I'm writing to second the opinion of letter-writer Sarah Nelson regarding your paper's use of the term "autistic" as a laff-getter in a cover headline describing the film 2001: A Space Odyssey ["Beer Bash," WW, Feb. 1, 2012].
I've learned to shrug off a certain amount of lowest-common-denominator (and not funny) humor in your paper, but this is terrible. Making matters worse is Aaron Mesh's tongue-tied response defending the supposedly non-pejorative use of the term while congratulating himself for skewering the hallowed image of 2001.
I don't know what world you live in that 2001 is considered some sort of hallowed, unassailable work. Very few people I think, beyond having a positive regard for the film, believe it to be some sort of sacred cow. It's simply a great and thoughtful sci-fi film. What's more, your "joke" does zilch to contribute to any discussion of the film.
Ultimately, though, what makes this truly reprehensible is that you're using "autistic"—setting aside the use of "gay" as a second gag in the title—as an ill-informed adolescent shorthand rather than acknowledging that autism is a real thing in real people's lives. There's really no way to defend such a crass statement. You're trying to describe an âaffectlessâ performance? Then say âaffectless.â
This is one of those cases where Mesh might consider simply acknowledging that a mistake was made in lieu of making it worse by explaining his thinking behind the mistake. He's just digging a deeper hole.
TAKE YOUR LIGHT RAIL AND...
Political compromises are one thing, one state forcibly exerting such pressure on the residents of another state to accept a financially failing light-rail system is another ["The 2.5 Billion Bribe," WW, Feb. 29, 2012]. Internationally, wars between countries have been fought over such actions. CRC needs to come to a screeching halt and a Department of Justice investigation should be launched.
PORTLAND, YOU OLD FART
The average age of Portland residents (according to the state and the city's own data) is 35.2 years old—and it's rising ["Dr. Know," WW, Feb. 29, 2012]. That's right—Portland's getting older. And more childless. And, sadly, the middle class is being hollowed out to leave more at the bottom and a few more at the top. The problem is people mistake the loudest for being the largest. In fact, the pop culture that gets tirelessly promoted by outlets like WW is a fraction of the populace.
The name of Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River) was misspelled in a story ["No Such Thing as Free Coffee," WW, Feb. 22, 2012]. WW regrets the error.
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