Monday, May 26, 2014

Creating a Monster: Elliot Rodger and the Spoiled Child Inside

Please forgive the stream-of-consciousness of this post - I wanted to get it up ASAP.  I plan on editing for content and spelling, punctuation, etc., as soon as I have more time.  I welcome all opinions and comments.  This is one of those situations where I truly believe we need to come together and discuss what is happening in our society.  Sharing feelings and ideas is the only way we can heal and make change.
I'm sure most of you have read by now that over the weekend 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, Santa Barbara City College student and son of second-unit director for The Hunger Games, killed six people and wounded 13 others in a murder spree before blowing his own brains out.

Unlike many other horrible events like this, we don't really have to ask ourselves, "why?" because we were left with a 141 page manifesto and an array of self-aggrandizing and social-shaming videos on Youtube.  

In the end he blamed all the hot women of the world for not having sex with him and all the men who are "undeserving" of those women for his murderous rationale.  

Maybe intuition told them that there was something wrong with him and to avoid him at all costs.  Most people can inherently sense when they are around a dangerous psychotic, even if said psychotic is acting polite.  

In fact, It's not likely this guy would have been happy even if he were getting laid.  He'd have issues if his lady wasn't giving him all her attention all the time or if he felt that she loved anyone more than him.  I can see him getting violent in a relationship if he didn't get his way.  Also, perhaps he shouldn't have limited himself to only obsessing over "hot" blonde girls.  Maybe there were some plain nerd gals out there secretly crushing on him, but he never noticed because he was so fixated on the ones who weren't attracted to him.  

I really wish someone had made him understand that women would have been more attracted to him had he had a real personality and character of his own.  It seems that he spent all of his time (when he wasn't isolating and feeling sorry for himself) affecting wealth and prestige - buying expensive clothing, driving around in a BMW and boasting about his life - instead of cultivating his personality.  I bet if he had gone on a date he probably would have spent all of his time bragging about all the countries he has gone to (most of which he barely remembers because he was so young), his famous director father and all the rich men his mother had dated (allegedly George Lucas being one of them).  There's this lame idea that ALL women care about is money and power.  Sure a lot do, but a lot don't, too.  

After reading his manifesto it seems clear that he was neglected by his father and spoiled rotten by his mother to overcompensate for their lack of interest in his life.  She apparently gave him everything he ever wanted and caved to all of his temper tantrums (which he knew would ultimately get him what he wanted).  His parents divorced when he was young and shuffled him around between them, constantly moving homes, cities, and neglecting him when he needed them most.  While his mother was coddling him, his father was pushing him away.  That can give some severely mixed signals.

In his early core years he was raised to believe he was more important than anyone and then as a teenager he was plunged into isolation - his father choosing his new family over his old, his mother never once stepping in when he was clearly becoming anti-social, while his stepmom forced him into awkward social situations that just fueled his anxiety.  His real mother allowed him to spend far too much time sinking deeper into his depression and hate, probably figuring that as long as he played his video game all day he would be out of her hair.

They created a sociopathic, narcissistic monster and then they washed their hands of him.  There are all these news stories out there saying how they tried to intervene.  This is laughable.  His mother saw a video her son made ridiculing women for not having sex with him, freaked out, called a therapist instead of her son, who in turn called a mental health place, who then called the cops.  See how totally removed from his life his own mother was?  This doesn't excuse his behavior - but clearly he was so mentally ill that he should have been institutionalized or SOMETHING. 

It is clear that Elliot Rodger was more than completely self-involved.  Throughout his manifesto he talks about trouble his parents went through – financial difficulties – that he took as direct assaults on himself.  He never once admits empathy or sympathy for anyone else’s plight.  He made everything about himself.  When his father lost all his money over a failed documentary and had to cut off child support to Rodger's mother and she had to move into a small house in Canoga Park, instead of being concerned for his father's failure, Rodger blamed his mother for moving them into such a low-class neighborhood. 

How could someone like that ever give love to another person in a way that would make them want to give him love back?  Did anyone ever try to make him understand that?  What did he talk about with his therapist?  Did the number of counselors he had spend all their time with him building up his ego, reinforcing his beliefs and validating his feelings?  I’ve seen it happen.  I have stopped seeing certain therapists after realizing that all they will ever do is try to make me feel like all of my decisions and choices are right so that I'll keep paying them – that doesn’t help!  Additionally if you go into therapy being dishonest, your therapist will never know that you need more help than you’re getting.  

Rodger's parents should have been in therapy with him.  He should have been institutionalized with daily group therapy sessions, I don't know - something proactive.  This guy kind of reminds me of a cross between Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver because of his complete lack of understanding of social intercourse with a woman and Patrick Bateman of American Psycho because of his deep seeded narcissism, racism and classism.

I just want to say to all the guys out there - if a girl doesn't want to sleep with you, that is her prerogative.  It doesn't mean she's evil and it doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with you.  Do not assume at 22, with a limited world-view (even if you have been to several other countries as a young child) that what is happening now is the be all and end all of your existence.  And girls - the same thing applies to you.  

Try seeking a partner who shares common interests instead of focusing on a fantasy.  Not only do you have to be honest with yourself and others about who you really are (instead of pretending to be rich or whatever else you think is going to get you attention), but also you can't narrow your sites on one type.  If you do, your odds at finding love are going to sorely disappoint you.


And parents, if you make the decision to have children, they should ALWAYS and without fail be your first priority. If you know your kid is mentally ill and has voiced a desire to kill his or herself or hurt another, don't go on an international holiday, leaving them home alone.  Don't assume because they are in therapy that you get to wash your hands of the burden.  Go to therapy with them, put them in a group home, DO SOMETHING other than ignoring them and then wringing your hands when their suffering affects you.

16 comments:

  1. very well put - i couldnt agree more with anything you said here. found you on google search for "elliot rodger spoiled brat", i believe. jesus christ that manifesto was utterly disgusting. Just as was the case with Newtown - the parents are ultimately to blame here.

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    1. Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I plan on editing this post, because it's sort of stream-of-consciousness and all over the place - I just wanted to get it up and out there sooner than later.

      There is a scary pattern of single, placating mothers with weird anti-social sons who go on killing sprees. I was just talking to my husband about this last night - the need for a blonde sorority girl is reminiscent of the Ted Bundy murders. Now that there is such strong forensic science those who would be serial killers, murdering over a long period of time and never getting caught, are just going out in what they consider to be a blaze of glory - taking as many people out as they can before getting shot or shooting themselves.

      I can't stop thinking about how if only his parents had taken a more active interest in his life and took his pain seriously (regardless of how self-centered and melodramatic it was). He told his father he wanted to commit suicide and all he did was talk to him for a few hours and then send him home. Utter negligence.

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  2. This murderer was raised to to think he was an Emperor...typical Malaysian Chinese parenting mentality - ingrain deeply the sense of entitlement in the kids. Time and time again we see parents regretting they spoilt their kids, yet so many new parents just wholeheartedly set out to create dysfunctional kids. By the way, his mother Chin is a Chinese from Penang. Even the murderer himself just barely acknowledged that his mother was of Asian descent. Well, she's a Chinese from Penang , not a person of some obscure Asian descent.

    From the day the killer was born he was treated as an Emperor. No sense of responsibility, no boundaries. He could play video games 14 hours a day! Life was all about his pleasure. He viewed his mother and maternal grandma as people who attended to him with 'excellent precision'. These were service people to him whose nicknames happen to be Mother and Ah Ma (grandma in Chinese). There was no talk about love for the people who tried to make him happy. Everyone around him was only as good as their compliance to him and efficiency to please him. Inevitably, his sense of self entitlement escalated as he grew older.

    Clearly he was very successful at manipulating his mother for most part of his life. Tantrums and tears got him what he wanted at home but not out in the world. After being spoilt to death for nearly two decades, his mother suddenly wanted him to go out and get a job. Wow, he had a shock! At 18 years old he reflected, "Getting a job is something I never thought about before in my life, and I soon realized that the older I became, the more it was expected of me if I didn’t go to college”. Doesn’t look like either of his parents prepared him about becoming a self sufficient adult. What a bizzare upbringing.

    Having said that, bear in mind we are merely airing our 2 cents worth as outsiders. Even Philip Bloeser whom the killer regarded as his very close friend since Elementary school was taken completely by surprise. The killer had a warped perception of how the world revolved around him. He was a highly dysfunctional human being.

    The point is, America spends billions of money which she doesn’t have on wars in other countries, developing ever more destructive weapons just to kill another human being, and helping so many other nations when disasters strike yet the government is extremely frugal where resources for mental illness management for her own people is concerned.

    Since the Isla Vista mass murders, there have been some more senseless killings. The fact is people who resort to killing other people to vent out their rage are highly unstable human beings. Is the world’s most powerful nation going to down play the urgency of revamping its mental health care system?

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    1. It seems as if our nation is more concerned with the issue of gun control than dealing with those who are struggling with mental health problems. It's sad and frustrating. What is to be done? The only thing I see possible is to keep the dialogue open. Keep communicating with each other. Keep listening, and don't be afraid to speak out. Thanks for commenting.

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    2. Well, in countries where guns are so easy to obtain, the rate of people killed by gun shot wounds are certainly much higher. The gun manufacturers in America are powerful lobbyists. Heck, Piers Morgan lost his job at CNN trying to persuade Americans to reevaluate how firearms are being sold.

      Of course one would ask what about knives or box cutters for that matter? Firearms are different in that it has the capacity to leave a devastating trail of dead or injured people in seconds, from a great distance if the firearm is in the hands of a highly unstable person. Firearms and unstable people are potentially a lethal combo.

      I wonder how long it will take your country to come out with a workable solution.




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    3. Unfortunately there are plenty of people killed and horribly injured by knives - like those 33 people killed by that Chinese terrorist group back in March, or those 21 people stabbed by that kid in PA in April. Sure people are probably a bit less likely to be killed, but it still happens.

      My point being, while yes, America has some severe issues with this obsession over clinging to guns, I feel that people are myopically zeroing in on the gun issue and ignoring everything else. Getting rid of all the guns is a good idea, but it still isn't going to solve the problem.

      Thanks again for commenting and keeping the dialogue going.

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  3. To go back to this "old" topic again, I think there's more to it than just what Elliot did, and that something is quite scary. I've been reading some of his posts on the web forums he posted at, and it's not only him, who is feeling that hatred towards women, but the whole bunch of young men of his kind, who do not seem to get a contact with women. And the scariest part of it is, that they actually have a solid reason behind what they feel, s.c. "rise of polygamy", meaning that most of the young girls are being taken by the few young men, who these women consider the "best". These men usually have several women/girlfriends at the same time, and they even show up with them all at the same time, probably in order to cause envy among those young men who haven't got anyone. Then again, the s.c. average guys are being left alone as they are not qualifying the least desirable of women, and then again the "weakest" of guys have a girlfriend, one of those women who were not qualified by anyone else. So it's getting pretty brutal out there. The solution is not, of course, to restrict or oppress women, like Elliot seemed to think, but there should be something else done. Maybe some kind of an agreement or social code among men themselves, that one guy can not have a countless number of women, unless he wants to get socially rejected by other men.

    As for Elliot, he wasn't really the monster we want to judge him to be, altho that kind of judging is understandable if a person kills other people. He had several issues, schizoid paranoia (he actually heard "voices"), depression, personality disorder, autism etc. Then, he clearly was rejected, or at least unpopular among his peers. As for his racism, it was partly caused by him being ignored for being half-Asian and partly for his painful envy of other men (esp. of other ethnic groups). He used to grow into this knowledge that white people are all racist, favoring people of their own ethnicity. On the basis of that, he made this simplistic conclusion, that white girls should be more interested in him than someone who is "fully Asian" because he was half-white himself. So that was not reflecting his own racism, but racism he thought all whites are carrying out.

    As for bragging for the riches, I guess that happened because he did not have anything else to hang to. He wasn't a "cool guy" and he wasn't exceptionally talented in anything. Also he had seriously low self-esteem that he clearly tried to "patch" by bragging about himself, that is the case with narcissistic personality disorder usually.

    But now, it's time to let him rest in peace. Hope this won't get repeated, altho part of me fears it will.

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    1. You bring up a very interesting point. I can think of at least a handful of reasons anyone shouldn't date more than one person at a time, but that's not something that can be enforced, unless we all want to be a bunch of little fascists, but a social code would be admirable.

      I also think we need to take a good hard look at what we're programmed to believe is "beautiful" and "desirable." A lot of men and women are being ignored because society claims they are worthless, because they don't look like everyone else.

      This programming affects everyone. I recently chopped all of my hair off and I never before noticed how almost all women have long hair and then I started noticing that most of them dress the same, have the same haircut, wear the same kind of make up… we're all a bunch of clones, and men are no different.

      In terms of Elliot's issues--his parents had a responsibility and they failed. We couldn't possibly know what exactly was wrong with him; all we can do is speculate according to his manifesto, his internet footprint and what those who knew him say. According to his manifesto he clearly had racist tendencies and self-entitlement. If you haven't read it, do so, it's eye-opening. I read it three times and each time gleaned a bit more.

      There's no excuse for his actions or how he treated others while he was alive. I feel sorry for the child who was corrupted by neglect, but I have no sympathy for the conscious and educated adult who took the lives of innocent people.

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    2. Thank you for your reply. You're very right about the fact, that we are clones, in a way. I tend to be quite sensitive to this issue, as I have studied (fashion) design, but also I have seen other people are not fully accepting my views, that there are these "unwritten rules" of one's outfit, to signal different things, aside from the most obvious of course, like being part of a sub culture etc. As for Elliot, if you view him as a more matured person, you can not spot anything particular being wrong with his appearance or style. But, then again, it might be completely different to someone of his age, including the girls. If you watch young guys of his age, especially living in the place he lived in, they have a very different style, a sort of "wanna-be-thug" style. And they are cosidered "cool" for it too. I think Elliot was partly rejected for this as well, that he could not handle the dressing codes of his age-group very well. It sounds unimportant, but that kind of things have a big meaning to someone of his age.

      I have read Elliot's manifesto, for most part of it. I'm not sure where his racist tendencies came from. I sincerely hope it wasn't something he learnt in his home, but was caused by the rejection he himself experienced and also the envy I mentioned. If it was something he learnt home, then that would put his father even into a more negative light than he already is. It's odd how he did not come to think that it's quite a natural thing, that women, and also men, often times favor individuals from other ethnic groups than their own, when it comes to dating. You'd imagine he had read somewhere these mentions about "mixing the gene pool" etc. But no, instead he was baffled about why white girls are more interested in someone who's "fully Asian" than himself who is half-white. He was seriously having some enormous gaps in his view of the world.

      And you're right, there's no excuse for what he did. But then again, if you are being mentally ill, inherently lacking in your abilities to feel empathy (autism/psychopathy) and being bittered to the bone, then you probably lose it and can not be fully responsible of your actions anymore. It's something that could happen to anyone of us under the same circumstances.

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    3. Sorry for the late response!

      I honestly think that he needed to be encouraged more. His parents needed to be more involved in his life. I think if he had someone who really saw him and wasn't afraid or angry at what they saw, but instead tried to steer him deftly and with compassion, he may have made many very different choices--one of them being NOT going to Beer Chugger's College where the only thought on anyone's mind is when the next party was. He had so many wrong ideas about so many things (that women have rights and feelings of their own that should be respected and to not let it reflect poorly on him); Nobody cared enough to show him.

      I do agree that at a point you lose responsibility for your actions, but there were times when he knew what he was feeling and thinking was wrong. Those moments may have been fleeting, but he knew, deep down, that something was most definitely wrong with him. I wish he had tried to reach out more.

      I don't know. It's all so complicated; the situation is so unfortunate, and the problems it represents are so layered. I know this shooting is "old news," but it's a never-ending problem. The dialogue needs to keep going.

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    4. Oops, that parenthetical statement should have said, "he should have been told that women have rights," etc.

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    5. Yes, it was a totally wrong choice for him to attend SBCC, but that was exactly the reason why he and also his parents wanted him to go there, to develop some kind of a social life. And he also tried it, approaching people in his class and also the neighbors in the place he lived in. But talking to them never went far and nothing came out of it. It's obvious he was being rejected by those people, being a bit different, for his autism etc. I think he was also being neglected by his parents, his friends and the health care people. One of his friends even said, that he wanted to keep "healthy distance" from him, as he was socially awkward. That's sounding awfully crude, to think about like that of someone you know. Also the one and only long-time friend he had abandoned him for his odd rantings, instead of seeking help for him. Obviously, none of these people knew what was to come, but we should not just leave people alone, if they start to act in an odd manner.

      As for the reasons behind the crimes, I think they should be publicly discussed, like the growing number of "male virgins" and the "rise of polygamy" as funny as tehy sound. It seems to be a genuine thing happening among young people, if you read all of those forums connected. In a way, it seems to be some kind of a new form of byllying, that the young men who are popular among women, deliberately want to inflict pain on those of their male peers, who are not. I think that this issue could be rised to discussion by feminists as well, not only by men themselves, as it might be a serious threat to women themselves.

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    6. The way I understand it, is he expected everyone to notice and approach him--fawn over him, even, without him having to make too much of an effort. The only time he seemed to really take matters into his own hands and actually communicate with anyone was when he irrationally felt rejected (because someone didn't notice him just sitting there, at any given time) and he assaulted someone for it.

      He seemed to have spent a lot of time *thinking* about approaching people, and maybe he even smiled at someone from time to time, but for the most part he got angry at people for neglecting him, when the only time he reached out he was being a total jerk about it.

      I think I am a fairly open-hearted person and accepting of everyone, but I have been around a few people that just either set my teeth on edge, or made my hair stand on end and my heart pound hard and slow. I can't explain how or why it happens, but some people have a vibe about them and I think a person capable of stabbing anyone to death and then going out and shooting others, probably has some pretty uncomfortable energy that people pick up on. I don't doubt that is why his parents and friends either avoided or placated him--much easier than living in fear of him.

      That doesn't excuse their neglect, and it begs many questions about the kind of "healthcare" he was receiving.

      You are absolutely right--people struggling should NOT be left alone, but how to you change the hearts of everyone? How do you ask people to not be afraid, to step outside of their comfort zones to try and understand those who aren't what society considers to be "normal?"

      Polygamy has always been a thing; it's no more on the rise than before… it just has a brighter light shining on it now. Statistically, fewer people are having sex, so it isn't just male virgins that are on the rise. And at the risk of sounding crude… some guys are stringing along several girls at once, and girls tend to be monogamous. That leaves the scales quite unbalanced…

      Jerks who use a bunch of women and are mean to the men who love them are nothing new--most of the movies of the 80s are all about this very thing. I wish young dudes didn't think so much about it. Jerks are always going to be jerks--allowing them to change the way we feel about ourselves only gives them more power, but you're right: more feminists need to be sensitive to male issues, not because we should be afraid of possible threats, but because it's right.

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    7. Well, just one more reply to this long and interesting discussion. I used to be a teenager in the 80's and a young adult in the 90's. Of course, there were these so called "womanizers" around there even back then, who seemed to have more than one female companion at the time, or then had a new partner for casual sex every other weekend. But they seldom "showed off" with all of their women, in public places like malls or even in a common grocery shop... I think this is something new. And partly, I guess it's a concequence of pop culture, all of those videos we see showing good-looking guys hanging around with herds of women. Even Elliot was talking about "girlfriends" at times, instead of one girlfriend.

      It may be, that also women are having less sex than before, but I'd say that is a consequence of women getting more independent, wanting to dedicate their time to studies and work. Then again, men seem to lack sex as women are getting more demanding about their partners, not being dependent on men or their company anymore (which is a good thing).

      I don't know. If my long-time friend started to talk about killing and torturing people, I would run to his/her family or closed ones, and tell about the situation. Just to warn them if nothing else. But it didn't happen this time. Also, there were that ex-teacher of Elliot's, who got to listen to same sort of thing, but he did not even tell Elliot's friends to contact his parents. It's odd people just pulled away and did not take any responsibility. But I guess world is changing somehow.

      I'm not sure, if people got a "creepy" wibe about Elliot, in the sense he could be dangerous. But it's possible, people actually got that type of a wibe, as he was different. No matter how developed we are, we still have these primal insticts that are suggesting, that if a person is acting "oddly" then that person might be dangerous, as we can not know what to expect. It might have helped, if he had told others that he is autistic, or at least has that type of tendencies, but I guess he did not want to acknowledge those traits in himself for some reason.

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    8. I am thirty-eight years old and for as long as I can remember the media has always dictated what people should look like and how they should act in public--and men have always been portrayed as having several girlfriends, if they're cool enough. Since who knows when, little boys have been raised to believe that their self-worth is determined by how much sex they have and little girls have been raised to believe that theirs should be based on whether or not a man would marry them.

      I think if anyone is having less sex than before (and really we don't know all the habits of 7 billion people), it's probably because of the dangers involved, like diseases and pregnancy. I think there are people who are pickier than others--there are "alpha" males who wouldn't think twice about a chubby nerd girl like me (which is just fine since I'm in love with and married to my best friend), just as there are "alpha" females who don't even notice "beta" males. That's the way human nature has always been--it's a biological imperative, albeit an unnecessary one.

      It seems as if society is being molded to be more apathetic about and distant from anything considered to be "abnormal." Don't talk to the angry guy, ignore the sad girl and focus only on happy people, because they are the only ones who matter. That's the message I hear from society lately, and it's very sad.

      I believe there is a thing called social responsibility and we should definitely be more proactive in the lives of others.

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  4. Thank you all for commenting, by the way! I really appreciate it!

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I will not censor anyone, but please, in the spirit of open communication and respect for others - don't be a douche bag, or else I will rip you a new one.