[LMB] LQ #57: worst Bujold villain

Claire Nollet cnollet at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 00:50:56 BST 2009

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 5:23 PM, Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com>wrote:

> I said:
> > {Ryoval]'s bad because he abuses people for profit.
> Harimad asked:
> > Do you see this as worse than abusing for fun?  I don't.

Hmm.  If you do it just for fun, though, you probably can't abuse as many
people.  Your average serial killer or a sociopathic creep like my brother
typically abuses one person at a time.  Sure, it builds up over time, but
your body count -- literally or psychically -- is probably going to be less
than a couple of hundred people.  Every person you destroy is like one of
Madame Estelle's dresses -- a one-off piece.

But when you start abusing people for profit (or politics/racial
agenda/etc.) -- well, then you have to get an assembly line going, or you
won't make the profit (or accomplish your twisted racial agenda).  You have
to build a factory/factories of sorts, get a lot of minions to help you out
with the dirty work, buy your torture instruments in bulk.  Then you can
destroy lives wholesale.  At that point, your body count is only limited by
how many resources you're willing /able to pour into the enterprise.

So, worse?  In terms of the quantity of sheer human misery, I'd have to say
abusing for profit is worse than abusing for fun.  Although the latter is
perhaps more distasteful, as the perpetrator has to get up close and
personal to his/her victims.

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