Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Miracle!

How is it that all murder victims are apparently incredibly wonderful human beings?

I find it a tad odd, a statistical anomaly, that no assholes ever seem to get murdered.


  1. This is a moronic blog-post (the first I've seen on your often excellent blog).

    What does the character of a murder victim matter?

    (Perhaps some context would redeem it? )

  2. No dead person was ever a dick: the manner of their death is irrelevant. I have to agree, this is not one of Ben's better moments. Perhaps he was hoping to spark a discussion?

  3. Not true.

  4. Havn't read those links yet tallguy, but I take your word for it.

    There are a couple of examples I can give where not the person necessarily but their stupid actions lead them to their being murdered.

    Both were boys I knew from school. One happened many years ago as we just left school, word was that he had gone travelling to America, was shot there and died, we were all naturally very upset. Later it transpired that he had been doing some drug dealing and was planning on bringing a load back, he was on the other guys 'patch' hence the lethal bullet. Sad, silly and possibly a bit greedy.

    The second boy from school was killed again, we heard whilst travelling, for his work or something like that we were told.

    His death made it to the local radio. He was a popular boy at school, but was a bit of a dickhead according to the others, although I always thought he was funny, if a bit unusual. Anyway, his work involved some sort of exploitative 'trading' in Africa. I think he made it a bit obvious that he was out to make a financial killing off their backs and so, at their hands he met his death.

    I don't believe anyone is completely good or bad, a complete arsehole or an absolute angel, but our actions (that may in part flow from our personalities) can be daft enough ( or, depending what it is; brave enough even ) to get ourselves killed by another.

  5. What about the giy you killed Ben? Wonderfull human being or arsehole?

  6. You're absolutely right here, Ben.

    I think it's the old idea that you don't speak ill of the dead under any circumstances...

    A friend's brother just got 18 years for a murder and reading the papers you'd think the guy who ended up dead was a saint rather than a violent pisshead who was killed by him attempting to defend a woman he was about to attack.

    Speaking of that, would the prosecution witnesses getting their story straight on Facebook before the case be grounds for an appeal?

  7. What springs to mind, reading this post, is Gaddafi's murder as a prisoner of war, murdered by "special forces". OK, he was an asshole but does that make it right?

  8. Which is a bigger problem in the world right now;

    a) People being murdered (by individuals. organizations, states)?


    b) Murder victims getting undeserved praise?

  9. It's the same in the Armed Farces. Ever noticed how it is that it's always the "heroes", the "brave soldiers", the "loyal comrades" who are the first to be killed? No-one ever killed a "right tosser" or a "thick bastard" or a "total wanker"

  10. There's a good reason we don't speak ill of the dead: they are gone and a frank assessment of their faults won't make them a better person, but those innocent people who loved them (for all their faults) are still around to be hurt.

    I'm all for open and frank discussion, but I fail to see what this one will achieve. We all know some people who die were arseholes while they were alive and we have subconsciously agreed as a society to pretend it isn't so for the good of those that loved them.

    As far as I can see (and I'm always prepared to be proven wrong), after that has been acknowledged there's nothing more to debate.

  11. So don't think as badly of murderers because sometimes the person had obnoxious personal habits?

    I'd prefer to not think as badly of murderers because some were in circumstances well beyond their capacity to handle.

    But because the victim was obnoxious? That just makes you obnoxious.

  12. @ Wigarse

    This doesn't relate so much specifically to murder victims, as to the fallibility of the "don't speak ill of the dead" rule in general: those who loved the dead are not the only ones still around. Sure, if someone's worst fault was that they were annoying, that's maybe not something to be bringing up. But if someone has done real harm to other people, their death doesn't erase that, and refusing to acknowledge the harm someone has done because they're dead compounds that harm. I have definitely heard people talk about how hurt they were to hear people singing the praises of someone who raped or abused them, and in some cases being scolded for bringing up what was done to them because the person was dead, as if that meant they no longer needed space to heal. I'm not saying it's a stupid rule and should be thrown out altogether, and I'm not saying people who hurt others deserved to die anyway and no one should mourn them - but I do think people could afford to ease up a little bit on the deification of the dead.

  13. Here in R*****g a teenage girl was murdered by some drug-dealing lowlifes from London who she knew. Her picture was all over the local paper: young but fat and sulky. Her family said she was an angel.
    I reckon the family was in denial. Their values and ways of thinking and feeling had failed her totally: I think they were hiding from that.

  14. Surely, an arsehole is/was an arsehole - dead OR alive!?

  15. There was a man nr Tunbridge Wells, about 15-20 years ago (better not name him). but it was national news and on crimewatch. He was indeed an arsehole, and so were all his family, He was always bragging, and exagerating about what he had, and ripping everyone off. One day he was shot dead. If it wasn't by the person who did it, it would have been someone else down the line. Sadly, his innocent and niave wife was shot too. But because who this man was, i bet when the guy comes out of jail, he will never have to buy his own drink again.

  16. Every so often Prisoner Ben says something that is really quite chilling.

    On a lighter note, how can you be agitating for a move to open conditions, whilst located on the punishment block (presumably for some sort of lack of self control)?

  17. Ben, you can exert far greater change by getting out of there (you may fight the system but you will not win). I've just stumbled in here accidently but find your writing facinating!

  18. Anon, above, Ben is actually working in the Block and is not there for punishment.

  19. Proof if it were needed that all the qualifications in the world can't stop someone being a fool.

    In a strong field, that's possibly the odds on favourite for Ben's crassest ever post.

    It's actually an interesting question about social and media attitudes but when someone has done what Ben has done, he loses the right to ask it and be treated as anything other than hideously lacking in self-awareness.

    There are times reading some of the stuff Ben writes when one does wonder if these parole boards aren't actually as stupid as we imagine.

    What does Ben imagine that a parole board member thinks reading that? That here's a man who has got his crime in a proper proportion? Unlikely.

  20. I can understand why people might find this post shocking or offensive. But I think we should follow up by asking why we find it so, and whether our offence is justified. I would argue that it isn't.

    Ben is not pointing the finger at anyone in particular - he isn't saying that murder victim so-and-so was anything other than the wonderful person they were made out to be in the media. He is suggesting that some victims may not have been quite so wonderful as portrayed. It would be difficult to disagree with this, whatever your opinion on it.

    But it seems the main cause of offence is the implication that, as another comment put it, we shouldn't think so badly of the murderer if the victim wasn't so nice. Does this implication really follow, though? Some comments have said that the personality of the victim doesn't matter when forming judgements about the murderer. If we really believe that, then the implication clearly doesn't follow. But if we do find ourselves coming to that implication, we would have to wonder whether the personality of the victim actually does make a difference, perhaps unconsciously. I think it often does. It shouldn't, but it does. It's an unfortunate attitude, encapsulated by the image of the scales of justice: something done or said to the benefit of one party is often seen as an insult to the other. So overplaying the personality of the victim can be used as a subtle way of further demonising the murderer.

    I think I would say something more along these lines: We shouldn't think any worse of the murderer just because the victim was more of a saint than a common sinner. And, for good measure: It's perfectly okay to feel compassion for a common sinner anyway!

  21. Good points made there, Scott. I took the post to be pointing the finger at the media who tend to portray victims as saints whether they were nice people or not.


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