Well, a lot of interesting responses to yesterday post about parental responsibility. The prevailing opinion seems to be that parents should be held accountable only if their child exhibits problem behavior and no attempt is made to address the issue. But then the question becomes: What do you do? It’s an easy enough answer if you catch your kid hoarding guns and explosives but, oftentimes, the signs of psychosis are far more difficult to act upon. Take this article for instance, sent my way by Robert Cooper this morning: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html?_r=0. What do you do if you suspect your 9 year old is a psychopath? It makes for some pretty chilling reading. This excerpt in particular:
“She suspected that Michael had been trying to manipulate me and was using similar tricks to manipulate his therapists: conning them into believing he was making progress by behaving well during the hour that he was in treatment. “Miguel likes to think that Michael is growing and maturing,” she said. “I hate to say it, but I think that’s him developing a larger skill set of manipulation.” She paused. “He knows how to get what he wants.”
Psychopaths may lack empathy, but are incredibly good at faking it. They are charming, manipulative, and tend to be very intelligent. From Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry:
“All those chats about empathy were like an empathy-faking finishing school for him: “I did learn how to manipulate better,” he said, “and keep the more outrageous feelings under wraps better.”
Just the other day, a 22 year old B.C. resident with “sociopathic tendencies”, Kayla Bourque, was set to be released on probation after serving several months for torturing to death some animals (including the family dog). ‘Sociopathic’ animal killer to be released on probation – British … In addition, she has admitted to having the “urge to kill someone” and fantasized about killing a homeless person. Shocking, yes, but perhaps even more surprising is the fact that she was, by all accounts, an excellent student at Simon Fraser University where she was studying – get this – criminology and psychology! Why? I’m pretty damn sure it wasn’t because she was motivated by her strong sense of justice. It seems more likely she was looking to educate herself on how not to get caught!
Forget the flesh-eating zombies of AMC’s The Walking Dead. There are far scarier monsters living amongst us!
Another dark, rainy, dreary day today. I did finish the bible for that SF series we’ve been working on for…a while. Sent it Paul’s way, then had lunch with Robert Cooper and discussed one of his super-secret projects. I read the pilot he wrote and think it’s terrific. You’ll love it. Trust me. Interestingly enough, I also ended up fielding a couple of calls to gauge my interest on a few more projects, all three based on established properties: two t.v. shows and a graphic novel. Again, who knows what, if anything, will go – but it’s nice to be wanted.
Oh, and since you asked, in answer to my own question posed in yesterday’s entry, ” If you could go back in history, who would you want to spend time with?”, I’d say my father and my boy, Maximus (pictured in this blog’s banner). I’d make them some delicious port-braised short ribs and sweet potato mash.