Friday, June 14, 2013

Outcasts in literature: Housekeeping

[On the unsettling appearance of transients, whose very presence suggested to a small town's inhabitants that there was a different, better way to live than to eke out an existence in normal society.]
So every wanderer whose presence suggested it might be as well to drift, or it could not matter much, was met with something that seemed at first sight a moral reaction, since morality is a check upon the strongest temptations. And these strangers were fed on the stoop, and sometimes warmed at the stove, in a spirit that seemed at first sight pity or charity, since pity and charity may be at root an attempt to propitiate the dark powers that have not touched us yet. When one of these lives ended within the town jurisdiction, the preacher could be relied upon to say "This unfortunate," as if an anonymous grave were somehow deeper than a grave with a name above it. So the transients wandered through Fingerbone like ghosts, terrifying as ghosts are because they were not very different form us. And so it was important to the town to believe that I should be rescued, and that rescue was possible.
-- Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

71 comments:

  1. Seems like your site is dying, M.E.

    That sucks.

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  2. M.E.
    Can you do a post on comorbidity that sociopaths may experience? Grace

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  3. the only thing that keeps me from joining the homeless i see every day on my way to work is an old illusion that has over the years become a bad habit.

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    1. and even more so my love of comfort :)

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  4. Ive been fascinated by deliberate transience ever since i read an essay called "on dumpster-diving", written by a transient writer, during my first semester of college.

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  5. If I wanted to get away from everything, I would build a cabin in the woods and stock it like a bomb shelter. There's no peace in being a dirty, useless parasite. Go be worthless somewhere else, I'm walking to the bus stop to go home after 10 hours of work. I don't envy you, and I don't pity you. I'll spare you no more attention than any other piece of trash that drifts across my path.

    Guys, I think I might be hobophobic.

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    Replies
    1. Do you really think so? Maybe you have the same reaction towards the ill or any other person in bad circumstances. We don’t get worried about something till we are remembered of it.

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    2. Most homeless people are mentally ill Andy. Give them a break.

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    3. It's not like I murder hobos or anything, I just ignore them and never give them money.

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    4. Yes, but you think ill of them. You denigrate them and regard them as trash. I'm not remotely religious but certain biblical lines make sense: 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.'

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    5. I think ill of the vast majority of people, hobos included. I do no harm, though, and I'm polite enough to hold my tongue. Human garbage does sound a little redundant to me sometimes. I'm a misanthrope, but I'm totally harmless :)

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    6. They're just like delinquent children who choose to stay with their parents. Useless with no survival skills, but still needing to be among other "safe" humans. It's their only link to humanity. The cabin in the woods types would be psychopaths.

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    7. This time it was not me who said it, Andy, it was Gag ;)

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    8. @Andy, now seriously, since when do you see people as garbage? And why? If you consider people as garbage, why do you like to manipulate garbage? Why are you here talking to garbage?

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    9. I don't manipulate people any more than you do! I ignore garbage. There is less garbage here than most other places. Also, I don't live in the woods, it would just be my personal preference for seclusion. Before you start taking internet strangers' advice for truth (just because he agrees with you!) consider the fact that he sounds like a sociopath himself, and therefore must be lying.

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    10. Fortunately I placed a smiley...

      I don't manipulate people. This reminds me, any news from green eyes?

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    11. She assured me that I'm not a sociopath. As far as I know her assessment has not changed.

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    12. :D That was before or after telling Monica that she should take care with you because your were really a devious bastard? And before or after you told Monica she was lucky to be old and not interest you otherwise you would have used her?

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    13. After. She tricked me into telling her who I was. She's the real sociopath!

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    14. After both?
      So, you say she tricked you, how?

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    15. She pretended she thought I was interesting and flattered me. It worked, but I'm more cautious now about trusting people that appear to favor me. That's why I'll always trust you Jessi :P

      Keep your friends close...

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    16. After all, then, maybe what you are is a narcissist... :P

      You really don't have another more believable story?

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    17. Yeah, she called me a narcissist too. Why am I not surprised that you don't believe me? Your belief doesn't make my story any less true. Chet knows who I am too, we talk about kitties :3

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    18. This is a cool forum when it doesn't deteriorate into personal insults. Both of you are bright people who make me think. Trust in a chat group is kind of an idealistic goal bc we all choose carefully what to reveal. But just because we don't have some sort of foolproof way to gauge sincerity doesn't mean there's no point in the dialogue.
      For what it's worth, both of you have helped me understand that what outsiders may interpret to be evil or pathological is actually self protectiveness that is very reasonable. I've also learned that SW is a community with only a minority of sociopaths. Or if I am misreading things and you all are mostly sociopaths my big take away is that the label of "sociopath" is kind of extreme, because most of this community (while at times more capable of sophisticated analysis) really just seem like a cross section of humanity.
      There are trolls, people who've been badly hurt, teenage idiots who say things for attention, and people I really respect who seem to be on a path of self exploration. It would be a shame if everyone bailed on an interesting community.

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    19. Chet, come here, pls, tell me your version...

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    20. "If I wanted to get away from everthing...."

      Ted Kaczynski's words circa 1969.

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    21. Whether I stay or go is partly determined by Emmie, and partly by whether or not interesting people continue to comment. If I start to feel like I'm the only one talking in an empty room, it's time to leave. Are you getting bored Mach, saying goodbye?

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    22. not bored- still an interesting group- I think I've missed too much backstory to make a judgment call on any of this- just hate to see random posters declaring that SW is "over"

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    23. Anyone that was going to leave because it got boring would have left when all the book stuff was coming. I think Emmie was just busy, but I at least appreciate it when she puts more of herself into her posts and personalizes them.

      Oh well, I learned that I apparently despise hobos. That's something!

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    24. That's funny. And random. And reminds me that once my son (then about 6) tried to think up the meanest insult he could because he didn't like the more conservative clothes I bought for work (I am a jeans/baseball cap type). His response to corporate Mommy (caught on film) was "I hate you. You look like a hobo." so at least you know you're not alone :)

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    25. Nope, I to hate hobos Andy. I feel that they are simply leeches on society and they shall have nothing from me

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    26. Many socios are parasites of others. Not that different.

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  6. This place is dead but I had fun while it lasted

    tata

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    1. I had so many people try to run me off and I dug in my heels but with all these boring people, you got your wish.

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    2. Yeah, you must really miss those stimulating posts from Rich saying 'Good morning Sociopath World...'

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    3. I miss Rich a lot, actually.

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    4. You know Rich is not his real name Monica, it's his American nickname. His real name is Masud and he's Palestinian.

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    5. Then why does he look like Richard Kuklinski if he is Palestinian? Kuklinski doesn't look very Palestinian.

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    6. I thought he had that redneck mentality. :)

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    7. Good one Anon 11:55.

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    8. His father hails from Newark - might explain the resemblance to Kuklinski.

      It kinda freaked me out this morning to see that ME is reading Housekeeping at exactly the same time as me :D

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  7. Transients welcomed in any capasity? Well, I suppose if they're good
    looking under all that dirt. If it's only a matter of making a few
    "corrective" alterations. If they look like Brad Pitt after the shower
    and shave. Then, good things can be done for them, mainly to share your
    bed.
    By and large however, the reaction to the transient is best typified by
    a song titled: "When You're Strange," by the Doors.
    Bums make people nervous. It might be because unconsciencely they realize,
    "There but for the grace of God goes me!" and "We've got to protect our
    daughters from this raff! little are they aware of the raff that their
    daughters volentary subject themselves to!
    Getting off topic a bit; Did you ever see a film called "Last Summer?"
    It was a critically acclamed study of three sociopathic teens who just
    graduated High School, spending thier final summer vacation on N.Y.'s
    Fire Island before entering the wider world.
    Two boys are led by a "Queen Bee" type sociopath who directs them to do
    her bidding. She has all the traits that you described about yourself in
    your book. Cold, manipulative and setting people up to be hurt.
    The movie came out in 1969 and was much ahead of it's time. I think you
    might reckonise yourself in the character. Also, I think the best
    recent movie about sociopaths is "We Have To Talk About Kevin." It's
    a "textbook" type account about events leading up to a slaughter in a
    school. Once the boy's parents realize that "denial" is not a river in
    Egypt he explodes.

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  8. Theme for Anon 11:55






    * PS You may notice this song was given to UKan and Asshead, too.

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    Replies
    1. Although I'm a regular, I don't understand the concept of Themes here. Can you explain please.

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    2. A person gets a Theme when Themes can get enough of a feel for them to give one.

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    3. Ok so the Feral Friday Theme was for Anon 11:55?

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    4. No, The Feral Friday was just a cute way I name the days of the week. It is not related to the Theme.

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    5. sociopath sunday coming up!

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  9. Interesting note. In fact, one of the more interesting things one the matter.

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  10. ..since pity and charity may be at root an attempt to propitiate the dark powers that have not touched us yet

    altruism driven by fear? or self loathing?

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  11. Anonymous @ 12:19 writes: " Interesting but
    erroneous. She went to college at BYU but
    teaches at St Mary’s Law School in Texas."

    No. She apparently has an offer from BYU that may or may not be rescinded. This is what the other poster (not me) was talking about: http://abovethelaw.com/2013/05/sources-and-dr-phil-offer-insights-author-of-confessions-of-a-sociopath-who-might-be-this-law-professor/

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    1. I stand corrected. Not exactly Ivy league, either of em. I looked up Jane at Irell & Manella. No sign of mottled skin and poor hygiene - suspect ME just being bitchy.

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  12. It will be next-to-impossible for BYU to rescind the offer based on Confessions. They're in some predicament! ME would have been well advised to wait until she'd actually begun the academic year.

    It would be great if at some stage she posted here about how exactly the shit hit the fan following publication.

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  13. BYU has fired even tenured professors in the past for purportedly not living up to the university's religious tenets. ( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_freedom_at_Brigham_Young_University) It's been a matter of controversy in the past, but I suspect the university will rely on something similar here (indeed, I suspect that's where their objections lie anyway, to stuff about the Mormon Church contained in Confessions). If there's a lawsuit, I'll be interested in seeing what happens, though they could also reach a settlement and deny readers of Above The Law their vicarious thrills.

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    Replies
    1. How are they going to prove she wrote it?!!

      Alternatively, she has been back-pedalling furiously here on the socio bad ass since Dr Phil; that might work. They're quasi-Christians aren't they, doesn't that involve turning the other cheek?

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  14. "How are they going to prove she wrote it?!!" This is the kind of thing that comes out through discovery, if it does. Note that the standards for civil suits are a bit lower--it's not like they need to get to the "beyond a reasonable doubt" criminal standard that so many folks bring up because they get their law from television. And my understanding is that the law for rescinding employment contracts in at-will states (as Utah is) is also a bit laxer than for termination, though the specifics of this will depend on the actual employment contract here and representations made during the process, as well as the nuances of Utah law.

    Besides, if she's going to claim that BYU can't rescind their offer because she didn't really write the book, that's going to look pretty wimpy in terms of promoting the book.

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    1. What are you talking about??? The book is being promoted on the basis that the author is anonymous. Are you 100% certain that you know who wrote it?

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    2. This can be verified if there is a law suit.

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  15. Is Jessi real or bait?

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    1. What makes you think I'm not real?

      Jessi

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    2. Why aren't the regulars engaging you?

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  16. It's hard to be "100 percent anonymous" when you go on Dr. Phil with just a wig and makeup, and people recognize you. Turns out, a few friends of mine recognized her from conferences, so yes, I'm pretty sure that's her. There's a weird bit of irony even, in terms of her failure on Dr. Phil to use any vocal disguise and her own article (probably the one with the strongest potential, though what she published lacked real analytical backbone) on how listeners respond to cadence, etc., versus composition.

    Plus, as someone else pointed out, if there's a lawsuit, this'll all come out. That's what the civil discovery process is for.

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    1. Dr Phil was a mistake. Could be costly. It was either psychopathic recklessness or ME wants to come out. She could probably corner the market as a pundit on psychopathy since it's not exactly a crowded arena (ie psychopaths who are open about their disorder). Wonder if she'll get an invite from Oprah.

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    2. If it were me (and I'm an empth albeit one with my own recklessness issues) and it was a toss up between withering away as a law professor in some two-bit college in Utah and coming out as a psychopath - being asked to write and comment extensively on it, and have a bit of fun, I know which option I'd pick.

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  17. When I was 13 years of age I went and lived on the streets for three years due to the fact that my mother was mentally ill and there was nothing keeping me at home.
    Some folks out there are mentally ill, but don't forget that there are alot of kids being used and abused on the streets.
    As for folks who attack sociopaths...I think that it is a spectrum disease. I was diagnosed with it when I was younger, but over the past two decades I keep myself in check to make sure that I do no harm if possible (well if someone cuts me off in traffic, I will say a few things)...
    This is not something that I love being. Not having emotion...or knowing how to act. There was a woman at work who lost her husband after several years of marriage...I felt nothing. I did make sure that we took up a collection, got food sent over, made sure that her closest friends were given the day off so that they could be with her...but it was done to be human. I did not get anything out of it-it was just the right thing to do.
    It seems that some folks like attacking this disorder as if everyone is lumped together.
    I am 100% social at work because it is required. I have to take breaks to breathe. I love my partner, but have to take a solo vacation sometimes.
    What I am trying to say is that some of us do not look for prey, but realize that we have this thing.
    This site fascinates me. As for the professor, she will survive just fine.
    The one benefit of being a sociopath is that you are very keyed into yourself...like a business and you see ahead as to what can hurt you. Moves are done accordingly

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    1. I salute you. What motivates you to rein yourself in? I know someone similar and her religion seems to be the main thing keeping her on the straight and narrow.

      How can you say "not having emotion" and "I love my partner" in the same breath?

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  18. Jamie Rebecca Lund is the registered owner of Sociopath World. these things are very easy to trace.

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