Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Over On NPR

Uma Thurman

Terry Gross with Uma Thurman. How Gross gets these actors to open up is a wonder. They just seem to want to connect in ways you don't find in other interviews.

Jim Sturgress

And, this tidbit on the math and technique of card counting featured in '21'. Apparently, it's as easy as 1 - 1 + 0 - 1 + 1 + 0 + 1...on and on for hours. Anyway, anybody can do it if they concentrate, and are crazy about winning money.

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector

Laura Sydell re: Hannibal Lector. One of my favorite characters realized beautifully by Anthony Hopkins.

The piece, part of NPR's In Character series, is easy enough to listen to, but what I found most interesting are the comments of Helen Morrison, a psychiatrist who has made a study of serial killers which has resulted in a book, 'My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers'.

According to Wikipedia's (hopefully accurate) appraisal of Morrison's work, these killers have a few things in common, including:

Serial killers do not possess a concrete personality; rather, their minds tend to be a collection of disparate roles and facades they shift at will.

Okay, that's not much of a shock. Got it.

While such killers are often charming in person, their charm wears off if one interrogates them for several hours without a break. This is caused by strain - because their charm and personality are artificial, they cannot keep it up forever.

Once their personality constructs break down, serial killers fall into a bestial state. In this state, they lack any trace of humanity, and are nothing but urges and, occasionally, anger.

Now that I find interesting. This, however, I had never even thought of as being a possibility:

By examining additional cases from a cross-cultural and cross-historical sample, she claims that when serial killers receive enough psychiatric help (professional or otherwise) to fully comprehend their actions, they invariably commit suicide.

Invariably? You mean, someone has tallied the numbers on this? There's a movie in this last thing.

Very much makes me want to read Morrison's work. So -- I went looking and found this excerpt (if you can call 196 pages an excerpt).

After a few pages this book goes on my 'must read' list.

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