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Very, very OT, but I just had to share

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Posted: 05/26/2014 7:26 PM

Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


Hey guys, so, we're in the unbelieveably slow part of the offseason.  Now seemed like a good time to share something that left me utterly shaken.  I've known a lot of you guys longer than I've known people I meet every day in real life, and I feel like I can share.  If what I'm about to post isn't your cup of tea, feel free to ignore it, but I had to tell someone.

This afternoon, I was at a rally for Ro Khanna (a democrat whose challenging incumbent rep Mike Honda here in the south-east bay.).  Met the guy, and a bunch of other new people, and he seemed nice.  My buddy who I work with (the rally was at my office) pulled me aside and gave me some news that just shook me to my core: there had been a school shooting at UCSB (its the guy who tried to murder an entire sorority, you've probably heard about it).  Here's why I took that news so hard: I was a student at UCSB from 1996 - 1998, and I transferred to UC Berkeley for the fall of 1998.  

Here's why that news hit me hard: I realized in a flash that no one, anywhere in this country, is now safe.  If it could happen at UCSB, it could happen literally anywhere.  If someone had told me that a shooting had happened at Berkeley, my reaction would be "yeah, I could buy that, that makes sense."  The stress that Berkeley causes, its a pressure cooker of a university, can cause even the strongest minds to crack.  I saw it happen time and time again to friends of mine while I was there, friends who just felt that they couldn't take it anymore and had to get out.  I, myself, didn't cross the finish line by very much, but I crossed because I would not be denied.  

UCSB, though, is a completely different environment.  UCSB is the single most laid back place on earth that I've ever been to.  Nobody there cared about where you came from, who you were or were turned off by your problems in life.  I met a guy Sophomore year there who drank constantly, who loved riding his motor cycle so much that he showed up to class in a leather jacket, and who was a notorious bar hopper and womanizer.  He was my economics professor.  If that's what the adults are like, you can easily imagine what the kids are like.  Most other universities, that econ professor would have been fired for misconduct, at UCSB it was more like "eh, what you going to do?  We all have problems."  The sun is always shining at UCSB, life is always good, and everyone there seems to have friends.  

At UCSB, you don't need to go and find trouble, trouble finds you.  At UCSB, you can make friends and score girls with no effort whatsoever.  I spent the bulk of my two years there trying to get the grades to transfer to Berkeley, but I had an amazingly good time in the process.  Saturday night at UCSB, we took our line after the United States Marines: we never left a man behind (from the party).  It was the girls that I found most amazing.  I have never been in another place my entire life, before then or since, where women were so easy to come by.  If the UCSB shooter thought that girls, on that campus, were tough, he should try them anywhere else on the planet.  People on that campus have a very high quality of life.  When I was there, everyone was always smiling, everyone always seemed so happy.  People there surf more than they study.  

That's why this shooting bothers me in ways that other shootings don't.  I can understand being a loner, being isolated.  We all feel like that sometimes, some of us more often than others.  UCSB though is the single most inclusive place I've ever been to.  Nobody there eats their meals alone.  Girls at UCSB are the most inclusive, and caring, of anywhere I've ever been to.  Its the one place where I can honestly say I was never mistreated by a woman (we all have been, at some point in our lives, and we've all mistreated a woman, or said something we shouldn't have, at some point too).  Girls there are like everyone there is, it just doesn't matter if you have a past, nobody there judges anybody else (I also went to small private High School, where judgement was, unfortunately, quite high).  When I was there, I had a friend who had to get high on pot to have an academic discussion, I had a friend who had AIDS, I had a friend who never started writing a paper until after it was due, and I had a friend who I had to bail out of the city jail.  None of it really bothered me all that much.  They were still my friends.  We all had problems, but people there looked past those things.  The sun is shining today, the waves are kicking, who wants to go surfing?  

So, for me, who remembers those good times, I hear about a shooting like this, and I have to ask, how bad do you have to be to be a loner at UCSB?  If you were mad at the women there, I have news for you: based on my experience, the problem was probably on your end, not their's.  You have to send out extreme warning signals for girls there to not want to hang out with you.  Its actually something that takes effort.  One of my best buddies when I was there, snagged the girlfriend we all dreamt of,  She was smart, and beautiful, and he stayed in his room all day playing civilization two on his computer.  He once complained to me that he was sick and tired of getting nuked every single turn by all the other civs.  I had never played civ 2 in those days, and I suggested that what he needed was an SDI Defense (yes, I knew more about the Ronald Regan plan for space based laser missle defense than I did about popular video games) and he promptly informed me that was an option on the game, built one in every city, and thanked me for clueing him in on what an SDI defense city improvement was.  That story, in a nutshell, is what this campus is like: everyone there was friendly, easy going and welcoming.  It didn't matter if you were into the same things everyone else was or if you weren't (contrary to most people on campus, I didn't drink or experiment with drugs) people were happy to see you, everyone had friends.  

Maybe my experience there was unique, but based upon what I know from other students who have attended that school, it was normal more than anything.  That's what shakes me up about this shooting so much, and gets me so emotional: UCSB is, literally, the last place on the face of the earth where I can imagine something like this happening.  Crashing your car because you were dead freaking drunk?  Yeah, a school shooting?  No.  I realized today, in a very real way, that no place on earth is safe, no place is safe from the threat of firearms and the maniacs who use them.  I realized what people in Newton Connecticut must have realized: if it could happen here, where couldn't this happen?  

Thanks for listening guys.  Maybe what I've said is relevant, maybe it isn't, but its something that I just can't stop thinking about.
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Posted: 05/26/2014 7:39 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


You're seeking a rational answer to an irrational incident. 

This was not simply about a lovesick loner lashing out. I was a shy, unlucky-in-love loner as were thousands of other young men. None of us went on a shooting spree.

This was a deranged young man who had planned this for months. Hell, he even thought he'd been caught when someone called the police to do a welfare check.
If he hadn't been a 22-year old virgin, he would have lashed out because he was angry at some other ill in society.
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Posted: 05/26/2014 8:21 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


Yeah, the fact is that outliers can happen anywhere. It's certainly possible that some environments can bring out the worst in people who have existing issues, but a sociopath can emerge anywhere regardless of environment just as, on the positive side, a piano prodigy (for example) can emerge from an impoverished community that had no ability to nurture such a talent.

On the one hand, I agree that you are, very literally speaking, not safe anywhere for that very reason. Even the sleepiest suburb can house someone with terrible problems. But the other side of the coin is that such outliers are extremely rare so even though it's technically possible to run into one anywhere, it's extremely improbable that you will actually run into one anywhere.

Last edited 05/26/2014 8:26 PM by Minstrel

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Posted: 05/27/2014 7:33 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


I think you answered your own question. You have an emotional attachment to UCSB, and so your reaction is being driven by your emotion. As Minstrel said, this was highly atypical; it's not a reflection on how society has changed since you were there, per se, as much as it just happens to be an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances that led to it taking place at your alma mater. The shooter, Elliot Rodgers, clearly appears to have been greatly disturbed; if anything, the environment you described only fueled his delusions and misogyny even more.

I had several friends who went to UCSB from High School (pretty typical for anyone coming out of California, as it's a fairly popular school in the UC system). I'd agree it had/has a reputation as a bit of a party school, where even the least socially adept students have ample opportunity to have a good time. I went up there a few times to visit friends (including during their famous Halloween parties, which included catching Oingo Boingo down at the Santa Barbara Bowl one year). I wouldn't say it was that different, as a campus, from say UCSD or even UC Davis. UCSC, with its very counter-cultural atmosphere and the students it tends to attract, might be the one where I'd say "this is the last place I'd expect a gun shooting spree,"  but even then.. it's never a total impossibility (however improbable).

I understand how this must have shaken you a bit. Anything that hits close to home will have that effect (I had a friend whose father died in the 9/11 Flight 93 plane crash in Pennsylvania - the flight that was en route back to San Francisco - and it only added a depth of emotion beyond the horrific events of that day that, to this day, still gives me a slight chill to think about). I wouldn't dwell on that aspect too much, though.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 10:52 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


a kid fatally shot himself (but fired at nobody else) at a high school about a geographical mile from my old apartment. It made national news for about a day (but was quickly forgotten by even the local media because he only fired the one shot) but it shook me up for a while because I would have been at the school had I been 10 years younger (well, not really because I would have still been with my parents, but I didn't rationalize that at the time.)

Sandy Hook hurt because I had just dropped my kids off at daycare - 1500 miles away.

The common denominator with this is that I had no personal connection and they still shook me up. So don't beat yourself up for being shaken up when you actually did have a connection
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Posted: 05/27/2014 12:02 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


Absolutely love this post!!!!!  I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate the candor that you have here. 

<< slow clap >>
ComicBookGeek wrote: You're seeking a rational answer to an irrational incident. 

This was not simply about a lovesick loner lashing out. I was a shy, unlucky-in-love loner as were thousands of other young men. None of us went on a shooting spree.

This was a deranged young man who had planned this for months. Hell, he even thought he'd been caught when someone called the police to do a welfare check.
If he hadn't been a 22-year old virgin, he would have lashed out because he was angry at some other ill in society.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 6:52 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



ComicBookGeek wrote:  I was a shy, unlucky-in-love loner as were thousands of other young men. None of us went on a shooting spree.
I too was a shy kid who took a long time to make friends. My family moved so much that I never spent more than one year at a school until 11th and 12th grades.

I was bullied constantly, physically and emotionally but all the while my parents told me I had to deal with it because LIFE isn't going to be handed to you on a silver platter with a smile. I either had to defend myself honorably or just suck it up and that escalated violence was unacceptable. They told me that with my decisions came full personal responsibility. I NEVER questioned that reasoning. Over the years I developed a sense of humor that endeared some bullies while others I had to fight back. The ONLY time my parents ever met with school administrators concerning this was when I chose to fight back. They defended my position to the school officials but told me I had to accept the punishment that came with it.

I was around firearms my whole life, I hunted , recreationally used many types of guns and I had personal weapons including handguns that were kept in my own closet. It never even once occurred to me to use a firearm for vengeance at any time during those years.

I believe what is happening today with all these shootings is that we have finally created a largely narcissistic society that has instilled in many that they are victims and through schools, govt programs, politics, social groups, entertainment and media that the acceptable way in dealing with it, is escalated violence.

In the aftermath of such an incident we feign outrage but we always in the end blame other things instead of the person solely responsible making the choice in actually pulling that trigger!


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Posted: 05/27/2014 7:19 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



dea49 wrote:
ComicBookGeek wrote:  I was a shy, unlucky-in-love loner as were thousands of other young men. None of us went on a shooting spree.
I too was a shy kid who took a long time to make friends. My family moved so much that I never spent more than one year at a school until 11th and 12th grades.

I was bullied constantly, physically and emotionally but all the while my parents told me I had to deal with it because LIFE isn't going to be handed to you on a silver platter with a smile. I either had to defend myself honorably or just suck it up and that escalated violence was unacceptable. They told me that with my decisions came full personal responsibility. I NEVER questioned that reasoning. Over the years I developed a sense of humor that endeared some bullies while others I had to fight back. The ONLY time my parents ever met with school administrators concerning this was when I chose to fight back. They defended my position to the school officials but told me I had to accept the punishment that came with it.

I was around firearms my whole life, I hunted , recreationally used many types of guns and I had personal weapons including handguns that were kept in my own closet. It never even once occurred to me to use a firearm for vengeance at any time during those years.

I believe what is happening today with all these shootings is that we have finally created a largely narcissistic society that has instilled in many that they are victims and through schools, govt programs, politics, social groups, entertainment and media that the acceptable way in dealing with it, is escalated violence.

In the aftermath of such an incident we feign outrage but we always in the end blame other things instead of the person solely responsible making the choice in actually pulling that trigger!
That's a little offtopic from the offtopic but that's only part of the problem.

The difference between our bullies and today's bullies is that when you and I went home from school, it ended for a few hours (well, my bully lived down the street but we eventually moved and he was a large factor in that).  Today's victims get bullied at school and then at home on Facebook. Sometimes a website shaming him will be created. If they are really unlucky, they'll receive harassing texts.

But bullying alone does not a massacre make, although it certainly doesn't help.  This young man was beyond mentally ill. He was a sociopath who felt all of us deserve to die because he viewed us as standing in his way.

We must expel the stigma associated with mental illness, a stigma created because of acts like this. Furthermore, we must be willing to accept that some people cannot and must not remain in civilized society. The signs were there.

It's just that nobody saw them in time.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 7:38 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


I agree. I don't think this is a reflection of a major shift in society. I don't think we, as a whole, are more or less 'narcissistic.' I do think that technology and media have simply made a lot of this more visible, accessible, and immediate. 

This was a case of an unstable individual who took it out on those in his vicinity. To soda's original point, this can happen to anyone anywhere if  the signs are not seen and the people who are a potential danger are not identified. 

The question I have in this case is, what exactly was going on with the famly? They said they were sending him to see therapists and shrinks since he was eight years old (or so I read), but I don't know that that constitutes a healthy or involved upbringing at all. 

In the end, though.. he simply slipped through the cracks. Nobody picked up the signs. Nobody offered the right kind of help. He's committed his acts, and the world is a sadder place because of it.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 9:37 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


They will continue to slip throu with the blessing of society.

In the past they separated troubled people like this from the rest of society. Now the bleeding hearts want to mainstream everyone.

In the mid 90's I attended my youngest son's 6th grade class to determine why he was falling behind. There was a teacher, an aid and a special needs aid as well because they had a problem child in the class. As I sat in the back during the lesson the child became unruly and began to shout obscenities, the class aid went over to help. Several minutes later he became somewhat physical by flailing his arms. At that point the teacher advised the remaining students to , "just read ahead" in their book. For the remaining of the class all three adults were involved with the ONE student. Once the bell rang the student calmed down and went to his next class.

The teacher told me that this was a continual problem. At a conference with administrators I voiced my concern that this was harming the other students and was told that this was a problem in quite a few classes with different students and because of the law there was nothing the school system was going to do about it.

I voiced my opinion later at a PTA meeting. Other parents in my child class claimed their children were falling behind too. Several of us were blasted verbally mixed with some obscenities by a few parents of these problem children saying that they didn't care if it was hurting the other children, that their child was "owed" the right to attend every class that every other child does.

Another child who was stabbing children on the bus wasn't punished for his actions either. When he was expelled from the bus his father and mother (she didn't work) claimed it was a hardship for her to get her child to school. The school arranged for another bus complete with tinted windows, AC and a TV to pick him up at his door. Where is the justice in that when the other kids had to walk 3/4 of a mile and ride an open air bus in the heat of South Florida?

With thought processes like that how to you get society to single out and stop the sociopaths. This will continue to expand to alarming proportions as long as society waives personal responsibility.


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Posted: 05/27/2014 9:38 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



pudding wrote: I agree. I don't think this is a reflection of a major shift in society. I don't think we, as a whole, are more or less 'narcissistic.' I do think that technology and media have simply made a lot of this more visible, accessible, and immediate. 

This was a case of an unstable individual who took it out on those in his vicinity. To soda's original point, this can happen to anyone anywhere if  the signs are not seen and the people who are a potential danger are not identified. 

The question I have in this case is, what exactly was going on with the famly? They said they were sending him to see therapists and shrinks since he was eight years old (or so I read), but I don't know that that constitutes a healthy or involved upbringing at all. 

In the end, though.. he simply slipped through the cracks. Nobody picked up the signs. Nobody offered the right kind of help. He's committed his acts, and the world is a sadder place because of it.
But someone DID pick up the signs, back in March. Police just didn't have enough probably cause to further search (and, for all I know, didn't think of it, it being a simple welfare check) the kid, which would have found more than enough evidence to have him locked away for a long time.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 9:45 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



pudding wrote: I agree. I don't think this is a reflection of a major shift in society. I don't think we, as a whole, are more or less 'narcissistic.' 
Really? Here is a quote from Elliot Rodger's manifesto.

Fueled by vodka, Rodger decided on July 20, 2013 to party with the California college students he despised.

"I was giving the female gender one last chance to provide me with the pleasures I deserved from them,"

"I deserved from them"

About as narcissistic as you can get!


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Posted: 05/27/2014 10:02 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


I didn't say anything about Rodger's being narcissistic. I said I don't agree that our society, as a whole, has become predominantly narcissistic, which is what you said in your original post. Huge difference.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 10:13 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



pudding wrote: I didn't say anything about Rodger's being narcissistic. I said I don't agree that our society, as a whole, has become predominantly narcissistic, which is what you said in your original post. Huge difference.
Compared to 40 years ago I believe the mainstream American is very narcissistic.


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Posted: 05/27/2014 11:06 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



pudding wrote:The shooter, Elliot Rodgers, clearly appears to have been greatly disturbed; if anything, the environment you described only fueled his delusions and misogyny even more.

I had several friends who went to UCSB from High School (pretty typical for anyone coming out of California, as it's a fairly popular school in the UC system). I'd agree it had/has a reputation as a bit of a party school, where even the least socially adept students have ample opportunity to have a good time. I went up there a few times to visit friends (including during their famous Halloween parties, which included catching Oingo Boingo down at the Santa Barbara Bowl one year). I wouldn't say it was that different, as a campus, from say UCSD or even UC Davis. UCSC, with its very counter-cultural atmosphere and the students it tends to attract, might be the one where I'd say "this is the last place I'd expect a gun shooting spree,"  but even then.. it's never a total impossibility (however improbable).

You know I still have friends down in SB that I keep in touch with.  I haven't been there in forever, though, mostly because I couldn't leave the bay area for so many years due to my medical condition (if a transplant came in, UCSF didn't want to hear that I was catching a wave someplace in Southern California, they wanted me on hand and ready for an operation.)  The most fun I had my two years there was The world famous Halloween night parties.  There is just something about Halloween night on Sabados Los Tarde (Literally: Saturday Night) in IV (IV = Isla Vista) that is just a magical mashup of the worst excess of humanity, mixed with the leniency of the law and a "kids will be kids" mentality on the part of the adults.  My first quarter there, I took western civ with a professor who taught an 8 am class (groan) and he said that whenever he had the chance to, he always deliberately scheduled a midterm for the morning after Halloween.  He just thought it would be fun to see who was sober enough to actually show up.  You pretty much got an "A" on that exam for showing up and writing your name correctly on the blue book, which was quite the accomplishment considering what you had been up to for the last twelve hours.  

I still have vivid memories of that night, man, what fun.  Walk down SLT, and houses are shaking on their foundation.  The music is so loud you can't hear yourself think, even if you're just walking down the street to get to another party.  There are guys with big old 24 packs of beer and kegs, walking up and down the street, and police cars all over the place, completely disinclined to stop anybody and ask if the person carrying the booze was old enough to have bought that (hint: they probably weren't).  Anyone could crash any party (everyone invited everyone else to these things) and you'd run into at least a dozen people you knew, at every single one of 'em.  UCSB's reputation as one of the top five party schools in the country is completely justified, and it is one of the top five because of what an inclusive environment it was, at least when I was there.  

The two years I was there, I lived in the dorms, and then, I lived off campus when I moved to Berkeley.  The dorms at these two schools are very different, based upon what I've been able to see.  Berkeley has a certain degree of security to its dorms, and people there tend to open the door only for people they know.  UCSB had no security whatsoever (which isn't that surprising, I guess, as the campus is more cut off from the town than Berkeley is, only IV is adjacent to UCSB, and IV is mostly student housing.  The professors all mostly live out in Goleta, or Santa Barbara, which is actually quite the commute from campus to get to State Street and downtown SB).  Not only is there no security at the dorms, no one at SB ever seemed to close or lock their dorm room doors.  So, if you wanted to bug your buddy, you walked out of your dorm, over to his, and walked in the door.  You didn't have to knock, the door was never closed.  This did surprise me, as I found that some girls didn't even close the door when they were dressing.  My pal who I talked about in my last post, the one who played civ all day, I didn't knock on his door for that conversation, the door was open.  

When I was there, this was an entire community that just didn't take life all the seriously, and nobody thought that any of the people they were friends with would ever turn on them.  Berkeley was a very different experience for me.  I had a friend, sophomore year, who I was taking a math class with, who had transferred to UCSB from Berkeley (the opposite of what I was going to do) and he tried his best to talk me out of transferring up there.  He told me that everyone at Cal was cutthroat, and that nobody helped anyone else there.  I spent a good deal of my time my first two years at UCSB helping friends out with preparations for exams they were taking.  I once tutored a girl in a math class that we were both enrolled in (for both midterms) because she thought I was so much more prepared than she was.  She got a better grade than me on both exams.  I didn't care, we both got "A"s when the term was over.  Nobody did things like that at Berkeley, unless they were being paid for it.  

At Berkeley, people saw you as an obstacle to be defeated on their way up to the top.  Everyone there was a genius (although, true story, the best mathematics student I ever met at any University was a girl I met at Cal State East Bay.  Her gifts were truly off the charts, superior, even by Berkeley standards) and there are only so many "A"s to go around (Everything at the UC level is graded on a curve, so an "A" for you is one fewer "A" for all the other students in the class.  You're graded relative to your peers, not on the strength of your own merit).  So, sorry, would like to help (not really I wouldn't) but helping you hurts me in the class we're taking together.  That's why, like I said in my last post, I could totally see a school shooting happening at Berkeley, and even though I went there too, it totally wouldn't surprise me like the UCSB one did.  At Berkeley, everyone has enemies, even the people who don't make any.  At Berkeley, you could totally see that "me against you" mentality sinking in to resentment of a lot of people.  Not many people graduate Berkeley with a long list of friends.  I certainly didn't.  Most of the friends I had in my time there eventually dropped out.  Its because that adverserial relationship just doesn't jive with a lot of really intelligent people.  They don't want to hurt others, and when a fellow student gets ahead in a course by less than ethical means, and it comes down to your conscience or getting the grade to stay in school and survive to another semester, I can totally see where the resentment of those who cheated their way ahead of you would come into play.  

That doesn't mean the thought of doing something about it with a firearm ever crossed my mind, it just means that if I heard about it happening at UCB, I could at least understand what the thought process was.  Berkeley can be a very cold, lonely, isolating experience.  It can feel like the only person in the world whose truly on your side is you.  Its an environment that can enhance any feelings of being a social outcast that a person may have, because there, pretty much everyone was a social outcast (by design).  For a lot of people, the pressures and loneliness of the Berkeley experience led to the only outlet they had for their frustration: Booze and drugs.  Walk down Telegraph avenue, or Haste Street (where my apartment was) or Shattuck, and the unmistakable scent of marijuna is in the air on any given night.  Berkeley is known as the pot capital of California (even amongst the students at UCSB, who use it a lot, even they concede that for pot, there's no place like UCB) and usage there is out of control.  Drinking there is also totally out of control, for many people, the deep desire for something approaching human comfort leads them to turn to artificial substances.  With San Francisco, and the assortment of bars of every description right across the bay bridge, UCB students drink a lot.  It does really make sense, if you think about it.  

When I finished UCB, the last day I was there as a student (have only been back three times in all these years since my last day there, one for a night of bar hopping with my old roommate, in which we didn't spend one second on campus, one for my sister's graduation from UCB, and the other time for my other sister's graduation from UCB) I turned in my final research paper, and then, I hopped on the BART, and got the hell out of dodge.  I knew well before I turned in that paper that I had passed my final course and that I had no further commitments at UCB.  I had already moved out of my apartment.  My last day there, all I had to do was turn in that paper and I was done.  I still don't know, to this day, what grade I got on it, as I never bothered to check.  I never attended my own college graduation ceremoney.  After all those years at Cal, I just wanted the hell out of dodge by the fastest possible route.  I told my advisor in the math department to stick my degree in the mail, and that I would get it, and hang it on my wall, and that that was fine with me.  I didn't want to stay on campus another second, even if that meant that I would skip my commencement ceremony.  I was just so sick of the entire experience, by that point.  

I knew that my experience at Cal was pretty typical of what a lot of former students, both those who graduated, and those who didn't, experienced.  It can be the most stressful thing a person goes through.  It makes you tougher, but it can also easily leave you extremely bitter.  That's why a shooting rampage at a place like Berkeley would at least fit; Berkeley is the kind of school that seems to have all the pre-requisites for a shooter.  Extreme loneliness, isolation, bitterness, resentment.  Its all there, mixed into a giant, explosive cocktail.  UCSB, seems like the complete opposite of the kind of school that would attract a shooter (with only UCSC being higher on that list, I have to agree with pudding, its very hard to see a school shooter in Banana Slug territory).  I get that we're dealing with a dseased mind here, and that there's no accounting for the probability of encountering that.  However, I do think environment, both on campus and in the community and at home, have something to do with this.  Maybe I'm mistaken, but I would tend to think that a shooter would have to at least have been pushed by circumstances of some sort (although I also agree that the UCSB shooter, based on what's come out, seems like an outlier, even amongst school shooters).  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a bit surprised that UCB, with all its inherent cultural advantages towards this kind of behavior, was beaten to the list of campuses that have had a shooting by UCSB, which is about the least environmentally condusive school to this type of conduct of any that I have attended.
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Posted: 05/27/2014 11:32 PM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share Post Rating (1 vote)



soda wrote:
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a bit surprised that UCB, with all its inherent cultural advantages towards this kind of behavior, was beaten to the list of campuses that have had a shooting by UCSB, which is about the least environmentally condusive school to this type of conduct of any that I have attended.

Sometimes, loneliness really is loneliness. It might seem to you that nobody could possibly feel isolated or unable to make friends/find romantic partners at UCSB, but I guarantee you (without having attended) that some people did (apart from this guy) because some people struggle to make those connections even in places that seem very fertile for those kinds of connections. It can be for any number of reasons and this guy, from what I've read of his "manifesto," had plenty of issues going on in his head. It seems fairly clear to me that he wasn't going to find happiness (at that time in his life) in any environment, because his expectations were out of whack with reality. Nothing was going to match up to the dream world that he had concocted and decided was the way people lived.

A skewed concept of what everyone else has is by no means limited to people as troubled as Rodger. A big part of the unhappiness and depression in this society is the incorrect belief that everyone around you has a much more fulfilling social and family life than they actually do. Some of this is fueled by media (Christmas commercials portraying the average Christmas experience as parties full of light and laughter and lots of friends and family are one example) but it's a deeply ingrained dynamic in people generally to overestimate how much better other people have it.

Ultimately, we shouldn't assume that because we are feeling integrated into a community, or our geeky Civ 2 playing friend hooked up, everyone is experiencing the same. In every community, there are people doing better and worse, socially. I'm not sure what we can really do about it, but we shouldn't be too shocked to discover disaffected people even in what seems like a very open and welcoming community.
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Posted: 05/28/2014 7:33 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share Post Rating (1 vote)



ComicBookGeek wrote: You're seeking a rational answer to an irrational incident. 

This was not simply about a lovesick loner lashing out. I was a shy, unlucky-in-love loner as were thousands of other young men. None of us went on a shooting spree.

This was a deranged young man who had planned this for months. Hell, he even thought he'd been caught when someone called the police to do a welfare check.
If he hadn't been a 22-year old virgin, he would have lashed out because he was angry at some other ill in society.

Great post.   These people are just evil and will always find a way to execute their malicious plan. Unfortunately nothing will deter them with so much hatred inside.  If it wasn't a gun, it would have been something else.

Last edited 05/28/2014 7:35 AM by uncleloggins

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Posted: 05/28/2014 8:29 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share Post Rating (1 vote)



dea49 wrote:
 
Compared to 40 years ago I believe the mainstream American is very narcissistic.
And I whole-heartedly disagree. Most generations today tend to feel the next is more spoiled, less hard-working, narcissistic, or in some way not as well balanced/behaved (what have you) than the previous generation. As far as written history goes back, there have groups that have looked at newer generations and thought the world and society at large was going to hell in a hand-basket. 

The greatest human conflicts almost always stem from people looking at other groups and saying "they're doing something wrong," which is a sentiment borne, essentially, of narcissism (i.e., believing that their group is somehow entitled and/or more knowledgeable than another). 

Now, perhaps the issue is that there's greater fragmentation in society. 60 years ago, the US was more homogenous (or at least appeared that way), and more people shared similar world views. Today, that's not the case, so there is a larger disconnect with 'society at large' because there is no 'society at large' -- the US is a society of varying minority groups. If it's your belief that the growth of these groups and different types of self-identification is a sign of "narcissism," so be it. I would call that a very narrow view, but I can understand why one might feel that way.

Narcissism to me is about holding a view and having no empathy or compassion for any other view. It's easy to have empathy and compassion towards things that we are emotionally invested in. Much harder when he don't have any vested interest. I don't think this fragmentation has necessarily come without compassion or empathy, though. I think that, in many cases, it has created greater understanding and awareness of differences.

But.. whatever.. if you don't feel that way, that's your prerogative. As I said, I entirely disagree with the premise, but I'm not going to tell you you're wrong to feel as you do.
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Posted: 05/28/2014 8:37 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 


Articles say that he had been in therapy since he was 8.  Not one addressed whether or not he was on psychoactive drugs and if so, which one(s).  Big Pharma kills over 400,000 people annually who are taking their medications CORRECTLY.  

In my time we called it "daydreaming", now it's "ADHD".
We called it being a "loner", now you are "depressed".
If a chick was having hormone problems, she is now "Bipolar"...

...and they have a harmful drug with terrible side effects for each "disease".

49er GOLD
since 1946.

"It's KAP, not Kaep"-Colin Kaepernick, Twitter

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Posted: 05/28/2014 9:14 AM

Re: Very, very OT, but I just had to share 



KezarVet wrote: Articles say that he had been in therapy since he was 8.  Not one addressed whether or not he was on psychoactive drugs and if so, which one(s).  Big Pharma kills over 400,000 people annually who are taking their medications CORRECTLY.  

In my time we called it "daydreaming", now it's "ADHD".
We called it being a "loner", now you are "depressed".
If a chick was having hormone problems, she is now "Bipolar"...

...and they have a harmful drug with terrible side effects for each "disease".

I think you're unfairly trivializing mental health issues, which is unfortunately all too common in society because, unlike with many physical health maladies, mental health problems aren't clearly visible.

Certainly, things like ADHD and depression can be over-diagnosed...so can many physical health issues. Claiming (implicitly) that serious conditions like depression are all just examples of being loners given a fancy medical designation is unreasonable, IMO. Just as many physical issues are better diagnosed today, the same is true for mental issues.

I agree that one should be careful about even prescription drugs and be cognizant of their side effects, always weighing them against what you're fighting. But one can't just dismiss all drugs due to their potentially bad side effects, otherwise you're also tossing out chemotherapy, penicillin, etc.
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