Welcome back! This week, we we’ll focus on a rather, humorous topic, aiming to dispel a myth surrounding the Autistic/Asperger community. Now, we’ve all heard these misconceptions about us before: We’re cold, unfeeling, brilliant mathematicians/computer scientists, and violent (kind of an oxymoron when you think about it. You need to be able to have feelings to be a violent individual, otherwise you’re just a terminator activated by Skynet). But here’s one that you may not have heard of, at least I didn't until now: we don’t understand jokes (mostly because we, and those like us, are often the butt of said jokes). But a British podcast is aiming to change all that.
Finally, a story coming out of UK that’s not about Britxit. A welcome break that should last,ohh, two minutes or so, depending on how long it takes for you to read this post, or even shorter if you turn on the radio.
Have any of you heard of the podcast 1800 Seconds of Autism? It’s a BBC podcast, that seeks to dispel the assumptions surrounding our community. One of them, being the humourless one. But how does one cut through all the shetlands? (get it? Shetlands? It’s a play on words of...never mind) Why, what better tool to use than some nice, razor-sharp wit. But how did the assumption of us not having a funny bone come about? Will, we have our own good doctor, Mr. Hans Asperger’s, to thank for that.
Back in 1944, when Hitler was beginning to understand what the words “homeland invasion” and “war on two fronts” meant, Hans showed his “little professors” some humorous cartoons, probably to avoid thinking about what fate had in store for his dear Third Reich (or to try and get them in the mood to celebrate their impending liberation. Depends on what you thought of the man). Either way, none of the kids laughed (probably didn't help that there was a war going on), and so he concluded that we had not an ounce of humour in us. And it stuck (and sucked).
Fun fact from the article: A Shaun May is holding an Autism arts festival in Canterbury some time next year. Might wanna check it out. Any ways, back to the topic at hand, the same Mr. May has been studying both Autism and comedy for some years, and has come to a crazy conclusion: Just because we don't laugh at everything, doesn't mean we lack any kind of humour! A quote from the article “Just because you or I might find things funny, it doesn’t mean we have more or less of a sense of humour.”. Rather, such a thing has just been inferred by psychology! Radical right!?
No? Common sense? Will maybe you're wrong, it's not like you have a psychology degree! You don’t need one to know that you have to laugh at everything to have a sense of humour? Oh.
Well, that’s it for this weeks post. Next week, we will continue to look at the rather mystifying (or not so much) reason of why the Autistic/Asperger community doesn't laugh at everything: is it truly because we lack a sense of humour, or are we like literally everyone else (in this regard): we only laugh at the stuff that we find funny? The answer to that might be revealed next week, but until then, this continues to be, tthe Audacious Aspie.