Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Purim Shalach Manot

Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim, the classic "they tried to kill us, they failed, let's eat" festival. One of the traditions on this holiday is Shalach Manot where one is supposed to give gift baskets of food to other people. Think of it as reverse trick or treating. I guess this is part of the hobbit heritage of Jews. If gentiles go around in costume to take candy, we go around and give. Now the purpose of Shalach Manot is that it is meant to increase good will. That is the sort of absurd social based thinking one naturally expects from neurotypicals. Anyone with even a hint of a properly functioning logical brain will realize that such a practice is only going to cause stress as people struggle to put together gift baskets to all their acquaintances and nothing but bad feelings to people left out or who received a smaller basket than those they gave to. In other words your basic Christmas shopping fallacy for people who are neurotic enough as it is and really do not need the encouragement. As an Asperger I am inclined to prove my point through the scientific method. I could hand out baskets of peanuts and raw sugar to diabetics with peanut allergies with a note saying: "Dear acquaintance. I feel nothing but good will toward you and have no desire to cause you physical harm, not even to wage Hobbesian warfare at the moment. Please accept this gift as a token of the meaningless ritual gesture it is." I can then have a neurotypical friend measure the rate of hostile social gestures for me to see if there is a statistically significant shift. (To all you neurotypicals out there, this is what we Aspergers call a joke. We will try to explain it to you once we have taken over the world, but for now you will just have to be patient.)



Here is an example of my actual Shalach Manot, which I am giving out to a few special people in my life. If you are not one of the people receiving one of these it does not mean that I do not like you or that I am even planning on waging Hobbesian war against you some time in the near future. All it means is that either you are not close at hand in Silverspring MD or that I do not like you as much as some other people.

There is a hidden message in this Shalach Manot, in keeping with me being a Jewish autistic who spends way too much time exploring meta-historical narratives, Jewish Messiahs and apocalypticism, that I wish to share with everyone. At the start of history, this Chinn offers a sinfully delicious Asian pear as the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. (How silly for European Christians to think it could be an apple.) Now that you have eaten the fruit, you are in need of a Jewish Messiah to save your soul with tasty wafers from Israel. Unfortunately we live in a world in which autistic children still lie enslaved to parents who believe that gluten free diets will cure them from the mercury that was not in their vaccines and did not cause their autism. For those children I offer gluten free potato chips to act as a replacement wafer. For my Messiah does love autistic children and desires that they not burn in hell for eternity. (As for people who actually need gluten free diets, they can burn for all he cares, but if they entreat him very nicely he might find it in his all encompassing heart to save them.)     

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