I know, you think they can't top themselves, that you've seen just how nutty they are (and I say this with sympathy for the obvious issues they are dealing with), they go and write this:
"I made a list on the way to the emergency room last night after my daughter had a seizure ( long history of vaccine reactions by all three of my family members) the list was of people I have met over the years that I wished killed. Trouble is to get the real deep satisfication from it- I would have to bring them back to life to kill 'em again." **comment on AoA's craptacular Crosby piece
And of course, the wackaloon parent duo bensmyson had to rush into day to make sure they maintained their lead in the all out crazy fest and agree with the above comment:
"We should compare notes sometime!"
I get being mad at the world and the crap you have to deal with when everything goes to hell in a handbasket (okay, I don't actually GET it, as it's not a perspective I'd choose to hold), I get needing to get some of that out by blaming whoever I can. I even get venting to a friend, to a spouse. I don't get writing stuff like the above. I just don't. I don't. Bensmyson prove there are no lows they won't collectively go to, and they most often choose to do that at AoA and Respectful Insolence. The first poster, bless her, has a ton of difficult things to deal with, and I really do have sympathy for her. I do.
Both these posters, though, demonstrate why AoA is such a dangerous place. It feeds this negativity. It promotes misinformation, and the editors intentionally, deliberately, hit approve on crazy comments that are beyond the pale. They could clamp down on it. They could make it clear that even in jest, to-kill lists are not acceptable.
Shame on the editors for taking advantage of people who are absolutely, desperately in need of some help, for creating a situation that allows this kind of rhetoric to be rewarded, to promote even crazier rhetoric (all you have to do is go back to the beginning of AoA and read the comments to see that they've gotten progressively more unhinged).
I find it incredibly hard to believe that the editors are unaware of the ramifications of their behavior. They, too, have gotten progressively more bitter, more angry, and more irresponsible.
Each day, though, that I choose to go to AoA to read what often resembles a cesspool of hatred along with gross misrepresentations of what the science has found, about what autism is, and about how most parents choose to cope and function and work for their children, I am grateful for the large community of families out there who are coping adaptively, who focus on doing the best they can for their children and families, who choose not to go where the AoAers have. Each interaction I have with the wonderful autistic bloggers out there who remain hopeful, thoughtful and intent on working for acceptance for all those who are autistic makes me optimistic for my children, for the efforts they will be able to make to further acceptance, to work towards an inclusive society.
I suppose if I believed that the AoAers represented anything more than an extremely small segment of society, I would have less reason for optimism. Fortunately, I think it's becoming more clear to reasonable people that AoA is not the mouthpiece they really want. That's all we could rationally hope for, anyway: that reasonable people would see through them.