Santa Barbara…

I’m not comfortable being too glib about this, I am in some restraint.  Note…

Rogers was virulently afflicted by a notion that young women choose jerks over nice guys and that as a result of this phenomenon he was unfairly prevented from getting any ‘action’.

This notion that women choose jerks is age old and universal.  I think 80-90% of guys get afflicted by this notion in their teens / early 20’s, at least insofar everyone experiences a time when they are behind the dating curve compared to a guy who actually goes out with the pretty girl they like.  You tell yourself “But I’m great and he’s a dick’ and the easy rationalization to come to is ‘girls like jerks’.

Now at that moment, the healthy response is, “I’m going to be a little more confidently assertive and ask girls out to nice dates at the malt shop, and ask them out often”.  But it’s perhaps just as easy to come to a conclusion of, ‘well, I am going to emulate these jerks that seem to get girls,’ and quite a few guys go that route.  To the extent this has been delineated as method, it seems to be what’s called a ‘pick up artist’ lifestyle, and there are some relevant details about that present in Rodger’s experience.

Anyway… Rodgers was profoundly mentally ill, which ought to in most ways make his ‘motivations’ irrelevant.  I think it also makes ‘misogyny’ irrelevant as a factor.  How misogynistic can one be if they are completely nuts in the first place?  Is that actually rational thought from which meaningful analysis can be made?  How is irrational misogyny relevant to problems of real misogyny that are explainable at least by social norms with long histories?

Guns also ought to be similarly irrelevant here.  Or maybe not.  But I don’t care to use this subject as a venue for various oft heard pieces of wisdom on guns.

I will refer back to that idea that boys have been going through this dating envy forever, and the mentally ill ones didn’t use to go on spree killings because of it.  So something changed.

But it wasn’t the gun rules or the background checks or lack thereof exactly.  I do think the gun buying experience has been legitimized for casual retail in a way that it was not 25 years ago.  You used to have to go to a disheveled, disorganized sporting goods or reloading store to buy a gun.  I think that was challenging for a lay person, and might have had some effect to screen out people who might have been mentally unqualified to own a gun.  The Gander Mountains of the world took away that barrier.

And it’s not film and video games.  But with the media attention I think what happened is that the spree shooting has basically passed a proof of concept… over and over… for those would who would see it as fulfilling their need to make the world take notice of them.


2 thoughts on “Santa Barbara…

  1. pm1956

    not much time, so a couple of points:
    1. is there a relationship between misogyny and mental illness? Or between any “severe” hatred and mental illness? Clearly, any hatred that is sufficient to lead to killing and murder sprees approaches the idea of mental illness, right?

    2. I agree that part of the “gun problem” is that gun ownership has almost become ubiquitous. Not everybody should have a gun. There are plenty of people who are insufficiently responsible for gun ownership, and the field of not competent for gun ownership should be larger than felons and those who are mentally ill (and we clearly are not doing a good enough job preventing those people from owning guns).

    3. I agree with you about video games and movies and TV. I do not think that they are part of the problem. I do think that gun companies and retailers that are trying to sell guns like any other product (sell as many as possible and damn the consequences, as long as we are not liable for those consequences) are a part of the problem. That includes Gander Mountain, etc.

    4. I generally agree with your points about dating. part of the problem is that girls generally mature before boys, and that there is wildly different rates of maturation among boys. They, of course, do not understand this. This is the basis for every “if I only knew then what I know now” fantasy (see Hot Tub Time Machine for an example).

    5. I also like your final ;point–a lot of this can be attributed to attention seeking behavior. But who wants that kind of attention? We used to revile the John Wayne Gacy’s of the world…. That seems to me to have changed a lot. Fame is now fame–what happened to infamy?


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