Friday, May 13, 2011

Lazy post day

Alright, it's the laziest sort of post possible, but I thought I'd pass along one of my favorite new blogs. It's Time's photography blog called LightBox. I almost always see something both beautiful and relevant when I check in. I'm learning a lot about photography too. I'm not a real photographer (amateur or otherwise), but I feel like I'm learning things that make even my "these are my friends, family reunion, vacation pics" shots better just by seeing how the professionals work.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lookin' good

I haven’t seen this movie (Bridesmaids). Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Looks funny. Depends on what mood I’m in.

But can I just give it kudos on one point?

See the picture above. I’m not seeing anything any of these women are wearing that is unrealistic. It bugs the s-n-o-t, SNOT out of me when most movies about women put the lead actresses in fantasy clothes. Stuff like the girl who is supposed to be a dog walker for a living is wearing $200 jeans and a silk t-shirt. Uh, no. It’s like some sort of rule that Jennifer Anniston, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway can’t be in a romantic comedy unless they are wearing designer clothes. And not just like Ralph Lauren or Michael Kors or somebody I’ve heard of. Freakish over-priced stuff from boutique labels that only Jennifer Anniston can afford to by. The real Jennifer Anniston, not the dog walker Jennifer Anniston.

These women are all dressed like women I know. Okay, the hair is probably 10 percent better than most normal women. But I give it a pass.

I think the reason it bugs me so much (the main reason) is that it’s just bad storytelling. Like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn is wearing clothes that she can’t afford, but it’s because she’s been getting paid to go the powder room. If Kate Hudson is supposed to be playing a single mom with a baby, how are you supposed to believe it when she’s wearing an Italian wool sweater that not only doesn’t have baby barf on the shoulder, you can’t even imagine a baby who would have the nerve to barf on it in the first place.

Come to think of it, maybe I should go see this movie. Just to support truth in costuming.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Not all that surprising

I just find this study so completely un-alarming. In fact I think it’s probably a good thing. There’s no boom in autism folks. It’s not an epidemic. These people have always been with us. It’s just when you and I were young, we (not to put too fin a point on it) used to call them the weird kids. You know it’s true. The kid who couldn’t quite figure out how to get into the social stream. The one who ended up picked on because he didn’t fit in. The one who didn’t make eye contact. He laughed too loud, or at the wrong times. If he made an overture at friendship (big if) he most likely creeped the person he approached out. Possibly smelled. You remember the kid. And you probably have stopped to wonder as an adult whatever happens to a kid like that when they grow up.

Okay, 1 in 38 seems like a lot. But if you figure that the average school has 3 to 4 classes of 24 to 25 kids per each grade, that’s 2 to 3 weird kids per grade. Which is just about exactly what I remember from elementary school. I may have had a little closer contact with the weird kids in school, because I was frequently in that borderline-weird area of kids who are different (fat, skinny, too smart, a little slow, gay, artsy, whatever) but still have enough social skills to cope and gather at least a small group of friends. And because we generally suffered from the usual run of mild to moderately aggressive teasing that the outsiders get, if we weren’t able to protect the weird kids, we at least tried not to add any more to the ration of hell that the pack leaders were usually only to happy to deal out.

And I know people are really hesitant to label. But really, some autistic kids turn out just fine. It’s not a death sentence. I’ve never heard anyone say it out loud, but I’m pretty much of the opinion that George Lucas is probably the Asperger’s poster child of all time. I have a family member who’s only been diagnosed in his 20s. Yes, we noticed. We just didn’t have a name for it. I think the more we are able to recognize what’s going on, the more some adults are going to find out that an autism diagnosis would have explained a shitload about their lives. And a lot of them would really find it sad that someone hadn’t been able to offer them help 20, 30 or 40 years earlier.

Autism is a spectrum disorder. Some kids are going to be profound. And some kids are going to be Temple Grandin. If someone gets those autistic kids who are at the mild end of the spectrum, who aren’t learning disabled but are pretty hopeless at the social interaction, and gets them the counseling that might get them a shot at being, well, at least not total social outcasts, I think most of those kids would be pretty damn grateful.

TIME: Quotes of the Day