A gunman went on a drive-by shooting rampage in a Santa Barbara student enclave and at least seven people were killed, including the attacker, authorities said.
Investigators believe a 22-year-old named Elliot Rodger driving a black BMW acted alone in the shootings around 9:30pm Friday night in Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Rodger is thought to be the son of Peter Rodger, assistant director of the Hollywood film franchise The Hunger Games.
This whole thing is drenched in popular culture tropes.
Authorities are examining a video posted on social media by the shooter in which he rants about women who supposedly rejected his advances.
The video is called Elliot Rodger's Retribution.
Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College Student
So he wasn't at UC Santa Barbara, but was at the junior college at age 22.
and Isla Vista resident, according to his social media accounts unleashed a tirade about his 'loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,' and blames women for preferring 'obnoxious brutes' to him, 'the supreme gentlemen.'
'I'm 22 years old and I'm still a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl,' he says in the video.
'College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. But in 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."
Maybe they could kinda tell?
"But I will punish you all for it,' he says in the video, which runs to almost seven minutes.
He repeatedly promises to 'punish' women and lays out his plan for 'retribution.'
'I'm going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde s**t that I see inside there."
"Anti-blondism" isn't a word, but it's definitely a live current in our contemporary culture.
"All those girls that I've desired so much, they would've all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,' he says.
'I'll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male,' he laughs like a maniacal movie villain. 'Yes... After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house I will take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure...'
Rodger's Twitter account has only two tweets, posted on April 19 and 20.
'Why are girls sexually attracted to obnoxious, brutish men instead of sophisticated gentlemen such as myself? #girls #perverted #sex #unfair,' reads the first.
Rodger was a website forum called PUAHate.com, which describes itself as the 'Anti-Pickup-Artist Movement' and aims to reveal 'the scams, deception, and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to deceive men and profit from them.'
Its members are all men who have spent a lot of time and money on books and seminars and other materials that claim to help men 'pick-up' women - but failed.
The bitter, often misogynistic threads are full of tales of woe from men who don't know how to get women to date them and blame the women themselves for the problem.
He posted in 2013, 'If you could release a virus that would kill every single man on Earth, except for yourself because you would have the antidote, would you do it? You will be the only man left, with all the females. You would be able to have your pick of any beautiful woman you want, as well as having dealt vengeance on the men who took them from you. Imagine how satisfying that would be.'
In Taki's Magazine, I wrote in 2012 a column entitled "Monsters of Egotism:"
One possible explanation for the spread of mass shooters is feedback effects. Perhaps the urge to be a star has expanded as the technology grew to accommodate it. In the song “James Dean,” the Eagles sang, “And I know my life would look all right if I could see it on the silver screen.” (More subtly, the true-crime genre of literature didn’t exist until Truman Capote’s famous 1966 book In Cold Blood.) Creeps who have been ignored because there is something wrong with them try to make themselves interesting with a gun.
Bill James states that after the tawdry media circus of the 1935 trial of the Lindbergh kidnapper, American press barons reached a gentleman’s agreement to improve the tone of their newspapers by mutually forswearing tabloid crime coverage. He argues that this lack of attention paid to crime helped American elites become liberal and unserious about the cost of crime, paving the way for the 1960s rise in crime.
On the other hand, this cartel against sensationalism may also have discouraged those who might have sought publicity through crime. If your murder spree would only get you below-the-fold coverage, well, maybe it wasn’t worth shooting all those innocent people after all. By the 1960s, though, the rise of live local TV news began to offer new avenues for the sort of fame [Charles] Whitman pioneered.
The mass killers who become famous seem to generally be monsters of egotism. There are a lot of people with a lot of problems out there, but even shooters very, very rarely randomly kill large numbers in a bid for our attention.