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VANITY FAIR REVISITED

Until very recently, I haven’t written about my autism, or how it has affected my life, because it was something I have lived with for a large part of my existence without realising its presence inside my head, and it still astounds me how all the broken pieces that I left in my wake from its being there all along, and thinking it was my fault that this, or that didn’t work out as I had hoped, came together with a kind of personal redemption moment when the penny dropped as to why everything happened the way it did.

Why now though? Well, I had never seen the Scandi-noir series The Bridge until recently. I have zero idea why I never picked it up on my radar, because it contains an inspirational character called Saga Noren, a Swedish police detective who is very good at her job, but has the reputation for being “weird”, although the word autism never arises, its palpably obvious she operates on the spectrum, and doesn’t share the same social skills as her colleagues. Her attitude, physical behavioral characteristics of how she stands and reacts when with others, is so well done by the actress Sofia Helin it’s almost a painful delight to see, if it wasn’t so spot on.

I wrote the other day that I lack empathy for others, but I do understand why they become emotional over something or other, and I try to display sympathy for their situation, so it’s not really as if I’m absolutely stone cold to the signals being given off. Saga meets up with a Danish male colleague through a joint operation with the Danish police force, and she becomes aware of things she had been blind to, through interaction with him, his attitudes, his family life that slowly unravels, but most of all because he begins to understand her particular mindset is not like others, and gently shares insights into other ways of looking at the world, that it’s almost like being offered an open door to walk through into another room that she had been unaware of.

The main title music is Hollow Talk by a Danish band called Choir of Young Believers whose debut was with This Is For The White In Your Eyes in 2008, and are less a group of settled personnel and more a protean ensemble. They mix up folk and prog-rock with cool ecclesiastical ambience, and their sound, and Hollow Talk in particular, point to the sparse, uncluttered internal world where the complications of social niceties and rituals are not the top priority, but need to be accommodated sometimes-when it’s required of me. The sung words on Hollow Talk are deliberately unclear to convey the spoken word merging into the general ambience of the music to convey a particular mindset and mood. As a case in point, to hear the great John Barry’s iconic Bond music is to have an instant flashlight go pop in the brain as you’re taken into Bond’s world, and so it is with the music/words of Hollow Talk infusing visual imagery with a special kind of magic that is rarely achieved.

To be brutally honest (and for most ‘normal’ people, brutal honesty is a bitter pill to swallow), I’m not concerned with whether anyone who read this, dislike the cut of its jib. I try to take on board the feelings of others and react accordingly if they need to hear sympathy (It’s on a case by case basis depending on how my brain is functioning), but sometimes, I just can’t muster up the intensity required. But there you go; if people could try to understand my world, as I try to understand theirs, everyone might be able to get along in general a hell of a lot better than they’re doing right now. I sometimes think human interaction is one humongous Vanity Fair of facades set up to hide a hollow existence.

If you haven’t seen it before now and want to see something just a bit special, look up the original The Bridge, and not any crappy copies made in America and probably elsewhere.

4 replies »

  1. Scandinavian culture produced a few off the fringe characters, but they are progressive, they see human beings as full of different talents, perhaps it’s why there way of viewing the world is now becoming normal if that is the word, we have to get on together or go bust, environmentally speaking, interesting read, just create and cast the net wide, amen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Although maintaining their neutrality during WW1 with great difficulty, Sweden had massive social & economic problems post-war period, & decided to set up a welfare state which was a communist/capitalist mix which only the Scandinavians seemed able to do with their forward thinking egalitarian mindset. Scandinavian culture has my greatest respect.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comments. The Bridge is a very special show, & the chemistry between the 2 leads, Sophia Helin & Kim Bodnia is exceptional. Its a very deep & understanding experience watching them.

      Like

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