The Imp of The Perverse
I know it's old news, but i can't quite get the lady who stuck the cat in the wheelie bin out of my head. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYdUZdan5i8]
It reminds me of an Edgar Allen Poe story called The Imp of the Perverse, which everyone should read because the imp of the perverse is such a fantastically useful concept, and also because Poe is brilliant.
Here's an excerpt:
"We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss – we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger. Unaccountably we remain. By slow degrees our sickness, and dizziness, and horror, become merged in a cloud of unnameable feeling. By gradations, still more imperceptible, this cloud assumes shape, as did the vapor from the bottle out of which arose the genius in the Arabian Nights. But out of this our cloud upon the precipice's edge, there grows into palpability, a shape, far more terrible than any genius, or any demon of a tale, and yet it is but a thought, although a fearful one, and one which chills the very marrow of our bones with the fierceness of the delight of its horror. It is merely the idea of what would be our sensations during the sweeping precipitancy of a fall from such a height. And this fall – this rushing annihilation – for the very reason that it involves that one most ghastly and loathsome of all the most ghastly and loathsome images of death and suffering which have ever presented themselves to our imagination – for this very cause do we now the most vividly desire it. And because our reason violently deters us from the brink, therefore, do we the more impetuously approach it. There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him, who shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge."
I used to think of Poe's imp on the edge of precipices. Now I think of it every time I pass a wheelie bin.