Isla Vista is the last place a young man can’t get any

May 25, 2014

There is something terribly off to me about Elliot Rodger’s video and literary cris de coeur about not being able to get any from young women in Isla Vista, the town that’s adjacent to the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus.

“I’ve been alone for a very long time. I’ve been attending college in Santa Barbara for 2 and half years now. And in those 2.5 years I’ve experienced nothing but loneliness and misery,” he said in a YouTube video.

“It doesn’t make sense. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you,” Rodger said in a message to women in general. “I dress nice. I’m sophisticated. I’m magnificent. I have a nice car… I’m the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls you never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”

The why, I suspect, was that the young man (unconsciously, I assume) went out of his way to not hook up with a young woman as a way of validating his feelings of inferiority. To have sex with women would entail belonging to a club who would have him as a member and thereby blow apart his worldview in which he’s not good enough.

I offer these armchair psychiatric opinions because Isla Vista is renowned—infamous, actually—for its easy sexual action for anyone not Quasimodo, and Rodger wasn’t. On Thursday-Saturday nights, the streets, particularly Del Playa Drive, which runs from the campus west along a bluff above the beach, are a moveable Bacchanalia.

In fact, according to Princeton Review’s annual ranking of party schools, UCSB is currently ranked number two in the nation. The only surprise is that it’s not number one.

A few years ago I spent a lot of time in Isla Vista, investigating the wrongful conviction of a young man for rape. The subtext of the whole sorry, tragic mess was the area’s party atmosphere, where almost anything goes at any time, all of it fueled by copious amounts of alcohol as the sheriffs and university officials look the other way.

One city worker told me that the morning crews in charge of cleaning the sidewalks and small corner parks regularly find used condoms and discarded panties. It seems that not getting laid in Isla Vista is significantly harder than getting laid.

That Rodger so clearly needed psychiatric help which he wasn’t getting is obvious. I wonder why his family, who knew enough to alert the Santa Barbara Sheriffs Department to his ravings, didn’t intervene personally by, say, taking him home.

For that matter, I wonder why the sheriffs didn’t bother connecting the dots between his ravings, his previous contacts with them, and the state’s gun registry, which would have noted three rather recent legal purchases.

Actually, I don’t wonder. And for good reason. Owing to my experience with the department regarding that wrongful rape conviction, which was abominably botched (criminally so, in my opinion), I have just above zero respect for the Santa Barbara sheriffs. So their not connecting the dots is, to me, just S.O.P.

It’s Isla Vista, Jake.

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