MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
As you all remember we kicked off October with a rather chilling show. We heard a ghostly message as we were listening to sounds from the sun. It became an exercise in paranormal intrigue and many people agreed that it certainly was bizarre.
However, there is another part of Halloween that a lot of people tend to think about and that is the psychotic killers we watch in the movies. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Meyers come to mind whenever people want to talk about what terrified them growing up.
Something that lurks in the dark wielding a knife or a chainsaw is always good for theatrical scares but there is something I think that is far more terrifying.
The psychopath that you do not know. That quite unassuming nebbish or old maid that you least suspect going about their day, entertaining those dark thoughts about what they want to do to people they don’t agree with.
He or she can be anyone. The person who walks their dog every day, the mailman, the neighbor that smiles and says hello. Isn’t it always that guy? You know that guy who they find has his mother in the freezer and a house full of cats, some of them dead.
You always hear on the news, people who say, “he was always friendly, he never bothered anyone, it is such a shock that these things happen in the neighborhood.”
I don’t know if anyone remembers that old Twilight Zone episode called “Button Button.”
It is about a couple that is struggling to make rent, they are looking for a break and then a knock comes to the door.
They open it and there is a black box with a huge red button on it and a note that says Mr. Steward will come visit. Then, just as the note said, a smartly dressed stranger who introduces himself as Mr. Steward comes to their door.
He explains to the woman in the house that he has a key to the box and explains that if they press the button, then two things will happen; they will receive $200,000 in cash, but, consequently, someone “whom they don’t know” will die.
After the stranger leaves, the man and the woman wonder whether Steward’s proposal is genuine, and they debate whether to press the button. The woman rationalizes that they could make good use of the money and that the one who dies might be an old Chinese peasant or a person with cancer. The man hypothesizes that pressing the button could cause the death of an innocent baby. They open the box and discover it to be empty, with no mechanism that the button could for whatever purpose activate.
After arguing over what to do the woman pushes the button.
The next day, Mr. Steward returns and takes back the box, giving the shocked couple a briefcase with the $200,000. The woman asks what we should do with the money, to which Steward remarks that they should spend it. The woman also asks what will happen to the box and Steward replies that the button will be “reprogrammed” and offered to someone else with the same terms and conditions. Just before leaving, Steward focuses on woman and ominously states, “I can assure you it will be offered to someone whom you don’t know”.
When faced with the pressures we are in today, there are some people that are at their wits end. All around us we are seeing nightmares play out every day and with these nightmares there are people all around us that are using these times as an excuse to be monsters.
I am beginning to notice behaviors in people, especially on social media that spit in the face of morality.
I guess it comes with the territory, there are those rare occasions when I get harassing e-mails or posts in my personal inbox that can rattle me.
“You disgusting, depraved puerile pig. Last night on your scurrilous radio show, you said you were done not saying the ‘truth’ about COVID. You’re prepared to lie to your unfortunate listeners. You’re prepared to watch them become infected, and die.
Does it occur to you that the entire WORLD is experiencing this pandemic? How do you explain an entire planet participating in a conspiracy?
Give it up. Whomever believes your incredibly stupid B.S. is at risk. And you are responsible for their suffering and death, you ridiculous moron, while you couch surf your idols Levin, Gallagher, Prager, Hannity, Carlson.
How much money are you greedily grabbing from the deaths of your listeners?”
I was surprised that the person who dropped this in my box was a college educated woman from Chicago.
I sent off a nasty reply using some very colorful language saying that I am not political and that I do research and give facts to my audience.
I said for her to not write me again.
After a few weeks, I get this little gem today:
“Hmmm… wondering what you’re thinking now about your boy and his succumbing to the pandemic you’ve denied? Please, take as long as you need. And explore everything you can, with whatever you can, based on your rather poor 8th grade education.”
Now mind you this woman was sending me harassing posts before saying that I am a murderer for putting out conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and so when she states that “My boy has succumbed to COVID-19 I immediately became worried. I thought that perhaps my son Mitchell had come down with it – or that someone was threatening my family.
After I had a cup of coffee to clear my head I realized that she meant President Trump.
I breathed a sigh of relief and then I got angry because I realized that this woman was insinuating that I supported Trump and that it was the impression of this psychopath that I have denied that the virus exists or that I have been saying that it is a hoax.
What I have been giving are the facts about recovery rates, mortality rates and how the media has overblown this pandemic and that there are people like this woman that have decided that the disease is political and pretend that their mask wearing and adhering to what they call science is heroic and valuable.
I am very sorry that the President has COVID-19 and I am concerned about national security now that he has it – it is women like this and others like her that make me realize the COVID-19 is now an excuse for psychopaths to come out of the woodwork.
It has also given an excuse for those with criminal minds to get away with crimes that in the past would guarantee them jail time. We now seem to be living with those who have a Wild West mentality where anything goes especially when comes to how we treat people.
I am reminded of a book by Harlan Ellison called “Strange Wine” where he shares a short story called “Hitler Painted Roses.”
Basically, the doors of Hell open. Infamous characters escape. Though seated by the portal, Adolf Hitler is so entranced by painting roses on the walls of Hell that he does not bother to escape.
All of the notorious killers and maniacs and dictators are free for only a short time. Then, they are all pulled back into their places inside of Hell. All except one woman who escapes because she has unfinished business.
Now, I won’t give away the plot because the story is 15 pages give or take but I always loved that title because when we think of Hitler, we always remember how much of a psychopath he was but what is most disconcerting is you never would have known because he was an artist who often painted roses.
There are always those among us who we never suspect are ugly inside thinking of creative ways they wish to kill those who disagree with them.
I immediately thought that this woman that was sending me these posts probably goes about her day—talking to friends, being polite and is a fairly normal individual. However, her politics have made her ugly—she hides her psychopathy well.
Or maybe not.
When I was younger I was into low budget horror films. When I got older I published a horror fanzine and I was able to rent out a theater to show some old 70’s grindhouse movies. I showed “Don’t Look in the Basement and “Beyond the Door”.
The film, Beyond the Door, was a rip off of the Exorcist, however, it opens with a narrative in the beginning. The voice is a British man who says:
“Ladies and gentlemen:
May I ask for your attention just for a minute soon you’ll be caught up in the events taking place on the screen and then you will forget about me well almost anyway.
You see I must confess to a certain feeling of propriety towards the story that’s about to begin because you’re modest though it may sound I play an extremely important part in proceedings in fact without me there really wouldn’t be any story at all of course you won’t actually see me unfortunately in recent centuries that has gone out of fashion there was a time when I’m always being painted or Impersonated in one way or another and as you know I’ve always been given the best lines, however like all of us I’d have to learn to adapt to what is absurdly called a rational age and I’ve done so by well shall we say by going underground and no doubt some of you will be rationalists the skeptics will say like the little girl in this picture that what you can’t see can’t exist.
Well my friends you go on thinking that as long as you care because sooner or later one way or another you’ll discover your mistake.
Any way now I’ll leave you alone in the dark and let my little story take over enjoy yourself but don’t forget that the stranger sitting on seat next to you could be me.”
As you watch, you realize that the man speaking to the audience is the devil and that you never know who you come in contact with on a day to day basis.
As Jesus can appear to be a beggar looking for bread – The devil has a way of disguising himself inside a person and here is where you get the basis for many of those horror movies where people are the cruelest to their fellow man.
In the book Inside the Criminal Mind and The Myth of the Out of Character Crime criminologist Dr. Stanton E. Samenow conceptualizes and gives credence to the specific traits and behaviors of the ‘criminal mind’.
He not only illustrates the thinking processes involved in law-breaking and antisocial behavior, but also however unintentionally instructs the more normally oriented of us of the self-entitlement one can and should be wary of.
If we look at our own character structure in these times of COVID-19 and the political upheaval we are in at the moment there are many people who do not realize that their various entitlements of hate for the sake of hating breeds the same types of behaviors that are seen in criminals.
It all begins somewhere, and when we see radical hatred being spread all over because of identity politics, racial discrimination, and the fear of being infected with some sort of disease we begin to see something worse that a viral pandemic—we start to see a pandemic of lack of morality.
We must all take into consideration our behaviors and how we react to people who we have differences with.
It is important to look at how historical and current cultural and political landscapes have, and do still, feed the criminal mind. Through political indoctrination and ideology this sickness glorifies, popularizes and normalizes pathological thinking and, like a virus, is emulated and adopted across all strata of society.
At the moment we are seeing political skirmishes and fights over mask wearing and now with President Trump getting COVID-19 we are hearing from the hateful that he and his followers all deserve death.
Now many people I am sure feel that this is harmless, but there are those that take their anger to the next level and this is where we begin to see that masked chainsaw wielding maniacs are by far tame to the so-called normal mild mannered individual who resorts to subtle terror attacks and gas lighting.
There all seems to be bad faith being spread about the big lie – the big lie is that what is happening is all about your health – it is mostly political.
Lewis Carrol wrote a passage in “Through the Looking Glass” that sums up what we are experiencing today:
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle”
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel; which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
However – if we update it to fit our political environment it would say something like this.
So Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Had their scrum
All about the rattle.
When it was done
Only the dumb
Gave a damn about their battle”
Mendacity is what breeds this kind of hate – and some people are more than willing to allow untruthfulness to shape their angry views and eventually dark triad behavior.
What these entitled psychopaths in training forget is that this world is full of love and beauty.
This world does not belong exclusively to them or whomever has hurt them or disagrees with them politically. It is not the problem of those that believe in human dignity that they have decided to be complacently obedient. They most certainly are not the owners of everyone’s descriptions of things and ways to think.
Regardless of whether or not you believe in President Trump or Joe Biden, the idea of pining for a leader’s death because he has COVID-19 or has feigned invincibility is not healthy at all. Making excuses for bad behavior because you see one man as a tyrant does not make you entitled, encouraging that his followers die too is sick and twisted.
It is true that some of the people who preach a moral high ground are the same people who were jubilant about the fact that the President and all who he associated with are now getting sick.
This also reminds me of caller who called into my show who wanted to praise the fact that Ruth Bator Ginsburg had died – I hung up on him and banned him from calling the show.
We should hold ourselves to a higher moral standard but alas we are seeing that this pandemic is breeding resentment and fatigue.
Several papers recently published in the journal ‘Brain, Behavior, and Immunity’ highlighted some of the profound psychological impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having worldwide. As people are repeatedly exposed, through personal experiences and media consumption, to anxiety-provoking topics related to this growing health crisis, it is vital for health professionals, researchers, and policy makers to be able to recognize the clinical signs of dysfunctional thought processes.
The constant bombardment by the media of death tolls, show trials and political editorial about the disease is contributing to distress and functional impairment.
Studies have shown that COVID-19 fear and anxiety is contributing to a host of issues, ranging from drugs/alcohol coping to thoughts of suicide and dark thoughts about political rivals.
We come into the world as a tiny new baby and instantly start making choices. We choose who to trust; counting on people to love us, helping us to grow and be strong in the world.
Life can be harsh, even horrible, but the choices you make about how you’ll live your life is critical. Either you’ll choose to live as a hero — someone who perseveres, moves forward through any physical and mental tests or you’ll live as a victim, blaming the world for your troubles.
Certainly, there are real victims who have no control over their circumstances. We hear about victims of war, earthquakes, rape, and attempted murder, people that are abused and born into extreme poverty.
Most people have full lives and everyday things happen. You wake up, you work or play or meet up with friends. You have lunch. Your three o’clock cocktail, your caffeine crash, the overall routine.
Most people get through their days hoping to avoid drama in their lives. Other people draw it to them and they are addicted to it like a drug.
There are those who have successes and failures, troubles and happiness, obstacles to overcome and things to celebrate. One minute you’re on top of the world because you won money from a scratch ticket, and the next you’re cursing because your email was hacked.
This is life.
There is no excuse for the type of behavior I have been witnessing lately – it is like a horror movie where you have to be extra careful with who you are dealing with.
You never know what will trigger them.
We need to realize that we can’t go on allowing people to demand that we fear the same ghosts they do and hate the same people they wish to debase.