November 19th, 2013,
‘Selfie’ was named the Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary
Pseudo-intellectuals everywhere cried about the ‘death of the English language’
Because God forbid modern colloquial speech be recognised as valid.
Time Magazine refers to ‘millenials’ as the ‘me me me generation’
Selfish, all we care about is personal gratification
Lazy, entitled, shallow narcissists.
A picture of a girl taking a selfie on her phone is used for the cover
Because our selfishness can be summed up in the fact that we like how we look enough to document it.
We are consumed, they tell us, with our self image.
Everything is about us.
With the addition of every word to the dictionary,
‘Hashtag’. ‘Perf’. ‘Sexting’. ‘Totes’. ‘Selfie’,
The ‘me-me-me’ generation continues to make it all about ourselves,
And we should, they tell us, weep,
We should weep because we are entitled,
Because all we care about are selfies and parties and Instagram,
Because this is the generation that will one day run the world,
And for that, we should weep,
Because all we are is ‘me-me-me’.
Let me tell you something.
Every year, university tuition will be 2.3% more expensive for MY GENERATION,
MY GENERATION reports the highest levels of anxiety and depression than ANY other generation,
15% more of US than YOU will go to university,
But 46% of MY GENERATION won’t find a job until over a year after law school,
MY GENERATION, on average, is $47,628 in debt.
58% of girls in MY GENERATION feels like they are the wrong weight,
95% of people with eating disorders are part of MY GENERATION,
And MY GENERATION has a million dollar industry telling us that we are not good enough,
That we are ugly, lazy, and entitled,
And anything we do to be financially successful,
Or less stressed,
Or beautiful, god dammit,
Is in vain.
So pick up your phone,
Pick your favourite filter,
And take a goddamn selfie.
You deserve it for having to grow up in these times.
Write something true. Write something frightening. Write something close to the bone. You are on this planet to tell the story of what you saw here. What you heard. What you felt. What you learned. Any effort spent in that pursuit cannot be wasted.
Any way that you can tell that story more truly, more vividly, more you-ly, is the right way.
kohenari asked: OK, I get that. But are you suggesting, then, that this guy wasn't mentally ill?
There’s no evidence that Rodger had a mental illness that prompted this crime. None. There are more than 100 pages of documentation that he had a radicalized terrorist agenda that was conceived from and encouraged by his friends and peers on misogynist websites, after a lifetime of privilege that taught him that he was entitled to the things he wanted. What he wanted was women, and when he couldn’t figure out how to make that happen, he began to hate women for his own shortcomings, reframing his failures as theirs.
The assumption that Rodger had a mental illness which prompted his violence does two things: it absolves him of accountability for his long term, public campaign of graphic hatred toward women, and pretends that his sentiments were outré rather than entirely in line with the hundreds of men he engaged with on MRA fora and in YouTube comments. Rodger’s writings and ideas are notable for their volume and clarity, not their extremity.
Second: it invokes the ableist myth that mental illness is the primary cause of any violence we find too abhorrent or depersonalized to easily understand, especially when we fail or refuse to recognize the political agenda involved. It’s notable that perpetrators of mass killings who benefit from white privilege are almost immediately labeled mentally ill, even when their actions are clearly motivated by insidious bigotry. Rodger is no exception to this trend.
But not only is it untrue that mass shootings must be borne of mental illness, that false assumption and the immediate rush to rely upon it in almost every case creates enormous stigma against people with mental illnesses who are, in fact, exponentially more likely to be victims of violent crime than the perpetrators of it.
So no, I don’t think he had a mental illness because there is no evidence to support the assumption. And I categorically condemn the use of that assumption to backform an armchair diagnosis, because doing so is a harmful, ableist practice that makes the lives of people (like myself) living with actual, legitimately diagnosed mental illnesses, a nightmare.
Also note the racial connotations:
When a black man shoots, he’s a thug and it’s a problem of black culture. His sanity is never questioned.
When a middle eastern man shoots or bombs, he’s a religious extremist terrorist. His sanity is never questioned.
It is ONLY white male crime that gets the “insanity” label.
And the implications are clear: White people NEVER shoot. White peole are NEVER violent. These people are outliers. They do not count. Non-white people can be sane and violent, and perform violent acts deliberately. White people cannot become violent killers unless they have somehow lost their precious and pure white sanity.