## Re: Isla Vista

1

I was thinking that you have to be a seriously creepy dude to be a virgin at 22 as a decent looking guy with a BMW.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:14 PM
2

Ham handed trolling, eh? I told you to let the Silver thing go, brah.

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:15 PM
3

you have to be a seriously creepy dude

On every forum where they discussed his videos, some or several people said "serial killer!" In the Times story, somebody who knew him years ago says,

"We said right from the get-go that that kid was going to lose it someday and just freak out,"

Of course, that's coming from a guy who might or might not have been involved in taping Rodgers's head to a desk.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:25 PM
4

Yeah, but taping a dude's head to a desk is just good clean fun.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:44 PM
5

What a fucking asshole. For some reason the bullying reference pisses me off -- let's pin our hysteria du jour on this psychopath! Did he play video games?

On the other hand, all the people who are saying that this was a political killing are right, at least to the extent any killing by any of these psychos is political. The guy had precise, stated reasons for killing people that were misogynistic and theorized as such. And he was super committed to misogyny as an ideology.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:56 PM
6

Boy, does this bizarre incident ever hit uncomfortably close to home.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:50 PM
7

I mean, I can certainly understand his starting point: being a lonely 22-year-old virgin does suck. But then he goes off the rails in a totally unfathomable way.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:55 PM
8

It's weird how much violence lurks under the facade of normality in this society. I was down to the convenience store tonight, and listened to a woman, perhaps a bit younger than me, but who looked about as bad as you would expect from 30 years of living in the ghetto, initially berating some older female relative about sponging off her too much, using copious amounts of profanity and inaccurate racial slurs, and then get into a discussion with the clerk about several beatings & fights that had recently taken place among various acquaintances. Kinda like that TNC piece about the omnipresent fear of getting jumped when you're a young person of color. It's all right there, seething under the surface, but folx like us generally only encounter it in little snippets, unconnected to anything else. Therapods coming home to roost.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:58 PM
9

It's like the most extreme possible version of nice-guyism: "Nice guys finish last, so the only solution is to MURDER EVERYONE."

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:07 PM
10

9: Exactly. There's a serious amount of crazy on this one.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:09 PM
11

Most people have had to deal with rejection. Most people have even become rather upset about it at times. Not many people have murderous fantasies as a result, let alone carrying them out.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:44 PM
12

This comment in the reddit thread gets it exactly right:

I feel like he was trying to act like some fucking villain from a movie or something.

I read bits of his manifesto last night, and it's like someone who doesn't know how to write very well decided to create a psychopath supervillain. Complete with mom who buys him expensive stuff to brush him off.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:48 AM
13

I don't like it when the blame get put on mental illness in this case. (Lots of us are mentally ill and we don't kill people.) The blame should be on the toxic misogyny and the MRA culture that drove him to this. (And him too. Don't want the leave him off the hook.)

This is not mental illness. This is a hate crime.

Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:22 AM
14

I just read on Slate that with all the publicity, the PUAHate forums shut down and started rickrolling visitors. Presumably the irony is lost on them? "We're no strangers to love..."

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:11 AM
15

In his "manifesto" he doesn't come off as mentally ill, certainly, just an incredibly boring and unpleasant LA rich kid. He reminds me of the "affluenza defense" dude from Texas. The pathological far-extreme of entitlement.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:41 AM
16

I'm not sure what the line is between 'mentally ill' and 'clearly likely to family and acquaintances to hurt people', but what always gets me about this story is that there doesn't seem to be anything for people who see it coming to do to stop it.

I'm not blaming the cops who interviewed him and didn't do anything -- I don't have any real sense of what, reasonably and effectively, they should have done, or how on a short interview they could have figured out that the guy was dangerous. It's just that there doesn't seem to be anything for friends/acquaintances/family to do to protect people from someone who seems to them to be going to be dangerous.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:17 AM
17

He's described as "under psychiatric treatment" in a couple of places. Mental illness here is compatible with hate crime/terrorism/whatever the hell else people are claiming this is.

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:17 AM
18

there doesn't seem to be anything for people who see it coming to do to stop it.
How about if we can't predict which subset of the many people who seem unstable will actually do this, we just don't make semiautomatic pistols widely available?

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:22 AM
19

As far as a nice car being attractive to women, I'm reminded of an experiment some media outlet ran in Boston a few years ago- they sent out a reasonable looking guy first in a fancy car, then with a cute kid, then with a puppy. The fancy car only attracted other men.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:25 AM
20

It seems like "mental illness" is pretty much always compatible with "develops and implements a plan to kill a whole bunch of people", which is why it's so handy for the NRA. Which is not to say that treatment for mental illness doesn't need loads more resources, but "so that mentally ill people don't kill the rest of us" is a loathsome justification for that.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:26 AM
21

The other thing I wonder, and that someone should be doing research on: when you get this kind of killer, there always does seem to be a history of family or people they know turning them into the cops or trying to get them committed. What's the false positive rate on that? Are there a lot of people whose social circles think of them as probable serial killers who never hurt anyone, and the fact that people generally saw this sort of crime coming is just about overprediction? Or can you look at people's reactions to someone and somehow reliably sort out when they've spotted a genuinely dangerous person as opposed to just someone odd? (This still leaves the question of what to do about it open, of course.)

(on preview: 18: Yeah, that'd be nice.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:28 AM
22

But the NRA even opposed restrictions on gun ownership for people with documented mental illness. Possibly because that could describe a large fraction of their membership.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:31 AM
23

21- I'm guessing the false positive rate is higher than would be comfortable for involuntarily confining those people.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:33 AM
24

There is no way that the false positive rate wouldn't be astronomically high. Trying to work backwards from the tiny subset of people who have actually done these things guarantees it.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:34 AM
25

Yeah, but taping a dude's head to a desk is just good clean fun.

gswift -Mitt Romney

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:40 AM
26

On the other hand, it's got to be pretty rare for your family to try and get you committed. The one second-hand anecdote I have is a set of family friends who spent a couple of years in the seventies trying to get one of their brothers committed, and failed. Ultimately, he was arrested climbing the fence to get into Gracie Mansion with a plan to kill Ed Koch with an axe.

Obviously, you couldn't just assume that anyone who creeps people out is actually dangerous; I'm wondering if carefully going through the records of this sort of case would reveal any patterns that would let you sort out some or all of the false positives.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:40 AM
27

I -- very vaguely (molly and helpy-chalk probably remember better) -- knew a guy who was involuntarily committed by his shrink for some kind of ideation about killing himself and his girlfriend. The whole thing turned into a total shitstorm cover story for the . . . New Times I think about what an egregious/barbaric/fascistic act this was.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:41 AM
28

Given people who are already hospitalized for attempting to commit suicide, clinicians can't predict who is likely to try again at any better than chance. This seems like a much, much harder problem than that.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:43 AM
29

I'm curious what reasons the rightosphere will cite for why this rampage is the liberals' fault. Culture of carnal incontinence? Upbringing in secular relativist Hollywood milieu? Edroso is no doubt on the case.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:43 AM
30

26.1: I don't know that it is.

26.2: no way. Not enough data, too much noise, inadequate assessment tools. You could fool yourself with lots of false positives, at best.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:45 AM
31

28: Yeah, probably right.

29: Bitches wouldn't have sex with the poor man, leaving him no reasonable choice?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:46 AM
32

Bitches wouldn't have sex with the poor man, leaving him no reasonable choice?

Hey, bitches saving themselves for marriage! Epic win!

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:49 AM
33

When angry misogynistic racist white men go on a killing spree because blonde women won't fuck them, it's never considered terrorism and always just mental illness. Even if their actions are logically planned to cause maximum damage and completely coherent within their twisted value system. See also: Breivik, Anders

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:52 AM
34

29:Raw Story

Rodgers had previously noted, "My father is of British descent, and my mother is of Asian descent, so that makes me a Eurasian." (also a Moroccan step-mom)

So a right-troll over at LGM implied this is all about a person of color hating white women, especially blondes.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:53 AM
35

Hookup culture- liberal California culture made this guy think he was entitled to hit it without putting a ring on it.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:55 AM
36

Another thing I wonder is about conservation of violence. I don't know, as I said, anything about where to draw the lines around 'mentally ill', but it seems clear to me that this guy was both steeped in a culture of misogynistic hatred for women, and personally unusually inclined toward violence. Obviously, just like most mentally ill people don't hurt anyone, most Men's Rights Activists also don't go on killing sprees.

So, did the ideological support and encouragement he got online push him over the edge, making him decide to be violent where he might not have been in the absence of the political movement, or is this someone who would have tried to hurt a bunch of people regardless, and the social environment he was in only maybe affected the identity of the targets?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:55 AM
37

The blame should be on the toxic misogyny and the MRA culture that drove him to this.

I have a nonimmediate family member who is not totally out of this guy's neighborhood (virgin, entitled, misogyny, complete inability to deal with women as people, fortunately no indication of homicidal tendencies though). While it's clear his mental state and thoughts are linked to systemic cultural misogyny, he also seems fucking broken; there's just something off about him and his mind. I don't know if you want to call it mental illness or what but it's not just the environment.

Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:58 AM
38

We just had legal training on everything faculty should know to keep their nose clean, and a sizable portion of it is 1) which information must get told to which university channels, or you put yourself at liability risk, and 2) which information is illegal for you to tell to which channels, because the kid has privacy under FERPA, etc. (generally grades to parents unless there's a FERPA waiver, etc, but you're never obligated to tell parents anything.)

In the course of the training, the lawyer implied that there is a fairly high false-positive rate for potential massacre shooters.

The way I interpret this is that it takes a perfect storm of 10 risk factors for these shootings to happen, and the presence of 7-8 risk factors is frightening and gets flagged, and our society could help by eliminating 3-4 risk factors for every goddamn person in the US (readily available semi-automatic weapons, festering persecution complexes, lack of meaningful psychiatric help available, etc.)

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:58 AM
39

38.3 Two of those could be addressed in a week by a responsible congress, but how are you going to get rid of the festering persecution complexes?

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:04 AM
40

We'll just sit them down and tape their eyelids open and start showing Upworthy clips.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:07 AM
41

I read bits of his manifesto last night, and it's like someone who doesn't know how to write very well decided to create a psychopath supervillain.

This.

If the story were a screenplay, we would be rolling our collective eyes at the heavy-handed exposition of his motives and plans ("Behold my death ray, Mr. Bond").

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:07 AM
42

Two of those could be addressed in a week by a responsible congress

Congress could pass a law tomorrow banning the sale of all guns, and requiring everyone to turn in the guns they own. Any attempt to enforce that law would lead to a permanent counterinsurgency campaign all across America.

Even the most optimistic scenarios for significantly reducing the number of guns in circulation would require decades to make a difference.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:16 AM
43

When angry misogynistic racist white men go on a killing spree because blonde women won't fuck them, it's never considered terrorism and always just mental illness

Exactly. You can actually diagnose what the dominant culture is by paying attention to what gets dismissed as "the work of a madman." I guess Foucault was on this case a while ago.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:20 AM
44

Two of those could be addressed in a week by a responsible congress, but how are you going to get rid of the festering persecution complexes
I thought the festering persecution complex is a prerequisite for deciding to run for Congress.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:22 AM
45

Congress could pass a law tomorrow banning the sale of all guns, and requiring everyone to turn in the guns they own. Any attempt to enforce that law would lead to a permanent counterinsurgency campaign all across America.

This is, of course, not what people mean when they ask for sensible gun control, you trolly-troll.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:22 AM
46

Is it too early to admit that the story reminded me of this? The massacre could have been a lot worse if the shooter hadn't been such a sad sack.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:22 AM
47

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:24 AM
48

Even the most optimistic scenarios for significantly reducing the number of guns in circulation would require decades to make a difference.

I didn't say they could solve it in a week, I said they could address it in a week, ie. start the process. If it will take decades all the more reason to begin sooner rather than later.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:25 AM
49

It is definitely way too soon for me to say that I've been sort of mordantly fascinated that the fact that he also ran down two cyclists with his car has been treated as sort of a semi-relevant afterthought.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:27 AM
50

43: Yeah. How old is the Margaret Atwood line: Men are afraid of women because they're afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid of men because they're afraid men will kill them? Late 70s, early 80s maybe?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:29 AM
51

I guess it's fortunate that people with persecution complexes, mental illness, and irrational misogyny/racism don't tend to be the highest functioning individuals.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:29 AM
52

I didn't say they could solve it in a week

Ah, ok.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:32 AM
53

ran down two cyclists with his car

And stabbed three others. Real culprit: big steel. No, not Labs' cock. Not this time, anyway.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:34 AM
54

If the story were a screenplay, we would be rolling our collective eyes at the heavy-handed exposition of his motives and plans ("Behold my death ray, Mr. Bond").

Hasn't the past 100 years or so revealed that all -- literally all -- wicked men are precisely alike in their staggering pretensions?

Cower before my Wehrmacht and Thousand-Year Reich! Glorious workers' paradise requires another few million peasants down drain, comrades! Something something something and that's why I live in a tent for the greater glory of Libya and here is my female bodyguard team! Bow to the New Nebuchadnezzar, Hussein the Leveller! With the Great Satan in ashes, we shall restore the shining Caliphate from Iberia to the South China Sea! [Some quotes from The Turner Diaries and Timothy McVeigh that I am repressing because they were just too vile.]

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:38 AM
55

In general, I agree that we dismiss homicide-by-auto far too often, but in this case, I think that if the cyclists had been killed, that part of the story would be on par with the rest of it.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:52 AM
56

ran down two cyclists with his car

Sure, we can lay this crime at the feet of a psycho gun culture or entitled misogynistic nice guys or a profoundly sexist men's rights movement, but I think it's time someone bravely speak the truth about the real menace here: BMW drivers.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:53 AM
57

["Volvo" joke not made for reasons of taste, etc.]

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:58 AM
58

True story: the initial reports just spoke of a shooter in California driving a black BMW; I was ready to lay odds that it was an Iranian. I guess we're not really a shoot-em-up people.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:59 AM
59

What kind of odds? Assuming White Male 18-35 as the favorite, of course.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:02 AM
60

55: one of them is quite severely injured, I believe, so there's time yet.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:03 AM
61

Sifu, until we determine whether you meant "morbidly fascinated," we can't take you seriously.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:06 AM
62

Well, I meant "mordantly fascinated", if that helps.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:11 AM
63

I respect your right to use the word that way.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:13 AM
64

Anyhow I can't find any headlines that say he "shot six and stabbed three", which I thought I had seen, and the LA Times article mentions the cyclists in the lede, so maybe I'm full of shit.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:18 AM
65

63: to use "mordant" to mean "mordant"? That's big of you, weirdo.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:19 AM
66

Also, you're callously ignoring the skateboarder. What are you, some kind of wheel-size bigot?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:19 AM
67

I thought he only shot three.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:20 AM
68

To death. I thought only three people died from bullet wounds.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:21 AM
69

And man, Knecht has some high standards for what he wants out of a successful killing spree. This seems like quite a high enough death toll.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:22 AM
70

Fascination seems too passive to be characterized as "mordant," but I'm not going to shoot you over this.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:23 AM
71

My fascination is very urgent.

Too soon?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:28 AM
72

@12, 41:

It really is striking just how bad, and for that matter cliched, the whole manifesto is. It leaves you wondering whether this guy had any thoughts of his own or whether his whole inner life was cribbed from bad novels and B movies.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:29 AM
73

Oh, come on. Lots of perfectly happy, functional, non-insane people couldn't write anything at any length that wasn't mostly cribbed from bad movies.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:58 AM
74

The childish banality of it is really notable, though. Red Pokemon are his favorites! It was a cruel twist of fate when he was too short for the roller coaster! His dad gave him a copy of The Secret but it totally didn't work! I can understand why the Unabomber is so offended by it.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:01 AM
75

@73: What Sifu said in 74. I mean, I wasn't expecting Virginia Woolf or Hemingway, but this really was an unusually banal parade of canned "and then my dog Skip died and I was never the same" cliches.

Shades of the Officer Krupke song. Like he knows exactly what rage fueled manifesto is "supposed" to sound like.

Obviously this is a minor issue. I was just wondering whether there was any insight to be gleaned from the strong lack of personality in his rant.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:18 AM
76

I admit I didn't read the manifesto. I looked at the first couple of pages, scrolled ahead a ways and realized he was still talking about when he was seven, and quit. I would read the guy whining if he were literally in the room with a gun to my head, but not otherwise.

Which is, I suppose, his grievance in a nutshell.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:26 AM
77

And his solution.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:28 AM
78

How about we pick on the news media too? They lay out precise directions for causing the most pain and getting the most fame if one isn't already a celebrity of some sort. That one usually dies in the effort is kinda irrelevant to that sort of personality and mindset.

As for the various attempts at labeling/prediction/prevention, one would be better off sucking on a Xanax instead. There really isn't any way to prevent these things by the time the kid is capable of it.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:33 AM
79

75.3: There definitely is.

I'll link to this D & G stuff again, cause it's really good.Affective Economy

and nothing else" is oriented against such individualistic accounts of subjectivity.The broader polemical target of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus, beyond the specific polemics with psychoanalysis, is any explanatory theory that would reduce social relations to expressions of individual passions and desires. Deleuze and Guattari's claim that there is only "the desire and the social,and nothing else" is oriented against such individualistic accounts of subjectivity....

Thus, if affect is central to Deleuze and Guattari's thought it is necessary to add the caveats that affect must be thought of as anti-individualistic, as social rather than intimate, and as impersonal, reflecting the abstractions that dominant life.

Both his and "our" analyses and explanations tend toward the social (misogyny, gun culture, pop-culture).

The public exchange-value social relations of Post-Capitalism have entirely annihilated anything private and personal and idiosyncratic, even in our own minds. We compare our bedroom conversations to how Don Draper does it. Going thru the comments at Jezebel (I won't visit the guy sites) everybody knows the exact correct way for a man and a woman to treat each in their private relations, and are glad to tell you and judge your performance.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:37 AM
80

78: I never understand what folks would have the media do in these situations.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:37 AM
81

80: They don't have to shove cameras and mics in sobbing people's faces, nor plaster this on every screen and front page in the entire country for days. There's news and then there's "news", and there's coverage and then there's unreflective exploitation.

These people are getting a payoff, and that's the anticipation of their effect based on the previous effort 'cause they're mostly not around to see their own. I note we didn't have a high frequency of mass killings right after WW2, when damn near every young male had been through at least basic training and rural/hunting population was a much bigger percentage of the total.

(As for BMW drivers, yeah, I can see some preemptive action being warranted based on my observations in Beverly Hills. The Dx is Assholes, with few false positives.)

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:52 AM
82

I wonder how he was getting along with his roommates. They were the first people he killed, but I haven't seen any other mention of them.

Also, personally, I'd find it a lot easier to refer someone like that to talk to a pastor or minister, rather than mental health evaluation. Except that I don't know any pastors or ministers, and while there is a counselor at my workplace, I'm not sure he'd be the right person either, because on some level his real job is to solve problems for the organization, not for you. So I don't know, but I think "needs to have a serious chat with someone who will listen" is a much lower bar than "is mentally ill and probably dangerous." Then that person could refer him to mental health treatment.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:56 AM
83

80: The media gives a lot of play to a shooter's self-described motivations. They make him sound sad and lonely, which is easy to identify with. Bullied, poor guy. Divorced parents. Women troubles, poor thing.

How about rage-filled entitled rich kid asshole kills innocents?There's no justification one can make and giving inches of text to the fact that he couldn't get laid makes him sound sympathetic rather than pathetic. I think it's the fact that there's no rebuttal to his descriptions. I'd half love it if they interviewed girls in his classes. "Oh him? Yeah, he used to touch himself every time I walked past." "Yeah, he asked me to attend a premiere with him on the condition that I say we were an item and let him fuck me afterwards." I mean, this kid must have been really unpleasant and odd, right? Why doesn't that come through? A lot of these stories seem to take the shooter's justifications as fact rather than part of a bigger story about a guy (since it's almost always a guy) who just couldn't manage to thrive in the world as it exists.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:57 AM
84

There really isn't any way to prevent these things by the time the kid is capable of it.

I think there is, both an individual and social response (same thing). I don't deny it's Utopian or idealistic, and transhuman.

"...the cynicism and piety* that constitute the affective composition of capital." Read, linked above

Communism, stop all the damn "having," including qualities and virtues, probably including your body. Nothing belongs to you.

*Piety:marked by self-conscious virtue or adherence to social convention

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:57 AM
85

I never understand what folks would have the media do in these situations.

I don't think it is possible or even necessarily desirable for the media to ignore these stories or to self-censor, but it really is an effective means of suppressing certain "contagious" phenomena. The German press, for example, observes what amounts to a voluntary media blackout on reporting on suicides.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:59 AM
86

Doesn't US media do similar for folks who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge? They could also not publish the shooter's name if they chose - everybody can reel off names of mass murderers.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:06 AM
87

giving inches of text to the fact that he couldn't get laid makes him sound sympathetic rather than pathetic

That... is not my reaction.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:09 AM
88

83,87:
Nor mine.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:23 AM
89

As I said, most of this thread is going to inevitably discuss the kid and his crimes as a symptom of social dysfunction, though deliberately in a way that dismisses his own diagnosis. Because like Wall Streeters, those aspects of society the confirm our own self-evaluations are assumed good. We are all good lovers (extended to family and friends). Okay, not all of us.

Why couldn't the kid get laid? Because he was a creep, projected an overt misogyny? Granted that looks and money aren't necessary to getting laid, then what is the currency, the social commodities the sex market demands and that the kid lacked?

He surely had a hundred dollars, he didn't need to die a virgin. Why didn't he want to get laid, what alienated him from the performative rites, rituals and practices?

Watched Densha Otoko last week. Absurd otaku fantasy? Probably. The TV series is much better, because the gap between the otaku and the Kazoku Yamato Nadeshiko is much bigger. He's 5'3", she's 5'8" and one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen.

The Couple

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:24 AM
90

I don't understand your modern, toxic California culture, but watching Columbo has given me a new goal: to be a rich guy in late 60s-early 70s Los Angeles. Great houses, fantastic cars, liquor all the time, and lots of women with abundant free time and slinky dresses. Plus, if you kill anybody, all you need to do to get off is say, "Please refer all questions to my attorney,"

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:38 AM
91

85: I'm not advocating a blackout, the event itself is news. That said, the media always self-censors, they chose what to cover and how to cover it all the time. They can certainly tone down their coverage of the emotional impact, it's precisely that coverage that fuels the next nutcase's choice of action.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:43 AM
92

Regarding false positives, did anyone read the stuff about the potential spree killer in Waseca? It's pretty crazy, as it were. Basically this kid was absolutely bog-standard regular lower-middle class kid. Had friends, played rock music, worked at the grocery store, got decent grades, nobody was like "oh yeah, we knew that kid was gonna snap someday. But he had an elaborate plan to kill his family and lots of classmates.

The interesting thing was that he had cribbed details from many successful mass killings of the recent past -- April 20th, pressure cooker bombs, diversionary attack, shoot family first, etc. And the only reason he was caught was that some busybody saw him go into his secret storage locker and close the door behind him, and then called the police. He had a big manifesto/plan as well, but it hasn't been published. His father thought that he would have found ways to keep putting it off, but who knows? Frowner remarked that who knows how many alienated young white men around the country might have the means, motive and opportunity to do this kind of thing, but just procrastinate until they grow out of it?

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:51 AM
93

Long Social Analysis of the "Train Man" phenomenon in Japan

Incidentally, there is a long tradition in Japan of strong and successful women marrying "losers."

A) Because the guy adopted into a family or side family, which often involved marrying the oldest daughter was intended to be the figurehead and legal head of the family business but in a precarious position and subject to divorce without ownership rights at any time. To this day, there a lot of marriages where one partner leaves (with compensation) after providing an heir.

B) Because the driven successful guys were complete sexist assholes.

I still don't believe that kindness, honesty, courage and respect coulda gotten me a Kennedy. But like Horatio Alger or other capitalist dogma, this is the narrative I am supposed to buy.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:59 AM
94

92: Yes. It's the detection of rare events problem. And even with layers and layers of consciously designed and legally imposed safety nets, commercial airliners still occasionally fall out of the sky and go boom.

Deadly loons aren't always obviously looney tho' it's apparently comforting for people to think some simple tweak to some system will make them safe.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:03 AM
95

I can hear my wife in the next room listening to a man who has chosen to complain about US gun laws, and how they led to the death of his daughter. He's saying "What about her right to live." Or something like that. It's disturbing, but on the whole, I think it's right to let victims of tragedies talk to the media, and right for people to listen.

As for ydnew's complaint in 83, I think the media would be delighted to do the kind of reporting you're talking about - and have certainly attempted it, as we saw with the guy talking about the killer's head being taped to a desk.

It's going to be tough to get direct testimony on the killer from women, though, for fairly obvious reasons. I'd certainly keep my daughter far away from the media if she had a story to tell.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:29 AM
96

Frowner remarked that who knows how many alienated young white men around the country might have the means, motive and opportunity to do this kind of thing, but just procrastinate until they grow out of it?

I hadn't seen that, it's really great.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:36 AM
97

93: The article in 93 discusses the declining birth rate, demographic problems, late marriage or no marriage tendencies in Japan, and efforts made to solve the problem, of which "Densha Otoko" was an example. One of the contrasts was the supportive Internet community and the dysfunctional UMC.

The economic changes, precarity and inequality and increasing women at all levels in the workforce of course have broader social effects. With less dependent women, men are required, as they say at Jezebel, to "up their game." The level of conventional social skills required not just in dating but also in most social circumstances, or imagined as required by watching the media, can be quite demanding and intimidating. There appears to some stratification according to class going on, and accelerating.

No, I am not blaming women, nor do I want any kind of reversals. Nor am I watching the guys video.

Besides Densha Otoko, Kuragahime was also good. Manga even better. Five (and one invisible hikikomori) 20 something otaku women have their lives disrupted by a magical pixie dream cross-dressing bishonen -nah, tons of interior life there. The otaku women freeze in contact with what they call "hipsters", socially skilled young people, but the hipsters are always portrayed as kind and friendly, and the otakus are just scared for performance reasons. Very sweet stuff.

There is also of course the cringiest comedy Watamote Unlike fucking Daria, this girl is not identifiably cool.

"No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guy's Fault I'm Not Popular"

Which is funny, but true, isn't it? I can't exactly choose to be popular, can I? You have to open up and let me in, whoever and however I might be.

I get all my sociology from anime. Hikikomori for life.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:50 AM
98

Bob's really on a roll today.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:54 AM
99

87/88: See 7. I don't want to pick on teo, but I think that, especially for younger guys, or guys who aren't in a longterm relationship, it does serve to humanize him. A 22 year old virgin isn't automatically sympathetic to everyone, but I think it garners more sympathy than you think.

95.3: I think that's prudent, but I'd still like to see it. Stuff that gives a picture that counteracts his narrative of how nice he is and just can't get a fair chance. The other reason this is hard is the cultural norm of not speaking ill of the dead. (I ran into something like this a while ago. The deceased was a lousy little weasel, and the world is a better place without him, but even the boyfriend, who felt largely the same, was horrified that I might say that to anyone but him.)

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:56 AM
100

78: How about we pick on the news media too?

95: I can hear my wife in the next room listening to a man who has chosen to complain about US gun laws, and how they led to the death of his daughter.

The televised statement of the father of one of the shooting victims is quite upsetting. He's not sobbing helplessly all over the place: he's very angry.

I'm sure some media coverage is sickly fascinated by the killer's profile, but that father's statement is the greatest service, and the media is broadcasting it.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:21 AM
101

96: Actually, I was violating the s. of off-blog c. there.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:22 AM
102

Well, there's where we differ. I don't see the problem with humanizing anyone, nor what purpose simply treating him a monster serves.

I get how disconcerting the "Secret Sharer" aspect of a portrait like this, so that millions of (men, although perhaps not exclusively) have some level of sympathy with his starting point, or what they take it to be.

And perhaps that is a distorting factor that obscures more significant ones. The memory of some analogous rage or alienation may require too much projection, such that what we think we share, secretly or not, leads us away from any useful insight. Assuming there is any available.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:28 AM
103

102 to 99.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:29 AM
104

it garners more sympathy than you think.

Outside of the context of a murder spree, I'd be sympathetic. In isolation from the misogynistic ranting and eventual murder, being lonely is a perfectly reasonable thing to engender a certain amount of sympathy.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:38 AM
105

To 89.3, it might have cost a bit more than \$100, depending on your tastes, but yeah, no reason this kid couldn't have set up a date with a prostitute and hopefully worked through some of his issues. One of my sex-worker friends was telling me about an analogous client, who wasn't as creepy as this guy, but was still very uptight about being a virgin, and how they had a really productive talk about consent and dating and contraception and the whole bit. I don't advocate prostitution per se, but as a harm reduction measure, how many of the parents of these kids wouldn't have gladly footed the bill for an encounter if it meant the could talk to their sons and daughters again this morning?

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:40 AM
106

101:

Well, I'm glad to have been able to read it, whether intended for the likes of me or not.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:41 AM
107

There does seem to me to be a problem, along the lines of what ydnew and Biohazard were saying, about coverage that creates empathy, rather than pity, for this guy. Everyone's a human being, sure.

But all the focus on his manifesto and so on does make me worry about the effect on the next guy who is not quite as far down that road, and recognizes this guy as someone who came up with a 'solution' to the problem they both share. I don't like anything encouraging people to put themselves in this guy's shoes, for fear that there are people out there who will fit them.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:48 AM
108

No way was a visit to a prostitute going to fix that nut.

"I take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you., You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male...Girls, all I ever wanted was to love you, be loved by you. I wanted a girlfriend. I wanted sex, love, affection, adoration.

I bet he viewed at paying a pro as beneath him. And I think the telling word in that is "adored". He wanted someone to fawn all over him and affirm his view of himself as a "true alpha male". Boning some random hooker wasn't going to do that.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:50 AM
109

102: Maybe humanize was a bad word - I didn't want to imply that shooters aren't human, but I think that normalizing any part of his narrative is harmful. I think that anything that paints shooting a bunch of women because you're angry about your love life as being an understandable, if extreme, response just makes it that much harder for women to be able to reject men without fear of retribution. It's not that I want him to be portrayed as a monster, I want him to be portrayed as a pathetic entitled asshole. No sympathy for a guy who thinks he deserves a hot blonde just for existing. There's way too much of that already.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:52 AM
110

I meant to link to the transcript in 108.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:52 AM
111

108: Well, but before it got to this point. He didn't come out of the womb thinking that way. Of course, once he'd gotten really steeped in internet misogyny culture, the ball was rolling faster and faster every day.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:13 PM
112

109: I think that normalizing any part of his narrative is harmful.

Yes.

107: I don't see why or how coverage that creates pity is helpful. Pity is an emotional response of dubious value. The killer's mindset was unacceptable, full stop. He was an asshole, a suffering asshole, but an asshole. I don't pity assholes.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:16 PM
113

Did this guy even ever ask anyone out? His self-diagnosis doesn't seem very accurate to me. He was a decent-looking kid driving a BMW who murdered a bunch of random people (and his roommates). Everything about this story screams misogynistic psychopath, I don't see where the sympathy/empathy/humanity comes in. I think the fact that his manifesto is actually intelligible as an extreme statement of male entitlement makes him even less sympathetic; I would feel some pity if he just seemed to be in an incoherent world of lonely pain and hurt.

Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:17 PM
114

Ugh, this whole thing just makes me feel so... holistically awful. What is currently really grinding me down is the third-order awfulness in the reflexive pushback that keeps cropping up (Don't Read the Comments, number 7,845 in an infinite series) making the perennial claims about how alarmist, excessive, and entitled women's complaints about rampant mysogny are.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:19 PM
115

(Good sentence there, me.)

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:20 PM
116

The leader of the Polish opposition is by all accounts a sixty something virgin. He's also plagued with paranoid delusions and strong authoritarian impulses. On the other hand, best anyone can tell he's asexual and as sixty something conservative Poles go not particularly misogynistic. And while he's lost the last several elections, in the grand scheme of things being a very senior politician for most of your adult life means you're still pretty successful.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:21 PM
117

On the other other hand a Polish politician who really is a full on radical MRA type just got seven percent of the vote in the Euro elections. Women shouldn't be allowed to vote, rape shouldn't be a crime because they had it coming and anyways that's the way they like it and so on and so forth. Also seriously racist and a Randian nutcase. A really sweet guy.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:29 PM
118

And I'd bet part of the reason that he didn't have friends and couldn't get laid was that he came off like a misogynistic psychopath.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:42 PM
119

I observe in passing that this line apparently appears in the shooter's diatribe:

"The females of the human species have never wanted to mate with me, so how could I possibly consider myself part of humanity?"

That's actually interesting on a broader societal level: out society does privilege mating. No doubt we've all noticed.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 12:59 PM
120

"out" should be "our", of course.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:00 PM
121

Performative radical alienation is almost (? always ?) a necessary part of the package preceding homicide or suicide. I guess it can be quiet and private, but I'll presume still performed for the hovering demons as a way to psych self up.

In other eras the PRA entailed burning temples down or shooting Austro-Hungarian queens or talking a geisha into a double or writing a self-loathing I-novel.

So why misogyny now?

He felt wrongfully "entitled?" Does that mean the women, relationships, social acceptance are an achievement, an accomplishment, a private good/possession/property that must be "earned?" Are we "entitled" to health care but "not entitled" to a Maserati? But some can earn, or luck into a Maserati?

Used to be mostly women, but also men, were property of the community (to variable extent), who could and would decide if you were worthy, in addition to personal wishes and desires. Still are, some places.

Still are, everywhere? Like your labour-power, do you think your desirability belongs to you, after the primitive accumulation by post-capital of the social commons? Nah, you been commodified, moved from the feudal and communal to the meat market. A lot of people like feeling...valuable.

Jeune Fille ...pdf

The youth, because adolescence is \a period of life defi ned by a relationship of pure consumption with civil society." (Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness ). And women, because at the time it was the sphere of reproduction, over which women still held sway, that they needed to colonize.

Youth and Femininity, hypostatized, abstract, and recoded into youthitude and feminitude, are then elevated to the rank of ideal regulators of empire-citizen integration. And the figure of the Young-Girl thus realizes an immediate, spontaneous, and per-
fectly desirable unity between those two variables.

The tomboy is indispensable as a kind of modernity, much more thrilling than all the stars and starlets so quickly invading the globalized imagination. Albertine, found on the wall around a seaside resort, exhausts the whole collapsing world of [Proust's] \in search of lost time" with her relaxed, pansexual vitality. The high school girl makes her will the law in Ferdyduke. And a new authority fi gure is born, one that out-classes them all.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:00 PM
122

118 - Yeah. There was a police complaint where he broke his ankle because some brodudes pushed him off a porch at a party, which feed into the "oh he was bullied" narrative until you read his Patrick Bateman Forever Alone manifesto and discover that, no, the police were correct and said brodudes were in fact just trying to prevent him from throwing their dates off the roof.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:03 PM
123

Oh, man. I feel terrible that that's kind of funny.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:12 PM
124

If he were the kind of guy who was willing to go to prostitutes, the police would now be pulling the bodies of prostitutes out of dumpsters.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:12 PM
125

It's pretty hard to imagine someone less sympathetic, at least for me. The hell with this fuck, which I guess may be literally what's happening. It's pretty clear the MRA stuff played at least an exacerbating role.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:23 PM
126

Exiting the Vampire Castle

"The first law of the Vampires' Castle is: individualise and privatise everything. While in theory it claims to be in favour of structural critique, in practice it never focuses on anything except individual behaviour."

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:24 PM
127

Frowner remarked that who knows how many alienated young white men around the country might have the means, motive and opportunity to do this kind of thing, but just procrastinate until they grow out of it?
I'm guessing the proposed prequel to The 40 Year Old Virgin isn't going to get the green light. Which, incidentally, was on sale at Costco stacked together with Knocked Up which seemed like an interesting placement choice.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:26 PM
128

until you read his Patrick Bateman Forever Alone manifesto and discover that, no, the police were correct and said brodudes were in fact just trying to prevent him from throwing their dates off the roof.

Oh man. I did not get to that part. Amazing.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:29 PM
129

The only thing I've read about the whole thing that made me feel even the tiniest flicker of sympathy was a comment thread somewhere about this where somebody pointed out he only weighed 135 pounds, and said "If I saw a dating profile where the guy said he only weighed 135 pounds, I would instantly lose interest."

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:34 PM
130

Yeah, import my usual rant about weight and you can't translate a number into what someone looks like. Buck was 135 when I met him, and while he was clearly a skinny, skinny, dude, he didn't look unhealthy or anything.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:37 PM
131

128: Commenter wjts at LGM highlighted the lowlights of the manifesto.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:42 PM
132

129: You don't have to feel sympathy for Rodgers, but what would be neat is to feel some kind of sympathy for that commenter.

My alienation is either not performative, or performed mildly in selected comment threads. I certainly don't envy anyone for getting...the blondes.

But apparently the social...desirable...thing here today to do is to stomp on the corpse, as far as I can tell from the dude comments above.

Boring. I got "Cultural Nationalism in Contemporary Japan" to read, and then Denis Villeneuve Incendies to watch, and then some Miyazawa Kenji with talking cats.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:46 PM
133

That suggests one warning sign is repeated assaults with beverages. That should lower your false positive rate.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:47 PM
134

I can't cut-and-paste from Scribd without more effort than I feel like going to (I mean, really -- ignore the Pokemon, how many times does he complain about not winning Powerball and getting to live the life of luxury and bitches-fucking that is his natural birthright? At least three.), but the phrase to search for is "I failed to push any of them from the ledge". He fails to push any of them off the roof, and then the dudebros beat him up badly, which he refers to as bullying. (He then complains that if women were sensitive human beings, they'd have helped him home on his broken ankle and then fucked him to make him feel better. If Hannah Arendt had decided that Eichmann was actually a fascinating psychological study with compelling moral depths, she could have switched over to writing about this nonsense.)

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 1:54 PM
135

134: The link in 131 has it, plus some other violent outbursts. Here is the ledge story:

I stood awkwardly in the front yard for a bit, realizing how pathetic I looked all by myself when everyone was partying around me. To calm down, I climbed up onto a wooden ledge that bordered the street and plunged down on one of the chairs there. Isla Vista was at its wildest state at that time, and I saw lots of guys walking around with hot blonde girls on their arm. It fueled me with rage, as it always had. I should be one of those guys, but no blonde girls gave me that chance. I looked down at all of them, and in my drunken carelessness, extended my arm out and pretended to shoot them all, laughing giddily as I did it. Eventually, some partiers climbed up onto the ledge. They were all obnoxious, rowdy boys whom I've always despised. A couple of pretty girls came up and talked to them, but not to me. They all started socializing right next to me, and none of the girls paid any attention to me. I rose from my chair and tried to act arrogant and cocky toward them, throwing insults at everyone. They only laughed at me and started insulting me back. That was the last straw, I had taken enough insults that night. A dark, hate-fueled rage overcame my entire being, and I tried to push as many of them as I could from the 10-foot ledge. My main target was the girls. I wanted to punish them for talking to the obnoxious boys instead of me. It was one of the most foolish and rash things I ever did, and I almost risked everything in doing it, but I was so drunk with rage that I didn't care. I failed to push any of them from the ledge, and the boys started to push me, which resulted in me being the one to fall onto the street. When I landed, I felt a snap in my ankle, followed by a stinging pain. I slowly got up and found that I couldn't even walk. I had to stumble, and stumble I did. I tried to get away from there as fast as I could.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:00 PM
136

"The Not At All Banal Nature of Evil"

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:01 PM
137

136 to 134.

135 is some seriously fucked up shit.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:02 PM
138

I was really not expecting this manifesto to have a bit about how great middle school dances were.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:03 PM
139

It's not sympathy or lack of it that's important by the time someone is actively planning mass murder and suicide. It's the after-action reports from the previous ones that show how to maximize the emotional pain. They don't tend to shoot up hospices.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:08 PM
140

It's the after-action reports from the previous ones that show how to maximize the emotional pain.

That may be it. I don't know how you'd get CNN to play along, unless there's going to be a lot of missing airliners.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:17 PM
141

That is a pretty good manifesto, in the sense that if a novelist wrote it you'd think 'wow what a character they created'. Of course the climactic murder is, as always, a huge part of the manifesto's literary effect, which is maybe a reason why people are always reluctant to credit these manifestos with being the creepily fascinating documents they are. It compares well to Bret Easton Ellis' work, not that I'm a big BEE fan.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:32 PM
142

(Lots of us are mentally ill and we don't kill people.) The blame should be on the toxic misogyny and the MRA culture that drove him to this.

On the other hand, lots of people are toxic misogynists and don't kill people either. A large majority of all the people in the world are signed up to one of the many state-sponsored ideologies that hold that women aren't worth as much as men, or are cursed, or polluted, or wicked in some way.

I think gswift may be closer to this: this guy was a megalomaniac and he wanted power and adoration as his birthright. And his enemies were everyone who he saw as getting in the way of that.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:42 PM
143

I don't really understand why there are so many arguments happening over how to classify this or what the prescription is. Why can't it be better mental health care and a less misogynistic culture and stricter gun control? Not so much here but on my FB feed and elsewhere it seems like people are getting into fights over which one of these is their favorite. I want them all.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:49 PM
144

142: Yes. All that nonsense about how wonderful he is points right to it.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:49 PM
145

It's the Swiss cheese model, right? He had mental health issues AND he was under the influence of a hateful ideology AND he had access to firearms. If the holes don't line up, maybe he doesn't kill anyone.

Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:52 PM
146

143, 145 -- yup.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:53 PM
147

142:

I like that too, and think it's the key to the point of departure we've been trying to agree on, that separates his loneliness and longing from the common variety, and means he won't take one of the many roads back. Well-traveled roads, thankfully.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:56 PM
148

143: I think there's probably a certain amount of pushback against the idea of a less misogynistic culture as unnecessarily hasty: if the problem is just that this guy is individually a nutcase, then there's no need for people to give up the current levels of misogyny that are making them happy.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 2:59 PM
149

Society has a poor record when it comes to misogyny and violence, but society also gave this guy a million cues that he was on he wrong track, and he seems to have been exceptionally good at missing the point.

Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:04 PM
150

I dunno. I think people whose ideology is caught up in the middle of a psychotic killing have a moral and ethical responsibility to look their bullshit in the face when something like this happens. The gun nuts were fucking insane dicks for not confronting the fact that Adam Lanza and his Mom were gun nuts. Yes the gun nuts bore responsibility for Lanza's action, even if not full responsibility. Same thing here for the hardcore misogynists. Does every gun nut or hardcore misogynist go on a killing spree? No. But when it happens, the people spouting the toxic ideology deserve a reasonable chunk of the blame, and are assholes for not owning up to that.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:09 PM
151

For the record, while 6 and 7 reflect my initial response to hearing about this, watching the guy's video made me way less sympathetic. Also, a lot of the news coverage I've seen has actually given quite a bit of attention to other people's perceptions of him, which seem to be uniformly that he was a creepy misogynist and potential serial killer.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:12 PM
152

150: Well, yes. I was being mordantly understated (to coin a phrase) in 148.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:15 PM
153

I understand the pushback to a certain degree, in that absent misogyny/guns/poor treatment, this guy probably still ends up stabbing a few people at least. And, absent this particular nutjob, it's not like misogyny etc are healthy or acceptable parts of society. The sine qua non here is the insanity.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:21 PM
154

I actually don't think we know enough about insanity or how these things work to know whether or not 153 is true or not. We do know that hardcore misogynists and gun nuts are assholes.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:25 PM
155

Since nobody else is claiming this ground I'm going to go ahead and blame it on growing up rich. I meant it about the similarity with the affluenza dude; no way could the insane entitlement take hold if he wasn't around lots of other kids who are that entitled and have the world go right along with it.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:30 PM
156

155 also seems plausible to me.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:32 PM
157

So we can add reducing income inequality to the list of prescriptions! Confiscatory taxes, maybe?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:33 PM
158

Yeah, 155 makes a lot of sense. I wonder if Piketty covers this phenomenon.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:33 PM
159

I'm tempted to say that anyone who's killing people without either a rational, even if wrongful, reason (monetary gain, self-defense, whatever) or in the heat of momentary emotion, is insane by definition -- that's something sane people just don't do. But of course I don't have any kind of useful definition of either sane or insane to back that up with, which is pretty much your point.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:34 PM
160

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:37 PM
161

160: This is the one that I particularly remember.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:49 PM
162

So the wealth insulated him, meant he need not pay attention to the million cues mentioned above, and also exposed him to people who seemed to have no more regard for others than he did, but nontheless got whatever they wanted?

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:53 PM
163

114:
It sounds unbelievable, even to me typing this, but yesterday morning (I hadn't heard the news) I was doing the dishes and having an imaginary conversation with a young woman about changes from the early 1990s to now, in terms of feminism. In this imaginary conversation was the day after the murders at L'Ecole Polytechnique. I lived in Montreal, went to school just down the road. The next day the discussion on the public transit and on the street was so defensive, so insistent that this was a one-off, he was crazy, this had nothing to do with sexism, the feminists will callously try to use this to further their agenda...a real sense, from seemingly regular guys, of "don't you dare make this political". I told my imaginary young person that while not everybody say, likes the term "rape culture" at least there's room to say "we have a collective problem" without pushback. I thought. So yeah, I won't be reading the comments.

Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 3:56 PM
164

160: Huh, I missed that too. I wonder if Wikipedia needs a page listing spree killings motivated explicitly by misogyny. The only other one I'm coming up with is that Canadian engineering student from quite a long time ago, but I have no real idea if there are more. No, wait, as I was about to hit post there was that guy who killed a bunch of Amish schoolgirls, although I can't remember if he had a manifesto or just killed girls disproportionately enough that it looked like it had to be purposeful.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:06 PM
165

That was near here. He only shot girls. And himself.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:17 PM
166

Okay, so end the misogyny.

The Copernican Revolution in Marxian thought after 1968, especially Foucault, was a reversal of focus from the analysis of Capital to the analysis of labor. Th revelation was that the worker creates and sustains Capitalism and the important question was: "Why don't they rise up?" Because if they did the system wouldn't last long. Ian Welsh approaches that question moralistically with profound bitterness and pessimism; but it can approached with sympathy and compassion. Revolution is fucking hard and scary.

Women are not the 7% African-Americans or the 5% gays or Jews or Muslims in America or Native Americans. They have the numbers, money, power.

Tiqqun's "Jeune Fille" is asking that question, "Why don't they rise up?" Mean and hard maybe, challenging and provocatively, but the goal is to make 'em fight.

Blaming the victim? Are you victims?

Don't ask me to do it for you, for Christ's sake. Don't fucking ask this dude to protect you. You decide if that makes me a misogynist.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:25 PM
167

It's cool, Bob. You can keep watching anime. No one's asking you to do anything.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:27 PM
168

I remember the one in 160, and I remember at the time not being clear why it wasn't getting any coverage.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:31 PM
169

I read a lot more of the manifesto than was really a good use of my time. It is repulsive and fascinating and very, very repetetive. It does read like what would be a well-crafted purposely unreliable narrative.

The parts that jumped out at me (in addition to the obvious) were the blatant, over-the-top, throwback-to-1950 racism and the extreme megalomania. He repeatedly is extra enraged if he sees a couple where the man is not white, and even more so if the woman is white, and worst of all if she is blonde. He also repeatedly berates his mother for being selfish, because she refuses to just marry money to enable him to live the life he deserves.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:42 PM
170

Yes, the one in 160 was near here also. Ugh.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 4:54 PM
171

I read a lot more of the manifesto than was really a good use of my time.

Ditto, and

The parts that jumped out at me (in addition to the obvious) were the blatant, over-the-top, throwback-to-1950 racism and the extreme megalomania.

Yeah, it's as Ira Levin or Jim Thompson as it is Bret Easton Ellis.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:07 PM
172

I probably wouldn't have read it anyway, but the comments above from people whose judgement I trust determined me.

The phenomenon of what shall we call it, Movement Misogyny? is a surprise to me. Having doubts or reservations about feminism, or what some people think it is--remembering how incoherent almost any broad social movement is bound to be--seems a world away from that. How big are these communities? Wouldn't they mostly be websites, tedious and obsessive? Are there clubs or meetups that anybody knows about, or known affinities in certain fraternities or teams?

It's the aspect of it that suggests an articulated ideology that takes me by surprise.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:30 PM
173

Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to tedious and obsessive websites.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:40 PM
174

Villeneuve's Incendies is pretty good. Female leads, mother in Lebanon in the 80s civil war, daughter retracing the steps twenty years later. Radiohead soundtrack.

Woman:"My hatred is great toward the Nationalists."
Guard:"That is not what you wrote in the journal Charbel."
W:"My uncle thought Charbel encourage peace with words and books. I believed. Life has taught me something else."

Probably the manly men protecting their women and homes. Was it the Christians or Muslims that shot the 8-yr-old girl in the back? I forget.

It's cool, Bob. You can keep watching anime. No one's asking you to do anything.

Well, anime has the girl-women with guns and swords and magic fighting and killing the hurters. One shrink says this is just phallic girls, cause real women would never do anything like that.

Guess I need my fantasy.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:00 PM
175

I'm reconsidering 173.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:04 PM
176

It's interesting that Rodger had counselors and at least one psychiatrist and no one twigged to his potential. Kinda unfair to pin the blame on the PD for dropping the ball, no? And do I need therapy for skimming that much of 141 pages of nuttiness?

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:04 PM
177

172, I think you're right that the "men's rights" movement is mostly an online whinefest, but the community is pretty big (for example, r/mensrights has 91,000 subscribers). The only meetups that I've heard of have been in Toronto, I think affiliated with the University of Toronto (here is a story).

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:05 PM
178

We Hunted the Mammoth is a blog dedicated to tracking and mocking movement misogyny.

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:07 PM
179

Can we go back to putting up links to relatively normal things like dinosaurs having sex with cars?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:15 PM
180

Nobody bookmarked it?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:22 PM
181

Do you mean Dekhyr Dragon's Guide to Having Sex with Cars? That's really easy to find.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:24 PM
182
Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:24 PM
183

This is technically a dragon as well.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:26 PM
184

Thanks neb, but 183 is what I was thinking of.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:28 PM
185

Is that a GTI??? What the fuck is that dragon doing?

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:30 PM
186

This, from a family friend/spokesperson, was interesting.

Astaire said Elliot had not been diagnosed with Asperger's but the family suspected he was on the spectrum, and had been in therapy for years. He said he knew of no other mental illnesses, but Elliot truly had no friends, as he said in his videos and writings.

Astaire said Elliot was incredibly shy, spoke haltingly and rarely looked people in the eye. "He was fundamentally withdrawn," he said. "The guy on the video was much more confident. That is a guy I never met."

******

The article is about how the parents were racing to the scene to stop the shooting, just minutes before it started.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-frantic-parents-isla-vista-shootings-20140525-story.html

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:31 PM
187

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:32 PM
188

I admit I don't know much, or anything, about reptile reproduction, but I wouldn't have thought a dragon would have such mammalian gonads.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:32 PM
189

Also, it's hard for me to conceive of how that's pleasurable for either the dragon or the car, but, as I said, totally ignorant of reptile reproduction. Also of automotive reproduction. I assume they're getting something out of it.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:33 PM
190

This concludes my reflections on that image.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:34 PM
191

I think it's an analogy for the human condition.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:34 PM
192

Analogies are banned, except when they involve sex with cars.

Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:36 PM
193

151: I certainly didn't want to pick on you (hopefully the disclaimer was sufficient), but your initial comment was the easiest to point at as an example of why reporting Rodger's justifications might make him seem sympathetic. That media coverage matters. I think it was a totally understandable initial thought.

142.1: Sure, they're not all mass murderers. However, I think there's a pretty clear link to all sorts of violence against women and misogyny that you're dismissing. Domestic violence, stalking, assault, harassment, all sorts of nastiness. I don't think there's as little there as you're suggesting when comparing it to mental illness and propensity for violent crime. The subsequent comments seem to have reached comity about there being many concurrent problems, but I wanted to push back a little against your dismissal of a clear correlation.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:41 PM
194

The Los Angeles Times would like it if I updated to a modern browser, the fuckers.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:43 PM
195

188: the external testicles might be a bit fanciful, admittedly, but it seems like they did their research here as far as dong shape/color. The people doing dragon art seem to follow the lizard model, which is probably for the best, as things with snakes can get a bit weird. (Don't look at that, for chrissakes. No. Don't. Why would you look at that? Why wouldn't you trust me when I tell you not to?)

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:45 PM
196

You know what's weird, dong-wise? Ducks are weird dong-wise.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:47 PM
197

That's not significantly weirder than what I found just googling for "reptile penis".

The external testicles seem to be bumping the asphalt, and also would probably be annoying when flying. I bet most REAL dragons don't have external testicles.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:48 PM
198

I have no idea what this is worth but my one friend who got super into the PUA scene was deeply misguided in a no-dude-girls-aren't-videogames kind of way (which is, obviously, bad enough) but he was not at all violent or hateful, and my sense is that a lot of guys who get into that scene are just sort of lonely and pathetic and failures at empathy (hence the "wait, I'm good at videogames!" allure); this contrasts with MRA types, who seem like violent hatefulness is much more central to their vibe.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:49 PM
199

197.2: come on dragon skin has to be tougher -- and yet more intimate, more alluring -- than asphalt.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:49 PM
200

197: They're probably retractable, like with syno wrestlers.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:50 PM
201

198 con't: on the other hand Rodger seems to have been part of a community of bitter PUA failures, which is its whole own other level of not treating human beings as human beings, so.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:51 PM
202

Uh, sumo.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:51 PM
203

Are there separate Western dragon/Chinese dragon categories, I wonder.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:54 PM
204

As best I can tell without, you know, browsing through the images, Chinese dragons seem unrepresented to the point of being nonexistent on Herpy.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:56 PM
205
Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:56 PM
206

Maybe the Herpy people could teach interpersonal relationship classes for the PUA crowd.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:59 PM
207

Well, I take it back! Also, I can now add that image to the list "things I saw today which the lessons of Edward Said had not yet reached".

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:01 PM
208

206: I have to imagine the herpy artists get laid a lot more than PUA forum contributors.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:01 PM
209

207 to 205, 208 to 206, 209 to 207, 208.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:02 PM
210

"A woman is like a car, except you don't need to chock the wheels."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:02 PM
211

she being Brand for anyone seeking a how to guide for carfucking in verse.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:08 PM
212

I had no idea he was so perverted.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:12 PM
213

Now just imagine Garrison Keillor reciting that.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:12 PM
214

213 to 174.

Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:14 PM
215

It's nice to see that this thread has moved on to a less depressing topic.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:32 PM
216

If only men's rights sites would transition to herpy/car stuff, torrey pine at least would be relieved.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:34 PM
217

It's not less depressing for the GTI.

Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:37 PM
218

torrey pine at least would be relieved

Per 183.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:37 PM
219

No. I'm not clicking on the link in 183.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:42 PM
220

217: How can you tell?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:42 PM
221

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:42 PM
222

GTI is the most common infection transmitted during dragon-car sexual activities.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:47 PM
223

219: It's basically the same as a Thomas the Tank Engine episode, except that instead of Sir. Topham Hatt, it's a dinosaur and the definition of "useful engine" is broader.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:53 PM
224

193: Don't worry, the disclaimer was sufficient and I didn't take it at all personally.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:58 PM
225

224 to 219.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:00 PM
226

I wonder if Wikipedia needs a page listing spree killings motivated explicitly by misogyny. The only other one I'm coming up with is that Canadian engineering student from quite a long time ago, but I have no real idea if there are more.

I was very surprised on Twitter yesterday to see a table of general school shootings broken out by gender of the victim. When you look at the last ~20 of them,* it jumps out at you. Female students MUCH more likely to be targeted.

*Boy that is a depressing sentence.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:08 PM
227

178:

Looked at We Hunted The Mammoth. Interesting glossary, which he at least seems to use relatively strictly, not general terms of abuse when irritated, as I have seen some of those terms used. I especially like NAWALT, a new one for me.

But my sense that this is an internet phenomenon is confirmed by his survey.

By the way, is this Rodger guy Eurasian? I saw a quote from him far upthread referring to his "exotic eyes," and I notice from the LA Times piece--which a link at the bottom of the page allowed me to view with my Win2k/Firefox 11 setup, that his mother's name is Chin. I'm only asking because of the stress some people tallying rampages put on whiteness.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 8:45 PM
228

I think some news reports said his father is English, and his mother is Chinese.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:00 PM
229

Jack Cassidy may have been a poor husband and a shitty smoker, but he sure knew how to play a murderer.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:17 PM
230

That may have been off topic.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:17 PM
231

Well, this is the murder thread.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:18 PM
232

Columbo reference?

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:24 PM
233

Yes.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:26 PM
234

After an initial wave of sympathy, it's kind of relief to read these excerpts and see how alien and repulsive he is.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:29 PM
235

I mean the murderer part was from Columbo. I think he burned himself to death for reals.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 9:29 PM
236

It just seems like there must be something very wrong culturally in gender/romantic relations that men like Eggplant and teo, whom I like a lot, feel some sort of kneejerk emotional common ground with this guy.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:08 PM
237

And I don't mean that as an indictment of teo or especially of Eggplant, since every time I apologize for implying he was a jerky faux-nice-guy I say something even worse. I'm just very concerned about the cultural narrative because I have seen a lot of guys I care about tap into it, and I've also been the victim of other ones who do for different reasons or with different results.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:10 PM
238

It just seems like there must be something very wrong culturally in gender/romantic relations that men like Eggplant and teo, whom I like a lot, feel some sort of kneejerk emotional common ground with this guy.

Agreed, definitely. Patriarchy casts a long shadow.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:18 PM
239

Sympathy wasn't my only emotional reaction, but I did have it. Being lonely is awful in a way not related to the patriarchy.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:33 PM
240

If the killer wasn't entirely white, I suppose that helps explain him not having white roommates despite his racism.

(I know I'm profiling them, but I think it's safe to guess that his roommates weren't white based on their names.)

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 10:40 PM
241

Being lonely is awful in a way not related to the patriarchy.

Right, and there's a particular kind of loneliness that comes from being a virgin in a college environment where it seems like people are having sex all around you but you can't find anyone who wants to have sex with you, personally. (This is probably related to the patriarchy to some extent, at least in that it seems to affect men more than women.) Obviously the conclusions that Elliot Rodger drew from being in this situation were insane and abhorrent, but the situation itself is uncomfortably familiar.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:04 PM
242

Wouldn't be nice if monsters looked like Giger creations instead of reflections in warped mirrors?

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:14 PM
243

^ it

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:15 PM
244

It's probably for the best that the Beach Boys deleted that line.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:32 PM
245

I guess this is a basically dickish comment, and loneliness sucks and Eggplant and Teo are good guys, but I think comment 150 about using these kinds of incidents to look bullshit in the face also kind of applies to the general ideology of mopey lonely straight dudes. The world doesn't owe anyone a blowjob or companionship, and if you feel you can't get it, that's your problem (by the way, one that's solveable with actually not that much effort) not the world's. Write your damn lists and get out there, or don't, but in any event it's really important not to blame the world for failing to sleep with you. Not that I'm saying either Teo or Eggplant are doing that, but it feels like a good time to make that point.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 11:55 PM
246

I didn't really have any sympathy reaction, perhaps because the reports I read first weren't trying to evoke it. But Halford's super-dickish paranthetical in 245 almost does make me sympathetic.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:23 AM
247

245: No, that's fair enough, and I don't mean to imply that the world owes me anything (which I think distinguishes me from Rodger). As 246 implies, though, this is hardly a trivial problem to solve, unless you're willing to plow through vast amounts of rejection with total equanimity. I'm sure some people are able to do that, but it's awfully hard for me.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:32 AM
248

Sifu's argument is really reinforced up by how much Rodger cares about flying first class. There's almost a full page about Virgin (heh) Atlantic Upper Class.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:19 AM
249

It's not that I disagree with Halford's main point, which is of course right and important. It's that the parenthetical gave me a sudden rush of deep anger and resentment of Halford and everyone like him. Fortunately anger is rare for me, and I'm not violent at all, but Halford's comment was the first thing that gave me the "too close to home" feeling that teo was talking about.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:28 AM
250

245:Recognize that the world doesn't owe you a job, or a good living, or status and power and wealth and security. You really have to realize that it is your fault you are unemployed, or poor. The system isn't fair, but it is good.

Maybe it is stacked, some people are born to rich parents or other endowments like looks or brains and are just born to be your rich boss but hey, that doesn't mean you can't be happy in your lower class subservient position. Just learn to accept your place. Lower your standards and expectations. Who the fuck do you think you are, anyway?

Anyway, if you work real hard and be a good person you too can be Richard Corey instead of working in his factory. No fucking doubt about it.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:14 AM
251

And here we get the Central Dogma, the Tao of McManus. Which holds as follows: Whatever "it" is, it's mostly about me.

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:37 AM
252

Hey now, mcmanus is occasionally good for comic relief, as in 250.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:43 AM
253

Admirably schooled in ever grace, Richard Cory went out last night and put bullets in a bunch of people.

Goddammit, Bob, women people are not commodities or positional goods nor are they resources to be shared among the community.

And not one of them dreams of being a supermodel or finding the guy who makes them feel like one, if only for a moment.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:03 AM
254

I never understand what folks would have the media do in these situations.

Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:03 AM
255

244: yesssss. This is a thing of silly beauty. But that doesnt mean i'll sleep with you teo.

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:22 AM
256

I observe in passing that this line apparently appears in the shooter's diatribe:

"The females of the human species have never wanted to mate with me, so how could I possibly consider myself part of humanity?"

That's actually interesting on a broader societal level: out society does privilege mating. No doubt we've all noticed.

Great point.

241, 246 also correct.

My kneejerk reaction is to hate anyone who makes fun of other people for "not getting laid". It's kind of similar of making fun of people for not having money.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:48 AM
257

if you feel you can't get it, that's your problem (by the way, one that's solveable with actually not that much effort)

Must not analogize. Must analogize: don't be depressed, the world is full of amusement parks!

More importantly, that's not how you spell "solvable."

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:24 AM
258

Right, it's "soluble".

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:28 AM
259

29: I'm curious what reasons the rightosphere will cite for why this rampage is the liberals' fault. Culture of carnal incontinence? Upbringing in secular relativist Hollywood milieu?

Using her psychological superpowers from within the confines of a Fox News studio, Robi Ludwig sniffed out the gay: "When I was first listening to him, I was like, 'Oh, he's angry with women for rejecting him,'" Ludwig recalled. "And then I started to have a different idea: Is this somebody who is trying to fight against his homosexual impulses?'"

29.last: Edroso is no doubt on the case.

Indeed he is. Much creativity deployed to slot this into their various wearisome hobby horses.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:46 AM
260

246/256: I can see why someone might say that. I had no idea how to approach women, w.r.t dating, until my 20s. I managed to figure it out over the course of a couple years and it now seems pretty easy. I was lurking here at the time, and I think a lot of the advice here helped.

I can see how someone who never had the experience of being baffled by how to ask someone out without causing offense or seeming like a complete troll would say that the problem is solvable without much effort because it gets easier over time, which makes it hard to remember how hard it was in the first place, and it's probably always been easy for some people.

Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:07 AM
261

256:My kneejerk reaction is to hate anyone who makes fun of other people for "not getting laid". It's kind of similar of making fun of people for not having money.

I guess nobody got the extended sarcastic metaphor of 250.

And I tend to hate systems and structures rather than individuals or groups. And not just "making fun?," how about judging in any way? I have been, frankly, despised all my life for not being good at the relationship thing. Get out there and make someone happy, you selfish son of a bitch. It's easy.

So we have comity?

Everyone can't be equally rich?
Everybody can't be beautiful, even in their own snowflake way?
Everybody can't get laid?
Everybody can't develop social skills and relationships in the same proportion?
Everybody can't be equally kind or benevolent?
What is morality anyway, but local social convention? Everybody can't be moral?

What do you do if you are born into rage and cruelty, child of prison rape, birthed in a bombed Lebanese refugee camp, dropped from a hanged mother?

Be fucking nice, you ungrateful bastard, it's a fucking wonderful world.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:19 AM
262

245; In general that is probably true, but given all that was reported here, it seems that on at least one occasion the world was acting as if it did owe Teo a blow job.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:57 AM
263

I don't think anyone here would be cruel enough to make fun of someone for not getting laid or for being lonely and wanting companionship. But there are more or less misguided ways of going about finding companionship, and sometimes getting honest feedback from friends can be helpful.* Having skimmed parts of his manifesto, what struck me is that while the misogyny and delusional sense of self worth and entitlement read masculine, his concepts of 'how to pick up chicks' are weirdly passive, like he internalized the advice for women from a 1950s Cosmo magazine. He sat around in public places in a nice sweater waiting for the ladies to flock to him, and then got angry when women wouldn't approach him. Never once does he seem to indicate he actually made a move on a woman in a romantic sense. Did he read a manual stating that if he had the right Prada top and make of BMW, "hot blondes" would somehow gather en masse? So very strange.

*I know someone who was in no way a misogynistic psychopath, but who definitely spent a lot of time whining about how lonely he was, and how nice guys finish last, etc. It got kind of hard to take since he did have quite a few eligible women interested in him, but he wasn't willing to put in the minimal effort to court a girl who was clearly interested or did his best at self sabotage. (E.g. went on a promising first date with a girl he professed interest in, then never called the girl back. When, after much prodding from friends, he calls her 2 months later, he finds out she's met someone else, which leads to a self-pity session and almost no awareness of how his actions would read to the girl. At one point around this time, a male friend said in exasperation, "do you expect a girlfriend to just fall into your lap?" and his response was basically, yes.)

The female equivalent might be women who moan how there are no nice guys, and then almost exclusively pursue men in relationships. I have 0 pity for someone claiming to be looking for true love but who only hooks up with married men.

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:13 AM
264

It also reads like something that might get rejected from the Onion for not being subtle enough satire. I suppose people can be seriously disturbed, but I have a hard time believing someone capable of constructing this narrative would not be self aware enough to realize how ridiculous the whole thing was:

I saw a pretty blonde. She didn't look at me, even though I was wearing my nicest sweater. That bitch! Women deserve to die. I cried in my BMW for three hours.

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:17 AM
265

I suppose unfogged is pretty top heavy with introverts who didn't have the canonical as-seen-in-movies college experience. And I imagine that looking back from the perspective of having gotten past it and being happily partnered up (or happily single), it's possible to imagine that one's life could have taken a wrong turn and one could have submerged into the funk of one's 19 or 20 year old self permanently.

I'm not talking about becoming super pathological like Rodger, just being needlessly unhappy. I guess that's the spirit behind Halford's comment in 245, although it was expressed in bit of a "get a date with your own bootstraps" sort of way.

The trouble is I think most of us (certainly me) who can remember being kind of frustrated socially/sexually when we were younger can't really point to what changed or why, so it's hard to offer any useful advice on the subject.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:22 AM
266

The world doesn't owe anyone a blowjob or companionship, and if you feel you can't get it, that's your problem (by the way, one that's solveable with actually not that much effort) not the world's.

As a factual matter, all this is true. But this society does feature an unprecedented number of isolates. There's something about U.S. social organization, extreme capitalism/individualism, whatever, that makes finding companionship (of all sorts, not just romantic) unusually difficult. Stable companionship, a place, a role, respect, family, etc. are all social basics and something in our social arrangements makes them unusually difficult.

Of course, that 'something' is linked in various ways to extreme consumerism and narcissism, which this kid internalized at a very deep level. He's not at all a typical embittered 'nice guy', there's something about the international playboy/SoCal/Hollywood life he grew up around that made a strong contribution to his craziness. (Which I guess is what Sifu is saying). Interesting to contrast the obsessions in his manifesto with some of his father's photography .

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:41 AM
267

Haven't read the manifesto; not going to. Was he an arse fetishist?

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:46 AM
268

Buttercup, your pseud is new but you're not, right? Did your previous name also begin with a "B"?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:48 AM
269

ha, yeah I didn't mean it as a comment on the specific nature of his sexual fetishes. Just that he grew up with a father who was an international playboy.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:50 AM
270

Right, and there's a particular kind of loneliness that comes from being a virgin in a college environment where it seems like people are having sex all around you

There are advantages to attending the U of Chicago.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:51 AM
271

I have heard more confessions of being a 20-something virgin than I care to recall. Seven, I think, Although one or two of them may have been "never had a girlfriend" rather than "virgin" specifically. And I am only counting IRL acquaintances. It really seems not that uncommon but they're all convinced that they're the only one and expect an outpouring of pity. (And possibly pity sex? Anyway, they hate when your reaction is "Jesus fucking Christ not this again.")

Halford's parenthetical might be excessively harsh but the "ideology of mopey lonely straight dudes" is a real thing with which I have a regrettable lot of experience. It shades into misogyny and it interacts with misogynistic online communities in a horrifying way. My roommate got sucked into that community; a while back he came out with the "12% of unsuspecting men are raising children that are not theirs" talking point. That's when I started looking at some of the "men's rights" sites I linked up thread. And having done so I am totally unsurprised by this dude's manifesto, because aside from the bitterness against "obnoxious brutes" it is boilerplate men's rights crap.

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:55 AM
272

There's also something I've been groping toward but can't quite get coherent that's wrong about "I was a lonely twenty-something; there but for the grace of god and circumstance go I." This guy was a twenty-two year old virgin because he was a serious scary mess of a dangerous weirdo, and that sort of weirdness is visible and people stay away from you. Being lonely didn't make him a scary person, he was lonely because he was a scary person.

That doesn't mean that everyone who's a mopey lonely straight dude (or, you know, a mopey lonely straight woman, which I was in college and the Peace Corps) is anywhere on a continuum of scary with this guy; there are lots of reasons to be lonely, and plenty of them don't say anything meaningfully bad about you.

Where I get into patriarchy-blaming, in an incoherent way that I haven't got coherent yet, is the way it encourages people to see the significant thing about this guy as the loneliness, so that other lonely mopey guys should empathize with him. That's not the significant thing about him, and there's something broken about the worldview that makes people react that way.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:19 AM
273

I absolutely know where L. is coming from with 271. Part of my reaction comes from my own (female, het) experience of being a very late bloomer as far as romantic relationships. It was at times painful and stressful and exhausting and took hundreds of hours of conversation with friends and a therapist and my sisters, but I got through it.

It's indisputably hard to get perspective on something when you're in the midst of it. It's hard to trust that "it gets better" when you're not sure it will. It's frustrating/infuriating when people try to TELL you it will get better and you don't yet feel that it will.

And yet my experience is that our society does something to foster the idea in (some) men that they DESERVE this consumer product. Without actually doing anything to understand or respond to a specific woman.

It goes hand-in-hand with the societal dismissing of emotional intelligence and the development of interpersonal skills that are such a stereotype of teenage girlhood. All that "overanalyzing" really DOES make it easier to think about the world from another perspective. But it's ridiculed as chattering and weak and gossipy, not as a fundamental building block to better human relationships.

Shorter me: Women get automatically socialized to have double-consciousness; men do not unless they specifically seek it out.

Which is why there are still so many men who do not grasp that women are independent human beings with their own desires and agendas.

(sort of anonymous because I don't feel super-private about this, as in I would happily tell you all in person, but I don't really want my pseud linked to anything in this thread)

Posted by: Not this time | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:21 AM
274

And to point fingers at who in the thread I'm blaming as representatives of the patriarchy, things like gswift in comment 1 and Halford's parenthetical in 245 are kind of the problem, tending to lump all lonely men in with the scary creeps. Which just encourages that kind of guy to identify with scary creeps, and feeds misogyny.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:25 AM
275

The problem is if loneliness is lumped in with things others might have intervened on, to prevent the killings. Other people (politicians) should have passed gun control legislation, people can second-guess the kind of therapy available (in other cases more so than this one), other people are blame-worthy for perpetuating misogyny, etc. And loneliness, as a contributing factor, should be distinguished from the other factors. No single person is accountable for failing to deliver intimacy to him.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:27 AM
276

I have a friend a couple of years older than me who is funny and charming and super nice and perfectly conventionally attractive and far as I can tell just could never seem to figure out how to get a date. He seems to have pretty much given up as of a decade or so ago. So, yeah, in no way a scary creep, and couldn't have less to do with Rodger. Just semi-mysteriously not part of the world in that way. (Only semi-mysteriously because I think fundamentally he spent a lot of time pretty depressed.)

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:35 AM
277

Link in 266 is NSFW, although it's probably too late to mention it now. Also, it's funny to think how much overreading could be done if personal ads consisted of nothing but photos like that. This background really says "looking for a partner in crime" to me. See how her ass curves here, not there? Probably high-maintenance.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:38 AM
278

273: Yeah, I had a college romantic life fairly similar to your canonical mopey lonely guy (not zero dating or sex, but only a very few, very short relationships that never really properly got off the ground; I was single and not happy about it for 95% of college). But in the absence of an ideology telling me that I was owed a boyfriend for being a decent person, it didn't seem to turn into the same sort of bitterness.

(There are somewhat different issues for women, that I've bitched about before -- roughly, that lonely women don't exist, because any woman not objectively physically repugnant should be able to be happily coupled up at will. But it plays out out differently.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:38 AM
279

I think the underlying issue may be that entitlement and misogyny are just background in a patriarchal society, so the thing that makes this guy stand out is his loneliness. His misogyny was extreme even for our patriarchy, but it's easy to overlook that as a matter of degree, not kind. Ditto his entitlement. The loneliness separates him from the rest of the crowd somewhat (though in reality I think not as much as he thought - being lonely at least part of the time is dirt common).

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:38 AM
280

I appreciate 273 as providing a perspective in this thread I'd been missing. I think the memories of those of us who've gotten past it and the present experience of those who haven't are distinguishable from misogyny by not having a sense of entitlement, even when we resent that we might get further if we had. So we're more like your idea of women; many men always are, just as there are always unreflective insensitive entitled women.

I was struck by L's observation of how these guys feel they're the only one. Contradicted by the websites, but I'll buy isolated and rare. I think Bob's been making a point about isolation in his own way.

In my case I was bolstered by the enormous degree that the loneliness was reflected in great literature and music. I did not feel alone because I was open to the expression of similar feelings going back to antiquity, and perhaps peaking in the early 19th century. So I was baffled, but not alone.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:39 AM
281

The parenthetical in 245 is harsh and dickish but more importantly, it's about the wrong thing in this case. The problem he really needed to solve was not being a guy who hates women, chases people around to throw coffee at them, tries to throw women off a porch, and fantasizes about and then goes on a killing spree. I'd say that's what set him apart.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:41 AM
282

Nope. Those seven I mentioned are IRL acquaintances of mine. A bunch of them know each other.

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:43 AM
283

are distinguishable from misogyny by not having a sense of entitlement, even when we resent that we might get further if we had.

This is straight-up Nice-Guyism (in the pejorative sense); the belief that lack of romantic success can be attributed to insufficient misogyny. There are plenty of romantically successful misogynists, but the thought process of someone lonely who's thinking that they'd be better off if they could manage to be more of an entitled jerk is a pernicious one.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:49 AM
284

From his writings what comes across much more strongly than a sense of loneliness is the sense that emotionally he's about 2 years old. Basically a megalomaniac who is continually frustrated by the fact that his godlike sense of self isn't accompanied by godlike powers to make the world conform to his wishes.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:49 AM
285

LB got at this upthread, but the concept "mentally ill" is so broad that it absolutely encompasses this guy. There's no way there's nothing on Axis II (personality disorders) he couldn't be tagged with, even if he hadn't been diagnosed with Asperger's (which, some people will argue, isn't illness but difference). The way I would use the category of mental illness in cases like this is to say someone is ill when their strategies are miserable failures even within their smallest niche; they aren't able to thrive in the world as it exists, as ydnew put it. If, on the other hand, they just belong to a group in which it's normative to use violence for particular ends, then behaving according to their group norms doesn't make them ill. This doesn't wind up breaking down by dominant/subordinate culture. The KKK are not "ill"; they're political terrorists. If you're in the military and you torture people because that becomes normative, neither is that illness.

There's a broader way to think about "illness", which is that every attempt to hurt another person is a manifestation of illness of a sort. I feel that way, and consistent with things I've said before, do feel bad for him, not because he didn't get laid, but because violent psycho who kills people in a narcissistic rage isn't a great lot to have drawn. That's not what people mean when they say "mental illness" though.

273: I have a longstanding theory, perhaps already written about somewhere in ITA, that for matched initial levels of social awkwardness/alienation, women are more likely to dig themselves out of it than men, because on average they were better trained in understanding other people's states of minds, and in understanding that the world is something they have to match themselves to, rather than waiting for their environment to conform to them.

Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:51 AM
286

Also, it's funny to think how much overreading could be done if personal ads consisted of nothing but photos like that. This background really says "looking for a partner in crime" to me. See how her ass curves here, not there? Probably high-maintenance.

I would really like to know more about what these three sentences mean, especially the second, young ogged.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:52 AM
287

Maybe this is obvious to others, but what I find most striking about those MRA/ PUA writings is how they're, in a sense, only incidentally misogynist. Women are objectified, but only in passing: they're what the alpha men possess, and it's the alpha men who are the real targets of the rage. Of course, that's patriarchy, too, but slightly different, it seems to me, than the way we normally talk about MRA/ PUA.

Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:58 AM
288

Not exactly on topic, but I dated a ton of lonely virgins or near-virgins, because I really like guys that prioritize making a joke before anything else, and those guys often alienate women that they're interested in. Jammies included, but for more pathologically-shy-about-hitting-on-women reasons. There should be more women like ME.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:59 AM
289

I don't really understand the first sentence of 288 either. You like guys that prioritize making a joke ... and these woman-alienating guys did so?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:00 AM
290

Yes? They shot themselves in the foot, romantically, with other love interests, by making non-stop jokes, and I found the joke-making entertaining and attractive.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:01 AM
291

In conclusion, I would appreciate it if the other front-page posters catered more to my limited abilities.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:01 AM
292

Ah ok. Thanks! Way to cater!

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:02 AM
293

I think Bob's been making a point about isolation in his own way.

Mouseover text?

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:02 AM
294

289: Women aren't monolithic. Heebie's individual taste for a particular type of funny guys got her involved with a string of guys who were generally unsuccessful with women other than heebie.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:03 AM
295

See, I assumed that the alienation was taking place otherwise than through joke-cracking. That was my confusion.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:04 AM
296

This is straight-up Nice-Guyism (in the pejorative sense); the belief that lack of romantic success can be attributed to insufficient misogyny

A passing thought, a night thought, rejected in the morning. Part of an interior dialogue, like the little devil on the shoulder in the cartoons. The point isn't not to have thoughts--I doubt you're policing that--but how you resolve the suggestion. Most of us reject that notion and come back for more, sometimes for years.

I never wanted the kinds of girls that kind of behavior attracted; sometimes the suggestion is made i.e. about prostitutes that any old girl would do. Nothing farther from the truth.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:05 AM
297

Women aren't monolithic.

I think the opening sequence of "History of the World, Part 1" illustrates that.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:15 AM
298

Incidentally, I think there are two different flavors of male entitlement. On one hand, there's the clueless kind, where a guy lacks the skills, experience and imagination (a la 273) to figure out what he's doing wrong, and concludes the world is depriving him of something he deserves.

On the other hand, there's the authoritarian kind of entitlement, where a guy can be very high-functioning (e.g., has plenty of interpersonal intelligence, when it comes to interacting with people he thinks are worthy of the attention), but also believes he shouldn't have to use those skills when dealing with less-worthy people -- that rougher treatment should be good enough for them.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:18 AM
299

but for more pathologically-shy-about-hitting-on-women reasons. There should be more women like ME

So true though. Women like you are out there, the whole problem is finding and engaging them. You don't need to be somebody else, the confident aggressive guy, you need to be the comfortable version of yourself.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:20 AM
300

287: hm, I feel like MRA types are really defined by specific hatred towards women as a class. PUA types may be driven more by an aspirational sense of what some men (the ones getting laid all the time) are like, but the objectification (gamification, more specifically) of women seems quite central to the program. In the latter case I guess I understand a little bit what you mean; in the former case not really.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:21 AM
301

I think Bob's been making a point about isolation in his own way.

If bob ends up going on a murderous rampage (an eventuality I don't exactly expect, but can't completely rule out, either), this site is going to get a lot of unwelcome attention, including some not wholly undeserved criticism for not bringing the threat to the attention of the authorities.

Posted by: not owning this one | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:22 AM
302

I'm sure most people will just blame "Texas" in general.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:27 AM
303

Neb will put up a welcome post.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:28 AM
304

284: Right on. The "Terrible Twos" fit nicely.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:35 AM
305

301 is silly.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:41 AM
306

Those seven I mentioned are IRL acquaintances of mine. A bunch of them know each other.

That, I couldn't stand. I wouldn't want to be around guys like that, and was aware that I shouldn't go on about it when I was in company, even though often preoccupied. I had many great conversations in those years, with men and women, about other subjects. I'll bet the people I'm trying to speak up for have too. Being around guys who have that in common? Now that's pernicious...

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:50 AM
307

305: Right. Universal responsibility for everything. Akin to the "We are all guilty" from some newsperson during the JFK funeral coverage, it's gotten ubiquitous (and thus meaningless) since then.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:54 AM
308

300: You're totally right; I shouldn't have conflated MRA with PUA. But with respect to PUA, I was really surprised: I expected a lot of "stuck-up bitches won't put out," but I found mostly "goddamn bitches who make the alphas alpha." Which is to say, I expected to see hostility to women, camaraderie with men; but found contempt for women, hostility toward other men.

Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:59 AM
309

306: I don't get it. Why? If being lonely doesn't make you a monster, which, you know, it doesn't, what's the problem there? Obviously, your life shouldn't be organized around it, and if you're isolating yourself in a community of other lonely guys, that's counterproductive, to say the least. But you sound as if being lonely is something to be ashamed of, that is in itself a reason to avoid someone.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:59 AM
310

Let's just all be careful not to say anything that could suggest reading Robert Bly.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:18 AM
311

307: What? No sympathy for the devil?

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:26 AM
312

309:

OK, I'll take that back. I'm remembering how I knew guys who did organize their lives around it, and I went off away because I didn't want to be in an echo chamber. And my thought processes were different, it seemed to me, and hearing other people's on this subject was not helpful.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:27 AM
313

311: The Devil is gonna need sympathy now that we have Twitter, Twitter Activists, and all evil is about to be conquered while sitting on the couch.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:37 AM
314

I am very social and never lacked for friends. But for ten years I couldn't make romance work. I remember a strong feeling that that kind of loneliness and lack of touch was making me sick and bitter. I knew it wasn't right for me and was all kinds of dangerous to my well being. I could compensate, somewhat, but also understand that someone who couldn't and was aware of the problem would be deeply consistently bothered by it.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:41 AM
315

There are some things in this guy which if I heard them out of context or in a very different context would make me feel sympathetic. However, given that the first I heard of him was 'murdered a bunch of people and wrote a rabidly misogynistic manifesto, it never occurred to me to feel any sympathy.

However, I'd like to push back at LB's saying that in some ways he was her. I had a pretty similar run through college - a few one night stands, a fairly serious summer relationship, and then a very serious one senior year. There were also a bunch of women who either definitely, probably, or maybe were interested but I did nothing. I had my occasions of standing lonely at a party, but plenty more where I happily socialized. I wasn't mister social or popular, but I had a fair number of friends. That's all very different from what's being described as this guy's life.

I was angry at myself at times for being pathologically afraid to make a move, whether due to being terrified of serious romantic relationships (in the cases where the woman was obviously interested and a friend) and of being seen as a horrible person if i guessed wrong (in the probably or maybe interested cases, be it with a friend or some woman I'd spent the evening chatting with at a party).

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:42 AM
316

The nonimmediate family member that I mentioned back in 37 is only very superficially like the somewhat depressed kinda awkward introverts people here seem to be pretty familiar with. For one thing, most lonely people blame themselves at least in part for their loneliness.

I'm actually a bit freaked out by some of the parallels between my relative and the killer: my relative is also a mixed-race racist obsessed with his supposedly aristocratic white heritage. And blond women. Oh, and parents who have known something is kinda wrong with him since he was little and really want to help him and give him lots of material things that ultimately do nothing for his problems.

Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:01 AM
317

I didn't say I was anything like this guy, I said I was kind of like the canonical mopey lonely guy. That was part of the point I was trying incoherently to make -- that this guy is not an exaggerated version of the canonical mopey lonely guy, he's something very different, and the cultural narrative that lumps mopey lonely guys in with creepy weirdos is a real problem in a bunch of directions: first, it's straightforwardly unfairly hard on the m.l.gs, and second, I think it pushes them in a misogynist direction.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:02 AM
318

That is, I pretty much agree exactly with what you said in 315. The only thing I'm disagreeing about is what you thought I meant earlier.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:04 AM
319

". . . . this guy is not an exaggerated version of the canonical mopey lonely guy, he's something very different . . . ."

To where one of his docs tried to get him on an antipsychotic, which he wouldn't take. I don't see any lessons in dating to take away.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:34 AM
320

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:35 AM
321

The point of divergence is explicit misogyny, as an appealing idea. I found it easy to resist, but I had gads of resources, social and cultural.

I'm reminded of the discussion we once had of Lasch's Haven In A Heartless World, of the studies Willard Waller, a pioneer American sociologist made between the wars. He codified the "game" between college students in the thirties, the "line," everything such as to make your hair stand on end.

I actually think things are better in the last couple of generations, not worse. Many more situations exist since the sixties where the pathologically-shy-about-hitting-on-women guys can be catsuited past it.

I lot of people were playing Waller's game in the early seventies, a lot still are.

Maybe there is a moment when nice-guyism is possible, so is turning away from it. What determines the course, in the individual heart? would the advice of friends, of mentors help? Is it an individual thing, pre-ordained, fated?

Some of the identification that seems to be threatening comes from our believing that it could have been us, that our development hung in the balance.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:59 AM
322

A complementary mission to discouraging entitlement is fighting the idea that women = currency and men who can't get laid are worthless losers. It's unhealthy for a society to have only one totem pole.

Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:01 PM
323

the cultural narrative that lumps mopey lonely guys in with creepy weirdos is a real problem in a bunch of directions

Sure is. It's the nature of some rightbloggers' attempts to blame Rodger's killing spree on liberals (per the question posed on 29). I see that John Hinderaker has a column explaining that gay-ish emo guys with slight builds like Rodger are exactly what liberals are like, and his actions are exactly what liberals do: they're pathetic emasculated blah blah filled with anger, blah blah, steeped in a narrative of victimhood, blah.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:01 PM
324

LB's definitely right that Rodger wasn't really on the same continuum with the rest of us mopey lonely guys. Both the reasons for his loneliness and his reaction to it were totally different and extremely unsympathetic. The only similarity is the situation he was in, but that really is a familiar situation for us, and recognizing that was what inspired the initial reaction of sympathy (among other reactions), which swiftly dissipated upon learning more about the guy.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:46 PM
325

324: That's what I was going. The sense of relief I felt was from the breaking of that sense continuum.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:49 PM
326

Surprisingly on topic, I'm watching the Star Trek episode Charlie X. Kirk's first attempt to deal with the psychopathic nice guy problem, teaching him the manly art of bare-chested judo, did not go well.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:13 PM
327

Rodger clearly doesn't deserve sympathy, but I find it weird that people have to defend feeling sympathy for some part of his life story. If it turned out that he was beaten relentlessly by his parents, say, I would feel a bit of sympathy for him.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:15 PM
328

I think the problem is not having to defend the feeling but feeling the need to express it post-event.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:19 PM
329

"The females of the human species have never wanted to mate with me, so how could I possibly consider myself part of humanity?"

Minor side point, but as a evo-eco TA this gets a check mark: Mating preferences can cause speciation.

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above,
You do not weep alone.
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights, or one,
And some for all their years.
-- Seth

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:21 PM
330

I definitely need to explain a little more what I meant by 245, which was not really well explained and a late night comment lumping a bunch of different thoughts together into a definitely unnecessarily insulting format. I certainly didn't mean that romance is easy, or that you should blame or make fun of people who "can't get laid," or that any man who has trouble meeting women is on some spectrum that's close to the Isla Vista killer.

Here's what I meant by "mopey straight white guy ideology" and it's problems. There's a kind of particular attitude endemic to otherwise reasonably attractive, reasonably successful younger straight white guys who have problems attracting women (and, to be clear, this is pretty much true at one time or another of tons of straight white guys, almost all of whom at some time have or have had problems attracting women, including me). The attitude is something like "I should be able to attract women (because I'm young, reasonably attractive, reasonably successful), but can't. This represents some deep flaw with the world and/or some deep insoluble personal flaw. However, I will put little to no effort into figuring out what might actually help women be more attracted to me, or how I might figure out how to find and date women who likely would be more attracted to me. Instead, I will resent more sexually successful men, while ignoring and rejecting women who I feel are beneath my standards. Why isn't the world giving me what I deserve?"

This attitude has a ton of problems, both for the men involved and for society as a whole (really, it's just a subspecies of "the patriarchy hurts men too," but let's not get too distracted by that). From the selfish perspective of the men involved, it prevents them from taking small, reasonable steps to analyze their situation more realistically and reasonably, and to treat their problem as one that can be worked on, either with some effort or attitude adjustment, rather than an ongoing source of Weltschmerz. For example, learning basics of flirting. Or, getting out and into situations where women might be available. Or, attempting (and maybe failing, but attempting) to initiate romantic contact. Or, adjusting ones' gaze towards seeking out women who might be equally lonely and/or in need of companionship, even if these women are not the ideal type of attractiveness /personality/whatever that one fantasizes about, or that one thinks would be appropriate for one's place in the social hierarchy.

And, or course, moving away from the social perspective of the men involved, this attitude has a huge set of social problems for everyone, as well. Rage at more sexually successful men is basically rage at feeling competitively outshone, and it treats women as a form of social currency. It's not surprising that the particular rage at more sexually successful men is generally found in men who are quite successful, even competitive, in other areas, while being less successful in this one. That kind of attitude really does treat women as valuable currency, not as human beings, and is a big issue, as dz and Madame Merle say above. It's also needlessly harmful to women who aren't conventionally attractive but who still could use companionship. It also, I think, overvalues sexual conquest at the expense of loving relationships. Finally, there's a very easy path from this kind of attitude into being directly misogynistic, or worse, which I do think is a kind of (tenuous, but real) path to at least part of what was going on with Isla Vista asshole. Not that everyone with mopey dude syndrome is misogynistic, nor that everyone who is misogynistic is a psychotic killer. Far from it. Just that there's a very easy path from mds to serious misogyny.

Finally, I think that the attitude I'm describing is one that one doesn't find with people who are genuinely screwed over in the dating market -- say, severely overweight older women, older people generally, people with severe disabilities, etc. In general, one doesn't find it among women (although I think I can be persuaded otherwise in a few cases). Their attitude tends to be much more of "This sucks, my dating life is unfair, I will need to be conscientious and make efforts and be realistic about my situation in order to find romance." That's very different than the kind of mopey straight young white guy syndrome I'm thinking of. Part of the problem I see is a direct refusal, for whatever reason, to make efforts at realistic self- and world-assessment, but instead just get angry (sometimes at the world, because the world is unfair, sometimes internally, because "I suck.").

OK, that was too long, manifesto over.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:21 PM
331

The new, improved Halford: Brevity can go fuck itself.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:24 PM
332

I like how 274 puts it. Further, I think it's important to the general point that you're not owed a girlfriend, that you're still not owed a girlfriend even though it may be really difficult to get one and some of the reasons may be totally unfair. That is, saying "oh but of course it's easy" seriously undercuts the point.

Yes there are lots of unfair reasons for men and for women that make it harder to be successful dating (weight, height, upbringing, anxiety, etc.), but just because it's unfair and sucky doesn't mean you're owed a relationship. Just because it's miserable doesn't mean you're owed a relationship. The reason you're not owed a relationship is because women are real people and have their own real important opinions which are allowed to be just as shallow or deep as anyone else's. Women aren't asexual and wanting to exchange niceness for sex, they're sexual beings who are allowed to pick who they want and who they don't. And if no women want you then that's your problem not theirs.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:29 PM
333

Huh, 330 is a lot more reasonable than what Halford seemed to be saying last night, and it's pretty much in line with what a bunch of other people have also said about that sense of entitlement being a major problem.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:31 PM
334

Weirdly 332 and 330 crossed after 12 hours of neither of us commenting.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:32 PM
335

"Part of the problem I see is a direct refusal, for whatever reason, to make efforts at realistic self- and world-assessment, but instead just get angry. . . ."

Partly the result of "Buy this car and get laid" and partly the result of the self-esteem/ everyone-gets-a-trophy movement.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:33 PM
336

330p2, especially the bit just excerpted by biohazard, is also described by the editors at Making Light as a problem for some people who can't get published. There are things one can apparently learn, even be taught, to increase the chances of selling a book, but what they want is to be loved for their unexamined unimproved selves.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:57 PM
337

There's a kind of particular attitude endemic to otherwise reasonably attractive, reasonably successful younger straight white guys who have problems attracting women (and, to be clear, this is pretty much true at one time or another of tons of straight white guys, almost all of whom at some time have or have had problems attracting women, including me).

IME the problem isn't "attracting women", it's "attracting the most attractive women". I'm willing to bet that the majority of Nice Guys have had women who were interested in them, but whom they considered beneath them. God knows I was guilty of that when I was younger.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:12 PM
338

Yep.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:14 PM
339

I was super oblivious of the interest of nonzero women when I was younger, and not even that much younger.

So, who wants to teach me the basics of flirting? Anyone?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:16 PM
340

339: Surely it's all in TFA.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:20 PM
341

339: This book has some good tips.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:22 PM
342

I'm willing to bet that the majority of Nice Guys have had women who were interested in them, but whom they considered beneath them. God knows I was guilty of that when I was younger.

That's a little unfair. It's more like they were totally oblivious to whether or not women were interested in them, except for the few women they decided to pursue.

That was my experience, in that I have no memory of any women ever being interested in me, except for those I went on dates with. There must have been somebody I "rejected" by not noticing.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:22 PM
343

Hey, on people who can't get published: I have just dropped my accommodating family off at the Phoenix airport and am going to drive a rented hybrid into the mountains for a few days to get clear on a novel. I'll be stopping in the LA area this evening (coming in on the 10, going out tomorrow on the 5). I've spent little time in the city but I understand people have opinions about it! Any strong endorsements on places to stay or eat?

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:26 PM
344

In nonzero women', is nonzero' a count or a quality descriptor? As a plain brunette, 337 makes me wince in memory.

Tia, 285: I have a similar hypothesis, and would extend it to a lot of out-groups. I have a big white male friend who worked scut jobs in kitchens and backrooms for decades and he knows *exactly* where other people are and whether they're angry or distracted or holding something on fire or need to back up, and he gets pretty eloquent when someone suggests that it's a female skill.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:26 PM
345

342: You're not disagreeing with me. Sometimes it manifests as active dismissal, other times as obliviousness; the underlying mechanism is the same. The only women who count are the ones who aren't interested.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:29 PM
346

344-2: I can sense that sort of thing. My father tried to get me to not pay attention to it, given that men aren't supposed to notice that sort of thing.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:31 PM
347

344.1: sorry.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:31 PM
348

Nonzero is a count!

Also, I disagree with 345, depending on what is meant by "count" there; there were definitely instances of women in whom I was interested expressing interest in me that I didn't respond to because I didn't think I was receiving expressions of interest (or thought they were ambiguous and that the non-interest interpretation was by far the correct one)—though maybe this is actually an instance of something else Halford's long comment mentioned, viz., unwillingness to take a damn risk.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:34 PM
349

339: Don't forget the neg.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:38 PM
350

"unwillingness to take a damn risk."

Yup. And when you're an olde pharte you're going to kick yourself hard for all those you didn't take.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:39 PM
351

I don't know. 330 still doesn't explain why I'm not living the high life on a divorce settlement after marrying and then divorcing a hot heiress who wasn't good enough for me, but was so into me we eloped and never did a prenup.

Posted by: the nicest of guys | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:42 PM
352

348: in general I'm okay with guys not being willing to take a risk; women get enough shit that erring on the side of caution seems like the right thing to me.

Well, I guess I'd amend that to "don't be unwilling to clearly state your interest, but be brief and straightforward about it, and don't be a dick about it if it's not reciprocated", but then most of the guys who find themselves in that situation are utterly incapable of handling it with any delicacy. (Present company excluded, natch.)

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:42 PM
353

345, I agree. I just disagree with the idea that the oblivious guy is fixated on the "most attractive woman", the head cheerleader or whatever. It's more like trying to identify whoever seems most appropriate for you, instead of being open to all possibilities. A symptom of trying to plan out one's life too much, and not being open enough to the unexpected.

Like a lot of pathologies this comes from the still-reinforced idea that men are the pursuers and women the pursued.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:42 PM
354

343 is a little confusing, and it's a big city, but assuming your plan is to come in tonight from Phoenix and leave tomorrow for the southern Sierras on the 5, I would, let's see . . . I dunno, it's too complicated. Do you want a motel, a nice hotel, to see something? Maybe go all the way to the beach, stay in Santa Monica, get up and go over the 405 in the morning against traffic. Since you're abandoning your family I suggest that you say fuck it, spend down their assets, and stay at the Casa Del Mar.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:42 PM
355

My father tried to get me to not pay attention to it, given that men aren't supposed to notice that sort of thing.

Nor is anyone high-status, as I keep getting reminded in academic or programmer circles. There is a Ricardian argument, but it gets taken way farther than it needs to be.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:47 PM
356

There is a Ricardian argument...

I don't remember any "I Love Lucy" episodes that on that subject.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:49 PM
357

I'd venture to guess that most of mopey young guys are not fixated on the "most attractive woman" but rather fixated on the "woman most attractive to mopey young guys."

At any rate the general point is valid, that if you expect anyone to sleep with you and you're not one of the most attractive guys around, then you need to start learning to be attracted to more people

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:51 PM
358

I followed the link in 341 and now my amazon recs are all grody.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:52 PM
359

Here's where to eat, although call ahead because American heroes. Coming in on the 10 puts you well positioned for Guisanos if you want something a little East L.A., or follow Halford's route to get to the fancy stuff.

In on the 10/out on the 5 makes me think you'd enjoy a Downtown experience. Baco Mercat is a fantastic restaurant with a great bar, although it's not far from the Varnish, which is an absurdly good craft cocktail bar hidden in a very good classic bar and restaurant called Cole's (rival with another downtown haunt for the title of inventor of the French dip). The Standard is a fun hotel. The Biltmore is a grand old dame and often has surprisingly reasonable rates. The Figueroa is classic old Spanish style and also reasonable.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:54 PM
360

359 to 343.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:54 PM
361

This book has some good tips.

A symptom of trying to plan out one's life too much, and not being open enough to the unexpected. Like a lot of pathologies this comes from the still-reinforced idea that men are the pursuers and women the pursued.

Obviously, there are HUGE problems with the PUA people, and a really really for real direct path from the PUA people towards serious misogyny, treating women like shit, treating women like a currency, etc etc., maybe all the way to Isla Vista dude. But one thing that seemed valuable and effective in the approach they were suggesting to shy/nerdy/whatever straight guys was to let go of the pursuers/pursued approach and to instead use flirting as a means of, basically, creating a space in which you signal that you are open to the unexpected, are a pleasant and interesting, if somewhat mysterious, person to hang out with, and allow women to approach and pursue instead of the reverse.

I thought this movie did a pretty good job of portraying the overall approach, without the overlay of ev-psych bullshit and negging/insulting of women et al that seems common among the PUA types.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:54 PM
362

the "woman most attractive to mopey young guys."

I remember her! She went around barefoot in the winter fog and her clothes were gauzy and falling off and she was always *so surprised* that she was cold, oh help. The only time I was nearly as attractive I was pale, wan and mute with mono. Half my problem was my personality, but mute was attractive in itself to guys who didn't know me beforehand. Lordy.

There are better things to wallow in; time to snuggle my sweetie.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:56 PM
363

343: Eat in Koreatown if it's not far from where you decide to stay.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:56 PM
364

337, 342: I feel as if I should pipe up and say that there's nothing wrong with feeling sad and lonely even if there's someone out there who wants you; just because someone's interested in you, there's no obligation to return the interest, and that works for men as well as women. Pointing out that most lonely guys have had women interested in them shouldn't be taken to imply that the mopy guys in question were doing anything wrongful by not following up on that.

The issue is turning the real problem, "I haven't found anyone who I want and who wants me back," which is a lousy position to be in but realistic, and one that's conceivably soluble, into a fantasy problem "Women have universally rejected me," which is too far from reality to be addressed in any practical way and which just invites misogyny.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:56 PM
365

K-Sky's tips are all super good.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:56 PM
366

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:57 PM
367

Thank you folks! I shall see what time I get in...

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:58 PM
368

Novel in the mountains sounds like very heaven. (Well, the idealized version in which I alternate between long meditative walks and furious word count does. Given the chance, I'm sure I could blow a year at Yaddo on Facebook and 173.)

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:02 PM
369

K-sky, remind me to ask you for recs next time I'm stuck in LA. Those sound so pleasant.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:03 PM
370

Since when are half Asian dudes white? Have we moved on from the "one drop" rule to the "whatever will get you in the best college" rule?

Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:06 PM
371

363 gets it right.

364: Pointing out that most lonely guys have had women interested in them shouldn't be taken to imply that the mopy guys in question were doing anything wrongful by not following up on that.

No, I specifically mean that those mopey fuckers were/are in fact doing something wrongful. If it just so happens that the only women you're attracted to look like Kate Hudson (for example), then you need to ask yourself some serious questions about the way you relate to women.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:10 PM
372

just because someone's interested in you, there's no obligation to return the interest, and that works for men as well as women. Pointing out that most lonely guys have had women interested in them shouldn't be taken to imply that the mopy guys in question were doing anything wrongful by not following up on that.

I don't exactly disagree, but . . . it's more complicated for men. First, there really is an issue of status/self-image mismatch. That is, that there's a certain amount of general obliviousness for men that comes from treating women as status objects and thus rejecting or ignoring anyone who falls below the self-perceived level of status one deserves. This I think isn't just some neutral quality, but something that can be changed by attitude adjustment, which is something worth thinking about.

Also, there's often just a failure to pick up on signs that could have led to a reasonably happy relationship had the guy just been a little bit more aware and attuned. No one is saying that anyone should have to date someone just because they express interest, but "I haven't found anyone I want who wants me back" is often a statement that can use a lot of reality-checking and pushback.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:12 PM
373

That is, there's often a reality check needed on both "anyone that I want" and "anyone who wants me back."

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:14 PM
374

For me I think the main issue with dating was mostly that I got a late start due to religious issues with dating in highschool. I certainly had the opportunity to date some great girls in highschool had I just taken them (and those are just the situations I'm aware of, there were probably other opportunities to). But from college on I think short+inexperienced was actually a somewhat high level of difficulty. I'm pretty confident there were a few stretches of a year or two where genuinely there was no one I could have dated easily. There's definitely a solid 2 year stretch of singleness where I wasn't applying unreasonable standards or fixations and wasn't avoiding reasonable risks. There were two (or maybe three) situations in those 2 years that might have resulted in a relationship if I'd played my hand better, but it wasn't just me being stupid.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:30 PM
375

If it just so happens that the only women you're attracted to look like Kate Hudson (for example), then you need to ask yourself some serious questions about the way you relate to women.

Eh. You can hold out for whatever you want to hold out for, as long as you're realistic about what your odds are. If you're only attracted to supermodels, that's your prerogative so long as you manage to treat people decently in a non-romantic context.

I think what we're saying comes out the same in the end, though: someone who's realistically saying "I'm lonely and unloved because I'm only interested in the conventionally most attractive 2% of the female population," might decide that they're committed to that position, and resign themselves to celibacy, or more likely would re-evaluate their priorities. The wrongfulness is in the casual dismissal of the other 98% of the women in the world as nonhuman without noticing that they're doing it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:35 PM
376

369: you betcha, thanks.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:36 PM
377

If you're only attracted to supermodels, that's your prerogative so long as you manage to treat people decently in a non-romantic context.

I would say that being attracted only to supermodels means in practice that there's no way in hell you're managing to treat people decently in a non-romantic context.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:38 PM
378

374 sounds familiar.

Most of us probably started out with the "male pursues female, gradual steps toward intimacy over several days" default, and realized at different times that this was not reality outside of insular religious groups. I didn't date in high school either. So in college it took more than one instance of "Oh no, what's happening? We might be progressing from first kiss to clothes removal on the same day. This isn't in the script" to figure out how to relate to girls on a human level.

Affected by being an introvert, as "trial and error" can involve one trial every two months instead of twice a weekend.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:39 PM
379

The #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter makes a good companion to this thread. Twitter is good for microtestimony, in this case to the mental and physical tax of being a woman. (In response, as if you didn't know, to #NotAllMen.)

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:45 PM
380

I'm not sure somebody who is with a different naked woman every two months is really very introverted.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:48 PM
381

If it just so happens that the only women you're attracted to look like Kate Hudson

The metrics being used in this thread are so self-flattering. I have tried to expand them above, but everybody still seems to be concentrating on physical appearance.

I remember Ezra Klein saying he could never have a relationship with someone with whom he couldn't discuss the unemployment report, i.e., someone intelligent, educated, and interested in current events.

Does this say anything about then you need to ask yourself some serious questions about the way you relate to women. /relate to people?

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 3:57 PM
382

Supermodel? I don't need no supermodel, I respect women for what they and don't objectify, prejudge or impose impossible standards. Appearance is so shallow.

Nora Joyce? Jesus, coming home from the lab or classroom to a person who only reads National Inquirer?
No fucking way.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:02 PM
383

Oh man, negging. I dated a guy who used to do that to me, and my only question* is whether he, as a natural manipulator, did do instinctively, or if he had found any of the PUA material.

*Another obvious question is why I put up with that behavior long enough for him to break up with me (so that he could propose to the woman that, unbeknownst to me, he was also dating), but I think I know the answer to that. And to put that in context--this was while I was in grad school. I was already reading Unfogged at this point.

Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:03 PM
384

It's spelled "Enquirer". And it's still not as good as the Weekly World News. "Bat Boy" is hard to top.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:05 PM
385

So many of my regrets boil down to wishing I was a bigger asshole in graduate school.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:07 PM
386

384: The best headline ever was "Russian Nuclear Sub Finds Killer Alien Mermaids At South Pole". Complete with a graphic of a mermaid with fangs and antennae sitting on an iceberg, next to a Russian guy in a fur hat looking shocked by a sub's conning tower. I loved the WWN truly back in the 80s.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:09 PM
387

Nah, he wasn't in grad school--he worked "for the State Department." That should have been my first clue.

Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:10 PM
388

That is, there's often a reality check needed on both "anyone that I want" and "anyone who wants me back."

I agree with this, but I think it's easier said than done. Given that you're not going to get your ideal woman/man, what are the key things you need in the other person to make the relationship work? The only way I've ever learned anything about this aspect of myself is through trial and error... introspection got me nowhere with this.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:13 PM
389

386: I used to get a copy before finals.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:19 PM
390

387: If I would have been a bigger asshole in graduate school, I might have gotten on at the State Department.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:20 PM
391

And Ed Anger was the best columnist ever. I wonder if he's still out there, writing for the Tea Party.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:20 PM
392

Catching up on this thread today.

I didn't identify with the Isla Vista shooter but reading this thread I do identify with the mopey strait guy conversation. I haven't thought about it for a while, but I have spent plenty of time in that mood, and reading the thread, I realize that even though I know that the aspects of my personality that would tend towards MSG-ness are not good parts of my personality, they're still there.

I would offer a slightly different description, in addition to what Halford said:

There's a kind of particular attitude endemic to otherwise reasonably attractive, reasonably successful younger straight white guys who have problems attracting women . . . The attitude is something like "I should be able to attract women (because I'm young, reasonably attractive, reasonably successful), but can't. This represents some deep flaw with the world and/or some deep insoluble personal flaw. However, I will put little to no effort into figuring out what might actually help women be more attracted to me, or how I might figure out how to find and date women who likely would be more attracted to me. Instead, I will resent more sexually successful men, while ignoring and rejecting women who I feel are beneath my standards. Why isn't the world giving me what I deserve?"

For myself, I don't think I spent a lot of time resenting more sexually successful men, but I did feel both like being lonely created a negative feedback situation which made me less likely to be social or friendly and also like the way dating and sex play out in society left feeling excluded. If I had to unpack the reasons I would say this:

1) The think that I felt most resentful of was that, when you're an adult, there are more social spaces which are set up to facilitate dating or singles scenes than being able to just hang out with friends.

1a) [Add in the occasional resentment of the fact that whenever friends enter into a new relationship it often means that you don't see them for a couple months, adding to the feeling that there's a tension in the world between friendship and dating relationships].

2) My unrealistic/idealized vision was that the world owned me a romantic relationship, but that my preference would be to cultivate friendships and then see if it's possible to evolve romantic relationships within a circle of friends.

2a) [Note, that I've never had a large circle of friends, and more male than female friends.]

3) Thinking about it now, I realize that that vision comes from the fear of risk and the general sense of -- before I take emotional risks I want to believe that I'm interacting with people that I trust, and that means friends. But I wasn't that clear about it at the time.

That's a tough bind to be stuck in -- and does feel a lot like just waiting for circumstance or fortune to suddenly present a gift-wrapped opportunity. I knew better than to think, "the world owes me," but I did have a strong feeling of, "I wish the world was organized differently than it is." Even though I didn't expect that wish to be met, it still had enough force to make it hard to shake.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:20 PM
393

391: Editorial viewpoints repeat themselves, first as farce then as tragedy.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:29 PM
394

The question to ask is "What are my deal-breakers?" You have them, everybody does, and if you want to judge other people's dealbreakers as emotionally or morally inferior to your own, at least own what you are doing.

And then realize that your own dealbreakers are the ways you objectify, commodify, and categorize people as inferior. These really aren't universal objectively superior values, but conventions.

And what are the valuable commodifiable marketable personal qualities among this pink to white collar managerial class represented here?

Emotional intelligence, social and verbal skills, sensitivity to other's feelings, ability to persuade, mollify, comfort...manage and manipulate people without getting called on it. Those will get you well-paid and promoted in the office or academia.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:31 PM
395

385 to 394.last.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:34 PM
396

Maybe Bob could teach Neb flirting skills.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:36 PM
397

Bob has clearly learned how to not fear negative reactions or being teased.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:38 PM
398

I am very far from a virgin, but there just came a point where I shocked myself with a physical reaction and repulsion to the world of social reproduction and the commodities described in 394.4.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:38 PM
399

396,397: I am still not quite sure what happened. I was as good during the 70s as a reasonably intelligent Borderline personality disorder could be. I could fake it, and got laid a lot.

But at one point a young woman in frustration started kicking me, and the crowd said:"Aww, X has a crush." I just stared and smiled. Then an older lady slapped the girl and told her:"Understand now, Bob's just a tease."

Years passed. At lunch one day another woman made a pass, and I realized I had been flirting without knowing, and was a monster for being repulsed and revolted by her response. Nothing at all wrong with her, and she survived just fine.

But I got real quiet for a long time.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:47 PM
400

I am very far from a virgin, but there just came a point where I shocked myself with a physical reaction and repulsion to the world of social reproduction and the commodities described in 394.4.

Bob is Hugo Schwytzer?

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:47 PM
401

best of #YesAllWomen

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:49 PM
402

401: I could have done without the last tweet.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:55 PM
403

402: Yep. Nothing wrong with Gaiman, but Time using it as the capstone: "Look, a man certifies this stuff as genuine!" is a little depressing.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 4:59 PM
404

The best headline ever was "Russian Nuclear Sub Finds Killer Alien Mermaids At South Pole".

"Vampires with AIDS Kill in One Bite".

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:02 PM
405

"Go with the Gaiman and wrap this up for the dummies out there."

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:03 PM
406

The vampire/AIDS connection was apparently something of an evergreen theme for them, I guess.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:04 PM
407

402-3: mos def.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:19 PM
408

It was that mensch, David Lee Roth, back in the days of 1984, who told a reporter asking about his conquests something along the lines of, "I don't get all the women I want; I get the women who want me."

On a different note: since someone else already broke the line and turned the murder/tragedy thread to travel recs, I'd be grateful for tips on Madrid. I'm basically planning to spend most of my free time at the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza but what to eat? And where, easily and nearby? And what one thing out of their vicinity (as I won't have time for much more) should I consider? Keep in mind that I'm a somewhat withdrawn, easily discouraged white guy traveling alone. Madrid don't want no trouble, steer me right.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:20 PM
409

most of my free time at the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza

But not the Reina Sofia?

I'm useless on food. Most of my meals when I was there were provided by the conference I was at. There was lots of gazpacho.

If I stretch "out of their vicinity" a bit, Toledo was an amazing side trip.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:26 PM
410

I think I just gave one of those characteristically awful Metafilter-style answers that were discussed here recently.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:27 PM
411

"I don't get all the [answers] I want; I get the [answers people want to give] me."

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:33 PM
412

409: Reina Sofia, meh. I'll go to see Guernica, a few other Picassos and Miros, and then get out. Not interested otherwise.

Toledo, sadly, is probably out of my reach. I'll be working, on my own, and not there long.

411: Do. Not. Mock. Me. But DLR, eh, have your fun,

Posted by: Hal | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:42 PM
413

Hal, once I'm finished supervising bedtimes, I'll pull out the notes I took on restaurants when Lee and I were there, which were good enough that friends of ours used them just a year ago. None of these are fancy places, just what we walked into while hanging around. The gay quarter, Chueca, might actually not be a whole lot of fun for a straight white guy, but it wasn't exclusively gay or anything and was a whole lot of fun when I was there.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:47 PM
414

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:48 PM
415

414: Nonexistent! I will be so charming. Nothing off in my self-image.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:53 PM
416

Holy crap, I was autocorrected into "Hal"? That's embarrassing,

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:00 PM
417

I thought it was a 2001 joke that went over my head.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:03 PM
418

413: Thorn, any recs would be welcome, in any district. Distance/ease of travel are a greater barrier than anything else. While I do want to see a bit of the place, I am a very lazy man. Madrid has nothing to fear.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:11 PM
419

I am very far from a virgin,

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:20 PM
420

In high school I had a serious Russian supermodel type with the major hots for me. The problem was in the early 80s the Russian supermodel type was not yet recognized in my provincial town, and tall, slim, pale, blondes with long legs, big round glasses, and thick Russian accents were just seen as severe geeks (lower than me in the geek hierarchy). She would literally grab me, blush bright red, and start to pant, with her tongue lolling out. But of course I had no idea what to do. A great regret in my life. The need to actually plant the first kiss is a huge burden for virgin boys/young men.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:24 PM
421

I was only in Madrid for 4 days, the last couple of which I had a cold, but I liked just walking around the central city. There's a great park that, in the spirit of this thread, may make you feel lonely if you stroll through during a time when it's all couples and families.

The Atocha train station has a rainforest, but you'll probably see that anyway if you pass through the station.

I was really impressed with the Palace, which I more ducked into to get out of the rain than because I'm into palaces. I think there was a pharmacy and an armory, if you're into that.

If you want to see more Goya, there's a church with some more of his paintings somewhere further from the main attractions, but I'm blanking on the name. I went there after the Prado solely because I liked his stuff in the Prado so much.

There's also an anthropological museum and a museum of the Americas. I'd probably be more interested in them now than I was then, so I don't have much to say about them. I did visit the museum of the Americas.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:25 PM
422

The point of 420 being, I never took advantage of the opportunity, and would have thought of myself at the time and some time after as romantically hopeless. There were a couple of other opportunities in college I can think of like this -- by that time though I was pursuing a few women but they were the wrong ones, I would just totally overlook attractive women who were signalling me.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:26 PM
423

The problem was in the early 80s the Russian supermodel type was not yet recognized in my provincial town, and tall, slim, pale, blondes with long legs, big round glasses, and thick Russian accents were just seen as severe geeks (lower than me in the geek hierarchy).

That's just Sondra Locke with glasses and a funny voice. The past is a different country, but not a whole different planet.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:29 PM
424

OK, Thorn's recs will definitely be better than mine, since it's been a very long time since I was there. Caveat: I am a Philistine and found Spain to be entirely uncongenial for my set of quirks. I lost fifteen pounds in two weeks due to a combination of pickiness and an utter lack of Spanish. (I went with my family, all of whom read well and speak at least a bit. They got tired of translating on Day 2.)

Food: Breakfast is usually coffee, orange juice, and bread., no matter where you are. Lunch is often not a very big meal, either, so it's probably not worth trying to find somewhere truly interesting. Gazpacho is pretty much the same quality anywhere you go. The other common thing for lunch is bocadillos (sandwiches). The two most common were jamon (cured ham) and tortilla (egg/potato omelet). They're pretty much bread and filling, no lettuce/tomato/mayo sorts of toppings. Dinner starts around 10 pm, and paella will pretty much always be good and safe. It's hard to go wrong wine-wise, too. Tempranillo or grenache are my particular Spanish favorites. Pizza was surprisingly nice if you're not troubled by eating Italian while in Spain. You might want to try buey (oxtail), which is usually in a braise or stew.

As far as the Prado, it seemed really small and poky to me compared to the Louvre or the Uffizi. Spain's art museums seemed oddly organized. There were, however, lots of little collections elsewhere that were kind of nice (maybe because my expectations were lower).

For your trip away from the city, I loved the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture was amazingly beautiful, especially the intricate carvings. There are surrounding gardens, which aren't manicured lawns like French castles, but which are wilder and have roses everywhere and an intricate irrigation system. It was easily the best part of the whole trip, and I wish I'd had days. We went to Barcelona and Gibraltar as well, neither of which I'd recommend. We went to Basque country, which I liked, but it was mostly notable for how pretty it was and how different from the rest of the country.

Now, I'm going to wait to be corrected by someone ho,actually knows what they're talking about.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:30 PM
425

ho,actually knows

who actually knows, obviously.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:31 PM
426

I am a Philistine

I think people just say "Lebanese" these days.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:32 PM
427

423: looks wise met the same categories, but Sondra Locke is a woman and this was, like me, a highly awkward high school student. There's a reason they always get 21 year olds to play the HS school students on TV. A poorly dressed recent Russian immigrant in a small upstate NY town can come across as very geeky indeed.

Of course now that I'm an adult I realize she was a bombshell, but back then no one in the school did either.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:34 PM
428

ho,actually knows

SERIOUSLY, KATHA POLLIT, JUST PICK UP THE PHONE

Posted by: OPINIONATED MELISSA GIRA GRANT | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:35 PM
429

But if you DID realize she was a bombshell, you probably would have thought she was out of your league, and still done nothing.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:36 PM
430

427.last: Some of the teachers probably did, but laws.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:37 PM
431

424 The Alhambra is wonderful but not, unfortunately, very close to Madrid.

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:44 PM
432

The movie in 361.3 is quite charming, and I was convinced for a while that the Tao in question really was The Secret, but it turns out to actually be sort of overcomplicated and, from the perspective of the present day, that movie emphasizes Mme. Merle's point from up above: so much of the PUA thing is purely homosocial; that movie got made because the director was fascinated by his real life friend that lived that philosophy, and it fundamentally is a dude movie about dudes. Likewise, one of the central conceits of the PUA scene is that a really good way for a nerdy guy to have a more-active romantic life is to spend a lot of time talking to other nerdy guys on the internet about how to make that happen.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:51 PM
433

The Spanish high speed trains are called AVE, in contrast to the old dinosaur technology.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:52 PM
434

Yeah, I looked quickly and saw it's a four hour train ride. It certainly stretches "vicinity," but I figured I'd throw it out there in case there was a chance of doing it. I'm usually able to tack a day onto work trips as long as I pay the extra cost, the airfare isn't more, and I take vacation time. The Alhambra was the only thing I saw the entire time I was there that I absolutely loved.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:52 PM
435

434: But you didn't like Barcelona, which means that the Alhambra is probably a garbage dump.

(Actually, I regret not re-ordering my trip to get there. I had a ticket on a night train from Madrid the day I came down with the cold and ended up canceling it and staying an extra couple of days. But I really enjoyed Madrid and had time to run down to Cordoba and Seville (because AVE) so I don't regret missing out too much. Don't know if I'll ever go back to Spain, though.)

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:59 PM
436

The point of 420 being, I never took advantage of the opportunity, and would have thought of myself at the time and some time after as romantically hopeless.

Imagine how she felt about it!!

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:59 PM
437

Both Cordoba and Seville are wonderful. Did you get a chance to see the synagogue in Cordoba?

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:02 PM
438

The Alhambra is absolutely amazing, and Lee has gotten by in Madrid twice in the last five years with no street sense and less than no Spanish, once with me and once without. She's ludicrously charismatic, but I think the language skills come into play more.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:11 PM
439

She would literally grab me, blush bright red, and start to pant, with her tongue lolling out

Bullet dodged. Younger self: 1, Older self: needs a date night.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:12 PM
440

Also, I won't be able to transcribe any of my old notes until tomorrow because Lee went to bed. Luckily this is not an emergency! (And sorry I didn't scroll up to remind myself that Hal wasn't the right name. I thought someone was being needlessly presidentialish. Maybe because of karaoke beer joints or the like.)

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:13 PM
441

This may seem silly, but if you like unfogged, try going to a big bookstore in Spain. (The one I've been to is La Central in Barcelona.) Even if you don't speak Spanish, you'll be able to recognize the titles of the books, and it's interesting to look at what they have, e.g., Islamic literature, European politics and history, travel guides for the US (route 66!), unexpected amounts of Japanese literature (including historical erotica, who would have guessed). Also, you can marvel at the kind of brick-and-mortar bookstore that no longer exists in the US.

Also, as long as we're recommending you a likely infeasible side-trip to the Alhambra, try to go there at night! The darkness is magical.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:21 PM
442

(I think La Central is a chain, so there should be one in Madrid.)

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:23 PM
443

Also, as long as we're recommending you a likely infeasible side-trip to the Alhambra, try to go there at night! The darkness is magical.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:24 PM
444

435: Entirely possible! I admit that I really didn't enjoy most of the trip for very me-specific reasons. I am probably being unfair to the entire country. I feel like there's a dating analogy here that I'm missing.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:25 PM
445

437: Given that I was an obsessive sight-seer, it's hard to believe I didn't, but looking at pictures of it makes me think I never went inside. It was a short visit, so I might have just not had the time. It was also one of the few places where I met people at a hostel and hung out with them, which always meant less sightseeing.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:27 PM
446

All the Madrid talk is welcome and appreciated. I would love to read more and will but will also be traveling soonish and out of contact, but checking back as soon as I can. I would absolutely love to go to the Alhambra, but I doubt I'm getting out of Madrid proper at all.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:28 PM
447

All the Madrid talk is welcome and appreciated. I would love to read more and will but will also be traveling soonish and out of contact, but checking back as soon as I can. I would absolutely love to go to the Alhambra, but I doubt I'm getting out of Madrid proper at all.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:28 PM
448

443: The darkness isn't THAT magical.

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:31 PM
449

essear: perhaps

I agree with pretty much everything Halford's been saying in the past 100 comments or so. Also LB.

Another aspect of "women are people" that pertains and hasn't been brought up in this conversation exactly is that hot women can be weird and oblivious and socially awkward too, and this is rarely allowed for. We generally ascribe motives of bitchiness or snobbiness to conventionally attractive women where we'd ascribe social awkwardness to a man (or at least a particular sort of man) or less attractive woman, and there's little to no pushback against this in popular culture. If awkward men* saw "hot women" more as people rather than goals to be attained, they might recognize it's possible that a woman ignores them because she doesn't have great social skills, and either doesn't notice or doesn't know how to deal with being hit on, not because she's a man hating bitch. Perhaps objectifying is too strong, but it does indicate an inability or unwillingness to imagine the situation from the perspective of a woman, or to recognize that women are complex people with motives and feelings separate from the man involved. This gets back to the double consciousness point someone made above. Women, minorities, subalterns, etc. are trained to see and operate in the world the world from the perspective of white men, yet successful white men are never expected to do otherwise, so it's not surprising that many otherwise decent men have a profound inability to understand or awareness of women as complex agentive beings.

*Caveat of not all 'awkward men' of course.

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:33 PM
450

I've been grilling and entertaining most of the day. It's great so many men have testified about their own experiences here.

I would add that I always prioritized women who I could talk to about things I was really interested in. I knew none when I was a physics major, but I met quite a few when I was an English major. I befriended them, and although I was too inexperienced to start anything then, realized that they were the kind I wanted to have relationships with. Two in particular I remember from a senior class in Victorian Novel. Both were in relationships, but they reinforced the realization that the sort I was interested in really existed.

Actually Halford's 330p3 describes what I gradually began doing, with success reasonably quickly. Still awkward and lonely but less so as time went on.

Still couldn't predict what makes my trajectory, and that of a good proportion of witnesses here different from those who develop full-scale misogyny. It just seems too implausible to me, too much evidence to the contrary all around you. So many movies and books had engaged, earnest and desirable female characters: was I suppose to conclude that was all a lie, an illusion, a con? I saw obvious and sincere lovemaking all around me, all the time. Part of the loneliness, of course was being left out, but the idea that it had a corrosive impact seems wrong. On the contrary, I felt that if they could do it I could, if I could get enough gumption and found the right girl.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:36 PM
451

"Gumption" was what they called "Enzyte" back in the day.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:43 PM
452

Conspiracy theory update: a couple of witnesses in early news reports said they saw two people in Rodger's car (this is actually true). The other person must have been his handler/mind-controller, because this was another false flag operation to bolster the cause of gun control.

(Given that Sandy Hook ultimately emboldened gun nuts, the more parsimonious explanation seems to be that the NRA puts people up to mass killings so that it can sell more guns for people to "protect" themselves.)

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:48 PM
453

Another aspect of "women are people" that pertains and hasn't been brought up in this conversation exactly is that hot women can be weird and oblivious and socially awkward too, and this is rarely allowed for. We generally ascribe motives of bitchiness or snobbiness to conventionally attractive women where we'd ascribe social awkwardness to a man (or at least a particular sort of man) or less attractive woman, and there's little to no pushback against this in popular culture.

Given that it's already been much discussed in this thread how women are socialized to be more attuned to others, it's not much of a leap for someone the resentful lonely type to think women have highly advanced abilities to know what men are thinking, far beyond men's abilities to know what women are thinking. There are concepts like this in conventional wisdom too, how men think they're in charge but they are really simple creatures and women are the master manipulators, etc.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:49 PM
454

(Continuing the Spain sub-thread: I also got the distinct impression that people go to restaurants in Spain more to drink and socialize than to actually eat. If you've eaten the normal number of meals and are still hungry, buy food from the supermarket.)

Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:54 PM
455

424 As far as the Prado, it seemed really small and poky to me compared to the Louvre or the Uffizi.

This really confuses me, because at least in my head the Prado is a lot bigger than the Uffizi. I like them both much more than the Louvre, which feels to me like it has miles of filler between the interesting things.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:57 PM
456

Also, what do you have against Barcelona? I am so confused.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:59 PM
457

Compeltely OT but OMG: I am at a laundromat for a church project helping homeless people do their laundry and I 100% swear to god that [fine. redacted] is one of the homeless or homeless-looking people signed up for the free laundry. Like name confirm and everything. I feel like a dick posting this but also like I had to so please keep the google proofing intact.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:04 PM
458

457:

I've lost track of him over the last few years. What's he been doing? Anybody know whether Halford's id is possible?

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:08 PM
459

It's confirmed. There's some possibility that he's just very cheap and/or stumbled into the wrong place.

Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:10 PM
460

Are there any goats nearby?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:12 PM
461

Seconding 454. I would just buy some bread and cheese at the market.

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:12 PM
462

http://planktonlife.wordpress.com/

Here is a blog by a woman about being bitter and lonely and single. The tone is radically different from MRA type blogs though, even though it is quite bitter.

Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:12 PM
463

[NEVERMIND]

So depressing. Almost certainly not a petroleum engineering major.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:15 PM
464

Actually I do feel like too much of a dick. Could some FPP redact that?

Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:18 PM
465

Almost certainly not a petroleum engineering major.

Nope.

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:24 PM
466

Done. What's the empathetically correct substitute for calling someone a pussy?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:25 PM
467

What's the empathetically correct substitute for calling someone a pussy?

"Phallically challenged"

Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:27 PM
468

You, uh, might want to redact 463 too.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:30 PM
469

Toledo is less than hour away from Madrid by AVE and is really pretty and cool in the way that only a big medieval city that turned into a backwater at the end of the medieval period can be. They do really gouge you on fees to see stuff though, and the town is sort of unpleasantly dead overnight but you could easily do it as a weekend day trip. For Madrid, I loved the big three museums and bouncing around tapas joints and the energy of the place, but the city as a whole is sort of generic from a visual point of view. Also found an amazing dirt cheap grungy fried cod joint smack in tourist central off of the Plaza Mayor - all blue and white tiles and packed with rowdy working class looking Madrid people from their teens to their seventies standing around scarfing down by far the best fried fish I ever had with crappy but one euro a glass wine. Also recommended any place which serves good Madrid style tripe.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:31 PM
470

I think Madrid was where I was sitting in the second floor eating area of some sandwich-ish place - it seemed like a chain, but a Spanish or European one - and looking out the window I saw a guy on a payphone get increasingly agitated and then finally he started repeatedly slamming the receiver against the [whatever you call the part of the payphone that's not the receiver] and finally stormed off, leaving the phone hanging off the hook.

In Barcelona I went to get something to eat outside the restaurant hours and ended up at a KFC*. The second floor seating area was occupied by about 3 or 4 people, plus a group of string musicians dressed up to play and carrying their instruments. They started to play and one of the employees came up from downstairs to ask them to quiet down. One of the musicians then asked all of the rest of us if they were bothering us. We all said no, the employee shrugged, and they started playing again.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:42 PM
471

For once I'm glad to be stuck on the tarmac waiting for a gate or I'd have missed 457. Which is just fantastic assuming 459.2 is the right explanation.

Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:47 PM
472

Everyone is laughing or sneering at something else just now.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:47 PM
473

No, I get it. Fairly frequently in Europe I end up grabbing fast food from a chain out of some combination of: I'm not used to the local eating-late thing and/or I'm jetlagged and the non-fast-food restaurants aren't open yet; I'm by myself and feel awkward about getting a table alone in a nice place; I'm really tired and just want to eat quickly and get back to my hotel; and I don't feel up to trying to communicate in another language.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:48 PM
474

I didn't eat at KFC when I was in China but I've been told I must if I ever go back.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:50 PM
475

What's wrong with KFC? The grilled chicken is fine and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the biscuits.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:52 PM
476

You should try the fried chicken. It's much better than the grilled.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:53 PM
477

Met another man the other night. Really lovely. Seemed modest, gentle, clever, got the joke. I repeat, got the joke! That's more the sort of person, I thought. Not that I am going to do anything about it. Call me a reactionary, but that's his job. He knows where to find me.

Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:55 PM
478

They probably don't have biscuits in China.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:55 PM
479

Madrid's a great city. I don't have any specific recommendations for eating and so forth since it's been a long time since I was there, but it does have a great public transportation system, so it's really easy to get pretty much anywhere in the city if there's something specific you want to see. Most of the major attractions are right in the central area near the museums, though, so you may not need to do much traveling around. Aside from the museums themselves, the main things that come to mind to see are various public spaces: the Retiro (the park mentioned above), the Plaza Mayor, and the Puerta del Sol. Those are all very close to the museums.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:57 PM
480

KFC didn't have grilled chicken when I was in Barcelona. This was about 15 years ago.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:00 PM
481

If China's KFC has cold chicken dishes and bao, I will definitely go there. Taiwan's 7-11s had an impressive selection of soy-based drinks.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:01 PM
482

Tofu Cola?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:06 PM
483

What does "bao" by itself mean? Is it any sort of bun, or does it connote a particular kind?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:07 PM
484

It's the name of a friend of mine.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:08 PM
485

7-11s in Thailand have Big Gulps of Thai iced tea. For like .60 USD.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:09 PM
486

When I say it, I just mean any kind of bao. And I guess technically it would be baozi.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:12 PM
487

Bao literally means "package". Baozi are any kind of of the fluffy white buns, regardless of filling. [X]Bao, given X as a type of filling, denotes a particular type of baozi.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:13 PM
488

But (I just looked this up), if you have something bao-like with no filling, it's apparently not actually a kind of bao like Mantou.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:15 PM
489

I'll eat at fast food chains when traveling but it's almost always when actually traveling, i.e. not when I'm staying at a given place for several days. In Madrid I was there, hanging out in the middle of the city, food was available from non chain places at all hours - why eat at a chain. I also frequently eat whatever local fast food is - e.g. doners in Germany, panini or pizza or gelato in Italy, pierogi in Poland - in non chain fast food places. Oh, and KFC fried chicken is just nasty and try to avoid it in London, my cousin worked at one where to save money the franchise owner used old chicken, by which I mean stuff that had gone green and stinky, saying the employees could only toss it if it reeked so badly they'd get sick while cooking it.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:15 PM
490

Mantou

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:16 PM
491

You should try the fried chicken. It's much better than the grilled.

Middle age is a bitch. Going to grilled instead of fried shaves off the carbs and 300 calories from my standard two legs and two thighs box of goodness to gnaw on while I roll around looking for stolen cars.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:16 PM
492
Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:17 PM
493

That's the best thing on the internet.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:19 PM
494

487: But there are like the fluffy pork-filled or whatever buns and then there's xiaolongbao that has "bao" in the name but seems qualitatively different--does "bao" alone imply the former and exclude the latter? And then there are the bean-paste-dessert-bun things that I don't remember if they had "bao" in the name but also seem qualitatively different.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:21 PM
495

I've always considered those to just be types of bao.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:23 PM
496

I am now regretting my decision to not run over to 99 Ranch Market an hour ago.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:23 PM
497

You Spain sub threaders are so on point - when I got out of the car in downtown LA, the first thing I thought was that it felt like Barcelona. Some combination of the sea air and the general scenefulness, and that was even before I walked by Baco Mercat, which looked a little too packed for a dude on his own with an iPad; so now I'm sitting in a booth at Cole's, which feels very much my scene.

Another vote for bookstores in Spain, La Central or what have you - they're so great! Gazpacho is sold in bottles at the stores and drunk as if it were V8; it was pretty key for me our summer on Barcelona.

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:24 PM
498

You Spain sub threaders are so on point - when I got out of the car in downtown LA, the first thing I thought was that it felt like Barcelona. Some combination of the sea air and the general scenefulness, and that was even before I walked by Baco Mercat, which looked a little too packed for a dude on his own with an iPad; so now I'm sitting in a booth at Cole's, which feels very much my scene.

Another vote for bookstores in Spain, La Central or what have you - they're so great! Gazpacho is sold in bottles at the stores and drunk as if it were V8; it was pretty key for me our summer on Barcelona.

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:24 PM
499

I see. So the bun-itude takes precedence over the filling, I guess.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:24 PM
500

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:25 PM
501

499 to 495.

Looking at Wikipedia it looks like the "zi" in baozi is the same character as the "zi" in Kongzi (Confucius) or Laozi (Lao-Tse), which I thought meant "master", but surely baozi doesn't translate to "Bunmaster".

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:27 PM
502

I think my new goal in life is to learn just enough of a bunch of foreign languages to be able to come up with awful punny mistranslations.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:29 PM
503

I think you can often translate it as "one", as in "the thing/person who has this quality", so Laozi is "the old one" and baozi is "the rolled thing." I have a vague memory that the character/radical originally meant "child", so given both the simplicity of that meaning and the grapheme it's probably exceedingly old and has experienced a lot of semantic drift.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:34 PM
504

368: I am ever so aware how lucky I am to be going to the mountains, and if it sounds that great to you, I hope you get to do it one of these days. In my case all credit goes to spouse lk, whose singular and unpredictable excellence is all I can comment on as against the dating sub thread.

I'm told there's no internet in the mountains, which will help. My writer friends who have done Yaddo say it was great, but it always seemed to me that being around so much talk of writing would engender worry and status consciousness and make it really difficult to get anything done. It's possible that these are just memories of my MFA days, or that my friends are just better souls.

Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:35 PM
505

Wiktionary thinks those are different meanings, which I guess makes sense given Confucius. But I'm sticking with my folk etymology.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:37 PM
506

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:39 PM
507

501: Sorry, I got trapped by 492.

Yes, it is the same zi, but it means different things. Most commonly, it means "one", e.g., "baozi" = packaged one, "duzi"= stomachy one= belly, "weizi" = positioned one = seat. The next most common meaning is "son" e.g. haizi = child, langzi = prodigal son.

The master meaning I've never heard reference anything except Confucius or one of his disciples. I think it might be classical Chinese, which is quite different. That is, you would never use zi to refer to anyone who had mastered a skill or trade, that would be proabably be "shifu"

Mandarin suffers from a very high vocabulary to phoneme ratio, so you get crap like this quite frequently.

Oh, and xiaolongbao are not baozi, I don't think, but it's definitely the same bao with the same meaning.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:11 PM
508

504: do report back from the mountains! And try to make it into the Varnish. It's one of those bars that has all sorts of fussy rules that you are always already violating, but the drinks are for real. if not, get the banana cream pie from Cole's.

Also the Last Bookstore is pretty swell, if you're chilling downtown for a while.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:22 PM
509

Also, the Last Bookstore closed at 10.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:25 PM
510

I was happy to see that Vikram Seth poem quoted here.
I sometimes found it quite consoling during lonely years.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 10:42 PM
511

510: The poem is true tho' it doesn't make me feel any better to know other people have holes in their lives too. This whole lonely thing is awful, only not (yet?) as off-putting as the thought of learning someone new but old.

Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:53 PM
512

424. Don't eat most of that stuff. Breakfast isn't a big deal in Spain, so coffee and donuts is all most people eat. Break the monotony with churros and chocolate if you want, it's usually better. Also, bocadillos are OK for eating on the fly, but most people sit down to a plate of something for lunch because they're not going to eat dinner until 10:00. In a reasonable gaffe you're usually OK with the plato del dia, otherwise see what everybody else is eating and order that. Callos a la Madrilena (tripe) is delicious if you eat tripe and want to do a local speciality.

Under no circumstances eat paella outside Valencia, or at a pinch Catalonia, unless you have a good enough ear to tell that the staff are talking Valenciano. If I was in Madrid, I'd mainly eat tapas around Puerto del Sol, which is touristy without being totally plastic. If you want to sit down to dinner, go with fish (half the catch is flown into Madrid every day in refrigerated aircraft) or some kind of adobo. But that's just me.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 1:54 AM
513

Jesus I've been awake for hours. At least I finished the piketty chapter.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 1:57 AM
514

Days out away from Madrid: Aranjuez, Toledo, Segovia, Avila. El Escorial is for history nerds.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:00 AM
515

re: 512.last

Yes, re: paella. I've had paella in Grenada, and, without ego or hyperbole, _I_ make better. And yet, almost everything else I ate there, was absolutely great.

Just plain fried boquerones, dredged in batter, with lemon and a salad. Unbelievably good. Possibly the best fish I've ever eaten.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:22 AM
516

512 is good advice. Churros and chocolate, jamon serrano, and tapas are the things to eat in Madrid. Fish and lamb if you want something more substantial. I didn't try the tripe.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:33 AM
517

Don't listen to the eukaryote-denier. El Escorial is a nice short trip, unless you've already seen a billion medieval things already. Toledo is better, but further. Alhambra is the greatest fucking thing ever, and yet strangely obsessed with Washington Irving, but it's really far.

The food in Madrid is ass. The local fast food is bocadillos, which are cured ham sandwiches. They are ham crazy in Madrid -- there is a chain of stores that sell a zillion kinds of ham called "Museo del Jamon."

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:44 AM
518

I liked El Escorial a lot, but then we were there during the Christmas season when they had an extraordinarily elaborate Nativity scene set up that took up pretty much the whole town, so that's the main thing I remember from it. It's a lot closer to Madrid than Toledo, though.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:48 AM
519

Then don't eat the fast food. I don't like burritos, but I don't condemn American food out of hand on that basis. There's plenty of good eats in Madrid.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:51 AM
520

Alhambra is the greatest fucking thing ever, and yet strangely obsessed with Washington Irving

Well, to be fair, the feeling was mutual. Irving was an odd guy.

The food in Madrid is ass.

This, on the other hand, is madness, although it is true that they're crazy about ham. Madrid's a very large city, though (the third largest in the EU after London and Paris), so there's plenty of good food to be found regardless of what you prefer.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:52 AM
521

518. Toledo's still only half an hour on the train, be fair. Also, apparently there's now an AVE to Segovia, which is also about half an hour. Worth it just for the aquaducts.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:55 AM
522

I guess I may as well get up and start my day.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 2:59 AM
523

5 am in Texas? Urgh.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:01 AM
524

Been up since about 1:30 or 2. I'm in this awful cycle where I crash right after the kids do, at 8:30 or so, and then 1-2x a week I'm wide awake at 1 am.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:10 AM
525

The Spanish food in Madrid is terrible. It's a big city, so you can get Chinese or Mexican food, but they'll make it bland for the Spanish palate unless you beg.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:10 AM
526

Reading and making notes, thanks. I did not have any thought of paella or the like, so no worries on that front. And the general tone of food discussion one sees about Madrid is decidedly modest for a large European city, so it tempered my expectations. But I'm glad for the tips.

I should note that I'll only have about two and a half days of free time and will be exhausted. Since one day at least will be devoted to the Prado, and I really need to see Guernica and want to see the Thyssen as well, excursions out of town are unlikely. Which is sad, but hey, I'll just have to be happy with Madrid.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:11 AM
527

However! Unless the baby is sick, I'm by myself at home today and my schedule is as flexible as I need it to be, so I'd rather bankroll any sympathy for a later, more deserving occasion.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:32 AM
528

What's wrong with being crazy about ham? Spanish cured ham (and of course chorizo) is fantastic.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:31 AM
529

Also, JL, if you're going to the Thyssen, don't miss this.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:46 AM
530

I was so excited for "tapas" before going to Spain, only to find out that they were basically (for an active six-foot-tall guy at least) a huge scam, where they charge you a ton of money and bring you almost no food. I'm sure they're delicious and everything if you go to the right places but the amount of tapas I would have had to get to actually have a meal was cost-prohibitive.

Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:53 AM
531

I was so excited for "tapas" before going to Spain, only to find out that they were basically (for an active six-foot-tall guy at least) a huge scam, where they charge you a ton of money and bring you almost no food.

To be fair, this describes a lot of non-tapas restaurants in Europe too.

Anyway, good tapas can be an expensive way of having a full meal, and there are plenty of bad tapas joints, but at the same time I've not had many better meals than the ones I've had from this (London) tapas menu.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:10 AM
532

Closing tags just in case.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:11 AM
533

In Grenada, at least, quite a lot of bars still serve free tapas, one with every drink. Or they did when I was there. I gather that is less typical in other Spanish cities, these days. Sometimes they were nothing fancier than some olives, but sometimes it was something quite a bit more substantial. Nice bread with some sort of ham and veg topping, or a little bowl of stewed octopus, or whatever.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:24 AM
534

Granada. Fucksake. I get that wrong every time.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:27 AM
535

520: Madrid's a very large city, though (the third largest in the EU after London and Paris Berlin).

Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:36 AM
536

Yeah, "free with drinks" would make tapas worthwhile. In the "costs a bunch per tiny plate" model I hate hate hate it for leaving me hungry and socially unable to remediate that hunger so many times.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:37 AM
537

Per 535 and the googling thereof, huh. Paris is fifth! And Munich is smaller than Hamburg! Who knew.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:39 AM
538

What always throws me is Essen-Dortmund-whatever being the largest metropolitan area in Germany, which feels like it must mean that "metropolitan area" is a bad concept somehow.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 6:57 AM
539

I think the method in 537 must be "within official city bounds" city size, not MSA-equivalent or urban area. Paris would lose out for having a bunch of close in populous "suburbs"/ghettos.

Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:02 AM
540

Yeah, although wiki points out that that's sometimes dependent on how city boundaries are calculated. If you look at metropolitan areas [or urban zones], London is still biggest, but Paris is second.

London and Paris are really quite a bit bigger than everything else.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:02 AM
541

Fuck. Pwned.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:02 AM
542

Or maybe they just have a PR problem and need to run a "the biggest metropolis you've never heard of!" campaign.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:02 AM
543

542 to 538.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:03 AM
544

In the spirit of KOBE can we refer to comment 538 as NATE SILVER?

Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:04 AM
545

Or maybe they just have a PR problem and need to run a "the biggest metropolis you've never heard of!" campaign.

They have a very famous football team.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:10 AM
546

So maybe they only have a PR problem in the US.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:13 AM
547

Dortmund has great PR in Ohio thanks to Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Dortmunder Gold.

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:14 AM
548

I suppose I should say I'm eating tapas in Spain right now. But the serving sizes at this place are almost american.

The Ruhr valley is really interesting in how unusual it is as an arrangement of people. I can't think of other comparably multicentered areas at anywhere near that size.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:17 AM
549

I always thought the Ruhr valley was basically Pittsburgh but where the people were more likely to speak English with a decent accent.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:22 AM
550

539, 540: Berlin has a fairly enormous footprint (and is actually down quite a bit from its peak population), so that makes sense there as well.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:27 AM
551

This became a Spain travel thread? Shit, now I need to go back and read the last 100. Anyway, I was in Madrid 15 years ago but a really good Tapas place was La Trucha and it appears to still be there, can't comment on current value but it was good way back when.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:34 AM
552

At one time, Glasgow was the second biggest city in the UK. It's vastly smaller now, population-wise, than it was at its peak - about 50%. Down from about 1.1 million to about 500,000.*

Geographically, as a result, it's bigger than you'd think, compared to other EU cities of comparable current population.

* although Eurostat list it as 1.75million, as an urban area, and 31st biggest in Europe.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 7:38 AM
553

Also, JL, if you're going to the Thyssen, don't miss this.

I'll definitely be at the Thyssen, so I will look for it, thanks. Someone I used to know went there a few years ago and came back with their enormous, two-volume set of their complete paintings collection. It cost a small fortune, if I remember correctly, but may be the splurge of the trip.

On tapas as giant rip-off: that's always been my feeling about it as well. I am heartened by what I am seeing of possible lunch offerings, though. Not speaking a word of Spanish will undoubtedly cramp my style a bit, but given where I will be spending most of my time I should get by.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:09 AM
554

Not speaking a word of Spanish

izquierda = left. Now you have a word!

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:12 AM
555

Gracias!

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:19 AM
556

At one time Philadelphia was the second biggest city in the British Empire, after London. It's been downhill ever since.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:28 AM
557

I've also been thinking that, seeing as how I live in Pawtucket, I shouldn't sniff at the quality of restaurants in Madrid. I'm sure they are more than good enough for the likes of me. The trick, really, is to find places that are not too good for me.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:32 AM
558

At one time Philadelphia was the second biggest city in the British Empire, after London.

At one time Ghent was the second biggest city in Europe after Paris. It's about the same size now as it was then. Paris is a bit bigger.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:49 AM
559

Have sports spectators in Ghent thrown snowballs at Santa Clause?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 8:55 AM
560

Few know that the Philadelphia set comedy "Trading Places" was originally set in Ghent and called "Traaadink den Plaitzeen."

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:03 AM
561

At one time Marblehead, Massachusetts was the ninth biggest city in the United States.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:08 AM
562

If history were run just a little differently, Omaha would be a suburb of Bellevue instead of the other way around.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:23 AM
563

545: the Ruhr is kinda analogous to Yorkshire in British terms - it's not a single city, although much of it is a continuous conurbation, and it definitely does have a very strong regional identity, that wraps around a lot of fine-grained variety that only insiders understand. Also lots of football, beer, industry, socialists.

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:24 AM
564

556: And it did that with a population under 30k. Westerners (or just English speakers?) weren't too great at urbanization then.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:24 AM
565

Geez, Providence is knocked out of the top ten by 1810 in favor of . . . Salem? Albany? That's awful. No pride.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:30 AM
566

So, to leave Spain, and colonial cities, and come back to rage: we saw the Valerie Plame movie Fair Game last night. I'm ready to say that the fact that Washington ca. 2003/4 was not cleansed by fire/flood is conclusive proof that there is no God.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 9:31 AM
567

I like as a local history nerd to point out that LA was already by 1910 [thus mostly pre-car, and pre-Hollywood] a major US city, bigger than Seattle, Indianapolis, or Minneapolis. Though it was roughly the size by population of Omaha in 1900, and smaller than New Haven.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 10:01 AM
568

And what kind of God would tolerate a universe in which Naomi Watts has not come to my house and asked begged me to run away with her?

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 10:53 AM
569

And we're back on topic.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 11:11 AM
570

football, beer, industry, socialists

Had John Kerry been taking my advice, this would have been his slogan.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 11:16 AM
571

The bacalo (fried cod) place is called Casa Revuelto a stones throw from Plaza Mayor on the way to the wall to wall tapas joints and restaurant district. According to google they're still selling their very generous (by tapas standards) portions of amazing fried cod for very reasonable prices (2.60 euros). The place is a little insane but really worth a stop for a quick bite or even gorging yourself on awesome fried fish. They sell other foods, but don't bother unless you really want so-so quality though cheap tapas.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 1:28 PM
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Thanks! I may give the fried fish a try. It's close, and while it sounds a little intense, it also sounds simple, which helps a lot. I may actually be with another person at times, which could give courage and make it fun. And since minimal breakfast agrees with me and lunch options look good, this is making me feel better.

Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:19 PM
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I've read that the reason there's so many successful association football clubs in the ruhr-rhineland cities is that there's nothing else to do. My aunt lived there for a couple years and endorsed the theory when I asked her.

Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:47 PM
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I've read that the reason there's so many successful association football clubs in the ruhr-rhineland cities is that there's nothing else to do. My aunt lived there for a couple years and endorsed the theory when I asked her.

Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:47 PM
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JL, if you have the chance, having the Moleskine guide to Madrid was a huge help. I love their map. Admittedly I was in the pre-smartphone era, but it was incredibly useful and it's where I have my notes and then Lee took her notes and then our friends on their honeymoon just went where we'd gone.

In Lavapies, Lee recommends Melo's Bar, which she marks as delicious. La Inqulina was good for beer and tapas.

My notes mostly don't list the plaza. We had dinner at Ginger on Calle del Prado at Pl. Sanata Ana Modera, where Lee loved the fried chicken and all our food was awesome. That was as expensive as our food got and it really wasn't outrageous (4-5 years ago). Also ate at a brewpub, Mercador on Principe.

In Chueca we had Italian for lunch, which was "superb," per my notes, on Hortaleza but I don't name the restaurant. Sunday dinner at Lateral near the Prado with a friend of ours, which had great and inexpensive sangria with a Starbucks next door. Naturbier at the Plaza Danata Ana was also super tasty.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:49 PM
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I think she lived in Gelsenkirchen, which I admit is probably an extreme example. Maybe Köln and Düsseldorf are more fun than the smaller cities and that's the reason for their clubs' declining fortunes.

Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:49 PM