Writer and editor Brian Levinson draws parallels between his adolescence and the life of Elliot Rodger
Anyone can find plenty to hate in the 141-page manifesto by Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six people and wounded 13 more last week in Isla Vista, California. The manifesto’s blend of misogyny, racism, self-pity, entitlement, and violent fantasy would make Patrick Bateman blanch.
Of course, I’ve got my own reason to hate the manifesto: Elliot Rodger could have been me.
I could’ve written an identical screed as a teenager or college student. In fact, I did write crappy stories about popular jocks getting pushed off cliffs by vengeful nerds, and sad sacks who commit suicide after whining about the happy couples slow-dancing at junior prom. So after I finished Rodger’s opus, I started reflecting on the boy I used to be: a boy whose emotional pendulum swung constantly between misery and anger; a boy who thought all his problems would be solved if he got a girlfriend; a boy who took grotesque pleasure in unleashing his rage against the girls he could never have and the boys he could never be.
Rodger and I fit the profile of a handful of other lonely psychos: John Hinckley, who shot Reagan in a bid to impress Jodie Foster; Dylan Klebold, the lovelorn, less-psychopathic half of the Columbine shooters; Seung-Hui Cho, whose morbid short stories foreshadowed the Virginia Tech massacre.
Hat Tip: The other Ted.