Something annoying in society is the idea that goodness and human feeling are such virtuous emotions that they should be treasured like gold. Let’s take the example of a young person (early 20s) accused of a violent crime against a weaker person.
The judicial system in most western democracies is based upon an idea that penitence and regret are worthy of compassion. Therefore, entering a guilty plea will undoubtedly buy you a lesser sentence than if you plead “not guilty” and are then found to have done the dreadful sin by 12 good men and true. Similarly in sentencing, a judge may take into consideration that the convicted party said he/ she was “very sorry”. Or that his or her mother/ girlfriend/ vicar showed up to the trial to lend “moral support”. Or even that Shaznay Beckham Smith is starting a new job on Monday in Poundland and looking forward to the birth of her 8th child.
We tend to look upon acts of contrition by those who commit acts against our rules or laws, as worthy of doe eyed affection and a sympathetic ear, not to mention clemency on our part.
Conversely someone who holds a position in society that marks them as better than most and/ or is based on trust, will have ANY act of horridness frowned upon to the extreme that it may negate their entire existence before that act. Police officers who break the law, postmen who steal, teachers who cross professional lines…all will feel the mighty wrath of a righteously outraged set of societal peers
Something I came to terms with a long time ago is that we ALL have varying levels of beatification and bastardness inside us. It’s a human trait and fundamental to being able to function. Light and dark, yin and yang, drunk and hungover. The ability to perceive and realise exactly what “evil” is means that we are less likely to stray into it. A quote from the Christian faith (I forget who from) was that “in any true faith a little doubt must arise”. Basically we must question the right or wrong of a thing in order to fully appreciate it for what it is and how it may affect us and those around us.
Kicking someone’s head in who hurt your daughter may seem perfectly justified but is wrong by the standards that society sets. At the other end of the scale, pushing in the queue to get what you want may seem entirely satisfying…but is sure way to being ostracised (or even getting a smack depending on where you try it).
So life chugs on with us obeying rules and being “nice” but reacting at inappropriate extremes when others shave against the grain.
The little cunts who beat Garry Newlove to death got reduced sentences for late-entry guilty pleas. Society and the courts had decided that kicking a man to death in plain view of his wife and kids was very naughty but admitting you did it was an act that made you less evil and slightly purer and therefore would be rewarded with less time in gaol. **
However when UK cop Simon Harwood pushed fat piss taker Ian Tomlinson over*** and the nasty little slob later died of a heart attack, Harwood’s entire existence before the shove was null and void. He was clearly mortified, depressed and sorry for what had happened and his part in it. However, it didn’t matter as he was a cop, licenced to use violence when legally permissible…which in that case it legally wasn’t.
The reasons for our adoration of the Jeremy Kyle fanclub for showing some emotion is that we pride ourselves on just how “nice” we are. No one likes to be perceived as a cunt. While a bit of rough is cool, we like to be liked and outside of psychopaths or special forces soldiers, the nastiest twat in the world will feel hurt if no one wishes him a happy birthday.
As a society we reach up to be like God and therefore admire those who exhibit God-like behaviour. For someone who has mugged an old lady for her pension book and blackened her eyes with his fists, to later show emotion and say just how much he loves his mum…well, we magnimously forgive (just a little bit). We genuinely believe that this person is temporarily inhabited by a tiny nugget of Goddyness and that we just try to nurture this untapped fissure of preciousness.
Similarly if someone we admire in society breaks our rules and flaunts our norms, then we regard them as poisoned from the foul chalice of Lucifer. A police officer who takes a bribe or a postman who opens parcels will be kicked from one end of the court to the other and used as an example to others.
I really don’t get why we regard filthy fuckers finding the soap as admirable and the spotlessly neat farting as beyond despicable.
At the end of the day everyone has good and bad within them. If your IQ is over 85 and you have grown up in a civilised society then you know what is right and wrong. I’m a big fan of Super Nanny Jo Frost. She doesn’t give a fuck how sorry you say you are. You break her rules then you’ll be punished and no amount of tantrum throwing is going to change that. Means you’re a lot less likely to do it again.
** I hope these little bastards are murdered in prison, along with the turds who beat Sophie Lancaster to death.
*** How nature says “keep away”. Riot dogs, riot police, in fact…a fucking riot.