Okay, it’s late and this is depressing so let’s keep it short. I have nothing worthwhile to say about the murders in Isla Vista. However I have been reading the news reports all day, and a lot of the commentary, and it hacks me off that so much of the coverage has focused on this man’s, largely speculative, mental illness, and his possible Asperger’s (which doesn’t even exist any more, according to the DSM-V) rather than the killer’s destructive beliefs, and the MRA echo chamber forums that strengthened and fortified these beliefs. I suppose now there has to be a big debate about why this guy did what he did, and what it says about society, that this young man of wealth living in one of the best places on the planet and his whole life ahead of him decided to murder six people, and injure several more, before, as they say, turning the gun on himself. I myself have a history of mental illness. I was tested for autism. I was also rather shy as a young man. Never did it occur to me that such difficulties could be solved by a swift rampage of murder and suicide.
But we are going to have that ‘debate’ anyway, because this man left behind a 140-page manifesto, that no one would be reading had he not ended six lives, but because he did what he did will guarantee him at least fifteen minutes of posthumous fame. I’m not going to link to his writings, they are freely available on various news sources and blogs, I will not quote any of this here. What’s that Neil Gaiman quote, about serial killers: ‘Forget ’em. Give them a number and send them down.’ I’ve probably mangled it, but he won’t mind the attribution. It seems right.