Search Box

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sinking the knife in

Someone just posed an interesting question via email: do sociopaths need the visceral thrill of lying to people in person, or does doing it via television, or online, et cetera, produce the same satisfaction?

I'm not sure sociopaths need the thrill of fooling people, though they certainly enjoy it. I suppose they also enjoy doing it via social media, though that way they wouldn't get the "hands on" thrill of firsthand observation of a real live person who's been made a fool of.

It's a little like the difference between a serial killer shooting people from long range (which very few of them do) vs. sinking a knife into their victims so they can savor their victims' pain and terror while slowly killing them.

Somewhat coincidentally, the subject of Psycho also came up in the same email. It's a dumb movie: its very title illustrates how little understanding of actual serial killers it has. It conflates "psychotic" and "psychopathic," and tries to make the Norman Bates character both, which almost never happens in real life.

(The movie's only excuse was that it was made in 1960, long before the nature of serial killing was understood.)

The only reason it was a hit was because it was a Hitchcock, and because that famous shower scene with Janet Leigh getting stabbed was "sexy."


Justin said...

Surely a big percentage of abusive web trolls are Cluster B, though, don't you think? I believe I remember even seeing a study about this. I've found myself now thinking of spaths/narcs as "real life trolls".

John Craig said...

Justin --
Yes, and I've had a few of them here, though I've actually been surprised how few have come here. I've seen the same thing cited, that a high percentage of trolls are Cluster B.

That's a good analogy.