Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bernie Madoff asks: "Am I a sociopath?"

From an interview with the New York magazine:
“How could I have done this?” he asks. “I was making a lot of money. I didn’t need the money. [Am I] a flawed character?”

In some ways, Madoff has not tried to evade blame. He has made a full confession, telling me again and again that nothing justifies what he did. And yet, for Madoff, that doesn’t settle the matter. He feels misunderstood. He can’t bear the thought that people think he’s evil. “I’m not the kind of person I’m being portrayed as,” he told me.

And so, sitting alone with his therapist, in the prison khakis he irons himself, he seeks reassurance. “Everybody on the outside kept claiming I was a sociopath,” Madoff told her one day. “I asked her, ‘Am I a sociopath?’ ” He waited expectantly, his eyelids squeezing open and shut, that famous tic. “She said, ‘You’re absolutely not a sociopath. You have morals. You have remorse.’ ” Madoff paused as he related this. His voice settled. He said to me, “I am a good person.”

There aren’t many who would agree. For most of the world, Bernie Madoff is a monster; he betrayed thousands of investors, bankrupted charities and hedge funds. On paper, his Ponzi scheme lost nearly $65 billion; the effects spread across five continents. And he brought down his own family with him, a more intimate kind of betrayal.

Madoff, 72, is in prison with a sentence of 150 years, which seems more than just, given the enormity of his crime. Though the financial damage continues, prison seemed to conclude Madoff’s part of the story. Then, on the second anniversary of Madoff’s arrest, his son Mark, age 46, slipped a vacuum-cleaner cord over a pipe on the living-room ceiling of his Soho loft and tried to hang himself. When it broke, he tried again with a dog’s leash, and succeeded. This was the kind of cosmic retribution that might have been exacted in the House of Atreus, the suicide an accusation of a vast betrayal. It seemed a death designed to hurt the living—even a monster’s conscience must be moved by such a demonstration. After all, before he was exposed as a fraud, Madoff had been a family man.

After Mark’s suicide, I became interested in this most tragic of families and the elemental forces that had torn them apart. And so I began calling everyone connected to the business and the family. Soon a picture began to emerge. Madoff’s youngest son, Andrew, harder-edged and less prone to self-doubt than his brother, had been protected by his anger at his father’s betrayal. Mark’s rage consumed and overran him. Neither would speak to their father, even if their lawyers had permitted it. Their mother, Ruth, had to choose between her husband and her sons. She had chosen her husband of five decades—though after Mark’s suicide, she too no longer speaks to Madoff. After the death, Ruth rushed from her apartment in Florida—but wasn’t at the memorial service at his widow’s house. Most of the family didn’t want her there. Mark’s widow still won’t let her visit Mark’s two young children. Andrew, who hasn’t spoken to his father since December 10, 2008, the day Madoff confessed, is still largely estranged from his mother and distant from his brother’s widow, Stephanie. As he tells friends, his rage at his father, far from dissipating, has metastasized. To friends, he’d described his father as a bully and a gifted manipulator. Madoff was a family man, yes, but to Andrew, that was yet another manifestation of his narcissism. The family served the needs of Bernard L. Madoff.
Whine, whine, whiner. I think the author of the article has it right, Madoff is much more likely to be a narcissist than a sociopath -- completely delusional. But when you're committing fraud on such a grand scale, does it really matter what label society wants to slap on you?

91 comments:

  1. yow, socio!

    speaking of madoff: have you ever wondered at the wide overlap which exists between joos and sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissists? it is apparent in their commercial activity, but it reaches its fulcrum in how they deal with the Palestinians, effectively rationalizing every single crime away ("we're just nice good people taking what is ours, honestly") and even reversing the perp/victim relationship ("they made us destroy gaza for their own good").

    To me, at least, joos and sociopaths look alike, just like one booger resembles the next one. Any wise comment about this?

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  2. I agree that he's a narcissist, consumed by his imaginary martyr complex, posing distastefully as "a regular guy who made a bad mistake, succumbed to greed, and destroyed the most important thing in his life...his family."

    To my mind he desires and seeks out martyrdom not for penance, or as a public show of Jewish practice, but because it feeds a deep psychological need.

    His hunger for it is also apparent, supposedly in his own words, here.

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  3. Three ideas:

    1. The idea that Madoff believes his shrink telling him he has morals and remorse.

    2. Madoff did not possess morals or remorse WHILE he was scamming people and that's a fact, not that I would if I were scamming hollywood types either.

    3. M.E.'s point: It doesn't matter WHAT he is.

    All of the above made me chuckle during coffe-time this morning.

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  4. "But when you're committing fraud on such a grand scale, does it really matter what label society wants to slap on you?"

    That's the current setting of our truth apparatus. 'Anything on a grand scale' automatically instills trust and acceptance. Pharmaceuticals, Facebook, Religion, Cable TV, Stocks and bonds, best selling life coaches, the institution of marriage, Defense budgets.

    Always providing ample opportunities in between perfectly timed 'dream' cycles of fad feeding, suspension of belief, scam outrage, and 'solutions', the middle class is the largest real estate cultivated to blur the boundaries between scam and security.

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  5. I don't know wtf u just said.

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  6. Thank you Sea Witch for the prison interview you posted with Madoff. "The market is nothing more than a casino with less of a chance for the individual gambler." I agree, Narcissist.

    This mentality is reflected brilliantly in the film which won best documentary Monday night, "Inside Job"

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/feb/17/inside-job-review

    Yes, in this regard the casino metaphor applies. Money, sex and power bring out all sorts of automatic responses in regards to desire for the game, addiction to making a successful killing and the denial of involvement when things turn sour.

    All whiners.

    When is the next Messiah coming to turn some tables?

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  7. This guy was a straight up boss, he was a narcissist though, psychopaths aren't as stable as narcs are, there would have been red flags if he was a psychopath.

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  8. Lol Anon, that must be because ALL psychopaths are exactly the same right?

    I wonder what would happen if you were not SO full of shit and all psychopaths were feeble and predictable such that your society could exist all knowing and worry-free.

    However, the psychopath in your life is glad you think the way you do. Trust me. So I'm not going to school you today.

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  9. Psychopath

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT9ZfpTfP8w

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  10. "When is the next Messiah coming to turn tables?"

    I'm all for turning tables. I don't want a Messiah to do it for me. There have been enough.

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  11. I'm not a clinician, and I think it's absurd to say that he's clearly a narc or sociopath based off a brief interview where anyone with common sense would have lied their ass off.

    And a clinician can only do so much. If the family/friends don't help with the PCL-R, s/he has only the inmate to ask, along with their record.

    Bernie Madoff has a label for what he's done. Dead Man Walking. That's the label he should be worried about.

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  12. He's not a sociopath hes a jew.

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  13. I don't like when people pin me as an outcast or a freak, he is just trying to make people think that he is still completely normal and he isn't some kind of monster, it's called false modesty and it seems to be working.

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  14. None of you low lifes can talk about Madoff, he's top of the food chain you losers.

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  15. Edit: my own fucking tables. Maybe his son should have turned a few tables instead of offing himself.

    Another Messiah with a free market complex. How unusual. I'm sure he was doing it "for the greater good."

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  16. MR MADDOF U WILL BE AVENGED I SWEAR IT! ALAH AKBAR!!!!!

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  17. "These funds had to know I was shorting the trades to them with the market condition present at that time. It was their greed that kept them them insisting I honor my commitments to invest their monies along with my unwillingness to lose them as clients, that was my problem."

    Thanks for the link Sea Witch. Perhaps this part of the interview reveals aspects of groupthink or an egregore in the context of hedge funds. Madoff's actions in spite of his misgivings and well as his regard for the fund as something with a will and desires more powerful than his own is plausible and especially telling.

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  18. Dragon Tattoo'edMarch 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    He had a wife, two sons, and a bouncing baby Ponzi scheme with a will of its own. An adorable story.

    How fun it would have been, to get a hold of him before this all came out...

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  19. It just doesn't, couldn't exist in a society based on capitalistic materialism. Work and family values are in fact totally unrelated and alienated requiring the myth of free will to conjure up any cohesion. Marx knew that profits and quality were bound to contradict at some point. Conscience finds an odd perch between the trading floor and church or temple. Watch the zeitgeist movie.

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  20. I watched half of the newest Zeitgeist movie last night but kept falling asleep.

    It was being all idealist and shit. All I could think was "what about the psychopaths" as my eyelids drooped.

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  21. hungover. not funny. never. drinking. wine. again.

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  22. We sure have spend enough time looking for answers in individual psychosis and therapy.

    I'd keep an open mind.

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  23. notme i just read through comments from last night - you were funny. wish i could stay up all night drinkin and trying to type stuff :)
    reminded me of my ex beeper who sent me over 50 emails on valentine's day as she got progressively more drunk...

    maybe stay off the wine, but how about good ol vokda?

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  24. Res, stop using my word beeper you ass kissing aspie wannabe psychopath fuck.

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  25. I haven't slept. Whats going on with me.

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  26. diz sum deeeep shet yu be writin M.E

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  27. wut da fuk yu talkin bout.

    I dun be fanning yu h0e.

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  28. Not me . . . I miss your kitten. She was very cute.

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  29. aye b shootin' da breeze.

    shootin' till i weeze.

    ill mak ya say cheese.

    shootin' da breeze.

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  30. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILLMarch 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL

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  31. Stop using my name faggot

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  32. TNP - Forget t-shirts for your fan club. I think a branding tattoo would be more appropriate. Or perhaps an implantable chip.

    A socio with nano technology . . . .

    Just think of the possibilities.

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  33. Can I get a shirt soulful path?

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  34. dunno about all joos, but israelis are all narcisists led by ismail vankin.

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  35. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL

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  36. To be my fan, you have to undergo genital mutilation. I can't risk slumming it with my underlings. I'm too good for that.

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  37. hey Res, i don't think i wanna read my comments...hmm

    yeah, vodka is good. wine bad.

    you want my kitty back Soulful?
    he was too cute i just kept staring at him all the time.

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  38. son I ain't yo bitch.

    yu my bitch.

    wtf is 'genital mutilation'

    NEEEEEEEERRRRD

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  39. Did I hear mutilation or was that stimulation?

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  40. Mutilated TNP fanMarch 1, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    ok what now.

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  41. You not being my bitch (or the other way around) is the point of genital mutilation, and it is compulsory on your end. You should have known the consequences before you stepped through that door. It was in the fine print.

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  42. You and TNP could have cyber sex.

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  43. i bet TNP is that german cannible who invited that guy round and ate his cock.

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  44. TNP - The fine print was dissolved in the fire of your own breath.

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  45. After strangulation, which organ in the female body remains warm after death?

    My cock.

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  46. This guy's definitely delusional if his final deduction of his actions was that he is still a good person. Idk if he's a socio or a narc. Frankly, he just sounds like a greedy douche that didn't expect to get caught.


    @notme... are you used to wine? sometimes it takes a bit for it to sit better in your system. Used to give me terrible migraines and hangovers. Now it's all I drink and I'm fine.

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  47. What's up with losers calling anyone with self confidence a "douche"?

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  48. notme.. go ahead and read.. look back at what you were. face yourself.

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  49. GENIUS CHILD

    This is a song for the genius child
    Sing it softly, for the song is wild
    Sing it softly as ever you can
    Lest the song get out of hand

    Nobody loves a genius child

    Can you love an eagle
    Tame or WILD?
    Can you love an eagle,
    Wild or TAME?
    Can you love a monster
    Of frightening name?

    Nobody loves a genius child

    Kill him--and let his soul run wild.

    by Langston Hughes

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  50. Anon leave her alone she's been getting raped by big strong confident men all her life.

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  51. Badass SociopathMarch 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    One time I drank all the alcohol in a bar and they tried to throw me out. I wasn't even tipsy. I picked up the woman next to me and used her as a club to kill everyone else in there. After that I did shots of their blood. I usually only drink motor oil and acid. Badass.

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  52. That's like something Misanthrope would say.

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  53. i read it Anon, and it was funny.
    no not used to wine Haven.

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  54. oh me, i was addressing sea bitch, not anon. I;m drunk so forgive me.

    why is drink so great, and yet so appalling too? Why why why???
    why do we ask why all the time?
    why? My ex always asked me why I asked why all the time? Why do I ask Why so much? there must be a reason why I ask why so often? Anyone care to tell me?

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  55. Cuz u got raped wen was yunger

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  56. well, that's silly. I wasn't raped, not physically. So try again sweetie pie.

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  57. Bubbly personalities make me wanna vomit.

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  58. hey Adam. Why do they make you wanna vomit?

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  59. I dunno, suppose I dislike them.

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  60. Not sure, I'm pretty much the opposite of bubbly, I am very gritty and stubborn. Stop replying for me weirdo anon.

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  61. notme, go to the kindergarten, fellow children all keep asking 'why.'

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  62. jean-michel basquiat

    sociopath or empath?

    This is pretentious drivel about someone who died young because he treated his body like a pin cushion. If his story happened today he would not be heard from. This flick looks to make a hero out of a pimple. I roamed the same neighborhoods at the same time and had some choice words for him and others marking up walls with what they called art. The city was a pretty ugly place back in the day, Grungy and muddy, strewn with the guts of those crawling on their bellies, and defiled by idiots with cans of spray paint. SAMO and all the other didnt contribute to a better place. They only leveraged the ugly dangerous image for their own advantage. He wanted to be famous and he wanted to be dead -- fast. In the end he got both, but unfortunately his crayon scrawls survived him. He was as prolific as a thousand grammar school kids, and just as talented. He was the colored pet (not my words), the noble savage of the snotty white on white art world. The so-called connoisseurs tossed money at him as a knee-jerk way of dealing with their own guilt of what they saw as birth-right. Basquiat was a middle class refugee, a manipulator who was around when many people decided to invest in modern art. He was the IT child of the art world. He was an investment property plucked from the cauldron of obscurity and inconsequence, feted and soireed with mounds of cash. Unfortunately, from the same time and place, Madonna lived. If Basquiats paintings are high art, my morning poops are Rodin sculptures.

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  63. Zdsislaw Beksinzki is probably my favorite painter. Not the most skilled, but his nightmare/dreamscapes are a fantastic thing to behold.

    Basquiat's works mostly look like scrawlings from someone with down-syndrome. Can't hate a brother for making a buck, though. There are plenty of idiots who will eat shit sandwiches so long as you change the label to ham.

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  64. Adam, guess what?
    You just wallow in the shit that you are. You wish you had something to bubble about. You mooch off your Aunt, your "job" is a farce, and you fill your family with disgrace. You must know by now how they are embarrassed to bring you to family functions. You are pseudo charming at best. People with opened eyes see you in your finest misery. And we like it. We like to hate you. You give us a sense of superiority ( even though it is probably false.) We love to hate you, but don't think we think about you often. The lowliest of lows is ignored. Have a great day.

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  65. Zdsislaw Beksinzki has some freaky imagery, and some amazing colors. Cool.

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  66. Art is for girly men

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  67. Don't let my mangina hit you on the way out of that door. It tends to flap with a mind of its own when old Beksinzki's ghost is insulted!

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  68. What irony that those few with true incisive brains are seldom easy people. They are rejected by others or by themselves but mostly they reject the inconsequential. I miss Daniel Birdick and Medusa here

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  69. Art for girly mangina men
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwKQ6ttEZb8

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  70. No one knows, and I won't tell all the reasons I come here. But here is one clue:

    A while back someone asked whether anyone had lost someone and could replace a person. A dead person.

    The thief knows all too well the answer and now parades his stolen property about town. That is the most foolish of all thieves. It's a tragic flaw, gloating.

    And since I (also) don't give a fuck who is behind their computer screen I may (also)lash out at the first person here who vaguely resembles any other name all too familiar.

    Do you really want me to come knocking on your door? Really?

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  71. Do you really want me to answer my door?

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  72. You're all a joke, you say on this blog how bad you all are but I bet once you are with people you treat them normally, I victimise everyone I know and they think I'm a prick, I love it.

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  73. One of the many benefits of being unemployed and living with your auntie.

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  74. No Adam you are alright. I was kidding before. You are upfront about your being a prick. Others claim one thing, and have children and all, and want their kids to learn by example. And then they invite you to dinner! Ha ha ha. I'm sure you and I would get along swimmingly. See I don't have kids to screw up. I don't give a shit about other people's kids either. He he !

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  75. You already have, sweetie.

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  76. I would never talk that way about you, Note. I love you.

    OMG! Did you think I was referring to you?? Silly boy! xx

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  77. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmrk9QbX9ts

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  78. nice writing anon 8:09 PM

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  79. This comment section has been lending way to much credence to Freud lately. Just in general. Wow.

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  80. I have seen a fair amount of talk about turning weaknesses into strengths. I wanna know, empath leaning or sociopath-leaning, have you done this? What was the weakness? How did you develop it into a strength and how did it play out as you did this?

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  81. Does your aunt give you allowance Adam?

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  82. Yeah misanthrope, I just sit about all day eating her food and telling her to go fuck herself and threatening her when she tells me to get job.

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  83. LOL i don't even think that Adam understood that Misanthrope was fucking with him. (:

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  84. How could someone fuck with me? I'm great.

    ReplyDelete

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