Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Before he fatally stabbed three roommates, fatally shot three strangers, then put a fatal bullet through his own head last Friday night in Santa Barbara, California, 22-year old Elliot Rodger recorded several videos in which he bitterly complained, with singular and disconcerting intensity, about his perennial inability to get laid.

These video segments, now posted on Youtube, make for a surreal viewing experience, since it’s difficult to reconcile the perpetually whinging, pitifully feckless lad featured with the gruesome series of murderous acts he undertook just a short time afterward. Speaking in an effete, pompous, comically imperious tone drained of emotion or affect, the slight, baby-faced Rodger expresses morose incomprehension concerning all of the rejection he has endured from girls “over the last eight years,” a span of time he says has been filled with “loneliness and unfulfilled desires.”

“A beautiful environment is the darkest Hell, if you have to experience it all alone,” Rodger laments in one video, shot from the shoulder of a country road, in which he stands before the camera clad in an immaculately-tailored designer shirt (see below). “I don’t know why you girls are so repulsed by me… I dress nice (sic), I’m sophisticated, I’m magnificent! I have a nice car, a BMW… These sunglasses here are $300, Georgio Armani…” (At this point he puts the shades on his face and extends his arms, declaring that he looks “fabulous,” before hurriedly ducking out of the picture to remain inconspicuous as a car drives past in the background.)

In another video (below), Rodger spies on a couple who are kissing at the beach. In his sleazily-refined, Patrick Bateman-esque voice, Rodger expresses his dismay at the fact that an inferior specimen like this man gets to enjoy making out with a desirable girl, while he is denied such an experience.

“Look at them…This is torture for me… Life isn’t fair,” he mourns, albeit rather drolly, as if in some manner loftily detached from his own proclaimed misery. Once more, he is sensitive to being disturbed; when a pair of pedestrians walk by, he surreptitiously moves his camera to the side, thus showing a conspicuous level of self-awareness about this furtive project in which he apparently intends to record the reasons for his ressentiment without in so doing drawing too much unwanted attention to himself. One gathers that he eventually wishes to engage with the world which so enrages him, but in his time and on his terms.

There are several other videos, nearly all of which begin with the future spree killer signing on by identifying himself: “Hi, Elliot Rodger here.” Evidently, he wants us to know just who he is, and takes great stock in his name. Being the son of a successful and influential Hollywood figure — his father Peter Rodger was the assistant director of The Hunger Games — is a source of pride, but also, one gathers, a further cause of frustration. He’s rich, successful, well-dressed, handsome, and of good stock… why are girls so cruelly dismissive of him?

Or, as the Violent Femmes put it more bluntly and more crudely, why can’t he get just one fuck?


Rodger indeed professes deep embarrassment, not to mention rage, over the what he views as the humiliating fact of his virginity.

“I’ve never even kissed a girl,” he fumes in his last recorded video, in which he sits in his BMW, his face bathed eerily in the bright wash of the setting sun. “College is the time when everyone experiences those things, such as sex and fun and pleasure, but in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness.”

Because of all he has unjustly suffered, he has determined upon a plan of “retribution”: he intends to break into “the hottest sorority house” at UCSB, in order to “slaughter every single stuck-up blonde slut” he comes across. All of these beautiful girls deserve to die, since they turned him down for favor of the “obnoxious brutes” he detests, the ones who he views as being low-class and beneath contempt, yet who are inexplicably able to lure away all the lovely women who should rightfully be his.

As Rodger comes to the close of this climactic finale, his Gotterdamerung, he makes an effort to amp up his performance, chuckling nastily a couple of times as he relates his plan of vengeance. Yet this evil little laugh sounds contrived and phony, as if he were half-heartedly attempting to play the part of the mustache-twirling villain merely out of a sense of obligation, to keep up appearances.


Predictably, much has been made of Rodger’s expressed hatred of women. Feminists want to see this sad, odd, annoying, clueless, borderline-austistic, and finally murderous man as in some sense a symptomatic microcosm of cultural misogyny and patriarchal oppression. This is, of course, sheer nonsense. A man like Elliot Rodger no more represents typical male attitudes towards women than a woman like Valerie Solanas does the converse. The notion of one individual’s violent behavior, fed by grandiose narcissism and mental illness, being somehow emblematic of an alleged wider societal propensity towards “gender terrorism,” simply won’t wash.

However, the bizarrely affectless rants of Rodger are, I believe, instructive, and do indeed highlight a particular blight in contemporary youth culture. That blight is the prevalence of sexual license and the full-ranging promulgation of hedonism as an obligatory tenet of post-adolescent existence. These days, if you’re a virgin at age 22, then it’s widely believed that you must be a loser. One’s collegiate years are supposed to be a time of indulgence in “sex and fun and pleasure,” and if they aren’t this for you—if instead, you wish to learn things and live temperately while in college—then it is generally thought that there must be something wrong with you.

This mandatory hedonism recommended to youth—via such venues as “sex education”—is meant to be liberating; its primary progenitors—namely the now-withered, wrinkled, and hobbled septuagenarians who as spritely, self-righteous youths first imposed the sexual revolution on the West five decades ago—envisaged it as a means by which peace would somehow be established via the collective indulgence in a Dionysian frenzy of sensuality (“Make love, not war”), whereby hierarchies and divisions could be erased and repression eliminated, allowing humanity to live in mystical harmony.

Such harebrained utopian notions have proved impractical and, moreover, impossible. Their baleful and malignant influence has been far-reaching, and has resulted in the overall erosion of manners, morals, human restraint, and common decency. Today, the “liberated” sexual marketplace is a hundred times more cruel and ruthless than the more civilized mores which prevailed in the past. “Rejects” and “losers” simply have no safety net within the current paradigm.

Human sexual attraction, after all, is not an egalitarian arrangement. The disappearance of culturally-mandated restraints on sexual etiquette generally means that the strong are allowed to run roughshod over the weak. Within such a paradigm, social misfit oddballs like Rodger—those loathed “omega males”—catch the brunt of the rejection being dished out; if such as these are already prone to instability, then failure can fuel hatred and rage, and personal heartbreak can easily escalate into broader spasms of terror, bloodshed and tragedy.

Andy Nowicki, co-editor of Alternative Right, is the author of seven books, including Under the Nihil, The Doctor and the Heretic, Considering Suicide, and his latest, Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so.

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