And there's more on the pathologisation of genius & eccentricity: the big news of today is that experts at Trinity College, Dublin, are now claiming that Michelangelo suffered from Asperger's Syndrome.
So it's official -- if you wish to be perceived as an Egghead of Note and Promise, consider re-styling yourself as an aspie!
It seems that the above researchers are gainfully employed re-identifying significant historical figures -- President Eamon de Valera, and writer W.B. Yeats, Newton and Albert Einstein, Socrates, Charles Darwin and Andy Warhol and now Michelango -- as aspies.
There's even a book out on the subject by Prof Michael Fitzgerald: Autism and Creativity: Is There a Link Between Autism in Men and Exceptional Ability?
And for anyone stricken with this malady, you'll be glad to know there are native remedies available over the internet (as indeed there is for everything these days).
Just one extra thought on nerdery/aspie-ism: many of the qualities identified as characterising Asperger's syndrome align with the Enlightenment notion of a universal & impartial subject which is necessarily masculine, based in ideals of objectivity and reason and on the suppression of affect, emotion, matter, subjectivity, the feminine, etc. This notion of the subject underpins the modern idea of citizenship and also impartiality, objectivity and so forth as it operates in dominant institutions and professions (law, medicine, the academy etc).
Anyway, jumping to all sorts of conclusions here but perhaps this ties in with what I was musing about before re: the idea of stigmatising 'Asperger's' to foster the employment potential of those with certain attributes and a facility with manipulating symbolic information (though there is a counterdiscourse re: developing 'emotional intelligence' these days as well). Or with valorising a technocratic era.
Other news: the ALP have referred the amendments to the Titanic Act to a Senate Inquiry which is good news, but creates further interesting situation for Titanic employees as the govt did not make a budgetary allocation for said employees beyond 30 June 04.
The Aunt has sent Elsewhere a thank-you letter written, strangely enough, on new age dolphin notepaper. Among many other interesting comments made about MC-ing and the Book of Memories, Aunt writes in reference to Elsewhere's gift of coordinated dot painting design oven mit, apron and plastic bag dispenser that 'your touch of the aborigine is very attractive.'
Now off to hear Paul Kelly at the Memo's Club with eccentric rollicking grrrl lawyer from red meat nights -- more of that 'what you do in Alice' stuff. The last time I went to hear Paul Kelly was circa 1994 at St Kilda Beach (yes, obvious allusion)... oh well, it might help me mellow out a bit.