I Really Can’t Stand “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

An unpopular opinion that needs to be told

Emily Rose

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When my brother and I were very little and his autism wasn’t diagnosed yet, he had a lot of trouble speaking like a normal human person. At four and five years old, he was still babbling in unintelligible baby-talk half the time, and people couldn’t understand him. Fortunately, at six and seven years old, I was still young enough to mostly understand baby-talk but old enough to speak decent English. I was essentially and unpaid translator for a while.

Here’s my best approximation of a typical lunchtime, circa 1999:

One thing that really helped my brother learn to word correctly was watching movies and parroting back the dialogue of characters he felt drawn to. In this way, we simultaneously developed an uncanny and highly irritating ability to memorize the scripts of films and TV shows we liked and recite them with about 90% accuracy after only one viewing. This is why we can tell you more about The Simpsons than most of American history. Monty Python and The Holy Grail is etched permanently into our brains, and there’s no helping it. We are fully fluent in quotes. It’s how…

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