Why I Don’t Fear Elliot Rodgers, and What We Should Have Done About Him

The manospherians/misogynists have been going full damage control in the wake of the Isla Vista shootings. They’ve been trying pretty hard to punt him out of their camp. I can’t say I entirely blame them. No-one wants to be associated with lunatics, regardless of whether or not they actually are. But the really weird thing is the praise Rodgers has been getting from some corners.

I don’t mean the morons on 4chan who are calling him a “hero” and hoping more shootings occur. That’s just edgy “rebellious” teenage angst, or merely trolling. No, I mean guys trying to cast him as more than moderately intelligent. Roosh says this kid’s “videos and writings do display an above-average intelligence.”  Eivind Berge, mentioned yesterday, was even more gushing in his praise, check this out:

“Elliot Rodger’s manifesto is absolutely amazing. It reads like an expertly crafted and professionally edited novel…I was struck with the realization that he is at least as smart as you, and he is going to use that intelligence to kill you. This means he has a good chance of succeeding, which he did. There is no “treatment” for this condition (besides getting sex), because the incel is just as smart as the psychiatrists or cops or whoever tries to intervene, and so he will anticipate their moves and thwart them.”

Is any of this actually true? Was Elliot Rodgers actually a “perceptive intellectual?” Was he even particularly dangerous? Truthfully, no. Let’s take another look at his manifesto. I haven’t been able to get through all 141 pages, admittedly…and that’s because what I have read has been both unbearably turgid and unrelentingly banal. I mean, the first pages have lines like this: “I breathed in the first breath of life as I entered this world.” I guess he likes repetitive repetition and overwrought drama, but as a writer, he’s certainly no G.K. Chesterton or Mark Twain. He claims several times to have read books of history and philosophy, but there’s absolutely no evidence of that in his writing; so far I’ve encountered precisely zero allusions, metaphors, or references relating to any history or literature. The one characteristic he displays all throughout the manifesto is an overweening self-absorption and a complete lack of self-awareness and perspective. He rambles on about how he “deserves” a girl, but says absolutely nothing about why he deserves one or what makes him a “gentleman.” His academic record is similarly poor, dropping out of a computer class at Pierce College (p. 65) and he wasn’t even able to cut it in history and sociology classes at Moorpark (p. 78). The latter two are non-STEM subjects manodrones deride fairly constantly, BTW. You’d think Elliot’s ineptitude at even those would convince the manosphere he was a dumbass, but they seem intent on arguing the opposite.

And what about his “planning skills” and his ability to anticipate and thwart his enemies, as Eivind praises? Is he really as dangerous as his Norwegian buddy implies? If his rampage is any indication, the actual answer is, once again, no. His original plan, as laid down in his manifesto, was ludicrous; a guy incapable of even holding normal conversation thought he’d be able to lure people into a hidden torture chamber (p. 132)? Fat fucking chance. He thought he’d be a “powerful God” on the Day of Retribution (p. 135)? Well, his “revenge” actually turned out to be pretty pathetic. According to Wikipedia, he only managed to kill his 3 roomates while they slept, and then when he went out his actual rampage was just incompetent. He wanted to target a nearby sorority house; he was foiled when he knocked—knocked—on the door and nobody answered. Unable to triumph over the Herculean obstacle of a locked door, he just lost his shit and started shooting randomly before taking off in his BMW and shooting some more. He could only kill 3 more people before crashing his car and offing himself. He had two guns and 400 rounds of ammunition. And with all that, he only managed to kill a total of 6 people. That isn’t the mark of some super-dangerous criminal mastermind, it’s the mark of a bungling, addlepated amateur with a bad plan and worse aim.

Why are manodrones trying to portray this utter mediocrity as intelligent, perceptive, and capable of creating and carrying out a plan that isn’t a complete bust? You’d think they’d want to cast him as sub-par and idiotic in order to distance themselves (red-pill “geniuses” that they are) from him even further. But while there are a few comments doing so, there are as many praising him as an intelligent soul who could have been saved if it wasn’t for the evils of feminism. Why?

Because, I think, they want us to fear guys like Elliot Rodger–and by extension them.

See, another treasured piece of manospam is the idea of the “beta uprising.” They want to believe (and want the rest of us to believe) that not only is society reliant upon the labors of men (which may be true), but that these men are also oppressed and disgruntled (which is debatable, to say the least). They claim that Rodger, Sodini, and Lepine were just the “vanguard” for all these oppressed men: Soon, the maligned betas will rise up en masse and annihilate the society that oppresses them in an orgy of blood. Thus, to avoid destruction at the hands of the “lethal, dangerous, and effective Angry Men,” society must cave in to their demands, which seem to be a combination of reducing women to chattel, gender apartheid (or actual apartheid, in the case of the many racists), Christian Taliban-style theocracy, and other other bits of comparable misogyny.

To make these threats convincing, misogynists have to portray guys like Elliot Rodgers as capable, competent, and intelligent. If it turns out the only guys who want in on the Beta Uprising are bumbling chucklefucks who couldn’t even shoot their way into a sorority house, then nobody’s going to cave in to their demands. When some “introverted” basement-dweller who hates his job as an IT drone threatens to pull a Sodini if someone won’t buy him a Fleshlight, the rest of us will just laugh at him—his threats and bullying won’t move us, even if he carries through with them. We’ve dealt with individuals and organizations far more dangerous than the likes of Elliot before. Tim McVeigh killed 168 people. We didn’t give in to him, we hunted him down and executed him. Nidal Malik Hasan killed double as many as Elliot. We didn’t acquiesce to his fanatical vision of the world. If you misogynists aren’t even as threatening as those guys, what makes you think we’ll roll over for you?

Even if they’re not much of an existential threat, though, it’s not like we can just ignore people like Elliot. After all, murderers need to be stopped, even if they’re dimwitted and inept. So what do I propose we do? No, manodrones, I’m not gonna say “DURRR HURR, KILL ALL MEN” or some misandrist nonsense like that. Stop projecting. Instead, I propose we do what we should have done, and in fact almost did: Shut Elliot down before he had a chance to carry out his attacks. He mentions in his manifesto that the police actually paid him a visit and would have stopped him if they’d just searched his room (p. 134). The fact that they didn’t is definitely a wake-up call for law enforcement; as a friend of mine told me the other day, “I bet heads are gonna roll at the sheriff’s office over there.” There were other failures of the system as well; Elliot never took a drug he was prescribed, for instance, and his family and therapists might have done well to inform authorities about his increasingly disturbed Youtube postings earlier and more consistently.

In short, if the people around him had *taken the warning signs more seriously and made more of an effort to get him help,* he probably would have not have been able to blow up like he did.

And that’s my recommendation for solving the problem of the Elliot Rodgers of the world. Perhaps it’s not as appealing as “GET GAME” or “INSTALL AN AMERICAN TALIBAN” but I think it’s more practical. Not everybody can learn “Game” and it’s hard work running a theocracy, but it’s not that hard to pass a disturbing youtube video on to a therapist to forward to the police, or to ensure your son takes the drugs he’s prescribed.

And if you’re gonna call me a “misandrist mangina” for advocating a solution like that, I’m just gonna laugh you off and call you a fool.

Ahhh…phew! That’s 4 entries in a row about this manosphere BS, and I think those are all I need. It felt good to get it off my chest, but I’ve also found it exhausting. Making one’s way through all this nonsense takes a lot of energy. Which is why I’ll try not to write about it for an extended period of time. The next Manosphere Monday, if there’ll ever be one, will be the first Monday of July, not the coming June. If I bother with it at all, that is. To cleanse my palate of such silliness, I’ll be offering another Writing Log on Friday, maybe post a fun article on Monday, and then do a book review on the Friday after that. Stay tuned!

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2 comments

  1. If THAT is Eivind Berge’s idea of “reads like a professional novel,” I’d hate to see his bookshelf…

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if that Manifesto had the infamous “I wouldn’t die even if they killed me” line from shitty animu.

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