Portrait of a Scared Old Man

I was inspired to write this after seeing the Doctor Who 2010 season episode “The Time of Angels”. It talked of fear. The Weeping Angels preyed on fear, and used it as a weapon – based on the idea of “Blink and you’re dead” (the name of the episode in 2007 that also featured the Weeping Angels was appropriately titled “Blink”).

Personally, I’m of the view that people who use fear to achieve a gain are heinous people. This of course doesn’t mean to say that I don’t use that tactic. I have – to my shame. But whenever I have it has always been to fight back against someone who is trying to scare me. Originating scaremongers – as distinct from those fighting fear – are the true cowards.

This is John Best Junior that I am describing.

He is scared. Scared of the Autistic Spectrum. It scares him because he doesn’t understand it and doesn’t want to understand it. So like everyone else, he rushes into face value solutions and clutching at straws in the process. He’s known about his son’s Autism since the age of 1. That was more than 10 years ago. Now how much has he learnt in that time period? The same amount anyone who is scared and let’s that fear rule their thinking – absolutely nothing.

Best is also scared to admit he is frightened, and that heightens the danger he poses. He uses the excuse that he has found the solution, when it was nothing more than a bumbling accident that just happened to do something positive. So he persists – and where is it getting him? After four years of it – nowhere. Best just doesn’t have the courage to admit that he is failing and has failed, and has become a bully just to preserve his outside demeanour. To further that – he also buys another line that comes from the scared little germs who don’t understand something else. Politics. This is especially the case in the United States. That line is conspiracy theory. The whole idea of that is to scare. To put people at odds with their democratically elected officials, instead of using the system in a positive manner. Even known enemies like Generation Rescue and Age of Autism know the score – which is why they tread softly, much to Best’s chagrin. Autism Speaks is also of that ilk. They all still preach the fear line though – especially Autism Speaks.

ASAN on the other hand seeks to temper that fear, and promote understanding so that panic can be reduced and we can concentrate on helping LFA’s properly, correctly and most importantly early. That’s why having Ari Ne’eman on the IACC board is fantastic news, even though having him on the National Disability Council would have been better still.

Best is all about fear. Fear of Autism and fear of government. He believes that he can make inroads into politics by running for President. He is reacting out of fear and seeks to bully his way to the top. That has never worked and it never will work. Being in politics takes humility to make a success of it. Best doesn’t have a modest bone in his body.

Fear of something you don’t understand leads to rash action – usually without thinking. Best’s actions are the actions of a scared old man desperate to have a neurotypical son. He won’t settle for anything less because that scares him and he doesn’t have the courage to adjust through real understanding. With that Doctor Who episode in mind – Best is on a one way trip having his metaphorical neck broken.


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