Isn’t it odd ( well I feel like it’s odd) just how different we are as humans? Even at this time with this bloody virus ripping lives apart and ending it for thousands of others, all one really needs to do is sit and listen to the views and actions of various different people. The perplexity is that we have all been thrust into this horror show together, more or less simultaneously.

So, while (Sir) Colonel Tom is hirpling round his garden a billion times , aided by his zimmer, all for the NHS (which we already fund), some walloper is licking tins of beans in a supermarket or spitting at Police. It’s an extraordinary amalgam of the good, the bad and the ugly.

My ‘regulars’, and especially students past and present, will know of my obsession with crime and criminal justice – but I am also a devotee of sociology and psychology, for that matter. I am fascinated by ‘human behaviour’ which can be truly intriguing.

Take, for example, the President of the United States. He has openly said he is now taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug with not a single proven link as to why it may be beneficial for Covid-19 but a caveat that it may lead to cardiac problems. But he still takes it. He ignores the medical advice. Because he is a narcissist. This is a mental condition where people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep rooted need for excessive, indeed bizarre amounts of attention, a history of troubled relationships and a total lack of empathy for others. You’d think it is a word invented especially for him. Add the preposterous notion that we should ‘ingest bleach’ and it is easy to see why so many loathe him. But my sense of intrigue is why do so many still adore him?

Is this, perhaps indicative of the citizens of that particular country..?? Often leaders can become so influential that they ‘turn’ the heads of others into following their way. Like a cult, if you like. Influence can be an extraordinarily potent tool. Astonishing behaviour from the leader of a world superpower. Whilst I could happily keep going for paragraph after paragraph, I really don’t want to give over any more of my blog space.

Over in good old Blighty, we are not short of our own social deviants. Take a former trashy tabloid journalist who now tries to pass himself off as a breakfast TV presenter. 70,000+ have signed a petition demanding his sacking but, rather than respond, he is revelling in the attention. Like the guy in the last paragraph, this is his modus operandi – a sense of self-imposed grandiose where he simply insists on being heard. Anyone who has tuned in to this tripe will know that all he really does is interrupt, shout, hector and harass guests but then sums it all up with pretending to be doing what he does for the good of the rest of us. No, he does it solely for his own good. A divisive and odious individual who has actually become more so (if that were possible) since the advent of this pandemic.

Isn’t it odd, fascinating, intriguing exactly what situations like this bring out in different people?

There is, as I have said, a 100 year old ex-WW2 veteran thinking he might be able to raise £1000 by walking round his garden. He captivated the hearts of the nation so much that he’s raised £33,000,000. Countless numbers of other selfless acts of benevolence that restore our faith in humanity and reinforce that there are good people out there. Even, sometimes, especially, in a crisis.

Those that choose to gob at the Police, lick handrails and engage in other lurid behaviour are, hopefully, the minority. At least I hope they are.

But certainly a time like this teaches us an awful lot about human beings and how they operate. Fascinating stuff.

Stay safe everyone.

Ciaran

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