Tag Archives: Memorial Day

We need to talk about Elliot

Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger, who apparently slaughtered six college students and injured 13 other people near Santa Barbara before he shot himself dead in the head a few days ago, eerily reminds me of the titular character of the 2011 film “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Not only is there at least a passing physical resemblance — here is an image of Rodger sporting a Wolverine-like ’do from Facebook:

UCSB-shooting-elliot-rodgers-11

and here is an image of the 21-year-old actor Ezra Miller as the character of Kevin:

— but the fictional Kevin’s and the real-life Elliot’s biographies seem at least somewhat similar, both with parents concerned about their son’s mental health and then the inevitable (?) massacre of the young man’s peers. (The fictional Kevin uses arrows; Elliot Rodgers apparently used a knife to kill three young men at his apartment and then bullets to kill two young women and another young man near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus.)

Rodger’s selfie-video complaint seems pathetic, probably, to most (so-called) adults. It is stilted and awkward — written and rehearsed, probably, and reportedly Rodger was somewhere on the autistic spectrum, which, if true, might explain that in part or in whole — and Rodgers’ central complaint does indeed seem to boil down to his claim that he was a 22-year-old virgin. His video begins:

Hi. Elliot Rodger here.

Well, this is my last video, it has all had to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me.

I’m 22 years old and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl. I’ve been through college for two and a half years, more than that actually, and I’m still a virgin. It has been very torturous. College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. Within those years, I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair.

You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because … I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. …

Supreme gentlemen probably don’t commit massacres, but we’re not exactly ladies and gentlemen, either.

If history is any guide — and history always is a reliable guide — we Americans won’t learn from this latest massacre, but we will put all of the blame on Rodger and go on with business as usual.

Rodger has been called all kinds of things, including “psycho virgin,” and, of course, “fag.”

And maybe he was gay. It’s certainly possible. It’s not awful to suggest that, unless by doing so you are implying (or even flat-out stating) other things, such as that the villain always, or at least almost always, is an evil gay person. (Which certainly isn’t true, of course; the clear majority of those who have gone on murderous rampages in the United States have been heterosexual males.)

Rodger was not physically unattractive, so, it seems to me, if none of his female cohorts had interest in him, possible reasons for that might have included that he was socially awkward (which, judging by his infamous YouTube video, anyway, he apparently was) and/or that they sensed that he was gay, if he was. (I wouldn’t blame a heterosexual woman for rejecting, as a sexual partner, a male who struck her as probably gay.)

Whatever Rodger’s sexual orientation was, it seems insane to most of us adults/adults” that a 22-year-old would find his persistent virginity to be cause to go on a murderous rampage, but one, I’m sure that there was a lot more than just Rodger’s virginity that was a problem for him, and two, we adults/adults” forget (or perhaps we’ve never known) how much high levels of the reproductive hormone in the bloodstream of the young person, coupled with youth and inexperience, affect his or her moods, thoughts and behaviors.

And we adults/adults” forget how strong can be a young person’s desire to couple — and how strong the social/peer pressure for a young person to couple can be — and how a breakup can make a still-quite-young person feel that his or her life is over.

Added to this mix is an overpopulated society in which for the most part, under the god of capitalism, it’s every individual out for him- or herself, in which human relationships are much more like business transactions than they are anything like actual human relationships, and under the god of war, weapons* are seen as the solution (perhaps the ultimate solution), to our conflicts and our problems. Might makes right — right?

The only way to prevent another Elliot Rodger from doing what Elliot Rodger did is to try on another Elliot Rodger’s shoes, and try to understand, instead of to judge. (And to try to understand is not necessarily to agree with or to condone.)

Indeed, the common reaction to Rodger in the aftermath of Rodger’s massacre only demonstrates the mean-spirited environment in which he was immersed that very apparently pushed him over the edge. Rodger killed because he felt no love. He felt no love because in the United States of America, for the most part, there is no love anywhere to be had.

Perhaps especially if you are somewhere on the autistic spectrum and/or have some type of mental illness to some degree, and/or if you are not heterosexual or if, regardless of your sexual orientation you come off to heterosexuals as perhaps not being heterosexual — if you are different or even just perceived as different — you most likely will not feel the warmth of the love that the majority of Americans steadfastly claim is there, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

*The father of one of Rodger’s victims, 20-year-old Christopher Michael-Martinez, whom Rodger apparently shot to death, according to Reuterssaid his son died because Congress had failed to act after a mentally ill gunman killed 26 people in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.”

Reuters quotes Michael-Martinez’s father, Richard Martinez, as having stated on CNN, “We’re all proud to be Americans. But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?”

Reuters notes that “[Federal legislation] after Sandy Hook to extend background checks for gun sales, ban assault weapons and limit magazines’ capacities failed to clear the [U.S.] Senate in April 2013. Gun-rights advocates strongly opposed the measures.”

Reuters further quotes Richard Martinez as having said, “These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids.”

That’s absolutely true — that we need stricter gun control and that the U.S. Congress has not been representative of us, the majority of the American people, for a long, long time now — but these things are only pieces of the larger puzzle.

Our larger, overarching national problems are our lovelessness, our selfishness, and our moral, ethical and intellectual laziness that allow such things as grotesque socioeconomic inequality, an unrepresentative federal government (including, of course, not just the worthless U.S. Congress but also the do-nothing, hopey-changey Barack Obama), and our national fetishization of weapons and of the military (I will note on this Memorial Day) to flourish at our own mass peril.

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Obama makes it easy to be Green

Updated below

Unlike both Barack Obama and Mittens Romney, a Green Party president wouldn’t be just a puppet of the corporations.

I yet to have been inspired to give Barack Obama’s re-election campaign a single fucking penny, and I already have cast my (mail-in) vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for California’s June 5 presidential primary election.

I am not sure which is worse: to have had the unelected Bush regime use opposition to same-sex marriage to “win” “re”-election in 2004, or to have the (at-least-actually-duly-elected) Obama administration use support of same-sex marriage to win re-election.

In both cases, we of the “LGBT” “community” are only being used by the “leaders” of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party in order to raise million$ and in order to pander for votes.

The Obama campaign earlier this month released an incredibly pandering five-minute re-election campaign video in which the Obamanistas act as though all throughout his first term Obama has been fighting fiercely for the LGBT community when, in fact, his fairly recent “breakthrough” announcement that he finally has “evolved” and now supports same-sex marriage — even though he had proclaimed that position way back in 1996 in Chicago, and even though he still maintains that each state should be allowed to decide the issue, meaning that we will continue to have gross inequality and unfairness and injustice throughout the nation — came quite late in his first term.

Yes, the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a good thing, but let us recall that it was “Democrat” Bill Clinton who gave us “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place, as well as DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration does not defend in court, but which remains the law of the land).

The Dems are our friends? They enact awful, discriminatory, unlawful/unconstitutional legislation, and then want to take credit and want praise for reversing it? Really? Really?

And “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, someone who doesn’t see why anyone of any sexual orientation would aid and abet the criminal U.S. military in the first place, someone who recognizes clearly what a fucking racket the U.S. military is — it’s not about actual “defense” or “national security” nearly as much as it is about funneling the contents of the U.S. Treasury (billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars) to the pockets of the traitors who comprise the military-industrial-corporate complex. (Well, the nation’s treasury is empty these days, so what they’re doing is making sure that those of us who have to follow them inherit a mountain of national debt.)

The members of the U.S. military these days primarily serve as the thugs for the corporations to exploit other nations’ natural resources — thugs that we, the taxpayers, pay for, even though it’s the plutocrats, and not we, the people, who get the lion’s share of the spoils of the wars that we, the people, pay for.

(The Vietraq War, for instance: Saddam Hussein’s real crime was not that he tyrannized his people, but that he nationalized Iraq’s oil fields. Now that the people of Iraq have been “liberated,” so have the nation’s oil fields — for Big Oil. No one in Iraq died for freedom or for democracy or for puppies or for kittens or for butterflies or for marshmallowy goodness. No, all of them died primarily for the profiteering of Big Oil and the profiteering of the military-industrial-corporate complex, such as Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton, which couldn’t profiteer without a war, so the unelected BushCheneyCorp gave it a war from which to profiteer, using 9/11 as a pretext, much as how the members of the Nazi Party had used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to ram their right-wing agenda down their fellow countrymen’s throats. Happy fucking Memorial Day, by the way, and it’s so awfully nice to know that we of the “LGBT” “community” now are “free” to be cannon fodder in the plutocrats’ war profiteering that we call “national security” and “national defense” and the like.)

I suppose that I digress, but I like — well, I love — what Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi had to say earlier this month about Presidential Race 2012:

…But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. …

This is exactly the John Kerry scenario. Kerry was never going to win, either, and everyone pretty much knew that, too. [No, actually, I, for one, thought that Kerry had a pretty good chance, having recognized that an incumbent president usually is difficult to unseat, and I still suspect that Kerry actually would have won the pivotal state of Ohio, and thus the White House, had the election in Ohio not been overseen by the Katherine-Harris-like Kenneth Blackwell.] But at least in the Kerry-Bush race there was a tremendous national debate over the Iraq war, which many people (incorrectly, probably) thought might end more quickly if a Democrat was elected.

This year, it’s not like that. Obviously Republican voters do hate Obama and genuinely believe he’s created a brutally repressive socialist paradigm with his health care law, among other things. But Romney was a pioneer of health care laws, and there will be dampened enthusiasm on the Republican side for putting him in office. [No, they hate Barack Hussein Obama primarily because he’s black. The “Muslim” and “socialist” charges are just code words for “nigger,” which you can’t utter in the public domain anymore without repercussions. Let’s be real about that fact.]

Meanwhile, Obama has turned out to represent continuity with the Bush administration on a range of key issues, from torture to rendition to economic deregulation. Obama is doing things with extralegal drone strikes that would have liberals marching in the streets if they’d been done by Bush. [Absolutely.]

In other words, Obama versus [John] McCain actually felt like a clash of ideological opposites. But Obama and Romney feels like a contest between two calculating centrists, fighting for the right to serve as figurehead atop a bloated state apparatus that will operate according to the same demented imperial logic irrespective of who wins the White House. [Emphasis of that money shot is mine, although the money shot of Taibbi’s piece actually might be his hilarious but fairly accurate assertion that this year’s presidential election “will be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse.”]

George Bush’s reign highlighted the enormous power of the individual president to drive policy, which made the elections involving him compelling contests; Obama’s first term has highlighted the timeless power of the intractable bureaucracy underneath the president, which is kind of a bummer, when you think about it. …

That, to me, is the main reason that I’m not at all excited about this cycle’s presidential race: Both Obama and Romney indeed are calculating centrists. But since the Repugnican Tea Party has succeeded in moving what used to be the center to the right, that makes both Obama and Romney, in my book, center-right candidates. Romney is a bit more to the right than is Obama, but not enough to see the two as much more different from each other than are Pepsi and Coke. The tiny plutocratic minority will continue to do well while the rest of us, the vast majority of Americans, will continue to suffer, regardless of which calculating centrist wins in November.

Obama panders to the left now and then — when he or his spokesweasels aren’t calling us such things as “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left” — but it’s his actions, or lack thereof, that I pay attention to, not his words, especially after his words “hope” and “change” fizzled specfuckingtacularly.

Speaking of Obama’s lack of actions, on June 5, not only will California hold its presidential primary, which will help Mittens finally get the 1,144 delegates that he needs to be the Repugnican Tea Party’s official presidential candidate (he has 1,084 delegates right now, according to Politico), but Wisconsin will hold its gubernatorial recall election.

Unfortunately, as I type this sentence, intrade.com puts Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s chances of surviving the June 5 recall election at 92.6 percent.*

That’s in no small part because Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party have been conspicuously missing in fucking action where the fight for the right to collectively bargain in Wisconsin has been concerned. Wisconsinites have been on their own since early 2011, after Walker took office and gave tax breaks to the state’s plutocrats and announced that it was the state’s public-sector labor unions that were the cause of the state’s fiscal problems.

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet Obama has yet to appear once in Wisconsin to stand up for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-beseiged members of the working class and the middle class there. The national Democratic Party has thrown some money Wisconsin’s way at the very last fucking minute, too late to make much of a difference, if any difference at all (Scott Walker’s corporate sugar daddies have thrown many more millions his way than the Dems in Wisconsin have had available to them), but now, I suppose, the national Dem Party can say, and will say — well, actually, it has said — that it did something in Wisconsin, even though this has been just a repeat of the Democratic cowardice and incompetence and sluggardry that we have seen before.**

I remember the debacle that was California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election all too well: The state’s Dem Party was in incredibly stupid denial that its uber-uncharismatic incumbent governor, Gray Davis, might actually lose the Repugnican-orchestrated recall election, which more than anything else was just a do-over of the 2002 gubernatorial election that the Repugnicans had lost, only this time they would front as their candidate against Gray Davis testosterone-movie-star Arnold “Baby Daddy (We Know Now)” Schwarzenegger. Because of their denial, the state’s Dem Party elites staunchly refused to rally around another Democratic candidate to run against Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger. To do so, the Dem elites rationalized, would be to admit Davis’ impending defeat.

Then-Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, apparently recognizing that Davis indeed might lose, ran against Schwarzenegger in the recall election, but he did so on his own, without the support of the state party. Had the state party supported Bustamante, or another viable Democratic candidate, he or she might have won the recall election.

It’s incredibly fucking difficult to support a party that absofuckinglutely refuses, repeatedly, to fucking fight for you in return for your support.

Should Scott Walker survive his June 5 recall election, I will chalk that up in no small part to the fact that Barack Obama utterly reneged on his 2007 promise to “put on a comfortable pair of shoes” and join “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain” — “because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

We workers do deserve to know that somebody is standing in our corner, but nobody fucking is — at least no one who actually can win the White House in November.

However, I’d much rather vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein again in November, even though of course she can’t win the White House, than to vote again for Barack Obama, to continue to be punk’d by the party that claims that it loves me so much — but that can’t show me such “love” unless it can then use me in its fundraising efforts immediately thereafter.

P.S. Disclaimer: I have been registered with both the Green Party and with the Democratic Party. Currently I am registered with the Green Party, in large part because I can’t stomach the Democrats’ pseudo-progressivism, their unwillingness to fight the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, and the party’s ever-increasing move to the right. Background:

In 2000 I voted for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for president because he was the candidate whose platform most closely matched my own beliefs and values, and because it was obvious that Democrat Al Gore was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway (and, of course, he did).

In 2004 I supported and voted for Democrat John Kerry, primarily because preventing a second term by the unelected Bush regime was my No. 1 priority, and Kerry early on struck me as the strongest candidate to put up against Bush. (Of course, the spineless, incompetent Dems didn’t let me down; when it was announced that Kerry had “lost” the pivotal state of Ohio, Kerry couldn’t concede fast enough, and shortly after the election, word came out that Kerry had not spent millions of dollars that he’d collected, millions that might have made a difference in the outcome of the election.)

In 2008 I still was not sure, as I entered my polling place, whether I would vote for Barack Obama or whether I would vote for Ralph Nader again. I knew that Obama would win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, just as it was a foregone conclusion that Gore would win them in 2000 and that Kerry would win them in 2004. (Until we get rid of the Electoral College, millions of Americans’ votes for president won’t really matter at all.) At rather the last minute, I blackened the oval by Obama’s name.

That is a mistake that I won’t make again, unless, perhaps, by some miracle it actually looks like Mittens Romney might win California. (That, of course, will not happen.)

Update (Monday, May 28, 2012): Oops. I wrote above that Mittens should seal the deal on June 5. Actually, Mittens is expected to finally reach 1,144 delegates tomorrow, when Texas holds its presidential primary. If for some reason Mittens does not get enough of Texas’ 155 delegates — Reuters reports that he needs fewer than half of those to reach the magic 1,144 — then he would get the remaining delegates on June 5, when California and four other states hold their primaries. (The very last state in the presidential primary season is Utah, which doesn’t vote until June 26.)

*As I type this sentence, intrade.com gives Mittens Romney only a 38.7 percent chance of winning the White House and gives Obama a 57.4 percent chance of winning re-election, which seems about right to me, about 40 percent to 60 percent.

**While I have yet to give Obama another penny for his re-election — I gave him hundreds of dollars in 2008, primarily during the 2008 Democratic primary fight because I believed that as president he would be significantly more progressive than would Billary Clinton — I have given hundreds of dollars towards the recall elections in Wisconsin, because that, to me, is where the real fight has been, and because, as I noted, the Wisconsinites for the very most part have been on their own, having been abandoned by the Obama administration and the national Democratic Party.

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