Botox And The Things We Do For Love

Emotionally speaking, we are a schizophrenic society.  Perhaps we are a schizophrenic world.   Quite often we have incredible needs where romance and sentiment are concerned, but we mitigate those needs with the crassness of survival in the modern context.  While we recognize a deep seated need to satisfy our emotional requirements we obscure these sentiments by approaching romance and marriage, even  relationships with our families, as some form of corporate merger or social detentes.   To our most romantic and sentimental instincts we add complex  layers of material opportunity and the cultural acceptance.

We buy into the movies, and the romance novels that manipulate our sentiments.   In media world, as opposed to the real one,  couples from the opposite sides of the spectrum, different cultural interests, ethnic backgrounds, economic stations, find themselves linked eternally.    The normal  obstructions of social norms and divergent interests,  to say nothing of peer pressure and cultural prejudice, withdraw from the sexual battlefield as love triumphs over all.  We can’t get enough of this stuff and buy into it, hook, line and sinker.

Media feeds on our  romantic idealism.   It manipulates our sentiments.   Now in the digital age we  are bombarded with these paint by numbers constructions from every possible angle.   We walk the streets and stand in lines, surrounded desire in fact our insistence on romantic denouement.   Often in paint by numbers, formulaic arcs, the illusion of true romance is served up to us at ten to fifty bucks a pop.    We wait in knowing anticipation while the fated lovers stumble over themselves and respective situations, overcome peer pressure and cultural differences, to finally reconcile their desire for each other so we the audience can reinforce our illusive pursuit of pure romance.   We buy greeting cards and watch endless maudlin commercials where parents race across the world to be home for their kid’s debut in their grad school play.   We watch endless commercials where families come together as one for that happy holiday meal.  Where they hug and eat and never argue.

In quest of love we do many things to ourselves.   We say things that we really don’t mean or even care about.   Sweet nothings, or broad generic terms of world peace and humanitarian considerations while berating the busboy for not cleaning our table.   We wear funny outfits that we hope make us attractive and then we become disgruntled when people are staring.   We once smoked cigarettes to look cool and sexy.  Now we smoke because it is a habit.  We take drugs, drink too much, eat too much, and more often than we care to remember we find ourselves in the sweet embrace of the toilet bowl at three a.m.

If you are male, you preen and shine and hope not to look as awkward and as uninvolved  on the first date as you most certainly will on the fourth or fifth date down the line.  If there is a fifth date.    You dress like a boy and think you’re a man and hope that you can somehow discover the equilibrium between looking like schlep and a cardboard cutout from Details or Gentleman’s Quarterly.   You get pierced and tattooed and claim it is not really an esteem issue but an expression of your individuality.   You bathe in cologne unaware that you are the only one who knows that smells like  a men’s room at fifty yards away.

If you are a male, you try to show that you are sensitive and caring, but that you aren’t just another pussy.   You avoid like the plague being categorized as a guys’ guy or a ladies man.  You try to be different from the pack, but not so different that your date or your lover starts to think you are strange and burdened by a hidden agenda where you secretly boast of a butterfly collection or bury skulls in your flower bed.   You go to the gym and run for miles, claiming it is all about our health when you know damn well you are far more attractive with an athletic physique than the slob who sits in the cubicle right next to yours.

You get your penis enlarged by adding fat tissue and cutting tendons that make it dangle more than nature may have first intended.   You do this to impress yourself and to impress her.  You wonder if you have impressed her enough that she will go to bed with you.   And then you worry if you were good in bed and and if you measure up to her previous experience.   You wonder how in the hell you can leave in the wee hours and not look like a shopworn cliche.   After all this, you visit your shrink who invites you back for another year of analysis.

But the price men pay for love, even when they actually pay for sex, is nothing compared to the gauntlet of tribulations that women must endure.   From bleaching to waxing, to shaving certain body parts that will itch for days, until you scratch like a monkey, showing off at the children’s zoo.   You get your first face lift at fourteen.   After which there is are future years where you engage in sessions of liposuction, ass and tummy tucks so that you still look good walking the unbearably painful walk of three inch heels.  You pluck your brows and paint your nails.  You wear perfume, but you worry if it is the right perfume, whether it defines you or makes you smell like just another slut.  You go backless and braless, you eat too little and then eat too much, only to show penance once again with your arms wrapped in the cold and familiar embrace of the proverbial toilet bowl.

You get stitched and sewn, tanned and tailored.   You wear clothes too tight and shoes too small.   You go blond, brunette, step it out as a redhead for a minute and a half and wish for the day when you can say “screw it,” I’ll leave it gray and live with those oh so natural, murky yellow highlights.   Like men you date and you wonder if you are attractive, if he really wants to go to bed with you.  You wonder if you are good in bed, if you measure up to his other lovers, or if his previous lovers were of the barnyard variety.   And then you wonder how in the hell you can leave in the wee hours of the morning and not look like a shopworn cliche.  And then your remember, it’s your place, so there is no escape.  After all this, you visit your shrink who invites you back for another year of analysis

You worry about aging, whether you are still attractive, and whether you are a sexual being.  You start worrying about this when you are eleven, and you don’t stop worrying until they put you in the grave.   You worry so much your brow wrinkles.  And then you get your Botox shots.  You realize Botox is not the best thing for you as the secret ingredient causes Botulism, a deadly poison.  A deadly poison that may in the long haul cause nerve damage.  But who cares?   You look better and this is then and later is later.  And by then you are dead anyway, so who cares?

So now what did they do?   New studies have discovered a relationship between paralyzing your nerves, which Botox does, and your inability to express emotion.   People on Botox are slower to smile or frown or show anything other than the stoic expressions the ancient Greeks used to proffer as a viable lifestyle.   According to the recent study, some of it summarized in the Los Angeles Times, among other place, Botox shots will confuse the brain.   Botox Shots, researchers discovered, block facial nerve impulses, seemed to slow the ability to comprehend emotional language. Emotional expressions apparently send feedback to the brain.   It is a combined effort between smiling and frowning and our awareness as to whether we are having a good time or a lousy one.

Simply put the reaction time between the stimulus and the emotion takes longer than it does for a senile geriatric to cross the street in St. Petersburg.   Facial expressions make the brain make sense of the world around us.  No facial expressions the world around us is tough to grasp, as if it isn’t tough enough already.    Stuff happens to you, and you don’t know what you are feeling.  Good times, bad times, there you be, unable to grasp whether you are ecstatic or really pissed off.   Or at least, according to the study, it may take awhile before the brain gets the message.

If we extrapolate this study, then for all we know, Botox could affect our sexual congress.    Enough Botox could freeze the facial expressions and delay the sensory signals to the brain.  It would be the orgasmic version of the late arrival.   It’s like showing up for the banquet when they have already removed the  dishes from the tables and folded up the chairs.   The Botox orgasm.   Between the big sensation and the “Oh God” screaming,  hours may have passed.  By then it is Sunday morning.  Your neighbors don’t know if you had an orgasm or you were getting ready for church.

Anyway…it’s not that I am critical of our vanity.  Observant, maybe, but hardly critical.  It is what it is, and far be it for me to provide any meaningful alternative where I don’t sound like a rescued speed freak from an abstinence ministry.  Besides, I am too vain for that.   People need to do what they do and in a world of chaos and uncertainty at least try to have a good time.

The only thing is, if you dose yourself with Botox, how will you ever know it?

When Drivers Can’t Drive Their Cars

We all think the other guy is a lousy driver.   What’s odd,  is that at least one out of five times.  According to an article in Media Post a new report from the2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test we are correct in our assessment.  At that is before we delve into our biases in the way we rate our fellow drivers.   Add in some of the more obvious and extenuating factors and a great many of us should never be anywhere behind a wheel.    Quite a few in fact shouldn’t be allowed to pull a little red wagon, yet alone power a three thousand pound automobile.

The recent report from  the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test contends that one in five drivers, nearly 38 million drivers in all would flunk the written driver’s test, if it were given today.    The test incorporated basic driving questions that were culled from the driving manuals in the fifty states.  Nothing too arcane or esoteric.   Just stuff you maybe need to know before you head off for your bag of Doritos and double Mocha Latte with your cellphone in your ear and your makeup in your lap.

Okay, so  maybe in addition to the twenty basic questions there were some other, more directed questions.   There were questions related to the texting while driving.   You know, difficult interrogations that are only slightly less challenging than reading the fat content in a Denny’s Grand Slam.   Questions, from what I gleaned, like whether or not you should duck your head back into the rear seating area for a quick peak  at the monitor where Finding  Nemo is preventing your kids from beating each other with their Young Einstein action heroes.

The study indicates that a number of licensed Americans continue to lack knowledge of basic rules of the road; the national average score decreased to 76.2% this year from 76.6% in 2009.   No need to convince me we are dumbing down. About 85% could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light.  Many drivers remained confused by safe following distances.  This would require math, not a strong suit as of late.    Hell, we can’t even estimate correctly how much oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis.   Small chance we can estimate how many feet it takes to stop a car.   And then there is the matter of reading, actually understanding the questions that were being asked.  Other studies report that fifty percent of our citizens are functionally illiterate.   Perhaps we should have left our more serious reading to the dinosaurs who lived with us in domestic harmony a mere 6,500 years ago.

The drivers in some states did better than the drivers in others.   Kansas may not have grasped entirely the radical theory of  Evolution, but at least as a state it came in first on on the written driver’s test with an average score of 82.5%.   New York State finished last with a 70% average score.    That means three out of ten drivers in the Empire State should always be taking the subway.  In general, drivers in the Northeast may not be as well informed about driving regulations as their Midwestern counterparts. The Northeast had the lowest average test scores (74.9%) and had the highest failure rate (25.1%). The Midwest region had the highest average test scores (77.5%) and the lowest failure rates (11.9%).

Not surprisingly,  the older the driver, the higher the score.  The aged are still able to read, which is probably their greatest advantage.   Males over age 45 earned the highest average test score. Males also outperformed females overall in terms of average score (78.1% male versus 74.4% female) and failure rates (24% female versus 18.1% male).    I suppose the one caveat about the vaunted  elderly drivers is that you can also see him driving down the street with his turn signal flashing and a shopping bag perched on the roof of his car.   Then it might be wise to think differently.

As for female drivers, overall, a significantly higher percentage of females than males reported engaging in the following distracting situations: conversation with passengers, selecting songs on an iPod or CD/adjusting the radio, talking on a cell phone, eating, applying make-up and reading.   We are talking multi-tasking.   Not always easy at sixty miles an hour.   And then every once in awhile you do need a hand on the steering wheel, whether you want to or not.    The other day I watched a woman in an SUV while she juggled muffin, coffee, makeup and cell phone, while trying to negotiate the traffic in Beverly Hills.  It was almost an art form, until her one angry bite severed the muffin so it fell out of her mouth and into her lap.    The look on her face was priceless.

George Carlin used to comment in his comedy act that the driver poking along ahead of you  and who won’t let you pass is an imbecile.  On the other hand, the driver whipping around your slow and sorry ass and blazing on up the highway, well that driver is a maniac.   Everyone else, I suppose, is somewhere in between.  And where is in between?   Cutting corners so tightly that they clip the car in the left turn lane who was just sitting there waiting for the light to change.   Trying to figure out how to parallel park sometime before the second coming.    Or not knowing that four wheel drive can help you drive through the ice and snow, but it doesn’t assist much in the way of stopping.

And drinking.  Let us not forget drinking.  I used to live in New Mexico where the rules were such that you could pull right up to the drive-through liquor store without having to suffer the inconvenience of staggering out of your car.   Small wonder, the Land of Enchantment is the number one state in single car fatalities.   Miles and miles of open spaces.  Nothing to hit, really.  But, still, they manage.

This report may go a long way to explaining the forty thousand people who die every year in car wrecks, and the couple, few million who are injured.  These figures are actually down from a decade ago, but you can attribute that more to the safety of the vehicles than our collective driving prowess.   I suppose, if you want to get picky, you can also remove from the list the false claims of injury and incapacitation that are mounted to sustain the driver-lawyer-quack doctor menage a’ trois.  Most accidents are not of  the gnarly paralyzing and dismembering  type that will get you a prime spot on the late night commercials sponsored by your local ambulance chaser.

Now bear in mind, the GMAC Insurance is just that…an insurance entity.   Their job is to sell insurance to drivers.   This is where their money is.   And despite the fact that they need and want to sell as much car insurance as possible, they are contending that one in five drivers shouldn’t be behind the wheel.   I would think this is a conservative estimate.    Should we ever get realistic about these estimates, auto sales would plummet even further, insurance policies would go wanting, and the country would have to actually do something about viable public transportation.    Ancillary benefits would mean less of a dependence on oil, and possibly in urban centers you could actually breathe the air. We can’t have that.

But we all know there is no such thing as reality anymore.  Pragmatism is a thing of the past.   If we had common sense, knowing the destruction they cause from distracted driving, we would be draconian in enforcing laws about cellphone use in the car.   In my humble opinion, instead of some measly fine, for first offense they shove the phone where the sun won’t shine, and for the second offense, they remove it with a chainsaw.   But I am being moderate here.  Oprah Winfrey is spending real bucks on commercials where she is dragging out the victims and survivors of victims killed by distracted drivers.   She admonishes us about using driving and cellphone use, and she is a national icon.   Tears fall.  Voices tremble.   This is Oprah., for god’s sake.   Everyone adores her.   Everyone listens to her.  Except when she tells us that when you are driving put down the damn cellphone.   Then even Oprah is a just another pain in the ass.

Perhaps it is wise to use the GMAC Insurance estimates as a base figure and take a closer look.    By utilizing some of the GMAC survey questions we can start to approach the truth.   On the survey, only five percent admitted to texting while driving.  So we are not only a nation of lousy drivers, we are also a nation of liars.    Couple that with the fact that, according to reports, fifty percent can’t read and understand the survey anyway, so there answers may be more guess work than actual comprehension.  Add into this mix those out there who are driving without a license.   There are more than a few.   So this group wasn’t even asked to take the test.      And if you still think it is only a mere twenty percent of the driving population that shouldn’t be behind the wheel, I have one final suggestion.   Take a trip to your local DMV.  Look around.  Then tell me how safe you feel with some of these people motoring down our highways.

By no means does this make us the worse drivers in the world.  Americans are merely the worst drivers in the United States.   Anyone who has driven anywhere else knows the tribulations of, say, the Indian National Highways, or the vagaries of traffic rules in South America.  We can’t all be Canadians, after all.   Even in the South of France, unless you demonstrate you are committed to running over pedestrians, it is nearly impossible to get from here to there.   And these are places where they have some semblance of highways.  Or paved streets.   There are many parts of this world where even the Yak is ill informed to who has the right of way.

And then, despite our whining and sniping, we Americans are pretty much a tough breed.   Come some national holiday where perseverance and John Wayne’s rectitude  are compulsory, before we head out on the highway with a six pack of beer, and a bevy of off-road vehicles trailing behind our four miles per gallon bargain RV.    We are a nation that meets its challenges.  Well, sort of.

Well, there are many challenges ahead of us.  The least of which is being able to read the driving manual.  As John Kennedy implored as President, about our reaching the moon in ten years, we have to continue moving forward.  Which is fine with me.  As long as  we don’t have to drive there.

For the curious sort, you can take the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test by clicking this link.

The Grand and Gruesome Tradition of Spousal Murder

Anybody married has at one time or another pondered however briefly the idea of doing away with his or her spouse or long term lover.   It’s natural.   You can lie about it and claim self-righteous indignity, but I seriously doubt if your spouses demise wasn’t at least cause for a flash of speculation.   Except maybe if you are Mother Theresa.  But then, she wasn’t married.

Let’s face it, killing one’s spouse is an historic tradition.    It has peppered history.  It has moved fortunes, and it has realigned nations.  It has also disrupted families and left us to ponder the illogical.  But prevalent.  As it is difficult to pick up a paper and not discover the periodic and often sensationalized story of one significant other reaching the dramatic conclusion that the other significant other is not so significant, after all.

Spouse killings are big news.   Scott Peterson, a pathetic nebish of a man with a lust for other women, a deep seated hatred for his wife, and a bad murder plan, made headlines for months on end, after he killed his eight months pregnant wife, Laci, and tossed her body into the San Francisco Bay.    His turgid story practically made careers.   Talking heads babbled on and on as if this idiot had killed the Archduke Ferdinand and set off the First World War.   But interest in that little catastrophe in distant Europe pales in the face of spousal murder.

I remember as a kid hearing my parents discuss Ethel Kravitz who awakened her husband one morning with five shots into his sleeping body.   She was early in the game and didn’t get the headlines, the book and movie deal she would have today as she explained to all who would listen of her mental torture at the hands of what’s his face.   And then not long ago there was the woman in Texas who as taped by security cameras running her Mercedes over her cheating husband’s body.   Like fifteen times.   Surely her way of declaring the marriage was over.

But then Texas has always been intriguing with its spousal murders.    I remember living there some decades ago when the “crimes of passion” ruling was still hanging around.   Come weekends you would get the murder scores like the ball scores.  The first being how many drunken rednecks not yet accustomed to urbanization shot up the bar and killed some other barfly in a heated dispute over the superiority of  the Ford or Chevy truck.  I remember one incident where one shot another for taking his hat.  Not quite like taking his horse or his truck, but it got him shot just the same.

But that was nothing when compared to the time honored Texas tradition where spouses who shot the wife, husband,  lovers, whatever,  claimed they did it in the heat of passion.  The heat of passion laws were still on the books back then, and more than a few judges paid homage to custom and gave the heat of passion plea notable credibility.   The loving couple may have not spoken to each other for months,  not had sex for decades, but suddenly that old passion blazed inside and blammo, there was blood on the Karastan carpet.    I remember one husband shooting his wife’s lover because he thought he was a burglar.  A burglar standing naked over his straying wife.   And these, mind you, were hardly the trailer trash whose collective insignificance meant their tales of  murder and betrayal was a mere footnote to the upscale crimes of passion.    It wasn’t like today where any half-assed ne’er do well could make big headlines by only killing his or her spouse.  If you were of the lower classes you had to at least kill a whole bunch of people and not just your spouse before any self-respecting journalist would waste news space or air time on your sordid and pathetic story.  But then, that was before there was a 24-hour news monster that had to be fed.

Yes, more than a few of the wealthy and successful have traveled the rickety path from the appearance of reputable citizenship to homicidal celebrity.   There are any number of physicians who choose to do in their wives to avoid the inconvenience of divvying up community property.   Sometimes there is a lover involved, and sometimes it is just a stand alone venal gesture.   Such was the recent case where according to the Los Angeles Times, a man was charged with arranging for his wife’s murder back in 2003.   Only now, are they bringing charges, which speaks well of the tenaciousness of the Los Angeles Police on this murder case.   The murdered spouse was one of their own, after all, and had been a secretary in the Internal Affairs Division.   Police considered among other leads the killing was job related.   But ultimately the motive enveloped the estranged wife discovered assets her husband didn’t declare in what had initially been an amicable divorce.   It came  to light that it was a hired gang member who murdered her with a shotgun, outside a Mexican Restaurant.   At the alleged behest of  her husband.  Her husband had taken there because a friend had told him the guacamole was something special.

But speaking of killings, there are the celebrity murders that seemed wrapped around restaurants.  Something about eating a decent meal that makes one want to kill their beloved.  There is the Robert Blake who was brought up on murder charges for allegedly killing his wife in North Hollywood, outside their favorite Italian restaurant.   He wasn’t convicted.   O.J. Simpson, was also found not guilty, wink-wink, was charged with killing his wife after she, too, returned from a then trendy Italian restaurant in Brentwood.    But Phil Spector was found guilty.  Took two trials to make it happen, as the evidence of his having blood all over himself, powder burns, and claiming to his driver “I just killed someone,” made it a tough call for the jury.    Alright, technically she wasn’t Spector’s wife, but some woman he had picked up in a restaurant.  Nevertheless, Spector deserves some honorable mention here, if for no other reason than his past exploits with former wives and girlfriends.     All those years of trying shouldn’t go unnoted.

There was the celebrity chef, Juan Cruz, who was arrested for arranging his wife’s murder.    And now  Mexican authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Bruce Beresford-Redman, former producer of  “Survivor,” some irony there,  in connection with the killing of his wife.   Beresford-Redman has denied any involvement with his wife’s death.   Saturday Night Live featured player, Phil Hartman, was  shot by his drug addled wife.    Years go, women were best known for poisoning their victims.   But now they have modernized and have exchanged poison for bullets.    And you get to know the outcome of your actions much sooner than poison would allow. You’ve come a long way, baby.

Speaking of shooting, Jean Harris who, yes, wasn’t his wife but his lover, spent  time in the poky for shooting down Scarsdale Diet Doctor, Herman Tarnower for seeing other women.   She shot him four times and claimed it was an accident.  Oh, the rich, they will sell you anything, including the accidental four shot explanation.  Some poor slob who shoots his wife is damn well sure to be sitting in line for lethal injection.  But, hey, Harris and Tarnower made for a fabulous story, because what could be better than sex, murder, and a diet book all thrown into the same Movie of the Week.  It’s tough to ask for anything more.

Age doesn’t seem to be a factor when it comes to killing your spouse.  Spousal murder is fun for all ages.   The young do it, think of Ryan Jenkins, former reality show contestant, who killed his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, a former swimsuit model.   Brain child that he was, Jenkins pulled out her teeth and cut off her fingers to keep the police from identifying the body.   He forgot about the serial numbers in the boob job.  Oh well.  At least Jenkins had the decency to hang himself in a Canadian motel and save the state some desperately needed bucks.

And then there is my former neighbor and strange but brilliant fellow, Ira Einhorn.   Combining actual research with actual bullshit, Einhorn was a charismatic soul despite the fact he appeared to  wash every new moon and gave Mr. Dirt a serious run for his money.  Nevertheless,  he captivated the new agers, academicians, and corporate folk alike with his mighty spiel about the expanded mind and the future of everything.   Even when convicted, many still backed him, in fact supported him with money and other assistance as he eluded authorities for close to twenty years.   In fairness, Ira didn’t kill his spouse but the young woman who loved him and then found him overbearing and controlling once she grew up and out of her infatuation stage.   Ira didn’t like that, couldn’t stand the fact that she had left him, and forever sealed their bond by beating her to death with a hammer and then keeping her desiccated body in a trunk inside his funky apartment.   He had convinced the more gullible it was all a set up.  That despite the smell coming from his apartment, he was working in mind manipulation and telekinetic communication.    But the less gullible, like the jury for instance, wasn’t buying it, and convicted poor Ira in something like two hours.  They probably took so long because one juror had lingered in the bathroom.

Okay, enough of the gruesome facts.   There are certainly enough to get  the picture, and the list or spousal and lover murders is far too long for any reasonable person to want to absorb.  Beside, I will live that up to Nancy Grace and the Crime Network.  But spousal murder still remains its own kind of killing.   Jealousy and avarice may be the top two ingredients to set someone off to killing their spouse, that’s true.  But, still, we are referring to a pretty dramatic and reprehensible act here, all to save a few bucks or justify a lover on the side.  Or to nullify that lover on the side.   Whatever.   It is some recourse for what appears an intractable condition.

While we have for the more religious the Biblical depiction of fratricide, there is little I can think of that explains in any detail the killing of one spouse or another.  You can find it in blues songs and in country music, but not in the Bible.    But then I have never been much of a Bible reader, so I might have missed something in class.  And then if I had missed the spousal homicide bit, pop culture would have reared the parable in whatever dumbed down  lyric form so I would at least be aware of it. No going there.   But then not everything in the Bible.   I am Western and think in Western thoughts.   There are  special creeds where the ultra religious somehow still feel justified,  in killing their wives.    But say no more as they tend to get upset when you remind them of it.

Was spousal homicide just inconceivable back in Biblical times?   Doubtful  Or was it that women were considered property or chattel and their sudden demise  at the hands of their self-righteous husbands was nothing to write verses about?   I don’t know.   But then there is no real Biblical listing of wives killing husbands, either.  And they might have been more justified, given the oppression of the times.

And what prompts one spouse to kill another?    Rich and intelligent people commit to spousal murder the face of all probability they will be caught, convicted and sentenced to a place far removed from the golf course?  It is amazing that to avoid giving up material possessions one would stoop to the unthinkable.    Or because they want to leave their spouse for another lover.  Or the spouse doesn’t want them leaving for another lover.   It”s a stone, cold fact yet still amazing that greed and jealousy leads to the kind of  thought  that leads to murder.

I can understand the true crime of passion when in a jealous rage one spouse or the other snaps out and stands there with the smoking gun or dripping knife.  Dumb but understandable.  But most often jealous rage is not the the case.   Most often spousal murders are premeditated and calculated.    Most of the time there is a trail.   There are motives and documents, telephone records and complicit email.   There is often the actual killer, the guy who did it,  arrested on a different charge and now willing to tell all for a lighter sentence.   Or for an appearance on Larry King.  Few get away with it.  But still the beat goes on.

I would love to attribute it to our social programming and blame the media for egging us on.   I would love to cite loose morals, the ever growing need for self-aggrandizement.   I could opt that we read enough headlines, see enough movies, and read enough books to perhaps make some of the more demented start to think spouse killing is an easy fix to a bad marriage.   But it is not the media.   The media may fan the flames, but there is something inside us that leads the charge.   There is that chemical impulse that leads to premeditation, that causes some to cross the line between rational thought and plotting and scheming their spouse’s murder.   Yes, it is in our chemistry.  Damn it.

So I guess we should take into consideration the old Dupont slogan, “Better Living Through Chemistry.”  Or not.   Perhaps it is better said that we are just dumb enough to be human.