“Illness doesn’t need to be like that”

After writing my previous post, the good folks behind Gert Loveday asked if I had heard about another Australian health blogger, Belle Gibson. Yes, I had… Gibson was famous for having terminal brain cancer (not true) and running a wellness site (true). Her app, The Whole Pantry, was included on the Apple Watch, and it seems like Gibson was just about to hit the big time when it turned out that the money from her charity fundraisers was going to the charity of Belle Gibson. Then it turned out that Gibson didn’t really have cancer, just an appointment with “Dr Phil.” (He didn’t have a last name. No, it wasn’t that Dr. Phil.)

Understandably, the shit has hit the fan. Gibson has failed to make her promised explanation, the app has been pulled from the Apple store, and Gibson’s book has been pulled from sale in Australia and a planned American release cancelled. It’s sweet justice for those who’ve been used by Gibson–but why were people conned in the first place?

Continue reading →

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How to Be a Male Psychopath for Fun and Profit, and a Digression on Evolutionary Psychology

Why would a man want to label himself as a psychopath? At least self-proclaimed female psychopaths or sociopaths or whatever are sexy and less likely to go to jail. And no, please do not bring up your crush on Hannibal Lecter to me because Hannibal Lecter isn’t real. Real-life male “psychopaths” are upper-middle-class pasty white 20-year-olds who murder schoolchildren after playing too much World of Warcraft. That’s what CNN tells me, and that’s what I’m sticking with, OK?

Meet Dr. James Fallon, the good psychopath. How does James Fallon know he’s a psychopath? He’s a neuroscientist, and he’s found that psychopaths’ brains “light up” in certain places during an MRI scan, and Fallon’s brain lights up in the very same place, so he is a psychopath. Or at least he can go around telling people he is a psychopath, like M.E. Thomas, only with a set of scan results. And a penis. Continue reading →

How to Be a Female Sociopath for Fun and Profiten

There’s been a lot of talk about male sociopaths lately, for obvious reasons. For now, let’s deny them the pleasure of occupying our brain meats. Instead, let’s relax by talking about lady sociopaths.

Film editor Merve Emre recently wrote this article about female sociopaths, including several fictional sociopaths and one real one. I’m not sure about Emre’s collection of fictional sociopaths, but I’m going to focus on M.E. Thomas, the real live sociopath. Continue reading →

I’m a mean jackass, but I am suspicious

I’m a mean jackass, but I am suspicious of Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy announcement.

Or rather, I’m suspicious because of all the issues surrounding the announcement. I don’t have a problem with Jolie herself–I don’t think she’s the best actress but I don’t think she was a useless human being until today or that what she’s done is wrong. That said, I’m not sure if I want to know what’s going to come out of this. Continue reading →