ONE PERSON’S UTOPIA…
We all have heard the expression that one person’s meat can be another person’s poison, as an autistic, I say, “One person’s utopia can be another person’s dystopian nightmare.” As regular readers of my stories will know, I have very little time for right-wing politicians, and one in particular, I remember being rightly grilled by former news presenter Steve Liebmann, who, when he said that her immigration policy was about stopping Australia being Asianised and she came back with the preposterous response of, “What is so wrong with that? I’m proud of the country, I’m proud of the culture we have.” My response, if I’d been Steve Liebmann, would have been, “Well, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that. Firstly, there’s no danger of what you describe, and secondly, in the global world in which we live, more Australians are not only born overseas and from diverse backgrounds, but more Australians are learning foreign languages and more Australians are travelling overseas. And some of those Australians are saying, “Hey, I went overseas, I enjoyed my experiences. And I want to incorporate those experiences into my life today.”
Some neurotypical Australians might be able to say, “My (now pre-COVID19) annual ritual was a two week surfing holiday in Bali.” They might buy a couple of shirts when they’re over there, take some photos, and they can leave their surfing holiday in Bali. They might appreciate the people, too. Some neurotypical Australians, who enjoy skiing, might say, “I’ve skied in Niiseko, Nagano, Sapporo, and every year, they go to Japan, or the USA or Canada for a skiing holiday.” They might even, if well paid enough, take a two-week skiing holiday in Australia in July-August and two weeks in Japan or North America in January-February. They go for the skiing, not for the culture.
Some autistic Australians, like myself, have developed interests in Asian cultures. And that right-wing politician’s utopia would have been a dystopian nightmare in hell. Some of us like Asian cultures and countries because they’re ordered societies. One of the things that I liked about Japan was the cleanliness. And, having lived in one seaside town, which had a yobbish element, one of the other things I liked about Japan was that, yes, you could buy a cup of sake, or a can of beer from a vending machine in the street, but there wasn’t any drunken loutish behaviour, like I found in the seaside town.
Another thing that I felt comfortable with Japan regarding was the fact that you know how to speak to people. You speak to this person in this way, you speak to that person in that way, and so on.
If a right-wing politician wants to live in some outdated version of their country, they can go right ahead, in their own home, but don’t go trying to force it upon the rest of us. After all, one person’s utopia can be another person’s dystopian nightmare.