Are you more like the kid with WMS, or the kid with DNS? The difference between these two forms of mental retardation is absolutely fascinating, and in my opinion represents two extremes of a dichotomy that is useful for categorizing all people — not just those classified as mentally retarded.
WMS people and DNS people have roughly the same IQ level, but their abilities are very different. The most obvious is that DNS kids are socially and verballyimpaired, while WMS kids give the appearance of social and linguistic savvy that belies their mental retardation. WMS kids improvise freely with language and music, using words and creating patterns that the normal high-functioning person would never think of. On the other hand, WMS suffer from fractional attentiveness and seem to always miss the “big picture” or overall pattern. WMS are locally (and fractionally)attentive but globally blind, while DNS are exact opposites — recognizing the overall pattern but missing important details that any normalperson would easily see.
So the question is, which is most like you? Are you the kind of person who instinctively, inexplicably can match an overall structure to its label when others are still struggling to name it? Or are you the kind who bounces along from cognitive connection to cognitive connection, never caring too much about whether the label or concept is exactly right, so long as itfits right?
Speaking of connections, I was listening to some new Frank Black music last night, and finally decided to research my theory that Frank has been secretly stealing lyrics from Leonard Cohen all these years (and not just the Pixies cover of “I Can’t Forget”). Google found a recent interview with Black where he compares himself to Cohen, but he gives away no secrets. The article is pretty interesting, though. Both Cohen and Black produce lyrics and music that emulate the best of WMS.
While reading, I also noticed that the article uses “Frank”, “Chet”, and “chum” in the same few paragraphs. Those three words immediatelytransport youto the world of “The Hardy Boys”. Do you think it was accidental that the author used all three words in the same article? Hardly! A quick Google search demonstrates that this is not the sort of juxtaposition anyone makes accidentally.