American Psycho: Hollywood Makes a Monster

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That’s a quote from Brett Easton Ellis’ novel “American Psycho,” and Patrick Bateman, a fitting analogy that has been made more than once already about alleged killer Elliot Rodger who brutally murdered six people by various methods before swallowing a bullet of his own this past weekend. Pro-feminist, premature hashtags erupted on Twitter. Michael Moore, Piers Morgan did their usual NRA distraction dance, with Albert Brooks joining in. Most vocal were Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen who were compelled to defend their livelihood when Hollywood, along with the NRA, was blamed.

The problem for Hollywood is that Elliot Rodger not only committed these crimes in their backyard, the farthest place in the country from NRA influence as possible, but he is a direct product of the industry and the lifestyle of glamorized excess it creates. His father is a writer, photographer and assistant director on studio films. His mother worked for several production companies and had a relationship with a studio head that Elliott Rodger hoped she would marry so he could inherit his wealth and not have to work.

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Rogen and other Hollywood personalities are in the right to defend their films. Elliot Rodger was not so much a product of violent film and cited very little influence on him from movies other than his love of the Star Wars prequels, which alone should have been reason enough for a psychological evaluation. Seth Rogan’s movies didn’t drive an individual with severe social anxiety to murder anyone. Not this time at least.

Hollywood culture and millennial fame addiction pushed by the media did.

We are in midst of unparalleled media influence and unfortunately a Hollywood media complex is using this influence to do everything in its power to climb into the heads of young millennials. With celebrity culture comes a perception of entitlement. When football stadiums are filled to capacity with young people over a glorified karaoke contest, it’s not because they are there to interview for a job. It’s because they are owed the fame that Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus all have. Nobody is walking away from Miley Cyrus’ concerts with costumes made from?blinging dollar signs and stage props of giant inflatable penises talking about good the music is. They walk out wondering if they ended up in one of the Instagram selfie videos she takes from the stage. Justine Tunney of Occupy fame snarked on Twitter, “If the goth scene was still around, this kid would’ve actually gotten laid and not gone on a rampage.”

This weekend, as people on social media fought their battles and victims families tried to make sense of the crime the only way?they knew how, the pro-feminist hashtag #YesAllWomen was the top of national trends on Twitter. The second highest? #KimyeWedding, a reference to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s celebrity hyperventilation fest. Twitter once again creating the perfect dichotomy for what our vanity-obsessed culture has become with Entertainment Tonight having to wrestle itself between covering both unfortunate tragedies.

He wrote of work being beneath him and the importance of an expensive material image. Elliot Rodger was, as blogger Amy Otto from PFOL said on Twitter, Patrick Bateman Bieber. Every bad impression people from prior generations have about current youth.

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“It doesn’t make sense. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you. I dress nice. I’m sophisticated. I’m magnificent. I have a nice car, a BMW. Nicer than 90% of the people at my college.” Rodger laments to a video recorder he’s placed on the car dashboard. He’s somewhere in the canyons, alone, where no one will hear him or see this performance – and it is a performance. In his manifesto, he describes his inability to approach girls going back to high school, even terrified to go to parties or talk to one in class. Spoiler alert: Every guy is terrified of talking to girls. Not every guy manifests this terror into a homicidal monster. Somewhere along the twisted timeline of his life he became wired to believe that simply showing up would be enough to experience joy, sex, love and happiness. He believed that just by walking into a room he would somehow have a part to play in Scarlett Johansson’s life. This is Hollywood culture, not gun culture.

“This is why I immersed myself in online games. I felt safe there,” he writes about his junior high school years, which again, were miserable for just about everybody.
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He became obsessed with possessions and status and when he is preening in his car to George Michael and filming himself driving to Whitney Houston, or speechifying in a tone right out of “Days of Our Lives”. He isn’t rehearsing how he would treat a girl on a date or trying to work up the nerves to talk to one. He’s putting on a performance for himself, a scene right out of The Informers.

Elliot Rodger became every bad clich? in a Brett Easton Ellis novel.

Excessive narcissism as a result of severe social anxiety and depression combined with almost unlimited financial resources. He followed the “E! Entertainment Bible of Fame and Fortune” to the letter. It was enough to get him onto red carpets but not into bed?with Paris Hilton.

This is what was intolerable to him. He was a narcissistic celebrity in his own mind wondering why no one was worshiping him. He believed?he did everything right to attain celebrity idol perfection and couldn’t handle it when it didn’t start raining Lohans. He couldn’t take it out on the Kardashian sisters who go everywhere with armed security, so he directed his rage at those who were defenseless.

It’s easy to write all of that off and suggest the killer isn’t being held accountable for his actions. He is viciously accountable. However, the problem for Hollywood (and others who want to ignore the growing effect of celebrity culture rot on young brains) is that with this Rodger, there’s a very meticulous paper trail. Take away the seven bodies he left at three different crime scenes and it’s nearly impossible to separate him from thousands of vanity Twitter accounts, YouTube channels or obsessed fans screaming to leave Britney alone. He is one of the first mass shooters of the millennial generation that is a direct product of it. He knew how to form relationships with material possessions but not make connections with people. At his darkest moments, as he recorded his last video titled “Day of Retribution” his performance is still shallow, rehearsed and unauthentic. He wants the viewer to believe he’s talking to every girl that’s ever wronged him but he’s just talking to himself and he artificially laughs to remind himself of this. ?Elliot Rodger was a really bad actor in his own life story.

He represents a narcissistic trend in media addiction where YouTube leads to instant fame and self-improvement through hard work is obsolete. Fame media’s only message today is you’re nobody if you don’t identify personally with One Direction or Taylor Swift. There is a cas ?here to be made for the feminist hashtag activists of #YesAllWomen. Unfortunately, they’re too self-absorbed at the moment to make it.

The MTV show “Made” was about teenage high school makeovers. In one episode, MTV took a geeky girl in glasses and dragon shirts and made her into a beauty contestant and prom queen. At the end of the episode she goes on about how many new friends she had made. “Pimp My Ride” is a show about how your car isn?t good enough. You’re a nobody with a POS ride in high school. Here, have some gold plated rims and ground effects; now you’re popular and loved. Being pregnant leads to a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. Punching a woman, repeatedly in the face? Great if you can dance. Same goes with night clubbing. MTV has gone as far as to literally tell teenagers that they must physically alter their appearance to look like the celebrities on their network. Here’s some plastic surgery to look like Jennifer Lawrence’s ear! All fixed! Kids and young adults see a hobbled little dwarf named Honey Boo Boo with the IQ of a potato on TV and wonder how in the hell of everything unholy it’s not them.

The message that it’s okay to be an imperfect, awkward individual is completely non-existent and it’s not just fame media pushing it, as Obama Administration Labor Secretary, Tom Perez proved.

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This is the lifestyle Elliot Rodger became cocooned in. Money, cars, status, women, love fixes everything and sex is easy to get. It’s a life that is all but mandatory the spawn of a Hollywood movie director. In his boring, privileged life in the Beverly Hills, Rodger never suffered some great social injustice. He didn’t lose a job because of his race. He didn’t come back from war with PTSD. He never states in his manuscript that he was bullied to any great lengths. He claims he saw a boy kiss a girl and he snapped. He goes on to lament, “Where’s the justice? Why couldn’t I have been born into that life?” when describing a teenager he saw with a girlfriend. The “Born Lucky Few” is a message we, as a country and a society, have been bludgeoned over the head with now for going on six years. Life’s unfair, you’re not good enough, you deserve things and you should not just envy those that have what you don’t, you should take action.

Sound familiar? It should.

Progressives in this case, are?desperate to a pin a non-existent gun control narrative on the NRA because everything Patrick Bateman Bieber believed was right out of an OFA mailer. Fairness, entitlement, deserves. You’re not good enough and just unlucky. Perpetual victim-hood that those better than you are specifically out to get you. All?things that have been pounded into our heads repeatedly. Rodger complained on page upon page and in video after video about how unfair life is for being rejected by imaginary starlets. He was seemingly never told that life is unfair – for everybody. Instead of being taught the values of self worth, hard work & uncompromising individualism, his complaints were met instead with a free BMW, a Nordstrom shopping spree, a $1500 laptop and a $900 month apartment with rent paid.

Elliot Rodger believed he was entitled to money, fame and girls. The need to fit in, be popular, get famous, get laid. The problem for Hollywood is none of those things are found in an NRA brochure.

All of them are found on MTV.

 

 

– SM –

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  1. Kelly Daley Reply

    Crazy thought, but perhaps if Hollywood parents were a bit more concerned with their children’s spiritual development and taught them self esteem comes from actual acheivement, not feelings, getting laid, getting a reality show, or douchy European car…. wait, am I the one who’s nuts??

  2. Ana Reply

    What we are saw in Rodger, is the weakness of a person without a core, without any duties, any expectations to honor something more significant than himself. The exterior is well developed but without an inner structure to support it all, he crumpled under the slightest disappointment. There was nothing inside to reflect on, measure behavior against, develop empathy with. He was aware of that emptiness and tried to name what it was but became increasingly frustrated because he simply, didn’t have the tools to fix his problems. Those tools hadn’t been developed, by growing into a healthy, adult within his family and community; neither of his parents, had the time for it. So, his “stuff” raised him and in the end, he justified killing human beings because he felt betrayed by his stuff and wanted someone to feel the pain, his objects couldn’t.?

  3. David Sussman Reply

    “Excessive narcissism as a result of severe social anxiety and depression combined with almost unlimited financial resources.”
    Toxic cocktail. Unfortunately kids have never known a world without the instant gratification of the internet.
    I think your article raises the ominous specter of many similar incidents occurring as kids hit realities many were not raised to deal with. I couldn’t blame a parent for their kid becoming a mass murderer, but as a parent myself, I know how hard we have to work to teach them that rewards in life are not found through likes/fav’s, but through hard work and fulfilling relationships.

    Great article.?

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