Some thoughts on the nature of evil

“Civilized people cannot fathom, much less predict, the actions of evil people.”
-Ñ Ed Evans, MGySgt, USMC (Ret.)

I disagree strongly with that statement, and with the sentiment and misunderstanding that motivates it.

This statement is deeply, profoundly wrong, because it caters to the illusion of the average man: I am not evil. Other people are evil. Evil is something foreign; it is a mysterious, unseeable, unknowable force that informs the actions of others. Civilized people like me are not evil; in fact, evil is so unknowable, so Other, so Alien that civilized people like me can never even hope to comprehend it.


Evil is a part of all of us. It lives inside each and every one of us. It shapes and influences who we are as human beings. In its measure, it defines us. Civilized people certainly CAN fathom evil; indeed; civilized people can BECOME evil.

And the fact that people cling to the naive comfort of the illusion that they are not evil, they can never be evil, they can never know evil, is exactly what makes it happen.

The guards at the Nazi concentration camps were not monsters. They were not psychopaths; psychopaths make poor soldiers. They were not insane; they were not uncivilized barbarians. They were ordinary people, just like you and me. They perpetrated monstrous acts of atrocity because they were tricked into believing their actions were good. They could not recognize their own evil for what it was.

Just as we civilized Americans were tricked into evil when we created concentration camps of our own for Japanese Americans during WWII.

Evil has a thousand justifications, a thousand rationales. It isn’t my problem. I have to do it. I’m under orders. I am not the one to question. I’ll be forgiven. They are bad, not me. I am doing what is necessary. I am doing what is right.

You want to fathom evil? Don’t look at terrorists and Nazi; smell yourself. Look inside your own heart. You’ll find evil there, better believe it. And if you deny it, you make yourself a tool of those who would use the evil within you for their own ends.

The only way to defeat evil is to know that evil is a part of you. It isn’t foreign and unfathomable; it exists within you, and me, and every other person who has ever lived. If you know your own capacity for evil, understand it, know the shape and form of the darkest part of your heart, then you can never be tricked by it, you can never be surprised by it, you can recognize it for what it is.

But that’s scary. It’s terrifying to look into yourself and see the monster within you. Far more comfortable and safe to believe that evil is Out There, is some crazy Arab or some homicidal Nazi, but never, ever, ever YOU.

You want to believe evil is unfathomable? Fine. Don’t be surprised when your circumstance changes and you find yourself commiting the atrocity.

Which is better…

…a box of sex, or a box of meat?

Once upon a time, lordfuckbeast went out to eat, and came back with a take-home box filled with meat. A large take-home box. And indeed, his box of meat was a metaphor for decadent excess for many months.

There is, no doubt, a very carnal pleasure to be had from possessing a box of meat. The phrase even SOUNDS animalistic–“box of meat.”

Yesterday, the box of sex toys I ordered to go along with Symphony arrived. A very large box of sex toys. So large, there is something almost divine in its excess.

I like the idea of a box of sex better than the idea of a box of meat. lordfuckbeast claims this is because I don’t fully appreciate meat–which is not entirely true. I do appreaciate meat, though not in a “steak and potatoes” kind of way–more in a “McDonald’s, Wendys, pepperoni pizza” kind of way. Nevertheless, he prefers his box of meat, I prefer my box of sex.

Random thoughts on relationships

Her: You know, Frankin, your ideal girlfriend is probably a marriage-minded, monogamous lesbian.

This seems to have been a trend: many of the women in my life are women who wouldn’t appear, on first glance, to be well-suited to me. They’re monogamous by nature, or they’re lesbian by nature…

Lori is monogamous by nature. This is making our relationship very difficult, in no small measure because kellyv is not comfortable with the idea of me having a monogamous girlfriend. Lori, naturally, is not overjoyed at the prospect of sharing me, and I am not thrilled with the distance between us–I’ve never been good at long-distance relationships.

I’ve always been attracted to people who are different from me. Maybe it’s because I have more to learn from someone who’s different from me than from someone who’s just like me…or maybe it’s because I like surprises. I’ve also always thrived on chaos; defined roles in a relationship have never been important to me. Unfortunately, they are important to Lori, and to Kelly.

And yet, for all that, I still haven’t given up on the idea of finding a way to make this work for everyone. So does that make me determined, or foolish?

Trivia Question of the Day

What does the Xero Magazine Web site, the site for the small-press literary magazine that lordfuckbeast and I publish, have in common with the National Organization for Women; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University; the “Lloyd Doggett for Congress” Web site; A-1 Radiators of Seattle, Washington; the Holocaust Memorial Project; the Department of Astronomy at Smith Community College; The Odyssey, the ancient epic poem by Homer; the Info-Mall T-shirt shop; the British Conservative Party; the official Liza Minelli fan Web site; the Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights; the Washington, DC Disability Guide organization; The Navarra, Spain chapter of the Red Cross; Keep America Beautiful; and the Jewish Teen Center of New York City?

Give up?

Things & Stuff


Celebration with kellyv, lordfuckbeast, and scarlete. Why, you ask? Because Symphony is finally complete (and selling!), and we’ve received official notification that our patent is now in the works. Yes! It’s been a long, hard, expensive road to get this far.

My computer room has been turned into a miniature assembly plant for Symphonies.

Also yesterday:

Went and saw “8-Legged Freaks” with my friend K. Nobody else wanted to see it–too bad, too, because it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a very long time.

Go see it! No, really, I mean it. It’s highly entertaining. The bit with the cat (you’ll know it when you see it) is hysterical.