Reading George Sodini’s blog was uncomfortable. If you forget that he murdered 3 human beings, it is easy to feel incredible pity for the man. The regrets, the grudges, the childlike musings of his need to be desired and loved by a woman, the rationalizations and the search for meaning to his lonely existence was very….human.
The power of his words have more punch because men, true to stereotype, don’t often reveal this sort of weakness in everyday life. With women it is ubiquitous. I have had women reveal insecurities and regrets to me on an elevator before. A total stranger no less. A man will very rarely be this candid even with a very close friend.
Another reason I found the diary so…disturbing( ?) Is because of his station in life. Decent looking, decent house, decent money, decent car, decent job. Your everyday cube dwelling white guy. No debts, no traumatic divorce, no swastikas, no freezers full of corpses, no political manifestos and no criminal record. How many men can you think of in your life that outwardly fall into this guys category? I can think of plenty.
A closer look reveals a very troubled guy. No friends and no women for 20 years is a red flag that indicates all sorts of problems that are above my pay grade to figure out. It is easy to see how a life devoid of any meaningful human interaction for 20 years could be toxic. Alone with only yourself, crazy thoughts of revenge or murder can fester into obsession and poor, self destructive habits never correct themselves.
I think its clear that he felt entitled to a pretty younger woman. A narcissist in a way. Self absorbed and unable to see the world from other perspectives. He was unwilling to settle. He desperately wanted the kind of affirmation that only an attractive woman could give. It’s clear he made some efforts toward self improvement, however, he was a long way off from ever being able to get what he wanted. A Herculean effort to change a mindset that had been beset by 30 years of rejection and self -isolation was probably not going to happen. A lack of a support network is also a killer. It’s much easier when someone is there to give advice and encouragement after a setback. No male role models made this transition next to impossible.
I think he faced an incredible dilemma. On the one hand, he had a very low self esteem and on the other hand, had very high expectations on what he wanted in a woman, and I suspect, male friends. The two work against each other. His job suggests that he was social enough to have friends. While he seemed to be socially awkward, he didn’t have agoraphobia or Howard Hughes syndrome. I suspect that he felt “better” then the guys that would have actually befriended him and a longing to be accepted by men of higher status.
This mindset probably went on for years until it was close to hopeless. It looks like he hung on to a faint glimmer of hope by delaying the atrocity he was going to commit by nine months.
Of course George Sodini is entitled to nothing. Not friends. Not a wife. If he is entitled to something that means that someone else is obligated to give it to him. He could have had friends. Perhaps they would have worked at the gas station instead of the office, but friends nonetheless. He could have had a girlfriend. With his level of neurosis it would have had to be a 3 on the looks scale, but a girlfriend nonetheless.
His options were:
A. Massive self improvement ( Game might have been able to net him a late 30’s and a 6 on the looks scale women, even if he put his heart and soul into it I don’t think his “raw material” was going to net him much better then this, improvement of a personality is one thing but a complete reinvention is close to impossible especially given his age and amount of baggage)
B. Settling ( science nerds, computer geeks, other guys with low social intelligence( for friends) combined with a 3 or 4 women in her mid forties. plenty of 40ish frumpy looking women would live in his house, watch his tv and drive his car)
C. “Get over it” ( accept your omegadom, go on living like you have, travel, get hookers, indulge in hobbies…whatever)
D. Go out in a blaze of “glory” ( final fuck you to the world for a life of rejection, prove to himself through posthumous news coverage that he couldn’t be ignored forever)
Thankfully most men in similar circumstances choose B or C. A small percentage choose A and a tiny fringe of wackos choose D.
I don’t think there is much to be gleaned from his final evil act of revenge. For whatever reason his circumstances and neurosis combined in a toxic brew of murderous rage. What is to be learned from the fact that an infinitesimally small percentage of people in a country of 300 million are capable of this?
The words he wrote are different. I think they provide an insight into a not so small percentage of men that live in this country. A sea of invisible men who are viewed as inconsequential irrelevancies. Men that you walk by everyday. Worker drones. Men, that for a variety of reasons have “dropped out” and only live to support themselves and their hobbies/vices. Men that are, for all intents and purposes, incapable of murder and “payback” but nurse grudges big and small.
Being invisible is a problem that disproportionately affect men. Besides the biological reasons, there is also the fact that the squeaky hinge gets the grease. Men that show sensitivity and weakness are viewed as whiners and losers. (Who needs to add “wimp” to an assortment of other problems?) Women have no such stigma placed upon them in their call for help from friends, family or the government.
At some point in the future I hope to write on how big(or small) a problem this is, what are the causes and what can (if anything) be done about it.
PS: To PC blockheads/ feminists who may read this: I am not trying to rationalize, defend or explain away his evil acts. Simply attempting to understand his motivations. Other similar incidents were easier to put in the “bat shit insane” box or “criminal sociopath” box. A desire to figure out why a mild mannered cube dweller went on a murderous rampage does not constitute “defending”.