May 15, 2012

Story about psychopathic children

A sweet, sweet child.
Shades of "The Bad Seed". I enjoyed this story at the NY Times. But then, I've always been keenly interested in psychopaths. Their emptiness is intriguing.

Very little is known about child psychopaths. All we see is the devastation they cause as adults. The linked article chronicles one of the first attempts to get a handle on the issue of child psychopathy, and includes several anecdotes about rather chilling children. (I'll tell you one thing: I don't envy the mothers. That's a hard row to hoe.) It's a long article but if you've got a cup of coffee and some time on your hands, it's a fascinating read.

And yes, I love the movie. Did you ever notice that the guy who plays Leroy, the dumb handyman, also does the voice in the radio broadcast about the death at the school? Caught that the last time I saw it. There are many wonderful things to be said about this movie. It's one of my favorites -- in a decidedly campy way.


Artichoke Annie said...

We were just talking about this subject on Sunday, commenting that some kids are just 'bad seeds'.

I think that some, a very small percentage, have such bizarre behavior there is no explanation for it.

Having grow up with a sociopath in the family I know how they can just wear you down trying to figure out when they are playing you and when they are not.

Interesting article. Thanks.

writenow said...

I suspect (for good reason) that there's also another type of psychopath: a "good" one. It seems to me there are some very decent people who care about others yet share some of the ancillary characteristics of "true" psychopaths. They go after enemies with an intent to finish them off (figuratively); they do not forget a slight; and they can turn ice cold in an instant. But they have a conscience, a very effective one, in fact. I've never seen this constellation of personality features described in the literature. Perhaps because they do good, no one notices them.

Hi, Annie!

Artichoke Annie said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - you are way too smart for me, but I love the challenge.


writenow said...

I was describing some of my best friends.