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Rant

So I've been so busy with the theatre and even a bit of social life that I haven't had a chance to sit down and write about some of the many things that have been ruminating about in light of the latest murder spree of yet another angry young male last Friday night.  There's a lot of things that I've been thinking about, things I've been reading about, things that been talked about a lot this week, so...rant warning. This might not be the most put together or focused reflection in the world but (That and there's hockey going on on the telly) I have some points I want to make, hopefully there are a couple in there that haven't already been said a million times this week, but certainly some will have. Here goes...

So when I first heard about what had happened and why this person had done what he did, my knee-jerk reaction was what an entitled little fuck-tard. I watched the video and it made me bubble with anger. Then I ran across a the link to his 140 page, as the media calls it, "manifesto" all though it read more like an autobiography, and I gradually waded through it. Maybe you can call it morbid curiosity. Maybe it's the writer in me, eager to wrap my head around such a person. (Indeed if I were to review it as if it were a work of fiction I would say that it's kinda like reading a mix of Perks of Being a Wallflower and American Psycho.) Sure I skimmed chunks of it. Some of the childhood stuff I skimmed and this kid fucking remembered every time he felt slighted or "tortured" by the sight of couples that it was seriously like "okay, dude, get over it...okay next paragraph..."

That said it wasn't poorly written by any means. In a couple parts of the kid's story, his mum encourages him to be a writer. He toyed with the idea but when he realized--and here I"m going to paraphraze because frankly I"m too lazy  to find the link and go through all those pages a second time to find the quote--but basically he realized that to be a writer it would take him a long time to write and become rich and famous. Emphasis on rich. Rich enough to get a woman to fuck him. He couldn't wait around being a virgin until he was in his 40s...soooo...yeah fuck that. Become a writer? He had a talent for it but no ambition. This brings me to the curmudgeon "kids these days" part of my rant. A lot has been said about the kid's disgusting sense of entitlement, but I'd add to that was a total disinterest in doing anything with his life. Apart from the urge to get laid, and the overwhelming desire to acquire wealth (which was partially a desire to have a certain life style but also just as much a means to the end of getting booty) the kid had no real passion in life. Nothing positive anyway. He was obsessed with online role playing games for a while but grew out of it. Now, kids with a lack of ambition a lack of passion in anything are nothing new. I have friends from high school that struggled with the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I suppose that's okay to a degree. I mean it is a lot of pressure we put on kids to get their life plan sorted out their senior year of high school while still essentially a child. However for me having grown up always having a passion that has driven me forward, I've often had a hard time understanding and indeed having pity for the kids who lacked passion. I've noticed this trait in all of these angry young men that have committed atrocities. If memory serves, the guy who shot Gabby Giffords, the Sandy Hook kid and this guy all enrolled and dropped out of community college. It makes sinse, of course,  a correlation between that trait and these angry young men that go on these murdering. If these kids had passion in something other than murderous thoughts, they'd have something to lose...

I think the other reason I was curious to read the kid's story was because I saw something similar to my own in my younger life and was curious to see where that turned to something far darker. Full disclosure here I went through highschool and all four years of college a virgin. I didn't lose my virginity until I was a couple months shy of 23 years of age and hell yeah I felt alienated, pissed off, discouraged, unworthy and hopeless about it. It was something that was constantly on my mind. It felt like everyone was invited to a party that was a rite of passage but I didn't even get an invitation. All the while, I felt cursed with having to hear from everyone about how great, or not so great, the party was all the time. The loneliness and inadequacy becomes all consuming. In passive retrospect I am able to realize what tedious company I could be in those years, often bitching about it to my friends and probably letting out the passive aggressive seething jealousy out to the people I knew and loved best. "You think you've problems, at least you have a boyfriend." Guh. It's embarrassing to think about now and I'm honestly ashamed. However, when I put myself back in the mindset of the time and my feelings rush back I"m not surprised I acted that way. Ultimately, my hope that my time would come did indeed come to pass and I went through my own story of sexual blossoming and various types of adult relationships. Go team Mir.

So where was the difference between myself and the disturbed little misogynist? I'll start off with the obvious ones. The ones that have been in the media plenty and, hint, I used in the monicker above. For one, although shy and socially awkward, my struggle with meeting new people and striking up conversation pales in comparison to having it be a diagnosed thing (I'll keep from saying 'mental illness' so as to not offend anyone).  In reading his story he gets advice from people a lot about wooing women. He doesn't often recount all of his embarssing attempts to try these "tricks." There are a couple of times he talks about trying but it's very few either because he couldn't bring himself to it or didn't care to relive it by writing it (though I'd lean more towraed the former as he sure as hell recounts everything else.) He also casually mentions stalking as if it's not as horribly creepy as it is and with little remorse. So yeah, that's a difference. Secondly, the misogyny is a major difference. When he detailed his dreams of having a girlfriend those bits were always phrased in the language of possession. It was about not just holding her hand but grabbing her ass, having her there with him as a trophy to impress other males, about having her unquestioning admiration. There was not a single romantic image in that demented little head of his. It was not about "finding the one," someone he could share intimacy with, someone he would be happy to listen to. Granted, it's easy to think selfishly when you're feeling alone. The other party is absent, or an ideal. All lonely people want to receive love. If there's anything his childish outlook was missing it was the realization that to earn that love you've got to be willing to give it as well. My time dreaming of the imaginary boyfriend was romantic. Sure he was someone who would dote on me and do all that romantic stuff but he would also be someone I could share things with. I'd say that this romantic vision of my lonely years is a product of my gender, because I'm a girl and not some hot horny teenager, but that just perpetuates a gender divide and simply isn't true...I found the romantic love of my life, who is just as, nay, is even more romantic than me in all the ways that really mean something.

Of course I had to wade through some troubled waters just to find my true love. My last note on this asswipe's misogyny is that not only did he feel entitled to women's attention and bodies but he only desired hot women. I mean, hey everyone's entitled to be attracted to what they're attracted to, but there was no settling for this dude. The shallowness of it bothered me. I read that one of the threads of the misogynist websites he frequented was "do ugly women deserve to live?" I'm sorry but ALL women deserve to live and deserve just as much love as any man. That is to say they are as worthy of love as much as they are capable of being a good human to another human, no "entitlement" involved. ("The love you take is equal to the love you make", Cheers, Beatles). If there's one thing I'm a total dork for in movies and TV is when two socially awkward or unattractive people get together. Because I was that girl and I like to think that everyone should find love. But you've got to ride it out. You've got to be open to experience and at the same time willing to try, if that makes sense.  You've got to not obsess over it so much, focus on other things (see above about finding a passion, channel that energy) and let it find you. Go out and meet people and see what happens. (I know those sound contradictory but hey, try anything that's healthy and consentual, ya know). I know how hippy dippy that sounds but seriously. Stop fantasizing about being with a supermodel, you prick, stop thinking of an unattainable idea and focus on being a better human and another human might take interest in you. Spend less time time bitching about a whole gender online and open up to experiences where you can see them as humans. Maybe you can connect with an equally nerdy girl who understands where you're coming from. It's not the ideal but it's real. It might not even be beautiful and it certainly won't be like the movies but hey you'll be over the hump. And for me, that was enough to move forward and eventually find the person I love. See, I'm such a romantic.

Okay I've really got to wrap this up and that last paragraph was pretty rambling. I've got two more things I've got to say before I close the book on this asshat and carry on with my life.

One thing that's hard to miss in the writing is that the kid's a racist. (Yeah, laying on the charm, right. Ugh.) And the thought crossed my mind. We have this stereotype of the "angry black male" I'm sure this is not the first time you've heard the phrase. Why is that still in the minds as something dangerous when you look at all of these mass killings that have been committed by (mostly, not always) angry white males. It's become a thing. The latest shooting, committed by yet another angry white male. Is that part of the reason nothing is done when these things happen but talk? Is that too part of the white male privilege? Didn't want to get into that too much just a thought....

Which leads me to my final story. This week at work I had a disgruntled student make an appointment with my boss. He had called my line and the bosses line a number of times over the weekend and left messages. Weeks ago my boss explained his academic situation over the phone and I thought all was settled but suddenly, after this shooting, the kid was really eager to be in the office in person. I brief hint of suspicion, why now all of the sudden, quickly evolved into full on paranoia and that this young man wanted some retribution and would come in blazing. I had never had that thought before. That there was the possibility that something like that could happen in my new job and yet suddenly I was convinced. I seriously thought I was going to die the next day, and sadly I didn't even change much of my routine, just did everything more sullenly. It feels foolish to say openly now, that I was that convinced that I was going to be blown away the next morning but I think that says something about where we are at right now. With this shit happening so regularly in our country, the thought that you best not piss someone off as they might just be waiting for their tipping point to fill you full of holes for their own self-glorification. It really got to me.  We are a country full children--entitled, prone to lash out before using calm problem solving or diplomacy--and well armed at that. This place is fucking terrifying and we've accepted. The line in the sand was drawn when those little kids were murdered and we did nothing. This is just the fear we have to live with.

So find the one you love, hold on to them at night and remember to tell them how much you love them every day. Goodnight.

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