Monday, 26 May 2014

Monday's Musings: The Twisted World of Elliot Rodger.

Several thoughts crossed my mind yesterday, gave me reason to pause.  Admittedly, it was during the morning scroll through my Twitter stream, so you'll have to excuse the randomness of this post.  The thing about Twitter is that, it is a fluid, living, breathing entity in its own right.  Crowds amass, shake angry fists - express their collective outrage at all manner of life - Politics, Religion, War, Crime, Poverty, Dictators, and barely-clothed twerking musicians. On the flip-side, it's a seething love nest over Film, Fashion, Food, Hipster brands, Books - the list is endless.

This weekend, we gathered to shout! Yes, shout!  Both genders stood shoulder-to-shoulder, horrified at Elliot Rodger's shooting spree in Santa Barbara. But then, quietly in the background, there were a few who were sympathetic to this young man's cause.  And at the risk of having missiles tossed my way - I'm going to go out on a limb and say this.  Watching the now infamous video, I saw a hurt, rejected and simpering young man with an inferiority complex, whose uncontrollable anger at the rejection he felt, not just by the hot blonde sl*ts, he repeatedly jeered, but also, by the society he grew up in, - resulted in the horrific shootings and loss of six young lives.  Don't ask me to explain that laugh though, it struck me as something of a pantomime quality.

Elliot Rodger's manifesto, if you actually attempt it, is revealing in itself - not just about the young man's deluded sense of entitlement but, in my opinion, his words, his story, his life is a sad reflection of our society today.  We covet lifestyles of the rich and famous, our appetite for the material objects is insatiable, and we chase love in the form of a faux beauty - only because that embodiment of beauty is what's been shoved down our throats since before we hit puberty.

I'm outraged that innocent people were killed by this clearly, disturbed man; it's gut-wrenching to watch the victims' families speak out on TV.  I, absolutely feel their pain and agony.  Their child will never come home again.  There will be no engagement parties, or weddings, or grandchildren.  I've witnessed loss through my own parents - when my younger sister died tragically in a car accident.  I know what ghost footfalls sound like, the expectation of an arrival, of laughter bursting through the back door.  I've stood in my parent's garden, unapologetically screaming, "Fuck you, god!" Dead at 18 years old, with everything to look forward to.  

I'm equally annoyed that many people won't recognise Elliot Rodger, as 'our problem' - guns and mental illness are always at the core of mass shootings, irrespective of city, country or nationality.  In this digital world, everything, love, dating, and friendship - are all online, instant, accessible - and built on a billion fucking photoshopped pixels.  What we really need to do is change the perception of what beauty and true love is for the younger generations.  

Dismantle Sororities and Fraternity houses, pull down the exclusive clubs that separate the rich from the poor.  Teach children that love really comes from within, that beauty radiates in everything.  That beneath the blushed skin of a shy person lies another human.  Teach them, that friendships can really last a lifetime.  Teach equality, respect and responsibility.  Teach them that everyone - as the saying goes, is fighting their own battles, that kindness is good and good manners are not a mythical trait from Grandma's generation. Teach them, that men and women come in all shapes and sizes and shades - and under everyone's skin - we all bleed the same colour.  

Last night, as I sat here and stared out into the evening light, I wondered... if there was a girl out there in Elliot Rodger's twisted world, who maybe - just maybe, fancied him enough to date him - but he was too caught up chasing the fucked-up-faux-fairytale to even notice. Yes, in amongst the bloodshed and twisted metal, I'm still a romantic - I still believe that love can save us all.  Lord, help me.