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“The conscience is a vital organ”

Isn’t it strange how the mind works? I read with approval Dr Leedom’s latest post. In it she manages to be at once hard-nosed, realistic, and still keep positve. There are very real differences in the brains of those with psychopathic traits, she writes, but the brain is plastic and therein lies just a sliver of hope.

For some reason the opening lines of Martin Amis‘ novel House of Meetings came back to me. It is set in the Soviet Union:

Dear Venus
If what they say is true, and my country is dying, then I think I may be able to tell them why. You see, kid, the conscience is a vital organ, and not an extra like the tonsils or the adenoids.

Amis has also written a stunning nonfiction book about Stalinism, Koba the Dread, which has its own staggering opening:

Here is the second sentence in Robert Conquest‘s The Harvest of Sorrow: Collectivization and the Terror-Famine:

    We may perhaps put this in perspective in the present case by saying that in the actions here recorded about twenty human lives were lost for, not every word, but every letter of this book.

That sentence represents 3,020 lives. The book is 411 pages long.

And then I remembered that Amis’ cousin Lucy Partington was murdered by the infamous serial killer Fred West! How could I have forgotten? Amis wrote wrenchingly about it in Experience:

My family cannot understand the extraordinary collision that allowed him to touch our lives, and I have no wish to prolong that contact. But he is here now, in my head; I want him excised. And Frederick West is uncontrollable: he is uncontrollable. For now he will get from me a one-sentence verdict…. West was a sordid inadequate who was trained by his childhood to addict himself to the moment when impotence became prepotence.

Amis clearly knows a thing or two about psychopathy. Consider his compact ‘verdict’:

    a sordid inadequate – this suggests ignoble actions and motives arousing moral distaste and contempt combined with a biological lack

    trained by his childhood – dysfunctional modelling and upbringing by his family and surroundings

    addict himself – this both highlights the central, pleasurable place wickedness played in his life and emphasises the crucial place of will (he didn’t become addicted he addicted himself)

    to the moment when impotence became prepotence – here is the defining characteristic of the psychopath: he lives for the moments when his power or influence over others occur. Deep beneath this is a secret fear/knowledge of his utter unimportance/worthlessness.

Amis, through the imaginative power of the artist, has captured remarkably well the heart of the matter.

He is not an easy read, but it now occurs to me that in a way our theme has been one of his central themes. For example, Lovefraud readers have recently written worried letters about the perpetuation of psychopathy among the young via antisocial social environments and psychopathic genes. Time magazine’s recent cover story is about the phenomenon of youth delinquency in Britain. Amis was ahead of the curve when he wrote about it in his novel Yellow Dog.

His forthcoming book is a collection of essays on 9/11 called The Second Plane. (You can read one essay, ‘The Age of Horrorism’ , here.) The collection has received a lot of negative comment: Amis is a racist, etc. Well I’ve read a lot of Amis’ work and and can’t square with that judgement. (What he says is that Islamofascism produces awful racist feelings in him and he doesn’t know what to do with them.) I wonder whether some of the objections to his book are due to what we at Lovefraud encounter all the time: regular folks’ refusal to believe in human evil. These are the fortunate people who have not fully encountered evil – hope their luck holds out.

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Back to Dr. Leedom’s article – she makes it clear that the small candle of hope she holds out is not for the full-blown psychopaths Amis writes about, but for those with psychopathic traits.


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Hi NTCRZE and OX…and what’s up with ErinB? Do I need to take her moon dancing again? Same email Ox.. Sanity Clause is packed awayand if he shows his face around here anytime soon I will shoot his arse..Xmas for me was good, prolly one of the best ever, mostly because I am over the spathhole and he wasnt here to ruin it for me as he was so good at doing..nothing new with me, sorry to here about your sore back Ox…

Hens,
EB is having to move and JR is showing his arse and she had a meltdown here. Just a quick update of what I have seen

Dear Henry,

Yea, EB’s house is finally in foreclosure (but she’s not homeless thank goodness, just down sizing) but junior is being a teenaged arsehole at the best, and she’s heart broken, of course.

Glad you’re back, sure missed you. I just worked too hard and stood up too long over the weekend when we butchered a cow and a calf, but I ended up at least as tough as the young’uns and worked e’m all into the ground, but had a rough night last night with the back complaining! LOL Over all though was one of my better xmas’s too. Glad yours was better. How is Harley doing? I finally got the skunk smell out of my bathroom after our EVENT with the skunk, and found the skunk den and got it so no more problems in that area. LOL We’ve caught 6 possums in the live trap though so far this year! EB’s deck got raided by a bar though, and got into some egg nog she had out there then came back and sat around scratching his crotch like he owned the place! LOL Plus she’s been snowed under out there as well.

That’s about the news from this end of the country! Well, gonna go for now! Take care and see you guys tomorrow. ((((hugs))) Oxy

OH MY….Hens is back! 🙂

Good to see you darlen, and I HOPE your doing well!!!!

Lifes in transition again here…..I’m in better spirits today….mainly because I don’t have time to be otherwise! maybe that’s the key?!?!

Jr announced he NOW thinks it’s not such a great idea to go to tropics……It’s too expensive, too risky, too blah, blah…..
I told him……I thought it was wise he was thinking outside the box.
He said he just needs a vacation……VACATION??????
Yeah….I can relate!

So…..the tropics is off his list…..now let’s see what spazy idea he comes up with next?

Anyone want to off him a vacation to come stay with YOU?

(it would be more of a ‘vacation’ for moi during this stressful tim).

I will pop in and out of here as I can…..don’t worry about me ya’ll…..and THANK YOU for all your support!!!

Hey Hens,
glad you got a new computer, now can we expect to see a bit more of you?

EB,
yeah I have a cabin on an island he can stay at if he wants to fix it.

((((((((((( ERIN! )))))))))))))) Saw your name in lights as poster here!

I’ve not had a chance to go through this thread yet. Couldn’t wait. Are ya okay????

If anyone is dealing with legal issues but can’t afford an attorney, just answer.com is having an ask all the legal questions you want for a free 30 day trial.

Have fun!

Ox – Here’s to life as turtles then!! It beats living with the fear of them returning. OMG as hard as I try ……I can’t fit the 90 inch plasma screen in this shell!!

Candy,

Well, Heck, girl, you just don’t know how to pack if you can’t get a little ole thing like a 90 inch plasma screen TV into the shell! I’m the QUEEN OF CRAM!!!! Just hang it from the ceiling and you can watch it lying on the floor. Saves all that getting up and down when you want snacks, you just CRAWL to the kitchen to get them.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

🙂 🙂

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