After visiting the hospital yesterday to get my oedema looked at, I sat for a while in the small church of St. Bartholomew-the-Less, conveniently located on the way out of the hospital on the way to the bus stop.
A retrospective blog post today, looking back at when I noticed that something was wrong. I didn't write about this at the time because I didn't want to alarm anyone without reason. The blogging only started once the diagnosis was confirmed. So, it went like this ...
The dog sniffs and circles
the blade of grass on which to urinate
The bailiff slithers along the street
switching glare from smartphone to door and back
until the numbers match
Whichever blade the streak of piss strikes
its stench spreads rapidly
to its neighbours
This stanza is sponsored
by a weekend bonanza
of two-for-one deals
on our easy-cook meals
from the town's happy eater
which has paid for its meter
All of its sponsors
have generously given
a big wodge of dosh
for their brand on its rhythm
A local disk jockey
has sponsored a trochee
(That's a tum-tee-tum beat
with some well-branded feet)
Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?
There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.
This approach is based on the concept of neurodiversity: the recognition that the human species is neurologically diverse; that different people have different brain wiring. But this more progressive approach, while welcome, does not necessarily locate autism and neurodiversity within the social, economic and political structures of society. It is important to do this — firstly, because all disability exists in a social context; and secondly, because autism is largely an issue of how people interact socially. We are all expected to follow social rules, but who makes those social rules, and how?
Yesterday evening, something rather alarming happened. There I was, minding my own business, watching telly, when my T-shirt suddenly became soaking wet, in a patch from above the nipple downwards.
Yesterday saw RMT's first ever Disabled Members' Conference, held in London.
Although quite small (9 delegates, plus union officials), the important thing was that it took place at all, especially as rank-and-file members had pushed for its creation against the wishes of the union's national leadership. Now it is established, it will grow from year to year, as the union's other equalities conferences have done.
Janine introduces a discussion on Marxism and Autism. Can Marxism help explain the autistic experience under capitalism, and contribute to our fight against oppression?
Venue: Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6HQ