A group of lonely, self-loathing, women-hating incel wackos have committed mass murders (or pledged to do so) over the last five years. A relatively new phenomenon — began with late Obama, has moved big-time into late Trump.
In 2014 Elliot Rodger, 22, stabbed three people near his Isla Vista apartment, and then shot 11 people near the UCSB campus, sending three to God, before killing himself.
“The 40-year-old self-proclaimed misogynist who shot six women, two of them fatally, at a Tallahassee yoga studio last year name-checked the Isla Vista gunman in one of his final online posts. The 21-year-old who fatally shot two students and himself at his former high school in Aztec, New Mexico, in 2017 used the Isla Vista shooter’s name as an online pseudonym and called him a “supreme gentleman.” The man who carried out the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, which left nine people dead and eight others wounded, wrote in an online manifesto that he was a virgin with “no friends, no job, no girlfriend,” and said that he and others like him — including the Isla Vista gunman — ‘stand with the gods.'”
This is not new, much less startling, news to anyone who’s been paying the least amount of attention. And it was surely on the minds of all those Venice Film Festival-attending critics who suggested that Joker might be received as some kind of incel anthem flick.
Cut to Robbie Collin’s 9.20 Telegraph article in which he describes a hotel room interview with Joker star Joaquin Phoenix that went briefly wrong:
“Unlike Heath Ledger’s inscrutable take on the character in 2008’s The Dark Knight, Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian who still lives with his elderly mother, is the horribly familiar enemy within. If the film hadn’t been set in the ’80s he could easily be the latest online message-board extremist to take his grievances murderously viral.
“[And] yet Phoenix doesn’t seem to have considered this kind of question at all. So when I put it to him — ‘Aren’t you worried that this film might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results?’ — a fight-or-flight response kicked in.
“‘Why?’ Phoenix eventually muttered, his lip curling up at one side. ‘Why would you…? No…no.’ Then he stood up, shuffled towards me, clasped my hands between his, and walked out the door.”
This provides a peek into Phoenix’s mind. The man obviously lives in his own isolation tank. He was right smack in the middle of the Venice and Toronto Joker hoopla with everyone saying “incel wacko weirdo” blah blah…possible echoes and stirring of portents of real-life malice. And yet the whole conversation flew right around Phoenix’s head and into the ether.
Collin has described the Phoenix incident as “my most hair-raising interview yet.”