The dictionary definition of my elected title is the woo-woo ability to pick up an object and be able to read something psychic about its past and/or past owners.
I’m using the term incorrectly, but for a good cause: my implication is the ability to point out the overload of truly nutzoid people around the world, and my bafflement that we permit these people to continue in power.
Asserting that politicians (and high power CEO’s and other comparably powerful persons) are unsavory to the point of being openly deviant – is pretty much in line with reality. While there are definitely exceptions, many a mover and shaker does his/her moving and shaking sans any kind of humanity. Lying is de riguer, backstabbing is a reason to celebrate. Do what he/she says and damn you to hell (or unemployment or worse) if you disagree. Little details like legality and human empathy come in a piss-poor second and third to the power-monger’s desires, thankyouverymuch.
At least it plays out that way in the vast majority of real life cases. In a recent news article, the author decrees that Psychopaths Run the World. The Examiner piece is a review of an ebook penned by Stefan Verstappen, called Defense Against the Psychopath. In his book the author alleges that despite what police agencies suggest, by definition psychopaths are pretty common critters. Verstappen says, “Within the highest circles of power and wealth, a lack of pity and remorse is practically a prerequisite to success, and only the psychopathic mentality can thrive. Living at the expense of the rest of humanity would be an impossible situation in a rational society.” Sad but entirely true.
The dictionary meaning of psychopath is:
a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.
Does that sound familiar? I can tick off on my fingers more than one personality that fills the bill. Come to think of it, I don’t have enough fingers to count that high. I know entirely too many people like that among my own family, but it’s a disproportionate representation at the top of the international food chain.
Bill Clinton comes to mind. The author states that with everyday psychopaths, the complete lack of morality is so profound that normal people excuse it, our minds unwilling to wrap around the fact that anyone could be so utterly base. Think back to Clinton’s statement that he didn’t have sex with his intern. It was about as blatant a lie as possible, but we as a people – myself included – were trying to wrap our minds around how he could possibly not understand that he was having sex with the woman. The answer is simple: he didn’t “not know” or “not understand”. He simply lied, straight-up with a whiskey chaser. Zero regret, either about the incident or what it did to his victim, or about his lying to everyone in earshot. Regret is outside his scope of existence.
What’s more, despite Clinton’s obvious lack of moral compass and his serial irresponsibility, we as a nation still hold the man up as a respectable creature.
I scratch my head over that time and time again. It makes no sense to me. None. Yet I see it play out again and again, and not only with our former President.
Lately the cause célèbre is Paula Deen. I never watched her show and frankly couldn’t care less about it except for one detail. She was sacked over a racist phrase she employed several years ago.
Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think it’s ever all right to use a racial epithet. My dad might not have thought twice about using them, but he was always an asshole so that doesn’t count. My mother treated the N word as right up there with any profanity you can name, and my mom was from the hillbilly country of Arkansas. Despite Deen’s pretense of a defense that being from the south meant it was okay, it simply ain’t so.
Deen’s abrupt dismissal is itself suspect on several levels. Was it a trumped-up excuse because she was a woman? Because she isn’t twenty-something and half-naked all the time? Because she is not bone-skinny? Or was her use of the N word in history just the tip of the iceberg, only a small indication of deeper prejudices that made her one of the above-named psychopaths who made her staff miserable?
It’s hard to say.
What for me is easy to say is that Deen’s dismissal was the height of bigotry by any television network. I’m not defending her behaviors, I simply say the same standard should be applied to every single star of every single show who has ever uttered a racial, homophobic, sexist or religious slur. Does anyone ever watch the travesty that is Gordon Ramsay? Remember Andrew Dice Clay? How about Bob Barker and his decade upon decade of supposedly family entertainment, where backstage his misogynistic behaviors were well known? Men get away with that bullshit all the time, and the entertainment industry rarely hands them anything more than an indulgent chiding. Even Mel Gibson, whose vile drunken rants and alleged domestic violence made the news, will probably end up onscreen again.
Think Arnold Schwarzenegger and others. They are bad boys, then they’re welcomed back.
Oh yeah. I get it. Deen’s firing wasn’t about racial sensitivity, it was a thinly-veiled removal of a high profile older woman, no doubt to be replaced by some nubile young thing in half as many clothes. Or by a man whose behavior is blatantly worse, but being male he’ll be given a slap on the wrist. If that.