The Sad Heroification of Elliot Rodger
A disturbing, woman-hating surge in web traffic lionizes the Santa Barbara mass killer
Since the tragic shooting that took place near the University of California at Santa Barbara on Friday night, Elliot Rodger’s self-made videos have gone viral online and sparked intense debate. Some despise him for what he’s done, while others almost pity him for his loneliness and mental instability.
But a third, more worrisome opinion has surfaced in recent days as well—one that glorifies the gunman, his life and his racist, misogynistic views.
In his videos, Rodger repeatedly complains about the world being an unfair place. He calls himself “magnificent,” and cannot fathom why women are not attracted to him despite his good looks, expensive clothing and $300 Armani sunglasses. His videos are a disturbing, narcissistic display of extreme loneliness.
“You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,” he says in his final video. “I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy.”
“I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see,” he continues. “I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you.”
Rodgers killed six innocent people and wounded many more in the premeditated and thought-out rampage he executed after creating the video. And now, to many, he’s a hero.
Among the Facebook groups created were Elliot Rodger, Alone & Rejected RIP, and RIP Elliot Rodger—A Beautiful and Misunderstood Soul, Elliot Rodger is an American Hero, and a ‘joke’ page hoping to get Elliot Rodger’s ghost laid. These have since been deleted, to be replaced by Elliot Rodger Is Awesome, Rest In Peace Elliot Rodger and R.I.P Elliot Rodger.
His misogynistic male fans took to social media quickly to express their agreement with his beliefs, and to blame women for his suffering.
In other discussions, women express a lack of understanding as to why such an attractive man didn’t get any of the attention he so desperately craved.
He’s certainly getting posthumous attention now. His retribution video has been viewed over 1 million times since Sunday.
Though the number of sympathizers appears relatively small, his supporters are certainly out there and vocal. Their comments are disconcerting, and the chilling phenomenon of copycats does raise questions.
According to The Huffington Post, 2013 alone saw 27 shootings on or near college campuses.
Or Schwartz contributed reporting to this article.