Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Autism Can Make You a Better Artist: A Review of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Alec Frazier in The Obliteration Room. Every surface is covered in polkadots, including his nose.
Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing the exhibit Infinity Mirrors, by Yayoi Kusama at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Yayoi was born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan. She is 88 years old. At the time, Japan was still a very buttoned-down imperialist society. Etiquette and honor governed society to the extreme. Yayoi entered into this world on March 22, 1929. Her childhood was traumatic. Her father was incredibly lecherous, and Yayoi’s mother used her to spy on his affairs, including multiple sexual acts.

During her life, Yayoi has engaged in a great deal of outlandish work. At the height of 1960s counterculture, she composed a great number of performance pieces called Happenings. A great deal of them involved public nudity. One of them in the early 1970s was a highly illegal gay wedding en masse. She also at one point ran a gay bar as an art installation. At one point, she offered to have vigorous sexual intercourse with United States President Richard Nixon if he would end the Vietnam conflict. Yayoi’s disciples have included many individuals who have been influential in their own right, such as Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono.

Since she was a child, Yayoi has had vivid hallucinations which have reflected themselves in her art. She is also documented as having a number of other mental health issues, including but not limited to obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and a number of other conditions. Due to these conditions, Yayoi voluntarily checked herself into a psychiatric hospital in the late 1970s. She has been a self-admitted guest of that facility ever since. It is practically an open secret that Yayoi has autism. Her moods, social tendencies, and other diagnoses lend incredible credence to this fact. This blog shall attempt to highlight Yayoi’s autistic dependence on order and her obsessions in her artwork as seen in her infinity rooms in Infinity Mirrors.

Yayoi has gone out of her way to make the entire exhibit disability accessible. She realizes that her infinity rooms are not accessible to some with mobility impairments, so she has worked with the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Gallery to provide complete 360° virtual reality tours of all spaces in the exhibit.

Violet Obsession

The first large-scale artwork we encountered was a dark, black room. In one end was a rowboat made out of phallic shapes, all in violet. The black walls, floor, and ceiling were covered with a pattern depicting this artwork. When one has autism, they often feel alone adrift in a sea of humanity, which they often feel passes them by. Yayoi grew up as a girl in Imperial Japan, which was absolutely stifling by today’s standards. She is an extreme feminist, and those burgeoning feelings would have made her feel even more alone at the time. As a girl and as a feminist, the phalluses and multiple pieces of her artwork represent the forest of masculinity she perceived to surround her. This boat travels through dark and dangerous waters, searching for a safe port of call. This artwork was made in 1994, at which time Yayoi was already an older woman. This signifies the fact that people may feel uncertain or lost at any time in their life. Yayoi once said, “If it weren’t for the art, I would have killed myself long ago.”

Phalli’s Field
Stuffed cotton, board, and mirrors
Collection of the artist
Completed in 1965 when the artist was 36 and re-rendered in 2016, Phalli’s Field is the original infinity room. The 1960s were a great time of sexual awakening, and Yayoi, always in the spirit to provoke, envisioned an endless field of phalluses, made from stuffed cotton and reflected in board covered with mirrors. The phalluses are white, covered in red polka dots, which the artist has always adored. The need to provoke or cause a scene is often felt by autistic individuals. It often serves to give us a feeling of legitimacy in society which we may otherwise lack. If it can be done in a novel and risqué form, then even better. The artist would often pose in this room, as if riding a sea of male genitalia. Yayoi certainly knew how to harness the sexual energy and thoughts of her artwork, as well as society’s perceptions of sexuality.
Love Forever
Wood, mirrors, metal, and lightbulbs
Collection of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore
This particular room, Love Forever, has been rendered in metal and lightbulbs reflected in mirrors on wood. It was first completed the year after Phalli’s Field, 1966, and re-rendered in 1994. The reflected light bulbs and metallic patterns form geometric shapes that constantly change color and pattern, endlessly radiating, aggregating, blinking, and spreading throughout the infinity room. One would think that an autistic person with a sensory disorder would find this room alarming and jarring. On the contrary, it is actually quite calming. Autistic individuals often find comfort in dim, soothing lights and geometric patterns. Yayoi is not a psychologist, but as an artist, she realizes which forms will please people. It is my firm suspicion that she worked on this room with a particular amount of personal satisfaction, as it most likely helped calm her always temperamental moods.

The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away
Wood, metal, mirrors, plastic, acrylic, rubber, and LED lighting system
Collection of the artist; The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles
A rather recent addition to the infinity rooms is The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, made in 2013. As usual, the mirrors are mounted on wood with metal details. From the ceiling hang endless ropes of colored LED lighting strands made of plastic, acrylic, and rubber. While all small, the lights vary in intensity and are of many different colors including white light, blue light, red light, and even green light. Just like Love Forever, the effect is immediately calming. However, instead of being pulsing and rhythmic, the effect is serene and wonderful. It gives the feeling of traveling in a jungle of magical plants and creatures. This infinity room provides great calm to me as an autistic individual, and the effect on other autistic individuals would be the same. The lights sometimes dim, and sometimes go dark altogether before lighting up again. The patterns in which they dim are at random, but the effect is still completely pleasing. Once again, one may suspect that Yayoi used personal experience to achieve the calming, therapeutic qualities of this room.
Giant, deep pink spherical balloons polkadotted in black.

The interior of the largest spherical polkadotted balloon.

Mirrored spheres and polka dots in the peep-in mirror dome.

Yayoi Kusama in a longer, light purple wig, ruffled red shirt with black polka dots, and black smock, singing to the audience.
 Love Transformed into Dots
2007, installed 2017
Vinyl balloons, balloon dome with mirror room, peep-in mirror dome, and video projection
Courtesy Victoria Miro, London

The largest display in Infinity Mirrors is Love Transformed into Dots. Yayoi, who has a lifelong love of polkadots, conceived of this detailed exhibit in 2007. It was finally installed in the Hirshhorn in 2017. It consists of a large room filled with deep pink vinyl balloons covered in black polka dots. Inside the biggest balloon is an infinity room lined as usual with mirrors on the walls, floor, and ceiling, and filled with spherical lanterns, also in deep pink with black polka dots. There is a peep-in infinity space inside a round kiosk that is made to look like another polkadot balloon. Inside this peep-in mirror dome is a dreamlike scene of mirrored spheres and polkadots all placed in front of a miniature infinity room made out of mirrors. The entire display inside the mirror dome is tinted deep pink by the light that glows within. Yayoi has stated that, to her, polkadots have always been incredibly calming and happy. It has been theorized that her love of polkadots originates from light reflecting off of the pebbles in the stream in her parents’ garden. For autistic individuals, many patterns can prove soothing. The perfectly round nature of polkadots, and the random playfulness with which they are dispersed, gives a feeling of peace to the mind. A deep, calming pink, rather than a bright, hot pink also serves to ease one’s mood. As an unequaled artist, Yayoi realizes the therapeutic qualities of her polkadots, and a projection of her seems to float in midair near the entrance to this installation, in which she sings a calming song to the crowd that passes by. There is no way that Yayoi does not know the psychological effects of her artwork, and the presence of this video proves it.
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity
Wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LEDs, and aluminum
Collection of the artist

The infinity room Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity once again has mirror covered wood with aluminum fastenings. It is somewhat recent, having been conceived of in 2009. It is filled with hanging lanterns made of plastic and acrylic and filled with LED lights. These lanterns give the room the feeling of being filled with floating candles much akin to fireflies. Much like The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, the lanterns randomly dim and go out, and also like The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, the overall effect is quite calming. It leaves you a serene feeling of peace in what might be a chaotic world. It is easy to have much reflection in the brief time spent in this room. Yayoi has had a great deal of chaos in her life, and she wishes to impart the gifts of peace and well-being.
All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins
Wood, mirrors, plastic, acrylic, and LEDs
Collection of the artist
Yayoi has a great love of pumpkins. When she was a child, her family was well-to-do, and owned a plant nursery and seed farm. She finds the round shape and often large size of pumpkins to be happy and joyful. In this recent infinity room conceived in 2016, pumpkins are made of plastic and acrylic and filled with LED lights against the usual mirrors covering the wooden space. Each pumpkin glows orange with rows of black polka dots. The title, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, signifies the never-ending love Yayoi has for these gourds. Naturally, the field of pumpkins which have brought her such joy appears to be endless, a bountiful harvest for one’s positive emotions. Yayoi is fond of pointing out that her art is born of her obsessions, which are clinical. When one has obsessions, it is a very good idea to turn them into something useful. For example, I have an obsession with taking photos of things I see as noteworthy. I have used this obsession to further my career, and even to make this blog post. Yayoi wants to share her delightfully joyful pumpkins with the world.
The Obliteration Room
The exhibit ends with The Obliteration Room, a fully furnished room completely in white covered with polkadots. Yayoi has taken us on a grand journey. Her journey starts out unsure and perilous, and surrounded by dangerous elements of society such as toxic masculinity. Through this journey, she asserts herself, and engages in self-therapy by art. She finds means of bringing order to her life and calming herself, as well as making herself happy, and shares them with us as art installations. It is only fitting, then, that in this last installation, she asks us to share in the joy with her. The exhibition opened on February 23. It closes on May 14. By the time I saw the exhibition on April 24, it was mostly over. By that time, an endless sea of visitors had completely covered this once white room in simply wonderful, fun polkadots. I proudly covered it, and myself, in even more dots. In almost 90 years, this artist has seen the emotional condition of the world. She has had an endless journey trying to stay happy. As I, Alec Frazier realized about six years ago, so has she: happiness lies in our unique insanity. Be proud of who you are. Be proud of the world you belong to. Live life. Have fun. Enjoy!

This blog posting is the personal opinion of Alec Frazier and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Autism Can Make You a Better Superhero: A Film Review of Power Rangers (2017), by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Spoiler Alert!!!

Spoiler Alert!!!

Spoiler Alert!!!

Alec Frazier with David Yost, who played the original Blue Ranger, Billy.
Yesterday, I went to see Power Rangers, directed by Dean Israelite, and based off the fan favorite TV show from the 1990s. I was somewhat skeptical of how successful the movie would be, given the reviews and my own experience with the franchise. The original show was somewhat poorly written, with very cheesy effects. However, it is the whole concept behind the story that makes said story so appealing.

We began with Jason Scott, a star football player for a high school in the fictional Angel Grove, a small town with both fishing and a gold mine, both of which play important roles to the plot. Jason is fond of engaging in hijinks, and winds up off the team with detention for the rest of the year. (This prank involves a cow. Please don’t ask me why. It is darn funny, though!) In detention, we meet with much of the rest of the cast. This review would like to focus on Billy Cranston, played by RJ Cyler.

The very first thing we see Billy doing is arranging colored pencils quite meticulously. I immediately thought, “Ooh, I used to do that!” And in fact, it is very true. I used to be absolutely obsessed with coloring in floor plans with Crayola colored pencils. In fact, my theft of two colored pencils wound me up doing juvenile community service once. Unfortunately, Billy is being bullied at the time that Jason meets him. Jason tells the guy off, and then gives him a humorous slapping. “Did you just slap him?” Billy asks. “Yes, yes I did,” Jason replies.

Jason is on house arrest due to said hijinks earlier in the film, and is unable to play sports due to injury. However, Billy mentions that he can reset Jason’s ankle bracelet, so that they can chill later and that he has found something out by the gold mine. He also mentions that he is on the autism spectrum, to which I in the audience said, “DUH!! Of course you are!” We are treated to a view of Billy’s sanctuary in the basement of his house. It looks like a dream come true for an intellectual individual. There are tons of gadgets, often cobbled together by Billy’s own invention from items that he has salvaged from various locations. The thing is that in real life, as opposed to the stereotype, autistic individuals do not tend to be absolute wunderkind savants. This results in a number of hilarious moments throughout the film when Billy accidentally makes things blow up, slip, trip, sproing, fladap, shtoink, and just about every other word invented by Don Martin. (Look him up. One of the greatest cartoonists of all time!)

The something that Billy has found by the gold mine ends up being the whole Power Ranger deal, which comes complete with magic coins, a humorously talkative robot, an alien spaceship, a magic portal, superstrength, speed, and agility, and their own personal Brian Cranston. It also comes with sci-fi armor and giant robots called Zords, but those enter the story later. Billy and Jason encounter three other individuals from detention at the site of this mysterious discovery: Kimberly, Zach, and Trini.

A word about Trini. There is a wonderful scene where they are all getting to know each other better, and someone mentions boyfriend troubles, and she hesitates a bit. The person then mentions girlfriend troubles, and she also hesitates about that. You see, Trini identifies as a female in terms of pronouns, but she makes it clear that she does not let conventional definitions apply to her. Trini is queer, and may be the first big-budget superhero in the Hollywood film to definitively have that identity. Her new friends warmly accept her for who she is.

One major criticism of the characters from the original TV show is that we never saw them living their family lives at home. In this film, we spend some time at home with the Rangers. Zach has a loving but sick mother. Trini has parents who don’t understand her too well and younger siblings who look up to her. Jason has a father who tries his very best to be proud of him. In fact, Jason even saves his father’s life during the climactic battle.

All of the five are somewhat hesitant to explore their new discoveries, except for Billy. He is extremely excited about the entire thing. During the whole film, he talks a lot, and he sometimes divulges inappropriate information. That is par for the course with autistic individuals, including myself. Luckily, Jason will sometimes politely remind him that his cup runneth over. I would like to reiterate at this point that friends are amazing, and that autistic individuals should never be afraid of socializing. Billy is also sometimes hesitant to engage in physical stunts, and in real life many autistic people are more involved in the intellectual than in physical activity.

It was aliens, bro!”
As it turns out, the team’s Brian Cranston is an ancient alien named Zordon, who had been the Red Ranger 65 million years ago. At this moment, someone must be thinking, did the Power Rangers kill the dinosaurs? Yes, actually. You see, Zordon was fighting the former Green Ranger, who had turned into an evil being known as Rita Repulsa. As Zordon’s Ranger team lies dying, he summons a meteor weapon to attempt to destroy Rita. The problem is, however, that bad guys (and girls) don’t tend to stay dead very long. Fortunately, Rita stays dead for an entire 65 million years, before fishermen from Angel Grove discover her corpse at the bottom of the sea. Naturally, chaos ensues.

Now, back to our team. They have been busy practicing. However, they have been unable to generate their armor. Suddenly, one of them does. Billy becomes the first one able to do so. They later discovered that, because the unit is a team, their ability to generate armor depends on their ability to know each other. This is actually tremendous news for Billy, and the autistic community. It is frequently said that we autistics do not get the rest of humanity. However, Billy clearly gets the others better than they get each other. Many autistic individuals are incredibly observant of everything and anything, including other people.

Rita instigates a fight, and the team gets thoroughly thrashed. In fact, Billy ends up getting killed. They take him to Zordon, who was planning on using the Rangers’ power to regenerate his life. Before he plans to do so, the rest of the Rangers speak of how they would all give their life for Billy. For autistic people to find real, tangible friendship, the kind which involves self-sacrifice, is a gigantic triumph. As mentioned before, autistic people are not always the best at interpersonal relations. However, with proper time and effort, we can form wonderful friendships. In the end of this scene, Zordon decides to regenerate Billy’s life instead of his own, and they go off to fight Rita.

Rita’s goal is to destroy the Zeo Crystal. In this movie’s cannon, a Zeo Crystal can be found on each planet that supports life. Indeed, the Crystal provides that life force on each of those worlds. Naturally, the Zeo Crystal in this film is located right under a Krispy Kreme. In fact, Rita stops to enjoy some of their doughnuts as she tries to destroy the world. Wouldn’t you?

Rita builds a gigantic monster out of gold from the mine outside of town, and said monster starts destroying said town. The Rangers use their Zords to protect the town and tried to stop the golden monster, which is named Goldar, after a henchman of Rita’s from the original TV series. Goldar is nearly destroyed, until Rita joins with it and is nearly successful. She tosses the Zords into a pit of lava, but they arise, combined into the mighty Mechazord, which Billy has named. Goldar is finally destroyed, and the Rangers demand Rita’s surrender before Zordon. She refuses, which angers Jason, the Red Ranger and leader of the team. I could hardly believe what I saw next, and neither could Billy. “Did you just slap Rita?” Billy asks. “Yes, yes I did,” Jason replies. In fact, Jason has slapped her into outer space. As her frozen body heads towards the moon, we see a smile spread upon her face. I smell sequel!

The town is absolutely overjoyed, and Billy makes the Mechazord dance to country music, which is his guilty pleasure. Two townspeople are played by Amy Jo Johnson, who played the original Pink Ranger, and Jason David Frank, who played Tommy Oliver, the original green Ranger. There are many moments in the film that throw back to the original TV show. In fact, it even gives off the same feel. Near the end of the film, there are more scenes depicting the successful Rangers interacting with their families.

There is one scene during the credits, during which reference is made to Tommy Oliver. There is also a massive explosion in the bathroom of the school, to which Billy says “Oops! My bad!”

Promotional Image of Billy Cranston
Billy is the first definitively autistic superhero in an A-list Hollywood film. Based on criticism of The Accountant, various members of the autistic activist community may point out that it is not realistic to portray an autistic person as a superhero because we autistics are not special, but rather a naturally occurring subset of society. To this I say, “WTF!?” This film has dinosaurs, ancient aliens, giant robots, a humongous golden monster, and a woman who comes back to life after 65 million years at the bottom of the sea! I think we can learn to suspend our disbelief a little bit.

In addition, it is noteworthy that the Blue Ranger is autistic, as the color blue is symbolic of autism awareness. Although many autism activists do not like the color blue standing for autism, they should recall that use of the color to symbolize the autistic movement predates any of the harmful efforts by Autism Speaks. The autism activists would point out that the color blue was chosen because it was initially thought that was prevalent mostly in males. Once again, may I point out that perceptions and symbols can change and adapt. What was once thought of as mostly male is now known to be spread more or less evenly between genders, although autism sometimes manifests slightly differently in each gender. Although the blue color was initially meant to reflect the male gender, the intent was not sexist, and the color can be perceived as applying to both genders.

As an autistic person with autistic friends and acquaintances all across the autism spectrum, I do not think I have seen a more accurate depiction of autism in popular culture, except for possibly the character I review in my first book, Without Fear: The FirstAutistic Superhero. Both myself and my firm, Autistic Reality, would like to fully endorse this film. We will attempt to get in touch with Lionsgate Entertainment and Saban, to make that endorsement official. Both myself and my firm give this amazing wonderful film ten out of ten stars, or five out of five. It is very rare to see a good, high profile film that so flawlessly embodies diversity. SEE THIS FILM!

The Power Rangers, with Billy Cranston in blue.
This blog posting is the personal opinion of Alec Frazier and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Review of Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

The Attendance at Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0
I am writing to inform you about the wonderful disability and media symposium that is Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0!

Tari Hartman Squire
I got to know Tari Hartman Squire through a number of prior business dealings. She is the Founding CEO of EIN SOF Communications, Inc., a disability marketing firm. One thing that the firm does is promote disability inclusion in the media through its Lights! Camera! Access! Symposia.

My Invitation to the White House
I moved to the Washington, DC area on November 1 of 2016. I had not been there for three days yet when I received an invite to the main event for Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, a key disability and media symposium. This event would be held at the White House, and proper permissions were needed. It was pretty amazing to get an official invite to the White House!

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB)
Almost all events held at the White House are actually held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). I walked around the White House area taking photos of the beautiful architecture before I lined up for the conference. There was quite a bit of security to go through, but it was easy since we had the proper credentials.

Obama Director of Public Engagement Maria Town with Me, Alec Frazier
The event started with introductions by those in charge, including Tari Hartman Squire, Obama Director of Public Engagement Maria Town, and others.

One of the Panels
After this, there were few panel discussions. Some of the panelists were disability professionals, while other panelists were media professionals. A few people teleconferenced in from other places, including Los Angeles and New York City. The ability of people to teleconference into a meeting makes things much easier for all parties involved.

With Casey, one of my mentors!
At its heart, Lights! Camera! Access! Is a mentoring event, so in the midst of all of this, there were sessions where we, the younger and/or more inexperienced attendees, most of whom have disabilities, met with mentors in the disability rights and media fields. I myself met with some interesting professionals from an advertising firm in New York City. Other mentees came from around the country.

The Leaders of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition
In addition to all of this, there were many networking opportunities, and panels and workshops on mentoring and advocacy. Many professionals in both unique and general-purpose disability in media fields or present.

J.D., one of my mentors!
To follow up, I have had Skype conversations with some of my mentors, and other meetings with them in person. We have also exchanged contact information.

Roberta Cordano, President of Gallaudet University
 In addition to all of this, there was a second Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 conference a couple months later. This one was also hosted by the White House, although it was not physically held at the White House, but was instead held at Gallaudet University, a remarkably relevant location given its disability rights history. I refer to this conference as Lights! Camera! Access! 2.5.

A Group Discussion at Lights! Camera! Access! 2.5 Disability & Media Industry Summit
There were many people at this second conference who are not able to make it to the original conference. At the second conference, I was able to meet with not one, but five mentors in the disability/media fields.

A Mentoring Session at Lights! Camera! Access! 2.5 Disability & Media Industry Summit
I highly recommend attendance at a Lights! Camera! Access! event. Your perceptions of the world around you will change, and you will get wonderful ideas for promoting inclusion, not just in disability and media, but in many other cross disciplinary fields!

In President Obama's office library after Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0!
This blog posting is the personal opinion of Alec Frazier and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Review of Attack of the Killer Shrews (2016), by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Sitting down to watch Attack of the Killer Shrews! Don't mind the bunny...holy crap, they've eaten my feet! Aaaggghh!!!
I just finished watching a wonderful and exciting movie! Attack of the Killer Shrews is a remake of the 1950s B horror film of the same name. The original film is extremely cheesy, and, by today’s standards, very poorly made.

The remake was locally made in Western New York, using regional and local talent, settings, supplies, financing, and other resources. I have spoken before about the wonder of the Western New York film scene. Western New York has almost fifty studios, all made locally by local people and local resources. I cannot speak highly enough of the Western New York film scene.

My friend Bill Kennedy is the star of this film, playing a small town sheriff whose motley crew happens upon the titular killer shrews, which are result of what else but a scientist’s evil plan gone awry. Our crew includes at various times the Sheriff, his deputy who, in true small-town fashion is also his cousin, an eccentric genius professor, his agent, the agent’s wife, a movie star, and any number of soldiers and/or small towns people.

As mentioned, the original film from the 1950s is very cheesy, and does not have the best production values. This film, made in Buffalo, New York and the surrounding area, was made with limited financing and resources, and it shows. However! That is not a bad thing! In fact, the exact opposite is true. The fact that the film was made on a shoestring budget with shoestring resources amplifies its fulfillment of its goal.

What is the goal of this film? The goal of this film is to serve as satire and homage to the original film and its genre. In this goal, a small town film made out of Western New York can truly shine and succeed! The film has plenty of cheesy effects, jokes, corny exposition, and breaking of the fourth wall.

The film starts out slow, and although it was initially difficult to figure out, it developed into a fun, exciting effort to rid the small town of what else, but killer shrews! I recommend this film full heartedly for several reasons:
  • this film is an awesome example of how a great film can be made on a budget
  • this film is a true throwback to cheapen cheesy horror films of the 1950s
  • a local community did a wonderful job putting on this film
  • this is proof that anybody can make a good film if they put their minds and hearts to it
With those reasons in mind, I give this film a 9 out of 10 rating, or a five out of five rating! Please enjoy Attack of the Killer Shrews!
This blog posting is the personal opinion of Alec Frazier and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Very Happy Holidays 2016, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Dear friends, family, and neighbors,

The beautiful Christmas tree in the main hall of Union Station in Washington, DC.
I am writing to tell you all of my wonderful year in 2016! I have had an extremely dynamic and productive year!

The storyteller during Toruk: The First Flight.
Early in the year, I went to see Toruk: The First Flight in Toronto. It is quite easily the best theatrical show I have ever seen!

Learning about family history from Great Uncle Ted.
In the spring, I went and visited family in Colorado, and cemented many relationships.

The Boston Twilight fanfiction meetup!
Further towards summer, I attended a Twilight fanfiction meetup in Boston with a large group of similarly minded people!

Gumdrop the humpback whale doing his thing!
One highlight was the whale watching expedition!

Just graduated!
Then, in May, I finally graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a master’s degree in disability studies!

My painting of Daredevil with the autographs of Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, and Charlie Cox. I got the autographs at FanExpo!
During the summer, I managed to meet a number of my pop-culture icons at FanExpo Canada.

My new apartment building in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Finally, in November, I moved to Washington, DC and begin the next chapter of my life. I love my new apartment! It has everything I could ever need or desire to grow and thrive as an independent person!

My goodbye party at the world-famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.
I am also very proud to have all of my wonderful friends! A number of them gathered together to help see me off in Buffalo!

With Sheena, the National Panda, and Erin at the holiday lights at the National Zoo!
I have made even more friends in the Washington, DC area!

Speaking with the students at the Rebecca School.
This year has also been tremendously wonderful for my career! I traveled to New York City to speak to the Rebecca School for kids with developmental disabilities in the late winter/early spring.

With Jay Ruderman at the Ruderman Family Foundation.
I visited the Ruderman Family Foundation in Newton, Massachusetts. I have since worked with them further on developing a network of leaders.

With my good friend Nick Savarese at Special Olympics Massachusetts.
I also visited Special Olympics Massachusetts in Marlborough, Massachusetts and gave a talk there, as well as doing an entry on their podcast, which you can find here.

The gathering at the meeting at the White House.
Since I have arrived in Washington, DC, I have been inundated with business developments! Almost as soon as I arrived, I was invited to a meeting at the White House!

With Michael Thornton at Abilities Expo.
I went to Abilities Expo and met some new friends and cemented old friends as well!

My mentor Mat McCullough (center) and myself (right) with a representative the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of Australia.
I also had a meeting with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of Australia, and another meeting with the White House.

The Holiday Market at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.
Washington, DC is a beautiful, vibrant, world-class city! I am extremely overjoyed to be living there!

I wish you all a very wonderful holiday season, and a most fulfilling new year!


Alec Frazier

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Viewpoints on the 2016 Presidential Election, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

I am writing you to tell you my serious viewpoints on the 2016 presidential race in the United States of America. My goal is not to provide citations on facts, because I believe that many people have already made up their minds conclusively at this point, and some people on a certain side of the aisle will claim that truthful facts are falsified.

Please bear in mind that I have a bachelor’s degree in political science, and a master’s degree in disability studies with extensive training in the social studies in both degrees.

Democratic Party: Hillary Clinton

Speaking of facts, it is a fact that Hillary Clinton has been involved in politics for better or for worse since the mid-1970s. It is a fact that Hillary Clinton has been involved in policymaking for that whole time as well. It is a fact that she has a terrific mind, shaped by great education, as well as the ever evolving world we live in. I recognize that she has not always believed in gay marriage for example, but her viewpoints have evolved for the better on that and many issues. People’s viewpoints change, much like the ever adapting Constitution of this great nation.

I was originally a supporter of Bernie Sanders, and I am overjoyed that his entire domestic platform has been adopted by Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton has been a United States senator and Secretary of State since the year 2000. That alone is much more experience than Barack Obama has had, and he has turned out to be one of our better presidents. Add to that the fact that she was first lady for eight years in the 1990s, and greatly responsible for shaping much of American policy during that time, which has gone on record as the most prosperous time in this nation’s history. Add to that the fact that she did the same during her husband’s time as governor of Arkansas. Add to that the fact that she was a staffer in Washington DC for a time, when she was much younger. Add to that the fact that she was a Rhodes Scholar, and has gone to some of the most prestigious schools in the world, where she was an attentive pupil.

Many of the rumors about Hillary Clinton that are spread by the right wing as well as some of the left-wing are completely false. Did her direct actions lead to the creation of ISIS? No. Those were the actions of the previous presidential administration of George W. Bush. Did her actions directly lead to the deaths in Benghazi? No, and she had asked the Republican-led Congress for more funds to protect that embassy, funds that they denied her. Did Hillary Clinton laugh at a child whose rapist she defended? No. She was obliged by judicial custom and career needs to accept the case, and defended the man begrudgingly. She never once laughed at the girl whom he had raped. Did Hillary Clinton mismanage her emails? No. As someone who has both public and private emails, I can tell you that it is absolutely reasonable for someone of Hillary’s stature to confuse tens of thousands of public and private emails. Often, when dealing with a mobile server or other email platform, it is much more efficient to deal with one than the other, and many thousands of emails in the case of the Secretary of State and social maven Hillary Clinton may be miscategorized. The question becomes: did Hillary Clinton share classified information when trying to juggle hundreds of thousands, if not millions of public and private emails? The answer is no. Congress, the FBI, and the State Department have all cleared her. In addition, many of her rivals, and even the Congressman in charge of the investigation, Trey Gowdy, have also been exposed using public servers for private emails and private servers for public emails. It is just that difficult to manage them. In my opinion, law on emails and servers needs to be rewritten to account for this.

Has Hillary Clinton done some corrupt things? Yes. Absolutely. That is politics, and as a person who has dealt in politics since the third grade in 1994, I can tell you that that is unfortunately par for the course. Hillary Clinton once said that people need a public face and a private face. When you are dealing in politics, this is absolutely the case. Hillary Clinton understands the need to keep a public façade while sometimes doing something differently. That is called cunning, and it is an essential trait in politics.

Hillary Clinton has always supported the disabled community. As of this time, she is one of the major candidates in this country to have responded to the disability community’s questionnaire on disability policy. Her answers indicate that she agrees almost entirely with our priorities. She promises to make disability policy a main issue, and she is the first ever major candidate to subscribe to a disability studies viewpoint of autism. She promises to get her advice about autism from advocates, doctors, and family members, instead of just the latter two. Hillary Clinton is ready to listen to the disabled and autistic populations of the United States of America.

Hillary Clinton has been good at every single task ever put in front of her. She is excellent in public and in private. Almost all the scandals and charges levied against her are fabricated. She has adopted the platform of her primary contender, Bernie Sanders, and is anxious to help the American people. She knows how, and has done it for over thirty years of her life. Hillary Clinton loves America, and has dedicated her life to serving America. She cares about America’s rich and diverse citizens, and improving America’s image domestically and abroad. Please, I implore you, vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8, 2016.

Republican Party: Donald Trump

Donald Trump. This is interesting. Donald Trump is without question the most disgusting, evil, vile person to ever run for the office of President of the United States. Donald Trump was born into several billion dollars that he inherited from his father, Fred, in a real estate and speculation business that he inherited from his father, Frederick. Donald Trump’s grandfather, Frederick, was an illegal immigrant who claimed to be Swedish but was actually German. Had the authorities known this, he would not have been allowed to settle in the United States. Frederick ran afoul of the law by running several bordellos in the United States and Canada. Donald Trump’s father, Fred, was a known racist who was actually apprehended representing the Ku Klux Klan. Fred believed in eugenics, the highly inaccurate and very dangerous belief that some human beings are better than others, and that you should breed them together to create better human beings. Fred called this the racehorse theory, based on horse breeding. One of the funny things is that horse breeding almost never has uniform results, with offspring which don’t resemble their parents in skill, stamina, and other traits. Nonetheless, human beings are not horses, and treating human beings this way is dangerous and has, in the past, led to the genocide of millions of people.

Donald Trump is prone to emotional outbursts, yelling about everything and nothing at the same time, spouting incorrect fallacies, and threatening people with outrageous consequences. Trump also vacillates wildly on viewpoints, supporting one thing one day and another thing the next day. These may sound like the traits of dictators of foreign authoritarian regimes. It should come as no surprise that both Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jong-Un of North Korea have endorsed Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin has also hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign on his behalf. Donald Trump has praised Benito Mussolini, the founder of the fascist movement. Given his emotional outbursts, fickle viewpoints, and threatening nature, Donald Trump absolutely lacks the temperament to be president of the United States of America. He is absolutely childish and immature, and completely unfit for the highest office in the land.

Donald Trump, as I mentioned, inherited billions of dollars from his father. He has actually had a net loss of a few billion dollars since that time. Although a few of his business endeavors have been profitable, his life is marked by some terrific failures, and he has been through no less than six bankruptcies. Back when I was growing up, bankruptcy was considered the end of the line, and you were broke. Nonetheless, Trump uses loopholes and technicalities in bankruptcy law to emerge even richer afterwards. Trump declares bankruptcy often simply for the reason that it allows him to take advantage of the system, and personally make a profit even though his businesses are losing millions of dollars. One of his more famous losses of money was the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City. One must wonder what he was thinking when he bought the place. As soon as he had bought the property, he turned it into a resort so big that it was impossible for it to run at a profit. The resort lost money continuously, and had to apply for bankruptcy for the first time just a few months after it had opened. So maybe Trump himself stays wealthy, but his businesses routinely fail. Trump has mentioned that he wants to run this country like a business. Trump runs his businesses into the ground. Trumps economic proposals would lead the United States to the biggest financial crisis in history.

Speaking of the Trump Taj Mahal, as soon as it opened, a financial adviser wrote a column saying that it would go bankrupt in a few months, which in fact it did. That financial adviser was immediately sued for defamation of character. Here’s the thing though: your character is not being defamed if you really are doing horrible things. Trump does horrible things. In the 70s, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to African-Americans. Trump is sneaky, though. He found a way to pay his fines while not admitting wrongdoing. The New York Times recently reported on a number of his more egregious indiscretions, and he threatened to sue again. The New York Times responded by telling him that his indiscretions were absolutely newsworthy, as he is running for president of the United States of America. The Times refused to retract the story.

When Donald Trump began running for president, he was viewed as a curiosity. Up until just a few weeks ago, news networks were rushing all over themselves to give him air time. This shouldn’t be surprising given today’s obsession with reality TV. Donald Trump realized early on that he could market his brand when all else failed. He became a reality TV star, hosting the show called the Apprentice. He also had roles in a number of movies, including but not limited to Home Alone Two, Little Rascals, and even a pornographic film put out by the Playboy Company. He also bought the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Running for president of the United States must be terrific on his ego. Trump loves anything that is about him. As president, he would have an entire world to run!

Of course, Trump didn’t have very many ideas, and the ideas that he had were not good. Trump often rambles endlessly, showing almost no expertise in anything. During the second debate, Trump seemed unaware that a president could veto legislation. At other times, he has misstated the number of articles in the U.S. Constitution. When Trump announced his campaign, he paid a number of people to watch him come down a gold-plated escalator. Those people later admitted to essentially being paid actors. For the first several months of his campaign, he rambled on and on about a number of bigoted ideas. In Trump’s mind, all but just a very small amount of Mexican-Americans were illegal immigrants, and they were here to rape you and steal from you. Trump absolutely demanded that Mexico build a wall to keep its citizens in that country. Trump is in no such position to make that demand. Trump also insisted on expelling all Muslim-Americans, and refusing further Muslim-Americans entrance to this country. He called it “extreme vetting”, but in reality, it is absolutely unconstitutional bigotry. Only a tiny percentage of Muslims are affiliated with ISIS, just like only a tiny percentage of white Americans are affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.

The strange thing about that is that the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan has actually endorsed Donald Trump for president. Reporters then asked Donald Trump if he would be willing to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, and Trump stated that he needed to know more about them in order to do that. I must remind you that Donald Trump’s father, Fred, was a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan. Donald Trump’s children, particularly his sons, have also spouted hateful rhetoric. Donald Trump Junior has shown himself to be an absolute white supremacist, re-tweeting a number of white supremacist talking points, and saying some outrageously bigoted things. Just yesterday, he said that a woman is not worthy of being in the workplace if she can’t take harassment.

And now we get to the biggest matter: Donald Trump is an absolute pervert, and is obviously guilty of sexual assault and sexual harassment. In a 2005 video that recently came to light, Trump admitted to sexual assault by grabbing women “on the pussy”. Trump stated that it was just “locker room talk”. Trump must not spend much time in locker rooms, because that is not what people talk about in locker rooms. Regardless, during an episode of the apprentice that he had hosted earlier, he said that “locker room talk” is unacceptable for business. If Trump is trying to run America like a business, then why is this locker room talk acceptable to him now?

When asked by one of the moderators of the next presidential debate, Anderson Cooper, whether he had actually committed sexual assault, he refused to answer the question, and instead went on a long rant about ISIS. He eventually gave a halfhearted “no”, which almost no one believed. Sure enough, several women have come forward and accused him of grabbing their genitals without permission. As someone who has had an unwanted sexual encounter, let me tell you that this is an absolutely traumatic violation. One of the women said, “His hands were everywhere”. Another woman said he viciously slammed her to the wall, and proceeded to kiss her and grope her. I know a few Trump supporters. They are absolutely unmoved by these turns of events. What would these supporters advise their daughters to do if a man “grabbed their pussy” out of the blue without consent?

Donald Trump often brings up what Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton did twenty years ago and was acquitted for. Bill Clinton is not running for president, Donald. I also have a question for the Republican Party: why do you repeatedly take issue with what Bill Clinton did and was acquitted for twenty years ago, without even wanting to investigate what Donald Trump has done up until very recently? Trump himself has admitted going into the Miss USA dressing room to gawk at underage females.

Perhaps most damning, Donald Trump is currently on trial for child rape. This might seem a bit too shocking to be true, so let me say it again: Donald Trump is currently on trial for child rape. Yes, child rape. Child. Rape. This would have immediately disqualified any candidate in the past. Republicans absolutely hate Barack Obama. A lot of it has to do with the color of his skin, even if they refuse to admit that. Would Republicans have been okay with Barack Obama running for president if he were accused of child rape? No. No no no no. Not by a long shot. Why, oh why are Republicans, the so-called party of “family values” okay with a candidate who brags about grabbing women inappropriately, brags about sexually lusting after underage females, and is on trial for child rape!?

There are a lot of other problems with Donald Trump, including his discrimination against homosexuals, and his running mate. One could fill several books with his inadequacies for the office of President of the United States. But how does Trump do on disability issues? He has refused to answer the disability community’s questionnaire. Very early in his run, he physically, emotionally, and mentally mocked a reporter for the New York Times who has a significant disability. During his time on the Celebrity Apprentice, he physically, emotionally, and mentally mocked hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin, and called her “retarded”. His usage of the term “retarded” involved the meaning of the word that applies to the mentally disabled. This meaning of the word should never, ever be used. Neither this meaning, nor the socially acceptable slang meaning of the word should ever be used in business, and certainly not in business by a man who is trying to run for President of the United States. Donald Trump also believes that vaccines cause autism, a dangerous, discredited, bigoted viewpoint based on an absolute lie. It’s not that Trump doesn’t care about the disabled community; he has contempt for us in the disabled community, and makes that contempt publicly known.

Donald Trump hates America. He claims to want to make America great again. America is not doing too shabby right now. America is currently at its best since the 1990s. Donald Trump does not want to make America great again. Donald Trump wants to make America a hateful, fearful place to live. Whatever you do on Election Day, do not vote for Donald Trump. This man is pure evil.

Libertarian Party: Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is really not bright enough to become president of the United States. He had never heard of the Syrian city of Aleppo until he was asked by a commentator. Aleppo has been absolutely torn apart by the Syrian Civil War and international crisis. As if that alone weren’t enough to disqualify Johnson from the office of president, he was asked what foreign leaders he admires. He could not name a single foreign leader who he admires. This man is simply unqualified to be president of the United States. Of course, this says nothing of the fact that the Libertarian party is built on small government, which is an impossibility in the United States. I have been a file clerk for a county family reimbursement program for the developmentally disabled. If you had seen any of the massive reams of paperwork I did for that position, a small time position for a niche market in county government, you, too would be convinced that small government is an impossibility in this country.

Green Party: Jill Stein

Jill Stein has become an icon to many extreme left-wingers who were going to vote for Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was completely genuine when he endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. His actions have borne that out. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Bernie Sanders’ goals. Jill Stein has a number of irrational fears, such as of cell phones, whose signal she says is bad for the environment and human beings, a belief which has widely been discredited. Like Donald Trump, Jill Stein believes that vaccines cause autism, which has been discredited thoroughly and is based on an admitted lie by a doctor who was working for the pharmaceutical industry. After Gary Johnson was asked which foreign leaders he admires, Jill Stein was asked the same thing. She named a great deal of famous foreigners, but not a single one of them was a leader in their country. A vote for Jill Stein is a dangerous vote for extremist paranoia and lack of experience.

On Third Parties

It might seem worth it to vote for a third-party candidate if you do not like either of the two big party candidates. However, each of two most popular third party candidates has their own deep-rooted problems. None of the hundreds of third-party candidates has a single chance of winning, and in this particularly critical election, a vote for a third-party could absolutely ruin the election for Hillary Clinton, and instead get Donald Trump elected. I am aware that Hillary has widened her gap on Donald Trump, making this less of the case, but you never can tell. The example of Ralph Nader in 2000 taught us a valuable lesson about voting for third parties in the United States.

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!