The A.I.R.P.O.W. Test (Am I a Raving Psychopath Or What?)

  • We all harbor a certain amount of hostility and aggression within us. It is inevitable; a strain that stems back to our origins as Neanderthal creatures who hunted to survive, rarely bathed, and practically never said either "please" or "thank you." When huge fanged beasts roamed the Earth freely and fire was a valuable enough commodity for which to kill, this hostility was an essential trait needed for everyday survival. In the modern world, however, clubbing someone over the head as hard as you can with a blunt piece of wood for no apparent reason is just exactly the sort of behavior that will have you banished from allthe best dinner parties. Still, these aggressive urges remain inside us and need to be vented in one way or another if we are to remain psychologically well. Realizing this, the subconscious mind finds means through which to do so in our daily "acceptable" behavior. Heavy metal music is one such way.We listen to loud abrasive guitars and the violent lyrics as delivered through primal screams of some evolutionary throwback and are purged; afterwards, we can work, shop, and play Trivial Pursuit without even experiencing even the slightest desire to see parts of someone's brain spray from their shattered skull and splatter against a wall, and drip slowly to the floor while their body collapses like a fallen tree and blood spurts from their jugular vein with the rhythm of their dying heart until a large portion of the carpet is completely ruined.Still, there are dangers. As the Richard Ramirez "NightStalker" case glaringly pointed out, too much heavy metal can have the opposite effect: It can actually drive reasonable young men to random violence. The question is, how much is too much? And at what point to people cross the line which separates the thrashers from the slashers? The simple and tragic fact is that nobody knows. And worse still, none of the affected realize they have become psychotic until it is FAR TOO LATE! Sometimes it occurs to them while they are engaged in an extremely antisocial action such as dicing a victim and placing the portions in freezer-safe ziplock bags, but by then they usually don't care.There is no one personality type who is especially at risk, either -- the only connecting thread in the preliminary stages is an overwhelming obsession for heavy metal music. If you enjoy hard rock more than the average person... well, first of all don't panic, the chances are you are completely stable. If you find you listen to one especially violent song over and over again on your ipod while torturing the neighbors' pets, you should consider it as a warning sign. It is an indication of brewing rage within yourself, and dwelling so much on the extremely violent imagery in such songs you can come to believe that it is only through violence that you can ever be at peace withyourself, when in fact all you need is a strong sedative. To help you determine whether or not you've "gone metal," I have developed a simple evaluative test which you can take in the privacy of your own home. Follow the instructions in each section and choose the correct answers,then check your results with the chart at the end. If you were planning to use a severed finger,you can skip the test entirely and go right to the chart