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was just reading this too (And I hope there is more coverage like this rather than kinda ablist stuff i've seen so far about his mental health/disability. as if being a violent murderer with a deep hatred of women is somehow the expected result of depression or autism. obviously it's complicated but it's sooo not the important aspect of this story or the root problem):
the way I read her piece is that she seems to disregard the fact that he was very clearly not a stable and well-adjusted young person. I agree with her comments about the male sense of entitlement and misogynistic culture that breeds such sentiments, but there is a huge gap between those ideas or cultural tunings and the actions of Rodger. There are plenty of frustrated and angry young men, and many of them are depressed which then manifests itself as misogyny, whilst others are misogynistic and that manifests itself in depression.
I do think she makes a very important point but I don't think that we can categorically say whether he was the former or the latter of my two cases.
but when someone literally says they're gonna go on a shooting spree cause they hate women, it's pretty safe to work under the assumption that structural oppression and widespread hatred of women (which we know to exist and that this guy was a strong proponent of) is a major determining factor there. his personality type, neurological condition and mental state may have been more like 'catalysts' but as I say below, I don't think it's necessary to separate these from the overall crime or to pit social against psychological factors. Your two "cases" are far too simplistic too and I don't think either of them corresponds with the article. her point certainly wasnt that he was depressed and then misogynistic, or, that he was misogynistic and then depressed.
depression and autism are two things that people will probably always have (and that I don't even think I would want to see eradicated). certain people may, due to underlying characteristics like autism, be more predisposed *in certain circumstances* to respond or act with violence. but you do not need to have any kind of impairment to be capable of what this guy did. this was unquestionably a hate crime. the fundamental condition of possibility (and the social meaning) for all hate crimes is hatred (in this case specifically it was motivated by 'revenge'). i think its infinitely more useful to look at where that hatred came from (deeply ingrained sexism) than to focus on the opportunity structures (e.g. the availability of firearms) or the lack of any operationality control (e.g. not caring about the consequences for him - possibly related to his mental health). I wouldn't argue that you could separate these elements or levels of analysis and I don't think anyone needs to. But if you're concerned with how this could prevented in future, I think by far the most useful interventions would be found in tackling the systemic social problems. like his apparent sense of entitlement towards women (patriarchy).
but the idea that how he expressed his hatred was somehow rational and logical because he was a sexist and had bad thoughts is where I find the argument to be a little weak.
Not everyone who experiences hatred will automatically behave violently - you, me, we all have experienced hatred and extreme emotions. It's pretty clear that here something flipped, there was a lack of control as you say. And I agree that a cause of that is very clearly his cultural perspective which is misogynistic, but who are we to sit here and analyse what the root cause of mindless violence is with any degree of certitude. Exclusion and isolation and feelings is anger can come from so many places and can manifest themselves in so many ways.
It is interesting that so many of these violent acts take place in the US though, there is very clearly something cultural there which provides the conditions for a certain type of hate/revenge monger to develop.
I don't think there's really a conclusive or watertight explanation for what he did (and I don't think it's knowledge that we will ever have access to if it even exists). but we can draw some conclusions and inferences from what happened and respond to the problem or attempt to prevent it in future. I don't think it's as simple as saying, for example, that this shooting was a 'logical extension' of sexist gender relations. it's not that sort of causal relationship. but definitely in terms of preventing this shooting or a similar 'revenge' against women attack, the response from the authorities should be to intervene much earlier when kind of behaviour begins to be presented. the fact that they were made aware and seem to have chosen not to act, probably shows the perception that there is a lack of options, powerlessness and sense of inevitability that most people have when it comes to this kind of thing. I guess the thing to be done is to create possible sites of intervention where these ideas seem to be flourishing (on the internet, in school, in our families).
"structural oppression and widespread hatred of women"
When all you have is a hammer, I suppose, but did you actually read his ramblings anywhere? He hated he got no attention more than anything else, and rather than realizing he got no attention because he was boring and looking in the wrong avenues (I have a flash car!), he decided the issue was the world, not him.
He did have a weird sense of entitlement but that had more to do with his spoilt ass upbringing than cultural issues. If it was cultural issues there'd be more than one of him, and he wouldn't have been called a nutjob literally everywhere he went. Look at the misc pdf I linked below, every single poster disagreed with him.
Watched the clip of one of the victims fathers raging against the politicians, pretty powerful, brought a lump to my throat.
Sadly though everytime you read of one of these horror stories you know absolutely fuck all will be done to prevent it again! :(
even without the tragic context that followed the next day.
It's the extreme end of that whole PUA culture. Totally repellent even at the level of otherwise normal guys adopting lessons from The Game. A really hard video to watch, even for a soulless husk like myself.
by mentioning how his father worked on The Hunger Games, which is of course hugely relevant to the story.
they show his photograph of a first class airline meal and below they write "He flew Virgin". LOL, yeah he did!.
obviously the NRA will get their way for the forseeable future, so not much to do apart from mourn the dead.
and also ran people over with his car. The guns aren't the issue.
You're no supreme gentlemen at all, but an obnoxious brute.
'Murdering twat', 'failed abortion'. Of course affording serial killers the kind of airtime they get is dangerous and it shouldn't happen. But the subject of that video (and the case in the OP) are very young men who have been failed by society, and everyone who's ever laughed at and bullied the 'weird' kid in the class (and I'm sure that's most of us at some point) have to shoulder the blame to some extent.
Because his "manifesto" and videos and shit, man, I would have written that up as parodying of PUA's and wizards and shit, but no, he was 100% genuine. I wonder how many people I think are trolling or taking the piss or whatever and are completely serious?
His obsession with blondes, his massive narcissism combined with absolutely zero self awareness, his privileged upbringing, his self loathing of his Asian/Jewish split...
Look how mad he gets when he sees a full Asian get a white girl;
In another thread on misc he bitches an Indian in a Honda got a blonde and not him, even though he had a BMW.
Just, an incredibly warped, toxic view worldview. He had it for a long, long time. Do a bit of digging, his shit stretches YEARS. Outright hatred of women and the men who "get" women. He somehow got it into his head he'd be happy, if only he had a gf.
His "revenge" (for the terrible slight of women not returning his attention, god knows why, when he's such a creepy dipshit) fantasies only started comparatively recently, though. Pity no one picked up on it, but then, who really gives a shit about some bizarre loser on the net.
There's also the fact he had almost every single advantage you can have in life and it STILL wasn't enough. He had zero character building experiences so the slightest shit broke him. In his manifesto he complains his mother didn't marry a richer man, ffs.
In some forum post he said he'd climb Everest 10 times to get a blonde white gf, yet if he did it once, he'd realize what a complete idiot he's being.
After reading about him I obviously thought "Man I bet DiS, as a bastion of lonely internet boys, may have an interesting take on this" but no, I see hardly any posts here, but elsewhere he's being dissected and it really is because we* all see a bit of ourselves in him, the lonely outcast frustrated with life, and we're all fucking uncomfortable how close we came to ending up like him.
Obviously now I'm a successful, attractive young man BUT HAD THINGS GONE DIFFERENTLY
*me and other people who spend too much time shitposting
PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME AGAIN
really do have to wonder how he managed to communicate with women/girls so little in his life that he ceased to regard them as people
"because we* all see a bit of ourselves in him, the lonely outcast frustrated with life, and we're all fucking uncomfortable how close we came to ending up like him."
and "Pity no one picked up on it" is not true.
But yeah, one would assume that most people do their debating away from DiS these days, on the likes of twitter, where it's much more of an open and equitable forum (for better or worse).
Plus, it's also the Sunday of a bank Holiday weekend.
That raises a related point about internet communities, though.
DarwinDude/LBC/Loui made a great point about the communities he was part of, the PUA sites. They're basically echo chambers, no dissenting opinion, just low self awareness, low critical thinking pressure chambers. (These aren't the only example of such, obviously)
I wrote a thing before about how the structure of forums actually moulds the communication within but it would probably be crass to link it now.
The gist of it was given the popularity of formats which encourage echo chamber thinking (the upvote format of reddit or the fact you only see opinions you want to on tumblr) and the most equitable formats (anonymous imageboards) usually end up a chaotic shambles, only strictly moderated forums end up being good for debate. And those always end up an empty wasteland.
Also I work today ;_;
but I must say I had my own low moments (although not anything even approaching this kind of institutionalised, misogynist mania) before I first even kissed a girl aged nearly 20 - seemed to be something that only happened to other lads. realised that I was being completely self-indulgent, got on with it rly - but I had comradeship from friends & was generally in high spirits - this guy just seems to have been abandoned to his abysmal issues
his fucking idiotic internet associates have much to answer for, even if he ended up more idiotic than all of them
I thought his dad had sent him to a few therapists, but they just dosed him on pills, which he subsequently stopped taking?
Poorly worded on my behalf, I mean in the link above he's called a future serial killer a few times, but I mean his family/friends doing something. His parents made him take down those videos but nothing happened beyond that, despite the internet's concern.
It is unfair to blame anyone but him, of course, and it's more a feeling he should have got help rather than data showing early intervention in guys like him can help. He was so delusional he was too far gone for a long time.
i was just having a conversation with my brother about this thing and we both agreed it hadn't hit us very hard cause we couldn't see any sense of ourselves in him, with murderers who have gone through terrible abuse or whatever you can think maybe i would have turned out like that too... this kid just seems like a psychopath, not sure how much there is to pick apart.
his personality was the Ur example of shit gone wrong. Almost every negative, pathetic character trait there was he had to an obscene degree, which is what I was referring to, rather than "lol we all feel like killing people sometimes"
Obviously once you reach a certain stage of development you're no longer troubled by self pity or frustration, but he completely missed the boat, from puberty onwards, (but not the way he thought he did. His stunted empathy and lack of social skills were much bigger deals than being a virgin) and I see it happen a lot. Not to his insane degree, obviously
Young people who fall behind (in socialization, empathy, whatever) have huge difficulties in catching up.
So I totally agree he was a psycho. I was pointing out how common negative traits are reflected in him writ large more so than anything else.
I'm hoping he'll be a wake up call for a lot of angry young people to actually do something productive and focus on self improvement.
there's the misogynist angle, the capitalist angle, the mental health angle and the gun culture angle. and the problem will always be that people will try to defend one of these by deferring blame onto one of the others. so you get the 'manosphere' defending its role by saying that everyone on the sites disagreed with him (largely true) and that he was a narcissistic, mentally unstable kid with access to guns and this would've happened anyway, thus ignoring the dangerously flawed attitudes towards women that they allow to flourish. the truth is probably that what's gone on is a really unfortunate cocktail of a kid with underlying issues, enough money to think he 'deserves' to get whatever he wants, a culture that doesn't do enough to spot and treat mental illness, some websites that display women as totally passive, a culture that doesn't do enough to refute that, and easy access to all the guns and ammunition he could want. I think articles that take one of those factors and try to claim it was the sole problem are really misguided pieces of agenda-pushing. but no more so than those who try to remove one of those factors from the picture entirely
I'd recommend reading this book on Columbine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_(book)
It's a detailed, well-researched analysis of the factors and personalities involved (including a lot of the media reaction) which manages to provide a lot of insight into the subject without, I think, pushing any particular agenda.
One curious fact: Columbine was only a shooting by accident. They had set bombs which were intended to blow up parts of the school and their guns were for them to shoot fleeing survivors. The bombs failed.
If these sorts of things do breed copycats, then I guess that's one small blessing from it at least.
I read it earlier this month.
"Good work, virgins".
don't think i have
had a more immediately understandable mental health problem like schizophrenia a lot of articles wouldn't have had gone with the narrative ‘spoilt bmw virgin who hated women goes on killing spree’
mentally ill guy kills people.
Rather than the more honest, "Society's acceptance of violent misogyny leads to violent misogyny," but hey ho...
though my pop culture-addled brain has to pick out the very trivial point that he's being too harsh on Judd Apatow
As dood says above, compartmentalising and isolating the issues aren't helping. lethal cocktail of misogyny, isolation, boredom, alienation and an unhealthy capitalism
no problem with saying that either
every article that comes about this just comes across as pushing a certain agenda while not considering all of the other factors. it's a big, complex fucking mess in which all these things (+ the access to mental health treatment/stigma over it + access and checks on guns/owners) play a significant part
just my personal views above.
Sorry for that