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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Elliot Rodger's Fairness

Elliot Rodger left us eight minutes of thought before he killed.  They represent eight minutes of his confusion about the world:
"I'm twenty-two years old and I'm still a virgin.  I've never even kissed a girl....  It has been very torturous.  College is the time when everyone experiences those things, such as sex and fun and pleasure."
Is that what college is about? Isn't college about education? Where did he get those ideas?  Why does he think everyone is experiencing this? Is he attending solely for this purpose?  Who said there was anything wrong with being a virgin?
"In those years I've had a rotten loneliness.  It's not fair."
It isn't.  No one should be lonely, but it happens.  Life should be fair, but it isn't.  Why did he return unfairness with more unfairness?  Despite having an idea of fairness, he plans to impose his system of unfairness [death] on others.

Humans are all about unfairness.  Political factions put one group's concerns above another.  We seem unaware of our biases (or justify one group as deserving preference over another).

Where did he get these ideas of fairness?  Probably school.  Yet how else can teachers teach without a system of fairness?  Teachers who preferred one group of students over another were annoying.

"I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me.  But I will punish [points at camera] you all for it.  [Glances off, thinking]  It's an injustice, a crime.  Because... I don't know what you don't see in me [Sexy whimper and smile]  I'm the perfect guy.  And yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me [thumb pointing to himself], the supreme gentleman."

Five things he was probably unaware of:

  1. As a guy, he's not bad looking.  I suspect women were interested in him.  But he's probably unaware of vibes he gives off.  For instance, he puts his chin on his hand, a photogenic pose.  He clearly is aware of his semi-attractiveness and yet he's been rejected.  Likely, he only looked at those who weren't interested in him.
  2. "Because..."  He doesn't have a because for why it's a crime women haven't shown interest.  He has to think one up, one that doesn't logically follow.  His answer is about him, which may be some of the vibe that turned women off.  
  3. "I don't know..."  Are his first three words are a Freudian slip?  He doesn't know why it should be a crime except that he's emotionally wounded.
  4. "the supreme gentleman"  He wants "sex and fun and pleasure" [and presumably to be with the popular who live in hedonistic pleasure], yet he also wants to be a gentleman (Webster's: "a man who treats other people in a proper and polite way").  He apparently does not see the contradiction.
  5. "injustice" [later "annihilated" and "slay"] -- His uncommon choice of vocabulary likely put off a number of women.  They probably thought he thought he was better than them.  They may have been right.

"All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure while I've had rotten loneliness for all these years.  They've all looked down upon me every time I've tried to go out and join them. They've all treated me like a mouse.  Well, now I will be a god compared to you."
Despite considering himself "the supreme gentleman", he's tried to join the popular to indulge in their "hedonistic pleasure".  He failed.  He appears to have had socialization issues.
"You do deserve it [death]. Just for living a better life than me." 
Oddly, with the chuckling over his decision to mass-murder, he sounds like a B-movie villain.

By coincidence, I was just reading comments from tabloid journalists who said something similar about movie stars. There's a sizable portion of the public that loves to witness the destruction of others. Rodger's retribution video has a lot of likes (more dislikes, but still).


What this video tells me is that young men need to be educated in the ways of women, and in the ways of socializing in general.  If what you seek does not exist in one quarter, look elsewhere.  As Stephen Stills told us, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."  Not really a gentleman's song, but I suspect that wasn't Rodger's inner desire.

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