Sometimes, when I'm feeling bored and not in the mood to engage in any intellectual heavy-lifting, I like to make my way to an online forum called the misc; I have never participated in the forum, and don't even have an account, but I do check it out every few days, as the misc has a certain amusing sensibility which I suppose appeals to my inner "bro" (yes, I do lift bro - and I don't skip left day either!)
As it happens, it was on the occasion of one such recent anonymous visit that I came across a thread created by a guy called "ElliotRodger", and with the strange title "I'm tired of seeing losers with hot chicks". Given the frame of reference of the typical person who complains about the choices "hot chicks" make in sexual partners, I found it odd that such a person would then call the men in question "losers", as if sitting around whining about who women chose to date makes one a "winner" ... Anyway, the self-contradictory nature of the title got me to look into the thread, and what I found seemed so ridiculous that I - like most of the misc respondents to "ElliotRodger" - assumed that it was all just another elaborate troll of the sort frequently perpetuated by miscers. To give an idea of what made this thread absurd, here's the opening statement made by "ElliotRodger" himself:
Seriously, today at my college I saw this short, ugly Indian guy driving a Honda civic, and he had a hot blonde girl in his passenger seat. What on earth is up with that?!?!? I would climb mount Everest 10 times just to have a girl like that with me. I drive a BMW coupe and I've struggled all my life to get a girlfriend. What's wrong with this world?
Does anyone else get disturbed and offended when you see sights like this? Someone make sense of this ridiculousness.
It's unfortunate that the misc moderators have systematically deleted all threads relating to "ElliotRodger", but a cached copy of all 6 pages of this particular thread is still available (for now) here, here, here, here, here and here. Someone has also thoughtfully made a PDF copy of the thread available via this link, which should hopefully remain available once Google's cache pages expire. It's a shame that the misc threads have been deleted, as they actually do the miscers credit - not only did most responders point out the racist absurdity of ElliotRodger's assumptions about who "deserved" [sic] to get "hot blonde girls", as well as his extremely inflated opinion of his looks and charisma, they also pegged him from the start as a sociopath, though I doubt that even the posters who made jokes about him being a serial killer took themselves to be engaging in anything more than typical male ribbing.
If an online thread by an overweening narcissist were all there was to this particular tale, it certainly wouldn't have been worth mentioning on here, but the reason I bring it all up is that on waking this morning, on scanning the news headlines, the first thing I noticed was that 6 people had been killed in a rampage by a young man named Elliot Rodger. Furthermore, the face in the pictures accompanying the articles accorded with the one in the profile of the thread I'd seen several days previously, and was definitely the same as the one in the Youtube videos mentioned by misc posters. What I'd taken at the time to be no more than an elaborate troll turned out to have been deadly earnest: the inflated self-estimation, feelings of entitlement to sex, and narcissistic rage had all - unfortunately - been genuine.
Apart from the fact that 6 people have needlessly lost their lives because of this narcissist's actions, what gets me about this particular shooting is that Elliot Rodger's online rantings were so typical of the sort of entitled, woman-hating nonsense one sees all the time on "The Red Pill", "PUA", "MRA" and "Dark Enlightenment" [sic] websites that one simply assumed Rodger's posts were a satirical attempt at taking all these misogynistic (and almost always racist) tendencies to their extreme. After all, who could seriously believe that a young white guy with no disabilities, in apparently fine health, who wasn't obviously ugly, and who clearly had affluent parents - in short, someone who'd won in life's great birth-lottery - would devote so much time and energy to whining about never being noticed by women? How could anyone take seriously a person who effused murderous rage at all women even while droning on about being a "nice guy" (or rather, in Rodger's case, "the perfect gentleman" [sic])?
I think it's fair to say that most participants in the "Red Pill/MRA/PUA/Dark Enlightenment" subculture will not become spree killers, any more than the average Stormfront cretin will go out and carry out an actual lynching; still, in both cases, it's obvious that these subterranean realms do provide the aid and comfort required to egg on the few individuals dangerous enough to commit such serious crimes. If there weren't so many websites full of people cheering each other on in the belief that being a well-off white guy entitles you to being first in line* to sleep with "hot blonde chicks", regardless of your own looks and personality, or even (outrageous!) her own sexual preferences, it's hard to believe that Elliot Rodger would have found the gumption to go on his murder spree. America's lax gun laws definitely didn't help in this situation, but the impetus for the act clearly came from the "Red Pill/MRA/PUA/Dark Enlightenment" groups.
*Certainly well ahead of some "ugly indian" driving a "Honda civic"...
PS: It seems Elliot Rodger went to the trouble of writing up a 140-page manifesto before carrying out his killing spree. A choice excerpt is below:
And then this black boy named Chance said that he lost his virginity when he was only thirteen! In addition, he said that the girl he lost his virginity to was a blonde white girl! I was so enraged that I almost splashed him with my orange juice. I indignantly told him that I did not believe him, and then I went to my room to cry. I cried and cried and cried, and then I called my mother and cried to her on the phone.
How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. I tried not to believe his foul words, but they were already said, and it was hard to erase from my mind. If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthy scum, but they reject ME? The injustice!
There you have it: blonde white girls are the finest of God's creation, black people are "inferior", "ugly", "filth" and "descended from slaves", and the fact of descent from "British aristocracy" self-evidently means he "deserves" these blonde white girls more, as if they were prizes being handed out for good breeding and deportment at Croft's.
To be honest, Elliot Rodger might have been atypical in his homicidal tendencies, but the disdainful assumption that certain types of women are valuable "prizes" to be handed out only to particular classes of "deserving" men is one that Rodger shared with vast numbers of others; I've lost count by now of the number of times I've seen forum commenters - and in particular, American commenters - share their views on how white women who've dated non-white (especially black men) are irremediably "tainted" and unacceptable in their eyes. Similarly, the worship of blonde hair and blue eyes is something virtually the entire Western world has in common - as does most of East Asia, for that matter. Most people aren't so crude and outspoken about their internalized racial assessments of worth, but to say such attitudes are uncommon would simply be untrue.