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News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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Spot The Psychopath

Psychopath. The word conjures up the image of a cold-blooded killer, or perhaps a fiendishly clever but heartless egoist. There’s Ted Bundy, who in the 1970s abducted women, killed them, and had sex with their decomposing bodies. Or Hannibal Lecter from the film The Silence of the Lambs (1991), who cunningly escaped his various confinements and ended up eating the people he despised. In the popular imagination, psychopaths are the incarnation of evil. However, for an increasing number of researchers, such people are ill, not evil – victims of their own deranged minds. So just what are psychopaths, and what is wrong with them?

According to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist – first devised in the 1970s by the Canadian criminal psychologist Robert Hare and since revised and widely used for diagnosis – psychopaths are selfish, glib and irresponsible. They have poor impulse control, are antisocial from a young age, and lack the ability to feel empathy, guilt and remorse. Psychopaths steal, lie and cheat, and have no respect for other people, social norms or the law. In some cases, they torture defenceless animals, assault other children or attempt to kill their siblings or parents. If caught, they fail to take responsibility for their actions, but tend to blame others, their upbringing or ‘the system’. According to some recent calculations, more than 90 per cent of male psychopaths in the United States are in prison, on parole or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system. Considering that psychopaths are thought to make up only around 1 per cent of the general population, that number is staggering. Because of this close link to criminality, psychopathy used to be known as ‘moral insanity’.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Nicolas Cage On His Legacy, His Philosophy Of Acting And His Metaphorical — And Literal — Search For The Holy Grail.

News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

There are questions I’ve wanted to ask Nicolas Cage for years. A lot of questions. I wanted to know why this divisive, mercurial actor has waged a career-long, one-man war against naturalism, refusing to let staid ideas about how people might behave in “real life” dictate his performances. I wanted to know why Cage, Hollywood’s greatest surrealist, whose personal and creative unpredictability has led him to attain near-mythological status in certain corners of the internet, acts in so many movies — 20 in the last two years — and why so few of them make mainstream ripples. (His most recent release: the straightforwardly titled thriller “A Score to Settle.”) But mostly I wanted to know the method behind the seeming madness that informs so many of his performances.

Unlike most movie stars — who are walking answers, machines who reliably fill expectations rather than confound them — Nicolas Cage rarely does the obvious thing, whether in his choice of roles or how he plays them. Which is what’s so enthralling about the alien intensity and oddball flourishes that Cage has brought to art-house fantasia (“Wild at Heart”), whimsical romantic comedy (“Honeymoon in Vegas”), bleak drama (“Leaving Las Vegas”), cerebral comedy (“Adaptation”), sensational Hollywood blockbuster (“Con Air”), balletic, high-concept action (“Face/Off”), quiet character studies (“Joe”) and psychedelic horror (“Mandy”). He also, as if living according to lines from a surreal folk song, has owned pet cobras and castles, was forced to return a stolen dinosaur skull, has made and lost a fortune and is keeping a pyramid waiting for him — as a tomb — down in New Orleans.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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Generation XX: How Kaws Short-Circuited the Art World

I’m slaloming a mess of titans. To be more precise, I’m standing inside the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in the final moments before Alone Again, a new exhibition by the artist KAWS, opens for a crowd of VIPs.

Every which way I turn, I find myself unwittingly confronted by a tweaked-out member of KAWS’s odd mob of massive carved wooden sculptures. The most common presence is the artist’s iconic character Companion. (Imagine a Mickey Mouse-adjacent creature with a skull-like face, cauliflower-esque four-chambered ears, and KAWS’s signature “XX” eyes.) And yet, despite their alien nature, the sculptures each exude familiar emotions.

Take SMALL LIE, for example: The eight-foot figure stands slump-shouldered, knees knocked, eyes glued to the ground. There’s incredible pathos. Or AT THIS TIME, wherein Companion stands almost nine feet tall, back arched with hands cupped over eyes, conveying a kind of muted shock and disbelief. Not far away is FINAL DAYS, in which Companion is on the move, stepping one foot in front of the other, arms outstretched, doing a low-key Frankenstein strut. Given the fact that all the pieces are taller than me, the overall effect of standing amid the bizarre cluster is that of being fully submerged within a twisted Venn diagram of awkward human feelings.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Is It Possible to Stop a Mass Shooting Before It Happens?

News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Michael Finton was living in Decatur, Illinois, a shrinking manufacturing town, working as a part-time cook at a cheap take-out joint. He was 29 and unmarried, with red hair and white skin, described as polite by his coworkers, as the mild-mannered guy next door by his neighbors. He liked to hang out and play cards and watch soccer. He also wanted to kill as many people as he could.

But no one knew that yet—except for her.

An elite investigator who tracks angry men online, she’s known to some in her field as the Savant because of her uncanny ability to suss out when, exactly, hate speech will morph into violent action. She came across Finton’s Myspace profile in 2007 and was disturbed by what she saw: videos of Islamic extremists carrying out brutal killings alongside quotes glorifying religious martyrdom. The page gave her a primal, hairs-on-end feeling that she’d learned not to ignore.

Back then, online rage was still relatively new. This was before Dylann Roof used the internet to self-radicalize, before men flocked to message boards to tap out screeds against women, before the El Paso shooter reportedly dropped his delusional final manifesto on social media. Back when you could post all the crazy shit you wanted online and no one really took you seriously.

Read the rest of this article at: Cosmopolitan

My Travels with Oliver Sacks

News 08.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

“L-L-Lowell, the English are the result of too much proper breeding,” said Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author, in December 1987. It was my first trip overseas. I was in my early thirties, Oliver in his mid-fifties, and I was working as his photographer.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that sentence would stand not only as a joke about the English, but also as a partial explanation for how Oliver understood himself. He was shy and very polite, even restrained in many ways, the product of a medical and Jewish aristocracy. Oliver’s mother was a surgeon, and his cousin was the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban. When I met Oliver’s father that same year, the elder Dr. Sacks was ninety-two years old and still practicing medicine at the house in London where Oliver was raised. As Oliver explains in his last book published during his lifetime, On the Move, he rebelled against this upbringing and arrived in San Francisco leather clad on a motorcycle. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he was a resident in neurology at UCLA, feasting on hallucinogens and the endorphin highs of weight-lifting.

Oliver’s 1985 book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat had just become a best-seller when I first contacted him. I’d read the book, which included Sacks’s study of a drummer with Tourette’s syndrome, with great interest. At the time, Oliver lived on City Island and his number was listed in the phone book. I called him up, and he answered. I explained, “I’m the only one who’s photographing people with Tourette’s, and you’re the only one writing about it. And I have Tourette’s. Let’s get together.” He agreed.

We were close for a long time. I was his photographer, colleague, friend, subject, and occasional collaborator. He used to say that he wanted to take off his white doctor’s coat and see Tourette’s in real life, outside a clinic or hospital. I facilitated this not only as a photographer, but also as someone with access to others with the same condition. In my travels with Oliver, I photographed the lives of patients, beyond the confines of the doctor’s office or examination room. Some said I was his “Tourette pet,” which I found endearing or insulting, depending on how it was said.

Together we traveled to Europe, Canada, and across the United States. As we got to know each other well, I learned that Oliver was writing about me in his notebooks, while at the same time I was busy photographing him, linking us in a bond of mutual observation and reflection. Our relationship became complicated.

We had just finished a collaborative article, published first in Life magazine and then internationally, about an extended Mennonite family in northern Alberta, Canada, whose members were disproportionately affected by Tourette’s and an overlapping Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I photographed the story, while Oliver wrote it as if seen through my lens. After hearing me repeat names and phrases, Oliver wrote that an aspect of my Tourette’s was being fascinated by the “acoustic contours” of words and language.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Review of Books

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