I’ve long lamented the fact that the public is not nearly aware enough about empathy-reducing conditions such as psychopathy, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While a growing proportion of people have at least heard of these disorders – as well as related ones like sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder – they still too often remain unclear about precisely what they are and how they differ from each other. And in so many cases where these disorders should be considered as factors, they aren’t even mentioned in media reports or public discussions.
One of the reasons this website was started is to document the evidence that this situation may be changing for the better. Awareness about these conditions is starting to spread and people are even starting to talk about them in cases where they should be rightfully suspected.
I highly doubt that Oswalt has ever heard of the term ponerology. But his response, more than many others, especially from celebrities, actually comes close to placing the event in a ponerologic context.
So first I want to point out the particular statements that reflect a somewhat-ponerologic perspective in his writing. (more…)
In the past few years, the media has seemed to feature increased coverage regarding the influence of psychopathy and sociopathy. This website was started both because this increased media coverage helped validate the importance of the issue and because there was a need for those media stories on the issue to be more widely promoted. The increased coverage is represented throughout this site, including in our online news and television news sections.
Still, I don’t know what it says about the media that the source providing the most frequent and insightful coverage about psychopathy and sociopathy may be a satirical newspaper, The Onion.
Recently, I’ve seen several examples of The Onion’s use of humor to shine a light on this still too-often-overlooked topic. (more…)
Last summer, while searching the web for ponerology-related information and people, I came across a website discussing a movie called I Am Fishead – or, cleverly, I Am <Fishead(.
It said the film is about corporate corruption and the role that psychopathy may have played in it.
The title, supposedly, refers to a Chinese saying that a “fish stinks from the head,” implying that this movie might be an exploration of how the dysfunction of our hierarchical society originates from those at the top of the pyramid.
Well, of course, I was very intrigued as I have not only dedicated a great deal of time and energy to learning about this topic, but specifically to advocating for more – and more forms of – education of the public about it.
My interest grew even stronger since I related to the background of co-director/co-producer of the film, Misha Votruba, a former psychiatrist who moved on from that career to more creative endeavors, eventually circling back to focus on a psychiatric topic – psychopathy – from a more activist perspective as a filmmaker.
The other co-director/co-producer of I Am Fishead is Vaclav Dejcmar, an economist and businessman with a lot of experience in investing and the financial markets. This background makes him an ideal complement to Misha Votruba in making this film that includes a focus on the overlap of psychiatry and our economic systems.
I finally got around to watching the film and I have quite a bit to say about it. This piece is going to get quite into depth about the film so if you’d prefer to see it first before knowing too much about what happens, you might want to watch it (I’ve embedded it below) and then continue reading this afterwards. If you don’t plan to watch it or don’t mind going into it knowing a lot of what happens, then feel free to read on.
The titles of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in the sections immediately below are those from the actual film, but names given to other segments in this synopsis/review are my own. (more…)