It’s been over a month since I’ve posted! Guess what I’ve been doing lately? Studying evil! See, it’s kind of hard to write goofy blog posts when I’m subjecting myself to mass doses of human fuckedupedness. It’s more than a bit challenging to put my findings into cogent sentences, but fortunately some have done a pretty good job before me. Some polish guy with a name I can’t type because it has a special character in it wrote about broken societies being taken over by psychopaths who institute totalitarian governments in his book Political Ponerology. It’s pretty much Orwell minus the plot and it will traumatize you for life. Speaking of psychopaths, Robert Hare has done some amazing work on them. If reading the work of these two dudes does not traumatize you enough, here are some of the youtube videos I’ve been horrifying myself with lately:
• Japanese dude murders and eats pretty exchange student in Paris with no ill consequences and goes home to become a celebrity in his native land (best-selling author, porn star, lecturer, TV personality etc).
Are you advocating for the destruction of the human species yet? What’s so fucked up is not only these freaky outliers but the responses they get from the authorities and society at large. It looks like evil is not so much a discrete feature in the human personality as what emerges when other features are missing. The most obvious missing feature is empathy. But, as anyone who is acquainted with a bunch of engineers knows, being socially retarded is not an immediate gateway to murder. A researcher named Cleckley called what I’m about to talk about “semantic aphasia.”
Once upon a time, because of the vagaries of bodily chemistry, I was crazy in love with an asshole. Yep, it happens to many of us. One thing he used to do that destroyed my universe of a regular basis is totally contradict himself without apparent awareness. He’s state some philosophical belief of his, and a week later say something that was in complete opposition. At first, I questioned him about these inconsistencies to try to figure out what was happening in his (deficient) brain, but the resulting conversations always made me want to eat a gun. So I learned to shut up and stomach a whole bunch of bullshit. I made constant excuses for that weird emptiness inside him. And thus a cock-addicted co-dependent was born.
What was especially weird about his frequent lies is that it seemed, most of the time, he was not actually aware he was bullshitting. It seriously flummoxed the shit out of me and made me want to stab myself in the soul. This is apparently a common feature of psychopaths. It’s called semantic aphasia and it’s how come they can say without blinking, “oh I ripped a dude’s eyeball out of his face last week and then fucked his brain through his empty eyeball hole until he died but I have never committed a violent crime.” Psychopaths can say shit like that because they literally don’t know what words mean. They can give you the dictionary definition of a word but they are unable to feel its emotional content. So, if you say to a psychopath, “nazis raping baby pandas,” his brain will respond the same as if you said, “tapioca pudding.” (Unless he thinks tapioca pudding is icky, in which case his brain will have a stronger response to the pudding, I’m guessing.) Because of this deficiency, this means that even the smartest psychopath will be unable to catch falsehoods when they come out of his mouth. Ain’t that some shit? Doesn’t that shed a whole lot of light on your ex-boyfriend?
I’m not necessarily saying that your shitty ex-boyfriend it out there butchering whores, but I’m saying he suffers from the same lack as the whore butcherer, on a smaller scale. He is, in essence, a mini-psychopath. The world is absolutely CRAMMED with these people. People who cannot feel meaning. Couple that with lack of empathy and it’s Jeffrey Dahmer time.
Soapbox moment: Empathy and meaning are at the root of morality, which is why stories are good for us because they build both. So tell your little ones a shitload of stories, and maybe in a generation or two we can dispense with Wall Street.
Okay, now I need to go find some chocolate and a purring cat.