I would describe that as something of a leading question. And one that leads me to an immediate state of confusion.
Plasters are a bit irritating. They never stick quite right for long enough, they leave horrible gunk behind, and they provide an incredible opportunity to pick at something you know you shouldn’t.
But, they also stop lemon from going in small cuts. And mean you can do something useful about very, very tiny problems to help you stop whining about them. And they go over blisters on feet that mean you can walk. And you can get them with pictures of superheroes or kittens on.
I mean, evil? Really. Even slightly evil?
Is there something I’ve been doing wrong with my plasters? Where is the evil hidden? That gunk they sometimes leave behind is horrible, and I always end up with a fold where I don’t want one, but that is surely my own ineptness rather than some inherent darkness held deep within the plaster’s cold, black heart.
Time for a tangent, methinks.
I’m not convinced I believe in evil.
I mean, I’m not entirely sure I believe in ‘good’ too, but then, I feel I have a more instinctive grasp of that. Or possibly a logical one, depending on the day.
But evil? It’s put down as a motivation for doing things, and I think that doesn’t make sense. I’m pretty sure nobody feels evil, waking up and thinking ‘time for some evil, let’s drown some kittens’.
The closest we’ve got, and something that is far too evinced by our society as a whole, is a lack of empathy. Self centredness and an unwillingness or inability to see another point of view is probably at the core of most of the bad shit that happens. Though, according to something I read the other day, that would make people with autism evil, which is clearly wrong.
I don’t know.
Evil sometimes seems like an excuse to dehumanise the worst things that have happened in the world. Holocausts and genocides and rape and torture. These things are evil. It means we don’t have to take responsibility for them as actions taken by people like us.
Bullshit. Humans kill, rape and brutalise each other on an epic scale all the time. It’s horrendous, and we should be doing more to fight it. It is behvaiour borne our the same instincts and reasoning that go into everyday choices. It’s the same brain chemistry. It’s the same worldviews.
At least to some extent. People are capable of monstrosities. I’ve committed a few myself. Don’t other the horror by making it ‘evil’. Take responsibility for your actions, and acknowledge the possiblity of the effect those actions could have.
I can’t work out if that all sounds wishy washy or not. I’ll try and simplify.
People do bad things. People like you. Don’t be people who do bad things.
And I can’t think of a way to bring that back to plasters. Sorry.
Illustration by Chris.