A message for Mr. Jon Stewart
First on behalf of the World, thank you for The Daily Show. I watch it every day at work on my lunch break. Thanks for keeping us all in check and cutting through the bullshit. Thanks for coming back from your Christmas Break with a bang. Lots of crazy stuff went down while you were on vacation. As always you and your writers didn't disappoint. You went after the tough issues and put things in perspective after the talking heads muddled through the issues. Love the show.
Your show and your intelligence have made you a personal hero of mine since your appearance/confrontation on CNN's Crossfire. It was truly a legendary performance.
I also wanted to thank you for Night of Too Many Stars. As a father of a child with autism, it really means a lot to me that you would put yourself out there for such a good cause. My daughter was diagnosed with ASD in July. When we got the news my wife and I were gutted. It took some time to get our heads around it. What does it mean? Where do we start? The doctor gave us some paperwork and things to sign and sent us back out into the world changed forever. After The Diagnosis I feel like we actually grieved the loss of a ‘neurotypical’ child. We really felt like we’d lost something.
We made the decision early after her diagnosis to be open about it. We weren't shouting from the rooftops or anything, but we told people what was going on. After watching Night of Too Many Stars we kind of took it to the next level. We started a website www.goteamkate.com. We've done an interview with our local newspaper here in New Brunswick. We're making t-shirts for her therapists and family. I guess you could say we're shouting from the rooftops now :) It would really mean a lot to me if you would check out our website. If you liked us on Facebook I think I would shit a brick.
We've learned a lot since the diagnosis. We've researched therapy options. We challenge the government and the medical professionals to do their best. Just like you take on the newsmakers, we cut through the bullshit and push for what's best for our little girl.
We have discovered one unsettling fact however. Parents tend to be marginalized by autism policymakers. People in government are so hung up on titles, educational background and their own egos that they forget how much of an asset parents like us can be. We spend more time with our children than anyone and we are more motivated to find suitable therapies and interventions; we search for a cause and a cure etc. It’s emotional for us. It’s not our job it’s our life. The bottom line is that parents have more to offer than they are given credit for. They should be given a voice in the process of treating their child and searching for answers.
So, here’s where I believe you come in. You’re a smart guy. Why don’t you show everyone how educated parents of autistic children can be on the subject? Talk to the always funny and brilliant Big Daddy Autism or Homestyle Mama just to name a few. I’d love to see you challenge someone from the CDC or discuss some myths about autism with Sanjay Gupta or Mark Blaxill. What about asking Alex Plank what everyday life is like living with autism or check in with another father. As you know it’s not easy being the parent of a child with ASD. We worry a little more about them and what the future holds for them. We could use a boost from time to time. If you’re willing then I bet you could provide that boost. Just like your appearance on Crossfire, a conversation about autism on your show or some other medium would be truly legendary.
I wish you and your family all the best on your journey,
Alex Mouland, fellow father, big fan.
So lately I've been drawn to music that doesn't really reflect my usual taste. I'm a Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana kind of guy. I know…..it's not hard to tell that I was a teenager in the 90's. I can remember listening to Smells Like Teen Spirit for a month on repeat.
Lately it's been a little different though. Green Day doesn't really sing about issues that I can relate to anymore and Nirvana can be a little much. Pearl Jam….yeah they're still good :) I think my new favourite band might be have to be Coldplay. I think the Coldplay thing started when I watched a Youtube video that our Facebook buddy Lou Melgarejo made. It's a great, simple video that's been seen by a quarter of a million people. Check it out.
So, why am I drawn to Coldplay? I find myself downloading a lot of their music, searching for videos of their concerts and googling the meaning of their lyrics. That's not normal 'me' behaviour. Maybe it's because they seem like actual musicians. Maybe it's because I'm tired of bubblegum pop music, where you're never sure if you're watching an artist or a product constructed and controlled by a corporation. Mostly, I think it's because I need some daily inspiration. It's not easy having a child with ASD. Its turned me into a big feeling guy. So I need a little inspiration almost every day to keep it together. I guess bands like Coldplay keep me going. There's a rare sincerity that you don't find from artists these days. I think Chris Martin is a big feeling guy too. I'm also into The Sheepdogs. I heard those guys on the radio talking about their song "I Don't Know" once and I immediately liked their attitude. The song is about watching the world and being totally lost in the bullshit of it all.
Shanell made up a list of music for Katie's dance party. It's great. She really nailed it. Here's my music list. Consider it a mixed-tape I've made for everyone who reads our blog. I call this playlist 'Charging" because I fully intend to listen to it while I'm charging down the slopes this winter.
Fitzpleasure by Alt-J
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Sail - Awolnation
Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder
Just Breathe - Pearl Jam
Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys
Too Close - Alex Clare
Paradise - Coldplay
The Scientist - Coldplay
Fix You - Coldplay
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
I Don't Know - The Sheepdogs
I Don't Get By - The Sheepdogs
The Way It Is - The Sheepdogs
While I'm making a list I might as well include my new favorite movie. Superheros of Stoke by Matchstick Productions. Movie's like that remind me that anything is possible and that we should all reach for the top. The sky is the limit for Kate, and it really is the same for all of us. Watching those kids ski lines in Alaska and push the limits has given me the courage to pursue my next move for Team Kate. An open letter to Jon Stewart. Watch for that letter in my next post.
I hope my list brings you inspiration, a distraction from the grind, happiness or whatever else you might need to get through your day.