Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on May 27, 2014 by Allahpundit

There are no absolute certainties when it comes to mass killers, but a few things come close. Someone will use the term “disaffected youth” to describe the perpetrator. Somewhere there will be a diary—either Tweets, blogs, YouTube videos or scrawled musings in a lined notebook. And the murderer will—with more than a 98% certainty—be male…

There is no shortage of explanations for the overwhelming maleness of the monster population. Some of the answers reveal a lot—and yet nothing at all. Testosterone fuels aggression. Stipulated. Boys take longer to mature than girls. Stipulated. And like the forebrains of young females, those of young males are not fully myelinated until the late 20s or even early 30s. The forebrain is where executive functions—impulse control, reflection, awareness of consequences—live. In the case of males, who are already trip-wired for aggression, that provides a lot of years to behave badly…

But there’s more, and a lot of it has to do with status. Males, for better or worse, are ferociously protective of their position in any tribe, community, or society, and any threat to that position goes to the core of their identity and self-esteem. It’s a common observation in times of recession that while loss of a job is miserable for both genders, it’s the males who are likelier to become completely undone by it. Without the role of worker and money-earner, men feel hollowed-out, and that too often calls for revenge. it’s not for nothing that the victims in workplace shootings are often managers who just the month before demoted or sacked the shooter.

***

I do not blame the Pick-Up Artist community (or its somehow even more deeply tortured counterpart, the Anti-Pick-Up-Artist community) for the deaths of seven people. The man who committed this horrific crime is responsible for this heinous act. But I was interested to see how these groups are reacting to the news. It is disturbing, if not surprising, that they are using these murders to reinforce their hatred of women and “Beta” men, and to cement their own status at the top of the pyramid.

When news of the shooting broke, PUA Hate members attempted to absolve themselves by critiquing Rodger’s sex appeal (“Short lower third and gay midface, with zero brow ridge,” one decided), ridiculing his mother’s looks, and scrambling to assert authority among themselves. (“Only high-T guys should be allowed to give advice here. Nich, can you add that as a rule?” one poster said). Another poster suggested that Rodger was such a Beta that no one would care if he’d murdered people…

Misogyny and violence against women are social problems as well as individual ones. The fact that these men see “game” as the remedy to all personal and social ills is perhaps the greatest indictment of the way they view the world.

***

Rodger’s horrifying violence, the videos he posted, and the way he saw himself are all extreme. But they’re also a reflection of the way poisonous ideals of masculinity affect men. To some extent, I’ve felt the frustration Rodger felt, and I think other men may feel it as well. This is not an excuse for Rodger’s actions, but something more painful: a confrontation of the ways in which he’s not deviant, but typical. Acknowledging that seems like an important part of making sure this kind of thinking doesn’t remain typical any longer…

In her book Between Men, Eve Sedgwick dissects this kind of thinking: Men typically route their feelings toward and competition with one another through women, she says. Women become tools through which men show their power and worth to other men. Success with women is also an important part of men’s self-image—that’s a big part of what it means to “be a man.” This seems to be the kind of thinking at work when Rodger says he feels like women are “treat[ing] me like scum” when they have boyfriends who aren’t him. To him, women aren’t people; they’re markers of who is and who is not a man. If a woman chooses someone else, the thinking goes, that means Rodger and others like him are not men…

This kind of thinking creates a version of male identity that is bifurcated, or split in two. There is the man you should be, and then there is the failed, non-man thing you are. You can see this in ugly detail in Rodger’s videos, where he veers back and forth between outlandish claims of his own magnificence and despairing statements of his own inconsequentiality. At one moment he’s the “ultimate gentlemen,” the next he’s “so invisible as I walk through my college, because none of the girls pay attention to me.” He is super human and then he’s nothing; there’s no space between the two. For Rodger, this could only be resolved with the ultimate expression of “manliness”: violence. “If I can’t have you girls, I will destroy you,” he says. And he destroyed himself, too: that pitiful failed thing who was not a man.

***

Among men, misogyny hides in plain sight, and not just because most men are oblivious to the problem or callous toward its impact. Men who objectify and threaten women often strategically obscure their actions from other men, taking care to harass women when other men aren’t around.

The night after the murders, I was at a backyard party in New York, talking with a female friend, when a drunk man stepped right between us. “I was thinking the exact same thing,” he said. As we had been discussing pay discrepancies between male and female journalists, we informed him that this was unlikely. But we politely endured him as he dominated our conversation, insisted on hugging me, and talked too long about his obsession with my friend’s hair. I escaped inside, and my friend followed a few minutes later. The guy had asked for her phone number, and she had declined, informing him that she was married and, by the way, her husband was at the party. “Why did I say that? I wouldn’t have been interested in him even if I weren’t married,” she told me. “Being married was, like, the sixth most pressing reason you weren’t into him,” I said. We agreed that she had said this because aggressive men are more likely to defer to another man’s domain than to accept a woman’s autonomous rejection of him…

These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. “Why is she humoring him?” my friend asked me. “You would never do that.” I was too embarrassed to say: “Because he looks scary” and “I do it all the time.”

***

Alongside American Psycho and “My Twisted World,” the killer’s autobiography, we could place Hamlet, another story about a hyper-privileged young man whose fury, fear and confusion around sex and manliness sent him into a postmodern spiral of self-obsession and carnage.

In today’s culture, where we sometimes seem to want everyone to be recognized as a hero, we can fail to see that heroism often comes at a great price. Hamlet refused to accept that heroism was his destiny, because of the behavior it required. One tradition of masculinity crashed against another. The result was tragedy.

For too many young men today, something similar seems poised to happen again and again. One tradition of manliness points them toward the worship of wealth, sex, and power—and toward crushing depression if all those things elude their grasp. Another tradition of manliness would point them toward discipline, sacrifice, and self-denial.

The first tradition, in fairy-tale terms, is the villain tradition. The second is for heroes. But in today’s world, the worst of traditionalism is being aggrandized, and the best is being lost in the noise.

***

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

No, not the straw man that all men are constantly plotting rape, but that we live in an entitlement culture where guys think they need to be having sex with girls in order to be happy and fulfilled. That in a culture that constantly celebrates the narrative of guys trying hard, overcoming challenges, concocting clever ruses and automatically getting a woman thrown at them as a prize as a result, there will always be some guy who crosses the line into committing a violent crime to get what he “deserves,” or get vengeance for being denied it.

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here. We are not the underdogs. We are not the ones who have our ownership over our bodies and our emotions stepped on constantly by other people’s entitlement. We’re not the ones where one out of six of us will have someone violently attempt to take control of our bodies in our lifetimes…

What did Elliot Rodger need? He didn’t need to get laid. None of us nerdy frustrated guys need to get laid. When I was an asshole with rants full of self-pity and entitlement, getting laid would not have helped me.

He needed to grow up.

***

The people who commit mass acts of violence are crazy. Some are also ideologically motivated. We call them terrorists. And yet while in America we’re quick to recognize and politicize the broader implications of Islamic extremism, misogyny is treated not as an ideology but simply a sub-category of crazy.

That not only ignores but quietly allows misogyny-as-ideology to go unexamined in all its other forms, from domestic violence to date rape to street harassment to economic inequality and more—chalking injustice up to individual aberrations rather than a system of dehumanization that is both perpetuated and protected by our social, political, and economic structures.

If the Santa Barbara shooter had been Muslim, and left the same sorts of video screeds and more, our government and media would undoubtedly be labeling this incident as terrorism. Just as an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist sets out to kill American infidels simply because they are “American infidels,” the Santa Barbara shooter set out to kill women simply because they were women. You tell me the difference. To fail to label the latter terrorism suggests a politicized use of the term, one interested in defending Judeo-Christian Americans and values, but not women.

***

It is striking how therapeutic is the language used by Rodger in his videos and his murder manifesto. He talks about how people’s attitudes towards him “really decreased my self-esteem.” He clearly sees such assaults on his self-esteem as unacceptable, saying “if they won’t accept me… then they are my enemies.” In short, fail to offer recognition to this damaged creature and you will pay the price. And then he makes the key cry of our therapeutic era: “It’s not fair. Life is not fair.”…

This isn’t a religious thing. There’s no evidence that Rodger thought he was a messiah, as other nutjobs have. Rather, it’s a therapeutic thing. Therapy culture has created a new army of little gods made fearsomely angry by any perceived insult against their self-esteem. It has generated groups of people who, like something out of the Old Testament, think nothing of squishing things that offend them or hurt their sense of self-worth. It has made a whole new anti-social generation whose desire to protect themselves from emotional harm overrides the older human instinct to engage with other people and be tolerant of their differences. When Rodger says “I am a living god,” he is speaking, not from any kind of wacky religious script, but from the mainstream bible of therapy. The cult of therapy convinces individuals they are gods and that their self-esteem is a gospel that must not be blasphemed against. As the New York Times columnist David Brooks once said of a therapeutic self-help guide to life, death, and life after death, “In this heaven, God and his glory are not the center of attention. It’s all about you.” The self has elbowed aside God; the self is God, as Rodger seems to have realised.

Perhaps we should see Rodger as a kind of therapeutic terrorist, using murder to gain recognition; his rampage can be seen as a very violent therapy session, a real primal scream in defense of his sacred self-esteem.

***

“I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s— that you feel sorry for me,” Richard Martinez said during an extensive interview, his face flushed as tears rolled down his face. “Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”

Saying “we are all to blame” for the death of his 20-year-old son, Martinez urged the public to join him in demanding “immediate action” from members of Congress and President Obama to curb gun violence by passing stricter gun-control laws.

“Today, I’m going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician they can think of with three words on it: Not one more,” he said Tuesday. “People are looking for something to do. I’m asking people to stand up for something. Enough is enough.”

***

Nevertheless, as disturbing as this is, we have a good word for attitudes and behavior such as this. That word is “crazy.” The essential trouble with the panoply of indignant hashtags and self-righteous op-eds that have appeared in the aftermath of the outrage is that they have tended to establish a false dichotomy: Either one believes that this incident is directly reflective of a given problem or one is denying that that given problem exists at all. This is silly and manipulative. To suggest that the cartoon misogyny of an extremely disturbed young man is not usefully related to women’s rights in general is not to suggest that women face no problems in America at all — any more than to suggest that dismissing as schizophrenia the “microwave machine” surveillance-paranoia of the sick man who shot up the Navy Yard implies that Americans have nothing to fear from wiretaps or the relentless pace of the Internet. It is just to say that the shooter’s ostensible motive is of limited utility going forward, and that if it wasn’t this, it would almost certainly have been something else

All told, the killer hated everybody. He hated himself. He hated women. He hated other men because women liked them. He hated white people because he was only half-white, and he hated minorities because he wasn’t as non-white as they were. He craved sex, but was also disgusted by it. He hated his classmates, but also his whole town, which he had originally planned to wipe out in toto on Halloween. Four of the victims were men, two were women; three were ethnic Chinese, three were white. This was a crime whose execution was as complicated — and, possibly, as meaningless — as its conception. When terror strikes, the first word to our lips is “why?” We sully the search for genuine answers when, just hours into our inquiry, we are seen already to have woven the questions into our Weltanschauung.

***

Why, in our age of unprecedented plenty—and, at least in America, unprecedented power for women—is victimhood so appealing to so many? When complete strangers were murdered on the West Coast, why do hundreds of thousands of people, healthy in body if not in mind, enthusiastically latch on, insisting that they were victims too?

For certain people, the Internet offers a compelling, powerful alternate universe in which to dwell. Press reports describe the accused murderer as living in a lonely world of YouTube videos, video games, and twisted representations of reality. In his mind, everything—every loss, every perceived failure, every tiny personal slight, real or imagined—was blown out of proportion. Everything was taken personally. Everything, in the end, was all about him and his imagined victimhood.

Scarily, many of the posters on #YesAllWomen, to varying degrees, seem to share the same problem. For all of his hatred of women, the crazed, lonely murderer and the impassioned “feminist” Twitter activists might have something in common after all. Yikes, ladies. Yikes.

***

“Please listen to me,” Beck begged his audience. “You’ve got to get the video games out of your child’s hands. Please. I’m having a hard enough time trying to do it in my own home. … Enough. No more. Because they cannot handle it. This is not the same as Pac-Man. It is not the same. These are virtual worlds where they live. They live in these worlds; talk to them.”

“Brains are being rewired here,” Beck’s co-host Pat Gray added, “and nobody is paying attention.”

***


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B9, be well soon! G2M and Non-non, I am gonna turn in..thanks for keeping me company!

God Bless and Good Night!!

Catch ya on the flip side :)

** swoosh **

Scrumpy on May 28, 2014 at 3:58 AM

going2mars on May 28, 2014 at 3:57 AM

I DO now!! Lol… ty :)

Scrumpy on May 28, 2014 at 3:59 AM

B9, be well soon! G2M and Non-non, I am gonna turn in..thanks for keeping me company!

God Bless and Good Night!!

Catch ya on the flip side :)

** swoosh **

Scrumpy on May 28, 2014 at 3:58 AM

You too Scrumpy!
Night guys..I am gonna try and get back to bed.
TC.

bazil9 on May 28, 2014 at 3:59 AM

Man dang flipped da page…

Nitey nite peeps!!

POP

Scrumpy on May 28, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Scrumpy on May 28
bazil9 on May 28

I know what your both thinking…ceramic??.. surely hes a loon..
I got one for Christmas… cuz I would have never bought one..
and it out cuts steel.. 2 to 1..
even the cheap ones are very good..
I be you can pick one up for 20-25$ now

going2mars on May 28, 2014 at 4:01 AM

So far yer metal rocks!! I like it, I like any rock really.

Scrumpy on May 28, 2014 at 3:51 AM

This one is awesome.

Overkill – Elimination

Goodnight Scrumpy.

non-nonpartisan on May 28, 2014 at 4:03 AM

sleep well Scrumpy n b9…

going2mars on May 28, 2014 at 4:04 AM

Something different. I love her talent, and spirit. I only wish she could have began her career before the ’90s started ruining pop music lol

Kimbra – Simply On My Lips

non-nonpartisan on May 28, 2014 at 4:13 AM

I still believe the media addicted to hyper-analysis and even a dark type of celebration of these sick people merely fuses the next one.
Why play it up? Why pump the next sick one with evidence that he can get notoriety this way?

Don L on May 28, 2014 at 5:15 AM

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Laundromat today. I need to go to the museum and look for old photos for a project I’m not terribly interested in.

he “government” is forcing manufacturers to put more crap on the labels. Nobody reads that stuff. All it does is make things more expensive.

I’ve never understood the symbolism of the 2 bathtubs either. I thought maybe I missed some romantic thing.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 5:56 AM

I’m sorry for the father’s loss but he sure is milking his 15 minutes of fame and the lsm is just loving it…….please grieve but this doesn’t be right

Mika and joe are praising him ….
More gun laws???? Seriously, the strictest in the country and you want more

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Be seem

Where is my coffee?

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:08 AM

I’ve never understood the symbolism of the 2 bathtubs either. I thought maybe I missed some romantic thing.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 5:56 AM

Me neither

More gun laws???? Seriously, the strictest in the country and you want more

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Maybe if he tried to draft the gun law he feels is missing that would have kept those people frombeing stabbed, shot and hit by cars he would feel better.

talkingpoints on May 28, 2014 at 6:20 AM

More gun laws???? Seriously, the strictest in the country and you want more

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:06 AM

I guess it’s a waste of time to tell them if someone had had a gun he wouldn’t have gone any farther than the roommates. I wonder if he killed them because they found out what he was going to do and tried to stop him.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Richard Haas–
Obama looking at Afghanistan thru a calendar instead of what is happening on the ground
Setting deadlines, don’t understand

Ouch

Going to zero in Iraq didn’t work at so well
-general

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Indeed talkingpoints

Good question COL

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:27 AM

Interesting to see that, with the exception of Martinez’s comments, none of the QOTD’s are dealing with gun control but, rather, psychology and culture.

A step in the right direction. IMO.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 6:32 AM

A step in the right direction. IMO.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Of course, they’ll get it wrong but at least they’re looking in the right place.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 6:35 AM

“There’s no playbook for this. We don’t know what we are doing,” he( Mr. Martinez) said. “I just know I have to keep fighting until something changes. The most precious thing in the world has been taken from me. What else can I do?”

Oh, but he’s gonna go ahead and do it anyway.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 6:59 AM

I wonder if he killed them because they found out what he was going to do and tried to stop him.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 6:23 AM

My guess is that they represented all the stuff the killer was whining about. He didn’t fit in with the Asian kids (his roomates) any more than he fit in with the Malibu Barbie Sorority crowd that UCSB is known for.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 6:59 AM

” What else can I do?”

How about spending some time reflecting on a culture that is increasingly producing such individuals.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Oh, but he’s gonna go ahead and do it anyway.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Yeah this ambulance chasing father has turned into a pretty reprehensible douchebag. The bodies are not yet buried and he is out there launching a full scale political campaign against guns. Nevermind all the facts of the case, this is clearly a long-held opinion that the douche is willing to use his dead son to further. I would not be surprised if he is doing it so that he can launch a political campaign for office in the same way that disgusting pig in New York used her husband’s death to get to Congress.

I have sympathy for the Martinez family but not so much the fat bloviating douchebag leading the anti-gun pep rally at UCSB last night.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:04 AM

And the anti-gun nuts will use him for their agenda all the while obscuring or ignoring the real underlying causes of this tragedy.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:08 AM

I do think video games are to blame for a lot of this. Not every kid will have a problem but a certain kind of kid can become so immersed that they can no longer tell fantasy from reality.

I sympathise with Mr. Martinez but he’s focusing on the wrong things. This kid had had mental problems all his life but there is a limit to what can be done. You can’t lock somebody up because they might do something. But once somebody does something suspicious they should be able to take them in and check them out. It’s a complicated issue but it isn’t about the tools. it’s about the person who uses them.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

“Brains are being rewired here,” Beck’s co-host Pat Gray added, “and nobody is paying attention.”

Well put, I’d say. But it’s not just in the area of video game.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

Mika and joe are praising him ….
More gun laws???? Seriously, the strictest in the country and you want more

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 6:06 AM

The killer clearly had mental issues the family refused to recognize or deal with. Yes, the killer had been in therapy for 12 years but when “disturbing” stuff was going on in April, the family settled for a welfare check by the SBPD instead of dealing with the crux of their concerns. I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that nobody knew the depths of anger and levels of narcissism the pajama boy killer harbored.

This isn’t a gun control issue no matter what that douchebag father claims. This is akin to Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Tucson…… only in that they are all examples of killers with mental problems long before they murdered.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Who is Martinez? Is he a lawyer? Marxist activist?

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:14 AM

This kid had had mental problems all his life but there is a limit to what can be done. You can’t lock somebody up because they might do something. But once somebody does something suspicious they should be able to take them in and check them out. It’s a complicated issue but it isn’t about the tools. it’s about the person who uses them.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

I’ve got to object to the term “kid” to describe a 22-year-old killer.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:15 AM

And the anti-gun nuts will use him for their agenda all the while obscuring or ignoring the real underlying causes of this tragedy.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Just like those despicable Sandy Hook parents who thought nothing of using the deaths of their children to lobby Congress for gun-grabbing legislation. Completely ignoring the killer’s mental health issues because it did not fit their narrative.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:17 AM

I’ve got to object to the term “kid” to describe a 22-year-old killer.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:15 AM

I think he qualifies as a kid. Compared to me anyway.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Who is Martinez? Is he a lawyer? Marxist activist?

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Click on the link on his statement. Yeah, he’s a lawyer. Defense attorney.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:24 AM

I think he qualifies as a kid. Compared to me anyway.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM

That’s part of the problem. Perpetual adolescence. When I was a “kid” (under 13) a 22 year old was considered to be pretty mature. Or at least was expected to BE mature. Read some of the comments in 1957 High School yearbooks from the seniors back then and compare them to the average 22 year old today. Striking.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:26 AM

I think he qualifies as a kid. Compared to me anyway.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM

His relative age has nothing to do with this. I’m the same age as the killer’s father. Calling the killer a kid suggests that perhaps he was too young to know it is wrong to “act out” in an inappropriate manner. Both the killer’s motivations and what should have been done by the family are much more complex and dark than that.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

It’s telling that they are selling bunny suits and gummy vitamins to grownups. Parents have not allowed their children to grow up. A friend of mine keeps talking about her “grand babies”. Her gand babies are teenagers now.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

This isn’t a gun control issue no matter what that douchebag father claims. This is akin to Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Tucson…… only in that they are all examples of killers with mental problems long before they murdered.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:13 AM

yepper….

I’ve got to object to the term “kid” to describe a 22-year-old killer.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:15 AM

according to obamacare he still is….maybe they can blame it on that?

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 7:33 AM

The amount of hatred towards others points to a void that is the hatred for oneself. Outward manifestations are an indication of the true internal lacks and as frightening as those manifestations are, it is the void at the center that drives it all. To the Greeks the void was chaos: from it all things appeared without cause nor order, and yet there was nothing in the void itself.

Self-worth is not built up by everyone getting a trophy, by everyone achieving equally or by the means of letting any man or woman grow up without knowing that they can achieve meaningful goals for themselves. This need not be complex tasks and, indeed, the humblest of tasks can teach a wealth of skills about what one can achieve and a better valuation of one’s own ability without the need for external approval. The manual arts are a venue for this, where any boy or girl can learn how to craft with their hands and eyes, and understand that no grade they are given is a true reflection on what they have learned. We lack today in workmen, in manual arts of welding, pipe fitting, masonry, architecture, and a raft of places where one can apply themselves directly and earn not just a good living but a steady living, and improve their skills to where they can then write their own ticket in life.

It is sad that the ‘rich’ deprive themselves of this.

It is criminal that we tell every child they must ‘go to college’ to achieve success, when what they need to achieve is a good life for themselves in the best way possible and no degree is an entrance nor guarantee to that.

This young man went savage as he was deprived of the delights of self-worth that come from doing for oneself and being able to evaluate one’s work and see where one can do better. That is humbling, frustrating and yet, at the end, when you achieve your goals, more fulfilling than any car or, indeed, any sex mate that it cannot be amply stated just how deeply fulfilling it is. Yet it is the key to being an individual, someone who values themselves in a cold, harsh and unforgiving light that they, themselves, do shine. It is a very scary thing to start out on a path with no guidance, which is why we should allow the skilled to come and give exposure to our children of the values of doing for oneself.

That can build a better person if we just acknowledge that for all the technology it is the simplest of acts that give us character and a reason to live. There will always be those that actively turn from civilized ways to savagery, and no amount of trophies for showing up, no number of fast and flashy cars and no number of good looking bed partners will ever stop that when it manifests. What we can do is seek to negate the great void that appears in such people and to teach ways of self value and self worth, and critical self judgment, and then how to learn those things that have meaning to you. Not all will succeed, but it is part of the necessary learning process to being civilized man. When we don’t do this the void claims individuals and they take lives wantonly, with an outward hatred expressed against everything.

Yet it is the void within them, the heart of chaos, that is present making that possible. The void is dark and only enlightenment can tame it.

ajacksonian on May 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

That’s part of the problem. Perpetual adolescence. When I was a “kid” (under 13) a 22 year old was considered to be pretty mature. Or at least was expected to BE mature. Read some of the comments in 1957 High School yearbooks from the seniors back then and compare them to the average 22 year old today. Striking.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Back in 1957, lots of “kids” graduated from high school and immediately got a job, got married, and started in on making a family. The killer epitomized the pajama boy mentality. He’s grown up on the edges of Hollywood with a tremendous sense of entitlement. He thought the world owed him far more than he received and he resented it. Hard to tell why he was such a loser in a world filled with pajama boys but I suspect it probably was what he thought was his by rights.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:37 AM

It’s telling that they are selling bunny suits and gummy vitamins to grownups. Parents have not allowed their children to grow up. A friend of mine keeps talking about her “grand babies”. Her gand babies are teenagers now.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

I believe it’s in Mark Steyn’s book After America, where he describes a person from the recent past taking a time journey to our time and Steyn describes the adults the protagonist sees, and he says that they are still dressed like overgrown children.

It’s an apt description.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:37 AM

Yet it is the void within them, the heart of chaos, that is present making that possible. The void is dark and only enlightenment can tame it.

ajacksonian on May 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Well, when you subliminally inculcate in them, from birth, the idea that they have not, and are not, souls but rather simply a collection of molecules of matter…and no competing ideas of human makeup are allowed into the curriculum…

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:42 AM

according to obamacare he still is….maybe they can blame it on that?

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 7:33 AM

As much as I would like to do so, this clearly is a situation that goes far beyond the way the young are coddled these days. The killer had never worked a real job, lived in the Hollywood bubble, selected his college based on a movie.

As much of a cliche as it is to say, I blame the parents.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:43 AM

ajacksonian on May 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Good opinions this morning by you and Nomad. Some people just don’t understand that you can’t give someone self esteem. You acquire it by trying and succeding.

crankyoldlady on May 28, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:43 AM

no arguement here HN….

cmsinaz on May 28, 2014 at 7:46 AM

ajacksonian on May 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Well said, and cannot be repeated enough.

pillepalle on May 28, 2014 at 7:51 AM

On another but related note: regarding the cover photo accompanying the QOTD heading, since when did it become fashionable for women to walk around in Spandex?

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Tights are not pants.

Fashionable as long as your shirt/sweater covers your butt, but tights/leggings are not pants that you can wear a crop shirt/sweater with.

pillepalle on May 28, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Back in 1957, lots of “kids” graduated from high school and immediately got a job, got married, and started in on making a family.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 7:37 AM

They had a different understanding of what makes for human flourishing than the students of today. That’s why, in pictures of old sporting events of yesteryear it was not unusual to see men in suits and hats and women in dresses, or why society was astonished that Clark Gable used the word “Damn” in a movie.

Much has been lost and I doubt it can ever be recovered.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 8:01 AM

pillepalle on May 28, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Take a walk around Manhattan sometime. You’d be astonished.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Perhaps those troglodytes, prior to 1961 and ’62, were on to something when they had students pray and read the Bible when they started their days at school.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Good Morning< Patriots! And, Trolls.

One of the things about leadership is that you’ve got to show up

. – Tim Pawlenty

My take: “Our Armchair President”

kingsjester on May 28, 2014 at 8:09 AM

:) Manhattan is a long way from me but walking around Düsseldorf or any other local city here in Germany is sometimes eye-opening. It has been too many years since I took a stroll down 5th Avenue.

Mom always said to check the mirror before you leave the house, no need to be advertising. Lived that rule to this day, and yes, I do wear leggings but only with LONG tops, boots and lots of layers.

pillepalle on May 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Thought I should post this here since……well……just because.

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 8:03 AM

I’m staying, and AP’s staying.

Ed Morrissey on May 28, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 8:14 AM

pillepalle on May 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

I’ve been told that Europe is even further down the road since they more directly have felt the affects of the Enlightenment. Yeah, I’m not surprised.

Cleombrotus on May 28, 2014 at 8:20 AM

My take: “Our Armchair President”

kingsjester on May 28, 2014 at 8:09 AM

And when Obama finds out in the media what is going on, well…… nobody is madder than Obama.

What disgusts me is that after outing a CIA operative, the first thing the administration does is launching an investigation. Not because it is needed but to give them political cover. If asked about the story, Jay Carney will say the White House will not comment on ongoing investigations. It’s the same stall tactic that they are using in the VA scandal to buy them months of time before ever having to admit that Shinseki is killing vets.

Happy Nomad on May 28, 2014 at 8:31 AM

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