This face. Take a good look at it.
Knowing nothing of what we have learned the past 24 hours, all one sees is a decent looking young man. Soft smile in the golden sunlight. Could be smart, could be stupid. Could be tall, could be short. Could be nice, could be mean. Could be straight, could be gay. Could be single, could be attached. Could be ANYTHING.
Now, let the image speak.
All the promise of youth vanishes. All the passably attractive turns ugly. All the potential for intelligence fades into the narcissistic ignorance of entitlement. And that soft smile is revealed to be the home of misplaced rage, impotence, and blame.
Elliott Rodger, only 22, recorded this diatribe detailing his grievances, and then 24 hours after uploading it to Youtube, carried out the sentence he deemed appropriate: Death.
The first three, his roommates, died violently by stabbing. Two young women died of gunshots on the lawn outside a sorority. Another, shot with them, survived and is in the hospital.
The carnage continued as Rodger raced down the streets of Isla Vista, shooting indiscriminately, running into pedestrians, and finally crashing his BMW and shooting himself in the head. In all, police note nine separate crime scenes.
Now, seven people lie in a California morgue - six innocent, 1 - Rodgers - all dead at his hands. Still more remain in hospitals in the area recovering from wounds received in this spree.
While oftentimes a killer takes their reasons with them to the grave, in the case of Elliott, his string of videos and manifesto of sorts paint a pretty clear picture of his "reasoning." That word is in quotes because there are no justifiable reasons for what he did, save in the confines of his own little world.
As he details in his video the perceived transgressions against him, any normal rational person's reaction is that they are trite, ridiculous, stupid even. He was 22 and a virgin, never having even kissed a girl. Horrors! Girls never gave him his due, never paid attention to him, "the superior one," "a true alpha male." Oh boo hoo.
He railed against his “loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,” all, in his opinion, purposefully meted out by "stuck up blonde sluts."
He attempts to sound evil as he punctuates his blathering with pathetic laughter, all the while promising to "slaughter" all those whom he holds accountable: girls.
Let me first state, unequivocally, I am glad he is dead. Good riddance to a pathetic little boy whose self entitlement drips off him in his video. I reserve my thoughts and sympathy for the friends and families of those whose only guilt was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This man-boy, who yes, could very well have suffered from some mental issues, suffered from something else very plain to see: the belief that girls, women owe him their attentions, their affections, their bodies.
To him and every lonely boy or man out there, let me make this clear: WE OWE YOU NOTHING.
Not attention. Not the time of day. Not affection, not love, and most definitely, not the pussy to which you think you are so entitled.
One of the websites to which this person belonged is PUAHate.com - the squalid home of internet losers who believe women are "game" and that getting "laid" is their right - a right being denied them by "bitches" "hos" and "whores."
They believe there are tricks to be employed to get laid - because make no mistake - even a cursory glance at their message boards reveals that is all on which they focus. They believe that better bone structure, a bigger physique, or a sturdier brow ridge would turn them into panty droppers.
It couldn't possibly be that they are just creeps, could it? That they give off the stench of what's to be avoided in this world. Danger.
Like the murderous little shithead in the BMW, they have zero understanding of what any woman - hell, any decent HUMAN - truly wants in a mate.
They do not understand intelligence, the ability to converse, sense of humor, compassion, dignity, honor, all the things that are left standing when good looks wear thin, as they eventually do.
We are visual creatures, we just are. That is what first attracts us to one another, but again, looks may turn a head, but personality is what reels you in, makes you stay.
Given the culture in which we find ourselves these days - politicians hellbent on reducing women down to their sexual organs; religious leaders placing the blame for rape at our feet, not our attackers, and a generation which seems to believe they are owed what they want when they want it - it is no surprise that someone like Rodger strikes out, instead of looking in.
Surely women are to blame because there is absolutely nothing missing in his make up.
If you have a son or daughter in, approaching, or even past puberty, watch this video with them. And then talk about the dangerously warped views therein. They need taught that they will be on the receiving end of rejection at some point in life - personal, professional - it will happen. They need taught that they will likely be the one doing the rejecting at some point. Sons need told that just because someone spurns their advances, that person is not automatically a bitch or a ho. Not everyone likes everyone. They don't like every girl or every boy, do they? And please, reinforce that being a virgin is not a crime. Virginity is not some stain that needs eradicated. Losing it doesn't make you a man, it doesn't make you a woman. It just makes you someone who had sex. Sex, when it finally comes into the offing, is their decision as much as the other person involved. It should be fulfilling for both. It should carry wonderful emotions, not violence, objectification, or some sense of possession. And teach them that loneliness is a choice. Sure, there may be romantic relationship dry spells in their lives, but being lonely doesn't have to exist. The world is full of people to talk to, do things with, share interests. Most of all, teach them respect. Respect for themselves, respect for those around them.
In the days ahead we will learn more about Elliott and his personal history. Already we know his family worried about past videos he had posted. So much so that they had the police pay him a visit, a visit he smoothly talked his way through, allaying authority concerns.
In his 140 page manifesto, delivered via email to his parents and at least one therapist prior to his rampage (reports state he had been seeing therapists on and off since he was 8), he wrote of that visit, "I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies. I can't imagine a hell darker than that."
His sister worried about his loner status, inability to connect. Perhaps there was something at play that could have been diagnosed. Knowing he was under the care of multiple heathcare professionals, something probably had been diagnosed. Perhaps he was overindulged and undersupervised in his youth. But the biggest thing that went overlooked was this: his misogyny.
Because make no mistake, Elliott was not just sad that he could not find love, he was angry at those he did not respect to begin with because he, too, reduced women to the sum of their parts.
Guys, are there girls out there who lead with their assets, knowing their bra size is bigger than their IQ? Of course. Just as there are bohunk meatheads who believe the size of their biceps make them autoqualified for closing time hook-ups. May these two types find one another and live happily in their ignorance.
But just as there are lonely guys, there are equal numbers of lonely girls. Shy, a little awkward, unsure how to meet someone, let alone strike up a conversation and connect.
The sick lot at PUAHate are not lonely, they are angry. They are not shy, they are trolls who have watched too much porn and too little real life. They are not unsure how to meet someone, they are vengeful because no woman has magically dropped her pants and worshipped at the altars of their manhood.
Women are not their problem. Women were not Elliott's problem. But in their minds we are what we have been throughout history, a convenient excuse, a scapegoat, a pile of parts put here solely for their pleasure.
Advice to those guys: Buy a blow-up doll, because that's really all you want, or could handle, anyway.