Tag Archives: U.S. Congress

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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Bayh humbug!

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a leading Democrat seen here in 2007, ...

AFP photo

Meh. Let the door hit him on his ass on his way out. He’s too John Edwards-y anyway.

So another DINO (a.k.a. “centrist”) U.S. senator bites the dust.

As usual, the mainstream “news” media are playing this up for maximum sensationalism. Reports The Associated Press:

Washington – The stunning announcement by centrist Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh that he’s retiring from a Congress he no longer loves adds yet another name to a list of lawmakers fleeing a town they say has become acidly partisan. And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat.

The decision by the Indiana Democrat, who was in strong position to win a third term in November in his GOP-leaning state, also compounds the problems facing Senate Democrats this fall as they cling to their majority in the chamber, where they now hold 59 of the 100 votes.

Bayh joins a growing roster of recent Democratic retirements that includes Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Yet the congressional casualty list has a decidedly bipartisan flavor, with recent retirement announcements coming from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and other GOP House members from Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Arizona….

The departure of Bayh, 54, sent deeper shock waves than most. Telegenic and on the list of potential running mates for the past two Democratic national tickets, Bayh is known more for the moderate tone of his politics than for any particular legislative achievements, and his parting words had a notably plaintive tenor.

“To put it in words most Hoosiers can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress,” Bayh said [today]  in the statement he read in Indianapolis announcing his decision.

He also lambasted the acid divide between Democrats and Republicans in Washington, saying, “I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology.” …

Well, yeah, if you find it to be too hot in the kitchen, then you probably should just get the fuck out.

Bayh couldn’t pick a side — good (progressivism — a.k.a. “socialism”) or evil (conservatism/social Darwinism) — and so he found things too unpleasant.

Boo.

Fucking.

Hoo.

The Repugnicans gloat over every Democratic departure, but what a great fucking gig it is to be a Repugnican, if you can get it: Your party ran the nation into the ground from January 2001 to January 2009, but now you can blame things on the opposition party — and you can get away with it because too many of the fucktarded “citizens” of the United States of Amnesia don’t remember even recent American history.

(I am reading Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason concurrently with Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason. These aren’t good books if you want to feel falsely good about your fellow Americans. For that you would need to read something written by a wingnut, such as A Patriot’s History of the United States. [Hey, at least I’m not also reading Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free… (It is on my amazon.com wish list, however…)])

Let’s back up to the first paragraph of that AP news story, though:

Washington – The stunning announcement by centrist Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh that he’s retiring from a Congress he no longer loves adds yet another name to a list of lawmakers fleeing a town they say has become acidly partisan. And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat.

“Stunning.” The writer is telling you how to feel about the news item: stunned. The writer can’t just give you the facts and let you decide; the writer has to appeal to your emotions right off. (Are you feeling stunned right about now?)

“Acidly partisan.” “Acidly”?

Partisan, sure — gee, go figure, that when you have two opposing parties you have some (gasp!) partisanship — but “acidly”? What, if everyone doesn’t get along and hold hands and sing “Kumbaya,” that’s a horrible thing?

Really, though — if everyone were on the same page, would that really be a good place to be? Because which side is going to sacrifice its core principles in order to achieve this uber-fucking-“Kumbaya”-fest? I’m never going to embrace white supremacism, plutocracy, election theft, bogus wars and social Darwinism, to name just a handful of the evil things that the Repugnican Party stands for (in no certain order), so I’m fucking thrilled that there is some fucking partisanship in D.C.

But the best part of that lead paragraph is that immediately after the “news” writer uses the phrase “acidly partisan,” he adds: “And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat,” apparently stoking the fires of the very same partisanship that he has just indicated is a bad thing.

Shit, maybe if you are confused you shouldn’t blame yourself, as our “professional” “news” “reporters” seem to be just as confused as you are.

And why do the mainstream “news” media constantly assert that having 59 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats is sooo inadequate? Is it because when your party is headed by a black president, you have to do much better than your white guy would? The Repugnicans never held more than 55 of the Senate seats during George W. Bush’s disastrous time in the White House. I don’t recall that the Repugnican Party ever was faulted for having “only” 55 Senate seats, yet the Democrats essentially are called losers for having “only” 59 Senate seats right now.

Fifty-nine percent is a fairly strong majority. Since when is it such a horrible thing to have a 59-percent majority? Even if the Democrats had only 55 Senate seats, the Repugnicans could have no more than 45. That’s still a 10-seat advantage. Fuck.

Get rid of the fucking undemocratic filifuckingbuster, and it would be fine to have even just a 51-seat majority.

But let me get back to Bayh. Oooooo, he’s “telegenic”! Big whoop. I can — and I do — look at a copious amount of images of nice-looking males on the Internet every fucking day. “Telegenic” males are a dime a dozen. Hell, they don’t even cost a dime. You can download them for free. (I know…)

This is probably the most useful portion of the AP “news” story above: “Bayh is known more for the moderate tone of his politics than for any particular legislative achievements.”

In other words, he’s pretty, but legislatively, he’s worthless. And he doesn’t know good from evil, so we call him a “centrist” or a “moderate” or even — ughhh — “bipartisan.”

Um, yeah.

Buh-bye, Bayh.

Buh-bye.

Once all of the “centrists” are out of Congress, then maybe good finally can prevail over evil once and for all.

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