Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

The League of Supreme Gentlemen

May 24th, 2014 - 5:49 pm

What movie do you live inside of? C’mon, everybody else lives inside one, why not you? The most striking thing about the YouTube video posted by the suspect of a recent drive-by shooting in Isla Vista is that it’s so cinematic.  He rants in the best movie style: the sunglasses, sunset lighting, three quarters profile view. Maybe he even did a couple of takes before judging it ready for prime time.

“The problem with YouTube,” a friend of mine said, “is anyone can imagine himself as the star of his own self-produced movie.” And this guy was in his own movie. The suspect, someone remarked on Twitter, was ripping off Ryan Gosling in Drive.  The line between the actual and the imagined has never been clear to some.  Thirty years ago I had a conversation with a self-confessed killer who told me seriously that he hated movies because in them the action was accompanied by a musical score.  What a lie, he said. “Everybody knows,” he said, “that you don’t hear music in workaday situations.” The thing is, he wasn’t being facetious or joking. He was — pardon the pun — dead serious.

Nobody can do anything any more without a video. It’s gotten so the Boko Haram can’t even commit a regular atrocity without bragging of their exploits on video. One apologist for the president said of Benghazi that it couldn’t have been a terrorist attack, because if it were, then where’s the video? He had a point.  It is a fact that terrorist organizations rarely blow anything up without a video cameraman to record the proceedings, because believe it or not the real propaganda value of the outrage isn’t in the deed.  It’s in the terrorist release and distribution, possibly the merchandising.

The standard definition of abnormality used to be not knowing the difference between fantasy and reality. Today the only ones who are crazy are those who actually believe there’s a difference between the two. The facts are no defense any more.

The same is true for the bare necessities. Needs used to be food, shelter and clothing. Today people have entitlements.  ”Positive rights” to you. Take the Isla Vista suspect. He had a BMW and money to burn. But his Facebook account had zero friends. He was 22 years old and never been laid.  And therefore he was aggrieved.

Who can live like that anymore? And in that atmosphere of entitlement, he was filled with rage against the world that denied him Facebook friends and a girlfriend; girls who by rights should have beat a path to a “supreme gentleman” such as himself.

Today our ‘needs’ are determined by the plotline. It’s a McGuffin world where people pursue things that have no actual bearing on anything, which are just props, required by the movie they live in.  The girlfriend, iPhone, smart watch,  there was already a Beamer … etc … were necessary because people in the movies have them. You can’t be Ryan Gosling in your own mind without the girl.

But the worst thing about the “supreme gentleman’s” video rant is that it’s so funny. The rant sounded exactly like what it is: a bad movie, like Plan 9 from Outer Space. The horror notwithstanding, the rant was ridiculous. Yet there was nothing ridiculous about what ensued.

Someone’s son had gone out and killed other children for essentially nothing.  The greater tragedy is that maybe we as a civilization have forgotten our own humanity. The killer had turned himself into a cartoon; taken his flesh and blood and bone, plus something we once considered imbued with an immortal soul and converted it into a throwaway cardboard cutout character.  Glamor has made real life too bland for us. But the price is high; in rejecting life we lose shame and we lose love; and all we have in the end is celebrity.

The Supreme Gentleman had forgotten that real life is actually more interesting than the movies. But there was no way back for him; he had stepped inside the scene and couldn’t step out of it.


I had a chance to read the famous My Twisted World manifesto. My first thoughts were: Adam Lanza lives again. Jason and Freddy, move over. From a literary point of view Elliot Rodger’s manifesto is a masterpiece of mad writing. It is a chronicle of a descent into hell. It’s also a not entirely unsympathetic look at Hollywood life from the inside out.

It is immediately apparent that Elliot had an enormous sense of entitlement and a paint-by-the-numbers view of the world. He had stuff coming to him. Video games, white collar jobs, peer respect, and girls. Whether he was born this way or the idea was subtly imprinted in childhood by his upbringing I leave to the pros.

But at all events, the way he thought was, push the button, get the banana. Wear “cool” clothes, get the girl. Get the nifty haircut, get the girl. Learn this or that skill, get the girl. And yet everyone but him always got the girl, however many buttons he pushed. Over and over he misses out. The black guy gets the girl. The buck toothed moron gets the girl. He racks his brains and comes up with racist, ableist, and ageist explanations. Why, why, why do these untermensch get the girls. No matter, they get them somehow. But he himself never gets the girl himself and soon enough he was convinced it was conspiracy.

Maybe this was how Hitler thought. Yes, the Jew! It can happen you know.

Rodgers had a shaman’s view of reality. Don the green cape and springtime comes. This accounts for his almost hilarious demeanor on YouTube, with his winks and pauses and artful poses. He actually thought you walked up to lady and winked and jiggled like a human pinball machine and that got things rolling. That’s what he did. He rolled up to you and did this imitation of a human being. Despite his considerable intelligence, which is evident from his writing, he could never actually see other human beings as free beings and treated them like candy machines with buttons. They were always planets circling his world. He could never empathize with them.

The harder he mashed down on his silly buttons the more he turned people off. He was probably crazy from his mid-teens onward, a kind of walking idiot savant; a sort of wind up parody who must have seemed ludicrous to everyone else, even though his heart and soul were in those misguided malapropisms.

The only places he viewed with wonder were the movies and his video games. They were his refuge and sacred groves and the forges of his hate. They were extraordinarily dangerous places for him. People who are sane can visit fantasy without harm, but a man who has no roots on the earth can be swept away even by a software demon.

From the moment I saw his famous video, I couldn’t hate Elliot Rodger. He was too pathetic to hate, like a ventriloquist’s dummy. That didn’t make him less evil. At some point his rage opened him to cruel thoughts. They flooded into him like the ocean roaring into the funnel of a foundering ship until they filled him to the brim. So that on his last day of rage he was completely consumed by what in former times people called the Devil.

But the Devil doesn’t exist you know. Or so we are told. We’ve purged him from our modern, secular, shrink-ridden world. But by whatever alias he lives under now, Elliot Rodgers is a reminder that the power of the idea walks among us as fiercely as ever. He can materialize, quite suddenly, whether over New York City or in California, you never know when.

In the entirety of Rodger’s account the one word never glimpsed was ‘God’, or an equivalent concept. He lived in a world without the notation.  Perhaps the Great Religions had a function we cynical moderns have long forgotten.  Those systems of belief kept the darkness away, and whether by rote, ceremony or deep inspiration they provided huddled humanity with a defense against dangers they felt upon the outer edges, dangers whose existence we now deny.  Perhaps we are powerless against those forces anyhow, if human history is anything to go by, but we had in old faith a means of exorcism, however slender. We knew the name, at least, of what to fear in the night.

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History
Hill 488
How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument
Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics – An engaging ESL textbook for Advanced ESL students
The New Physics
Idioms in the News – 1,000 phrases, real examples
The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Belmont Club

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
....Going out in a ' Blaze of glory ' is a pretty common young mans fantasy. Thankfully, few attempt it. If his parents are to be believed, he had the opportunity to talk to the shrinks but it didn't work.

....Here's betting that nobody blames his BMW, or YouTube , or the shrinks. They'll blame his pistol, and mine. Since he's gone, California will set a course to take it out on me. Because they can. What could be more logical.

....I don't blame those things or those medics either. I blame the Weasely little jerk who did this. Nothing more. Nobody else. Just him.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
" don’t hear music in workaday situations.”
If it was a movie you could look them in the eye and say "I do."

What could help? Some people are simply damaged. We need to be better at identifying them and isolating them. We used to commit people and that got peeled back thirty to forty years ago. Even then and more so now wealthy families tend to shield their problems and end up enabling them.

One of the many problems with Leftist PC cant is that it destroys the value of values. Instead of having clear judgmental definitions of mental illness, and of crimes like rape and fraud, the language has been so abused that either no one is considered a danger or everyone is or most likely all members of groups selected not for any inherent likelihood to commit violence as previously defined but instead because of some political association or group identifier are deemed threatening by prejudicial presumption. That means that instead of identifying real likely rapists and murderers and other sociopaths we ignore them until they cause mayhem and we declare all white heterosexual males to be guilty by association.

One of the strange things about the TV/film business, which I am a very small part of and it is a business, is that it is just that. There are certainly some strange people in it but really the vast majority are simply workers. Ninety percent of the people you see on the screen, even if they are dressed rich or poor or crazy or like a doctor, are just day labor drawing minimum wage if not in the union and about a third better as a base if they are. The big benefit is the food and there is no room for attitude. It is like a ship. It is a collection of craft experts and mostly they are treated with respect and once given direction left to do their jobs. It is no democracy. Someone better know where that ship is supposed to go or it heads for the rocks. When it works it feels great, for the same reason that driving a ship did. You work for ten or twelve hours, with some sitting around time mixed in, and at the end something, maybe two minutes worth, got done.

That is completely different than the lunatics dream, or what many of the public imagine. When there is nothing but the fantasy in your head then nothing gets done. No matter how talented you are it is very much a team effort. Misanthropic loners had better be good at hiding their dysfunction until after producers will be willing to endure tantrums to rent their names because almost everyone is replaceable.

Now I have to drink my potion. Is this the bottle that said Cary Grant or the one with the missing label that said Gilbert Gottfried?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
He was someone's child, but he was also a child of the world he lived in. His family was in the world of show business. There is no reality there for him to measure himself against or to temper his emotional world that was probably frozen at about chronological age 2. He was almost surely raised as a Leftist, his family being in show business. Political moderates are rare, and conservatives there are endangered species. His father, being one of the directors in the Hunger Games franchise, would never have gotten the job if there was the slightest hint that he was to the right of Trotsky. And he was raised in coastal California, which is about as far from reality as Boko Haram is from the Beatitudes.

He was wealthy, and almost assuredly had never known a moment of real material denial or want in his life. Living in a world where his BMW is the equivalent of a 5 year old Honda Accord, he had never developed the emotional strength to live in a real world where not everybody dotes on you, the world does not revolve around you, and the Hollywood fantasy of eternally aroused houri/aspiring models/actresses swarming around him clashed with the reality of women [who themselves are the product of the same culture plus women's Lib] who consider themselves superior to any man.

He was a product, the natural end product, of the American Left. Worthless, incapable of producing anything of worth, and believing that he was the most precious jewel of humanity ever produced. And he is not alone. He is legion, as is his female counterpart. And we will deal with them until the structure that supports them [paid for by us] collapses.

And yes, his victims may be like him, but likely some are not; and all are almost surely innocent of any deliberate act that would deserve being killed by him. But that is what our new version of the United States has created. A flood of worthless beings, ignorant of the world, who can only destroy and not create because they know nothing outside of their own self-centered emotions.

And some people wonder why some are awaiting the "big one" with anticipation.

Subotai Bahadur
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (153)
All Comments   (153)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Wrote it about Jared Loughner, but it fits here, too: "He has a demon, and is mad."
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look at how the AP spins this. Can Scooter Libby be reached for comment?
White House mistakenly reveals CIA official's name
From Associated Press
May 26, 2014 10:25 AM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an embarrassing flub, the Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president's surprise Memorial Day weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.

The officer's name — identified as "chief of station" in Kabul — was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.

The Associated Press is withholding the officer's name at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer's wife and other personal details.

White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief's name. Other major news organizations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer's name.

The reporter who distributes the pool report sends it to the White House to be checked for factual accuracy and then forwarded to the thousands of journalists on the email distribution list, so in this case the White House failed on at least two occasions to recognize that the CIA official's name was being revealed and circulated so broadly.

The intentional disclosure of the name of a "covered" operative is a crime under the U.S. Intelligence Identities Protection Act. A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in January after pleading guilty to disclosing to a reporter the name of an undercover agency officer. In 2003, Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA operative by officials of the George W. Bush administration in an effort to discredit her husband, a former ambassador who had criticized the decision to invade Iraq. A top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case, and sentenced to 30 months in prison, though Bush commuted the prison sentence.

Members of the CIA's operations arm, called the National Clandestine Service, are typically given cover identities to protect both them and the sources they have recruited abroad. The station chief, who manages all CIA operations in the country, is often a senior officer whose true name is known to the host nation and other intelligence agencies. The term "station chief" is sensitive enough, however, that former officers usually are not allowed to use it in their resumes in connection with specific countries, even after their covers have been lifted.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Marie Claude:

I'm heartened by Sunday's elections; should I be? What's your view? What does this mean for France in particular, both in the short term and the long term?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I sat down last night and read the nutters 143 page auto-biography. Had to take a shower and still felt dirty at the end of it.

Woke up this morning with the thought that at this very moment, Quentin Tarantino is, in all probability, in negotiations with the kid's father for the rights to this twisted little auto-biography (with the kids father contractually billed as the "associate director or producer" to maximize his earnings from the product)! THAT is how twisted the folks in Hollyweird are! (It will eventually be aired on the Oprah Winfrey channel because they need the ratings)!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I've got what the parents said right, and if the parents were telling the truth, it does seem as though the Sheriff Dept was negligent in not viewing the videos...
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Sheriff is trying to back away from several uncomfortable developments. If what I am gathering from reports on the birth-mother is correct, the Sheriff may not have been diligent in reviewing Facebook rants. It is my opinion that threats made on Facebook should carry the same weight as those declared on the street, say, outside a girl's dorm. So far, I am seeing nothing specific about the drugs the kid was being given. If they were psychotropic, that and the Facebook postings might have given cause for custodial observation.

It is my opinion that folk being prescribed medication for psychiatric disorders should not be permitted to legally purchase firearms. Moreover, there should be some interlocking data bases that would red-flag such cases.

Guns are not the problem, society's handling of mental illness is. For example, several years ago in New York State, a gentleman killed his sister, torched several buildings, and ambushed first responders. This was not his first introduction to the legal system: eighteen years previously (as I recall the time) he had been imprisoned for beating to death his 92 year-old grandmother with a claw hammer. He was paroled. Surely, as a society we can do better.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Guns are not the problem. For example, several years ago in New York State, a gentleman torched several buildings..."

Sharpton didn't actually start the fire himself.
...and they were Jews.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Was he drugged into a psychosis?

From an author who told great stories - who left us too soon.

... but I think he's a classic sociopath. Do you know the pattern? Superficially bright, evidently quite emotional, lots of charm, an impression of complete honesty and integrity.

... We are all going to remember that our man won't get jumpy. He won't become superstitious and fearful. Psychos are notoriously pragmatic.

... Ego. The inner conviction that everybody else in the world is soft and silly and gullible. Maybe we are, because we're weighted down with excess baggage the few Tom Pikes of this world don't have to bother with. Feelings. The capacity to feel human emotions, love, guilt, pity, anger, remorse, hate, despair. They can't feel such things but don't know they can't, so they think our insides are just like theirs, and they think the world is a con game and think we fake it all, just as they have learned to do.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the saddest things I ever saw was at a fairly upscale restaurant Two couples seated around a table. One of the couples had a baby in one of those picnic basket plastic baby carriers. The mother was feeding the baby his bottle as the baby lay in his carrier on the floor. At the same time she was engaged in lively conversation with her dinner companions.

When a baby is fed he looks at the face of whoever is feeding him, usually his mother. He looks in to their eyes, and for at least part of the evolution, mother looks back into his eyes. It is by this means that the bond between them is forged and strengthened. He receives his soul from the eyes of those who love him, most especially from the eyes of those who nurture him. In this case he was looking to receive his soul as well as his milk from his mother, he got the milk, but there was no none connecting to him to his soul. I am pretty sure that was not the situation that obtained all the time, but I noticed it that day at that time in that place.

In a former life I was a Catholic priest. On a few occasions I ran across show biz types who, apparently, were very uncomfortable because they didn't have a script for interacting with a man of the cloth. They tried on and discarded various personas as they interacted with me. It was as if they couldn't treat with me as one man to another. I came away feeling as if I had been talking to a hollow mask. Not all are that way, by any means, but they do exist, and not just in Hollywood.

If Elliott Rodgers had been raised by two such empty masks I would be not the least surprised that he was an aching void trying on various masks hoping that he could find one that wouuld bring him love. I should be grateful, I suppose, that he just wanted to get laid. He might have sought power as the means of getting ersatz love. He would have fit right in the political world of the Left.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Commando ElliotRodgers

The Battleground

Never have seen a baby carrier on the floor, much less in a public place.
Thank Goodness

If only you had overheard the conversation, you could have been sadder still.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Looks like Rodger started his "Day of Retribution" with a War on Asians before he turned to his one-man jihad against sorority girls: the three roommates that he murdered have been identified as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and Weihan W---, 20-- not exactly Caucasian or Hispanic names. Considering that Rodger proudly identified himself in his manifesto as "Eurasian," one wonders how he felt about the Asian half of his genetic heritage. (The last victim's name had to be spelled with dashes because it's a word not allowed by PJM's PC idiots.)
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, Dang!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be a D...!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
He imagined he would have his apartment to himself if he murdered his roommates, and would be regarded as "the real Alpha Male" after he murdered a bunch of hot Sorority Sisters.

...but he was not thinking clearly, according to some.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
We'll never know.
But we do know Obama had a Typical White Grandmother.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michael in Dublin...
The patriarchal focus in devout Judaism and Christianity is often belittled yet they had one of the most astonishing descriptions of the ideal wife and mother. Nothing like it is to be found outside of the Judeo-Christian wisdom. Here is a truly liberated woman - liberated from all the lies the modern progressive world seeks to foist upon women:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:10-31
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Under Jewish law every bride is given a contract that enumerates her husband's duties to her, including sexual gratification, and sets out the costs of his failure to meet the terms of the contract. The husband has no rights spelled out in the agreement. Under R. Gershom (9th c.) polygamy was banned and a woman could sue for divorce for any reason, etc. There has never been a time when it was safe for a Jewish guy to game a Jewish woman. Ask any Jewish son. :-)
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
My Cardiologist told me w/o my asking.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not quite like Elliot's Mom, or Stepmom.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
This poem is recited every Shabbat evening by the husband to his wife. It is actually sung/chanted as the man holds his woman’s hand(s). The man of the household has no choice, as is also the case with the recipient. Whether the participants are happy or angry, the "Woman of Valor" has been on the Sabbath playbill from day "one". Jews have to say lots of things whether they mean them or not. Eventually, they often start taking on meaning.

Integral to the Sabbath ritual is the blessing of the children. Both mom and dad lay hands on the heads of each child and recite a standard blessing appropriate to the sex of the child. A change of perspective can be palpable when children are physically touched by their parents and receive a blessing, whether deserved or not. Done often enough, both parents and child reach a genuinely elevated level of spirituality and empathy.

However meals are consumed during the rest of the week, the Friday evening meal is a formal meal with all family members present and, very often, guests as well. Gossip and business are forbidden. Joviality and song are encouraged.

Finally, for the sake of this conversation, Friday evening is the one guaranteed night of the week when husband and wife will make love. That is the law, and the only two standard exceptions would be genuine physical illness or menses. It is amazing how attitudes can change when both partners know the evening will end with them both naked and pleasuring one the other.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Surveillance footage shows the scene at I.V. Deli Mart Friday when Elliot Rodger opened fire. Christopher Michaels-Martinez was killed in the store by his assailant as a female customer remained in the line of fire to try to help him.

The video shows a short line at the counter and then they immediately fall to the ground as the gunfire starts. The victims face the outside of the store where the gunman fired and then crawl their way to the back for safety.
The video also shows bullets hit the glass refrigerator doors

But one girl at the counter in a dark-hooded sweatshirt remained in the front and frantically took out her cellphone and called 911, the station reported. She reached out her arm to Michael-Martinez to help him, the station reported.";;
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All