Thursday, May 29, 2014

From Masturbation to Murder

Last week another self-absorbed but ignored young person took out his rage on innocent people. Elliot Rodger killed six people before killing himself. Before his heinous crimes, he left a You Tube video warning of his vile intentions and explaining why. (Posting the video also allowed him the vicarious (and pre-mortem) enjoyment of getting the attention that he craved and no doubt thought he deserved.

Elliot Rodgers "Retribution."

Unlike Dr. Phil, I cannot really claim the pretense that I can analyze and offer meaningful solutions to some one's problems after only a brief indirect encounter via telecommunications. From the video, however, Rodger appears frustrated over the fact that he has not been able to establish an emotionally satisfying relationship that, of course, includes sexual intercourse. (A fact, because he admits as much). And he appears embittered by the fantasy that everyone else does enjoy emotionally intimate relationships that include lots of sex. (A fantasy--because everyone else doesn't). So he sits around seething in anger while fantasizing about everyone else's sex life and the one he wishes to be his own.

There. That's my Dr. Phil moment.

A couple of additional observations.

First, Rodger appears confused over the difference between love and lust. Love--even erotic love--rests upon the idea of the well-being of the other person. In contrast, lust rests upon acquiring and possessing someone or something to fulfill one's own desires. Or to borrow a point from the philosopher Kant in another context, one involves treating a person as an end; the other involves treating a person as a means.

As Rodger keeps returning to sex--sex--sex in his retribution video, he gives the impression that sex preoccupied his mind rather than relationships. And maybe that's why he experienced failure in establishing relationships with women. They saw right though him that he possessed no sincere interest in them as persons, only as objects of his lust.

Second, he entertains a some strange notions of justice. The ancient and best definition of justice is "giving each person his due"--what is owed him. In Rodger's confused mind, what is owed him is sexual access to every woman's body. And what is owed others who deny Rodger his justice? Well, death of course.


CW said...

That's quite an intriguing title you have there, V.L. I tried to watch the video because I hadn't seen it but it didn't work for me.

I'm sure your analysis is right on. It's hard to tell without seeing more of him but just from the video still he's not hideous looking and he's obviously got money and that combination usually spells success in the romance department so he must have had a very scary personality. That's all I can surmise. He seems quite sociopathic to me, based on his strange ideas about "love" and sex and his lack of empathy for others. I feel bad for his parents as well as his victims.

RightDetour said...

Hi CW-

The video worked from me; I am not sure what is wrong. Maybe I will edit it with another version. Some people have reloaded it to YouTube, where it was once taken down. See it here . . .

CW said...

He's just bizarre, V.L. The phony laughter punctuating the video is especially weird.

I wonder what he would have said to me if I had the chance to point out that he has been just as rejecting in life as the girls he hates? He was probably just as selective as they were, preferring to go for the sexy blonds and ignoring the brunettes or the fat girls, etc. Maybe he should looked in the mirror, and not just to admire himself.

RightDetour said...

Hey CW!

Yes, his laughter is more than a little creepy. Good point as to his selectivity. He acted as selectively about the women he desired as those same women acted toward him..

"Mirror mirrow on the wall . . . " If only mirrors could talk!

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