The greatest trick the devil ever pulled

What happened to evil? Dr. Lecter said, “Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened…nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Can you stand to say I’m evil?”

On evil: Nothing is ever anyone’s fault

Incandescent light bulb

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.
Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects (film)

The insomnia’s been pretty bad lately. I should just stop wasting your time and my time and just write, “insomnia” and move on.


Being awake at night, thought about Boston, Newtown, and Aurora and the nature of evil. Something about the dark turns one’s thoughts dark, I suppose.

People wonder if there is evil even actually exists.

I believe it does.

People are always surprised by that. They think I’m naive, but I submit that I think you’re naive if you don’t.

I think some people are evil not because of how they were brought up, or what happened to them. Theyr’e just twisted with no other explanation for it. Not biology, not upbringing, not society.

Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You have given up good and evil for behaviorism, Officer Starling. You’ve got everybody in moral dignity pants – nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Look at me, Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I’m evil?
Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs (novel)

Put a little less eloquently, some people are just born ______-up.

Don’t believe it when people try and convince you that there’s no such thing as evil. It’s there. And the sad thing is that you don’t need to go far to see it.

As I wrote the above, I got a news alert on my computer that five people were dead in a shooting. This just happened.

Which just makes me wonder if evil is a self-destruct sequence for our kind. Then again, all this is just my opinion. What do you think?

Me: Do you know why I hate things like the Disney films?
Him: No, why?
Me: Because the monsters all look like monsters. But Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Mao – these guys were just normal, plain-looking dudes. No one would have looked at them and thought, “Monster.” But that’s what they were. (later) Thanks for not choking me until I passed out.
Him: (laughing) Anytime, man.

Location: about to run to Chelsea
Mood: pensive
Music: I saw Satan laughing with delight the day the music died
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2 replies on “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled”

Did you know that The Usual Suspects quote is actually from Baudelaire?

One of the many reasons that is one of my all-time favorite movies. Kudos for the reference!

Did not know that – now I’ll have to do some more research…


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