5.27.2014

No Sympathy for the Devil

If I read one more article about Elliot Rodger's "pain", I'm going to hurl.

To quote Angry Asian Man, staying up-to-date on this story has been "dizzying" (also, to quote AAA: "fuck this guy").  On the one hand, for anyone with degrees/deep interests in fields like sociology and psychology, Elliot Rodger's legacy of videos and his WTF manifesto are a treasure trove.  Long after the outrage of his crime blows over, there are those who will continue to analyze this creature, mainly because he provided us with abundant material.  For lack of a better description, studying Elliot Rodger is a lot like being a kid in a blood-splattered candy store.

But do I feel sorry for him?  Hell, no.

I've watched some of his videos and read some of his manifesto, focusing on the college years.  I knew kids like Rodger in college; a lot of us did.  If you may recall, they were the ones who didn't "do" anything.  Rodger, for example, had no job.  His parents foot the bill for everything.  He also didn't take education seriously; the only reason he chose that college was because he'd seen that city in a movie or on TV or something, and fantasized about being a part of its wild social scene.  He didn't attend class faithfully or focus on his studies once he realized that fantasy wasn't going to happen.  So to recap: no job, no classes, parents footing the bill - with no small amount of lies and manipulation from Rodger himself.

But despite not "doing" anything and not worrying about the financial consequences thereafter, Rodger - and others I've known like him - are always THE biggest whiners in the world.  To them, everything is "unfair", they are always "just so depressed", they never take responsibility for themselves, and they become exceedingly agitated whenever you suggest that they do.

As Marona has pointed out, a lot of news outlets aren't focusing on the three young Asian men Rodger killed first before moving onto everybody else.  I've been reading about those guys; they took their education seriously.  Unlike Rodger, they had friends, they had social lives, and they had ambitious career goals (at least two were studying computer engineering with the intent to start their own firm after college).  Rodger, on the other hand, felt he was entitled to a life of "extravagance" and was extremely irritated his mother ignored his repeated requests for her to marry a rich man and move them into an estate.  He considered her very "selfish" for not doing so (seriously...read his manifesto).  He was also highly critical of his father's directing career, livid that his father did some sort of documentary back in the day, rather than helm a big budget film.  By the standards of we peasants, Elliot Rodger was pretty rich.  By his standards, however, his parents were utter failures.

The irony of people like Rodger is the karma.  Karma is unavoidable.  Money and a convenient lifestyle may come easily to people like Rodger, but people never do.  Human interaction is a fascinating karmic variable, because regardless of a person's privilege - white, male, cissexual, heterosexual, able-bodied - regardless of whatever bubble shields them within society, human interaction always reminds us that every bubble is finite.  It reminds us that one's privilege can only take them so far.  After that, they have to do the rest and for people like Rodger, it ain't happenin'.  Human love, warmth, empathy, and respect simply can't be bought or browbeaten out of us.

Now that I think of it, I went to high school and college with kids like Rodger, the ones who expected things to "just happen" for them, with no work or effort whatsoever on their own part.  If someone they liked didn't like them right back, it was "unfair."  If people weren't lining up to house, feed, and chauffeur them, then those people were being "selfish."  If they had to get a job and/or attend enough classes to justify their loan checks, and overall pull their own weight, the world was simply "unjust."

Nothing was ever their fault, and anything that was wrong, was wrong with someone else.

A girl on YouTube stated that if Elliot had gone to a bar and just not talked aloud, he would've very likely gotten laid in record time.  Countless folks have recommended he should've bought hookers.  People keep forgetting, however, that Elliot Rodger wanted to be loved by the women he found attractive.  He expected it, felt entitled to it, demanded it, and it was something his all parents' money just couldn't deliver.  He wanted a pretty, blonde, skinny white woman to give him her heart and body of her own free will.  When you think about it, it's those extremely specific requirements which probably kept him from becoming a serial date rapist.

So was Rodger sick?  Yes.  He was sick in that he was a heartless, selfish, misogynistic internalized racist.  Simply branding him crazy conveniently distances him and quietly dismisses all the other fully functional sociopaths we interact with on a daily basis who are just like.  Was he gay?  Highly unlikely.  It wasn't only gay men jamming to Whitney Houston when she dropped all those hits back in the day.  Not only is this lazy stereotyping, but writing him off as gay also conveniently distances him, brands him as some sexually deviant Other so we can avoid the much-needed discussion about the constant violation of women's rights by heterosexual men.

It would be easier for "some" folks to see Elliot Rodger as a mentally disturbed gay Asian man who simply lost his mind over being - well, for one, Asian - as well as a 22-year-old virgin.  That's a narrative which sits quite well with white America.  But Elliot Rodger was a product of white America, specifically a product of its racist and sexist supremacy, and so long as such supremacy exists, this won't be the last time we'll hear from the likes of him.

9 comments:

  1. Product of white America. That's what I'm seeing.

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  2. If you may recall, they were the ones who didn't "do" anything. Rodger, for example, had no job.

    In the manifesto he speaks of how those jobs were beneath a person of his stature. I’m sure many of us can recall starting on the ground floor, making a mere pittance (1.75 was my hourly wage back in 1970) cleaning toilets and mopping floors. This young man never had to work and no one ever compelled him to (even though he was offered many opportunities for employment). For many of us work builds character, working for your keep instills pride, so very early on we see how this boy reeked of narcissism. A conceit that went unchecked through his childhood, even possibly nurtured by parents who showered him with everything. Such self-love if left unchecked becomes pathological for many young white males. He truly felt the world owed him something. That his parents owed him a living, owed him every luxury. His father’s new wife owed him respect as the eldest son, for in his opinion everything she enjoyed materially deservedly belonged to him.

    He didn't attend class faithfully or focus on his studies once he realized that fantasy wasn't going to happen.

    Ostensibly Rodger’s livelihood didn’t depend on attending classes faithfully, for he had a roof over his head regardless. I remember years ago my eldest teen daughter had the audacity to quit her job at Burger King because the supervisor yelled at her. “Don’t nobody talk to me like that,” she’s alleged to have said. Yet she was still living under My roof, eating up My food, sleeping in a bed that I provided for her. She had no bills to speak of, no babies to care for, no other responsibility in her young arrogant life but than to keep a darned job. I told her this as I chewed her out. Moreover, I made her find another job as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Suffice to say she never did that again, because one of the first lessons she learned by going back to work was Humility. You learn to do what you have to do to keep a job, for your very livelihood may depend on it.

    Elliot Rodger suffered no detriment because of dropping out. His parents were always there to shore him up before he experienced any kind of failure (which would have been a good thing). His parents were overindulgent, for all he had to do was whine to them and both succumbed emotionally/financially. His entire manifesto is a testament to indulgence. Mom may have wanted him to attend school, to take responsibility for his life, but the damage had already been done. Spoil a child into his adolescence and he becomes incapable of self-reliance/fulfilment. For many sons (and I know a few) it becomes nearly impossible to tear them away from the tit. His self-centeredness borders on the pathological, so much that he was willing to bite the hands that fed him. He had no qualms in killing parents and siblings for what he felt were grave injustices. That word pops up quite a lot too. Injustice, suffering self-imagined wrongs at the hands of the entire world. Now that’s grandiose thinking if ever I saw it. His sufferings were not confined locally, it’s not at the expense of a few people, a lost opportunity or life's little disappointments, but rather- it springs from a worldwide campaign by them’s and they’s to deny him every pleasure that’s due him. If there is a hell (and I certainly believe there is), then he has the whole of eternity to think about how wrong he was.

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    1. One of the girls I knew back in college who was like this did get a job at one point. It transformed her. She started keeping a regular schedule, going home to bed at a reasonable hour, concentrating more on bills and rent, and it matured her greatly. I call it entering the cycle of Work and Weary; you put in an honest day's work, then when you when go home you are too damn weary for any bullshit. You don't care if so-and-so doesn't like you back or wanna have sex with you; so-and-so ain't payin' your bills. You start to see things a bit more clearly when you have responsibilities. When the difference between ramen and a real meal is whether or not you take your job seriously, it gives you a whole new perspective.

      Too bad this girl met a dude who flattered her, slept with her, plied her with sociababble bullshit (he too never went to class), and eventually convinced her to quit her job, quit school, ditch her apartment and tour the world with him as a squatter.

      It's been over a decade; ain't seen hide nor hair of her since.

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    2. I call it entering the cycle of Work and Weary; you put in an honest day's work, then when you when go home you are too damn weary for any bullshit. You don't care if so-and-so doesn't like you back or wanna have sex with you; so-and-so ain't payin' your bills. You start to see things a bit more clearly when you have responsibilities. When the difference between ramen and a real meal is whether or not you take your job seriously, it gives you a whole new perspective.

      Such a beautiful statement. It will certainly help you grow up. My daughters liked nice things. They liked the idea of paying for their own stuff, it was liberating. You learn to appreciate things more when you’ve worked for them. Now my son took a bit more persuading. Knowing what I went through as a welfare child and how early I started working to help my Mom out, no son of mine was going to tell me he lacked ambition for entering the workforce. I had to work on his Mother, forbidding her to do for him at a certain point. If parents are not on one accord the child learns to divide and conquer. As long as she suckled him (by way of designer sneakers, clothing) he had no needs to speak of, therefore he saw no necessity for work.

      Raising moral, responsible- self-sufficient children was our task as parents. Now the son of 26 years is the exact opposite of the son of 18. He's developed a strong work ethic, fostering productive relationships with those who had rule over him, as well as his clients. Runs his own landscaping business now, crediting father for teaching him the hard lessons. I wanted to raise a child that contributes to society, instead of one who aspires to be a statistic. In this instance, Elliot Rodger's parents failed him. They should have cut that boy off early in life, compelled him to learn the value of earning an honest day’s pay. They should have allowed him to fall, to get back up and to try again. Whatever extravagance he enjoyed should have been earned- in part by him, with the parent contributing a portion- certainly not the whole. Indeed it would have given him a whole new perspective on life.

      Too bad this girl met a dude who flattered her, slept with her, plied her with sociababble bullshit (he too never went to class), and eventually convinced her to quit her job, quit school, ditch her apartment and tour the world with him as a squatter.

      That's so sad. Just two words come to mind: Paradise Lost.

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  3. Nope. I don't feel sorry for Elliott. He's not the only guy who is a virgin in this world but they don't go out taking other folks lives because of it. If he wanted to get laid he should have hired a prostitute.

    What about Elliott s pain? People should be asking what about the families of the deceased pain? They have lost their kids over selfishness and stupidity.

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  4. you know, I don't really care for this guy. I'm much for the students that passed. He was materially well off. He didn't have to take care of his parents, he didn't have worry about living paycheck to paycheck, and he didn't have to worry about walking down the street while being white or male. Now if he was a a WOC, who had to struggle, who was at a breaking point, who had been raped and assulted because of her race and she did the same thing. I would be way more sorry for her than this guy.

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  5. But despite not "doing" anything and not worrying about the financial consequences thereafter, Rodger - and others I've known like him - are always THE biggest whiners in the world. To them, everything is "unfair", they are always "just so depressed", they never take responsibility for themselves, and they become exceedingly agitated whenever you suggest that they do.

    That right there. No matter how up in the world they are, they are never happy. They never own up to the shit they do. And everyone and everything else is the problem.

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  6. You know his parents are trying to talk about having money problems now? I wish I had their money problems. I wish I had the kind of money problems where I could afford to buy a BMW simply to cheer up a loved one. His daddy was sending him $500 a month while he was at school - do y'all know what I (or any of us) could've done with an extra $500 a month back in college? I would've loved for my mommy to send me $1500 just so I could get a new laptop after I destroyed the first one. Did you know his mama was getting $2000 a month in child support back in the day? Do you know what your average single mother in America could do with an extra $2000 a month right now???? The hell kind of money problems are these?

    I'll tell you what kind: they're the kind which make all the distraught, grieving parents who are most definitely considering suing your ass go away. This is a great preemptive strategy to get out having to foot that particular bill. Ain't this some shit? Even in death, Elliot Rodger is still racking up a tab he won't have to pay.

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  7. @Ankhesen: This is a very good post. Elliott Rodger was a product of white culture. But he was also mentally ill. I wish i could have some iota of sympathy for him, but no he was despicable. There are thousands more sick people just like him and that's scary.

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