Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 8

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M aybe murder is, in essence, an act of revolt against the Gods — a demonstration of disagreement. Men consciously interfering with the heavenly order of things, and getting some kind of kick out of it.

Although the Gods disapprove, they don't let their aversion lead to any kind of action in this earthly coil. They might accuse us in the hereafter, when the deed is irrevocably done, but they don't put a stop to murder.

Maybe murder is a kind of puberty. A period in our development, necessary to go through. Can it be like one of the Freudian stages? Anal, oral, genital — and mortal.

If baby insists on playing with his little penis, a sensible parent knows not to stop him, or baby will stay forever in a state of compulsion to do just that. Could it be that we need to kill each other, now and then, to be at all able to overcome this compulsion?

In that case — for how long?

A tricky business, murder is. It seems to be the most difficult to pull through, the first time around. But for every time it is repeated, those who have the experience admit it gets easier.

Man is an adaptable little beast. The horrible act of murder can easily become more and more of an addiction.

A strange thing, addiction is. It comes only to habits bad and harmful. Or does indulgence, the gluttony of it, turn everything into harmful substance? A metamorphosis induced by quantity.

Well, there are people who believe that diluting substances changes them completely, so why not the other way around? Anything nutritious must be poisonous, in too large a dose.

I've heard that even plain water is poisonous, if you drink too much of it. There was a woman in France who committed suicide by drinking forty liters of water.

Even air makes you dizzy, if you inhale rapidly and forcefully. And if you don't inhale enough, that gets you, too.

A very delicate balance, life.

The addiction of murder certainly involves a great deal of pleasure. The mass murderer gets some kind of satisfaction from ending the lives of others. Putting a stop to life spans, he's forcing the irrevocable onto his victims, and by that indeed provoking the Gods.

It's not hard to conceive the thrill of it all. We've been hunters for many hundreds of thousands of years, guarding the life of our species through the reluctant death of other beasts — and what prey is more of a challenge than man himself?

To kill others must also be a way of playing with that irresistible force, which is sure one day to hit oneself.

I can't avoid death, cannot keep it off — but I can speed up its arrival, on others as well as on myself. By invoking death, I pretend to control it, and get a little more used to facing it.

Yes, that can be satisfying.

Watch him, my fellow human being. Breathing, shivering, widening his eyes in terror, at the moment of the blow. See blood and pain, see his knees bend and the whole body sink to the ground. Then, he is no more.

Whatever that may be.

It's exciting, like nothing, nothing else, to be the catalyst of such an event. Making the dark mystery of death a swift tool in one's own hand.

Therefore, I'm not sure that the "laissez faire" strategy of the Gods, if that's the case, is the wisest line of action. By allowing us to indulge in murder, they might — instead of making us become fed up with it — make us forever addicted.

Is that what's happening?

Not so many of us commit murder, and not as often as in past days, we're led to assume. However, when we do, we tend to think in a larger scale than yesteryears. Also, we develop ever more efficient equipment for it.

Murder easily becomes a hobby, a habit of sort, whatever the reason proclaimed for it. We excel in coming up with reasons.

Summing things up, we seem to do a twisted kind of progress. On the other hand — we never really stop playing with our penises, either.

O n the conceptual, as well as on the practical level, murder can be exciting.

In past times it was quite a messy business, of course. The murderer was never farther away from his victim, than for the blood spilled to stain also himself.

That is no longer the case.

Except for the traditional kinds of killing, used solely by those of primitive taste or lacking in means, there's a multitude of methods, not requiring the murderer to be closer to his victim than the distance that can be traversed by a rifle's bullet.

Like most things in our technological society, murder has become a mere pressing of buttons. Something abstract. The hardship of it is banished from everything but the murderer's own imagination.

On the other hand, I guess it has always been precisely the imagination that tormented every murderer the most.

In this aspect, killing is somewhat like dying. It's not the moment of the action that's so scary, but the — God knows how long — time thereafter.

What's it like, on the other side of the event? The perspective is vertiginous to both participants alike. What's it like, the land of death — and the remaining life of one who caused it?

Yes, that uncertainty is shared equally by the victim and his bane.

Even if the memory of the deed torments the murderer's mind for no other reason than his expectation and fear of such agony — the pain is no less real.

The mind is a devilish trap.

Still, many a man and woman is fully capable of risking the incurable malady, for some reason or another.

Frequently, the reason appears to be of almost ridiculous insignificance. Indeed, it seems as if people find it much harder to bear with minute irritations, than with the grand injustices.

Whatever the proportion of the cause, in spite of our mysterious fear, many do take the step.


Is it the temptation of sin, of anything utterly taboo? It's hard, very hard, to withstand the impulse of doing something horrible.

Fear is an attractive, seductive brew. Who wants not to taste catastrophe?

The only thing one really has to do, is to trick one's self-protective instincts into believing that there's a good chance of getting away with it.

An easy task.


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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