that who I am, what I am, my personality and my behaviours, is performative. My empathy is my weakness, literally distorting who and what I am. It’s a hunger and craving to understand, succeed and help. This default psychological drive is why I can’t stop writing, why I’m good with computers and why I get genuinely distressed at people I care about acting in non-empathetic ways.
And it’s why the nazis, trolls and bullies are always so fucking obsessed with me.
I could write whole essays on those who anger me and try to hurt me for their own twisted satisfaction because I cannot help but try to understand them. That’s part of why I worry that I am a monster and have so many rules on how to treat people because I cannot help internalising models on how people think. This does not help my paranoia and self loathing as you might imagine, when I can literally hear how I think my critics would respond to everything.
But this isn’t about nazis or feminists, even if I do want to talk for hours about each subject. I can feel myself being dying. The me that was born amid volunteering and 4 days of work and commuting is being eroded piece by piece, day by day as I become a sponge for my mother’s psychological problems and so have to spend more and more time building my confidence back up to avoid killing myself.
I’m losing myself, losing the best version of me that I have been ion a long time and there is nothing that I can do about it because I live in the arse end of nowhere, nobody has any money and my health problems leave me tied to Blighty and the NHS. I need capitalism and I need work because I am what I do so if all I do is banal selfish media consumption that is all I will be.
This is why I so very much need to write even if all I am writing is pretty girls giving themselves up gladly to nerds like because then at least I am doing and being something more than a player of gamers and watcher of things. Social isolation isn’t a problem for me personally because of this chameleonic ability to psychologically adapt but it is dangerous for me. Worse is when all I am exposed to are the mentally impaired and socially outcast. I said once that if you left me alone long long enough I could convince myself Hitler was right out of boredom but now I see the opposite is true. Psychological osmosis. I am who I am with. And the nazis clearly have known or thought this a lot longer than I.
Yet I still think, feel and have agency. I may be a sponge, soaking up other people’s thoughts, feelings and ideals but I can still construct logical frameworks within my mind and use them to determine the best of presented outcomes. I rage at the angry, vengeful, sadistic side of the left because those emotions being so present in the right are why I side with the left and yet I understand the left. I always understand. Which is why identity politics and the “Well I am x demographic and you aren’t so shut the fuck up because you will never know more about this than I.”
All I am is empathy and the desire to learn and if that bullshit identity politics ploy ever actually meant a damn then it would be entirely self defeating because I’m sorry all non-cis non-white non-straight non-males but the cis white heterosexual men have been running the world far longer than you have and you will never be able to understand them so back in your boxes. People’s perspectives can be understood by others with empathy and an understanding of the facts.
Your social identity means bullshit when it comes to your capacity to be understood and know the truth of a situation because you are a person and capable of being stupid and selfish and biased like all of us. If it meant a damn then we would have to respect the nazis and the trump supporters by the same logic. And if you ever for one moment think that I am unable to understand your perspective and suffering because I have never felt your level of rage...
I could be a monster and I know it. I am not beholden to morality because I am some snotty nosed elite liberal. (Well okay I am snotty nosed but that’s rhinitis and if you believe in identity politics...) I do not think I am better than you or holier than thou because I refuse to beat the fuck out of those who despise me. I think I am worse than you because I long realised the need for these rules.
Morality is a cage that protects me by protecting society. I know people or at least I have the capacity to greatly understand them. I have a lust for knowledge and a brain that desires to construct mechanisms for different purposes. Someone else I know on the autistic spectrum understands almost instinctually now how machines and computers work but the fuzzy logic of people and society overloads the ram in his brain. Not me. My empathy lets me understand the fuzzy logic and the computer stuff can be learned.
With my rage, ambition and sadism combined with my adaptability, empathy and intellect I could be a terror upon society if I wanted. Except the same intellect that is capable of theoretically giving that a shot is capable of thinking so many moves ahead and realising that it would only end badly for everyone. So I don’t. Instead I forbid myself from revenge, lies and invading other’s privacy along with all the basic do no harm stuff.
I’m actually very glad that I have already done a lot of very embarrassing, stupid and arguably oppressive and monstrous things. With my increasing interest in politics and adeptness at games of war and strategy, plus the moral blank cheque that is the rise of nazis across the world I can feel myself being drawn down a path towards coordinating political activism and/or revolution. Fortunately however a vore enthusiast who has greatly insulted the trans community, feminists and nazis, who has licked his tit on video and talked in graphic detail about the unpleasant issues that come from having a small penis is not likely to gain much traction or respect politically. Granted these things probably also greatly impede my capacity of even getting a job so as to not die or be a burden on society but the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few and it is better to die a pathetic weirdo who achieved nothing than a pathetic weirdo who tried to be a modern day Caesar.
I can already feel my super ego, that rational critic that tries vainly to keep me seeming normal, reacting with disgust at what I have writtyen and I have this deep impulse to purge this particular document because I can’t so starkly let the world know of my faults or at the least that I admit to them if they already know as is probably the case with the trans community and feminists. They probably learned how to identify the warning signs the same way I learned to identify sadistic assholes.
Except I need to write this and I need to let the world see this because sometimes I lose myself or at least I can feel myself starting to lose myself. I write with such stark honesty about myself because when I am lost I find myself again by looking in the mirror these writings present. And if I need these then surely future scholars and academics on autism can make some use of them so as to better help the autistic, wor whatever the fuck I am.
So lets conclude with a little reminder:
Alexander Gordon Jahans is not a nice man. He enjoys the suffering of others, good and bad alike. He is filled with rage from every scorn or slight he can remember and he has more than mild inconveniences in his past and past to fuel his rage. He has a particularly warped and unsavoury view of women and a greed and selfishness that would make the most extreme straw man of a conservative blush. Yet he tries to be better. He chooses to try and be better.
He forbids himself from partaking in revenge or forgetting that his persecuters are human too and deserving of love, respect and happiness. He is disgusted by his own views of women and wants women and all genders to achieve true equality with men and tries to fight for the cause of feminism even as his desires undermine the attempts. His greed is balanced out by a rationalistic desire for the good treatment of the majority and his selfishness by a desire not to become like those who caused him to feel rage.
Alexander Gordon Jahans is a nerd. His favourite games are Warioland III, Lylat Wars, Pokemon (all variants), Minecraft, Skyrim, The Assassin’s Creed series, Civ 5 and Rome Total War. His favourite writers are Douglas Adams, Iain M Banks, Terry Pratchett, Ben Aaranovitch, Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat. His favourite series are Doctor Who, Farscape, Blackadder, Game of Thrones and In The Thick of It, with special mention for The West Wing and Goodnight Sweetheart for having dull plots but characters that matter. His favorite films are Jaws, Withnail and I and John Carpenters The Thing but he doesn’t really like films
Alex is a writer, review and political pundit. He would also be a letsplayer but his compuuter isn’t up to it and anyway Many A True Nerd, Chuggaaconroy, Ethoslab and Zisteau already exist.
His favourite foods are chicken and potatoes served basically any damned way with special mention to roast chicken and fried chicken. His favourite pizza is pepperoni. His favourite cheeses are Red Leicester and Stilton. When he orders a curry he has a chicken tikka masala with pilau rice, saag aloo, onion bhajis and garlic naan.
His favourite tea is Tetley Redbush with two teaspoons of sugar and no milk. His usual drink is one part apple and blackcurrant squash to 7 to 9 parts water. He has sugar free redbull or off brand equivalents when he needs to rush out an essay. He drinks mountain dew because despite tasting like snot (you don’t wanna know how he knows) he appreciates the sweetness and it reminds him of Gallifrey One 2013.
He like white port when mixed with squash, whiskey neat or with Diet Coke and Jagermeister neat because he bizarrely likes the taste and the kick. Diet Coke is the drink he is actually addicted to however, with ginger beer being the drink he turns to when he needs to quit.
Sticky barbecue ribs and candy floss are too foods he now loves greatly but originally spurned thinking them disgusting. Candyfloss because it looked too girly as a boy in deep denial of his developmental issues and it looked like it would have the consistency and texture of hair. Barbecue ribs because long before vore and vegetarianism were things he dabbled in the idea of eating internal organs squicked him out. As though eating just the flesh were somehow more moral or less disgusting. He always eats ribs with a knife and fork.
He loves to cycle and to swim though engaging in these pursuits is general impractical. He also likes to play basketball, football and cricket but his poor coordination, stamina and hatred for the kinds of people who would give him hell for these self same failings mean he doesn’t bother pursuing these passions.
Anyway, that’s me and I feel reassured in my identity again. After a long winter and a long week I am back to who I need to be. I can smell the duty and I see the jobs in front of me. Onwards.
Oh and if you are a silly little nazi hiding behind your silly little proxies and silly little alts and sock puppets and you ever for one moment think that any of this gives you ammunition to use or a weakness to exploit then you are more stupid than I had previously given you credit for. If anything what this should tell you is that I am more than capable of outwitting, outflanking and outlasting your every pathetic attempt to get at me. You will see this as a challenge and if you are especially stupid you will not heed this message and try to use this information against me anyway. Well you should know that I forbid myself from using abilities offensively against my enemies and from using my tactics offensively but I am more than willing to use every trick at my disposal to waste your time on someone as insignificant as me and thereby save those who will go on the offense from what little pathetic strength and intellect you have to muster. The feminists will march and they will win and maybe I’ll go down when they do but every second you waste on me is another second they have to plan, prepare and get organised