22 August 2010

Day 148: The Lost World

The Lost World by Michael Crichton.  ISBN: 9780788737251 (audiobook).

There was a description of one of the characters that was ever so familiar to me.  Kelly (one of the kids) was describing her thoughts about getting R. B. (another kid) to do something, particularly something impulsive.  The gist of it was 'Any change in plans always bothered him, he would grumble and argue if pushed, he had to make up his own mind.'

Gee, who does that sound like?  Why, it sounds like my dear fiance, Dan Walker, of course.

That man is so hard-headed and stubborn about his schedule and changing it that it's remarkable I get him out of the house at all.  Granted, because I am possibly even more hard-headed and stubborn I have forced him out of this on more than one occasion.  I also think it's hilarious to jerk his chain, and this is one major way of doing it.

Danny has a somewhat mild case of Asperger's.  He's very high functioning, he's even what you might call charming in polite company.  He does have serious problems identifying proper inflections in voice; this means my caustic wit and sarcasm is often lost on him so I have frequent intellectual affairs on him with Kyle B and pretty much anyone else who thinks my mind is a sexy, sexy beast.  What can I say, I have needs, one of them being the general acceptance and appraisal of my awesomeness.

Let's just say even though I love Danny, I will never be able to understand him.  I especially won't be able to understand his brother who has the crippling version of Asperger's (his empathy unit is beyond broken).  Danny is probably someone who would end up forming a new small splinter group during prehistoric times, particularly when times were relatively flush and there was little to lose and a lot to gain by breaking off from a large tribe.  He's one of the people who would either leave or lead, because he does have that bit of charisma, but he also thinks so differently that he would likely see advantages and learn new skills before someone else.

For instance, he can pick up languages like crazy.  This is something I cannot do, no matter how hard I try.  I can learn to read new languages somewhat easily because my visual recognition is pretty good and I have a good understanding of root words (I was a Phonics learner, it's true), but Danny can speak and read, and he can often figure out languages with little to no instruction.  It makes me think that these learning "disabilities" were necessary in early times, and have only become obsolete as we become more and more globalized.  Even Danny's brother might have had a place in a less globalized world, granted it probably would have been somewhere along the lines of provoking/slaughtering enemy tribes, but there you go.

What will we do with all these people whose brains are genetically wired differently from ours?  It seems like a waste to ignore their unique talents just because their social skills tend to be less than stellar. 

The best review I've seen on this is from the now defunct blog, Prehistoric Pulp.

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