Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

June 6, 2014

Youth in a void

The movie “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” has been brought up countless times when discussing the life and death and murders of Elliot Rodger, who killed seven people including himself last week in Santa Barbara, California.

The movie reference was a “guaranteed laugh line” in our “toxic culture,” one of my interlocutors put it, understood to be conveying the killer as a “dweeby, out-of-touch loser,” as another emphasized.

Is it any wonder that the worst thing in the world for Rodgers was that he was not having sex?

“Sex has become a sort of replacement god, an idol of our Internet age,” says Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, the associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, observes.

In the writings he left behind, Rodger pointed to his parents’ divorce and his first viewing of porn as perversely formative. “I was shocked beyond words,” he says viewing pornographic images at 11. “(T)he sight filled me with strong and overwhelming emotions ... I was traumatized. My childhood was fading away. Ominous fear swept over me.”

In a culture that doesn’t value men as protectors and fathers, all there really was for Rogers to hope for was sex. “This makes perfect sense, because deep in even the most deluded and anesthetized heart, we cannot fail to know that sex is meant to connect us to an Other,” Ed Mechmann, director of public policy and the Safe Environment Office at the Archdiocese of New York says. When Rodger couldn’t get what he wanted, there was an “existential anger” about him, “not just against his situation but even against who and what he is,” Mechmann comments. “And so he tried to destroy all that reminded him of the hurt he couldn’t get rid of or make sense of.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • Remember the pledge Editor:The county board chairman is not being factual with his recent comments concerning the Public Safety Tax Pledge made by the 2004-2010 County Board.First of all, the debt we were facing was caused by the foolish actions of nine board members of

    July 31, 2014

  • Back to the future for death penalty? The surreal national debate over the death penalty reached a climax of sorts July 23 in a prison execution chamber in Florence, Arizona. Double murderer Joseph Wood was put to death by lethal injection shortly after his lawyers went to the Supreme Co

    July 31, 2014

  • Reduce property tax Editor:The regular July meeting of the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board of Trustees is always interesting, and this year was no different. It is at this meeting that the board makes the annual tax levy for the district. Like every year, the debat

    July 31, 2014

  • Away from the tyranny ‘Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency,” the late poet Maya Angelou reflected in an interview with USA Today in 1988. “We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”What a poem Angelou might have written about

    July 31, 2014

  • No Headline Provided House and Senate conferees have agreed on a $17 billion bill to address the scandal over poor health-care service at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation is now on a fast track to pass Congress before its August recess, showing that Re

    July 31, 2014

  • Shackled by 'dead men' In theory, the American people’s elected representatives decide every so often how much to tax the public and how to allocate the revenue among various priorities, both short-term and long-term. In practice, however, Congress and the president have a

    July 31, 2014

  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks