Sentimentality and murder

There’s a really chilling story on the BBC site about a couple who killed the man’s 17-month old son. What really strikes home with this one is the stomach-turning mixture of sentimentality and complete disregard for life.

(Plus the Myra Hindleyesque mentality of the woman, who seems to have been more or less totally unconcerned by what they had done to the toddler, She even comes across as the prime mover from the reports – allegedly – but I’ll skip her as being so willfuly evil that there is nothing to say.)

I have nothing to say on this one. It’s not religion. It’s not politics. It’s just people. I have no idea what to do about it. No idealistic formula or social organisation suggestion or anything. Just add it to the game of Top Trumps where you score one for every mindnumbingly bad event.

This headline gives the strange flavour of this story

‘Caring father’ tortured son to death

Ok, is this one of the creepiest things you could read as an example of ‘caring’?
(And , yes, a lot more like the serial killers in US cop shows who keep ‘mementos’ than like what normally passes for caring on planet earth.)

He still kept as mementos the tissue papers he used to wipe the boy’s tears after his circumcision and the plaster casts that “slipped off” his son’s leg the month before his death.

I’ll step away from the normal human reaction to this (which is incoherent rage)and try to rant about it in the abstract.

It’s the sentimentality that gets to me. Sentimentality is the ****’s substitute for sentiment. People who don’t really feel empathy seem to be those who set the most store by the overt expression of their senstivities

There’s no simple dividing line but there are plenty of people who make so much of their feelings that you start to suspect these vaunted feelings are just displayed to manipulate.

Obviously, when the sentimentality is accompanied by torture or murder, the authenticity of the sentiment is easy enough to spot……….