Saturday, May 31, 2014

How twisted is Elliot Rodger?

I've been fascinated by Elliot Rodger, the "virgin killer" who massacred 6 people in Santa Barbara before killing himself last week, ever since I saw the video he took of himself announcing his intention to take revenge on humanity. I am reading his 140 page "manifesto" (which in reality is an autobiography detailing his life. Ever since the Unabomber, everything written by a mass killer is lazily referred to by the media as a manifesto) with great interest. It is in fact, very well written and lucid. I find no hint of insanity in any of his writing.

Sure, he was very lonely and angry at the world and the way he chose to take it out on the world is extreme and disagreeable, but I recognize all of his feelings and emotions, because I felt them just as keenly when I was his age. Like the sense of being insecure about myself, being alienated from other people, and watching with envy as other people seem to enjoy much better lives than me. The difference between him and me is that he shot and killed other people, while I wanted desperately to take a gun to my own head. The target may be different, but is not the instinct to do violence the same?

When horrendous incidents like Rodger's massacre happen, it is easy to brand the perpetrator as being a crazed monster, but in some respects, the problem with Rodger is not so much that he is abnormal; rather, he is too normal. His values are exactly the same as the society he finds himself, except that he is the loser within that society--the values that champion coolness, popularity, wealth, beauty and sexual prowess, that emphasize separateness and competition, that elevate romantic sexual relationships as being the pinnacle of human relations.  If only he knew what I know now, that these values are way more twisted than what Elliot Rodger did.

Elliot Rodger's Retribution from Noozhawk on Vimeo.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sarah McLachlan Shine On

After the disappointing and bland Laws of Illusion in 2010, Sarah is back with a new album, Shine On. As the songstress says, "It's about being present in the moment and to Shine On through all of life's ups and downs. To grow and change and forgive and to find ways to give back to the world. This album is full o hope and gratitude." I'm happy to say, this album's a winner!