The science of evil

Odin is not hungry so he goes to a park because it’s such a nice day. He sits on a bench and reads a book.

He is careful not to sit on a bench by the playground near the park entrance, because Odin is a middle-aged man in a suit and the book is The Science of Evil and that might not go over well in a playground, although Odin himself finds it a charming image.

Odin sits on white bench under a giant Blood Beech tree (so they are called in German) and reads a black book about zero negative empathy and the neurological origins of evil.

He borrowed the book from his kid, sort of half-trading it for The Wisdom of Psychopaths, a book of his.

Move along, nothing to see here.

People jog past. People walk past. People sit on the grass and sun themselves.

Sit in the park reading a book about evil: isn’t this what a Bond villain might do? Am I a potential Bond villain? wonders Odin.

What is a Bond villain anyhow, nowadays?

Someone with more than a certain quantity of money, he thinks. Above a certain amount of money, the evil ensues automatically.

Once you have more than what could be defined, by any stretch of the imagination, as ‘enough’ you are a Bond villain, because someone who is not a Bond villain would have paid their taxes, or given away the excess.

Nowadays, you don’t need a ray gun pointed at the moon. Nowadays, you are the Koch Brothers, fracking. You are Dick Cheney, running a fake real war from a hidden location.

Odin goes back to his reading.

I know these people, he thinks, reading case studies.

Better than, I am these people, he thinks.

Am I these people?

Am I?

A black crow, a stranger with a crooked wing feather, watches Odin from beneath a car when he walks back to the office.

Odin watches it back.

Am I?

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