The other night I went to a book signing for War Dances, the new collection of short stories and poems by Sheman Alexie. I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Alexie mainly because he accurately captures what it is like to a man in modern American society.
Obviously I am not Native American (though I am relatively certain that my great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee that married my great-great-grandfather, Jesse James), so he is not my literary doppelganger, but I can definitely relate to much of what he is writing.
I even agree with him about the Kindle. My Amish tendencies cause be to view most technology with a wary eye. I prefer to see how each new device will affect my life. Right now Kindle's advantages do not outweigh its affect on my bank account so I haven't given it much thought.
While Alexie was recounting his experiences with the Kindle he said, "we are letting a bunch of guys with Aspergers control out lives."
I'll admit that I laughed at the time; he is a funny guy, but a few days later I was thinking. (For posterity sake I should mention that I was in the shower. I do all of my best work in there.) Is it possible that Johannes Gutenberg, father of movable type, could be placed somewhere on the autism spectrum.
While his fellow Germans were laying the groundwork for years of nationalism that would culminate in the second world war, was he holed up in a room somewhere moving type?
"Suck it, Sheman Alexie!"
"Hey guys look at this. I printed a poem," said Johannes
"That's great Geekenberg (Nerdenberg?)," replied his Aryan friends as they stuck it down the back of their lederhosen.
"I bet they wouldn't do that to the Bible."
So while Alexie casts aspersion on Aspergers he may want to consider the fact that most of what we love was created by the socially inept.