A very strange thing has happened.
My blog African Jungle, along with the rest of iBlog, has disappeared. Its URL now redirects to the ITWeb homepage. Did it become too expensive to keep up?
It’s annoying to me as I had over 130,000 views when it vanished. I have fewer than 30,000 on Autism Jungle. A few months ago, I took a screenshot of my number of views.
Blog Hits of over 110,000
Now on to the main part of my article.
There is a fictional character who is coded as autistic who really annoys me.
Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in The Big Bang Theory.
He is not autistic, he is a neurotypical’s conception of an autistic. And he is very offensive.
In one episode I saw (don’t ask me which), Sheldon decides he’s going to teach a course. Nobody takes it as he is viewed as obnoxious. Eventually, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) decides he’s going to take Sheldon’s course. Sheldon is disdainful and peppers Howard with difficult questions, all of which Howard calmly answers. Reluctantly, Sheldon lets him take the course.
A real autistic would not have done that. Autistics want to share things that they know. It’s a behaviour that’s so well known, it even has its own term – infodumping.
The deeper issue with The Big Bang Theory is its anti-intellectualism. As on Frasier, the university educated characters are shown as idiots who act foolish and are consistently outsmarted by those around them. This is common on entertainment from the U.S. As Isaac Asimov famously stated, “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”
I’ve seen only short snippets of The Good Doctor, whose main character is autistic, but played by a nonautistic actor. That seems more accurate, from what little I’ve seen. If anyone reading this has seen that show, please comment letting me know what you think.