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September 1st 2009

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    A definition of sociopath will include an idea of evil.  But the word evil is so aligned in my mind to religious belief, that it fails.  It gets bogged down in mire then emerges with a grin, and I find myself smiling back.  Which may or may not be the intention in the minds of those who use the word evil.

    When I am referred to as an "evil man", I pat myself on the back and try to recall what it is that I said or did to deserve the compliment.  However if I am referred to as a "self centered A-hole" I accept that I am guilty of having done or said something that caused hurt.  Nor am I fond of being called a "stuffy old man."

    Certainly I accept that I watch too much television.  In that world there is a simple diversity, otherwise it probably would not be entertaining.  But as I engross myself in the terrible things bad men do and the noble struggle of those who work on the side of justice, I often find that when the villain is referred to as "evil" I discover myself swiftly developing an empathy for him.  And this even if he has decapitated his mother and fed the remains to the family pet

   

 

    The reason for this pallor in my personality is I think a reflection within the word "evil" that suggests a force of some kind that drifts through the lives of men and directs them to choose sides.  Not a force that accepts a gentle inclination but rather a force that requires absolute obedience.  The position that Clausewitz took of permanent war as essentially the solution to the condition of mankind.

    Fed as I am by glorious isolation there does come a time when recognition of belonging is central to 'getting along'.  So next time I am congratulated on the condition of tires after eighty two thousand miles, I must not ascribe it to the tires having been "blessed".   It was a joke, I thought.  And I am not yet ready for a reputation that makes people wary of me.

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tim candler

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