OK I know nothing about the Netflix “stereotype breaking” show Atypical, other than protagonist being fairly inaccurate and creepy…
BUT if you want a decent romance with an non-ace autistic/aspie character in it, I highly recommend A Sense of Wonder (Le Gout des merveilles) instead. It is in French though, so it might be hard to find. I remember it being quite cute.
Editor’s note: The trial of Julien Coupat
and Mathieu Burnel, known as the “Tarnac affair”, has dragged-on for over
eight years now. On the 10th of January, the Court of Appeals deemed
that it was no longer to be classified as a terrorism case. Assumed by many to
belong to the Invisible Committee—whose first opus, The Coming Insurrection (2007), was a resounding success—they here take
a critical look at the presidential campaign. Their newest book, Maintenant [Now], is due to hit the shelves next week.
Le Monde: What do you make of the
What campaign? There was no campaign.
There was a soap opera, a fairly worn-out one at that, to tell the truth, full
of twists and turns, scandals, dramatic tension and suspense. Much brouhaha, a tiny
frenzy, but nothing that managed to pierce the wall of generalized confusion.
Not that there is any lack of followers for each candidate, tossing-about with
varying degrees of fanaticism in their virtual bubbles. But this fanaticism
only deepens the feeling of political unreality.
A graffiti that went up in Place de la Nation during the Mayday demonstration last
year stated: "There will be no presidential election”. It suffices to project
ourselves ahead to the day after the final round of the election to grasp what’s
prophetic in this tag: whatever happens, the new president will be as much a puppet
as the current one, the legitimacy of their governance will be just as lacking,
just as minoritarian and impotent. This fact isn’t solely due to the extreme withering
of politics—to the fact that it has become impossible to believe honestly in all
that is done and said there—but is likewise due to the fact that politics is a
derisory means of confronting the depth of the current disaster.
What can politics and its proclamatory universe do when confronted by the
concomitant collapse of ecosystems and subjectivities, of the wage society and
the global geopolitical order, the meaning of life and the meaning of words?
Nothing. It only adds to the disaster. There is no "solution” to the
disaster we’re going through. To think in terms of problems and solutions is only
one more aspect of this disaster, a way of safeguarding us from any serious
questioning. What’s called into question by the current state of the world is
not merely a political system or a certain form of social organization but a whole
civilization, that is to say, ourselves, our ways of living, of being, of
relating and thinking.
The buffoons who mount their platforms to boast of the “solutions” they’ll
be strong enough to enact once elected are only pandering to our need for
illusion, our need to believe that some kind of decisive change exists that
would spare us, and spare us above all from the need to fight. All the
“revolutions” that they promise us are only there so that we may
avoid changing who we are, to relieve us of any physical or existential risk.
They’re candidates for the deepening of the catastrophe. Seen in this light, it
would seem that for some people the need for illusion is virtually insatiable.
You say that, but never in an election
have there been so many candidates vowing to “flip over the table”.
And how can you brush-off the enthusiasm in recent weeks for the candidacy of
Jean-Luc Mélenchon is nothing, since he’s already been everything, even a
Lambertist. He’s only the surface projection of the Left’s impotence in the face
of the course of the world. The Mélenchon phenomenon is a fit of desperate
credulity. We need only look to case of Syriza in Greece or Ada Colau’s mayorship
in Barcelona to know that the “radical left”, once installed in
power, can do absolutely nothing. No revolution can be launched from the heights
of the state. Still less in these times, when states are more submerged than at
any prior time.
All the hopes placed in Mélenchon are destined to be disappointed. The “radical
left” governments that claim their base in “popular movements” wind
up defeating them [venir à bout] not
by repression but by depression. The very virulence of the Melenchonists
testifies sufficiently to their need to convince themselves of what they know
to be a lie. To invest this much energy in conversion, one must already be
unsure of believing it oneself. And anyway, no one has ever toppled a system by
following its rules.
Elections were never intended to allow us
each to express ourselves politically, but rather to rejuvenate the adherence
of the population to the machinery of government, that it may consent to its own dispossession. These
days they’re no more than a gigantic mechanism of procrastination. They exist
to prevent us from having to think about the means and forms of a revolution that
would start from what we are, from where we already are, from our existing
contact with the world [depuis là ou nous
avons prise sur le monde].
What is more, as with every presidential election in this country, there is a
sort of sickly resurgence of the national myth, of the collective autism that
fantasizes a France that never existed. The national has become a plane of
impotence and neurosis. Our power to act lies both prior to and beyond its
level, overflowing it on every side.
But what do you propose? To let Marine Le Pen gain power?
It is obvious that Marine Le Pen has a precise function within the French
political system: the threat that it represents serves only to force our participation
in procedures nobody believes in any more, to make us vote while “holding our
nose”, meanwhile dragging the terms of the public debate so far to the Right as
to allow the mainstream political system to falsely appear as an escape from it,
even though it forms its keystone.
Obviously, the question today is not of exiting the Eurozone but of exiting of
the economy, the same one that transforms us into rats. Obviously the problem
is not the invasion of “foreigners” [étrangers] but our living in a society in which we are strangers [étrangers] to one another and to
ourselves. Obviously the issue is not one of restoring full employment, but of ending
the need for everything we do, the bulk of it nonsensical, to be done just to
“earn a living”. Obviously, it is not a question of “doing
politics differently”, but of doing something other than politics—it has
become clear that politics is, at all levels, only the reign of feints and
No revolution could be crazier than the times in which we’re already living -
the days of Trump and Bashar, Uber and the Islamic State, Pokémon hunting and
the extinction of bees. To become ungovernable is no longer an anarchist fad,
it has become a vital necessity, inasmuch as those who govern us are obviously
at the helm of a ship that is headed toward the abyss. Even the most measured
observers admit that politics is decomposing, and describe the current campaign
as “elusive” only to avoid having to say “non-existent”. There is no
reason we should submit to a ritual that has become so obviously harmful. We’re
tired of understanding why everything goes wrong.
So you think there is nothing to expect from these elections?
Certainly, there is: their derailing [débordement].
A year ago, it took only a few Youtube’rs and a handful of high school students
to catalyze an intense months-long battle over a labor law. What was then
translated into regular street clashes was nothing other than the extreme discrediting
of the political apparatus, and consequently a refusal to allow oneself to be
Do you think that the day after these elections, which have been a form of
democratic blackmail from the very first moment, the disgust with politics will
be lessened one bit? Do you think that everyone will continue to sit in front
of their screens and quietly observe the madness of the spectacle of politics?
That it won’t occur to people to fill the streets with our bodies rather than
these dreamed-after candidates? Do you think that these elections have any
chance of appeasing the restlessness of our souls? It is naïve to think that
the generation that cut its teeth politically during the conflict last spring,
and has only continued to develop since then, is just going to swallow this
deception, with the promise of nothing more than organic veggies at the
supermarket and a constituent assembly.
For months now, not two weeks have gone by without clashes in the streets of this
country, over Theo [a youth who was beaten and sodomized by the police in a
Parisian suburb –IWE], over the police, or anywhere the Front National tried to
hold its little meetings. Obviously, this still remains minoritarian, and the
non-event of the elections will of course take place. The question, then, is
how we can ensure that the interstellar vacuum that will flare up after the
elections, whoever the winner is, will be something other than the fact of “young
people” being degraded by a disproportionate display of police force?
For this, we urgently need to re-arm our political perceptions and imagination.
To decipher this era, discern whatever possibilities it contains, and locate
its practicable paths. To insist that there was no presidential election, that this
circus has dragged on long enough, that this world must be stopped as quickly
as possible, from wherever we are, without awaiting the abyss. Let’s stop
waiting, and reclaim confidence in ourselves. Then we can say, like Benjamin
Fondane (1898-1944): “The world is finished. The journey begins.”
Yeah, so i think i should stop trying to find good autistic representation in french media. Movies or documentaries, it’s always about the families and never really about the autistic person.
We’re either here for a pity party or to give the NTs the good role. I watched some documentaries here and there and not only it’s always about an autistic white little boy, but they always put the spotlight on the mom, the dad, the psychiatrist and so on.