Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One quirky step at a time...

This post is going to be full of obtuse references, but I'm hoping it will make sense.

When I'm not banging on about autism and all its interesting tentacles, I work in television. Most of the time it's kid's television. And as much as work drives me crazy (mostly because there are simply not enough hours in the day, and then I choose to spend too many of them reading stupid things I really should ignore on the internet), I really love what I do.

There have been some incredible moments.

I've loved the opportunity to share interesting information on TV, especially because when I was a kid, if it was on TV it was 100% true. I was convinced I would be a crime fighting, cruise taking, semi-robot woman when I grew up. I've loved meeting incredible kids and being able to get their stories on screen.  I've loved meeting innovators, visionaries and complete crazy people... even when the latter were breaking my back... even when I was swearing under my breath that I would never do this again.

I haven't always been as proud as I could be of the work that I've done. I could have tried harder. I could have got over myself and got on with it. I coulda, woulda, shoulda.

But (possibly prematurely) I am proud of myself right now.

It's not all done and dusted, but tomorrow we take a big step closer to putting something on air that brings the two edges of my world together into an uncharacteristically neat package. We go into the studio, to start recording a television program that, at it's heart, pays tribute to quirky, individual, perhaps even perseverative thinkers.

I don't want to name the show, because I'm not stupid enough to think that people want to market a show  with the message that it's all about odd kids. I hope we live in a world one day where the 'a' word isn't a negative marketing tool. But right now, I can't imagine the tweens of Australia rushing to be considered 'just like the weird dude'.

That said, I know (and now you know) that there's something swimming about in popular culture that says:
 - its great to be extremely passionate about something your peers think is odd
 - it's cool to know more than other people about some odd subject
 - you may not be the top of the class but your knowledge is valued
 - if you like knowing stuff that others don't necessarily like, you are a winner

 I hope that (just as I believed that perhaps I would be able to wear a funky gold belt and fly) adults of the future remember the show where the kid that knew (and cared) a ridiculous amount about grasshoppers. And maybe, just maybe, they might have become adults who value the grasshopper expert for more than being a figure of fun. Maybe they'll get over the cringe factor... cos autism can be embarrassing.

I know for sure that I have. And I know my life is much, much richer for it.


trydefyinggravity said...

oh I'm on the edge of my seat! Once it's out in Australia, will we be able to see it in the US?
if you're involved, it has to be good. The more you share, the better.

Lisa said...

Aha, you're making sense, woman.
Travel hopefully.
It has never ceased to amaze me over the years, how 'knowledge', however arcane, garners respect from children.

I recall my total awe on the first occasion - I think Dreamer was about 9, and we had to go to a sporting stadium event. To help him out, we allowed him to take his Game Boy.

So, there we are, sitting in a crowd of multiple thousands, and there he is, sitting a few benches away, engrossed in Pokemon.

Next time I looked, he had a small crowd of children around him, and Dreamer was happily espousing and demonstrating Pokemon capture techniques to a rapt audience.

I *can* imagine (a decent percentage of) the tweens of Australia having the utmost respect and admiration for 'the weird dude'.