Isla Vista Shooting

Does 'Mental Illness' Explain Elliot Rodger's Murder Spree?

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Elliot Rodger's "Day of Retribution" video has been widely described as "chilling." Judging from his intermittent movie-villain-style laughter, that is the effect he was trying to achieve. But he ended up with something much more banal. "Tomorrow is the day of retribution," Rodger says, "the day I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you." But he says this with such a lack of conviction that most viewers probably would not take it seriously if they did not already know about the six murders he committed in Isla Vista, California, on Friday night. Combine the wooden delivery with his whining about all the girls who would never give him the time of day ("I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman"), and the overall impression is not chilling so much as pathetic and ridiculous.

There is a lot more such whining in Rodger's 140-page autobiography, which further illuminates his motivation, although to call it a "manifesto," as many have, is a bit of a stretch. In his telling, a happy childhood was followed by a confusing and frustrating adolescence from which he never emerged. He was socially awkward, depressed, and desperately lonely. These feelings left him angry at "those evil, slutty bitches who rejected me" and the "obnoxious jock[s]" they preferred. You can ascribe this attitude to "mental illness" if you like, but it was an understandable reaction to the situation he faced. Having decided that he no longer wanted to live as a 22-year-old virgin who had never so much as kissed a girl, Rodger resolved to kill himself and take as many of his tormentors with him as he could. In short, he was pissed off about never getting laid, and he took out his anger and frustration on a bunch of innocent people.

If we instead say that Rodger was in "an early phase of pre-psychosis," as a psychiatrist interviewed by Los Angeles Times suggested, does that add to our understanding? Psychosis is usually defined as a break from reality. But judging from his autobiography, Rodger had surprisingly strong self-insight and a pretty clear (perhaps too clear) sense of what was going on around him, despite his occasional flights of grandiosity and magical thinking. Although he keeps buying lottery tickets in the hope that riches will be the key to attracting women, for instance, he acknowledges how unlikely that scenario is. He also concedes that his plan to free men from their baser instincts by banning sex, perpetuating the species by artificially inseminating enslaved and segregated women, is an impossible dream, not least because no one would ever trust him with such dictatorial powers. Furthermore, he admits that his political fantasy grows out of his own bitter experience (or lack thereof) with the opposite sex.

Having despaired of attracting women or reorganizing the world so that his inability to do so would not matter so much, Rodger settles on murder and suicide. He admits that he will not be able to kill as many people as he would like (and in the end his crimes fell far short of the elaborate, gruesome plan outlined in his autobiography). But he expresses the hope that his homicidal rampage will show that he mattered after all, that he was not a "mouse" but "a living god" with the power of life and death. "At long last," he concludes, "I can show the world my true worth."

There are many depressed, lonely, and alienated people in the world, of course, and almost none of them do anything like what Rodger did. That is one of the reasons identifying mass murderers ahead of time is so difficult. Although Rodger's awkwardness and isolation were obvious to relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and therapists, none of them seems to have recognized the depth of his anger or had an inkling of his homicidal intent. The cops who interacted with him after he was injured in a drunken fight and after his mother reported her concern that he might be suicidal perceived him as harmless. And despite the hindsight-aided criticism they have received for being too easily reassured, they did not have enough evidence to force him into a psychiatric evaluation or to search his apartment, where they would have found his pistols, knives, and ammunition, along with "my writings about what I planned to do with them."

Since the vast majority of people diagnosed with mental disorders (including psychoses such as schizophrenia) never commit violent crimes, giving someone like Rodger a psychiatric label hardly qualifies as an explanation. His emotions were common, but the way he dealt with them was rare. We can call his murder spree the symptom of a mysterious and unverifiable disease, or we can call it an evil response to a recognizable human condition.

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  1. He was socially awkward, depressed, and desperately lonely. These feelings left him angry at “those evil, slutty bitches who rejected me” and the “obnoxious jock[s]” they preferred. You can ascribe this attitude to “mental illness” if you like,

    That doesn’t make you mentally ill.

    but it was an understandable reaction to the situation he faced. Having decided that he no longer wanted to live as a 22-year-old virgin who had never so much as kissed a girl, Rodger resolved to kill himself and take as many of his tormentors with him as he could.

    That could definitely be.

    1. Depression (of sufficient severity) generally counts as a mental illness.

      I’d like to say that anyone who does something like this is by definition mentally ill. Mental illnesses are all just collections of symptoms and behaviors, so I have no problem saying that anyone who goes out and kills a bunch of people for no good reason is fucked in the head (i.e. mentally ill).

      1. Rodger stated his reasons pretty clearly. What exactly would count as “good reasons” to go on a murder spree in your estimation?

        1. I don’t think there are any. SO that makes that easy.

          I will add that I don’t think that mental illness excuses or explains behavior like this (or any behavior that harms others). Just that it is reasonable to call it that because of how mental illnesses are defined.

          I don’t think you could quite call me a Szaszian (spelling?), but I do have my doubts as to the soundness of the whole idea of mental illness.

          1. If you don’t think mental illness excuses or explains his actions, then I have to wonder what you think labeling him mentally ill adds to a conclusion.

            What’s wrong with saying “he was a sad lonely dude who came to some bad conclusions and made some incredibly bad choices in response.”?

            1. I don’t think it adds anything. I think it is a completely pointless question beyond satisfying morbid curiosity. I just think killing a bunch of people like that is not something a sane person does, by definition. I have no suggestion on how to respond to or prevent this sort of thing from happening.

            2. I’m sorry, Hugh, but going on a killing spree isn’t an “incredibly bad choice”. It’s fucking mental. Sleeping with your mom was, I’ll admit, an “incredibly bad choice”. It doesn’t rise to “spree murderer because I’m utterly unable to score some pussy” levels.

              1. As usual Epi, you make your point with all the subtlety and grace of a runaway truck.

                I trust you spent your Memorial Day in the usual way: honoring the hundreds of soldiers and sailors who for all you know could be your father.

                1. But…but your mom told me you were my dad!

                  Daddy no want me! I’m gonna take a bus to Reno!

                  1. Jesus Christ Epi he smacked you so hard you’re not even coherent.

                    1. Jesus Christ Epi he smacked you so hard you’re not even coherent.

                      It’s amusing how you utterly don’t understand the dynamic between Hugh and myself. Here’s a tip: you probably shouldn’t try.

                2. I trust you spent your Memorial Day in the usual way: honoring the hundreds of soldiers and sailors who for all you know could be your father.

                  I laughed. The guy across the hall glared.

                  Well done.

                  1. If I get even one reader of H&R comments fired, I will consider my work on this earth complete.

                    1. Considering the attachment of libertarians to their money, the fired Reasonoid is likely to see that you leave it.

                    2. I’m more likely to get taken out when one of my underlings yells “Jesse come look, so-and-so sent dick pics.”

                      In this case so-and-so is not Thane.

          2. I should have read down.

      2. People use the term *mentally ill* in cases like this to deflect responsibility. How could you be accountable? It’s not that you’re a bad person, it’s the illness that caused you to do XYZ. Whatever the dictionary definition is, that’s the feeling that it’s meant to invoke in people.

        I say this kid was a bad person and perfectly accountable, and therefore, not *mentally ill* in the sense people are using it.

        1. I’d say he certainly wouldn’t/shouldn’t be able to use an insanity defense were he still alive, but I don’t think very many people think that any mental illness removes moral responsibility for one’s actions. If anything, only really severe psychosis does that.

          I guess what I am arguing is that using “mentally ill” to deflect responsibility is not valid. Most people who would be considered mentally ill are still legally and morally responsible for their actions.

          1. I don’t think very many people think that any mental illness removes moral responsibility for one’s actions.

            This.

            He CLEARLY knew right from wrong (from the tape) and chose to do wrong. He may have only been shuffling 49 but you’re still accountable for doing wrong if you know right from wrong.

            1. He may have only been shuffling 49

              To carry this analogy further, your illness absolves you of responsibility for your actions when your deck contains an unknowable number of cards and they’re all jokers and the How To Play 5 Card Draw card.

              1. Sorry, but that’s a copout. There are degrees of mental illness and self-awareness. Most criminals suffer some degree of mental illness or another…the very fact that they commit crimes against other people and their property implies some sort of disconnect from societal norms. Should we let them all off the hook because they have an “unknowable” number of cards in their mental deck.

                Regarding the case of Rodgers specifically, his problem wasn’t that he was unaware of the consequences of his actions…his problem was that he didn’t care because he viewed other people as insignificant and unworthy of rights or life. That’s exactly the kind of person who belongs in prison or warehoused in a mental institution for the rest of his life. He’s not going to reform…the goal with people like that is to separate them from society entirely to limit the future damage they can do. Fortunately, Rodgers solved that problem for us with a bullet to the head.

        2. True. It’s like “spouse” or “married”: the choice of word has consequences.

      3. Mental illnesses are all just collections of symptoms and behaviors

        I prefer the Thomas Szasz definition, which requires something more than symptoms and behaviors. Mental illness is just as verifiable as physical illness, after all the brain is just another organ, if more complicated.

        1. A diseased organ is physically ill, though–a person with a brain tumor or who has suffered from a stroke is physically ill, which in turn has consequences for his mental capacity. “Mental illness” is a simple category error that, if it’s not corrected or if the problem with the improper symbolism inherent in the term isn’t taken seriously, leads to cascading errors in understanding.

    2. a 22-year-old virgin who had never so much as kissed a girl

      Anyone seen Bo since this happened?

      1. Harsh, Dude, harsh.

        1. But spot on.

      2. Yes, but I haven’t seen much of “American”.

        Hmmm…..

    3. There’s mental illness and mental illness.

      Was he legally incapable (a strong definition of mental illness)? Clearly not.

      Was he a sick fuck? You bet.

      1. I don’t know why people are discounting that maybe he was just an evil, and not terribly bright, fuckstick.

        Either that, or he’s having the last laugh from the grave with his completely contrived manifesto.

        1. I read parts of that “manifesto” and he seemed bright enough to me – he could write well enough anyway, considering that many kids that age have trouble composing a coherent paragraph. Was it “contrived” – meaning “made-up”? That could be, but I suspect not. The kid had a tough time growing up, but so do many others – equally as tough or worse. Nothing excuses what he did. Nothing.

          1. He wasn’t bright enough to connect the dots as to why people avoided him like the plague, or to figure out a solution to his problem that didn’t involve a murder-death-kill spree.

            As pointed out down-thread, slightly nuts and evil aren’t mutually exclusive.

            1. Brightness doesn’t guarantee that one will use one’s intelligence – or that if one does, one will use it well or successfully.

              I agree – slightly nuts and evil certainly are not mutually exclusive.

  2. Still going with that selfie eh?

  3. , he acknowledges how unlikely that scenario is. He also concedes that his plan to free men from their baser instincts by banning sex, perpetuating the species by artificially inseminating enslaved and segregated women,

    This is just plain old social engineering. You know who else wanted to ban sex and perpetuate the species through artificial insemination of enslaved, segregated women?

    1. The Bene Tleilax?

    2. The Culture in Iain M Banks sci fi novels.

      Gene-fixing 7 alien species into one has its costs.

      1. Here is the perfect song for the Culture.

  4. We can call his murder spree the symptom of a mysterious and unverifiable disease, or we can call it an evil response to a recognizable human condition.

    WDATPDIM?

  5. Two solutions never occurred to him?

    Porn

    and/or

    Prostitutes

    His obsession with sex and women was a symptom. If he’d found a girlfriend, he’d have found another focus for his obsession, hatred and feelings of inadequacy.

    3 of the people he killed were men, least we forget.

    1. Yep, he was more concerned with his status in society. Women were just a component of that.

    2. As I said in a previous thread, had he found a girlfriend, imagine what he would have done to her when she inevitably said, “Elliot, I think it’s time we start seeing other people…”

    3. 5 were men if you count his suicide.

      1. “Man” is a strong word to describe him.

        1. No kiddin’ — what a crybaby.

      2. I have a rule where I never place the suicide of the murderer in the bodycount.

        1. Agreed. The suicide part is like the one good thing to come out of an otherwise horrible situation.

          1. When I hear of murder-suicides, I always wish they had done things in reverse order.

            1. Did you hear about the blonde who discovered her husband in bed with another woman?

        2. 7 Dead in Murder Spree

          is accurate.

          1. 7 Dead in Murder Spree Including Perpetrator

            is more accurate.

            1. Rape Media Culture and Gun Lobby Murder 7

              More accurater, or most accuratest?

              1. Very most accurate. One story very biggest. Gunz kill again, NRA drinks blood of children, libertarians oppress orphans and rejoice. Details at 11.

              2. PUAs and NRA is mostly what I’m hearing.

              3. KOCHTOPUS bodycount increases by 7

    4. Two solutions never occurred to him?

      Porn

      and/or

      Prostitutes

      Not sure what porn would have done for him. Prostitutes might have helped – if they were something other than the typical streetwalker type one usually encounters in this country. Someone should have took him to a brothel out in Nevada or something. But even then I think you are right that that was only part of his problem.

      1. I doubt hookers would have helped. If anything, it probably would have deepened his hatred of women because the prostitutes would have the gall to charge him for what he felt he deserved for free.

        He was an entitled creep looking for a reason to act…not getting laid was just a convenient excuse.

  6. But judging from his autobiography, Rodger had surprisingly strong self-insight and a pretty clear (perhaps too clear) sense of what was going on around him, despite his occasional flights of grandiosity and magical thinking.

    The guy repeatedly recounted fantasies of torturing and killing people for the crime of having relationships to one of his friends and he was all surprised when that guy didn’t want to be around him anymore. He also repeatedly sabotaged his efforts to appear a sympathetic or at least reasonable figure in his story by repeatedly making (trigger warning: racism and classism!) racist and classist statements about everyone not upper class and neither pure white or half-white. Now add on his “supreme gentleman, eminent and divine stuff.” Not excusing his rampage, but I don’t think that awareness of self or others was his strong suit.

  7. Is repressed homosexuality a mental illness?

    1. no = but *its a great workout*

      (flexes pecs in mirror)

      1. That just, so, turned me on without me realizing it.

    2. Is repressed homosexuality a mental illness?

      Probably only if one deals with it by having a sex change operation.

  8. Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    “..any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word “no”. The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.[7]…A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic.”

    1. IS IT TIME TO BLOCK GILMORE?

  9. Again with the pictures of the murdering d-bag…

    Get a morgue head shot of this fucker and use that for all these stories.

    1. I really don’t care when they show the pictures of these assholes, but I like your suggestion of an alternative picture.

      1. Perhaps a postcard of his body on display in front of the general store? Maybe some silver dollars covering his eyes?

        He should be remembered as the shitbag he was.

        1. That would work. Let him be torn apart by wild dogs. And maybe a prohibition on anyone burying him so that his soul must forever wander the earth.

        2. He does look like a shitbag in that photo. I say run with it.

  10. If I’d have met the guy up until the whole murder thing, I would have felt sorry for him.

    I wish he would have realized that, for guys, things get better as you get older and start doing things for yourself and not other people, especially not women. It sounds like he judged his own value by what women thought of him. In that regard, he created his own miserableness. If he would have just done what he loved, maybe women would have liked him, but more probably he would have just liked himself.

    I was a virgin well into my 20’s, partly due to my religious beliefs, but also partly because women just weren’t interested in me, and still aren’t much. My friends had the same experience, and we’re all much happier now that we’ve become our own men in the last five or so years.

    I don’t like the whole “starting a conversation”, especially when it’s due to grim circumstances. But I wish young guys would just own themselves, you know?

    1. If I’d have met the guy up until the whole murder thing, I would have felt sorry for him.

      I’m doubting it. There are lots of sad, lonely dudes out there who don’t fantasize about torturing and killing people, posting racist screeds and invective on the internet and continuously going on about how they feel put upon by society. They’re just sad, lonely dudes who don’t have the ambition or skill to interact with others in a way which leaves them satisfied.

      1. Yeah, I meant without all the manifesto shit. This guy’s problems were orders of magnitude greater than what you’d hear on a “Girls suck” Reddit thread, and that was only one piece of it.

        1. He was “sad and lonely” because he was an incredible asshole with an unreal sense of entitlement that’s aided and abetted by grievance cultures like progressive upper middle class douchebags typical in Los Angeles.

          “College is supposed to be a time when everyone is having fun and having lots of sex…” It IS? That’s why people mortgage their house and students get $100K into debt?

          Not too long ago college education was to prepare you for adulthood, meaning a job and career. You got that before you had a family. And you got married and then started a family.

          Plenty of people had sex in college, but it was never considered a grievance if a girl didn’t put out. If a man wanted to have sex, get married. Nobody but nobody would feel sorry for you if you couldn’t get no strings attached sex.

          1. Yes, he was an asshole. Story out now about how he would spill coffee on a happy couple he saw or get in fights because no one would talk to him (used his face as a fist of course – little pussy dweeb).

            If you met him you’d want to punch him.

            1. Not surprising. The tone of his whine on the video was a pretty good indication of that. He was one of those people who dealt with personal insecurity by shitting on anyone who looked happier than him.

              Basically, he’s the kind of guy who would claim he’s being “bullied” when really he’s just a dick who got treated exactly as his behavior and attitude merited.

  11. I think other people have said as much but =

    this guy wasn’t “crazy”. He was an asshole.

    He wasn’t even clinically ‘sociopathic’. He was a little shit who had a kill-tantrum.

    I don’t think he qualifies as ‘evil’, per se, but definitely ‘asshole’.

    The ‘evil’ thing is always debatable – but in my view, that requires a degree of nasty a la your Leopold & Loeb – whose ‘justification’ is almost uneeded – they will kill for mere personal pleasure, and have no sense of personal injury like this douchebag.

    People need to slot things into “crazy” to convince themselves that sane people can’t also be evil fucking dicks. They can.

    1. I don’t think he qualifies as ‘evil’, per se, but definitely ‘asshole’.

      If he wasn’t mentally ill, he qualifies as evil. I know lots of assholes, not a one has ever gone on a magic-murder spree. Once you do that, I say you jump to the next category.

    2. I still say that anyone who is capable of a kill-tantrum is crazy. You call that sane?

      But, as I have been going on about at length here, I don’t think crazy removes moral responsibility, nor do I think that crazy and evil are mutually exclusive.

      1. I don’t think crazy removes moral responsibility,

        Neither does the justice system.

      2. Both paul and zeb = ?

        He doesn’t have to be Evil or Crazy.

        You can call him either for your own personal satisfaction, but it doesn’t make it so.

        Q = Does a person who catches his wife in bed with his neighbor and then kills then qualify as either crazy or evil?

        – Crazy people think things are true that aren’t true, and deny all evidence to the contrary

        – Evil people do horrible things to others merely because it pleases them to do so

        Which of the above applies to either ‘douchebag kill-teen’, or the cuckolded husband?

        Show your work

        1. My definition of crazy differs from yours, I guess.

          Your definition of evil is what I have used for most of my life (and I wasn’t saying that this guy was necessarily evil, just that crazy and evil are not mutually exclusive), but seeing how much bad is done by people with apparently good intentions makes me consider changing that as well.

        2. Q = Does a person who catches his wife in bed with his neighbor and then kills then qualify as either crazy or evil?

          No, you call him ‘home too early’. I’m here all week.

          – Crazy people think things are true that aren’t true, and deny all evidence to the contrary

          If the shit that Elliot Rodger spewed about the world and his relationship to it can’t be qualified as believing shit that wasn’t true, I don’t know what can be.

          – Evil people do horrible things to others merely because it pleases them to do so

          Elliot Rodgers seemed (to my impression) to be deriving a lot of pleasure in the ‘day of retribution’ he had planned. No?

          Which of the above applies to either ‘douchebag kill-teen’, or the cuckolded husband?

          The Cuckolded husband focused his attention on those demonstrably related to his discomfort- insofar as he killed people who knew or had knowledge of him. The douchebag kill-teen specifically targeted people to which he had never met or had any direct relationship.

          I stand by my statement: To call someone who goes on a murder-spree an ‘asshole’ is a gross understatement, and unfairly impugns assholes.

          If guy who cuts the line in front of you gets the same moniker as guy who kills your daughter because she happened to be on the sidewalk, we’ve got a serious language problem.

          1. The problem with the crazy label is that it suggests that his reasons for doing what he did were confused or based on a misunderstanding of reality that came about as a result of chemical mis-firings in his cabesa. i.e. “Illness”

            He simply ‘over-reacted’ and had an ‘exaggerated’ case of ‘teen self-pity’ – a condition anyone can and does/did suffer from at one point in their lives, as Jacob notes above.

            if he’d lived, there’s not a chance in hell that a lawyer could get him off on an ‘insanity’ plea. I doubt it would even be entertained. He wrote a lucid 140page memoir detailing his thought process and his rationale. His sense of personal persecution may have been extreme, but it was not based on ‘crazy’ beliefs = it was simply ‘douche teen’ taken to extremes.

            You can call it ‘crazy’ as an adjective meaning, ‘something you find implausible’ – but that doesn’t add to any argument that he did what he did because of some existing, previously un-diagnosed severe mental condition (despite 14yrs of therapy).

            1. if he’d lived, there’s not a chance in hell that a lawyer could get him off on an ‘insanity’ plea.

              This is absolutely correct, because the justice system has a more narrow definition of ‘insanity’ than does the mental health sector.

              All that’s necessary is that it’s shown that you knew your actions were wrong and you don’t qualify as legally insane. (Jeffrey Dahmer case being a kind of gold standard on that subject).

              Look, I agree the dude was an asshole. Just listening to that awful last video he put up made me want to punch him… in the face.

              Is it just a matter of degree? Can someone be such a huge asshole that they’re able to make the jump from being pissed off and hating everyone to actually snuffing them out?

              Is it also possible that the mental health system had misdiagnosed him, or NOT diagnosed him with something? I (we) can monday morning quarter back this thing all day.

              Narcissistic assholes exist everywhere, but they’re not all driving down the road, shooting and stabbing people.

              I don’t think it’s unfair to try to figure out what the difference between all those narcissistic assholes and Elliot Rodgers is.

              1. “Is it just a matter of degree? Can someone be such a huge asshole that they’re able to make the jump from being pissed off and hating everyone to actually snuffing them out?

                Is it also possible that the mental health system had misdiagnosed him, or NOT diagnosed him with something? I (we) can monday morning quarter back this thing all day.

                Sure, all are fair.

                Where we clearly disagree is in what you’re willing to ‘default’ to as an interpretation of events.

                Your default is that ‘no ‘sane’ person does this shit’

                My default is that, yes, sometimes they do. They’re shitty people who lash out irrationally at the world.

                ‘mental illness’ is a very specific thing. I think its unfair to mentally ill people to ascribe all ‘shitty human behavior’ to being written off as ‘misfiring synapses’. Some people are Severely mentally ill, and wouldn’t harm a fly = because deep down, they’re Not Assholes.

                My proposal is that “Sane people can be misanthropic assholes who murder out of spite and self-pity”

                It is not a comfortable thing, but I think its more realistic than blaming everything on ‘bad chemicals’ in the brain.

                1. My extensive examination of the murder mystery canon suggests GILMORE is right as always.

        3. “Crazy people think things are true that aren’t true, and deny all evidence to the contrary.”

          Sounds like just about every liberal/progressive I’ve ever known.

    3. Definitions please.

      Mentally ill does NOT equal insane. And I’m not sure what constitutes crazy.

      1. This. Lots of misunderstanding between ‘neuroses and psychoses’.

        People who are ‘bi-polar’ (as an example) actually fit into the psychosis category. ‘Psychosis’ meaning you suffer a mental illness.

        Bi-polar people are (not always, but usually) oriented to time and place, have a sense of right and wrong etc. But they are, by category, mentally ill.

      2. Dianne Feinstein, for instance, is insane.

        1. Nancy Pelosi for another instance.

        2. I’ve suspected for awhile that Feinstein is less “insane” than simply suffering from a serious cognitive decline due to her fairly advanced age (80) and probably some unpublicized health issues (stroke wouldn’t be out of the question).

          Considering that she was never that brilliant of a thinker, it wouldn’t take more than a mini-stroke to reduce her to the gibbering, irrational idiot she is now…she didn’t have that far to fall.

        3. I also suspect that she’s taken great pains to hide her infirmities from the public…which would partially explain her unwillingness to debate her opponents in her reelection bids. Considering how stupid Ted Cruz made her look last year when she whined about his “disrespect” on a basic Constitutional question, a semi-competent challenger would probably make Swiss cheese of her in a debate if she gave them a shot.

          Not that voters in California care, as long as she claims to be liberal and has a vagina.

          http://www.ocregister.com/arti…..ebate.html

      3. Mentally ill does NOT equal insane.

        Insanity is a legal term. Mentally ill is a psuedo-medical catch-all euphemism.

  12. He crossed the evil Rubicon when he killed 6 people. Asshole stops before there.

  13. “At long last,” he concludes, “I can show the world my true worth.”

    And it was a negative worth.

  14. What a fucking knucklehead.

  15. I google-imaged his blonde tormenter: Wow – that Monette is one evil, slutty bitch!

    (Wolf whistle!)

    1. I saw them as mean, cruel, and heartless creatures that took pleasure from my suffering.

      Jesus, Elliot, that’s called marriage, and that’s why god invented divorce. Get over yourself.

  16. Have any of you fine individuals ever read/watched Death Note? *SPOILER* This guy’s video reminds me of Light’s insane rant in the final confrontation where he talks about being god of the new world. Then Near tells him he is insane to think of being a god and Light gets shot.

  17. Perhaps he was not mentally ill but he did however suffer from severe social retardation.

  18. Does ‘Mental Illness’ Explain Elliot Rodger’s Murder Spree?

    Let me attempt to answer that question by posing two others:
    Does Taking Elliot Rodger At His Word Explain His Murder Spree?
    If Not, What Could Possibly ‘Explain’ Elliot Rodger’s Murder Spree?

    1. If you can’t take Rodger at his word because he didn’t understand his own motivations for things, that’s a good indicator he was crazy.

      If you can take Rodger at his words, well, his words were pretty fucking crazy.

  19. I think that a better question from a libertarian perspective is at what point does government get to take you off the streets for being too damn crazy and lock you in a too-crazy-to-walk-the-streets warehouse?

    1. I was thinking along the same lines. Reason is walking a tightrope with this story. Obviously, they want to lump him in the “face of evil” category, but at what point should someone have tried to stop him, before he actually started killing people?

      Sane, rational people don’t write 140-page “explanations”, make a bunch of videos explaining their reasoning behind a planned mass murder, then knife to death 3 roommates, shoot 3 random strangers, and run over a bunch of people in their car. They just don’t.

      I understand that Reason is trying to strip the “mentally ill” label away from this kid, because it’s easier to vilify him if you believe that he was just evil. But it seems clear he was emotionally disturbed since his early childhood, had been given all the care you could possibly offer someone who is reasonably high-functioning and has resources, and it simply didn’t work. Sometimes, people are just broken, and they can’t be fixed, and they do things that you can’t prevent.

      I fail to see what kind of law could have been crafted that would have prevented any of this from happening, and I shudder to think of one that actually would.

      1. Agreed. You’re free to encounter psychos in a free world. Not much you can do about it.

      2. You can’t stop crazy. But that doesn’t mean this little fuck shouldn’t be vilified for taking out his inability to interact with women on some people at the cost of their lives.

        1. I don’t disagree with this, at all. Like any murder-suicide, he should have performed the suicide part, first.

      3. Yes. The guy was crazy, mentally ill, disturbed, whatever you want to call it. And there was nothing to be done about it and there is no rational policy response to it. There are bad people who do bad shit sometimes. That is the only thing to be learned from just about any mass murder like this.

      4. I, personally, see no reason why “evil” and “mentally ill” are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think most of us would (casually) classify genuinely evil people as mentally ill in some way.

      5. …then knife to death 3 roommates,…

        As I understand it, he bludgeoned them with a hammer first to incapacitate them and then slit their throats. Pretty up close and personal, even though methodical.

    2. I think that a better question from a libertarian perspective is at what point does government get to take you off the streets for being too damn crazy and lock you in a too-crazy-to-walk-the-streets warehouse?

      Never.

      Bad shit “might” happen, but you don’t get to punish people BEFORE they do something wrong.

    3. I think that a better question from a libertarian perspective is at what point does government get to take you off the streets for being too damn crazy and lock you in a too-crazy-to-walk-the-streets warehouse?

      Currently, the metric is “a danger to yourself or others”.

      1. And doctors, cops, et al. will invoke it at the drop of a hat. My FIL was at a grief session a few years back when he casually mentioned that some days he feels like blowing his brains out. He was committed that day for 24-hour observation.

        1. Awful. That’s the sort of shit that happens when you give the state power with the flimsiest of medical excuses.

      2. Currently, the metric is “an imminent danger to yourself or others due to a mental illness“.

        There are variations, but they are minor.

  20. My understanding of this, from a layperson’s PoV is the mental illness should generally be reserved for cluster A disorders which are actual chemical imbalances whereas cluster B disorders are sort of ingrained into a person’s very psyche.

    1. “actual chemical imbalances”

      lol!

      Demons unbalance teh chemicals.

    2. That’s the problem, and why Szasz was such a hardass about the term “mental illness” as devoid of meaning.

      If you want to claim that there’s a “chemical imbalance,” you first have to prove that there’s an optimal, healthy “chemical balance” and then demonstrate that some people don’t have it to their detriment. That’s not remotely how psychiatrists work–they just assume that there’s some imbalance on the basis of problematic behavior in essentially the same way that medieval physicians assumed that someone suffered from an imbalance of the humours.

      My issue with psychiatry is that we know a lot about the brain in terms of its correspondences to behavior and cognitive capacity, but unless you have a brain tumor that will show up on an MRI, medical professionals can’t do much for you other than guess and hand out pills that, on balance, are more likely than not to have a desirable effect in addition to some usually minor undesirable ones. In two generations it may be different, but right now psychiatrists don’t understand the brain and can’t examine it.

      And yet out of that we have the usual class of people asserting with supreme confidence that there exists a group of “mentally ill” who, by any objective or physiological standard, are not ill.

      1. I wonder how many asymptomatic schizophrenics are walking around out there.

        1. Counting the commentariat?

        2. All of ’em.

          1. Oops. That was supposed to be:

            “I wonder how many asymptomatic schizophrenics are walking around out there.”

            All of ’em.

  21. Maybe this has been said before, but I can see only 1 plausible public policy answer to this incident: to concede that this guy won a terrorist victory for young guys, and that laws must be enacted to force girls to put out for them, lest they slaughter the rest of mankind.

    If that answer is rejected, I see nothing else, because anything else would be even less plausible. But aren’t you surprised that in a world this big, there aren’t at least 100 of such incidents a day? People have amazingly good self control.

  22. “WHITE GUY KILLER SYNDROME” via Salon: http://www.salon.com/2014/05/2…..eged_rage/
    Trigger warnings for everyone.

    1. How many times must troubled young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white male privilege kills?

      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

      1. How many times must troubled young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white male privilege kills?

        That’s like something GILMORE would write.

        1. troubled young white men

          He was just as much Indonesian as Barack Obama is black.

        2. Knarf the Yenrabian|5.27.14 @ 6:22PM|#

          That’s like something GILMORE would write.”

          How so?

          Was he wearing a tie?

          1. You have a good ear for proglodyte prattle.

            1. 🙂

              thanks. I thought you were White-Shaming me.

      2. before we admit that white male privilege kills?

        If only this poster would have been there in 1519 on a beach in the Yucatan, to ask one Hernan Cortez to check his privilege, I am sure the world would be a different place today.

        1. So then maybe only women should be allowed to own guns?

      3. How many times must troubled young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white male privilege kills?

        Yes, clearly the problem was he didn’t project his retarded fears of inadequacy on other people enough.

    2. Rodgers was white? Hassan was white? Tsarnayev was white, the Saudi attackers on 9/11 were white?

      I guess in the alternate universe, had the above lost some kind of disability benefit, they’d be ‘minorities’ and thus ‘hardest hit’.

    3. SRS Q: When did biracial people become white?

      Is the one-drop rule in effect for whitey since L’Affaire Zimmerman, or did I miss some important SPLC memo a few years back?

      Also, please tell me which peoples of the world are “white.”

      1. SRS Q: When did biracial people become white?

        SRS counter-example: CiC.

        1. Meant bad biracial people. Obama is obviously not bad, as he’s never killed a half dozen innocent people before, so he gets to be black.

          1. Obama is obviously not bad, as he’s never killed a half dozen innocent people before

            Bwahahaha. Oh. You meant people that Americans are supposed to care about, i.e. not folks being mistakenly murderdroned, killed with Fast and Furious guns, etc.

            1. Such salacious, unfounded rumors about the CiC. You must be shamed for your apparent racism.

          2. I don’t know about you all motherfuckers, but I’m running to the bank to cash this “White Privilege” check while it lasts!

            See ya suckers!

            1. You all? Are you from Texas, dude? 🙂

        2. If you don’t vote straight up Dem ticket, then you’re either white, Uncle Tom, Uncle Juan, something like that.

          See the 30 year old fat white girl(who has never touched a penis in her life that isn’t plastic and has batteries) to check your privilege.

      2. When they do something bad.

        If something bad happens to them, they’re a minority-hardest-hit.

        There’s a narrative here. And it’s important you learn it.

      3. In the areas of career advancement, school admissions, and all-around pandering, one drop of oppressed blood makes you oppressed.

        In matters of crime (both real and PC), one drop of white blood makes you white.

    4. Oh, for crying out loud! Reading what I have of this dipshit’s rants, it’s all too clear to me that little Eliot was spouting a line of bullshit not too different from this. Hell, he whined, bitched, pissed, and moaned about how unfair it was that all the jocks and fratboys were getting all the hot girls.

    5. This woman is the nutjob who writes weekly “WHITEMALES ALL FUCKING SHIT UP AGAIN!!” columns for Salon-drones to feed upon.

      Look at her list of articles, and despair.

    6. That was a valiant effort but I’ve seen better derp.

  23. How about instead of a madman we call him what he was – a whiney loser? I mean, we’re talking about a guy who, at twenty, was having his mommy buy him sci-fi novels. We’re talking about a guy who cried in the bathroom for an hour because a girl didn’t say hello to him. This guy was just plain-out pathetic.

    1. This guy was just plain-out pathetic.

      He was that, too.

  24. BwaHaHaw!

    To help him overcome his anxieties, his old man gave him the book The Secret!

    “So, Son, did you enjoy the book?” POWPOWPOWPOWPOWPOW!

  25. I think this whole thing could’ve been avoided if dad had offered some hot wanna-be young actress a plum role if she fucked his son.

    1. Nope. This kind of bitterness and hate is endemic. He’d just find another reason to be angry. Probably at his terrible performance with said actress, or that she only did it because of his father, or whatever. People sporting huge hate boners don’t tend to let them go.

    2. Not if he was gay.

      1. Not if he was gay.

        Great point. Maybe it wasn’t women at all that were the crux of this kid’s rage.

        1. He killed 4 guys, 5 counting himself.

          If Roger acted on the occutard millenial fantasy and killed the rich would it be because he hated money? Women were symbols of achievement and success to him more than objects of hatred for their own sake.

    3. Why even bother? He was, what, an hour plane ride from Nevada?

  26. I’m going fishing. Someone pick up the “call to arms”.

    Later Reasonoids.

    1. Natives or “invasives”?

      I envy your trout paradise.

    2. Serious is busy. I hope.

  27. So I was listing to National Prog Radio, and they described the roommates that he stabbed… They were all youn Asian engineering majors. What the hell was his problem with those guys? We’re they the “players” he hated so much. Cuz I remember college, and the Asian kids in engineering weren’t exactly ballin out of control.

    1. I had an Asian engineering major for a college roommate. The closest he got to a “wild” sexual experience was when he was so busy jerking off that he neglected to watch his rice cooker closely enough, and he let the cooker (which he’d placed on top of his backup computer) boil over and fill the tower with boiling rice.

      1. Pure Awesome.

    2. Judging by snippets I’ve read of his “manifesto” he saw (full-blooded) Asians as somehow naturally ugly and inferior and was particularly disgusted by the idea that one of the women he thought were his by rights would go for one. I don’t think they’d have to be “ballin out of control”–if one of these guys had just a little success with a woman Rodgers thought was attractive…

      1. Ah I see. I will admit I didn’t RTFM, cuz I’m not into manifestos written by non-spaniards. I’m still kinda shocked that this little aspytard was able to take out 3 dudes almost single-handed.

        1. RTFM

          lol

          1. It was no Dorner manifesto, I’ll tell you that. Besides, the Unabomer manifesto the best written manifesto to date. Once you’ve read that one, you’ve read them all.

  28. Enough. I’ve heard enough about the Nuclear Nice Guy.

  29. Episiarch?

    Update at 2:36 p.m.: Seattle police say the man who jumped into Elliott Bay had been at Harborview Medical Center earlier in the day for a medical evaluation. He fled from the facility, took off his clothes and ran downhill toward the water, police said.

    Original post: A naked man was pulled out of Elliott Bay this morning after he jumped in the water while suffering some sort of “behavioral crisis,” Seattle police said.

    Mentally ill, or just asshole?

    1. Maybe he’s just dumb. Plenty of people jump into the water in Seattle, I think he just forgot you’re supposed to get on top of Aurora Bridge first.

      1. I have swam in Lake Union and Lake Washington.

        I think Lake Union gave me swimmers itch.

        1. There’s a reason there are signs in Gasworks telling you not to go in the water, Josh.

        2. Swimmer’s itch? Is that what they’re calling it?

    2. Not Epi. It was Dunphy. Pretending to be a libertarian, while not believing in any of our principles, will eventually make you jump the shark.

      See, buttplug.

  30. Has anyone been following shillary news lately? I don’t even know how much is true and how much myth, but if half of it is true, it seems that an uncanny amount of people got dead around the Clintons in the last couple of decades of the last century.

    1. That’s all old hat.

      1. What difference, at this point, would it make?

  31. Nobody needs more than three personalities.

  32. It is important to differentiate between mental illness ( an organic condition where the brain is sick, like any other organ ) and personality disorders ( where stimuli evoke incorrect or inappropriate responses ). With mental illness the perception of reality is faulty. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this guy. He was not mentally ill.

    Personality disorders are usually acquired by conditioning early in life. Rogers appears to be an antisocial personality disorder. All of his words and actions are consistent with that.

    “…his plan to free men from their baser instincts by banning sex, perpetuating the species by artificially inseminating enslaved and segregated women,…”

    That this guy would come up with such an idea says a lot about all the other people who dream up social engineering schemes. I had not thought of it before but it is very likely that people who dream up that shit are antisocial personality disorders.

    1. Well put.

      I tried to make a similar distinction but left it as “short of crazy, you’re just a severe asshole”

      I wanted to clarify – like some above – that mental illness suggests he wasn’t responsible for his own perception of reality. He was. He perceived reality perfectly well. He just wanted it to be different because he was a complete megalomaniacal misanthropic cockbag.

  33. Two points:

    Point 1:

    “Having decided that he no longer wanted to live as a 22-year-old virgin who had never so much as kissed a girl, Rodger resolved to kill himself and take as many of his tormentors with him as he could.”

    This also describes new recruits to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Guys who for economic reasons, demographic and cultural reasons, reasons having to do with living within the context of an economy that operates under the whim of a vicious dictatorship…

    Show me young men with no clear path to getting a girl, starting a family, and no clear means to being a respected and prosperous member of society, and I’ll show you some violent young men.

    In Pakistan, they join the Taliban. In the Rollin’ 20s, they become crips. Back in my day, they used to become nazi skinheads. It’s all the same thing.

    Point 2:

    If he thought never having been with a woman was bad, he should have waited until he had one that he wanted to keep, and she dumped him! I got my first action kinda early, but I’ve had dry spells, and it’s nowhere near as bad as getting dumped. If he couldn’t handle the former, there’s no way he was gonna handle the latter. Getting dumped, maybe he just would have gone after the woman that dumped him (and her new beau), but her fate would have been all but sealed after the first night.

    Yeah, this guy was cracked.

    1. Mohammed Atta was a virgin. He still sat on his mother’s lap when he went home to visit.

      1. I’ve long heard that great scientists make their biggest discoveries and do their greatest work in their youth. I used to hear about it back in the ’90s, especially in regards to tech talent. It was a defense for why some of the biggest and best tech companies of the time would hire kids straight out of college (or less) with huge pay packages and options–and skip over established, older talent that was out there looking for work.

        Then I heard that the youth thing was a symptom of another observation–the thing that correlated with success and productive work wasn’t the age of the scientist; it was when he got married or found a long term mate. Once he did, his most productive period was over…

        I think we’re talking about sublimation here.

        “[Freud] defined sublimation as the process of deflecting sexual instincts into acts of higher social valuation, being “an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic or ideological, to play such an important part in civilised life”.[1] Wade and Tavris present a similar view, stating that sublimation is when displacement “serves a higher cultural or socially useful purpose, as in the creation of art or inventions”.[2]”

        Once those nerds no longer need to sublimate, it’s like the magic dries up. And when some people can’t find a way to sublimate that urge and rejection into something culturally acceptable, look out!

      2. We’re also talking about the biological imperative here. Is there another species that we think of as being successful without procreating? From an evolutionary perspective, what’s irrational about sizing yourself up as a failure (in the short term) because women universally reject you?

        I’m not saying such rejected people should react with violence–that’s totally irrational–but the idea that a guy is despicable if he feels like a failure because women are rejecting him? The people who are making those arguments elsewhere on the web right now are some of the same people who make fun of creationists for not grokking evolution.

        How dare this sexually frustrated young man see anonymous women primarily as objects of sexual desire? Do these people know anything about evolution at all?

        A great philosopher once wrote, “Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted”. There’s nothin’ crazy about that. That’s just the biological imperative’s way of laughing in our faces. Everybody feels like that sometimes–even married guys feel like that sometimes.

        1. “Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted”.

          Yeah? Try divorcing one after thirty plus years of marriage and you may find out just how wicked. A close buddy of mine could tell you.

  34. Real talk with Toure:

    Tour?Verified account
    ?@Toure
    Last night a question occurred to me: Are Jewish people niggers? I think: Sometimes and in some ways yes, sometimes and in some ways no.

    Toure quotes the great philosophers:

    Tour?Verified account
    ?@Toure
    “Wealth is passed down. You can’t get rid of wealth. Rich is something you can lose in a summer with a crazy drug habit.” Chris Rock

    1. Toure also said he “thanked God” abortions was there and that the choice “saved his life.”

      Inspirational.

  35. From the New Yorker: Christopher died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the N.R.A. That’s true. That the killer in question was in the grip of a mad, woman-hating ideology, or that he was also capable of stabbing someone to death with a knife, are peripheral issues to the central one of a gun culture that has struck the Martinez family and ruined their lives. (The shooter, Elliot Rodger, had three semi-automatic handguns that, according to the Los Angeles Times, he’d purchased legally.)

    This is sick. Instead of mourning the loss of the victims, this tragedy was immediately spun into a progressive political move. Vomit-worthy reading.

    1. Political necrophilia.

    2. What this whole incident proves is that psychologically and emotionally disturbed people like Elliot Rodger are not just a threat to our lives, they are a threat to our civil rights. They are a cancer on humanity.

      Cancer is not cured by transforming the cancer cells back to normal, healthy cells. Cancer is cured by destroying the cancer cells. So too, we must destroy this cancer on humanity,. The existence of mentally and emotionally disturbed people like Elliot Rodger can no longer be tolerated. The threat to our lives and civil rights is just too great to try anything else except destroy them. And the destruction must be thorough. Even one psychological or emotional deviant is one person too many.

  36. People keep getting things backwards. He didn’t become an unbalanced, self-obsessed prick with homicidal tendencies because girls rejected him; girls (unconsciously) rejected him because he was an unbalanced, self-obsessed prick with homicidal tendencies. It’s a survival mechanism; if someone had dated him, that someone would have wound up dead in a domestic dispute.

    1. It’s a survival mechanism; if someone had dated him, that someone would have wound up dead in a domestic dispute.

      If it’s a survival mechanism, then how to explain all those who do wind up dead in a domestic dispute? Or is it not a very common mechanism?

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