Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Ordained Imagination Catastrophizer

A recent book by Barbara Oakley titled Evil Genes tried to work out the details of how innate genetic information can make someone psychotic, or, as the politically correct crowd would have us instead say, "exhibit antisocial personality behavior." She takes great pains to describe the characteristics of individuals who frequently through history have made their way into high level political positions--you know, the Hitlers and Maos and the rest of 'em-- and wonders how such people can position themselves to be so shamelessly Machiavellian, or as she calls it, "successfully sinister."

What a harrowing term. Successfully sinister.

How can you be that sinister and that successful at the same time? Naturally this conundrum possessed Oakley to look into it a bit, as many have through the ages -- I mean, wow, it does happen so often. While her thinking is engaging, she doesn't offer much beyond lots of anecdotes and neuroscientific jargon.

Few seem to see the answer in the pages of the Bible, and a lot of that is because even those words are obscured by the sustained efforts of a World System charged with regulating rotten behavior, managed by operatives just as rotten as those they regulate.

The latest home page piece in my webzine gets into this with some rumination about the latest motion picture feature that is getting tons of buzz. I'm speaking of the graphic novel Watchmen, and I invite you to peek at my take. Tell me what you think about the idea that all highly ranked officers in Caesar's service are supposed to be successfully sinister, for good reason.

In the meantime, I'd just now noted that as I'd recently gotten in deep with Alan Moore's seminal work, I'd been doing it during the exact dates of the main storyline: October 12th to November 2nd, in the year 1985.

That's November 2nd, just around midnight, give or take a half-hour or so. When the event happens.

Which is, hmm...


Again, thoughts on the one given the task of imagination catatastrophizing are here.