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Old November 25 2012, 04:52 PM   #57
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
1. I'm not convinced Shinzon was truly insane.
What's he have to do before you're convinced, eat his enemies alive?
The definition of insanity:

Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.
There is no indication that Shinzon cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct his affairs due to psychosis, or that he is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Indeed, his behavior is often premeditated and displays a keen intelligence who suffers no delusional episodes.

Shinzon is no more "insane" than was Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Augusto Pinochet, or Jorge Rafael Videla.

2. Even mentally ill characters need to have motivations that make sense.
Not true. Not everything is spelled out Nolan-style and tied in a nice little bow. People do things that don't make sense,
If you don't understand their underlying premises, sure. But just saying, "Well, he's crazy" is not an actual understanding of the mentally ill.

In fact, the psychopathy displayed by Shinzon seems to fit the characterizations to a T. You know, following the set of rules they created for themselves, appearing even charming at times, etc, etc.
Psychopaths are not impossible to understand; they display a set of thoroughly comprehensible motivations. This is a well-understood mental illness, and those who suffer from it are not raving lunatics whose behavior is consistently arbitrary.

Further, Shinzon does not fit the definition of a psychopath. He does not display poor impulse control -- indeed, his political acumen suggests extreme personal discipline over many years. He also displays the capacity to forge lasting interpersonal relationships that are both stable and intense -- he is clearly still very close to his Viceroy (named Vkruk in the novels), who has been his best friend since childhood. Nor does he fit the most important trait of psychopathy, a lack of empathy; Shinzon feels extreme empathy for the Reman people.

And besides -- psychopathy is not the same thing as insanity.

Shinzon is not a psychopath. He's not a raving lunatic. Nor are most political leaders who achieve his level of power -- not even those who wish to murder millions. Most of them are not insane; they are just evil.

Shinzon, on the other hand, is just a poorly-written character who makes choices in the third act of the film that completely defy the set of motivations he is established to possess in the first two acts. This isn't psychopathy or insanity; it's just bad writing.
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