Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autism Sells

I originally thought that I could write a thoughtful, serious parody of the new Autism Speaks PSA, giving it a more reality and less of an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" feel. But after I realized my biggest beef with it was it's blatant use of fear to 'sell' it's product; I just turned it in upon itself. If you compare the original transcription (Thanks Cody, for making my life easy), you can see how eloquently simple the needed changes were and how eerily fitting it becomes:

man: I am Autism Speaks. I'm invisible to your autistic children, but if I can help it, I am visible to all you with a checkbook. I know where your guilty conscience lives, and guess what? I live there too. I hover around all of you. I know no color barrier, no religion, no morality, but I KNOW currency. I speak that language fluently, and with every voice I take away, I acquire yet another dollar. I work very quickly. I work faster than those funding pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes research combined. And if you are happily married, I will make sure that you fear your marriage will fail. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain. I don't sleep, so I make sure you don't either. I will make it virtually impossible for your family to easily attend a temple, a birthday party, a public park, without a struggle, without embarrassment, without pain. You have no cure for me. Your scientists don't have the resources, and I relish their desperation. Your neighbors are happier to pretend that I don't exist, of course, until it's their charitable donation. I am Autism Speaks. I have no interest in right or wrong. I derive great pleasure out of your loneliness. I will fight to take away your hope. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams. I will make sure that every day you wake up, you will cry, wondering 'who will take care of my child after I die?' And the truth is, I am still winning, and you are scared, and you should be. I am Autism Speaks. You ignored me. That was a mistake.

woman: And to Autism Speaks, I say...
man: I am a father...
woman: A mother...
woman: A grandparent...
man: A brother...woman: A sister...
man: We will spend every waking hour trying to weaken you.
woman: We don't need sleep, because we will not rest until you do.
woman: Family can be much stronger than Autism Speaks ever anticipated, and we will not be intimidated by you...
woman: ...nor will the love and strength of my community.
man: I am a parent riding toward you, and you can push me off this horse time and time again, but I will get up, climb back on, and ride on with the message.
woman: Autism Speaks? You forget who we are. You forget who you are dealing with. You forget the spirit of mothers...
all: ...and daughters, and fathers, and sons, AND AUTISTICS...(crosstalk: several people calling out "We are" and the names of different countries)
all: We are the United Nations.
man: We are coming together in all climates.
woman: We call on all faiths.
woman: We search with technology...
woman: ...and reality...
woman: ...prayer and...
man: ...logic...
man: ...genetic studies...
woman: ...and a growing awareness you never anticipated.
man: We have had challenges, but we are the best when overcoming them.
woman: We speak the only language that matters:
all: Love for our children.
woman: Our capacity to love is greater than your capacity to overwhelm.
woman: Autism Speaks is naive.
woman: You are alone.man: We are a community of warriors.
all: We have a voice.
woman: You think that because some of our children cannot speak, we SHOULD NOT hear them? That is Autism Speaks’ weakness.
woman: You think that if you say my child lives behind a wall, I am afraid to say differently.
man: You have not properly been introduced to this community...
all: ...of parents and grandparents, of siblings and friends and schoolteachers, therapists, pediatricians, scientists AND THOSE ON THE SPECTRUM.
woman: Autism Speaks, if you are not scared, you should be.
man: When you came for my money, you forgot:
all: You forgot about autistics.
woman: Autism Speaks: Are you listening?

9 comments:

abfh said...

Scarily perfect...

Mothership Captain said...

Thanks for this. Completely on target.

Laura said...

Wow... interesting. I love seeing all the perspective on this video

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

I'm sorry for publishing my comment (that I ended up deleting) before I edited it. Here's what I meant to say:

The "I Am Autism" video at section 2:40-41 says,
"We search with technology...
and VOODOO...
and prayer..."

You quoted it as saying,
"We search with technology...
and REALITY...
and prayer..."

Your perspective is the reality; not theirs.

Sullivan said...

Bill,

looks like they heard you--the video is no longer on the Autism Speaks website

Sheila said...

It looks to me as if Autism Speaks still has I Am Autism on their site.

LIVSPARENTS said...

Interesting, two different links.

Sheila, yours is this one:

http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/united_nations_world_focus_on_autism_2009.php

The one they link to on the 'press release' on their page is this one:
http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/world_focus_on_autism_2009.php

Sheila, did you get the link off another site that linked to it? It looks like theyve been updating their links to exclude it for anyone that goes in today...

Sheila said...

If I'm remembering correctly, I think I got the link by entering "I Am Autism" on a search engine. Then I looked for a URL address which contained "Autism Speaks".

I checked the link I placed here to that video again and now I see that it has been removed.