A Social Media Biography of a Spree Killer, Part 1

Rodger doesn’t hide the facts of his birth, but constructs an identity that masks his Asianness. The modern condition, according to the French philosopher Bruno Latour, allows for an increase in hybridity, but works to deny its existence and render it invisible (qtd. in Munoz 114). Rodger moved to extremes in his search for a model to erase his hybridity, adopting the rhetoric of racism and exploring Hitler as an identity model.

The police found the guns. We want the psychological triggers. We google clues, parse out the anonymous accomplices. Each of us can identify a narrative that silences some of our questions. We can see his words acted out.

Police took no action in reported attack by Elliot Rodger in 2013

Police Missed Locking Up Elliot Rodger, Santa Barbara Mass Murderer

Police Knew About Elliot Rodger’s Disturbing Videos But Didn’t Watch

‘PUAhate’ and ‘ForeverAlone': inside Elliot Rodger’s online life— Rodger frequented online forums that supported his misogyny. The communities justified his hate towards women.

Santa Barbara slayer mimicking Warcraft character — Rodger, an avid player of World of Warcraft (WoW), modeled his speaking and language patterns after Hellscream, a WoW character who hates his own race.[8]

Suspect: Asian male, white T-shirt.[9]

As a middle schooler, Rodger believed that masking his Asian half would usher him into the social circles of the “cool kids.” He produced an identity that fit California skateboard culture, buying a skateboard, dying his hair blond, and wearing skateboard-company-branded t-shirts.

I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian.[10]

Rodger swerved his black BMW into pedestrians. He knocked an Asian male from his bicycle. Police found the cyclist at the scene. He fit the description. They handcuffed him…

 

 

The next part of Randy Gonzales’s essay will be published in the Fall Quarterly issue. Please check back to read more.

 

[1] Comments made on Rodger’s YouTube video, “Elliot Rodger, Lonely Vlog, Life is so unfair.”

[2] Excerpt from Rodger’s BlogSpot profile at elliotrodger.blogspot.com.

[3] Only post on elliotrodger.blogspot.com.

[4] Rodger, Elliot. “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger,” 1.

[5] Rodger, “My Twisted World,” 85.

[6] Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, “Isla Vista Murder May 23, 2014 Investigative Summary,” 8.

[7] Excerpt from Rodger’s Blogspot profile at elliotrodger.blogspot.com.

[8] Headlines and summaries of Internet media stories about the Elliot Rodger case.

[9] Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, 46.

[10] “My Twisted World,” 121.

 

Randy Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He writes across genres, media, and disciplines, exploring intersections of culture and technology. He is particularly interested in narratives of place and displacement. He is a graduate of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. For more on Randy go to www.gonzales22.com.

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