I’m fascinated by hypocrisy. I automatically dislike it, because we’re taught that it’s duplicitous, but I’m definitely a hypocrite myself. My disdain is, in itself, hypocritical.
If I see someone obese pushing unhealthy food into their mouths, rest assured that the inside of my head is far from a judgement-free zone in that moment. I don’t know their life. I don’t know their story. But even though I keep it to myself… I disapprove. And yet the first two things I ate today were a Jaffa Cake bar thing, and an entire mini-tray of chocolate-dipped brownie bites.
I’m funny, but I often lose the ability to laugh at myself. Generous, but I never give to beggars on the street, despite how miserable and needy they look. Clever, but I flunked out of university and can’t ever remember how to figure our percentages.
I’m convinced of the value of experiencing different perspectives to avoid living in a bubble, but I refuse to travel and I work in a building full of people mostly like me. Middle class white cis nerds with t-shirts that generally involve a pun, an eighties reference, or a mash-up of Star Wars and Pokemon in some way.
I’m lots of different things in any given moment, and it often depends on the social context. I imagine most people are the same way.
You know the cliche of the serial killer who was “always so good to his mother”? Well, when you send him to prison, you send both bits.
What if… What if you could only send the psychopath, and leave the family man alone? What if prison was mental rather than physical?
What if could could isolate different fragments of personality like that, and forcibly separate them from the core identity?
Could you take everything that made him a killer, and psychologically lock it away somehow? What would be left? Would it still be enough to constitute a whole person? What does “a whole person” even mean? Would the cancer of murderous impulse return no matter what?