Yesterday, a New York Times writer posted a thought-provoking blog about the search for a cure for autism, and the resistance amongst the autistic community, who don’t want to be cured. Though I’d rather gargle pus than read the entire pretentious exercise, the highlight was surely when the writer used X-Men 3 as an analogy, and even quoted Brett Ratner.
A genetic difference is often adaptive and can be regarded as an advance in the evolutionary process; it is well-known that autism sometimes brings with it remarkable powers in the areas of music, art and mathematics. In the 2006 movie “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the augmented powers of those known as “mutants” are even more remarkable and include the ability to walk through walls, to move metal objects as large as California’s Golden Gate Bridge, to auto-generate fire [Pyro can only manipulate fire, he can’t generate it, stupid] or ice, to be in seven places at the same time, to read minds, to assume any identity, to kill with a touch, to fly like Icarus [perhaps not the best person to cite in a simile meant to illustrate the ability to fly…], to change the weather.
It might seem meretricious [Yes! Meretricious*! That’s exactly the word I was looking for! …] and insensitive to link a serious condition like autism with the heroes and anti-heroes of a comic book fantasy. But the link is encouraged by the film’s director, Brett Ratner, who said on About.com that the story “has strong racial, political and sexual aspects” and wonders, “What if … African-American[s] could take a pill [that would] ‘cure’ them of being black or if a gay could take something that would alter his sexuality?” That is, what if a condition scorned by the majority but prized by the minority that inhabits it could be eliminated by a simple injection? What would the minority do?
Gee, thanks for explaining Brett Ratner’s high-minded allegories to us simpletons, New York Times writer guy. Autism awareness is of course just one of the many causes in which Brett Ratner is actively involved, including Fat Acceptance and the Society for the Recognition of the Exceptionally Mediocre.
1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry.
As in: My word, what a meretricious outfit your mother is wearing! Thanks to her diaphanous bloomers, I can nearly see her baby cave.
[Thanks to the Brave Sir Rob for the tip]