How “American ‘Psycho” Serves As The White Man’s Code for Behavioral Dysfunction
American Psycho is a film that was released in 2000 — starring Christian Bale in the role of Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman — a character that was made famous by American author — Bret Easton Ellis — who authored the 1991 novel that inspired the film version.
The New York Times described Psycho as a “mean and lean horror comedy classic.” The late Roger Ebert praised Bale’s performance — particularly “the heroic way he allows the character to leap joyfully into despicability; there is no instinct for self-preservation here, and that is one mark of a good actor.”
Truth be told — I was star-struck by Bale’s efficient portrayal of the cold-blooded yuppie investment banker with a penchant for sex and mayhem — way before I realized that he was just another privileged actor who scoffs at the idea that he has to be of Egyptian descent in order to authentically portray an Egyptian god.
But now — almost twenty years later — the film I once hailed with heightened enthusiasm has evolved into to the blueprint of the White man’s celebrated dysfunction — which has been endorsed with the allowances of a privilege that doesn’t extend to darker counterparts.
We see it everywhere because it’s not a hidden habit.
From Ryan Lochte who lied about being robbed in Rio during the 2016 Summer Olympics to the media’s annoying updates about Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock — it seems that when White men misbehave — the consequences aren’t nearly as brutal as they should be.
Paddock joins a growing network of domestic terrorists who match his racial makeup — and possess the same tendencies when it comes to wrecking irrevocable damage to the lives of innocent Americans — for reasons that border on the insatiable need for attention and misplaced martyrdom.
Similar to the madness that fueled Patrick Bateman who freely killed at will — Paddock was a regular sixty-four-year old guy with enough money to comfortably live out the rest of days — but his demonstrated refusal to do exactly that led to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Since the bloody massacre that resulted in his suicide — Paddock has been the subject of an ongoing investigation that has involved his brain being sent for a thorough examination by experts at Stanford University — who finally revealed “the striking abnormality” nestled in the part of the brain that is responsible for “human learning and memory.” But there is no proof that this latest discovery can be connected to Paddock’s deadly rampage. There’s also the recent release of autopsy results that confirm the murderer’s reliance on anti-anxiety drugs — which again — has no bearing on the events that transpired from a hotel room — across the street from oblivious concert-goers.
Even in death — and after being identified as the man responsible for the massacre of thousands— Paddock is afforded the respectability that befits any White man in America who is given the benefit of the doubt — despite glaring guilt. No Black man who kills a shitload of people would have his brain scanned for “abnormality” at an Ivy League institution or his autopsy released for public consumption with a disturbing level of unbiasedness.
It’s obvious that White men have been set up to never fail.
And now with the Trump administration actively protecting the interests of officers who are casually abusing their station with unapologetic temperaments — under the dictation of a leader who defiantly vocalizes his support for an alleged wife beater — this full-blown virus of rampantly bad behavior that systematically goes unchecked — is identical to Bateman’s frustratingly uneven fate of escaping the punishment he deserves.
Former top aide Rob Porter who is in a relationship with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks has been accused of domestic abuse by two of his former wives. The details of how Chief of Staff — John Kelly worked diligently to keep Porter’s blemished past from becoming public knowledge — coupled with Hicks drafting the unbelievable response to the allegations is quite unsettling.
But when you’re under the guidance of a thug who not only bullied his way to his present job as Commander-in-Chief — but also brutalizes the power he wields with historic carelessness — you have to make him proud by following suit.
Trump has vocalized his unwavering support and praise for Porter and as usual he tweeted the damning evidence:
It’s interesting that Trump is suddenly passionate about the relevance of “due process” when you consider how the former reality TV star publicly expressed his disappointment when “The Central Park Five” were exonerated after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Trump used his infamous bullying tactics and racist disposition to refute the findings — by insisting that the five men(four Black and one Latino) were indeed guilty of the 1989 brutal rape of a jogger.
“The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”
Of course the fact that the victim was a White woman shouldn’t be of any significance — but when you consider the fact that the men who were wrongfully accused — fit the profile of a population that are traditionally criminalized and deemed guilty before innocent — it’s hard to dismiss how those facts motivated Trump’s call for the death penalty in his bitter statement to CNN during his run for the presidency.
As Trump continues to destroy the once immaculate reputation of the nation he’s supposed to serve with dignity and astute allegiance to “all-Americans” — regardless of race or creed — the impact of his gross misconduct is keeping the media-at-large in business with round-the-clock coverage of the latest fiasco.
Everyone observes and analyzes — and even career trajectories have benefitted from Trump’s viral tantrums — but worst of all is how we’ve been trained to accommodate the behavioral dysfunction of White men — who are labeled as “crazy” or “mentally-deficient” — when they’re really over-grown toddlers without the discipline required to be decent human beings.
It’s much more fun to push the limits and marvel at how shitty things can get when unrestrained access is granted at the expense of a national catastrophe that could take decades to clean up.
American psychos are being harvested in our own backyard and I don’t know about you — but I would gladly exchange them for the batch in shithole countries.
It seems to be the most sane and much safer option.