Psychopathy & Capitalism: A Love Story

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Call to action, Creative Inspiration, Funny, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Hey there fellow Nutcases;

Genius and Insane time-travelers alike — traveling inexorably from the past to the future!

😉

Welcome back to the blog for the Deranged and Enlightened

A heads up:  Today we’re going to focus more-so on the Deranged and Insane’ie side of things, rather than the Enlightened, and Genius’ey side, (sorry you two, better luck next week…), as we attempt what some might tout as impossible — to delve deep into the mind, of a Psychopath.

🙂    So if that’s not your cup of tea, (but you keep reading anyhow), don’t say I didn’t warn you    🙂

😉

Now then,

The term itself, “Psychopath” is used loosely in society (all willie-nillie like), and is one that I’m sure you’ve heard often. Generally speaking we’re rather adept at identifying and steering clear of these societal parasites, because more often than not they stick out like Giant Horse-fly’s atop a freshly baked Coconut Creme Custard Pie.

(WTF? I have no idea where I got that analogy…)

Perhaps you’ll encounter them as they’re cutting you off in traffic — honking wildly and flipping you off, as if you’d been the one who’d made the mistake; or maybe you might stumble across a few while they’re throwing punches and starting an unruly mosh pit at your favorite concert — yet, you went to see Taylor Swift; you might even notice them at the edge of a child’s playground, watching furtively from the hatch of their big white van — waiting for just the right moment to offer some candy to a hapless little girl.

Yes indeed, each of these individuals would be marvelous human-meat potential nominees for candidacy to the heralded position of Psychopath, but today I’d like to make you all aware of the fact that most insidious Psychopath’s of all are not quite that easy to identify. The people I’m talking about have taken this “disorder” to new heights, as they are not easily spotted Grade “A” A-Holes, Ahem… Jerks, but rather; Charismatic, Intelligent, Witty, Wealthy, Affable and productive members of society — the ideal double agent.

Agent 00-Mittens here, I'm headed back to HQ. Make sure that the litter is clean and my milk-bowl is full upon my return -- shaken not stirred. Thanks, Money-Fuzzy.

So, how can you hope to ever know who you’re dealing with than?

How do you know who’s a Psychopath and who’s not?

Well… How about a definition?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psychopathy: A personality disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deception.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So there it is, and upon further examination I think that the whole lot can be summed up in merely three words of all its original prime constituents,

“A Lack of Empathy”

So now, Have you ever met someone like this?

I know I have…

STORY TIME!

That’s right kiddies! Grab your lunchables and your juice-boxes and meet me under that big ole’ colorful tarp, it’s Story Time.  I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you all the story of how I (barely) made it here to NYC…  Now this won’t be the whole story mind you, as it would be wholly off topic and wasteful of your precious little time — I’d hate to take you away from finger-painting those god-awful hand-turkeys you love SO much — but there is a relevant bit I would like to share, so here’s an excerpt…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was younger — as in, finishing up high-school with a Eminem’esque blonde streak running through my hair; and as in, I hadn’t yet required an entire pot of coffee to be half-way lucid, younger — I didn’t exactly have the most stellar driving record. It was bad luck really, I had 3 — COUNT EM 3! — Zero fault accidents, (meaning they were decidedly NOT MY FAULT), but still, given my insurance providers three strikes and you’re out policy (why people make policy based on baseball euphemisms I’ll never understand…) the costs of my insurance went through the roof! Like over 8-grand a year… OUCH!

Anyway, tuck that in the back of your mind

That's right... tuck it back there... deeeepppp back there...

So as you might expect this necessitated that I begin working at a young age, but working just one job wasn’t enough — oh no — I often had to keep up two, sometimes even three or more just to keep my chin up.

Fast forward now to the end of high school,

Where, unlike my peers, I had no idea what I’d wanted to do with my life. So, rather than going to some perfectly matched College that I had been courting for years, I instead went to the default local Community College, one coined as “13th grade” by my Ex-Classmates — and one which I didn’t take seriously for a second… I laughed, I cried, I partied (like it was 1999), I had a profitable relationship with a smokable product — and I nearly flunked out. I was subsequently warned by my parents that if didn’t straighten out that they would cut me off just as easily as Jacko did his nose, Yikes.

Being faced with the prospect of paying for school myself, I began a spiritual’esque journey to discover who I was — and soon found my love of Acting and the stage. I then spent the next two semesters cleaning up the mess I’d made, I.E. the 1.2 GPA, and working toward an Associates in acting — so that I could, hopefully after College, move west to NYC and begin my brand new life as Brad Pitt’s protegé. (What? A man can dream can’t he?)

I finally had a direction after all that mess,

I finally had a purpose to my life!

But I still had a big problem…

My car and all it’s costs were crippling me…

Here I found myself in a delicate situation. I needed to save money to move to NYC, my goal was $10,000, but I had those crazy high bills to pay — plus gas, going out (a tween requisite), food, other car expenses (The damn lemon kept having problems…) — not to mention everything else life had been throwing at me, too innumerous to mention! So, even though I finally had something in life which I cared about, and was willing to pursue at any cost, how in the hell could I ever do it?

It was then that I’d made a bold decision…

I sold the car, and took up riding a bicycle — and did it for 2 whole years to save up cash

NOTE: Drunken biking “Party hopping” across multiple towns is NOT advisable…

(but is occasionally rather fun, and always somewhat wavy)

Anyway, it was a hell of a sacrifice at that age for me, but I finally hit my marker of Ten Grand, and was now, finally, poised to move to the BIG city!

Right?

Right!

But what the heck did I know about life as an actor? Sure I’d been through a lot to earn that cash, but without a proper direction I would be going nowhere… I knew I needed to audition to land a gig — TV had taught me that — but a quick web search taught me that I first needed an Agent, who would then allot me the privilege of meeting a Casting Director; the ones who were actually auditioning people. So… I began looking up Agencies, thinking that this than must be the key to it all — and I quickly learned that none would take me on without a resume…

So, let me get this straight:

I need Credits to get Credits? But I can’t get Credits without Credits. And to have any, I needed to see a Casting Director, and I couldn’t meet with one of those without an Agent, and I wouldn’t be able to court an Agent without credits?

(And round, and round it goes…)

Well if that’s true, how do I EVER get credit numero Uno!?

Enter Agent X; the Psychopath

Well he looked trustworthy to me...

I found “Agent X” in a brief ad at the back of my local newspaper. Serendipitous I thought, as I never read much of anything at all back then — what were the odds? I had a few head-shots to show (thanks Mom), and, having sent over a few, and having harassed his secretary daily about if she’d received them, he soon agreed to meet with me!

Sweet right? (Just wait…) I was driven to his office, super excited for the meeting. I went inside. I sat down.

And the meeting began.

He started brusquely, claiming that, “his time was brief” as he had some important, “something-or-other” to attend to — typical fare for a Hollywood type I figured — so he started then firing off the bulleted information low-down in rapid succession. Something like this, (*Note* MUST be read with a Dick Tracy mobster accent),

“I’ve got connections, kid, see? Connections you need. Now, if you want my endorsement, you’ll join my website, see? I’m only giving you this opportunity cause I like ya, kid, see? Ya got the look, ya got the moxie, ya got a spark to ya. A spark I want, see? Now you do what you will, but remember, you’ll only get this one shot to see me, see? I only see potential clients once a year — Let me repeat that, kid, you look sorta-slow, see? ONCE A YEAR! And I cant guarantee I’ll see you next year either, been thinkin about Acapulco, see? Heard it’s nice this time of year. So, yea, that’s the deal…  see? Now the cost to join my upstanding operation here is non-negotiable, see? $2,600 smackers, (at which point I’d swallowed my gum in shock…), now, if you’re in, sign on the X here, and here, and here, initial here, draw a picture of a unicorn here, write down the name you’ve picked for your first-born here, and….. — that’s it, kid, we’re good! See? Now that’s the ticket, kid, you’re in. Now you’ve got it!”

Oh I got it alright…

I got it good…

Sure it had felt a little fishy, but I wasn’t worried — so far as I knew, I was more than covered by the fact that I’d paid in plastic. I had always heard that, regardless of the amount of times I’d signed my name, my credit card would back me up unwaveringly, so long as I cancelled the transaction within 48-hours — plus this guy seemed legit, I always imagined the industry to be full of movers and shakers like him, and if this is what I wanted from life, than I’d have to get used to it.

So I thought, “what the hay?”, and I signed, signed, signed, initialed, unicorned, and wrote the damn name, See?

What did I have to lose, right?

Wrong…

When I got home I immediately went to his site — super stoked to see what I’d bought — (which I couldn’t have looked at ahead of time as you needed an, “Industry” password to access it), and when I finally got there I realized — that it Suuuucked! I mean it sucked super Hardcore. Like one of those newfangled Dysons, sucked!

I IMMEDIATELY called my card to cancel the order, and they said that they saw the transaction, but couldn’t do anything about it unless I first tried to settle the issue with the merchant, as they were in business with him as well… Wonderful!.. So I called the merchant, Mr.X, and got the receptionist instead. “He’s out”, she said, “He’ll be back later”, she said, “Click” the phone said… Sigh.

And I did, I tried again…

And again, and again… And again — still no answer.

I seemed now to remember noticing a caller ID on her desk, and thinking it Odd that there was a handwritten list of names next to it…

I tried again… No answer.

I tried again… No answer…

Finally I called back my card, and they said they would put my dispute of the contract on file, and see what they could do. In the end though, it turned out that the contract was impregnable. Ironclad. Jotted on paper made of human flesh, written in a burnt script, and drawn with the tip of a trident that had been heated by the fires of Hades itself — for all I knew, this Mr.X person might have even been Satan himself (I couldn’t see under his desk to spy for his cloven hooves…).

But that was that.

I had worked hard for my money, arguably all through college and for two years on a bicycle, and what had it gotten me?

Boned.

This lovely metal chap was part of Mr.X's entorague

Meanwhile there was this Prick, Jerk, who had done nothing at all for me and had cheated his way through life, and what had it gotten him?

$2,600 smackers…

It was then that I knew that I had joined in a long, proud legacy of prestigious actors that had come before me,

I had been scammed.

And now had barely enough cash left to have a proper beginning to my life’s journey…

Think about it: Start with $10,000, subtract $1,200 monthly rent, plus last month: $1,200, plus security: $1,200, plus moving costs $300, plus this A-Hole Jerk and his scam, $2,600 — and all I was left with was: $3,500. And let me tell you, in a strange city; one month of acclimation is not the same as four. I was screwed. I had met an emotionless monster, and me, being who I was (and sadly no longer am) trusted him — which is precisely what had given him his power. This man had no remorse what-so-ever for what he had done, and, even though I called them EVERY DAY to destroy the contract, there was no simply way out.

1:100

Today, the number of psychopaths among us is growing faster than ever, and it currently stands at 1:100. One out of every hundred children born, now comes to existence without remorse. That is, if you accept that this is a disease…

In fact, it is not a disease.

It’s evolution

Evolutionary Biologists call it “Frequency Dependence” — basically, the rarer the trait, the more it pays off.

So in a society of trusting people, having one in a hundred psychos around is greatly beneficial to them, as they can scam and often not get caught.

In the past, when people’s psychopathic tendencies effected the whole of the group, we kicked their asses to the curb — Post Haste! — and then they starved because they relied on us! With negative social ramifications in place to defend us from being preyed upon by these psychopaths, not many could exist because it was a very poor lifestyle choice. These days though, people aren’t lumped into one big category — you know, like “PEOPLE” — there’s bankers, and cops, and TSA agents, and Politicians, and Executives, and Board members… and NONE OF THEM have to deal with negative societal ramifications for being emotionless. They’re emotionally isolated within their own groups… They support one another…

Nobody is, “Kicking them out”, nobody is even, “Chastising them“, nope — Instead, they thrive!

They’re praised even!

Today, we’re all lumped into isolated bubbles: Upper, middle, and lower class, and each finds it hard to associate or empathize with the other.

This needs to stop, but it’s the only protection that we have, particularly when success if marked by the highest stack of paper…

And it’s all thanks to Capitalism!

(Yay!…)

We all watched our parents struggle while growing up — some took shortcuts, and some lived on the straight and narrow. I happened to be born as a prodiginy to a straight and narrow type, but I knew plenty of the other type, as I’m sure you did as well. When you watch your parents be monetarily rewarded for cheating others, and when you watch them seemingly show no remorse for their behavior, the kin of that individual has less empathy than their parents, because that’s just the way the developing mind works as it’s forging the many truths which will make up the whole of that individual.

The really crazy part about all this comes to light when we think about what happens to these cheaters, who are really empathy-less Psychos — it’s not all that bad. Sure they’re fired (sometimes), and they get a slap on the wrist, but oftentimes they’ve done such a good job of tucking money in mason jars, under pillows, and in offshore accounts — not to mention the money they earn with the stolen cash before they’re caught — that their families become RICH as a result, or at the very least famous…

Whereas once we literally had given someone a death sentence for this behavior — today we reward them!

And it’s all only possible because of what money does.

My scammer saw a need in society and pretended to fill it, and he got rich for the effort.

He never got caught, he’s not in jail, and he scammed hundreds!

I, on the other hand, am broke.

I worked my ass off = Nothing (yet).

He Cheated = Win.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psychopathy and Capitalism: An atypical Love story without a happy ending…

Not coming soon, but already here!

And Playing in neighborhoods everywhere…

~J

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Comments
  1. Andrew Dunham says:

    I feel for you. I have been through similar situations. I still operate on a basis of “treat people as you wish to be treated yourself” and it works well. Sometimes I do what I can to give people bonuses or free gifts based on how I see they are living their lives. In this, I have found an alternate economy, where good people do good things for other good people without money or accountants being involved. Keep giving, keep smiling. All the money belongs to the universe anyway. You cannot take it with you.

    • Hey there Andrew, and thanks 🙂
      Never worry, I will never stop smiling :-D. It’s just who I am. Ignorance is bliss, and I refuse to be ignorant toward the world, but yet i smile anyhow; knowing it’s potential.
      It’s funny, I actually Acted a part in the play, “You cant take it with you”, and beleive it, as a saying, to be both wondrous sentiment, as well as undeniably true.
      The way you say you live, happily and spreading joy where you can, is the epitome of what i live for. When I write or create in any way, it is my hope that I open eyes to this fact. I wish for a chain reaction of empathy to spark, where henceforth people will begin treating each other in the manner and style that they would prefer for themselves — for if they, and we all did this, the would would be a utopia.
      So thank you, both for stopping by and for living well, as you’re a true contributor toward a better world ;-).

  2. SaptarshiC says:

    Yeah, life’s is a ‘Grade “A” A-Hole, Ahem… Jerk’ that way.

    Moral of the story: work your ass off, and all you get for it is a stronger ass.

    • Haha! I will say though, struggling has forced this lazy lump of coal to work it’s way up the Mohs scale and these days, though I’m no diamond (far from it!), I am far better prepared for whatever life heaps in my direction. I learned to cook better, I learned to budget, I learned to use time wisely — hell, maybe i should thank the little prick after all!
      Thanks for dropping in 🙂

  3. Diane Coan says:

    Great post, very entertaining & painfully true!

    • Thank you. I tell the tale so that the people know whassup — cause once they do, they then have the power to effect change. I WILL NOT tolerate BS — from friends colleges or family (;-)) — and call people on it regularly. And this process, though often stressful (as people can react violently to the truth), is essential to making the world a better place.
      Always nice to see you here, Diane

  4. There was a piece on the radio recently that showed that psycopathic tendencies are more prevalent than we think and once explained you can spot them in anyone ( who has them). Somebody ought to bring out an I-Spy Book of Psycopaths that you start completing when you are in your teens, say, and then hand in to the I-Spy adjudicator when it’s full. School Bully – tick; Careers Advisor – tick; Theatre Agent – tick; Overweight Boss – tick – and so on. That would be fun. And then once completed you get the “Don’t bug me – Psycho” badge and your ring tone is Hitchcock’s “Psycho” for free. Badge of Honour.
    Sorry to hear you got turned over. It’s happened to more of us than you think in one way or another. The fact that we come out of it better not bitter (after a while anyway) is only good for humanity. Can you imgaine the chaos if we were all psychopaths ? ….Waterworld !!!

    • So true. We need to ensure (somehow) that these people aren’t leveraging their ways to the top, because I think that they are — and often — and people without empathy will make the rest of us slaves if we give them the opportunity.

      The crazy part is we cant be mad in that case, cause;

      A) it’ll be our fault for letting them get there,
      ~ and ~
      B) because they really, honestly, don’t know any better!
      Sigh… haha. deep breath now.
      Woo sah
      … 3…2…1… 1…2…3… what the heck is bothering me?
      Woo Sah

  5. PL Holden says:

    A couple years ago I read Snakes in Suits which brought to light that a psycho can thrive in the world of business. It only makes sense, there are certain things that just aren’t meant to be done to your brothers & sisters but when somebody offers enough money those incapable of empathy will jump through hoops man.

    • It’s true. And precisely what’s so dangerous about our current system. It’s about lived it’s life though, and i beleive that the insanity breeding across the globe is the beginning of it’s overturning.

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