I watched football star Michael Vick's recent press conference in the hopes that he might have justified some measure of pity. After all, the man, whose reputation as a decent citizen is severely tarnished, if not ruined, is facing the loss of his career, hundreds of millions of dollars in income, and jail time. Unfortunately, what I saw, and I am no expert in psychiatry, was someone who appeared sociopathic. I do not say such a thing lightly. After all, sociopaths are people without conscience and are therefore the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes imaginable...like murdering a kennel full of dogs by electrocution, hanging, drowning, bludgeoning, etc. etc.
Typically, those with Anti-Personality Disorder, which is a common diagnosis among the criminal element, display no hint of authentic remorse for or real understanding of their crimes. Equally typically, when caught, clever sociopaths, who generally well know the difference between right and wrong but have no compunction about issues of ethics, let alone morality, will cop to understanding the moral compass they clearly lack, and preposterously, quickly claim that they have inculcated it. This is what Michael Vick appeared to do. Dog fighting is wrong he now claims to understand. There is only one problem. Why, after who knows how many years of engaging in such activity, should he? One doesn't anymore unlearn and discard such things in a few days than one walks blindfolded and backward to work.
Ahh, but sociopaths would like you to believe they not only get it, but get it in record time. In this case, the motives are easy to suss out. Vick's sentencing is months away, so finding Jesus (poor Jesus) and offering up that he now knows that dog fighting is wrong, is just the thing to say to get a dog owning judge and one's detractors off one's back. Unfortunately, Mr. Vick, at least to this observer, just wasn't credible.
For me, he gave the game away as to his real nature when he systematically referred to himself in the third person, a typically narcissistic trait. He also, by my runes, did himself no favors by continually referring to himself and his actions as "immature." No, as my wife observed, immature is living with your parents for too long, or not committing to your girlfriend. Training perfectly innocent animals to engage in a savage blood sport, and then cruelly slaughtering the less able ones isn't a sign of immaturity. It's a sign of something badly warped.