Saturday, March 16, 2013

Roadhouse episode 22: "Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est"

I was trying to take to my sick bed like a 19th century invalid in a novel when I realized HOLY CRAP I NEVER POSTED ROADHOUSE!

This is why we can't have nice things.

This week, we talked about serial killers. This is also why we can't have nice things.


  1. I'm a Crime Library addict in recovery. That stuff is addicting, kind of like how Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? used to titillate me in my formative years.

    Albert Fish is by far, to me, the creepiest motherfucker on that site. Oh, and The Girl in the Box, that's my neck of the woods. Oh yay!

    Speaking of General Population in prison... I think that should be mandatory for child molesters. The adage of "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" applies.

    Huzzah! Game of Thrones! Whoot and happy dance!

    Henna'd my hair. Turned out Ygritte red. And I got to describe it as such. Little things like that tickle my fancy. Ahem. My brother introduced me to the show. I told him that it was based off a book series. And because I am an unrepentant bibliophile, I got him the set (minus A Dance With Dragons) for his birthday.

    Eagerly anticipating King Joffery "G.R.R.M's Version of Christian Grey" Baratheon's wedding. Especially the feast. Giddy as a mofo, actually.

    And now I'm off to rewatch seasons one and two. Again.

    That franchise is addicting.

  2. There are definitely overlapping symptoms for sociopaths and those with narcissistic personality disorder. They're in the same personality disorder cluster (sociopathy is actually a synonym for antisocial personality disorder). Serial killers can be either, both, or neither. I took a class last semester titled The Psychological Novel and in addition to having a degree in literature, the professor was also a psychologist, so discussing the psychology of the characters was always fascinating. Learned a lot of interesting factoids too like in addition to serial killers, two professions (if we're considering murdering a profession...) that basically require at least some symptoms of sociopathy are surgeons and CEOs. I might be wrong, but I think sexual gratification is a major component for most serial killer and there hasn't been any female serial killers that exhibit that quality as of yet.

    My "favorite" serial killer might be Ted Bundy. Being as good looking and charismatic as he was, if his psychology was just a little different, he could've easily been a cult leader instead. I also find Aileen Wuornos' story really compelling. Actually, the professor for another class I took last semester titled Fiction and Film has written a couple books about serial killers(he writes docufictions, which as I'm sure you can discern are fictional stories with a documentary style to them), so naturally we read/watched stories about Wuornos and Manson. Last semester was pretty grim haha.

  3. Very educating stuff:-D Just don't get too paranoid over it:-)
    Mandi: Henna is a good choice - thumbs up!
    Jen McB: It reminds me the book by Truman Capote - In Cold Blood - I think you didn't mention it - at least I didn't catch it. Capote wrote about an actual murder so it's hard to say whether it's document or fiction or both, but I suppose you know the book already don't you.

    1. Aware of it, but haven't read it yet, so I couldn't really draw a comparison. I can only say that the style my former professor writes in makes it very obvious that it's a real murderer, but the situation is completely fictional. If the movie Capote is any indication of what genre In Cold Blood falls in (and movies, of course, never lie), it sounds like it would be creative non-fiction.

  4. On the subject of copycat killers, I would really recommend this video:

    (they are talking about the UK news coverage of a shooting spree in Germany in 2009 but it's still as relevant as ever).

    I've never seen Game of Thrones. I don't know if you've read the books of ASOIAF but if so I would be interested in what you think of them from a feminist POV. Because - don't hurt me people - I feel the same way about the first book as you do about 50Shades. I can't believe anyone who isn't a 12yo boy enjoys it. It's the worst book I've ever forced myself to finish (for the sake of arguing with people who liked it). Quite apart from the barely covered up racism and misogyny it's simply terribly written IMO. I would do a series of reviews like you did for 50shades but dear lord it's 800 pages and I'm not going to subject myself to that again.

    (like I said don't hurt me people)

    1. Thank you! I've been wanting to mention the Game of Thrones complaint for a while now. I've actually read the first two and thought the second was just as bad as the first. I couldn't stomach more of the series though was pressured to watch most of the first season of the show... Feels like I just can't escape this awfulness.
      I try not to assume anything about authors based on their books, but I sometimes get feelings about an author if I've read a lot of their works. A lot of times it's something totally innocuous like with the later LJ Smith books I gathered that she developed an interest in Japanese culture. With the Song of Ice and Fire series however, I just couldn't shake this feeling of the author being a pervert. I'm really hesitant to say that, but that's the impression I keep getting. For example, this line during one of Daenerys' POV chapters: "When she went to the stables, she wore faded sandsilk pants and woven grass sandals. Her small breasts moved freely beneath a painted Dothraki vest . . ." Just... why? I'm probably not explaining well, because of an overabundance of feels regarding this and I think this comment is getting long enough as it is.
      I think those books along with 50 Shades was the precursor to me becoming feminist. Sure, I held the same values before, but it was just so hard dealing with the cards (we) women are dealt every day so, I tried to not think about it. That stopped being an option now and I'm working to face it head on from this point on.
      As such, I'm very interested in what both you and D-Rock think about all this. I know you're both fans of the series, but does your feminism interfere at all with the enjoyment of it? I know rape and misogyny were rampant in the era I'm assuming the series is based off of, but maybe it's in the presentation? I know I've seen all that and worse in fiction, but done in ways that I didn't feel were offensive and were more like portrayals.

    2. You're right. It's not just the subject matter in the books, it's HOW it's written. The rape scenes are written like porn. The descriptions of women and girls are lascivious, and any woman with ambition or who is "slutty" is punished.

    3. I know what you mean, it was one of the things that bothered me when I had the saga told to me. Brothers and sisters bumping uglies through generations? Severely sadistic asshole king and a "knight" who lacked total chivalry? Super.

      The way I reconciled it was that I found it's analogs in our own history.

      *Targaryens intermarrying/ breeding and Jamie & Cercei's [Those Lannister twins, they bother me a hell of a lot, anyway] spawning? Ancient Egypt's dynasties and to a point, the Hapsburg dynasty (yay for inherited deformities and mental illness, right?)
      *An usurped family trying to claim their "birth right"? The War of the Roses. And to top it off, the two houses at the heart of the conflict have an eerie resemblance to the main families of War of the Roses. Starks = Yorks/ from the north, Lannisters = Lancasters/ fucking rich.
      *Scheming eunuchs and women vying for power? Ottoman Harem intrigue, aka "Reign of the Concubines."
      *The Wall where oogie boogies and wild people dwell beyond? Hadrian's Wall, separating England from Scotland, built by Romans and stocked with the punished.

      One can see where GRRM got his inspiration.

      That said, I don't like rape glamorized (oh, 'ello FSoG) and yeah, there is a LOT of rape in GoT.

      When I wrote my novel, there was a rape scene in the middle of the book. Always knew it was a part of the plot, it was pivotal and fucked up and traumatic enough to leave marks on the soul through multiple lifetimes. Thing is though, I wrote the whole book before I even tackled that chapter, because I really didn't want to go there, it was not a frame of mind I wanted to visit (as the novel is in first person POV). Literally, it was the last thing before I wrote before I had it edited. I've been sexually assaulted before, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy, but fact is, books, even fantasy, echo real life to an extent. Rape is a fact among homo sapiens. We but animals, some more domesticated than others. We live vicariously through fiction. Makes me wonder if GRRM had ever been sexually assaulted, would he write rape the way he does? Because I have a hard time being cavalier about that sort of thing.

      That aside, I'm in GoT for the political intrigue. And Tyrion.
      For those who haven't read/seen GoT, these are good links.

    4. Original anon who commented.

      "I know what you mean, it was one of the things that bothered me when I had the saga told to me. Brothers and sisters bumping uglies through generations? Severely sadistic asshole king and a "knight" who lacked total chivalry? Super."

      I'm kind of confused what this has to do with anything? None of those plot points were intrinsically off-putting to me, they're pretty standard fantasy tropes.

      Anyway I'm really glad some people agree with me because so far I haven't seen anyone really discussing these problems. They usually just go for "well, women were treated like crap in societies like the one he's describing". Okay but it's possible to have misogynistic characters and non-misogynistic narration. It's NOT THAT HARD to establish whether something is a character's opinion or a generally accepted idea. It's told in the 3rd person after all.

      I don't actually have a problem with the rape and other traumas that the women in the book are put through, because that shit happens in real life every day. These things need to be discussed. But it was the way I felt like he was fetishising this treatment of women that made me feel disgusted.

      Similarly with the race issues, the way the Dothraki are constantly described as being savage and uncivilised even in the omniscient narration really got to me after a while.

      (On top of all that his general writing skills are really poor IMO but that's a relatively minor problem.)

    5. Honestly, one of the reasons I like the show so much is because Martin's voice isn't present. I don't have to hear about what the 14 or 15 year-old Khaleesi's tits are doing while she walks when I'm watching it on HBO. *shudder*

    6. The last fantasy series I read was The Sword of Truth (I admit, fantasy isn't my go-to genre). I do not recall incest so lovingly written in it as it's with GRRM.

      What I meant (and should have clairified) was that there's a lot of sexual torture in GoT, The Mountain and Joffery being neon signs of fucked up power trips. That, and they genuinely enjoy making others suffer for their shits and giggles.

      Nim: In regards to your comment about female pov (Daenerys' POV chapters: "When she went to the stables, she wore faded sandsilk pants and woven grass sandals. Her small breasts moved freely beneath a painted Dothraki vest . . .") ... Bertrice Small does a lot of that in her books. Lots of feels. Personally, I would have wrote that her nipples got chapped by the constant friction of skin beneath vest.

  5. First of all: Great subject! I hope that what I'm writing makes sense, English is my second language...

    I have a bachelor degree in Psychology, and I'm currently studying Criminology. Psychopathy is one of the most interesting mental illnesses I've studied!

    Sociopathy (also known as Antisocial Personnality Disorder) is a personnality disorder of the Dramatic cluster, such as the Narcissistic, Borderline and Histrionic personnality disorders.

    Psychopathy is an extreme form of APD, and psychopaths often share traits of sociopathy and narcissism. They are known for they very low self control and their aboslute lack of empathy. Some of it can be explained by cognitive deficiencies, genetic flaws and extremely adverse environment. These factors don't cause psychopathy, but their presence is correlated with the diagnosis.

    If you want to be scared, the Pickton Case is something you should have a look at... The crimes themselves are bad, but the fact 50 women (with the exact same profile) went missing from the same area in less 20 years while the police refused to investigate is even scarier... Canada isn't as safe as you'd think!

    Bravo pour le vidéo, vous avez bien expliqué ce qu'est un Psycho killer!

  6. You should look into HH Holmes and his murder mansion.

    1. There's a good book about him by Erik Larson called "The Devil In The White City."

      Or the episode "No Exit" of Supernatural where they trap his ghost.

    2. I totally read Devil in the White City! Loved it. I'll have to check out the Supernatural episode then. I heard about him on a Stuff You Missed in History podcast.

  7. The Beltway Sniper terrified me when I was in high school. I lived in one of the areas where he'd been sighted and we spent a lot of time in class discussing what the authorities were doing to keep us safe. Anytime we went anywhere we kept on the lookout for white vans with ladders on them (which was something that turned out to be inaccurate, I think).

    If you're curious about Jeffrey Dahmer, you might like the movie Dahmer with Jeremy Renner. He's scary good in it.

    See, now I've got this urge to go watch Zodiac again. That movie was good.

    Speaking of media, I'm currently rewatching Supernatural (this time showing it to my parents) and we recently got to the episode "No Exit" about the ghost of HH Holmes snatching and murdering blonde women in the maze he created inside the walls of the building. Which, in turn, reminded me that I still haven't finished reading Erik Larson's "The Devil in the White City."

    On canceled shows:

    In the early 2000s there were two shows I was obsessed with. Farscape and The Invisible Man.

    Farscape was this fantastical universe of alien muppets in space and one fish-out-of-water human who was trying to find his way back to Earth after a freak accident during a shuttle mission. Season five was in the contract, but the show was canceled after a cliffhanger ending that had to be wrapped up in a three-hour miniseries that was good, but still left us wanting more. The best thing I got out of that show was replacement words for swearing when I didn't want to upset my mother. "Frell" was kinder to her ears than "fuck."

    The Invisible Man was about a thief with a genius brother who invented this invisibility gland that could be implanted into his thief brother's head to force him to work for the government to make up for the three strikes he had against him. The gland secreted this stuff called quicksilver that would bend the light around him and render him invisible, but there was a flaw in the design. The quicksilver would build up in his system and cause him to go absolutely insane unless he was given a dose of counteragent. I loved this show. I joined the message boards, picked out the handle "quicksilvermad" before anyone else, joined IRC chats with the actors from the show, got a thank you email from Eddie Jones for a portrait I drew for him, and made so many new friends that I ended up meeting in real life. I went to one woman's baby shower. She was friendly with the crew of the show and they ended up sneaking her name into an episode.

    The best part about The Invisible Man was that a lot of the dialogue was entirely ad-libbed by the cast. It was witty, charming, and a lot of fun to watch. And the Sci Fi Channel canceled it because of "cost issues" and other reasons. Yes, the effects were costly. They were incredibly good for the time. We made petitions, bought out an entire ad page in Vanity Fair, mailed Sci Fi packets of blue Kool-Aid (what the main character said to describe the counteragent), and eventually held our own little I-Man Con. When I told the mods that I couldn't make it, someone hand-delivered swag to my house and made sure that I knew that everyone enjoyed my drawings.

    I still use "quicksilvermad" as an Internet handle. When people come across me and get the reference, it's like instant bonding over something we miss.

    What sucks about the loss of The Invisible Man is that we only get season one on DVD here in the States. Season one and two are available on region 2 DVDs, and that's it. We only have season one and two episodes from season two. Which I will never understand.

    And, just as another show I miss, there was The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. with Bruce Campbell as a bounty hunter in the old west right near the turn of the century.

  8. I was obsessed with the Internet Crime Library as a teen!!! I was just talking about this the other day with an equally creepy friend and I was wondering if it still exists. SO glad it does.

  9. Just what I needed, thanks a lot….


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