Elliot Rodger’s name will go down in infamy. He joins a long list of troubled young men whom, after feeling outcast, lashed out against society and the perceived slight of not getting what they wanted. This latest mass killer killed six students of UC Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, CA on May 23, 2014. He had planned for almost two years since he first moved to the area.
Just before his rampage he sent out a manifesto detailing his life. I was sick over the Memorial Day weekend so I decided to read it and watch his YouTube videos. He posted a few videos of him driving listening to 80s music. In others he talked about how awesome he was and how he wasn’t accepted by the world. His later vids were him telling the world that he was going to take revenge on the world for his lack of female attention and his lack of sex and why would women choose to be with other men than him since he’s a “superior man”
The manifesto was much more detailed. From his early years he was someone who was believed themselves to be better than others and an obsession with being part of the cool kids. He had no idea how to just be himself. Throughout his life he believed that if he only dressed or did what the popular kids did he would automatically be cool. He called himself magnificent but didn’t actually do anything deserving of the title. He quit anything he liked after he saw anyone excel at it better than he could. He was hung up on stature and hated that after his parents divorced he had to live in apartments with his mother. He was such a brat that he told his mother to remarry to someone wealthy so he could live a lavish life.
He really hated people who he perceived to be better than him. The young boys who were better than him at sports. People whom he called ugly who had strong self-confidence pissed him off. He was even jealous of his little brother because he had better social skills. He talked about wanting to kill him before his attack. He didn’t seem to ever try to attempt to try to find what he was good at and make that his thing.
What was interesting was that even when young felt a need to lash out against those that were able to experience things he was envious of. He talked about when he was six not inviting a boy to his birthday party “as an act of revenge” for the boy being mean to him and feeling satisfaction in doing that. He wasn’t lacking in love his mother spoiled him and he got just about any gift he ever wanted. His actions towards others escalated as he got older. There were mentions of his interactions against couples in public. He dumped coffee on a car after seeing a couple kissing in a Starbucks. He stalked and threw ice tea on another from his car. He even went as far as to shoot a group playing volleyball with a super soaker full of orange juice. This created power tips and fueled his desire to kill couples. His explanation was that other men deserved to die for taking girls from him and the girls should be punished for choosing those men instead of him.
This guy was beyond just typical lonely guy. There are plenty of guys who feel jealous of other guys for getting girls but I can’t fathom going from that to killing. He wanted to punish people because he felt that people didn’t deserve the pleasure of sex since he couldn’t experience it. It really angered him that black and hispanic men would be with blonde white girls because not only were they his obsession but he felt that others were inferior to his Eurasian features. He would have hated me since I lost my virginity to a blonde college girl when I was 15.
More disconcerting is that he was already having these thought of his rampage since at least age 17. He planned his rampage for over a year. He first planned his attack for Halloween 2013 when it would be busy in his town but realized that there would be a large police patrol. He initially pushed it back a month but a broken leg that he got from trying to attack some people pushed it back to spring 2014. He followed all the rules and laws when making his purchases so we can’t blame the NRA. He didn’t play tons of violent video games. He seemed to only play Halo and World of Warcraft. He quit WoW after “regular” people began to play and made fun of him and others online. He couldn’t handle any kind of criticism .
What I took away from his writing was that he failed to every realize that people have to go out and get what they want. He didn’t speak about trying to talk to women and being rejected. He talked about one incident when he was young and a girl pushed him and how that “scared him emotionally”. He spoke how when he would smile at a girl and they didn’t smile back and that was the end of his world. There’s plenty of reasons she and any other girl wouldn’t respond. He felt that life was unfair since others had things he wanted. Meanwhile he never worked a real job in his life. He felt that people were supposed to reach out to him yet it didn’t seem like he ever reached out to others. There was little in the way of him attempting to make friends or join groups or clubs. He made very little in the way to talk to girls. He assumed that any girl that he would talk to would say something he wouldn’t like and that angered him.
I can understand the loneliness of not having companionship this was beyond, something off with him. I know plenty of people who feel depressed that girls don’t or didn’t talk to them. We really need to stop making people think that marriage/relationships are such an important part of life. We live in an age where the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are recurring highly viewed TV programs. Magazines headlines are always talking about ways of hooking up and landing the perfect mate. Many people live long fulfilling lives without ever finding the kind of relationship that Elliot was looking for. It’s difficult for me to grasp why even with all this potentially negative stimuli, would turn someone to murder. There had to be something deficient with him. He lived in a beautiful part of the country. He could have left his small town and visited many other cities in his area away from college people. He was only attracted to a very specific type of female in a part of the country that seems to be hung up on specific features. There are plenty of other college campuses that someone looking like him with his car and his connections to Hollywood would have not only garnered female attention but would have drawn the envy of other men.
In the end we will move on and I hope that mental health professionals will be able to learn from this and help others before it happens again.