“I will punish all of you.”
Six people were murdered and at least seven injured in a rampage in Santa Barbra last night. The gunman, too, is dead. The alleged shooter Elliot Rodger left behind a disturbing internet catalog of his warped desires and his thirst for vengeance at his perceived slights and social status.
“And you do deserve it. Just for the crime of living a better life than me.”
His crime, and the thoughts that led to it, scream of envy, entitlement, greed, and ego. Ills we all lament in modern society but that have nevertheless become ubiquitous and tolerated.
It is an attitude that is prevalent not just in the video itself, but in much of his online life, as Forbes reported this afternoon.
Rodger favorited more Pokemon videos than PUA ones; the most disturbing favorite I saw in his YouTube videos was Philosophy of the Knife, a graphic film about torture during World War II. His Facebook page is full of selfies and photos of his rich but lonely life. There are photos of him, by himself, flying first class and attending a private Katy Perry concert; and with his parents, at the Hunger Games premiere in 2012; his father was an assistant producer of the film. Friends are generally absent from the photos and make few comments; he likes many of his own photos, and is usually the only one to do so. One of the few videos with other people in it is from a July 4, 2011 party, next to the pool at a luxurious home. It is just 26 seconds Rodger silently filming other people talking and eating, ending with the person next to Rodger flicking him off.
Rodger was also seeking help from mental health professionals prior to this attack.
Perhaps even more disturbing is that his family was apparently aware of the problems, with the AP reporting that they had even notified police about his “disturbing videos.” This report is supported by Rodgers own claim in a bodybuilding forum that his parents had made him take down some of his videos, again as reported by Forbes.
A user who went by the handle dtugg was especially critical of Rodger. He had apparently seen Rodger’s YouTube videos. “I see you got rid of those serial killer-esc videos on Youtube,” he wrote. Rodger responded saying his parents made him take them down. “I’m not trying to be mean, but the creepy vibe that you give off in those videos is likely the major reason that you can’t get girls,” responded dtugg.
A truly unsettling look into a truly unsettled mind. Rodger got an escape he didn’t deserve. He died in his own perceived moment of triumph, rather than live to suffer the consequences and ridicule and hardship he has earned. And that, too, is an incalculable tragedy.