Sunday, 31 October 2010

RIP The Walkman

I see high street electrical stores are stopping selling Walkmans. I used to have one from the 1990's up to November 2004. You have to move with the times, but RIP the Walkman 1978-2010. Everything paves the way for other things. That is evolution. Without the Walkman, we wouldn't have Ipod's and MP4's. Big chunky records, led to singles, which led to cassettes, which led to CD's. Betamax led to VHS, which led to DVD's, which has led to blue ray. Perhaps they will lead to white ray or sting ray?

Monday, 25 October 2010

There is no gift about having Autism

In this post, I am going to challenge what has become conventional wisdom. I don't agree with or like the view "Autism is a gift". It is said at conferences, I read it in books, people say it on Facebook, and it is repeated by people like a broken-record, and nobody ever seems to challenge or dispute it.

I ask why is somebody gifted when they might have General Learning Disabilities, can't speak, rocks, can't communicate effectively, flap their hands, bang's ther head and might have seizures with it? Nobody ever says Down's Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida are gifts, so why is Kanner's Autism?

When I see someone with Kanner's Autism, or Down's Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy, I don't mock or ostracise them. Perhaps that is the gift that Asperger's has given me, to make me accepting, tolerant and understanding of other people with illnesses, conditions and differences. I think to myself when I see them, "That could have been me if things had turned out slightly differently". Sadly, some people seem incapable of such thought.

However, Autism is a disability, but a hidden one. Down's Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy are disabilties, but visible ones. Autism is NOT a gift. Anybody who is says that it is are talking out of their arse. Repeat, Autism is a disability, but one that is made worse when there is no early diagnosis, provisions and support and understanding.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

You've changed

If anybody ever says to me "You've changed". I reply, "I hope that I have. I would hate to think that I am still the same as I was when I was 12 or whatever".

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Only Boss To Sack Somebody Who Isn't An Employee

The Apprentice, the Reality TV show which was first broadcast on BBC 1 on Wednesday 16th February 2005, has began its sixth series.

For those of you who don't watch it, or are unfamiliar with it, there are 16 contestants, and the winner obtains an £100,000-a-year position as an apprentice to the British millionaire businessman, Lord Sugar, who was, until 2009, known as "Sir Alan Sugar". I watched the first two series but don't anymore.

The contestants are divided into two teams, initially by gender (as candidate numbers are whittled down, the composition of the teams is periodically rearranged). The teams are then given a series of business-themed tasks designed to test their skills in salesmanship, negotiation, requisitioning, leadership, teamwork and organisation, with each episode covering a single task. At the start of each episode, both teams choose a project manager to act as the team leader for the duration of the task.

When the task is completed, the candidates have to report back to the boardroom, where the team members are usually asked to comment on the performance of their team leader, and the team leaders are asked how they felt that their team members performed. It is then revealed which team has won. Members of the winning team are told by Lord Sugar that he has laid on a special treat for them.

The losing team are sent outside and meet at the Bridge Café where they generally discuss their failures. When they return to the boardroom they are subjected to an interrogation led by Lord Sugar, who dismisses a candidate, who appears to have been the weakest performer, or it can be the Team Leader if, s/he has performed inadequately, with the catchphrase, "You're fired!".

The fired candidate is shown being despatched into a waiting taxi for the "journey home", and is briefly interviewed in the taxi to reflect on his or her rejection from the competition. The surviving candidates are sent back to the accommodation that is provided for the duration of the show.

One gripe I have with the show is that when Lord Sugar tells someone that they are fired, I find it a bit odd, as they aren't actually working for him. Why doesn't he say something like "I don't think you are up to it, goodbye?".... or "You aren't what I am looking for". It's like me going for a job interview and being told that I have been fired afterwards because my application was unsuccessful. They must be the first ever people to be fired from a job they don't have!.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The 21st Century Freakshows

Programmes such as Jeremy Kyle give the ill, poor, disabled and unemployed a bad name, as people watch and stereotype, and think that every poor, ill, disabled or unemployed person behaves like the half-wits or f*ckwits who go on there, when for me, at least half of them are either actors or attention-seekers who will do literally anything to get on TV. For me it is the equal of the Victorian freak show, like when they used to pay to watch bearded ladies and the Elephant man. Look at some of the Big Brother contestants or those who blatantly can't sing who appear on the X-factor in the early stages. On the X-factor there was once a 72-year-old man with a whit...e beard who went on reciting a poem a few years ago.

Other similar "Freak shows" are those such as "My 20-stone tumour", "The fastest man with no legs", "How I passed my driving test at the 74th attempt" and "My life after 20 heart attacks and eight heart stoppages". This is, for me, nothing but sheer car-crash TV.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Redundant Words

Isn't it amazing how people use redundant words and phrases or ask redundant questions, and don't really know they are doing it? When people look at old photographs of themselves which were taken years ago and ask "Was that me?" when they know very well it was. Years ago, a friend of mine phoned up. My mum answered and said hello. She told me who it was and when I put down the phone, she asked "Was that so-and-so"... I replied, "Well you have just said hello to him, so yes it was".