THERE are some nasty pieces of work out there. Psychopaths, sociopaths and other kinds of paths.
But is there a scientific term for someone who is just deeply, deeply unpleasant? A miseropath, perhaps. Or a nastopath maybe.
I think I’ll go for nastopath, and as I invented the word I am entitled to put on my white coat and come up with a scientific definition.
A nastopath is not just someone who is habitually mean spirited and a little bit cruel. We’re all capable of that on occasions. No, a nastopath is someone with sheer unpleasantness running though them, like the message in a stick of rock, and whose cruelties are premeditated, and faintly ingenious.
At the top of the nastopathic scale, I suppose, are bogus tradesmen and other confidence tricksters who prey on the elderly. It is very difficult to imagine the pre-planning meetings that these people must hold beforehand…
“Right, this is how we play it. When the old biddy answers the door I’ll do my man-from-the-gas-board routine, telling her we’ve got to check for leaks. I’ll give her a flash of fake ID while you sneak past and look for her pension book. Any questions? Right. Let’s do it!”
How can anyone BE so unpleasant as these people? Research is needed. A good place to start might be the terraces of Millwall Football Club.
There, it ought to be possible to see nastopathy taking shape before your eyes. Not necessarily at the same criminal level as the bogus callers, but pretty nasty all the same. There have just been reports of excellent examples of utter unpleasantness on the terraces of The Pit, or whatever they call Millwall’s ground.
Leeds United were the visitors and this was a prompt for a fair number of Millwall fans to wave Turkish flags. The significance of this is that a few years ago two Leeds fans were murdered while attending the away leg a match against a Turkish side.
The recent Millwall incident is a first-rate case study in nastopathy because it has all the elements which characterise the condition. There is a reasonable level of intelligence evident, in order to recall the original incident in Turkey and to decide that it could be used for the purposes of bating Leeds fans.
And a fair amount of preparation was required. For one thing, Turkish flags had to be procured in substantial numbers, which cannot be all that easy. Perhaps they used the Yellow Pages and rang round….
“Yeah, mate, I’m trying to get hold of Turkish flags or pennants. I need ‘em for Saturday. You got some in stock? Nice one, my son! I’ll take all you’ve got. Sorted!”
Yes, that’s what I mean by nastopathy. Not casual, heat-of-the-moment cruelty, but pre-meditated unpleasantness which requires planning and preparation.
Maybe dahn Millwall way they don’t know what the fuss is about. Perhaps my equivalent on the Millwall Evening Sentinel is even now penning a column on the subject…
“Those fat Northern bleeders dunno what it means to have a larf. Just cos a few diamond geezers on the terraces waves a few Turkish flags in their faces, they ‘ave a fair old weeping fit and no mistake. I tell you, my son, a sense of humour stops at Watford Gap! They should stay in chip butty land if they can’t take a joke!”
But, no I am not suggesting that nastopathy is a Southern trait. John Shuttleworth (comedy creation of funnyman Graham Fellows) once made a film in which he attempted to show that the further North you went in the British Isles, the nicer people became, but I am not sure I believed him. Not entirely, anyway.
There are nastopaths everywhere (including Calderdale, believe it or not). But if we can learn more about the condition perhaps we can identify these people at a young age and take appropriate action.
Like packing them all off to Antarctica.