A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

14 November 2009

Sick Vs Evil

"Oh, he's sick in the head."

No, he's not - he's just plain EVIL.

Frankly, (upcoming pun intended) I am getting pretty sick and tired of hearing the above to "why away" what people do.

The other day, I'm driving down I-85 and I notice a kitten smashed almost beyond recognition in the middle of the four lanes. There's nothing else around it...but above there is an overpass. It dawns on me...I bet some "sick ****" (you can fill in the blanks I'm sure) threw the kitten off the overpass and into the traffic. Did he or she want to see if kittens indeed land on their feet? No. They did it, I'm sure, to see how fast it would get splatted...regardless of which way it landed.

Now, you might argue, "Why, yes, Mariann...that is just plain sick."

Of course I have no proof this is the scenario - but the odds of this kitten making it all the way across the highway in the middle of nowhere, by itself, is pretty damned slim. Most kittens don't go venturing solo. I've had many cats and kittens - if they stray too far, you can bet the mother will pick it up and bring it back.

But let me get back to my original thought...and for the sake of this example, let's say this is how it happened. The person who did this was not sick...they are just plain EVIL.

Chances are they knew the outcome ahead of time - and they knew the odds of the kitten surviving was nil. They made a conscious decision to toss it over the edge anyway. That is pure evil. No doubt about it - nothing sick going on here.

Granted, there are "sick" people who do things - and I don't discount mental illness...and I don't discount there are people in this world who don't have the mental capacity to make sound decisions. This exists.

But evil also exists.

When a person goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of people...and plots it out and otherwise can make it through their daily life and know which side of their bread to butter...well, these people are not sick in my opinion.

I am sure you remember Jeffrey Dahmer. Everyone and their mother was saying "oh...this guy's sick in the head". "NOOOOOOO!" I said. If he's deemed sick in the head - he won't stand trial and be convicted. He'll just go to "get cured" and then be released. This man KNEW what he was doing. He deliberately went about his "mission" to seek out and kill and then dismember and dispose of his victims. This requires some forethought - it requires an amount of intelligence and care to not get caught. Had this person indeed been "sick in the head" - he would have been doing something totally contrary to his actions...and been caught long before. Dahmer DID do sick things...I never said he didn't - but he was evil. There was an evil in him which crept up each and every time. Had he really wanted to stop...he could have. He enjoyed what he did...even if it repulsed him...or so he said. The very first time he killed, he "knew what had to be done in order to get rid of the body". He himself admitted he "knew" what had to be done. Not sick. Evil. End of story. He was proven "sane" and sentenced. Luckily they didn't buy into the "sick" scenario.

So, as I watched the Dahmer trial on "Court TV" all those years ago, I was desensitized by hearing the horrid details. The first time I heard -- I cringed...I flinched...I winced. Absolutely gross. The second day of the trial...same details - less wincing. By the third day...and, mind you, it only took THREE days of testimony...I was desensitized enough not to cringe thereafter. Each time I heard what he did -- even though what he did should have been just as horrific the first time I heard it...or the one-millionth.

I know you've probably heard this one on the news as well...or maybe you, yourself, have uttered a version of it: "A man walked into a building today, injuring eight, but only three died." ONLY??? So, wait, let me get this straight...one, two, or three is okay? How many have to die to make it "unacceptable"? Twenty?

Hearing this type of talk...from the news, from our co-workers, or from passers-by waiting in line in the supermarket...subconsciously creeps into our brains and tweaks them. "Only one dead. Thank goodness ONLY ONE died." What the heck kind of reasoning IS this we are subjecting ourselves to?
I've even heard myself saying it.

We, as a nation, are becoming desensitized. We are becoming complacent. We are becoming convinced...the things some people do...which are horrid and pure evil, are just "sick".

"Sick" seems to discount what they've done..."evil", however, doesn't.

I say it's time we wake up and stop branding people "sick in the head" so easily and nonchalantly - and start calling them what they truly are: just plain evil. Perhaps then there will be stricter penalties and accountability across the board.


  1. I agree with you completely, Mariann. I see plenty of this, even among school kids. Some are misguided, some are indeed mentally imbalanced.

    But some, and thankfully not so many, are just out and out evil.

    Scary but true.

  2. Yes, it is sad...I've read some stories - like that one here recently where the three kids doused that child with alcohol then set him on fire...they aren't sick...they are evil. Evil horrible children.

  3. I have to agree with you--evil vs. sick, it's a fine line sometimes--IMO a solid line not a dotted line as some people believe.

    I hear stories all the time of kids doing such things that I would never think of doing at that age (or now) and it makes me afraid to confront them sometimes. (such as asking them to turn down the loud music in the parking lot etc...) Who knows what would trigger them to pull a gun or knife? I know that sounds wimpy, but geez, kids either don't know any better or just don't give a shit anymore

  4. I may be blind in one eye, but I can still see boobies. ;-)

  5. This is a very well written, thought provoking blog. I couldn't agree more. It natural to want to "understand how these things happen". We want to know what motivated them so we have warning signs in other to prevent such tragedies. Like Nan was saying, if you don't know what will trigger someone to go off on you, the world can be a scary place. However, sometimes sense simply cannot be made of the senseless. There is evil in the world. People do evil things. It is what it is. There isn't always a reason. "Johnny was bad, even as a child everybody could tell." I have always wanted to read the full interviews with Jeffrey Dahmer. The bits I have read were fascinating. He essentially said the same thing you did. He was evil. Not in a 'ooh fear me' kind of way; but in a 'don't blame my parents, don't blame twinkies' kind of way. He said he was wrong and he was glad they caught him; but at the same time he went out of his way to avoid getting caught. I don't know what to think. I've heard things in a "hearsay" kind of way about a nun who visited him in person as well that has haunted my thoughts a time or 12 since my sister told me.