Some are saying Paddock did not act alone. Anything is possible. But there is a confirmed report he scouted another Music Festival:
The sheriff, Joe Lombardo, was asked at a news conference if it’s believed that Paddock was scouting other locations in Las Vegas, and he said “what’s possibly been presented with Life is Beautiful.” You can read more about the Life is Beautiful 2017 Las Vegas music event here.
On October 4, the sheriff that Paddock “had rented a room at the Ogden Hotel in downtown Las Vegas” overlooking Life is Beautiful. “He had obtained a room at the Ogden at the same time Life is Beautiful was conducted. Was he doing pre surveillance? We don’t know yet.”
The name of the festival is a perfect Narcissist trigger.
Speaking from experience with the Narcissist I knew, older narcissists have themes that often developed in their lives during childhood. I suspect it results from a brain that is so pained by the world that it never looks too closely at what is around it. Rather it just shoehorns every later experience into the broader category of experiences it had during childhood.
I suspected, based on the shooter’s younger brother’s body language, that the shooter probably had a hostile relationship with his younger brother. That is not uncommon with narcissists. They begin life adored by their parents. They are the baby, and the world stops for the baby. It all goes great until mom announces there will be another baby soon. An angsty narcissist will panic just at the thought. Then the new baby comes, and suddenly everyone’s world, including the narcissist’s, stops for the new baby. The narcissist will not like that.
The new baby will like it plenty however, and his enjoyment of being catered too will ignite an intense jealousy and anger in the narcissist. A normal psychology that went that far, would simply hate the younger brother. But the narcissist shoehorns every subsequent experience into the cubbyholes formed by the experiences of their childhood. As a result, they will often have an established rage which will well up at the sight of younger individuals, and especially younger individuals who are happy and enjoying life.
My own favorite narcissist must have told the same story twenty times when I knew him, about a neighbor’s teenager who blew off school to go surfing with his friends. When he would tell the story, his eyes would glaze over as he relived it. The kids all around the Jeep, loading the beers, the girls in bikinis, the surfboards getting strapped down.
To me, it sounded like a great time. But to the narcissist every aspect was only feeding the rage, until he came to the climax, where he asked enraged, “You know what he was doing? Playing Hooky!” Playing Hooky was his way of saying he was skipping school to hit the beach. My thought was that made it even better, but to him, that was the ultimate offense.
The reason was because in his head that teenager was his younger brother. He wanted to stifle his younger brother’s enjoyment, because he had been conditioned to feel rage at the sight of it. He had no idea the rage was in response to his own perception of his own relative neglect. To him, the rage was a logical response to his younger brother’s doing something wrong, because it was wrong. It wasn’t really wrong, but the idea of it being wrong was amygdala relief, and when you are a narcissist which is not looking too closely at the world, such amygdala relief is impossible to discern from what is right. They are merged into one. And amygdala-activation becomes what is wrong – deeply, morally, impossibly wrong on a cosmic, Godly level. It all merges into one thought/emotion.
So eventually in his childhood, that cognitive pattern of becoming enraged when the younger brother enjoyed themselves evolved, and then he spent his childhood trying to find ways to logically and morally stop his younger brother from enjoying himself. If he could say, “You can’t go to the beach, because you have to go to school, and skipping school is wrong” and his younger brother was stopped from enjoying himself, that was the ultimate relief – and he felt he had prevented something that was deeply morally wrong. Obviously he was in the right, he was the moral one, and his brother ended up unhappy. It was a three way win.
When his neighbor’s kid blithely loaded up his jeep to play hooky, that was a double amygdala-whammy because he was going to enjoy himself, and it was a moral affront to all that was decent. So ingrained was the cognitive model that he expected me to get enraged too, just at the thought of it. I’d have given the kid an extra $20 and told him he needed more beer, and let him borrow my radio, but to my narcissist, that was unimaginable.
Knowing this pattern, I see a younger brother of Stephen Paddock who appears terrified of him, I see a narcissist with enough amygdala-rage to perform a mass shooting, and I see that he was scouting another concert, which would feature young pretty girls and young guys having fun. It all looks extremely close to a pattern I recognize.
So if he had help, who would it be? I hate to say it, but maybe his younger brother, or some similar figure. The brother helped him move before. It is possible the younger brother helped him move his weapons and ammo into the room, but really wasn’t sure of what was going on, and didn’t want to ask. If something like that happened, it would explain why he was so extremely bizarre in his body language during that interview.
There is a strange cognitive state you can enter when a narcissist is noxious enough, where you just accept their presence, and try to manage the irritation by keeping them pacified. On the one hand, subconsciously you don’t want to interact with them too much, so from a cognitive perspective you never look too closely at them, almost like a reflex. You look too closely and you get irritated, so your brain learns that you try to deal with them while looking away – and it never tells you that consciously, and you never notice.
If you have other problems on your plate, or are focused elsewhere, you can get to a point where you just try to get them squared away without looking too closely at what they are doing. It is strange once everything seeps into the consciousness, because you were kind of like a hypnotized robot helping them without actually thinking about it or looking at the whole situation. I can understand how when such a noxious asshole asks you for help and you just do it despite what an asshole they are, that asshole would view you as stupid. In a way you are.
I actually helped my own favorite narcissist far more than I ever should have. I look back and feel stupid now that the spell is broken, but at the time I had other things I was focused on. So when he complained about something and threatened to intrude on my world, I fixed it just to get him off my plate so I could return to what I was doing.
It is possible Paddock told this brother, or someone else who occupied a similar cognitive cubbyhole in his life, to move stuff up to that room, or make other preparations, and they did it without looking too closely, and assuming it must have been innocent.
One final point of interest to me is this picture:
Two things hit me. One, he is smiling with the right side of his face, but not the left. You can see the right corner of the mouth pulled up, and the right eye squinting as if smiling, yet there is no corner of the mouth pulled up on the left, and the eye socket is relaxed. Once you see it, and mentally isolate each side of the face in your mind, it is obvious.
Two is the caved-in chest and hunched shoulders, which almost look like the end of a long exhale. Yes, he could be drunk, or tired, or it could just be because he is sitting on a barstool. But that collapsed chest and slumped shoulders, with the neck angled forward instead of straight up is a trait I see in many narcissists. It isn’t there all the time. They can force themselves to stand ramrod straight, and force their chest out. But that slumped posture is like a default state they slide into when their mind drifts elsewhere, and what is inside seeps to the outside.
In my mind, it represents a subconscious expression of sadness, defeat, and low self-esteem. It represents the absence of true happiness that is the hallmark of their psychology.
I suspect where you see it, it would abate naturally, if they saw some Alpha male endure some humiliating experience in front of them – but it would only abate momentarily before they returned to a naturally miserable state.
It is the opposite of standing straight up and pushing your chest out proudly. Where it is paired with pinched in shoulders, the pinched shoulders seem to represent repressed rage. Here is a shot of Alec Baldwin, that the instant I see it, I think narcissist:
He is almost leaning forward, starting not at the waist, but at the chest.
And another. In mind mind, I feel a complete loosening of the back muscles that pull your shoulders back, ramrod straight. It is as if the muscles gave out:
Here a fairly young A-list actor with a young yogi girlfriend, and yet he has the posture of a hundred year old man:
And one with an exceptionally painful expression:
Even as a very young guy it was there if you were looking for it:
Here are Alec and his brother Stephen side by side. It is subtle, but it is there, even though it is posed. Focus just below the Adam’s apple and on the chest, as you take in the angle of the neck vs a line connecting their shoulders and the chest concavity. Alec’s neck is bent forward because of the chest cave, while Stephen is totally neutral, with a chest that protrudes outward. Alec’s shoulders look bent forward, as Stephen’s look perfectly vertical.
And one more. Compare the chest with Stephen’s above:
Another. Compare how you think Steve Martin’s back and latissimus dorsi muscles are contracted, with Alec’s back and lat muscles which are completely released, allowing his shoulders to turn in, forward:
A comical representation from possibly the best movie of all time:
Chinese medicine views those postural aberrations as highly significant indicators of emotional imbalances that would contribute to diseases. I suspect in western terms, the body has emotional modes, designed to optimize thinking and physical function under set conditions we encountered frequently in our evolutionary past.
Often we had to fight, and the brain developed the ability to flip a switch and enter anger/fight mode, which optimized everything for that endeavor. You hunched forward and protected your core. You feet went wider to widen your base for stability. Your shoulder’s pinched in as your muscles went tense and readied for violent contractions. And your emotional state is designed to want to rip people apart, and see everyone suffer, just to do it and get the release.
Often we had to flee, and we developed a fear/flee mode, probably shunting all available energy to our legs, making us want to get away. We may even have developed facial expressions so our fellow tribe members who just walked in on us could spot what mode we were in quickly, and prepare to enter that mode themselves to fight or flee.
Sex, revel, ponder, observe, hide, avoid/be-depressed all also had their place, and the brain developed those modes, each not only affecting thinking, but also posture, neural function, movement style, muscular function, cardiovascular function, breathing rates, immune function, capillary function, and so on. So I view postural analyses as examinations of what cognitive mode the human you are examining is in. Spot the mode, and compare with the environment, and you can judge where they are congruent, and where they are not. Where they are not congruent will be some sort of stuck mode switch in the brain, which is probably causing dysfunction somewhere else, and which may reveal something about a past which “stuck” the mode switch to begin with.
I hate to say it but this whole Las Vegas shooting may just be a textbook narcissist loser looking to ruin the lives of young, happy people who felt life is beautiful, and who were taking the time to enjoy it. Maybe his condition was deteriorating for some physical reason, and hence the request for anti-anxiety meds, but in the end it was just an angsty loser, angry that everyone else wasn’t as miserable as him
I would almost prefer terrorism for some weird reason. I suppose at least you can defeat terrorism, but you know society is never going to let us purge the narcissist losers from the world.