Rather a long time ago, I was reading — well, I don't remember what magazine it was, though pictures of pretty girls were a staple offering — and happened upon an interview with some starlet or other whose name is lost to history. One of the things she was asked was "Do you believe there is someone for everyone?"

I perked right up, because this was a question to which I was sure I knew the answer. And it turns out that yes, I did: "No, there isn't," she said. "Sometimes there's nobody for somebody because that somebody is just a jerk."

Having recently become dimly aware that the Jerk Store was setting aside an SKU number for me, I took that as a sign, and retreated further from the arena; I would not, I figured, be missed. Still, I was confident that I had set the curve for this particular (lack of) accomplishment; and my marriage having collapsed and a couple of brief relationships turning sour rather quickly, I believed it would take someone actually psychotic to do worse.

The new record holder, alas, will be extremely hard to dislodge: the combination of "paralyzed with fear" and "exploding into murderous violence" sets the bar at a place where it can barely be seen anymore. But that's the situation with Elliot Rodger (1991-2014), who spent the first part of this weekend slaughtering sorority girls because, he said, he couldn't get a date.

Now you may remember this chap from a couple of years back:

I as a man, biologically driven 365 days a year to ejaculate and produce sperm as often as possible, and having the drive and desire to want it every waning moment, who is vilified for this natural urge and made to feel ashamed of my sexuality, control it and subdue it to conform to the feminine imperative ... have to listen to women, who in their solipsism cannot fathom the ordeal of what I'm about to write about, women who biologically ovulate and desire sex rather infrequently compared to men, talk about, no celebrate their sexuality, their urges and desires ... and lament their short dry spells as if the world were coming to an end.

Now however much of a noxious weeny this guy was, at least he gave the impression that he was listening, or at least keeping his ear to the ground to pick up the vibrations. Rodger, by all accounts, didn't even exert himself that much. It appears that he expected them to fall into his arms by sheer dint of personality:

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. It's an injustice, a crime because I don't know what you don't see in me, I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it.

Estimates vary, but I'm figuring a woman can spot this sort of egregious foolishness within a hundred yards or so if she's paying attention, and really, there's no good reason to pay attention to a dweeb at this level of misdevelopment. (There's really not that much reason to pay attention to me, and I actually register somewhere marginally positive on the maturity scale.)

This is not to say, however, that I am privy to any of the Deep Secrets about the whole men/women thing:

At the core of my understanding of women is the most obvious of statements: they are people. Bipedal humanoids of the sort one sees every day. Which is another way of saying that while there are characteristics which are most specific to women, there are others which appear more-or-less equally in both genders (and in nonstandard gender variations, but that's another topic entirely). So I understand women, at least to the extent that they exhibit the basic needs — food, shelter, some reasonably-solid semblance of identity — that are common to us all. Beyond that, I am totally lost.

In the years since I wrote that, it's become distressingly apparent that it's not at the bottom of the curve, but somewhere in the middle: Mr. Rodger has lots of neighbors, each bewailing his empty bed. Fortunately, few are moved to take the sort of action Rodger did.

And if you're not doing so well with members of the sex you prefer, you might ask yourself: "What do all these failures have in common?" If you need a hint, here's one: there's a pertinent picture on the front of your driver's license.

(This is a follow-up to "From the Boo Fricking Hoo Files", 24 May 2014.)

The Vent

#870
  25 May 2014

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