RakeJ4 wrote:Cyndi? Why on Earth would she want to be fixed? Aside from this setback she's doing GREAT with her life! She'll probably manage to turn this into her having the upper hand if she hasn't already. Even with the boredom because the PennAggites are cracking down on her, she found ways to mess with people. Even if someone did recognize this and got her professional help- she'd tell the person what they want to hear and no progress would be made.
How much have the 'good guys' tried really cracking down on her? I mean, really cracking down on her, I mean.
I don't know what you mean.
Charlotte got caught multiple times but didn't start improving until recently. The primary factor in her growth and redemption seems - shockingly enough - to be her screen time, another big reason I'm leery of just writing her off.
You are reversing cause and effect. She got screen time because there was a story of growth to be told with her. One set up from the moment right near the start of her character when she looked into a mirror and shouted "You're disgusting!" Cyndi's been getting just as much screen time. Her story just happens to be one that isn't about redemption...successful or not.
quote]Actions can be controlled. Your basic personality isn't something you get to pick.
Actions can be controlled, but if your basic personality which you don't get to pick guides you only towards a suite of awful actions to choose from, where exactly is the choice, Davidj?[/quote]
Why obviously it lies in choosing which bad things to do, and when the risk outweighs the amusement value.
That's just one very easy from-the-hip example of the shades-of-gray you're missing here.
It's not that I'm missing it. It's that I'm rejecting the whole premise that someone who has a sadistic streak combined with a lack of conscience, shame or empathy is not evil just because they have a nature that inclines them to be unfeeling and downright cruel all the time. This does not strike me as a shade of grey. It strikes me as an expanse of blackest night. Charlotte (and her mother) have shades of grey. I say this even though Charlotte has done things that are as bad or worse than anything Cyndi has done or in fact is likely to do. Charlotte has a conscience, inner pain and oedipal traumas. Stuff that makes her complicated and excites a certain amount of sympathy in me even as I recognize that she has to be stopped.
Some people do evil. Some people are evil.
Shrinks are just inclined to frame everything that makes people troublesome as being an "illness".
Yeah, I thought so. It's just as much a mistake to overprescribe psychiatry as it is to overcriticize it, because of course shrinks aren't so inclined. They're a widely varying group of people just like any other, and can't be so handily categorized.
"inclined" does not mean "without exception".
Cyndi is fundamentally a rational person. She has no more delusions than average person, and probably fewer than most. She has no great childhood traumas, no inner pain that she needs to pass on to others and that could be soothed with psychoanalysis and separation. She just feels powerful and dominant when she sees that she's hurt someone and she likes the feeling. That's not rare among teenagers. It's what makes high school such a special place. She just has more of it than the average teenage girl. Than five average teenage girls put together. Than ten.
In this group of thoughts, let's examine the unverified, irrelevant, or simply wrong as a question of fact statements. One, yes, Cyndi is rational, but that's irrelevant. Rationality or irrationality isn't the problem.
It was earlier when you were suggesting that Cyndi fit into the crazy category. It's the line I was drawing between Charlotte and Cyndi. Charlotte is not very rational. So far as I can gather, Cyndi is at least as rational as I am. Probably more. I feel a lot of irrational guilt. Never a problem for Cyndi.
Two, we've no idea how many delusions she does or doesn't have.
Untrue. It would be true to say that it is possible that she possesses some quirks that have not yet been revealed to us, especially about her father. But we've had plenty of looks inside Cyndi's head and we've seen her in operation so we have some idea about how accurately she can read other people and figure out what makes them tick. Therefore we have some idea how many delusions she doesn't have. She doesn't, for example, have delusions that prevented her from understanding without sharing Duane's mixture of adolescent lust and idealistic desire to redeem people, Stan's conflicting ego and love of Brandi, or Michelle's overly media-influenced self-image.
Three, we have no idea at all what sort of childhood trauma she might or might not have, or inner pain.
We've had enough looks into her head that "no idea" is a radical overstatement.
Four, we don't really know how rare sadism is among teenagers, or if it's as indiscriminate as you suggest,
I know how many people found the tears of others to be funny as I was growing up.
Nah. I feel much more superior to crazy people than I do to evil people.
I'm not sure if you're joking or not (given the things you've said on these subjects, anyway), but you shouldn't feel superior to crazy people at all. It's not as though they picked being crazy. As well to feel superior for being tall or something.
Why can't I feel superior for being tall? (Well, apart from being distinctly not.) There are big advantages to being tall. I think you are stretching.
No, Charlotte has a slavering monster in her brain. She's the one with all that rage and fear and inner conflict. Cyndi's just empty, devoid of feelings like guilt or sympathy.
Oh, OK. You're one of those readers, the one who says to the author, "No, what you wrote about your own character is wrong, despite it being in black and white. Cyndi doesn't have a monster in her brain, even if she is plainly portrayed as having one."
Oh, is that plain?
I didn't say that they denied there's such a thing as moral responsibility. I said they define a lack of moral responsibility (not just doing something that's wrong, but not caring whether anything the subject does is wrong) as a mental illness.
No, that's not what you said.
Specifically what I said was that they defined being evil as a mental illness. That has nothing to do with moral responsibility.
Evil people aren't morally responsible. They don't respond at all to appeals to morality.