Ben-Nine has emerged as an icon for corruption
and indulgence. It is a name heard among
drug addicts, the terminally ill and the
criminally insane. Convicted murderer Stephen
Faulkner even blamed the character for influencing
the killing spree that left eight people
dead at a popular nightclub.
Psychologists have identified the grinning,
demonic caricature as a sort of shared delusion.
Some religious organizations believe he
is an entity conjured from the recent upsurge
in domestic violence and the "moral
decay of society".
Oddly enough, Ben-Nine's morbid visage
can be seen on everything from coffee mugs
to T-shirts and bumper stickers. The phrase
"Don't blame me, Ben made me do it"
has become a normal part of the local vernacular.