Saturday, June 28, 2014

Barbara Walters debriefs father of perpetrator in recent CA rampage on ABC 20-20


On Friday, June 27, 2014, Barbara Walters (having retired from The View) conducted a very disturbing interview with Peter Rodger, the father of Elliot Rodger, who carried out a rampage on May 23 in Isla Vista, CA (near Santa Barbara), main link here. Walters made about two hours of interview footage and presented about half of it.  Mr. Rodger is the first parent of someone guilty of a rampage to be interviewed on television (Adam Lanza’s father was interviewed by the New Yorker).  The father said this came out of nowhere and that his life was like a "reverse dream".

The interview speaks for itself, and it’s not necessary to go over the details of the event here. 

Mr. Rodger first thought that Elliot was a victim and found out the truth at 4:30 AM the next morning from the Internet.  The sequence of events from his perspective was complicated. 
  
The interview suggests that the rage had built up for several years, but the father had no idea that it would lead where it did.   Elliot was tantalized when he learned about sex, which he felt he could not have, but whose physicality and “vulgarity” shocked him, according to the interview. 

The patterns in some of these cases (Holmes, Lanza, Rodger, and some others) of young men raised in good homes are disturbing, but the media has not really been able to make much sense of it yet.  The Holmes case is the most inexplicable of all. 

I was in Birmingham, AL, taking pictures of a Civil Rights area while this happened;  I heard about it on the TV in Nashville on May 24;  I didn’t really hear the entire story until I tuned in to CNN Sunday night in Tupelo, MS, where I had just looked at tornado damage. 

Maybe there is something to the Vatican idea, that if everyone could restrict all experience of sexuality to marriage with procreation, the world of romance would somehow be “fairer” to the less well off.  But what about personal freedom?  

There's a lot on the web about various developmental and personality issues, including Asperger's and especially narcissistic personality disorder, with the latter being relevant.  It sounds believable that one could develop delusions of grandeur where one believes he is acting like a god punishing and eliminating the wicked or the unworthy (this makes Rodger sound like Hitler to me).  But if sex is evil, as the "manifesto" seems to imply, why does he feel entitled to it anyway.  All "logic" breaks down there.  Only a couple of men who have performed rampages have gotten "manifestos" published (the Unabomber);  in the VA Tech case, a screed document was sent to NBC News but never made public.

On "Days of our Lives" (July 1), the character Daniel Jonas says to Brady "A sociopath is someone who has no feelings beyond his or her own urges".  He's talking about Theresa.  That sounds a bit like Elliot.

Susan L. Ruth, on Communities Digital News, has a perspective that talks about Schizoid Personality Disorder (itself harmless) in conjunction with "Borderline Personality Disorder" here.

It's also useful to compare Asperger's Syndome (a form of "mild" autism") with schizoid personality disroder (which is not), here.

Not many people want to mention this, but it seems likely that Elliot's perception of himself as mixed-race was also significant.  That's not always the case -- it's true of the president, but in some situations it still is.  

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