Stefan Molyneaux on Elliot Rodger



A very dark corner of the human condition - trying to untangle the tangled and twisted mind of Elliot Rodger, a mass murderer from Santa Barbara.

The victims of these murderers, or the event of such tragedies are not to be a tool to be used to promote one's political agenda - whether it is feminism, misogyny, gun regulation or you name it, these victims deserve as much understanding and rational analysis as we can bring to the table in hopes of preventing recurrence.

Elliot Rodger carried out a mass murder plot which had planned for over a year.

Is this out of nowhere? Tragically, no.

Connecting events with ideas. We hear so much about events in the news, but it's the ideas we use to interpret these events that seem to separate wisemen from fools.

After the police were notified that Elliot Rodger was threatening to go on a murdering spree, why didn't they subscribe to his youtube videos? Why didn't his parents subscribe to his channel, which was the source of his threats? Why didn't the police check to see if any new guns were purchases or registered in connection with Elliot Rodger?

The authorities and his parents had hours to prevent Elliot from doing what he said he was going to do.

It's appalling, and I view his last videos as a cry for help to stop him from enacting his plans. Not exactly a cry for help, but a cry for intervention. This could all have been stopped if someone had seen his videos and alerted the authorities.

This neglect at the end of his life was tragically, a continuation of being ignored his whole life.

Is this the kind of event that is impossible to prevent and impossible to predict?

When seven cops show up at his house shortly before this act of mass murder, and call him perfectly kind, polite and wonderful, it's nice to be sure about whether that's true before the bodies pile up.

On whether or not the MRA movement was responsible for Elliot Rodger's mysogyny:

Men who want to sleep with women don't have anything to do with the men's right community, otherwise, just about every man would be part of the MRC. This pointing fingers is part of people pushing their agenda over the bodies of the victims, which I think is incredibly horrendous.

Elliot Rodger was an aspiring pickup artist, but he was also a member of PUA hate.

Elliot Rodger was diagnosed earlier in life as a highly functioning aspergers child.

After the killing spree, one father of the deceased victims blamed the gun-industry, asking for a ban on guns in America. Elliot Rodgers first three victims were stabbed repeatedly with a knife, so no amount of gun restriction will get at the root of what is really going on.

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If your child is conceived accidentally, please shut up about it with your child. Do not tell the child that he or she was conceived accidentally. That is not appropriate information to share with the child, in any way shape or form.

There is a certain ethical approach to parenting, that goes along the lines of, "well I know what's best for you, and therefore I don't have to listen to what you don't like." I consider this to be appalling parenting.

If the child is crying and doesn't want to go to school? Then that is something you need to take into account. It doesn't mean you have to indulge your childs every whim. It's not one extreme to the other. Elliot Rodger did not want to go to boarding school at the age of six, and cried often.

His favourite film as a child was the land before time, which was about a baby Dinosaur that lost it's mother. He recalls being filled with great sadness when the baby dinosaur loses it's mother, and he also recalls the triumphant emotions he felt when the dinosaur reaches the great valley after going through all the hardships to get there. It was a big part of my childhood.

Elliot Rodgers real mother did not die. But what is true about infants is that if they are put into child care, or are separated from their mother for more than twenty hours a week, studies show, they experience the exact symptoms as if they had been abandoned by their mother.

So if he was away at boarding school when he was young, which reportedly he was, it's possible that he experienced the same symptoms as maternal abandonment, and this is why he was so emotional about a baby dinosaur whose mother had died.

Another strange incident was when the family went on vacation and there was an opportunity to climb a tower. They left four year old Elliot Rodger at the base of the tower alone, while the family climbed up.

Most parents would know better than not to leave their child unattended in a strange place, especially one so young. The attitude of the parents is: "we want to climb up, you stay here." Why not carry the child with you in your arms, or one of you has to stay behind? You don't leave the child alone. He also says, I remember being fascinated by the Cactus outside my home, and foolishly I touched it. It look my mother a long time to get all the needles out."

From a young age, Elliot Rodger had no strong bond with either his father, mother, or step-mother. Children need to attach to something. If they don't get vertical attachments, they will aim for horizontal attachments. If they can't attach to their parents, they try to attach desperately - to their peers.

If they are rejected by their parents, or their feelings are not taken into consideration by their parents, and, they are also rejected by their peers, then they face the internal rot of isolation - without social feedback to prevent the accumulation of negative thoughts.

Starting at six years old, I had to witness my mother and father get into a lot of arguments. At some point I learned about the possibly that parents can separate, divorce, no longer together. This prospect baffled my little mind. I once sat out in the porch with my mother and asked if she and my father would ever divorce. She told me it would never happen and that I had nothing to worry about. I was relieved by her reassurance.

Little did I know, such a thing would happen in only a few months time. My last memory of my parents together was my seventh birthday. My parents seemed happy that day. I couldn't even fathom the possibility of my parents separating.

Very shortly after my seventh birthday the news came. I was absolutely shocked, outraged, and overwhelmed. This was a huge life changing event.

When you have a strong bond with your parents, you can handle the vicissitudes of life, the randomness, the ups and downs of life.

My life would be forever changed. The family I grew up with had split in half. I would be raised in two different households.

I'm not suggesting divorce causes mass murder, because there are hundreds of billions of children with divorce all around the world, and very few of them will ever become mass murders.

We're talking about the number of straws that break the camels back, the number of problems in the dominos that lead to the pulling of the trigger.

A few months after the divorce, I was introduced to Sue Meyer, who would become my step mother. When a divorce occurs extremely suddenly, it's almost assured that the man was cheating prior to the divorce and his wife found out. After the divorce, with very little time, he meets his step mother.

This is true callousness on behalf of the father, which can only result from pathologically self absorbed people in pursuit of their own pleasure.

There is no gentle introduction or slow building of trust, there's no chance for grieving or mourning. So this is incredibly destructive to children.

My father having a girlfriend so shortly after divorcing my mother didn't even occur to me, I couldn't understand it.

Soon enough though I understood that Sue Meyer, my step mom, was his girlfriend. They were together just like my father and mother were together. It was the first time I learned of the concept of a girlfriend - it was hard to grasp. Prior to that, I always thought a man and woman had to married before living together.

These kinds of gaps in understanding are difficult for children, in fact, they are difficult for adults as well.

If the father had said, "I was seeing this woman before we got divorced. And it caused the divorce." and so on, that would have been more honest and it would have made more sense, but of course, it would have made the child very angry."

Because my father got a girlfriend so quickly, I concluded that my father was someone that women found attractive. I subconsciously held him in a higher regard because of this. It is very interesting how this phenomena works. That males who can easily find female mates, garner more respect for their fellow man - even children. How ironic, that my father who so easily could find a sexual partner, would have a son who would struggle all his life to find a girlfriend.

There seems to be significant sexual dysfunction on the part of the father, Peter Rodger, and his girlfriend, Sue Meyer. On Peter Rodgers website there are endless pictures of his naked wife's butt. It's crazy. Ok, she's got a nice butt, but you don't photograph it and put it out for the whole world to see on his website. To me, that is very disturbed. It's a lack of boundaries. And it's the kind of stuff that your children will find quite quickly. To see your step mothers butt with her vagina haging out….. what kind of woman would allow that to happen?

Pamela Anderson recently reported a history of sexual abuse. Could that be the case with Sue Meyer?

I hated the rules that my step mother imposed on me, and and I thought she had no right to discipline me so harshly. I hate how she forced me to drink milk in the morning and foul tasting soup for dinner. She would use the soup as punishment. Whenever I did something wrong, she would force me to drink the soup.

This breaks down the capacity for connection and revelation between parent and child.

I would cry when it was time to go to my fathers house. When my mother dropped me off, I felt so sad I would cry when I seen her car drive away, and I would hide my tears to avoid embarassment at school. But I would feel miserable for the whole day.

And here you see a child whose needs are not being listened to, not being attended to, and the parents aren't emotionally mirror, they aren't giving empathy, he's not being given sympathy.

My father was absent much of the time. Paternal abandonment is terrifying.

At age 19, the most important and crucial time of my life, my father effectively abandoned me. But come to think of it, he was never really present in my life to abandon me in the first place. When I think about it, he was always absent from my life. When my life spiralled into darkness after puberty, he never made any effort to save me. He just didn't care.

Elliot Rodger had rage agaist everybody. It wasn't just women, he hated everybody. He hated anyone who was good looking and having fun, because he didn't actually have the ability, or learned the ability to say, I'm not getting what I want - what can I do to change?

He experienced the universe as something that withheld what he wanted. And that is not a good mindset to be in.

He recalls being denied a ride at the amusement park because of his height, and said it felt like an injustice. Later he recalls, this would be a very small injustice compared to what I would later suffer in life, due to my height. Women prefer men who are taller than them.

He sees life like a beer commercial, everybody is having fun, and he's denied it, and they're laughing at him.

I became extremely annoyed that everyone was taller than me, and how the tallest boys were automatically respected more. It instilled the first feelings of inferiority in me, and such feelings would only grow more volatile over time.

I took up basketball, and would play by myself, shooting shot after shot. Afterwards I would lay on the grass and stretch my body, hoping I would grow more inches.

Don't you get a grim sense of isolation? He's not talking to anyone about his problems.

As I started playing basketball with other children, I realized I was physically weak. Other players were much better than I, and boys younger than me were stronger than me. This vexed me.

By nature, I am a very jealous person.

He doesn't ascribe much to environment or his own choices. So either the environment is vexing him, or it's his nature.

Jealousy arises out of instability and uncertainty, particularly in caregiver relationships. There's no place for this young man to bond and find real stability and certainty. And so if there is no secure bond among the people you are with, you will feel jealousy.

In a secure marriage, the bond feels so strong that you can depend on the person like gravity. So instead of learning about attachment disorders, he concludes that he is jealous by nature.

Jealousy and envy, these feelings would dominate my life and give me immense pain. The jealousy I felt at nine years old were frustrating, but they were nothing compared to what I would feel as a teenager, watching girls choose other boys over me.

Slowly, Elliot Rodger would built up a world where he was an innocent victim, whilst believing in his own magnificence. Why would anyone choose another boy over me, I am like a God - they are sluts and whores. He stokes the fire of his own rage.

We are creatures built on a house of cards of language. And the language you choose becomes really who you are and how you interact with people. Elliot Rodger builds this savage tower of hatred, word by word, syllable by syllable, repetition by repetition.

I realized there were hierarchies, and some people were better than others and how that formed the social structure at school. I also started to examine myself, comparing myself to these cool kids.

I realized, with some horror, that I wasn't cool - at all. Well, this revelation about myself and the world really lowered my self esteem. I envied the cool kids and I wanted to be one of them. I was frustrated with my parents for not shaping me into one of these kids in the past. They never made an effort to dress me in stylish clothing or get me a good looking hair cut, I had to make every effort to rectify this. I had to adapt.

On the kid destroying violence of the hunger games. This creates a web within the mind of a child. The fact that his father rose to significant prominence and fame while assistant directing on a movie about the murder of teenagers is not inconsequential. He models himself after his father. This is who you have to be to get women. And for people who are looks obsessed, and very shallow and very focused on presentation, it is strange that Elliot's parents would not have worked to make him as attractive as possible.

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This cool element is an absolutely leprous cancer in the heart of society and is responsible for massive amounts of bullying, suicidality, rage and violence. Cool is not virtuous, it's not honest, it's not kind, it's not compassionate, it's not morally brave. It's just, slouchy, sneery, empty tricks, and accidental looks, and accidental wealth. The "cool" aspect of childhood is truly murderous to the true self, to the authentic self. It has nothing to do with how you influence the moral course of the species by being in pursuit of moral excellence. This shallowness is intensely reinforced, if not downright generated, by a hyper-materialistic, hyper empty, hyper beauty obsessed, and hyper sexualized hollywood style culture. It is horrifying how this bladed boomerang has come back to haunt a media superstar family.

I remember at eleven years old I was finally enjoying myself one summer. But then suddenly my mother said we had to go to my first day of camp.

Again we see this, can't trust, can't relax, is not prepared for things, is not aware of what's coming down the road. Everything is just BAM! It just comes in out of nowhere, thumps the head out of nowhere, and this is not good parenting. You need to prepare children for these kinds of changes and be alert to how it's going to affect them.

At this camp an incident would happen that would scar me for life. The first time I was treated badly by a girl would happen at this camp. I accidentally bumped into her and she got very angry, pushed me and embarrassed me. I didn't know who this girl was, but she was very pretty and she was taller than me. I immediately froze up.

This is not something that is going to scar you for life unless it has happened to you many times before. Both his mother and step mother are very attractive women and are cold and cruel.

These kind of experiences are only traumatizing if there is already that chord playing in your heart, it harmonizes with an existing theme in your soul.

I couldn't believe what had happened. Cruel treatment from women is far worse than cruel treatment from men. I felt so small and vulnerable. I couldn't believe that this girl was so horrible to me, and I thought it was because she viewed me as a loser. That was the first experience of female cruelty I endured and it traumatized me to no end. I would be extremely weary and cautious of women from that point on.

He had no one there to help him process an empirical reality. That a girl who is physically beautiful, but emotionally abuse or cruel, is not a prize you want to win.

To allow your base lizard brain to point yourself to facial features and body types and not to be in pursuit of virtue, with sexuality as it's pet, is not a desirable fate. He didn't have anyone around to help him process that, at least not that he reports.

When I first saw pornography, I was shocked and horrified, and aroused. I couldn't imagine human beings doing such things to each other. I walked home and cried and felt guilty about what I saw.

Being introduced to sex through pornography is like being introduced to a hamburger by visiting a slaughterhouse.

With Elliot Rodger there was no preparation for anything, even sex. Things are just impacting him violently.

Finding out about sex was one of the things that truly destroyed my entire life. The very word fills me with hate. Not getting any sex would shape the very foundation of my miserable youth.

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He wants to be like his father and get women, but his father's sexual desires and fetishes undermined the marriage, breaking up his family.

Why would Elliot Rodger, only 135 pounds with a four inch penis, pursue girls who were tens? Blonde, LA goddesses?

He was trying to reenact humiliation - female humiliation, which I assume comes from his early childhood.

If you can't get the tens, you go for nines. If you can't get the nines, you go for eights. And sevens, and sixes. Until you find your match. You keeping going down until you get sex.

But his goal was self humiliation. To continue being ignored, being treated with contempt and indifference by women. The goal of his sexuality was self-humiliation. It was a masochistic drive. It was not actual desire for women out of his league.

It was to strive to connect with a woman who would treat him with scorn and contempt.

A lot of women feel quite insulted when a man who they view as a beta, or lower on the male hierarchy of attractiveness, approaches them. And so he was reenacting cruelty from his early life from the hands of women.

"Nobody noticed my brother drowning. With panic, I pulled him out of the water. I asked him how he was doing, he coughed up some water, and told me he felt fine. I saved his life, and my brother remembers it to this very day. Everything that happens to my brother will happen because I pulled him out of the water that day."

This is completely heart-breaking when you think about it. It is interesting that he went from a life saver, to a killer who slaughters nine people.

In the span of 7 years, he went from saving lives to taking them.

You have to have conversations with your kids for years, before you can talk about the difficult things. You can't start talking at 15. You can't just talk about the easy things. You can't just jump into the deep end without having a connection with your children.

You can't murder others unless you've been killed inside yourself.

Elliot Rodger was a child who was jumped by other people's needs, yanked around by other people's desires and goals, not his own.

He may have been more sensitive than most. You parent the child you have, not the child you wish you had. You parent for his reality.

"I put my family through a lot of difficulties when I was making this film because I was a way a long time." - Peter Rodger, Elliot Rodgers Father.

This is the paternal abandonment.

His parents set him up for emotional failure by switching his school programs and taking long summer vacations, which lead him to entering class long after. This exacerbates the difficulity in making friends.

I was so overwhelmed by the brutality of the world that I just didn't care anymore. Bullies sarted picking on me more and more. They started throwing food at me, and it enraged me. And I was too scared to do anything about it.

Bullies pick on children without parental bonds - it is inevitable. The best way to protect your children from bullies or pedophiles or exploitation is to have an incredibly strong bond with them. That creates a shield. It's tragic that those who have a strong bond can survive the bullying and those who don't have strong bonds get pushed over the edge.

"I am rotting in loneliness." When you have nothing to live for, murder + suicide becomes much more likely.

If you can strip human beings of human characteristics (by calling the brutes, sluts, whores, stupid) it becomes easier to exploit or hurt them.

In a drunken stupor, he attempts to push some women off of a ledge at a party. This is assault and even attempted murder. It was the most foolish and rash things I ever did (notice the lack of moral context). I failed in my attempt to push the girls off the ledge, and the boys at the party then pushed me. I fell off the ledge. When I landed I felt a snap in my ankle. I tried to stumble away, but a group of kids caught up with me, calling me faggot and pussy. They proceeded to beat me up.

It was the first time my face was beaten to the point of being bruised. After they let me go, I realized nobody cared. Nobody helped me get home. I was completely unloved.

This is of course absurd, because he had been beaten up for attempted murder. Nobody cared about him because he was full of hate.

There's a sense that the world owes me love, but since I received very little of it, then the world must be punished. It is a narcissistic entitlement. This to me is the rage of an infant without a connection with his mother.

A baby that does not get what he wants starts crying, then it is anger, and then finally rage. When you think of Elliot Rodger as a large infant with fantastic verbal skills, then you can see that this sense of entitlement comes from a very early time in his life.

An infant is enraged when people don't respond to him affectionately. Legitimate unmet needs can stretch to a point in time where he becomes infinitely more dangerous than an infant could ever be.

You have every right to be angry when your caregivers do not provide you what you need. You have to tell them that you are unhappy.

Feeling rage because you are not being treated affectionately is appropriate for an infant. Legitimate, unmet needs can stretch over time to the point where the human being can develop into something very dangerous.

Elliot Rodgers murder spree is more a race crime than it is anything else. He continually talked about his obsession with blonde white women, and his contempt for african american men.

Elliot wote: during the time when I needed my fathers support the most, he lost all of his assets. It was is if some malevolent being cursed me with bad luck, the universe was not kind to me at all.

Where did he get the idea that the universe should respond to him?

Where was Elliot getting the idea that beautiful women were attracted to status? He got the idea from the holywood scene itself which he was raised in. Women go to holywood to milk money and status out of their beauty.

ER also got obsessed with the lottery, believing that the instant riches would provide for the beautiful blonde white girl of his dreams. His experience with the lottery would only fill him more and more with dissaopintment and despair.

ER's father, Peter, gave him a book called "the Secret" which explains the law of attraction, which is delusional and psychotic, fundamentally. You ask for what you want, and the universe listens and gives it to you. When you make a wish, you create an expectation, an anticipation. This is a form of debt, and so the universe owes you for what you paid. Your payment is your desire, wish and expectation. When the universe doesn't pay you back, then you are not given what you think you are owed.

This law of attraction is basically the conceptually steroid pumping of an infantile desire for legitimate entitlement, turning it into an adult narcissistic entitlement, and it's incredibly dangerous.

Elliot Rodger wrote: using the Secret and law of attraction, I visualized winning the lottery.

He was paralyzed in his human need to pursue legitimate desires, by pursuing illegitimate (irrational, sub-human) fantasies.

As he lost more and more lottery draws, his depression and anger increased.

I was so certain I would win the lottery, and I was shattered when all my tickets lost.

Madness is about imposing a hysterical-fantastic-language over top of a rather bland and bleak reality. People build these ice castles in the mountains against reality and they go and live in that language. When reality does not conform to the inhuman desire for more, then the urge, more and more is to punish the universe, and for mentally-weak and malnourished people, the universe consists mainly of bigger, stronger, more popular people who are getting their needs and desires met. There is an indignation, a rage, felt more and more by those who are not keeping up with the pace of consumption and pleasure.

Whenever Elliot Rodger has the chance of a bond with an older man, he discovers that this older man is having success with the opposite sex. Out of jealousy, he shreds that bond, shatters it. Jealousy, hypercompetitiveness and rage, time and time again, prevent him from getting help from more successful people.

Any attempt at bonding evokes an agony of bonding. The anger built up more and more over the years. I noticed that world of warcraft stopped alleviating my loneliness, and I starting breaking down in tears during the games. I began to ask myself what the point was in playing this game anymore?

I would argue that his loneliness was the result of being with parents who he did not bond with.

Masterbation, alcohol, videogames, all of these would be a substitute for resolving his lack of connection. Avoiding suffering exacerbated the mental dysfunction.

This is the great contradiction of twisted male sexual desire - a man only focuses on the physical characteristics, while complaining that women don't judge him based on his high intelligence and good manners. These women do not find him physically attractive, yet he will only aim for the most attractive women.

I concluded that women are flawed, that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way their brains are wired. It's as if they haven't evolved from animal-like thinking, controlled completely by primal, depraved emotions.

Infantile rage combined with adult resourcefulness is an incredibly dangerous combination.

the more helpless you are the more violent the power you dream of.

In ER's new philosophy, future generations of men would no longer have to worry about the future barbarities of sex and women, and the human race will reach a level of perfect civilization. If I cannot have sex with beautiful women, I will do everything I can to destroy it.

All of those popular people who live lives of hedonistic pleasure, I will destroy. They never accepted me as one of them. I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they made me suffer. It is only fair. * this is his idea of justice.

Why was I condemned to live a life of misery and worthlessness while other men were able to experience the pleasure of sex and love? Why do things have to be this way?

I will punish everyone and it will be beautiful. I will show everyone my true worth.

ER wrote: My stepmother told me that my younger brother will never have any problem with girls and will lose his virginity while he is young.

That's pretty cruel. That is extremely cruel.

When you know that your son is having difficulties with sex and relationships, and then to brag and parade his brother for his success with sex and relationships is an act of exquisite, quasi-maternal sadism. It is an unwholesome thing to do to your disturbed stepson.

The sadism she was showing toward her stepson was one of the things driving his hatred.

I had to sit there and listen to the bitch tell me how my brother would grow up to enjoy the life I always craved for and missed out on. It is very unfair how some boys are able to live such pleasurable lives, whereas I never had a taste of it. That was the day that I decided I would have to kill him on the day of retribution. I will not allow the boy to surpass me at everything. It will be hard to kill him, because I bonded with him quite a bit over the past year, and he respected me. In order to kill my brother, I will have to kill my step mom too, but that will be easy. All I have to do is think about all the unhurtful things she has said to me in the past.

The police had shown up at my door, seven of them. In my room was stored all of my guns, my weapons and what I planned to do. I was terrified, I couldn't imagine a hell darker than going to jail.

Why wouldn't the police search to see if he had purchased any guns?

I had lived a life of pain and suffering. It was time to bring that pain to people who actually deserved it. I will cut them, flay them, strip all the skin off their flesh and pour boiling water over them while they are still alive. Things will be fair, I will even the score.

It's not just women that he hates.

If you're going to have an enormously ambitious career, it may not be the best idea to have children. You never know if you're going to have a needy and hypersensitive kid. You might have a very resilient kid who can bounce back from anything, but maybe you won't. The degree of ambition that is shown by people means they are less available. If you have a child who is going off the rails, you can get mad, but you really need to adjust your parenting for the needs of the child. If you have a high needs child, then you need to adjust your parenting.

I can't imagine what his father is thinking. The idea of spending three years on a failed movie while neglecting his son, it must not seem to be the wisest choice.

schools are toxic, particularly for smaller kids, shorter kids, kids who are later to develop in puberty. That is why the hunger games is so popular. It feeds the social frustration of children, and the hunger games is not appropriate for anyone under the age of thirteen. High levels of hysterical violence through movies is toxic, the love of violence we have as a culture is toxic to the unstable among us. Excessive violence in movies is exploitative in the same way that pornography is exploitative.

you must keep talking to your kids and create a real bond. If my kid came home from a party and my son had a broken leg and was beat up, I would want to get to the bottom of his issues.

Materialism

We are imprinted by those around us. And if you are not imprinting your children, then you are letting peers and culture do it for you. Children cannot parent other children. The human brain does not mature until one's mid twenties, and when you're younger you don't think about consequences, you think about immediate stimulation.

Easy, materialistic pleasures tend to blur out the more deep pleasures of art and philosophy and sophisticated conversation. It's like jamming your face full of sugar every day and then wondering why broccoli doesn't taste good anymore.

This hypersensitive stimulation of the nervious system that the lizard brain gets plugged into by culture and holywood in particular, tends to displace the more sophisticated and long term and refined pleasures that are the basis of a long term and sustainable happiness in life.

And this explains the disorder of Elliot Rodger, "I have three hundred dollar sunglasses, why won't women sleep with me?"

From somewhere he got the idea that if you have material possessions, that somehow you can have sex. When this linear logic formula of money = success with women didn't work, he only doubled down and tried to get more money and material possessions. He was not adapting to his failure, but was only holding on even tighter to his formula.

His inability to control incoming stimulation, to manage his surroundings leads to intense humiliation and rage. And once you are conditioned to this pattern of humiliation, you unconsciously find ways of relieving it.

Self criticism is necessary for growth. But if a persons sense of self worth is too low, self criticism is like asking him to stick his penis in a blender.

You must prepare your kids for major life changes, you must not impose them.

Envy is a tricky emotion. Envy can be toxic and murderous. It can also be elevated into jealousy, and jealousy can be reasonable.

The road to happiness is not paved with rolex watches. Materialism degrades the quality of your human offering. The prettier the egg, the more rotten the inside - so often. Which is not to say, you should not care about your appearance. Becoming obsessed with your appearance is usually a tactic used to distract people from some internal dysfunction.

I hope this has been some help to you. I really appreciate your patience as we've gone down this particularly dark, goblin infested passageway of the human mind.



resonance

The Land Before Time, by Roger Ebert

The love affair between small children and prehistoric dinosaurs is a phenomenon of the toy industry.

Kids love dinosaurs. I think for the same reason they have always felt an emotional identification with movie creatures like Godzilla and Frankenstein's monster. Kids and monsters have lots in common: They are clumsy and are always knocking things over. They feel as if they cannot control themselves. They do not fit easily into the adult world and they are usually misunderstood.

In "The Land Before Time" the filmmakers make a strategic error. I think by making their dinosaurs into children. This destroys the distinction between the two species. The dinosaurs in this movie are just as human as the kitten in "Oliver & Company." the mouse in "An American Tail." and all the animated dogs and rabbits and woodpeckers since time immemorial. One of the reasons kids like dinosaurs is that they are not human. They are deliciously alien.

I do not know what kind of movie could have been made from truly reptilian dinosaurs. but I'll bet it would have been interesting.

The opening shots of "The Land Before Time" before the dinosaurs start to speak english have an eerie fascination. We see a tribe of brontosauruses roaming the parched land looking for green leaves which they call "tree stars". There are none to be found because the climate has changed and so these peaceful vegetarians head west seeking a fabled green valley where they hope to find food. They are pursued by their enemies, the sharp-toothed, meat-eating tyrannosaurus rex. The story is told through the eyes of Littlefoot, a baby brontosaurus who barely escapes being eaten in the first few minutes of the movie.

Littlefoot's saga is an adventure recycled directly out of other movies of this genre, and indeed I was not surprised to discover that the authors of the story also wrote "An American Tail." Both films involve a childlike creature who is separated from its parents. In this film, Littlefoot's parents die in an earthquake and the orphan has to undergo a long and perilous journey before finding happiness at the end. The perilous middle sections of both films are fairly rough.

Natural forces and predators attempt to destroy the little hero, who joins up with the infants of four other dinosaur species to make his long trek. Both films could have been written by Jack London.

As a backdrop to the series of hazards the visual look of "The Land Before Time" is apocalyptic. All but the last scenes take place in a blasted heath of red skies, parched land, withered trees, barren wastes and thorn thickets. But the animation treats this wasteland gently, with little details such as the sparkling drops of water that fall from a leaf, or the ways in which the clumsy childlike movements of the little creatures are lovingly created.

"The Land Before Time" does have some charming scenes to counterbalance its grim determinism. Director Don Bluth surpasses himself in a witty ballet in which several prehistoric birdlike creatures fight over a trove of cherries; the animation here is brilliant. There is also a sequence in which Littlefoot and several of his pals get stuck in a tar pit, and a moment at which a clumsy pterodactyl learns to fly. Bluth works in the time-honored Disney tradition in which body movements are particularly convincing and the backgrounds are not simply static panoramas.

I guess I sort of liked the film, although I wonder why it couldn't have spent more time on natural history and the sense of discovery, and less time on tragedy. (Roger Ebert)