Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pressing Pause: Your logic is in another castle

I originally intended to write a few blogs about some things I had on my mind, the night before. Mainly, about the release of games during certain points in time, and what creates social phenomena as opposed to a media phenomena. I spent the entirety of last night figuring out how to approach the issue, and where I should start my leads, took to writing notes during my lunch break, and then off to begin doing research. That all stopped, when I checked twitter to look for gaming related news for the FSBF facebook page...

As we all know, last weekend's Santa Barbra shooting can be at best described as "Savage" and "deplorable". The killer, a sad human being filled with both mental issues, and an overwhelming sense of self entitlement, went on a GTA style killing spree, injuring many and murdering Weihan Wang, Veronika Weiss, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, Katherine Cooper, Cheng Hong and George Chen.

My personal thoughts are with the victims, and their families, who seem to be shoved out of the way, by people who seem to have their own self entitlement issues, because let's face it. very little of this internet firestorm has to do with the victims of senseless death as much as it has to do with people's own misguided blame and fragile psyche.The result of which has gone horribly overboard. Apologists, and would-be social activists have all chimed in, and posted their pieces, but the kicker was in fact this article here.

 This is where I step in and state my peace. This is where I'm going to tell you, the media, the tumblr army, the twitter activists, the Facebook zealots, The so-called "apologist nerds" that you do not speak for me.

For the record, I'm posting this article in particular, because this is the article straw that  broke the camel's back, where I'm concerned. I took the liberty of quoting the article, Verbatim. Here it is.

"Nerdy guys aren’t guaranteed to get laid by the hot chick as long as we work hard. There isn’t a team of writers or a studio audience pulling for us to triumph by getting the girl.

I was going to write about The Big Bang Theory—why, as a nerdy viewer, I sometimes like it and sometimes have a problem with it, why I think there’s a backlash against it. Then some maniac shot up a sorority house in Santa Barbara and posted a manifesto proclaiming he did it for revenge against women for denying him sex. And the weekend just generally went to hell.

So now my plans have changed. With apologies to The Big Bang Theory fans, this is all I want to say about The Big Bang Theory: When the pilot aired, it was 2007 and “nerd culture” and “geek chic” were on everyone’s lips, and yet still the basic premise of “the sitcom for nerds” was, once again, awkward but lovable nerd has huge unreciprocated crush on hot non-nerdy popular girl (and also has an annoying roommate).

This annoys me. This is a problem.

Because, let’s be honest, this device is old. We have seen it over and over again. Steve Urkel. Screech. Skippy on Family Ties. Niles on Frasier.

We (male) nerds grow up force-fed this script. Lusting after women “out of our league” was what we did. And those unattainable hot girls would always inevitably reject us because they didn’t understand our intellectual interest in science fiction and comic books and would instead date asshole jocks. This was inevitable, and our only hope was to be unyieldingly persistent until we “earned” a chance with these women by “being there” for them until they saw the error of their ways. (The thought of just looking for women who shared our interests was a foreign one, since it took a while for the media to decide female geeks existed. The Big Bang Theory didn’t add Amy and Bernadette to its main cast until Season 4, in 2010.)

This is, to put it mildly, a problematic attitude to grow up with. Fixating on a woman from afar and then refusing to give up when she acts like she’s not interested is, generally, something that ends badly for everyone involved. But it’s a narrative that nerds and nerd media kept repeating.

I’m not breaking new ground by saying this. It’s been said very well over and over and over again.

And I’m not condemning guys who get frustrated, or who have unrequited crushes. And I’m not condemning any of these shows or movies.

And yet…

Before I went on Jeopardy!, I had auditioned for TBS’s King of the Nerds, a reality show commissioned in 2012 after TBS got syndication rights to, yes, The Big Bang Theory. I like the show and I still wish I’d been on it. (Both “kings” they’ve crowned, by the way, have so far been women, so maybe they should retitle it “Monarch of the Nerds” or, since the final win comes down to a vote, “President of the Nerds.” Just a nerdy thought.)

But a lot of things about the show did give me pause. One of them was that it was hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong—Lewis and Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. I don’t have anything against those guys personally. Nor am I going to issue a blanket condemnation of Revenge of the Nerds, a film I’m still, basically, a fan of.

But look. One of the major plot points of Revenge of the Nerds is Lewis putting on a Darth Vader mask, pretending to be his jock nemesis Stan, and then having sex with Stan’s girlfriend. Initially shocked when she finds out his true identity, she’s so taken by his sexual prowess—“All jocks think about is sports. All nerds think about is sex.”—that the two of them become an item.

Classic nerd fantasy, right? Immensely attractive to the young male audience who saw it. And a stock trope, the “bed trick,” that many of the nerds watching probably knew dates back to the legend of King Arthur.

It’s also, you know, rape.

I’ve had this argument about whether it was “technically” rape with fans of the movie in the past, but leaving aside the legal technicalities, why don’t you ask the women you know who are in committed relationships how they’d feel about guys concocting elaborate ruses to have sex with them without their knowledge to “earn a chance” with them? Or how it feels to be chased by a real-life Steve Urkel, being harassed, accosted, ambushed in public places, have your boyfriend “challenged” and having all rejection met with a cheerful “I’m wearing you down!”?

I know people who’ve been through that. And because life is not, in fact, a sitcom, it’s not the kind of thing that elicits a bemused eye roll followed by raucous laughter from the studio audience. It’s the kind of thing that induces pain, and fear.

    When our clever ruses and schemes to “get girls” fail, it’s not because the girls are too stupid or too bitchy or too shallow to play by those unwritten rules we’ve absorbed.

And that’s still mild compared to some of the disturbing shit I consumed in my adolescence. Jake handing off his falling-down-drunk date to Anthony Michael Hall’s Geek in Sixteen Candles saying, “Be my guest” (which is, yes, more offensive to me than Long Duk Dong). The nerd-libertarian gospels of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and how their √úbermensch protagonists prove their masculinity by having sex with their love interests without asking first—and win their hearts in the process. Comics…just, comics. (Too much to go into there but the fact that Red Sonja was once thought a “feminist icon” speaks volumes. Oh, and there’s that whole drama with Ms. Marvel for those of you who really want to get freaked out today.)

But the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.

So what happens to nerdy guys who keep finding out that the princess they were promised is always in another castle? When they “do everything right,” they get good grades, they get a decent job, and that wife they were promised in the package deal doesn’t arrive? When the persistent passive-aggressive Nice Guy act fails, do they step it up to elaborate Steve-Urkel-esque stalking and stunts? Do they try elaborate Revenge of the Nerds-style ruses? Do they tap into their inner John Galt and try blatant, violent rape?

Do they buy into the “pickup artist” snake oil—started by nerdy guys, for nerdy guys—filled with techniques to manipulate, pressure and in some cases outright assault women to get what they want? Or when that doesn’t work, and they spend hours a day on sites bitching about how it doesn’t work like Elliot Rodger’s hangout “,” sometimes, do they buy some handguns, leave a manifesto on the Internet and then drive off to a sorority house to murder as many women as they can?

No, I’m not saying most frustrated nerdy guys are rapists or potential rapists. I’m certainly not saying they’re all potential mass murderers. I’m not saying that most lonely men who put women up on pedestals will turn on them with hostility and rage once they get frustrated enough.

But I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was “normal,” because, in other words, I was a coward and I had the privilege of ignoring the problem.

I’ve heard and seen the stories that those of you who followed the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter have seen—women getting groped at cons, women getting vicious insults flung at them online, women getting stalked by creeps in college and told they should be “flattered.” I’ve heard Elliot Rodger’s voice before. I was expecting his manifesto to be incomprehensible madness—hoping for it to be—but it wasn’t. It’s a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder.

I’ve heard it from acquaintances, I’ve heard it from friends. I’ve heard it come out of my own mouth, in moments of anger and weakness.

It’s the same motivation that makes a guy in college stalk a girl, leave her unsolicited gifts and finally when she tells him to quit it makes him leave an angry post about her “shallowness” and “cruelty” on Facebook. It’s the same motivation that makes guys rant about “fake cosplay girls” at cons and how much he hates them for their vain, “teasing” ways. The one that makes a guy suffering career or personal problems turn on his wife because it’s her job to “support” him by patching up all the holes in his life. The one that makes a wealthy entrepreneur hit his girlfriend 117 times, on camera, for her infidelity, and then after getting off with a misdemeanor charge still put up a blog post casting himself as the victim.

And now that motivation has led to six people dead and thirteen more injured, in broad daylight, with the killer leaving a 140-page rant and several YouTube videos describing exactly why he did it. No he-said-she-said, no muffled sounds through the dorm ceiling, no “Maybe he has other issues.” The fruits of our culture’s ingrained misogyny laid bare for all to see.

And yet. When this story broke, the initial mainstream coverage only talked about “mental illness,” not misogyny, a line that people are now fervently exhorting us to stick to even after the manifesto’s contents were revealed. Yet another high-profile tech CEO resignation ensued when the co-founder of Rap Genius decided Rodger’s manifesto was a hilarious joke.

People found one of the girls Rodger was obsessed with and began questioning if her “bullying” may have somehow triggered his rage. And, worst of all, he has fan pages on Facebook that still haven’t been taken down, filled with angry frustrated men singing his praises and seriously suggesting that the onus is on women to offer sex to men to keep them from going on rampages.

So, a question, to my fellow male nerds:

What the fuck is wrong with us?

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

No, not the straw man that all men are constantly plotting rape, but that we live in an entitlement culture where guys think they need to be having sex with girls in order to be happy and fulfilled. That in a culture that constantly celebrates the narrative of guys trying hard, overcoming challenges, concocting clever ruses and automatically getting a woman thrown at them as a prize as a result, there will always be some guy who crosses the line into committing a violent crime to get what he “deserves,” or get vengeance for being denied it.

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here. We are not the underdogs. We are not the ones who have our ownership over our bodies and our emotions stepped on constantly by other people’s entitlement. We’re not the ones where one out of six of us will have someone violently attempt to take control of our bodies in our lifetimes.

We are not Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds, we are not Steve Urkel from Family Matters, we are not Preston Myers from Can’t Hardly Wait, we are not Seth Rogen in every movie Seth Rogen has ever been in, we are not fucking Mario racing to the castle to beat Bowser because we know there’s a princess in there waiting for us.

We are not the lovable nerdy protagonist who’s lovable because he’s the protagonist. We’re not guaranteed to get laid by the hot chick of our dreams as long as we work hard enough at it. There isn’t a team of writers or a studio audience pulling for us to triumph by “getting the girl” in the end. And when our clever ruses and schemes to “get girls” fail, it’s not because the girls are too stupid or too bitchy or too shallow to play by those unwritten rules we’ve absorbed.

It’s because other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.

We need to get that. Really, really grok that, if our half of the species ever going to be worth a damn. Not getting that means that there will always be some percent of us who will be rapists, and abusers, and killers. And it means that the rest of us will always, on some fundamental level, be stupid and wrong when it comes to trying to understand the women we claim to love.

What did Elliot Rodger need? He didn’t need to get laid. None of us nerdy frustrated guys need to get laid. When I was an asshole with rants full of self-pity and entitlement, getting laid would not have helped me.

He needed to grow up.

We all do. "
This article in general annoys me, But for not the reasons Arthur posts. Perhaps growing up in the 80's has given me some sort of bias. Using shows like Family Matters, Family Ties, Full House, and the like as proof of negative nerd sterotypes can be good if you weren't using them from a surface understanding and actually looked deeper into the characters. Perhaps it has also given me some insight into why this article is horribly misguided from the first point to the last. Yes, television is part of the problem, but it has very little to do with my generation of programming at all..

Place the blame where it belongs.

For the majority of us growing up on shows like Family Matters, we know of Steve Urkel and his plight of trying to win Laura Winslow's hand. The serenading, the poetry, the hair brained schemes, but what about the other aspects of the show? You  know like telling a promiscuious girl, who wants to reward his tutoring with sex, that people should like her for who she is and not what she can give them, Warning the girl he cares about on the alterior motives of guys she dated on two occasions, one of which ultimately prevented her from being date raped. Characters like this actually are supposed to be representations of  decent human beings. Which Steve Urkel was despite his nerdy clumsy nature.

For television in the 80's and 90's Sitcoms had a dual purpose; To entertain viewers and also to teach us "the lesson of the day", or as we commonly call it, the moral of the story. This is basically a formula which was used to help instill the youth with good morals and warn us of the dangers of life in a neat little package. Formulaic, yet effective to some degree. To add to this, these shows also featred special episodes that really forced those morals home. Abuse, Rape, Drugs, Racism. These were all on the table, and every episode had tough endings that showed the repercussions of each action.


The most important factor was that growing up, we knew the difference between fantasy and reality. Not just because we were told there was, we actually used common sense.


Let's compare this to today's programming, or basically shows like Jersey Shore.

I'm old, and pretty oblivious to popular culture, these days, so bear with me..

The example that got thrown about at the top of this argument is the persistent nerd, made famous by Jaleel White, and others, but we ignore the fact that the above video was one of the most popular shows of modern television. Yes, it's scripted and fake, but that does not take away from the fact that the two minute and thirty-three second segment is a culmination of four seasons worth of ...something, that garnered ratings in the millions. (at it's highest, 8.78 million )

Oddly enough, no one has discussed the misogynist culture of Jersey Shore. The negative aspects are rampant, with not really any morals to be told, other than "Being a drunken jackanape is cool!". What about other popular shows like Teen Mom, or The child pageant shows that really set not only parents, but the entire American culture in a bad light. I'm sorry, but if you guys have such a hard-on for these so-called problem nerds "objectifying women", isn't that the first thing you need to address other than a few dated television shows you're using out of context?

There are other aspects, such as the Arthurian Bed trick, and how it's used in Revenge of the Nerds, but let's be honest; Not every nerd is going to be out there playing switch-a-roo. Hell, half of the nerds I grew up with despite joking about this happening, would never do this, let alone have the opportunity to do this. Maybe this has to do with the "nebulous idea" of common sense, I think of it as trying to give humans the benefit of the doubt.

The Montana mindset.. 

That was a scene from Scarface. If you were living under a rock, or just not a would-be rapper with a Al Pacino fetish, This was a cult movie about a Cuban immigrant who became Miami's foremost drug kingpin. In this particular scene He and Manny have a discussion about how to attract women who otherwise have no interest in them what-so-ever (From the comments, the reason is both slightly due to race, and status). Now, you're wondering why I posted this, and I'll tell you why; This reminded me of the statement posed by Mr. Chu.
"But the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well."

So what happens to nerdy guys who keep finding out that the princess they were promised is always in another castle? When they “do everything right,” they get good grades, they get a decent job, and that wife they were promised in the package deal doesn’t arrive? When the persistent passive-aggressive Nice Guy act fails, do they step it up to elaborate Steve-Urkel-esque stalking and stunts? Do they try elaborate Revenge of the Nerds-style ruses? Do they tap into their inner John Galt and try blatant, violent rape?

Do they buy into the “pickup artist” snake oil—started by nerdy guys, for nerdy guys—filled with techniques to manipulate, pressure and in some cases outright assault women to get what they want? Or when that doesn’t work, and they spend hours a day on sites bitching about how it doesn’t work like Elliot Rodger’s hangout “,” sometimes, do they buy some handguns, leave a manifesto on the Internet and then drive off to a sorority house to murder as many women as they can?

No, I’m not saying most frustrated nerdy guys are rapists or potential rapists. I’m certainly not saying they’re all potential mass murderers. I’m not saying that most lonely men who put women up on pedestals will turn on them with hostility and rage once they get frustrated enough.
Now Tony Montana's statement to Manny is basically where Mr Chu's mindset orginated. Yes, once you get the money you get the power, and then you get the women. These words are oft quoted in rap songs, as well as certain circles of popular culture, but you also can't argue that there is a particular truth about this statement. Presidential Scandals, high profile marriages, publicised celebrity affairs; These are the things that are covered in the media. Farmer Brown, being thrown out by his wife because he had an roll in the hey with Cindy-Sue isn't news. We searched our feelings, we know this to be true. Then there's the other problems people face when using money as a means of attracting the opposite or same sex; The Gold Digger.

Before your face screws up in a terrifying grimace, that term isn't just limited to women. Men can be gold diggers as well, and historically have been. Dowry had been a factor in a large amount of marriages in the Ninteenth century, when marriage itself had been a business venture more than a union of love. Maybe this is where the idea started that the woman is often the "goal". The problem is; The Dowry system is not practiced in North America, or Europe due to the system being deemed illegal (It is still practiced in South Asia, however) So there goes that. The real quesion is: "Who are these people who view women as property?" When I ask myself this question, I always seem to default back to the obvious; Celebrities. I could even go further to say that rappers are the common answer to this qwery.

So, do nerdy guys who actually try to push themselves to do good get frustrated when they see these guys dancing around with bottles of expensive alcohol, and scantily clad women and pricy cars.? Obviously. Are certain women affected by the same mentality to think that they should date thugs? Possibly (Despite certain personal instances that prove an actual yes, I don't rope the entirety of the female populace into this statement, unlike others.) Once again, we're placing the blame on the people instead of where it belongs, which is the media.

Mr Chu then goes on to denounce the implications of his statement, but then inches forward with pressing this to be what he believes is true, Often seeking validation of this mindset with his own personal beliefs and experiences. However, personal experiences can be a dual edged sword. Where it does often sway opinion, without the additional data of names places and events, tends to fail the author in securing the necessary validation. I've been to conventions, and I have met some really nasty people who would fit Chu's description, but I also know and stood with nerdy communities of men and women who railed against those people. Like Chu, I can use my own personal experiences to paint a picture, but instead of using it to push the agenda of nerdy males being vilified, it's to basically show that nerd culture doesn't often equal rape culture.

Shame and blame.

This isn't the first article that I read that discussed this. A blogger named Dr Nerdlove also talked about the event as it happened. Granted, the doctor had limited information and most of the social commentary fell short on that lack of information, I do agree, there is a certain mindset that Virginity is something that is treasured in females and damning in males. That is something I can relate to. This has struck a strong chord in the amount of people who still think that Elliot Rodger is some sort of folk hero in all this. That man was not a hero. He was a coward, he was mentally unstable, he was clearly entitled and spoiled, and a misogynist.  The culmination of these factors came together to create this monster. That man is where the blame for this tragedy should be rightfully placed.

Yes, There is in fact a website where people post misogynistic statements, But there are websites that allow people to post racist and homophobic statements; Hell, Look at You Tube's commentary system before it's structural changes. We're not going to get anywhere by attacking these sites, which would actually be shut down, but would return in greater numbers. There is far too much anonymity involved on that end for us to pinpoint every user that makes a questionable statement. This is why places like You Tube had to make the changes they made, but that still obviously doesn't solve the problem. Oh of course it's a quick fix, but for the victims and their families, those scars are still going to be there.

I think the biggest thing that irks me about this whole ordeal is the fact that we're asked by the people who write these blogs and articles to ignore the fact that Elliot Rogers had mental illnesses or disturbances. If you were able to take that factor away, it's very easy to paint a picture of random nerds just going crazy and attacking anyone in a wild rampage. This is what seems to be the angle that's being pushed, here. However, I'm going to go a different route. Here are three people that fit the similar description of Elliot Rogers' mindset and have actually gone on to do what he has. Take a look and see if you notice something as well. These were all found on Wikipedia.

Person 1:
The shooter was identified as 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho, a South Korean citizen with U.S. permanent resident status. An undergraduate at Virginia Tech, Cho lived in Harper Hall, a dormitory west of West Ambler Johnston Hall.

The Virginia Tech Review Panel's August 2007 report (Massengill Report) devoted more than 20 pages to Cho's troubled history.[89][90] At three years of age, Cho was described as shy, frail, and wary of physical contact.[91] In eighth grade, Cho was diagnosed with severe depression as well as selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that inhibited him from speaking.[92][93] While early media reports carried reports by South Korean relatives that Cho had autism,[94][95] the Massengill Report stated that the relationship between selective mutism and autism was "unclear".[96] Cho's family sought therapy for him, and he received help periodically throughout middle school and high school.[97] Early reports also indicated Cho was bullied for speech difficulties in middle school, but the Virginia Tech Review Panel was unable to confirm this, or other reports that he was ostracized and mercilessly bullied for class-, height-, and race-related reasons in high school, causing some anti-bullying advocates to feel that the Review Panel was engaging in an authority-absolving whitewash.[98][99] Supposedly, high school officials had worked with his parents and mental health counselors to support Cho throughout his sophomore and junior years. Cho eventually chose to discontinue therapy. When he applied and was admitted to Virginia Tech, school officials did not report his speech and anxiety-related problems or special education status because of federal privacy laws that prohibit such disclosure unless a student requests special accommodation.[93]
Seung-Hui Cho, standing and holding a gun in each hand; wearing a black baseball cap turned backwards, black gloves, and a vest.
One of the photographs of Seung-Hui Cho that he sent to NBC News on the day of the massacre.

The Massengill Report detailed numerous incidents of aberrant behavior beginning in Cho's junior year of college that should have served as a warning to his deteriorating mental condition. Several former professors of Cho reported that his writing as well as his classroom behavior was disturbing, and he was encouraged to seek counseling.[100][101] He was also investigated by the university for stalking and harassing two female students.[10] In 2005, Cho had been declared mentally ill by a Virginia special justice and ordered to seek outpatient treatment.[102]

The Virginia Tech Review Panel Report (Massengill Report) faulted university officials for failing to share information that would have shed light on the seriousness of Cho's problems, citing misinterpretations of federal privacy laws.[103][104] The report also pointed to failures by Virginia Tech's counseling center, flaws in Virginia's mental health laws, and inadequate state mental health services, but concluded that "Cho himself was the biggest impediment to stabilizing his mental health" in college.[105] The report also stated that the classification detail that Cho was to seek "outpatient" rather than "inpatient" treatment would generally have been legally interpreted at the time as not requiring that Cho be reported to Virginia's Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE) and entered into the CCRE database of people prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.[106]

Cho's underlying psychological diagnosis at the time of the shootings remains a matter of speculation.[107] Some teachers, having seen many troubled students over the years and sensing deep problems with Cho, attempted to "manage the situation" in such a way as to not alienate him and to allow him to successfully graduate with his reputation still intact.

Early reports suggested that the killings resulted from a romantic dispute between Cho and Emily Hilscher, one of his first two victims. However, Hilscher's friends said she had no prior relationship with Cho and there is no evidence that he ever met or talked with her before the murders.[108] In the ensuing investigation, police found a suicide note in Cho's dorm room that included comments about "rich kids", "debauchery", and "deceitful charlatans". On April 18, 2007, NBC News received a package from Cho time-stamped between the first and second shooting episodes. It contained an 1,800-word manifesto, photos, and 27 digitally-recorded videos in which Cho likened himself to Jesus Christ and expressed his hatred of the wealthy.[28] He stated, among other things, "You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. ... You just loved to crucify me. You loved inducing cancer in my head, terror in my heart and ripping my soul all this time".[109] Media organizations, including Newsweek, MSNBC, Reuters, and the Associated Press, even raised questions about and speculated on the similarity between a stance in one of Cho's videos, which showed him holding and raising a hammer, and a pose from promotional posters for the South Korean movie Oldboy.[110][111][112] Investigators found no evidence that Cho had ever watched Oldboy, and the professor who made the initial connection to Oldboy has since discounted his theory that Cho was influenced by the movie.[113] The Virginia Tech Review Panel concluded that because of Cho's inability to handle stress and the "frightening prospect" of being "turned out into the world of work, finances, responsibilities, and a family," Cho chose to engage in a fantasy in which "he would be remembered as the savior of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the poor, and the rejected."[114] The panel went further, stating that, "His thought processes were so distorted that he began arguing to himself that his evil plan was actually doing good. His destructive fantasy was now becoming an obsession."[115]

Person 2:
Holmes' defense attorneys claimed in a motion he was a "psychiatric patient" of the medical director of Anschutz's Student Mental Health Services prior to the Aurora shooting; however, the prosecution disagrees with that claim.[42][43] Four days after the release of the defense attorney's motion, the judge required this information to be blacked out.[44] CBS News later reported that Holmes met with at least three mental health professionals at the University of Colorado prior to the massacre.

One of Holmes' psychiatrists suspected prior to the shooting that Holmes suffered from mental illness and could be dangerous. A month before the shooting, Dr. Lynne Fenton reported to the campus police that he had made homicidal statements which indicated he was a threat to the public.[45] Despite the fact that she was seeing him as a patient, she decided not to hospitalize him for saying he wanted to kill people. Her reasoning is unknown. Other acquaintances also feared Holmes was violent. Two weeks prior to the shooting, he sent a text message asking a graduate student if they had heard of the disorder dysphoric mania, and warning the student to stay away from him "because I am bad news".[46]

It was reported that Holmes was a big fan of superheroes, including Batman, and that his apartment was decorated with Batman paraphernalia.[47] Dave Aragon, an actor from MTV television series Pimp My Ride, stated that James Holmes called him twice the month prior to the shooting. Aragon is the writer, director, and star of an upcoming film entitled The Suffocator of Sins, which has a plot that involves a vigilante who shoots criminals, and Aragon claimed that Holmes showed interest in his movie's trailer.[48]
Actions prior to shooting

On May 22, 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22 pistol at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora. Six days later, on May 28, he bought a Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Denver.[49] On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university,[40] he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle from a Gander Mountain

On June 25, less than a month before the shooting, Holmes emailed an application to join a gun club in Byers, Colorado. The owner, Glenn Rotkovich, called him several times throughout the following days to invite him to a mandatory orientation, but could only reach his answering machine. Due to the nature of Holmes' voice mail, which he described as "bizarre, freaky", "guttural, spoken with a deep voice, incoherent and rambling", Rotkovich instructed his staff to inform him if Holmes showed up, though Holmes neither appeared at the gun range nor called back. "In hindsight, looking back – and if I'd seen the movies – maybe I'd say it was like the Joker – I would have gotten the Joker out of it... It was like somebody was trying to be as weird as possible", Rotkovich said.[55]
Shooting and arrest
Century 16 at Town Center at Aurora, scene of the shooting

On July 20, 2012, police arrested an unresisting Holmes next to his car behind the Century 16 theater, moments after the 2012 Aurora shooting, in which Holmes allegedly set off several gas or smoke canisters and then opened fire on the theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 70.[56] The responding officers recovered several guns from inside the car and the theater. According to two federal authorities, Holmes had dyed his hair orange and had called himself "The Joker".[57] The claim that Holmes had called himself "The Joker" was later retracted by police[58] from news sources such as Face The Nation on the CBS News network.

Once apprehended, Holmes told the police that he had booby-trapped his apartment with explosive devices before heading to the theater.[13][59][60] Police later confirmed the presence of explosives in the apartment.[61]
Person 3:
Adam Peter Lanza (April 22, 1992 – December 14, 2012) and his mother lived in Sandy Hook, 5 miles (8 km) from the elementary school.[121] He did not have a criminal record.[8][122][123] He attended Sandy Hook Elementary School for a brief time.[124] Afterward, he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Newtown,[125] and then Newtown High School, where he was an honors student.[126] He was taken out of high school at the age of sixteen, and began attending Western Connecticut State University shortly thereafter.[127] Subsequent to his removal from high school, Lanza was home-schooled by his mother and father, and earned a GED.[128] Lanza's aunt said his mother removed him from the Newtown public school system because she was unhappy with the school district's plans for her son.[129] He attended Western Connecticut State University in 2008 and 2009.[128] Students and teachers who knew him in high school described Lanza as "intelligent, but nervous and fidgety". He avoided attracting attention and was uncomfortable socializing. He is not known to have had any close friends in school.[121]

Adam Lanza was diagnosed with a sensory-integration disorder when he started elementary school and was later diagnosed by a psychiatrist with Asperger syndrome when he was thirteen, according to his father, Peter Lanza. He also had obsessive-compulsive disorder. He received treatment for his conditions but resisted taking medication as an adolescent. His father suspects that Lanza might have suffered from undiagnosed schizophrenia or psychopathy in addition to his other conditions. Peter Lanza said that family members might have missed signs of the onset of schizophrenia during his son's adolescence because they attributed his odd behavior and increasing isolation to Adam's Asperger syndrome.[127][130][131][132][133] Because of concerns that published accounts of Lanza's autism could result in a backlash against others with the condition, autism advocates campaigned to clarify that autism is a brain-related developmental disorder and not a mental illness.[134] The predatory aggression demonstrated by Lanza in the shooting is generally not seen in the autistic population.[135]

Sensory-processing disorder does not have official status by the medical community as a formal diagnosis but is frequently one of the characteristics of autism.[136] Kathleen A. Koenig, a nurse at the Yale Child Studies Center, said Lanza had symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder because he frequently washed his hands and changed his socks 20 times a day, to the point where his mother did three loads of laundry a day.[137] In addition, he would sometimes go through a box of tissues in one day because he could not touch a doorknob with his bare hand.[138]

He taped black garbage bags over his bedroom windows. He was fascinated with mass shootings, most notably the Columbine High School massacre and the Northern Illinois University 2008 shooting.[139] He did not allow anybody in his room, he refused to have a Christmas tree in the house, and would not eat his food unless it was arranged in a particular way on his plate.[140] He had also chosen to cut off contact with both his father and brother in the two years before the shooting and at one point communicated with his mother, who lived in the same house, only by email. A Word document entitled "Selfish" about the inherent selfishness of women was found on Lanza's computer after his death.[130]

In January 2014, the New York Daily News reported that Adam Lanza had made a phone call to a college radio station in Oregon in December 2011, in which he used the name "Greg" and compared a teenage mall shooter to Travis the chimpanzee. An audio recording of the call obtained by the newspaper was said to contain Lanza's voice by two of his former high school classmates. Lanza is also said to have discussed the possibility of going on to the radio show in an instant messaging conversation, in which he had the username "Smiggles". Danbury State Attorney Stephen Sedensky said "Adam Lanza may have called a radio station, but I do not specifically know whether or not that is Adam Lanza on the audiotape".[141]

Following her divorce from Adam's father, a corporate executive, Nancy Lanza was supported by alimony payments.[142][143][144] A relative commented that she did not have to work because the divorce settlement had left her "very well off".[145] Initial reports that Nancy Lanza had worked as a volunteer at the Sandy Hook Elementary School were denied by the school superintendent on December 15, 2012.[146] However, in December 2013, the release of documents related to the case included a card found at Nancy Lanza's home dating from 1999, which read "Dear Mrs. Lanza, Thank you for being such a special volunteer. The children achieved a most successful year with the dedication from your active involvement."[105]

Her sister-in-law described Nancy Lanza as a "gun enthusiast who owned at least a dozen firearms".[147][148][149][150] She often took her two sons to a local shooting range and had them learn to shoot.[142] Peter Lanza said he does not believe Nancy Lanza feared her son Adam. She did not confide any fear of Adam to her sister or to her best friend; she slept with her bedroom door unlocked and she kept guns in the house where she lived with Adam.[130]

Are these people who could of benefited from "just growing up", which in itself is a statement that sounds more throw-away than most other answers to this problem. How does one "just Grow up?" or "man up and deal" or "be a man"? If the "internet hate machine" is the problem, How is the solution just dressing up the same sentiment and forcing it down other people's throats as a cure-all going to fix things? Or is it just another way of saying there is no common solution?
Yes, these people getting the help they needed would of stopped this from happening. that's the most logical solution. Brow beating them into becoming society's standard of adults while masking additional problems, is not.

Mr. Chu, and all others of your ilk. You can go about trying to play The Lorax, and speak for the ones who wear the nerd tees, all you like, but in reality you're only speaking for yourself. You willfully admitted to everyone that you stood by and watched these so-called "Elliot Rodgers in training" say and do these disgusting things, and now you speak in regret. That's fine for you, but I speak for myself. I refuse to be lumped into categories I know I don't fit in, and I wholeheartedly reject the idea that I have to apologize for some monster's behavior, whom I had nothing to do with. As a responsible adult, who works, does his taxes, pays his bills, and spends his free time playing video games and surfing the web, I know the type of man i am, and I don't need you apologizing on my behalf, because you failed at some point to do the right thing.

Being a man means knowing when to take responsibility for your own actions. I believe it's time for some of that reasoning to take effect.

-Game on!

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