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  1. #1
    Barb Gordon's Avatar
    Barb Gordon is offline Nin-Mod
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    The Joker - A Sociopath?

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    I love my Psych class. Why may you ask? Well because it's like the one class I can throw comics/cartoons into and have some real fun while still learning. Case in point, I just got my first psych assignment which is to pick two characters from two different movies/ tv series and discuss whether they are a stalker or a psychopath (sociopath), or do they just have some similar characertistics and in the end put in my personal view of whether they are or aren't. So Batman came to mind because come on, he's just got oodles of freaks to handle! I've already figured out something for the stalker, so my biggest challenge was figuring out who fit the sociopath profile. Since he said it had to be a movie or tv series, I decided to go with the movie Mask of the Phantasm as opposed to just BTAS or TNBA. Any thoughts on whether that might be a bad idea for this project? I can name certain similar psychopath traits that the Joker has, but I'll have to review MOTP to see if it really shows in that movie. Anyhoo, I'm psyched...hehe psych/psyched...for this project. Would love some feedback and views on what you think of sociopaths with concerns to the Joker - or whether there might be someone else in the Batman realm I could use to fit the sociopath or stalker profile.

    ~Barb

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  2. #2
    Frank White's Avatar
    Frank White is offline R.I.P Notorious BIG
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    I'll admit I know zero/nothing about Psychology but wouldn't the Mad Hatter fit a stalker profile?
    If Batman keeps Anti-JLA files does his protégé write Anti-Young Justice recipes in his cookbook?

  3. #3
    TimTwoFace's Avatar
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    First off, that's a kick-ass assignment. I've incorporated Batman and other pop-culture things in my classes before and they're always fun projects.

    However, I have a question for ya, Barb - what's the difference between a "sociopath" and a "psychopath"? I've heard both terms used to describe the Joker (and other Batman baddies) before. What's the definition of each?

    -Tim
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    it's been few yrs since i last had pysch but there is a difference between a sociopath and a pyschopath

    joker is clearly a pyschopath
    a sociopath is someone who fails to follow the norm, typically by committing crimes, being promiscuous, protesting/rebelling, etc...

    it's not necessarily bad to be a sociopath...it's all relative to the society. Back in the day, I'm sure MLK was called a sociopath for his equality message.

    I'd say that Catwoman is a sociopath, while the likes of Joker, Two-Face, & Scarecrow are pyschopaths.

    Selina is in her right mind. She just decides to play by her own set of rules, going where she pleases, when she pleases, taking what she wants.

    Penguin is a sociopath too, with all his backroom dealings and fencing ops.

    You may even say The Batman is a sociopath.
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  5. #5
    Barb Gordon's Avatar
    Barb Gordon is offline Nin-Mod
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    Well my proff. has just grouped the terms sociopath and psychopath together. This is a really good article detailing sociopaths/psychpaths. This is another really good and detailed lecture one.

    The psychopath is a manipulator, who knows exactly what makes us tick and knows how to manipulate and influence our feelings. They have the talent to spot “kind, caring” women.

    If that doesn't sound like Joker in reference to Harley, I don't know what does!

    and Frank, I love you! I complete forgot about Hatter, he'd be GREAT for the stalker part of my paper! I'll have to work more on that later.

    ~Barb

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  6. #6
    TimTwoFace's Avatar
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    See, that's what's confusing me. I could very well be a sociopath myself, because I like to consider myself to be one that follows the norm for the most part, but steers away just enough to be considered "strange".

    The Joker is always going to be considered a psychopath to me. He kills and gets delight out of it; even if there is some type of personal revenge tied in (ie, trying to kill Batman, Gordon, or their underlings), there is always a certain theme involved.

    Hmmm...maybe it's the obsession with quirky and kooky themes that may or may not have violent ends. Sometimes the Joker is out there to deliver pain and anguish to Gotham in general or a victim in particular, or whether he's just out there to make a joke.
    Sometimes it has to do with smiling fish (THE LAUGHING FISH), sometimes it's about using poor saps for personal means (JOKER'S FAVOR), sometimes it's to create utter chaos (BGA #31), sometimes to win an award (MAKE 'EM LAUGH), and so on.

    In fact, a good handful of Gotham's villains can be thrown into this category.

    Is that what you're looking for, Barb?

    -Tim

    PS - As for other stalker ideas, you can always use the Mad Hatter (already noted), Firefly (though his character is kinda bland), and the Invisible Man from SEE NO EVIL. The latter I think is probably the best portrayal of any stalker-type on BTAS, actually.
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  7. #7
    Anarky's Avatar
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    Sideshow Bob is a great example of a stalker.
    he'll never stop lurking in the shadows in pursuit of Bart.

    or if you still want to keep the comics motif, go w/ Venom.
    since he's invisible to parker's spidey-sense, brock can come and go as he pleases.

    sometimes he's out for a good brawl and other times he just likes to pop up and give spidey a good scare, then disappear w/o even throwing a punch.

    you could even call the Bat a stalker
    he's a hero so you can call him an "investigator"...but he basically stalks criminals. but they have it coming. ):-)
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  8. #8
    Barb Gordon's Avatar
    Barb Gordon is offline Nin-Mod
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    yeah, I'm trying to stick with what I'm most familiar with, which would be BTAS or TNBA. I need to review episodes for notes and such, can't really do that with Spiderman. Invisible Man would work as a stalker, but at the moment Mad Hatter fits more if the interesting traits.

    ~Barb

    leaf on the wind...


  9. #9
    Tom Reed is offline Member
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    In the movie "Deathtrap" it was explained that a sociopath is someone who knows the difference between right and wrong - and doesn't care. He wants what he wants, and will get it however he wants to. He'll stab you to get a pen in your pocket so he can write himself a note.

    The Joker is about the only sociopath in the DC Universe. There are other evil types, like Darkseid, Riddler, Lobo and the like, but they all have things they won't do, and clearly observable goals. Not so Joker.

    In fact, I suspect that the recent "death of the Joker" storyline from the comics was started out of exasperation. If you have someone who's willing to kill everyone on the planet for the sake of a "joke," as Joker has, there is literally nothing you can do with him. He has no nuances; he is a one-note Johnny. I suspect DC was thinking of killing him off and having him replaced by someone a little less apocalyptic.

    And while we're on the subject, although in one comic book Batman saved Joker from being outright killed by Marvel's Punisher, how many other people would want to kill Joker outright,and how often would Batman wish to protect him? Isn't it time for Lex Luthor to try to wreck Joker, just for the sake of peace and quiet?
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  10. #10
    Barb Gordon's Avatar
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    The terms sociopath and psychopath and interchangeable terms, they are both parts of the anti social personality disorder. The basc thing is that they lack a conscience. As one sociopath put it about his murders - it was a habit, just like smoking. That would fit Joker quite well for Mask of the Phantasm.

    ~Barb

    leaf on the wind...


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