My Heroes Have Always Been Aspies


If there’s nothing wrong with me…maybe there’s something wrong with the universe!

~from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

Spock forgets the words to "Feelings"

One of my resolutions this year (no, not the one about learning to fly a helicopter or discovering the Philosopher’s Stone) has been to do as much as I can for autism awareness. It’s been almost a year since I received my diagnosis. What have I done with it? Well, I’ve discovered an entire hidden world I knew nothing about. There are other adults like me with similar tastes and similar struggles in this crazy NT world. I’ve found support networks and Facebook pages and a whole canon of literature geared toward those on the autism spectrum, along with their friends and families. The most important thing: I know I’m not alone now.
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I’ve also promised to write a book about my experiences with autism, and living over thirty years without having a name for what was “wrong” with me. I know of course, now, that there is nothing wrong with me. I’m wired differently than most of the people in this world. It’s a little like being a Vulcan, which is why I chose the image of Spock. If I wanted to write a book just about how the Star Trek universe is a metaphor for AS, I probably could. It’s certainly been a haven and a refuge for Aspies like me.
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Which makes me think: with all my pop culture obsessions, fixations and neuroses over the years, how many of them could be fellow Aspies? A great many, as it turns out. Let’s take a look:
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Snoopy (Charles Schulz’ Peanuts)

Peanuts is an Aspie’s dream, full of private insecurities and loopy internal fantasy lives. I could have chosen Linus, but Snoopy was my first love. He’s a dog who thinks complex thoughts and fancies himself a famous author or Flying Ace…even if he can’t talk.

Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street)

Like so many Gen X kids, I grew up on a steady diet of Jim Henson programming (Henson himself was probably an Aspie.) Every other kid loved Big Bird or Cookie Monster. I dug Oscar, who was antisocial, set in his ways, and sarcastic. Every kids’ show needs a character like this.

Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson’s comic of the same name)

If Watterson isn’t an Aspie, I have some beachfront land in Arizona I’d like to sell you. I adored these guys for years and years and was so sad when the strip ended. The depictions of the “inner fantasy world” were so close to my own, it sometimes scared me.

Then, as I got a little older, the trend continued. See if you recognize some of these cult heroes (and heroines):

I know this isn’t the first post on this subject, nor will it be the last. I’m proud to be an Aspie, even if it makes me a little different and, at times, pretty uncomfortable. That’s one reason I enjoy my pop culture fixes so much. Like the Holodeck, it’s a place to go to feel not just safe, but validated. There’s so much AS influence out there that most NTs don’t even realize. Now all I have to do is finish this book of mine sometime before summer.

Any feedback from my readers, NT or AS, would be great on this one. Now, I think it’s time to go catch some NFL playoffs…

Playoffs?!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on January 8, 2012.

6 Responses to “My Heroes Have Always Been Aspies”

  1. You nailed it on the head. There are fewer “normal” people out there than we think. Some folks can just hide their “weirdness” better than others. However, as I get older, the less I care about doing so.

    By the way, I think I’m your age (also Gen X and proud!) and I was a Grover fan as a child. What does THAT say about my personality!?

  2. What is NT?

  3. This is a really cool post, and I’m looking forward to more of them!
    Calvin & Hobbs, Lisbeth Salander, & Marcelo (Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork) are some of my favorites.

  4. Making the connection between Aspies and Star Trek was genius. πŸ™‚ I never thought of it that way. I think that you could make a similar connection with Aspies and the X-men. I actually wrote about it once: thatawkwardkid93.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/parents-2/

    Check it out if you so desire.

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