Psychology Addict # 62 | Joker & Frankeinstein – A Matter of Identity.

in #psychologylast year (edited)

Joker Featured - BS.png

Nobody wants to think how it feels like to be the other guy.
Joker.

Disclaimer – (1) This is not a movie (Joker) or book (Frankenstein) review. (2) This is not a character analysis. (3) It contains spoilers.

My husband and I went to watch *Joker* in the cinema last week. While watching it I couldn’t help drawing parallels between the green-haired clown and Mary Shirley’s infamous character from the book Frankenstein. For, both Joker and Frankenstein were pushed to the fringes of society for not particularly fitting in.

In many ways they equally struggled in their search for an identity. Their (sub) existence are solely fuelled by hopes and dreams, which are painfully shattered over and over again as they journey through life. Joker and Frankenstein similarly look for emotional shelter under the safety of a father figure, also to no avail. Until finally, they both step into a world of distance and darkness.

In search of an Identity.

It’s the interaction with others as well as with the world that builds the basis for an individual’s understanding of who he is. This is a dynamic that largely contributes to an ongoing process of self-identity discovery and formation. And it’s when a person feels such relationships are fragile or broken that feelings of not belonging arise [1].

The thin threads that connected Joker to society were his job and the social service which provided him with medical and counselling support, as he suffers from mental health problems. As for Frankenstein, this thread was a poor family. After a long time observing their lives Frankenstein assumed those people’s unprejudiced hearts would allow them to overlook his ‘detestable figure’ and take him in for the kindness and compassion he nurtured in his soul.

But, sadly, Joker lost his job and social services came to a halt. And the family members stoned Frankenstein and fled after laying their eyes on his image. Upon the realisation of the humiliating event Frankenstein says “when they departed, they broke the only link that held me to the world”.

Restoring Bridges.

Erickson [2] argues that when such connections are broken, stability is lost. Consequently, uncertainty and conflict between the internal and external world of the person arises. Interestingly, though, McLean et. al’s [3] study findings, points to the tendency people have of reconciling the self with the social world when they sense a conflict between the two.

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A side note: according to Kozoll and Osborne [4] science can be a means for such reconciliation! As science has the ability to bring people together, connect them to the world and become a perspective from which the world can be seen. Their research revealed, for instance, that through science, students of minority groups (e.g. immigrants) not only found their identity and sense of self, but also meaning and purpose.

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Now, is it possible that some individuals turn to criminal behaviour as a means to achieve such reconciliation? One that grants them a place in the world and a sense of existence?

It was only through committing a murder that Joker became noticed, on being noticed he answered a life-long question: “My whole life, I never knew if I ever existed. But I do. And people are starting to notice". Similar to Frankenstein, who by way of his killings acquired a sense of control, to which he stated: “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Madness & Badness.

Frankeinstein = BS.png

If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.
The Creature.

From the perspective of others, however, both personages have always had very well defined identities: Joker is mad, and Frankenstein is bad. Schirman [5] explains that those are popular shorthand terms that reflect the general judgement surrounding mental health problems and criminal behaviour.

Joker is a man trying to find his way into society. But, his poverty as well as unique traits (e.g. uncontrollable laughter) greatly hold him back. And the place where he is held is regarded to be one of madness. Of course, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz [6] would fully disagree with this. For, he was sceptical of psychiatric diagnosis.

His argument was that such diagnosis are based on symptoms (e.g. what an individual does and says) only. Something which consequently lends an illegitimate medical approach to psychological differences seen in society. So, he invited professionals to view such distinctions as a result of life’s problems and difficulties. Personally, I am very fond of Szasz’s views (I have my objections to them too, but they’re beyond the scope of this post). Mostly because the way people are viewed by society has a powerful influence on the way they are treated by it.

Social Treatment.

Take Frankenstein, for example. In the book, Frankenstein is actually the surname of scientist Victor, the man who brought this creation to life. But, abandoned it as soon as he “beheld the wretch – the miserable monster he had created.”

Indeed, since the book has been written, the public has addressed Victor’s creation based on moral judgement conclusions. Those who sympathise with it, refer to it as “creature”, “being”. They also excuse its crimes. However, those who do not, regard it as a “monster”, a “fiend” and treat him as such.

Further, it’s important to notice that in the world out there this sort of judgement is largely mediated by who the perpetrators and the victims are (e.g. gender, social role and status). For instance, in Gotham (Joke’s fictional city), when three upper class citizens are killed on the train; even the mayor comes forward on television to voice his outrage. But when Joker is battered on the streets by a group of youths, no justice takes place.

Boduszek and Hyland [7] argue that one of the reasons individuals turn to crime is the presence of an identity, albeit a criminal one. An identity they find after their unsuccessful endeavour in pro-social roles. This is, nonetheless, an argument that begs the question: what explains such lack of success? The answer is clear. The social treatment they received. The day Joker’s counsellor informs him his medication and therapy will no longer be provided by the system he realises that not even she listens to him. At the pinnacle of his despair Victor’s creature turns to his creator and implores an explanation: “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?”

I understand that Joker and Frankenstein are no more than the product of creative, fictional work. Nevertheless, they are both cautionary tales. Tales which powerfully illustrate how through humiliation and abandonment society produces its mad and bad.


Image source: 1, 2.

Reference List:

1 Dortch, D. and Patel, C. (2017) ‘Black undergraduate women and their sense of belonging in STEM at predominantly white institutions’, NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 202-2015.
2 Erikson, E. (1950) *Childhood and Society, London, Imago Publishing Company Ltd.
3 Mclean, C.; Lilgendahl,P.; Fordham, C.; Alpert, E.; Marsden, E.; Szymanowski, K.; Mcadams, P. (2018) ‘Identity development in cultural context: The role from deviating from master narratives’, Journal of Personality, Vol. 86, No. 4, pp. 631-651.
4 Kozoll, R. and Osborner, M. (2004) ‘Finding meaning in science: Lifeworld, identity, and self’, Wiley Periodicals, Vol. 88, No. 2, pp. 157-181.
5 Schirmann, F. (2013) ‘Badness, madness and the brain – the late 19th century controversy on immoral persons and their malfunctioning brains, Sage Publications, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 33-50.
6 Szasz, T.S. (1961) *The myth of mental illness. New York: Secker and Warburg.
7 Boduszek, D. and Hyland, P. (2011) ‘The theoretical model of criminal social identity: psycho-social perspective’, International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, Vol. 4, No.1, pp. 604-615.

Shelley, M. [1818] (2018) Frankenstein, New York, Penguin.
Joker



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Thank you my dear reader, for once more taking the time to read my writings. I’m going to have an extra busy week, next week. So, I won’t be posting on Steemit next Thursday. But, I will certainly be around browsing my feed and favourite tags, during my tea breaks! 😊

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Dear Abigail,

I was so interested in the subject of this blog, that I printed it out. What you get from me now is my immediate impression...but I will be reading some of your sources, especially Kozoll and Osborne. I'd like to understand how science enables someone who feels apart to be reconciled with society. I'm guessing that it is through understanding--of others and the reasons behind their behavior--but that's just a guess.

I read Szasz, many years ago, and also agree with much of what he says (think: Rosenhan experiment). I'm also familiar with the work of Robert Park. Park (you probably know) looks at marginalization from a sociological perspective. And of course, a struggle with the perception of self has been a theme in great literature. As with Frankenstein and The Joker, working out this conflict makes a compelling story. I think it's compelling because all of us are challenged to accommodate our inner selves with the world. For most people, that challenge is met (generally after a tumultuous adolescence 😁), but sometimes the gulf is too great to cross. From that looming, painful gulf, madness or badness may grow.

This was brilliant blog. I think you illustrate beautifully how the best art informs us about our own lives--as do your blogs.

Have a most wonderful day, Abigail.

From peaceful NY (at the moment),
With Affection and Respect,
AG

@agmoore2,

Kozoll and Osborne's research is a beautiful qualitative study where they interview various students from different backgrounds (e.g. African-Americans and Immigrants from Mexico). Your guess about their findings is incredibly accurate!

For example, Keith is a student of Jamaican origins. Based on the material from his (open) interview, the researcher concluded (p.177):

Keith’s understanding of science is simultaneously an understanding of himself relative to others.

As for Andrea, a young female student who even after leaning English felt isolated in school, science served a bridge that connected her to the world (p.174):

Andrea’s fondness for science also lies in science’s ability to connect her with other people. It was one way in which she and others came together, conversed in the sharing of ideas, and thereby interacted in such a way that Andrea overcame some of her feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Rosenhan's experiment is quite something! I wrote about here on Steemit a couple of years ago. Is there better evidence to support Szasz's claims? No, there is not. Still, unlike Szasz I don't entirely disregard the medical validity of mental health problems. And , yes, I am familiar with the works of Robert Park (mostly on culture and race) from back in the days of my social sciences and social psychology studies.

I could not agree more with you:

but sometimes the gulf is too great to cross. From that looming, painful gulf, madness or badness may grow.

This is precisely how I see it, when standing from a social point of view. I don't think many people get this @agmoore2 It appears that a lot of people think that when individuals end up with an identity of mad or bad, it's just because of an easy choice they made :/ and of course, there may be some level of compassion for those who end up with the "mad" identity, but for those with the "bad" one. Just forget it. There is no redemption for them.

I always look forward to your feedback, but some weeks more than others. This is one of the weeks I anxiously awaited your comment. Because of how emphatic you are towards the vulnerable in society. I am so happy you like this blog! You even printed it <3 Thank you for let me know my dear friend. It truly made me smile with my heart.

Much love, from cloudy Portugal :*
With endless affection from across the ocean!

Such a rich response. First, hard copy for me is the ideal form. When I want to analyze something in detail (even my own work) I print it out if there aren't too many pages. I guess that's because I grew up with hard copy.

Thanks for the reference to Kozoll and Osborne. I read up a bit on them. I love these two guys. They both want good things for young people. Both want to close the education gap that keeps many young people from achieving full potential. And I understand about science--in a way I relate. In a world out of kilter, where inequity exists and is a daily challenge, objective rules are reassuring. These apply to everyone. They cannot be bent by bias or misperception.
And science is a creative, intellectual refuge that can be very personal. Fortunate are the children who have the skills, and ability, to use this refuge.

Having empathy for someone who is mad, not bad---I understand that. Our first impulse is to survive, and bad can be a threat to security. So ostracism and even incarceration are quick and obvious remedies. Of course, that means we throw a lot of people away. How does that make sense? And if we don't try to understand, how do we prevent bad from becoming the path our children choose?

You see, you make me think. Thank you. Rest up. When you come back, I'm expecting another eye-opening, inspiring blog.

With respect, appreciation, and affection,

AG

Hey Abigail, thank you for the article. Btw. I also want to watch this movie, but I have no problems with spoilers.

Concerning the problem, you are talking about in the article: "Finding your identity by actions and getting mad or bad if it fails."

I think the main problem is that most people have the opinion that identity is something they will find someday, for instance by getting a certain job or profession or achieving wealth or whatever. But this is the wrong way and makes them sensitive for horrible developments such as in the case of Joker or Frankenstein. In the end, your identity is already within you and nowhere else. If you try to find your identity somewhere outside you will always be disappointed.

Everyone is unique and should prevent to be a copy of someone else.

But if you ask me I would prefer the role of Frankenstein instead of Joker's fate.

Best regards

Chapper

Hey Chapper! :D Nice to see you around :)

I agree with you when you say that trying to make sense of who we are by means of looking somewhere outside ourselves can only lead to disappointment.

However, it is highly accepted and acknowledged both within psychology and the social sciences that it is through the interactions with family, friends, the work place, and the connections we make in our everyday life, that we learn not only about our own identities, but also about the identity of others. Many, many studies have revealed this, some among them are the ones referenced in this post :)

It is the quality of these interactions that enables us to find within ourselves, in our uniqueness, a place in the world. If these interactions are non-existent or broken, there is very little within to provide a sense of self.

Best wishes,
Abi

Definitely! I think both aspects are related. To find your own identity helps you to have a better relationship with others and vice versa. I'm curious about what comes next. Goodnight Chapper

Definitely! I think both aspects are related. To find your own identity helps you to have a better relationship with others and vice versa.

Yes, yes and yes! ;) Nicely put! :D

Wow that was incredible. I haven't seen the joker yet but it sounds really good. Your interpretation and analysis, not on the character, but on the behavioral psychology of the joker and its relation to society is so interesting. The parallels you draw to Frankenstein were really facinating as well especially at the articles conclusion. I had never thought of it that way - i.e. people turning to crime to gain a sense of identity after being rejected by society. Facinating. That was probably my favorite article that you've written to date. I mean, they are all great but this one really spoke to me. I'll probably be thinking about that one for a while. Well done!

I was quite fascinated by Joker, @leaky20. I highly recommend it. There is a lot of depth to that character. And, of course, the acting is jaw-dropping. But beware. There are 3 (short) violent scenes in the movie. So, if you and/or your wife, are anything like me (I don't normally go for violent movies), be prepared for those. Still, it's totally worth watching it.

Your feedback has pleased me very much. And, of course, you get it -well, you always do:

people turning to crime to gain a sense of identity after being rejected by society.

And from there they're deemed as either mad or bad (or both), and proceed to live up to the identity/label.

Thank you for your constant encouragement @leaky20! :)
You guys take care :D

The violence doesnt bother me but sometimes it bothers my wife so I will keep that in mind. Thanks :)
Yes the "mad and bad" designations. That's such an interesting observation and so true it seems.

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Hello abigail-dantes!

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Oh well, after reading your warning about spoilers, I was avoiding to read this. I put it in bookmarks and thought I would after I watch the movie. But then, I don't know when am I ever going to watch it, hence here I am. As usual, loved the article. Makes me wonder about criminal psychology.

The most intriguing part was how people can justify crime in one situation while gets outraged in another. It also reminded me of Spolsky in one of his lecture saying - its context which matters. Though it left me wondering how context can be manipulated to look evil look nice and vice-versa. Which made me think how crucial role media may play in designing the mass perspective about something.

Anyhow, really enjoyed this. Thanks once again.

Hey @scienceblocks :)

I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed this post. You have made some very interesting observations in your second paragraph. When it comes to the portrayal of criminality, the media (whether news media or entertainment), indeed, plays a huge role in the public's moral judgement of offenders.

I like to say that a key element in such cases is how perpetrators can be shown to be bad (or mad), something I believe has largely to do with their identity. It's a vicious cycle really :/

As for the movie, whenever you have some time available. I do recommend Joker. It's a magnificent movie!

All the best to you,
Take Care :)

No spoiler found :)

Further, it’s important to notice that in the world out there this sort of judgement is largely mediated by who the perpetrators and the victims are (e.g. gender, social role and status). For instance, in Gotham (Joke’s fictional city), when three upper class citizens are killed on the train; even the mayor comes forward on television to voice his outrage. But when Joker is battered on the streets by a group of youths, no justice takes place.

I would rather go the other way. The mayor could keep silence about the harmed, because then this silence would be fairly distributed among all. Conversely, it is not possible. When he talks about the one special man, he cannot mean all men. Unless he has the rare gift of not inciting the thought of revenge in any of his listeners' hearts. Those who are unable to do so should rather say nothing and take a more indirect path to allow the city to be a place of peace.

We human beings always feel the very subtle difference between being and pretence. When we choose pretence, we want justice, when we choose being, we want peace.

I found your reference to the naming of Frankenstein's creature interesting. So an object whose creator someone wants to be cannot be a subject with its own name worth to him. And so he can proceed with the result as he wants. Finding it beautiful or ugly without granting it anything of its own. It is more a possession. In extreme cases, parents have such a view of their children.

And then Frankenstein and Joker and all the other characters we can think of are possibilities of subjective expression. At all times, the potential in each of us is to be crazy and bad, as well as clear and good.

Greetings to you:)

Hi Erika :D

the potential in each of us is to be crazy and bad, as well as clear and good.

Precisely! And which of these potentials will be brought forward has largely to do with socio-environmental interactions, as in a transactional model.

It's always nice seeing you around :)

:) Hey Abi,

I am not sure, what do you meany by "transactional model"?

Hi Erika,

Transactional model as in a two-way interaction. For example, from the individual to society and to and fro, and to and fro. Society rejects the individual, then the individual turns to crime an in turn affects the social environment through criminal activities, then the system punishes the person, who becomes more resentful towards it and so on.

This is a model that is always brought up in contexts and studies of developmental psychology. I just thought it resembles a lot systemic principles :)

It does. :) Thank you.

Hi Erika,

Transactional model as in a two-way interaction. For example, from the individual to society and to and fro, and to and fro. Society rejects the individual, then the individual turns to crime an in turn affects the social environment through criminal activities, then the system punishes the person, who becomes more resentful towards it and so on.

This is a model that is always brought up in contexts and studies of developmental psychology. I just thought it resembles a lot systemic principles :)

I remember little of Frankenstein, but I think what I do recall relevant. I very well could be remembering this incorrectly, but here goes. At some point before "he" goes on his violent rampage, he takes shelter in an empty woodshed belonging to a very poor family. He tends them, unseen, by bringing them wood, water and food. He grows to love them deeply and they, without having seen him, appreciate him as well. The time comes for him to be seen but his visage disgusts them so they banish him. I was crushed by this part of the book, as crushed as Frankenstein was.
It is possible to find positive meaning through suffering, I was just talking about this with a friend. Poor Frankenstein and The Joker suffered without ever knowing love (not sure about this regarding Joker) and so the meanings they found were loveless. I'm thinking out loud here.
It is extremely important to reach out with love and compassion to those who are different, so that the meanings they attribute to their reasons for being CAN include the concept of love. Otherwise, we make monsters instead of men.

Hey @owasco :)

Beautiful reflection! I agree with the points you raised here. I also believe suffering can be a source of meaning and personal-growth. But, just like you said. For that to happen one needs some sort of safety net (e.g. love). Joker and Frankenstein only had the very opposite: rejection :/

Your recollection of the book is spot on. I was also devastated by the poor family's reaction towards him.

Thank you for stopping by dear @owasco. I better go now. As you can see I've had a "relapse" :P . Although I still keep on going strong on being off-line on Sundays, this is the second Saturday I relapse! Oh boy ... :D

You take care over there <3 :)

Oh you are still doing this! I thought it was a one-off. How do you like it? I've been very bad, back to online at least peripherally pretty much all day. I turn wifi off every night though, and I think I sleep better.

No, no ... the idea is to do it every weekend. I have succeeded in going off-line (from social media) on Sundays, I've done one month and a half now. But, on Staurdays, I only managed two in a row. I will be trying again this coming weekend :D Like I said before, It really helps to declutter one's thoughts.

Take care over there @owasco :)

spoiler alert in comment

Also watched Joker recently and it was amazingly well made. (must have been a lot of food in there for you to analyze on?)

Joker is indeed the incarnation of when society fails, baddies are created. He had such fragile structure around him that the whole thing would crumble in the slightest touch, which it did in a rather dramatic way.

I mean, getting told you are adopted, misused and hints of why he even have that laughter "diagnosis" is pretty bad stuff. By the time he killed his mother in a rather violent pillow fight you kind of knew he was going to be a problem for society. 😅

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I know! My goodness Joker doesn't have a break from life. But, it's so much because of what you said @holm. I like this rationale very much:

He had such fragile structure around him that the whole thing would crumble in the slightest touch, which it did in a rather dramatic way.

Both Joker and Frankenstein stories brought to mind the famous quote by activist James Boldwin:

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.

And yes ... you're so right! There is so much in that movie one can just go on and on analyzing, digesting. You get me already! 😅

Wish you and your girlfriend a wonderful weekend! :)

Interesting read Abii. I have neither watched joker nor read Frankenstein but the way you analysed both gave me an insight. I think social justice is just a term, we as human might never get to that level of maturity with constant pursuit of materials, luxury and power. Have you read about Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

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I'm very glad to hear that you found this post interesting my dear Shaid :)

I have indeed read (and studied) Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory. It's a fundamental part of Humanistic psychology studies and approaches.

It's interesting that you brought it up here. In fact, I think it's quite a clever way of exploring both: (1) why social compassion towards the vulnerable has been lost, and (2) why some individuals turn to criminality in order to obtain status through the pursuit of material goods.

It's always wonderful seeing your comments :*
Thank you so much for stopping by <3
Much love to you and the family ! :D

I don't know how Maslow arrived at that theory but it can be linked to almost everything that is wrong in this world. It's always a pleasure to read from you. Lemme see if can turn up a post this coming weekend too. Extend my love to your family!

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Seeing a movie at the cinema? Something I think I haven’t done for a really long time… :D

I agree with what you stated. Some people look for a way to get noticed, maybe most people, but I am unsure. Many do not care about it as soon as they have a nice life “locally”. And for those who care, some of them are getting evil. I don’t have any example on the top of my head, but I am sure some criminals are criminals to get their 45 minutes of fame and get noticed… unfortunately for the rest of the society.

but I am sure some criminals are criminals to get their 45 minutes of fame and get noticed…

Sadly, my country of origin has many examples that could support your point :/ I suppose that sometimes people just don't know better, this stops them from looking beyond their own reality.

Ah! My brother would say the same (looong time without having been to the cinema). Going to the cinema & restaurants is kind of "mine and my husband's thing." :)

Restaurants we go once in a while. We usually go to restaurants that are meant for families (with indoor/outdoor playgrounds). For the rest, we invested in tablets (I know, this is the easy cheating solution) :D

That is a brilliant comparison between these two characters. Beyond that, would you compare Joker to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

Hey there @joeyarnoldvn :)

I am glad to hear you liked the comparison I managed to put together here! I am sorry to say that I wouldn't be able to compare Joker with the characters you highlighted here. I haven't read that novel. I'm afraid I cannot commit to reading it anytime soon either, due to my tight schedule.

Thank you for stopping by :)

Just a quickie!

I wonder if the 'crisis in identity', - which seems to more of a westernized issue I think - has anything to do with the 'taking of religion' in peoples lives...?

When people had some omnipotent being to look over them , both to be benevolent, and cast judgement - and these were instilled throughout society to everyone from a very young age - then an identity was created with your relationship with your maker. (by default, I suppose).

You 'knew' who you were in the grand scheme of things.

Without a 'god' of some description, you're left with an identity that's totally reliant on other people, rather than some omniscient presence, with which you create your own identity with him/her/it as being the reference point.

Take away that spiritual framework, and people are left with a vacuum with no reference point. And nature hates a vacuum.

it's not too good an explanation of what I'm trying to say - but I'm sure you can join the dots, and get my point.
I'm waffling, I'm tired, but you know me...can't keep quiet. lol
(I might get back to ya on this one.lol)

I hope everything is all well with you, and Mr. a-d, over there.

Hey @lucylin :D

Good point! Not rambling at all. Religion indeed brings a sense of identity to people. Not only that, it also has the ability to gift people with purpose. It gives people a role not only in this life, but also in "the afterlife". This is true particularly for those who have been robbed of their social identities (e.g. the single woman whose children have been taken by the social services , the unemployed man who 'finds strength in God to stop drinking').

Take away that spiritual framework, and people are left with a vacuum with no reference point.

This is precisely my explanation for why people end up turning to ideologies, conspiracy theories, or whatever offers them some sort of path. In the scientific world there is a crude misconception of what religion entails, but whenever I have the chance I try to convey to my peers that religion goes beyond the blind belief in a superior being. For it is also a sense of community and therefore, of identity and meaning.

In the absence of it. That vacuum, as you appropriately put it, must be filled up with something else. And sadly, oftentimes, it is with anything but reason.

We are all right over here! Thank you :)
I trust the same is true over there. I see you back on the war artwork. It's so beautiful! I love this house! <3 Say hi to Lucy & kisses to Sophia!

Any purpose, is better than no purpose. (at the individual level).

When 'faulty' individual purposes go on to then become group think, we then get insanity! lol.

Yup, my figures are coming along very slowly...(I'm not sure they will ever work, tbh - after 20 of them are now in the bin).

I'm determined to give them a go, however, for reasons I said in my post - but I keep looking at the cheap, and very well molded figures, readily available, and for $60 or so, I can have my army here in 10 days.
I'm resisting the temptation so far, and will crack on with my DIY soldiers..

I never quite realized just how difficult it was to get the anatomical proportions close enough to real people, so that they don't look like deformed skeletal zombies with severe birth defects! lol

My house you love is now redundant.
(I'm fairly sure that southern colonial style abodes, were not too common in the dark ages! lol)

I'll send you my house !!!!
(and throw in two other- now redundant-buildings, and you send me some Viking and Saxon warriors! lol)

Good to hear everything's peachy - same here.

I'm not kissing Sophia for you....
She's just been running in the fields and partaking of her favorite pastime- which is to see if she can roll around and cover every square inch of her body, in cow shit!

I must say, she takes her hobby very seriously - and I'm confident that she'll achieve her goal at some point in the near future...

(I might give her a kiss for you, after I've thrown her in the shower...)

What about the alternative, the absence of religion, and what does that do to society? The answer is that things are worse outside of Judeo-Christianity.

...it leaves 'forming your identity ', solely dependent on others - and not a perceived higher authority.

I would argue that things are different outside of judeo-christianity, not necessarily worse.
You've lived in Vietnam, right?
The eastern 'religions' offer much as well.

I think the relevant bit is the fact of a deity outside of humans, is a solid base with which to help construct your own identity.

And when people - just people - on there own- are trying to find there own identity...(without a higher authority to help them, you get the stronger willed in society deciding for them, almost.

My theory is that most people want to be led,(not consciously admitted to themselves, much of the time)
Without a higher authority, it's left to power hungry to lead....and in turn 'create' the identity in people that they want to see, to further their own agenda's.

Blaaaaa - You get fucking marxism!

In Vietnam, I saw Judeo-Christianity influence the place, especially in Saigon as opposed to Hanoi. Vietnam is divided still between two states. The influence of America is still felt in southern Vietnam.

Safety

You're right that most people prefer security. That's why they tend to seek after slavery. Well, it can be tougher to be your own boss in life. It's easier to be told what to do. People can do better when they seek after some objectivity, morality, in the way they make choices in life. I prefer the freedoms of America.

I've never seen the movie Joker, but the analysis you gave in this post has piqued my interest. I'll go look for the movie.

Now, is it possible that some individuals turn to criminal behaviour as a means to achieve such reconciliation? One that grants them a place in the world and a sense of existence?

In my opinion, poverty (or challenges) is never an enough reason to tilt towards criminality. In the pursuit of one's identity, engaging in unwholesome activities has already defeated the aim. Our identity lies within us, and we can only look within to discover it, and not by turning to criminal behaviour (my opinion though).

Nice piece again Abbey. Hope you're enjoying your evening? Much love from Nigeria

poverty (or challenges) is never an enough reason to tilt towards criminality.

I have always been interested and intrigued by, for example, why some young men from the slums choose to go to work, while others turn to crime. Or, why some people whose childhood have been one of suffering go on to become abusers, while others with similar stories don't. I know that personality traits is just one, among many variables, but I'm still curious by it. It's a complex topic Sammi!

We are having a very calm evening over here my dear. Thank you for asking <3
Bags of love all the way from Portugal.



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