Hey, Erik may have irked me some in that last thread, but that is a great term and I am stealing it!)
So, let’s talk about those now: Garden Variety Nasties, people who do not have oh, the Stalin-like ability to be horrible on a massive scale but are horrible none the less. What makes a garden variety nasty? Lots of things I’d wager. Some are probably made-forged in neglectful and or violent homes or competitive and violent cultures, twisted by things they have endured in life. Some are probably just born that way- having come into the world mean and wrong or missing something . Some are probably a mix of both, as there are plenty of people who grew up in war zones, crappy neighborhoods, crappy homes and surrounded by violence, badness, abuse, so on- and they turn out pretty dang normal. SO yeah, what about those GVN’s?
For instance, Vlad’s example of Mike R: A guy who had the slick 90’s James Dean thing going on and seemingly an endless string of nice girls from good homes who wanted to understand his tortured soul and save him. Girls he would then use, hook on heroin, slap around, then pimp out to pay off his debts or in trade for his own wants….and even though his actions were not unknown, his pattern no secret, the girls kept lining up to be the one who would fix him. Or M, who yes, is American and thus privileged over a great many people in the world, but grew up in a crap neighborhood where violence was a daily thing, with working parents who were good people but rarely around and had some addiction issues, went without things most people take for granted: like food, clothes, and medical care- oh yes, and female, and one who used learned to use everything from weapons to her looks to get what she wanted and fuck with a world she’d come to hate and ended up being not only violent and mean, but rather calculating and sadistic and enjoyed causing havoc in other people’s lives just because: she could. Or E, who had everything, in that coming up way, that anyone could ever ask for: Upper middle class home, awesome parents, a nice house, nice things, he (yep) was smart, funny, polite, talented- the type who got A’s in AP Physis and Calculus as well as Theater and English, but was a small, frail, sort of sickly sort. He was doing well in college working on a Tough Degree with a gorgeous, smart, girlfriend and his only real vice was a bit of weed before he got deep in the pudding with M. However, E was molested by a neighbor when he was very young and in a world where men are often judged by, well, being strong and fit and manly and athletic- he wasn’t any of those. He ended up a very ill- mentally and physically, with a host of addictions, and barely able to make the payments on his car, apartment, so on, and were it not for family, he’d probably be dead. He is also a screaming hole of need and attention. Or, there was a person I knew I’ll call A, who was big on getting people hooked on both drugs and them, and because they had serious cash, could draw people to them like crazy…A was also the sort that would put someones face through a windshield if they leaned on their car. Or someone I will call R, who is the ex-wife of one of the most solid, awesome, GOOD guys I know, she’s a former drug addict who would go out and find absolute scum bags: gang bangers, drug dealers, so on, to cheat with in order to piss him off…all the time. We’re talking tons of Not Good Guys…she invited a bunch of gangsters over and pulled a train on them while their kids were sleeping upstairs. Her excuse? She could not be intimate with people she really loved. He put up with it for a long time and tried to do right by her, but finally, enough was enough.
All these people are Garden Variety Nasties, and while it could be that I just happen to know and inordinate amount of scum bags, I am fairly certain everyone out there knows at least one person who would rate as GVN. I mean, I don’t know where Mike R is now or what he is doing- he was Vlad’s GVN. M, I suspect, if she ever actually killed someone would find doing so again very easy and probably very fun. E is probably very lucky he is still breathing. A has been arrested for whatever many times, but money buys justice, and I figure sooner or later R will get beat up badly if not murdered by the company she keeps. But what is it with GVN’s?
Of those I mentioned, unless one has …whatever sorta sense that lets you know it is just best to walk away… you’d never know most of ’em were GVN’s upon first sight. E, it would not take long to recognize he was full of drama and bullshit, but they others? They could be really hard to spot. M & A have that full blown cult of personality thing going; attractive, smart, funny and fun, magnetic and charismatic…on the surface…and the stealth advantage of being female GVN’s of the non Damsel in Disturbia sort, but rather the Black Knight sort. R looks and comes across as the most normal gal in the world, even looks the part and is very nice to most people she meets. Hell, look at Ted Bundy: smart, attractive, articulate…and a freakin’ serial killer.
GVN’s can be hard to spot. People steer clear of Urban Youth in baggy clothes or Non-Neurotypical homeless people on the streets, but they could be dating, friends with, co-workers to, married to, or raising and GVN or GVN in the making and not even know it until…later…when the nastiness began. Heck, you could have GVN in your car pool or sitting next to you on the train…right now.
But it is my belief that GVN’s actually impact people’s daily lives more that my previous examples of Stalin and Pol Pot. Why? Because well, they are garden variety. Hell, watch the news! Your son or daughter could be dating one. Your boss or secretary or minister could be one. Your next door neighbor or the parent of that kid you mentor could be one, and I rather think the simple truth of GVN’s is they have one thing in common: they are destructive. They break and wreck shit- themselves and others.
But, I do find them interesting…how they got that way, what makes them tick, how they trick and sucker people in, how to spot ’em when you seem ’em….all that. So yeah, I WILL blog about it if I feel the whim.