If I had a nickel for every time I threw a book I had planned on potentially reading down in disgust because they tried to connect autism to whatever it was that they considered to be the great evil of the modern world, I would be able to fund my own publishing company which explicitly forbids this practice.
Today, we went to Chapters to look around, and I bought Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, because I’m overdue for a new book anyways. I was browsing around, and I found one which I can’t remember the title of or author’s name, but supposedly dealt with advertising and media directed towards children via clever manipulation, market tactics, and fearmongering towards parents. Seemed interesting enough, so I read the dust jacket description. Wham, right in the middle of the final paragraph, whoever wrote it starts delving into what all this advertising could be connected to, such as “unparalleled rates of” the usual suspects, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and… autism.
This is a new doozy. I’ve heard the most asinine explanations of a “cause” for autism, from mercury in tunafish to vaccines to wi-fi, but advertisements and media? Maybe I should have picked up the book and read it in Chapters just to see how they arrived at this conclusion.
Except, I know they didn’t. They just pulled a bunch of scary disabilities and diseases that everyone’s heard about now out of their arses, in order to sell more copies of their book, because they’re playing into the exact same scaremongering they claimed to be against in the dust jacket.
Oy Vey. Someone get me a drink. Wait, maybe alcohol causes autism too! Or I’ll go lie in bed. Unless the laundry detergent I washed my sheets with causes autism. Maybe I’ll go into the kitchen and get a snack, assuming that my food wasn’t pumped full of autism-causing who-knows-what. Or perhaps the coolant in the fridge is to blame.
See, I can make up stuff too, and showcase how frightening the modern world has become for causing terrible, horrible autism to happen. Can I have a book deal now?