You’re on the Internet, reading a politically-themed religious blog. You’ve heard about the shooting in Santa Barbara. I almost feel as if I’d be wasting my time and insulting your intelligence by providing a link. Long story short: a rich kid went nuts because no girls would sleep with him and killed a whole bunch of people. Then everyone immediately projected their ideological loves, fears, and hatreds onto the situation and into the Interwebs in a massive deluge. Only three things get people this worked up in the Twitterverse: race, gender, and sexual preferences. This time the wheel stopped at gender.
I haven’t had much time to blog this year because I’ve been really, really busy. But what I’ve seen unfold this time around is worth a few words, I suppose. I’ll start with the obligatory speech about not blaming the 2nd amendment, and it is obligatory. I’m a cynical man of statistics these days. Since 2006, according to this data, there have been 238 victims of mass shootings in the United States. These are mostly victims of failed policies regarding the mentally-ill, and not my right or yours to own an “assault rifle” (several hundred more people are killed with knives, blunt objects and fists than rifles on an annual basis). Obligatorily, I will say that considerations such as these ought to count for more than a collective reaction to a traumatic event, and that the left’s beloved Obama has droned more innocent people to death than have ever been shot up by lunatics in this country. Leave my damn guns alone.
I don’t think guns will be the primary issue this time around, however, because there are more pressing political issues involved, namely the reasons that Elliot Rodger gave us, on camera, for his actions. It reminds one of Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, who also made a video and also gave reasons – though they weren’t quite as specific. Cho had a general beef with “rich kids”; Rodger was a rich kid. No, Rodger happened to manifest a narrative of personal rejection, inadequacy, humiliation, and failure with women that is central to the ongoing Internet war between the sexes.
I’m talking about all this. Rodger’s horrific acts have now become a springboard for a massive public therapy session in which thousands of women are taking the opportunity to discuss all the times men made them feel uncomfortable, threatened them, or actually hurt them. The underlying and sometimes explicit message is that men identifying as men, with their own unique problems and issues, is an illegitimate enterprise that can only breed violence and resentment. If only Elliot Rodger had been instilled with a proper sense of shame, guilt and self-hatred for the right reasons, i.e., the existence of his penis, which includes him in the collective guilt of mankind for every act perpetrated by every man that has caused any woman, anywhere, at any time even the tiniest smidgen of unease.
Rodger’s actions aren’t just individual atrocities but rather the inevitable products of patriarchal oppression, the Twitterverse tells us. Modern feminism, like all of today’s smelly little orthodoxies vying for our souls, must describe the problem in terms of oppression. In no other way can one justify reorganizing society on a vast scale to one’s own liking, to engage in megalomanical social engineering of the sort we have actually seen practiced on young boys in the educational system. Anything you do to an oppressor is justified, all ethical dilemmas are resolved, and all of the humanity of your opponents blown out the airlocks. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about proletarians and capitalists, blacks and whites, gays and straights, women and men. What matters are the labels that people use. To be labeled an “oppressor” by the mob is to instantly lose your right to speak, to be heard, to make an argument, to be empathized with or treated with decency and respect – all of the things we typically expect that one rational adult human being ought to recognize in another. So it has been since the Jacobins swept across the Vendee. Whatever the shortcomings of oppressors prior to the French Revolution, at least they felt a sense of responsibility towards “the oppressed.” Only “the oppressed” grant themselves unlimited authority to dispose with their “oppressors.”
You want to know who perfectly embodies all of this? Elliot Rodger. All he had to do to justify his own madness was create his own narrative of oppression and oppressors, his own drama in which a cruel system unjustly denied him what was rightfully his. It was only a little more insane than the nonsense that endlessly spews forth from university campuses, MSNBC, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has inspired plenty of its own acts of violence and hatred. They say Rodger “felt entitled” to a woman, and clearly he did; I wonder who else feels entitled to have everything they demand, when they demand it, and who threatens violence if they don’t get it? Ah, but they’re oppressed and they’re demanding “justice” – well, Rodgers wasn’t just demanding sex, you know, but love and affection too, some pretty basic human things he appears to have been denied.
Have we finally found something the radical egalitarian left doesn’t believe people are entitled to? Maybe we need to get Obama to create a government program for the lonely-hearted. How is this not an oppressed class? How can a crippling lack of self-confidence with the opposite sex (let’s make it PC – the sex to which you are attracted) not be considered a fundamental lack of privilege; how can such confidence be considered anything but an unearned privilege, the product of a sound upbringing that one does not choose to have?
My apologies if it seems I am making light of the situation. People are dead. But the transformation of this tragedy and all of modern American life for that matter into an absurd political spectacle began long before I started typing.