The case of Elliot Rodger

We are desensitized to violence on the news.  It’s expected. We’re inundated with it all the time.

But the story of Elliot Rodger’s manifesto and subsequent massacre of six sorority girls should scare the bejeezus out of anyone.

It’s easy to think that the goofy male virgin that tries to ask you in a painfully awkward out only to be shot down is comedy gold.  How many of us know that the same male virgin goes home every night and pounds his fist into the mattress over and over again or literally bangs his head against the wall until he starts bleeding?

How many of us know that the shy goofy kid curses God after the ninety-ninth attempt and even changes his religion, if he’s lucky enough to find one that resonates with him?  How many of us realize that many so-called mature men have attempted suicide or even succeeded because they didn’t want to live one more day as the dreaded “V” word.

But the main question remains.

How many of those virgins realize that in their desire to find love, the real reason they can’t get laid is simply because they are unlovable, self-absorbed douchebags?  

Elliot Rodger died without ever knowing why girls found him “creepy.”  He will never know that the manifesto he spent preparing and recording was NOT a cry for help, It was a methodical plan to regain some kind of personal power.  It was the result of years of bitterness and jealousy over what he felt was “the power of the pussy,” a desire for an object, something to be possessed, and he never once admitted, “I’m just looking for someone to love.”

If love was what he was looking for, he could have gotten professional help with that. He could have tried dating services.  He could have even paid for prostitutes, because after a dozen of them, those hookers will bond with him and can tell him what he’s doing wrong, because obviously no one informed him.

I don’t know Elliot personally, but all of the things above if you haven’t figured it out by now pertains to me from my teens to my thirties. It’s easy to be caught up in romance, because it’s all we ever see in the movies, or on television, even in literature.  When I watch, “Sixteen Candles” I relate to the male lead, not to the geek and certainly not to Long Duk Dong.

Everyone does. Even geeks don’t relate to the geeks unless they get the girl in the end. But the reality is, a douchebag is still a douchebag, no matter how geeky he is.

And Elliot Rodger, above all, was a douchebag, like myself. We objectified women, cast them as the prize in our quest for love and call it romance. But if someone had just bothered to tell him, “Dude, that’s not love. That’s lust. It’s objectification, and no woman wants to be the object of your fantasies.”  Then maybe he’ll think twice.  

If his father had encouraged him to write his feelings down, maybe publish a book or an independent film — he certainly had the connections, then maybe this would have been a different story. With a different ending.

But Hollywood producers are in it for the money, not the art and certainly not vanity films. 

So what do we take from all this. If we have a collective sigh from the male population, thinking, “Thank God, I’m nothing like him.”  Then we’ve failed.  I would never deny that I’m very much like him, even though I never wanted to harm other women.  I have thought about it, and yes, I would have violent dreams (often comically violent) after I’ve been hurt. But I would never think that it sets me apart from someone like him. Because the anger stemming from loneliness and false feelings of entitlement is very real. And without the right guidance, we’ll only have more incidents like this.

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