Thursday, November 1, 2007

you're a female serial killer

So I borrowed (read: stole) from Vikram a book on female serial killers. I was okay until I got to the curry-stained chapter on women who partner with their boyfriends and husbands in order to rape, torture, and kill other women. That's when I realized that Vikram is a female serial killer.

The curry stains are solid evidence. And Melanie, by association (she's married to Vikram), is also a female serial killer. She laughed when I explained this to her, thereby providing me with further evidence. "Anti-social personality disorder," I silently noted.

A couple of flaws in my theory: neither of them really have time for any extensive killing sprees, what with all the mild-mannered teaching they do. Plus, my dog likes them, and aren't pets the first to be dismembered? Another thing. As a single woman who Melanie met on a wilderness trail, wouldn't I have been the first to go?

And thinking it through, the fact that I was eating a bowl of cereal while reading the section on Karla Homolka implicates me as well. I'm a female serial killer!

And so are you. See, this is the big trouble I have with porn. (I know, my mind is capable of making giant, unsubstantiated leaps, try to keep up.) If porn gets creepy, which porn is often wont to do, then I feel like I get creepy with it. The serial killer chapter that got to me was the one that started out to be about sex and then devolved into violent, icky, horrible, murderous sex. (Not that I shouldn't have seen that "coming," so to speak.)

It's just that I'd rather have a clear delineation between my own human emotions and those of monstrous killers. I don't want to think, "Yeah, if I'd been abused like that as a kid, I'd be pissed, too." I want to be like those British 19th century explorers, talking about natives as though they were animals. Or those lab technicians, talking about animals as though they were objects. I want to separate myself. I want to be better. I want to be unassailable. I can't do that while I'm consuming serial killer infotainment. Reading about victim disposal while petting your dog? C'mon, how "lack of empathy" can you get?

On the flip side, it's pretty intellectually freeing to be able to read and think and learn about anything you want. Some of the most haunting novels I've read are politically incorrect (Their Eyes Were Watching God comes to mind). And there's nothing I love more than pop songs, like Tracy Chapman's "For My Lover," or the Gin Blossoms, "Hey Jealousy," that side with the loserish character.

Real life (as well as good art) is messy and interesting. Sometimes you find yourself empathizing with the serial killer.

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