Manifesto of Elliot Rodger

If you want to read it for yourself, it’s here (let me know if that link stops working).

If you’d rather read a synopsis, you’re in the right place. I read the whole thing in just a few hours. He begins at the beginning: his idyllic childhood in England. His move to the US at the age of 5. School, friends, etc. His hobbies throughout the years may sound familiar: Pokemon, Halo, skateboarding, World of Warcraft. Sounds like the average Redditor.

Strange thing is how oddly specific he is. He names parks he went to as a child. Friends from grade school by first and last name. Each nice restaurant. He calls his father’s car “the Mercedes SUV” even if he’s already mentioned it in the last sentence and could switch to using “car” with no confusion. He remembers the names of his elementary school teachers and what desserts his grandmother fed him a decade ago on holiday. His family’s lawyer claims he had high functioning form of Asperger’s.

What was really interesting about him is that he didn’t hate women. Not really. He desperately wanted a girlfriend (a tall, skinny blonde, of course), but no girls ever talked to him. He was also obsessed with material things: clothes, mansion, car, hair, having lots of money. His logic was that he could only attract (deserve?) the sort of girl he wanted if he had millions of dollars and fancy cars. And his conclusion was that he needed to win the lottery, since that was the only quick way to get the kind of money he needed to attract his pretty blondes. He spent thousands on the lottery, but only after using the ideas found in The Secret (ie, picturing himself winning the lottery over and over again).

It’s funny that he couldn’t see his own contradictions at all. He spoke of the men who managed to sleep with the girls he so desperately wanted. He called them slobs. He said they were barbaric. Low class. Ugly. Poor. Then why would he, Elliot, need fancy cars and many millions to attract the same girls?

The killing spree was, in his mind, revenge on sexually active men for getting what he never had, and on women, for denying him sex and love, which he believed he deserved more than other men. He started out just being angry when he saw couples. Then he had a phase where he would spill his drink on happy couples. There is, perhaps, some amusing Freudian analysis to be made here — dousing coveted blonde beauties in liquids… I giggled a little when I read this because it sounds so childish. “He’s got what I want so I know! I’ll pour my drink on them!”

He does make one point which I think has some merit:

Women should not have the right to choose who to mate with. That choice should be made for them by civilized men of
intelligence. If women had the freedom to choose which men to mate with, like they do today, they would breed with stupid, degenerate men, which would only produce stupid, degenerate offspring. This in turn would hinder the advancement of humanity. Not only hinder it, but devolve humanity completely.

Though, personally, I wouldn’t restrict it to women. Rather, most people aren’t doing a great job  of choosing mates. If they were, at least half of the population wouldn’t be breeding at all (everyone with IQ below median should find themselves un-mate-able if people were making good choices).

All in all, the case of Elliot Rodger makes me sad. He grew up extremely privileged and wealthy. He visited 6 different countries before the age of 5 and would go on to have many lengthy international holidays. He attended film premieres, mingled with the Hollywood elite and their offspring, got basically everything he ever asked his mother for. Yet, he was unhappy. He wanted his mother to re-marry: someone even wealthier, because he thought it would solve all his problems. Where on earth did he get the idea that more money would fix things? Oh, right, this is America. Of course. It’s the only thing that matters here. More generally, I think we can all find a shadow of this in our own lives: we focus most of our attention on the one thing we don’t have, becoming unable to enjoy the rest.

I’m sad because he was smart. The people he killed, they were probably smart too. Why don’t we ever hear about the San Francisco homeless population massacring one another? Entire prison populations having a shank orgy resulting in the deaths of hundreds of violent offenders? Now that might actually be useful! But this, these. These deaths are a pity.

From his writing, I can tell that he was a sweet, thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent boy. His only downfall was caring so much about what others thought of him: having rigid ideas of success and worthwhileness, all of it validated only externally. As fiction, his Manifesto would’ve been one of the most brilliant books I’ve ever read. It’s better than Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

I’ve spoken to two people about him, and both have said “He’s really cute!” or something along those lines. I think the true tragedy here is that maybe he was so shy that girls who would’ve been interested interpreted his behavior as disinterest.

Here’s a much more thorough synopsis of Elliot Rodger from Mashable.

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One thought on “Manifesto of Elliot Rodger

  1. “Girls, all I’ve ever wanted was to love you. And to be loved by you. I’ve wanted a girlfriend, I’ve wanted sex, I’ve wanted love; affection; adoration… but you think I’m unworthy of it.” ~ Elliot Roger

    All he wanted was a fundamental, human necessity – to be loved and accepted by his fellow human beings. The world is a lonely and cruel place. And we all need love as without it, it can drive the sanest man insane.

    RIP Elliot Roger and all those who lost their lives in what was a tragic event. I don’t see Elliot as evil, but as another human being calling out for love.

    Like

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