ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] callibr8.

WARNING: This poem relates a historic murder that readers may find disturbing.


"Certain Superior Qualities"


Nathan Leopold believed in
Nietzsche's concept of supermen,
transcendent individuals who possessed
extraordinary and unusual capabilities,
whose superior intellects allowed them
to rise above the laws and rules that bound
the unimportant, average populace.

Believing himself to be above it all,
Leopold did not feel obligated by
any of society's ethical norms.

He convinced his friend Richard Loeb
that he, too, was such a paragon.

"A superman is, on account of
certain superior qualities inherent
in him, exempted from the ordinary laws
which govern men," Leopold wrote in
a letter to Loeb. "He is not liable
for anything he may do."

Together they kidnapped
and murdered Robert Franks
a teenager from Chicago.

It was meant as a demonstration
of their intellectual superiority, which
they thought enabled them to carry out
a perfect crime and absolved them
of responsibility for their actions.

Society described it as
"the crime of the century."

Despite their beliefs of impunity,
Leopold and Loeb were both
convicted and sentenced to
life imprisonment plus 99 years.

Loeb was later murdered
by a fellow prisoner in 1936,
fatally caught in a false friend's web.

Leopold was released on parole in 1958,
slipping out of his debt to society.
He worked in health care and
took up birdwatching.

After all his ambitions,
he wound up aspiring
to mere mediocrity.

* * *

Notes:

Leopold and Loeb were privileged young men who committed a famous murder.

Friedrich Nietzsche
was a German philosopher with some pretty harsh ideas about existential issues.

living in infamy

Date: 2017-08-15 08:01 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!! Love it!!!

blown away

Date: 2017-08-15 08:06 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
Also, let the record show that the elapsed wall clock time from prompt to poem, posted, with links, was less than 90 minutes.

HUZZAH!!!!

[mock exasperation]

There you go again, disproving what "everyone" knows, that it's never possible to get something optimized for cost and schedule and performance.

[/mock exasperation]
Edited (readability) Date: 2017-08-15 08:07 pm (UTC)

Re: blown away

Date: 2017-08-15 08:16 pm (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
Yes, Tom Smith has earned his "fastest filker on the planet" reputation.

> You too can bullseye a Venn diagram ... with ~40 years of practice.

LOL!

Re: blown away

Date: 2017-08-16 12:14 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
A true master makes the seemingly impossible look effortless...

although as my old sensei used to say, true masters are also damned annoying to the rest of us mere mortals.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 12:10 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
The problem with Nietzsche's philosophy is, he never did define his terms... so people are free to interpret superman to include whatever standards they choose [and inevitably include themselves.]

Sociopaths are particularly fond of seeing themselves as "superior". [Leopold & Loeb were among case studies I've had to study for psychology.]

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 01:03 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
No emotions=superior because all emotions do is cloud judgment.

Yep.

OK so maybe that's more a psychopath than a sociopath, but.

Also: I would love to know, was that a basic psychology course, or is that your field of study/profession?

-Fallon~~

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 01:10 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Diploma level, I was working towards a Bsc in Therapeutic counselling. Then they changed the rules requiring a £480 annual fee and certification in 'best practices' which essentially made the school of therapy I preferred working in [person-centred Rogerian] illegal. Because BACC is run by Neo-Freudian NPL advocates.

Technically, I could still work as private counsellor.. but I couldn't get professional insurance without the BACC certificate, and it's illegal to work as a counsellor without it. [not to mention stupid!]

Re: O_O

Date: 2017-08-16 01:31 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Yup, that's what happens when the government hands over the job of drafting regulation laws to a committee run by a clique.

I'm just a little bitter about what happened, but at least I hadn't invested years of work and my whole life into it like some of my mentors.

And yeah, the BACC standard model of practice goes hand-in-hand with reliance on drug therapy and supports involuntary 'sectioning' of patients if they are deemed a 'risk' which usually ends up with them locked up in restraints. [word of advice for people visiting Britain.. do not tell the police if you are having thoughts of self harm.. that's a one way express ticket to the local psyche ward... and good luck getting out if you've nobody on the outside to help.]

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-16 02:15 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
Wow. And...um, so we're taking psych basics and sociology ones-and the more I read, the more I just want to...I dunno, scream, because so much depends on the pharmacologists that it's just...wtf.

I had no idea that so much was dependent on exams and that they could be so...unfair like that. :(

-Fallon~

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-08-16 02:34 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
Yeah, we've noticed. I mean, I get some of it (I feel like the MBLEX is a sort of necessary evil)...but some of it I don't get. It just, like you mentioned earlier, makes people more afraid, and we, then wonder why people just...sort of ride things out on their own. I feel like the more medicalized a society is, the more it falls apart at the seems.

I mean, some people say that it's lack of religion (God, of course) and morals, but I'm not quite sure I agree with that whole argument.

Sure, I believe that you shouldbelieve in *something* even is that something is yourself, but I'm not sure that 'lack of morals' is the *only* erason society seems to be cracking and going to hell; the more I read about credentialism, I think that's also part of the reason. Now that I have a better idea what it is.

-Fallon~

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-09-01 04:40 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I wouldn't say certain asshats have religion without morals. It's just that they *claim* the religion out of one book and get their morals/ethics out of a very different one, probably titled "how to win friends, influence people, and rob them stinking blind"...

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