- You’re out walking with an acquaintance who, whilst someone you’ve known for a long time, has developed an obsession with golf or the Kardashians or something awful. Do you:
A: Zone out, nod the occasional “uh-huh” and mentally plan an evening of refreshing debauchery?
B: Sit them on a bench, take their head in your hands and tell them that if they mention golf again so help you god you’ll rip out their liver with your teeth?
C: Set them up on a blind date with your next most tedious friend in the hope that you’ll never have to listen to either of them drone on again?
D: Push them off a cliff and laugh like a drain?
- There’s a global pandemic and you’re a world leader. Do you:
A: Try to balance sensible precautions with economic interest and public perception, keeping harm down to an acceptable level whilst keeping money flowing?
B: Shut the pubs, close the borders, lock the country down and throw money at a vaccine like it’s the goddess of lap dancers, and bollocks to public opinion?
C: Put in place a load of confusing rules, bluster, award massive public contracts to anyone you went to school with and use the ensuing pandemonium to carry out shifty political power grabs?
D: Take the Bullingdon Club, the Bilderberg Group, a small private army and a bus full of strippers, hole up in a secret volcano base, nuke any source of an outbreak, wait ten years and then emerge to lead the cowed, mutated survivors as overlord of the world?
Mostly A’s: You’re a coward. You might not be evil but you’re not risking a hair on your head to do the right thing. Welcome to the 99%
Mostly B’s: You have some self control issues but possibly decent intentions at heart. You’re effectively a high functioning sociopath. Welcome to the club.
Mostly C’s: You’ll take advantage of any situation for personal gain. You might think that’s OK but that’s because you were probably packed off to boarding school before you’d had a chance to learn human decency.
Mostly D’s: You’re a cartoon super-villain, rarer than rocking-horse shit and twice as mental.
It is, of course, a trick question, as they’re all evil to some degree or another. Depending on your point of view, being too afraid of consequences to take action; utterly uncaring about people’s feelings; a greedy, opportunistic shit or being a psychotic baddie spouting poorly planned plot exposition from a swivelling chair could all be viewed as evil.
The only thing is that D doesn’t exist, even though that’s the one that we think of as evil.
When we see leaders abusing power for personal gain, taking advantage of racial tension for political power, allowing inequality to grow to concentrate power in a few public-school educated hands, we shake our heads. We say “That isn’t right” and “something should be done” but we don’t, for some ungodly reason, describe them as evil because we’ve been fooled by the wazzock-lantern into thinking that you need minions in colour co-ordinated jumpsuits or a cellar full of spatchcocked hitch-hikers to qualify.
Let’s call it what it is. Boris, Trump and their ilk are the real supervillains. They might not be building death rays but that’s only because no one has figured out a way to make that work yet. What they are doing is taking advantage of power, propaganda and privilege to feather their own nests and those of their mates whilst the policies that they enact to those ends result in death, disease and deprivation – often to the most vulnerable of the people that voted for them.
Let’s stop mincing words. Let’s call out evil when we see it. If enough people learn to see it, maybe we stand a chance at fighting it.
This tirade was brought to you by the hashtag #governedbyvillains