Sometimes, the stupid, it burns….

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Blogging, Humans, Morons

Okay, so, I was up late last night reading out there in blog land, and I found myself reading this old post by Hugo about sociopaths/serial killers and some of his students that are seemingly so fascinated with them, and well, as it seems to be Hugo’s cross to carry in life, this post, like so many of his, was marked by the typical asshat douchebag MRA idiot comment that those nice girls are just chasing after the bad boy alpha male penis…

I nearly fell outta my chair.  One, for both Hugo and his commentor, there is a huge error people make in thinking One, that all sociopaths are male, and Two, violent.  Fact is, most sociopaths are really not typically all Ted Bundy, and why yes, while it has been a long time in coming, psychologists are now actually figuring out, why yes Martha, there are female sociopaths and actually, one biological sex in no more predisposed to being one than the other.  Simple truth of it is in a great many ways, scocipaths are the ultimate opportunists who will exploit people and methods in whatever way that works best for them in order to get what it is they want- and often, they can be very charming and slick….so yes, why would females who ARE sociopaths result to violence as often as their male counterparts when other things or methods are far more likely to get them what they want or what amuses them?  A sociopath lacks empathy and remorse…violence is not their actual hallmark….

But, I digress…. dumb MRA commentor amused me because most sociopaths? They aren’t really gonna come across as bad-boy “alpha male” types.  Jeffery Dahmer? BTK? Danny Rolling? Henry Lee Lucas and David Berkowitz?  All serial killers.  Would a single damn one of ’em count as the vaunted MRA Alpha Male Uber Alles Dude?  No way in any of the numerous Chinese Hells.   I mean shit, what do people always say about these types of guys?  “He was so quiet, meek, seemed intimidated by…polite, kept to himself”  blah blah blah blah.  In short, not the MRA Alpha, and not the Legendary Bad- Boy….in fact, often they are the exact opposite.  Now, sure enough, disproving stupid MRA wisdom on Hugo’s blog is a lot like shooting fish in a barrel…with no water in it and the fish are already dead, but…

You know what?  I am like the damn queen of True Crime.  I took classes on abnormal psychology and all that stuff too….because flat out it is fascinating…and nah, I am never gonna rank up there as one of Hugo’s super empathetic overly emotion-filled and tender students, but I do find that shit fascinating cause it is interesting to see what makes people tick.  I also think that sometimes, in understanding human monsters, we better learn to understand ourselves and learn just where on a scale of human capacity, both for great empathy and great atrocity, we all personally fall.   And sometimes (shrug) that is good, other times it is scary….but personally, I think humans are always fascinated by the things that should scare the fuck out of them in the daylight as well as the dark.

  1. rootietoot says:

    “I think humans are always fascinated by the things that should scare the fuck out of them in the daylight as well as the dark.”

    Yes, yes and yes. It’s why I absolutely LOVE creepy psychological thrillers. Anything with Anthony Hopkins…he does the dead eyes really well. Terry is sometimes bothered by all the books I read about serial killers and movies I like to watch and such, but it’s so darn interesting, and I always wonder what makes them tock where everyone else ticks. Or how come someone from a seemingly normal upbringing turns into such a monster, or someone with a truly horrible upbringing can,conversely, be a gentle and loving soul. Fascinating stuff.

  2. ernest Greene says:

    Serial killers frankly bore the shit out of me. When I worked at NPI the common wisdom was that 80% of them had readily diagnosable brain abnormalities produced by everything from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to being dropped on their heads too many times. Overall, very predictable and, as you say, quite uninteresting in person.

    Now, the type of sociopath who heads a major corporation or scam religious cult or becomes dictator of an entire nation is a much more interesting type who is, indeed, wired without a conscience or capacity for empathy but still manages to make those deficits into assets.

    Far more of a concern to the majority of folks. Your chances of meeting a serial killer in the wild? Far less than being struck by lightning.

    Your chances of being ripped-off in one way or another by a high-functioning sociopath?

    All but inevitable at some point. They control many of the most important institutions and enterprises in this and most other countries. How do you think they got into those positions of not by stepping lightly over the skulls of anyone who got in their way?

    • That’s the thing. I think we’ve all been raised on the idea of the sexy, brilliant, scruple-less villain… and so people who don’t know any better assume serial killers must be that. And are let down if they really do the research and discover that most of their anti-idols are… pretty run of the mill con artists that happened to do something “interesting.”

  3. Xena says:

    Damn straight, Ren. Have I told you yet just how refreshing, from the gut and rhetoric free your blog is?

    I’m fascinated with sociopaths too, except my fascination is for purely practical reasons, much like most people study gardening or cooking. The cold hard fact is that I’m the type of person these freaks target. Single mom, struggling with bureaucracy, homelessness and all the rest. I’m not as worried for myself as I am for my kids, because I’m taller and sturdier than the ‘type’ most serial killers prey on. They prefer smaller victims, Dahmer included. I’m bigger than most of the young men he killed. That probably has something to do with the ease of removing and dumping a smaller corpse compared to a bigger one. That doesn’t leave me completely risk free, tho. Crimes of opportunity happen all the time. I always carry a hammer, crowbar or knife when I hitchhike. I’m good at reading eyes and body language, too. My dad started teaching me hitchhiking safety when I was 4. I meet the odd creep, but most of them back off when I cuss them. Those who don’t usually back off once I hit back. I’ve been in serious fights with 6 guys and had my ass kicked by 3 of them. One did 18 months in jail for my troubles and the other 2 got away.

    I think my luck has held out because I’ve spent enough time studying dangerous people and all other types of people to be thoroughly convincing in a chest beating contest. Even a sociopath (and I’ve met a few) knows when his prey is capable of ripping his head off and shitting down his neck. With true sociopaths, upbringing has nothing to do with it. They’re wired differently. You can tell by the way they react when you hit them. They don’t feel it the way we do. There’s no reasoning with them, no redeeming them. You beat them hard enough to fuck them up bad, and hope THEIR self-preservation instincts will save you. Cuz nothing else will. You have to be prepared to kill or be killed. And I am. I have no qualms about killing somebody like that to save my own life and others’ lives. The trick is doing it with a crappy enough weapon that the courts will actually believe the self defense plea. Hence the ass whupping. My eye’s still messed up from that shit. At least I’ve never had to do time for a violent crime. I think that might be worse than dying.

    As for female sociopaths, I may have run across one or 2, but I couldn’t tell them from anybody else. I try to avoid people who beg for money I don’t have.

  4. Catlover says:

    Looks to me like Schwyzer starts from a valid point but takes it in the wrong direction. It is very likely that sensitive young women find men incapable of empathy fascinating, but I don’t see that they need to be ‘saved’ by desensitizing them! They may well find it impossible to believe that somebody lacks feelings, and subconsciously, that their own are so strong that they can break through with the key to unlock suppressed natural empathy that others less sensitive and more judgmental than themselves lack. They are most likely wrong and probably the worst people to try because even if they are right, it is at a much deeper level than they can get at.

    Ren is right enough too to take this ‘Bad Boy’ stuff on. Some women do follow Bad Boys, but that’s not the same thing at all. I’d guess that in fact feelings of inadequacy and inferiority feature very high in suppressing normal empathy (or failing to develop it) and result in the need to prove ability to dominate and control something with an underlying sense of revenge against a hostile world. Don’t a lot of psychopaths have childhood backgrounds of abuse or neglect? They are not swaggering Bad Boy Mighty Macho Men, they are sad pathetic cripples dropped out from running the human race.

    Very likely, sensitive women feel a pity to hope to draw them back into humanity. I think they have as much chance as teaching a cactus calculus, but since nobody else has managed, they can’t do any worse! It may also be that some young women find normal emotional interplay difficult and can divert their attention to where lack of response can be expected, but if they get any response at all, they are the ones protected from emotional involvement, in a controlling position able to congratulate itself on getting the response, but protected from having to respond on an equal emotional basis.

    Why their interest in men more than women? Media presentation probably. The psycho man is alien to them both as psychotic and as male and they nay not be sure which really takes precedence. After all, so much traditional masculine idealism is borderline psychopathic. That’s even been a hinted subtext of the Batman films.

    Pyscho women on the other hand are ‘Bad Women’ and that conflates ‘women who are bad people’ with ‘women who are bad at acting out what is thought to be how women should act’. Women don’t usually have a lot of sympathy for women who torture and murder children. They might just see something to admire in women they perceive as stepping out of line. Either way, female criminals somehow lack the gloss of male. Could Hannibal Lecter ever be a woman?

    Maybe something worth looking at, psychopathic males are traditional images of the Attila, Jinghiz Khan, Shaka Zulu, all the devastating warrior archetypes, taken to their logical conclusion. In a sort of a way, they are what men have always been encouraged to emulate and women to admire while playing counterpart of being everything opposite.

    Much more alarming, maybe instead of thinking that we’ve hopefully sent that image of blustering masculinity to Valhalla in his Dragon Ship long ago, sensitive young women feel that that is how men still feel they ‘ought to’ be and the psychopath is simply one who really is.

    For five years I went out with a paranoid-schizophrenic. That is psychotic and too divorced from the world of shared reality once off medication to be empathic either, but as far from full-blown ‘sociopath’ as the family car from a road-train.

  5. Xena says:

    Schizophrenia is a very different disorder, CL. Drop 5 hits of acid and contemplate spending the rest of your life in that headspace if you want to empathize with your ex. She’s very lucky. Only 1 in 4 schizophrenics can live outside of a hospital, even with medication. I’m housed in a shelter with a medicated, reasonably well functioning schizophrenic right now. I’ve seen 5 in the next 25% come and go in the last 6 weeks. They are the people who would be ok in a hospital with the right professional help. Gvt. cutbacks have put them out on the street. I give them all life expectancies of less than 5 years out there. Maybe less for the pretty little Korean lady. She was absolutely tragic. The next 25% of schizophrenics MUST be hospitalized. They can’t function at all. The other 25% commit suicide because they can’t deal with their hallucinations.

    Only a tiny percentage of schizophrenics, something like 1 in 1000, commit violent acts, and it’s usually because their hallucinations compel them to defend themselves. A schizophrenic is far more likely to kill him/herself.

    Sociopaths turn violent because their neurology prevents them from feeling the normal range of human emotion, including empathy. Their other senses are normal, no hallucinations. The worst of them don’t experience normal physical sensations either. Some go out thrillseeking to inflict enough physical harm on themselves to actually feel SOMETHING. The sociopaths in the higher range of sesationless physiology are the ones who turn serial killer. That’s why they seem so mildmannered. The same absence of feeling that prevents a decent code of ethics from being formed also prevents the person from engaging in heated discussions, showing anger, etc. They do learn to smile, but there’s no genuine warmth or joy under those teeth.

    The ‘bad boys’ Hugo’s commenters are referring to are your standard dysfunctional doodz. Some of them do have legitimate disorders like ADD and depression, but a majority of them are just badly socialized and often addicted. I try to avoid that type, too. I don’t have time to babysit some messed up guy. I have enough of my own problems.

    • That’s how I’ve always heard it too, Xena. I remember one guy I encountered on the ‘Net who claimed to be a diagnosed sociopath. And of course over the internet you never know, but I got a really weird vibe from him. He was intrigued by me because I’m into BDSM and wrote some comments to me about how “pain is beautiful” and how it confused him that anyone would ever avoid it or be afraid of it. That makes some sense if he was telling the truth and had deadened senses and didn’t really understand that others don’t.

      • Ren says:

        Shrug. I’m an anti-social/dissocial, which is far closer to being a sociopath than most other non-neruo T people are gonna get..not the SAME mind you, but closer…and there is some truth to the actual physical pain thing..for me personally, its not even a matter of not feeling it…i feel it, its just my head processes it differently, and its gotta be pretty bad- like 34+ needles being shoved into thick enough t make them break scar tissue or this back shit to Slow Me Down. Things like broken toes or fingers or heck, apparently even a crack vertabre? I don’t so much even notice those.

      • Xena says:

        Yes, Fierce. I’m sure there are a good number of mildly (non-dangerous) sociopathic people in the BDSM community. That’s why I support healthy BDSM practices, even though it’s not really my thing personally. I like to take charge in relationships, so I guess you could say I’m slightly dominant, but I’m not into the whole scene.

        Kink between consenting adults is the perfect outlet for people who could possibly become dangerous when denied their release. I am 100% in favour of BDSM communities and pros who provide those services for pay.

  6. Eh, Xena. I wasn’t as forgiving of this guy as you sound. I found him pretty creepy. Not so much because of his pain thing as because he didn’t seem to understand not just why people would say no but what no really meant. I don’t know that I thought he’d force people, but I did get the vibe that he might not fully understand why it’s wrong. So I steered clear.

    • Xena says:

      Oh, I get it now, Fierce. Yeah, that’s creepy. Not so bad if he’s a sub, but a dom who doesn’t know when to stop–that’s not kink with consent. That’s abuse.

  7. ernest Greene says:

    Gotta disagree. Kink is exactly the wrong outlet for people who could possibly become dangerous. It’s the right outlet for people who have fantasies that might be dangerous if they were real, but the whole idea of consensual kink is based on ethical restrictions against dangerous behavior, which makes those tempted to indulge in that behavior both unwelcome and a potential problem for the rest of us.

    Besides, the idea that you can substitute consensual play for real violence as a let-off valve for those inclined to do real harm really doesn’t make sense. They want to hurt people who don’t want to be hurt. BDSM won’t scratch that itch. It isn’t meant to. They’ll go out and find unwilling victims instead, because that’s really what they crave.

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