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August 25, 2012

Comments


Why don't you talk about the sales guy coworker Steven whom he shot and killed?

If you google Steven Ercolino, he may look an Alpha guy to you, but make no mistake, he's one of those ethnic prole variety that SWPLs vehemently despise. These are the guys that speak with a thick NYC accent and have a tacky fashion sense, and act like dumb brutes most of the time. This guy apparently wore cowboy boots in a suit described by the building guards.

Maybe something is prophetic going here? Alpha proles and Beta SWPLs are heading for extinction one way or the other!

" I think this guy is pretty talentless actually."

The drawings and illustrations are certainly stylistically cheesey but technically competent.

Aren't you the guy that does the god-awful landscapes and unremarkable photography?

His suit doesn't look like a birding suit to me if that is what you mean by a signature khaki suit?

Jeff Johnson fits the diagnostic criteria for obsessive compulsive disorder.

Going to the same restaurant everday, ordering the same meal, wearing the same suit, going to work at the same time everyday, and also obsessively watching birds.

It could be that Johnson was the sort of mediocre artist whose talent as a draftsman of sorts was sufficient to keep him employed before photo shop and other software programs obviated the need for some of that work, but not sufficient to carry him as a designer. So he blamed Ercolino for his failure.

In a better economy, Johnson might have been able to land a job as a high school art teacher or something, but safe jobs like that are incredibly hard to get today, because so many refugees from the private sector are scrambling for them.

Things might have turned out okay for Johnson if he had surrendered immediately after shooting Ercolino. While he probably wouldn't have gotten off free on the grounds of justifiable homicide, though you never know, most likely he would have gotten nothing worse than a few years in prison or perhaps a brief stay in a psychiatric facility.

By trying to shoot the cops, however, he changed everything. Bad move.

Johnson doesn't appear to have been a serious bird watcher so much as he was fixated on tracking and photographing the tribe of red-tailed hawks that breed in Manhattan.

"Pale Male" and his extended family have made the New York Times and National Geographic, and are the subject of quite a bit of voyeurism, anthropomorphism, and "amidst the ruins, behold nature's beauty" poeticizing from SWPLs.

Red-taileds are large and conspicuously plumed, so they're easy to observe and photograph. They're also the only "true hawk" in genus buteo that takes readily to urban habitat, where they feed mostly on fat park squirrels. This is a very run-of-the-mill bird outside NYC, and I can't imagine anyone other than ornithologists obsessing over them anywhere else.

Typical birders are concerned with differentiating and counting species. Central Park birders also expend a lot of effort locating and keeping tabs on the frequent rarities that are concentrated in the park by virtue of it being an island of greenery in a sea of concrete. I ran a few searches on the rare bird and Central Park list serves where these birders report their observations, with lots of name dropping of one another, and Johnson has never reported sightings to the list, nor has he been mentioned in others' reports.

Finally, you'd know better than I would whether his camera is any good, but those are bad binoculars -- probably less than $100. All bird watchers who aren't beginners use 8X to 10X glass with a large field of view, which is a two-pound package and about three times the size of Johnson's dinky high magnification opera glasses.

Wait, no prole vs swpl sartorial critique? You're getting soft HS.

So is it common on photography blogs to not reduce the weight of the photos? I lost patience trying to download those on DSL.

"These are the guys that speak with a thick NYC accent and have a tacky fashion sense"

Right: the guy worked in fashion, and people who knew him were complimentary about how he dressed, but he had "a tacky fashion sense", because that fits your prejudice.

WTF is up with commenters here? This guy was just murdered in cold blood, and most commenters here seem to assume the worst about him and empathize more with the guy who shot him. Ercolino isn't the guy who gave you wedgies in junior high.

"By trying to shoot the cops, however, he changed everything. Bad move."

If you watch the video, it looks more like suicide by cop. First he tries to walk away, and then we he sees the cops pursuing him, he waves the gun at them to get them to shoot him. I don't think he pulled the trigger at the cops once.

This is incredibly sad.

Eccentric people were able to get married and have families until not too long ago. I can't help but think this wouldn't have happened if this guy had a family - he'd have just been another everyday joe average guy with some off-the-beaten-path hobbies/interests.

"Right: the guy worked in fashion, and people who knew him were complimentary about how he dressed, but he had 'a tacky fashion sense'because that fits your prejudice."

Half has problems. He jumps to conclusions, hyperbolizes. Nothing new.

Nah, a guy who wears cowboy boots with suits outside of Texas? I'm pretty confident that Ercolino had it coming. Fuck him.

"By trying to shoot the cops, however, he changed everything. Bad move."

Have you seen the surveillance video? It seemed as if Johnson was performing suicide-by-cop. After he pulled the pistol there was at least a full-second lag until the cops had retrieved and fired their weapons.

Sad thing is the cops still shot ump-teen times, hitting bystanders.

Half Sigma, to what extent did this shooting happen because Johnson happened to live in Manhattan and not some less expensive part of the USA?
Couldn't he have moved to some inexpensive place where he could probably get a job - like Indiana or North Dakota?

If he had a job, even a modest one, and a low cost of living, he might not have been so despondent as to commit murder

"Things might have turned out okay for Johnson if he had surrendered immediately after shooting Ercolino."
Um...what universe do you live in?

"WTF is up with commenters here? This guy was just murdered in cold blood, and most commenters here seem to assume the worst about him and empathize more with the guy who shot him. Ercolino isn't the guy who gave you wedgies in junior high."

No, but based on what we've heard so far he's a remarkably unsympathetic victim, a successful backslapping extrovert who was not content with his own success but seemed to want to make life miserable for a meek little introvert and even sabotaged his job. Of course some things may change as more becomes known, for example it now appears that Johnson lost his job as part of a general downsizing, but right now this does not strike me as a terribly heinous murder.

"WTF is up with commenters here? This guy was just murdered in cold blood, and most commenters here seem to assume the worst about him and empathize more with the guy who shot him."

Actually we despise both of them. Johnson was an omega and Ercolino was a prole. This was a win-win.

"Maybe something is prophetic going here? Alpha proles and Beta SWPLs are heading for extinction one way or the other!" - JS


One trend I see is conflict over women in these groups. Middle class SWPL women prefer alpha prole guys over beta SWPL men. Even Roissy said SWPL is not a good environment to raise a boy.

@ DaveinHackensack

I wouldn't mind seeing something similar happen to a number of jerks I know. It's called schadenfreude. I've come to embrace it.

"No, but based on what we've heard so far he's a remarkably unsympathetic victim, a successful backslapping extrovert who was not content with his own success but seemed to want to make life miserable for a meek little introvert and even sabotaged his job."

Where's the evidence he sabotaged him? It's clear they didn't get along, but it's possible Johnson just blamed Ercolino for his failure.

"This is a very run-of-the-mill bird outside NYC, and I can't imagine anyone other than ornithologists obsessing over them anywhere else. "

I see them all day long around here. I like seeing them soaring around and tilting their wings in updrafts but I cant imagine this obsession where Jeff and company are running back and forth talking pictures of that building where the bird never is.

HS is right on the money- this is full on inadequate beta Asian male rage. If people want to quibble about some stupid 'omega' taxonomy they are totally missing the point.

Any male below 5'8 is totally fucked in the dating game, unless he has the facial features of an in demand male model.

Get below 5'6, and you are fucked no matter what you do. You literally might as well kill yourself.

Any men here below 5'9, I would advise saving a year of income and get height increasing surgery for the dating game.

"No, but based on what we've heard so far he's a remarkably unsympathetic victim, a successful backslapping extrovert who was not content with his own success but seemed to want to make life miserable for a meek little introvert and even sabotaged his job. Of course some things may change as more becomes known, for example it now appears that Johnson lost his job as part of a general downsizing, but right now this does not strike me as a terribly heinous murder."

Yeah, let's believe the worst about the victim's behavior. Because Johnson doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would take things too personally or blow things out of proportion.

Instead of assuming that being beta leads these guys to being shooters, it's more likely to believe that the same factor makes them both beta and prone to kill people over real and imagined slights.

Sure, you can say "50 years ago, Holmes and Johnson would've married and everything would've been ok. So it's all feminism's fault." But you could easily say that with stringent gun control this kind of thing wouldn't happen. There reason that people here blame feminism and not guns is because of their political leanings.

Speaking of which, why doesn't Half Sigma ever talk about gun control? He's not afraid to occasionally take paternalistic positions based on his "realist" views of human nature/IQ. I think that a lot of these beta shooters would have trouble finding the connections or the guts to go find some arms dealer on the black market.

[HS: You should try using Google before assuming I never wrote about a topic:

http://www.halfsigma.com/2012/07/james-holmes-and-gun-control.html ]

Some commenters here could benefit from some introspection. You're quick to assume Ercolino was a bully, and yet you're basically acting like bullies: denigrating his appearance, the accent you imagine he has; lacking empathy; etc.

"I think that a lot of these beta shooters would have trouble finding the connections or the guts to go find some arms dealer on the black market."

Irrelevant since Johnson did not want to go on a killing spree for which he needed a gun. He only wanted to kill *one particular person* - Ercolino. He could easily have done that without a gun.

"You're quick to assume Ercolino was a bully"

Even if he wasn't a bully, he was clearly a prole.

"Any male below 5'8 is totally fucked in the dating game, unless he has the facial features of an in demand male model.

Get below 5'6, and you are fucked no matter what you do. You literally might as well kill yourself.

Any men here below 5'9, I would advise saving a year of income and get height increasing surgery for the dating game."

Knew a guy in college who was 5'4". Had girlfriends the whole time I knew him, and is now happily married. The women he dated were his height or slightly taller, btw.

No question height is an advantage for men in dating, but short men have been reproducing forever. That's how there are short men today.

And that height increasing surgery sounds gruesomely painful.


"One trend I see is conflict over women in these groups. Middle class SWPL women prefer alpha prole guys over beta SWPL men. Even Roissy said SWPL is not a good environment to raise a boy".

And where does the Alpha SWPL fit in?

"denigrating his appearance, the accent you imagine he has"

We're inferring this from what we know so far about him. It's not from antipathy towards him.

He looks like a guido prole in his LinkedIn profile pic. He looks very trashy and low class, with an orangish tan and greasy facial appearance. Very unprofessional for a professional pic. It looks like it was taken at a cheesy club or something next to people. Someone else's hair is in the pic.

He went to a bad college.

He probably had a very bad accent based on these facts.

He seems to have been a guido prole who went to a bad college, had a bad accent, worked sales in retail/clothing industry, had trashy, tacky style (suits with cowboy boots in NYC), etc. So he was probably very obnoxious.

And proles often get involved in unfortunate incidents and violent conflict situations like domestic violence, workplace disputes, bar fights, etc. This is why it's a good reason to just avoid them altogether.

"Any male below 5'8 is totally fucked in the dating game, unless he has the facial features of an in demand male model".

"Any men here below 5'9, I would advise saving a year of income and get height increasing surgery for the dating game".

Male Model face 5'9 with shoes.

FWIW, I live in California. I **STILL** have cowboy boots. I have often worn them to various things like Church, meetings, with a suit.

I'm about as Beta Male as it gets.

Cowboy boots are fun, simple as that. I'd love a pair from some of the famous boot makers in Texas.

PS -- they are dressy and yet easy to slip off perfect for the airport security line. Too big for someone to walk off easily with.

@ Paul Lynde for the Win

"Finally, you'd know better than I would whether his camera is any good, but those are bad binoculars -- probably less than $100. All bird watchers who aren't beginners use 8X to 10X glass with a large field of view, which is a two-pound package and about three times the size of Johnson's dinky high magnification opera glasses."

It's perfectly normal for a birder whose primary aim is photography to not also carry a full size binocular. For all we know that's a thousand dollar Swarovski 10x25 which both suits his purposes perfectly (as a sort of spotting scope) and makes most full-size models look like garbage.

As for the camera, it's either an entry or mid level consumer (maybe even "prosumer" depending on how big the guys is, it's hard to tell) with a cheap-to-medium priced telephoto lens. Total cost $1,000-$2,500...but again, it's hard to say. I'm not familiar with the lens maker.


I'm 5'8, never had any problem with the ladies.

I've known shorter guys who had twice the sucess with girls and tall guys who couldn't get laid in a whore house.

Like most things women say, the desirability of height has to be taken with a grain of salt. Height is only one facet of attractiveness. Looks, cleanliness, intelligence, humor, etc., all play a role.

Is anyone in HBD talking about the recent Akin comment that women who are rapped have a "mechanism for shutting it down"?

Obviously women can become pregnant through rape, but the mainstream media doesn't seem to realize that female biological sperm selection is documented in many animals and may exist to some extent in human females.

I'm wondering about the biological effectiveness of cryptic female choice in humans. For most of human history, I think that a cuckolded male would abandon any child that his partner would have with another male, and abandoned children would have a low probability of surviving.

Ercolino's girlfriend was Hispanic.

"FWIW, I live in California. I **STILL** have cowboy boots. I have often worn them to various things like Church, meetings, with a suit."

Do your church meetings involve snake handling and speaking in tongues?

Were the cops who shot up bystanders alpha or beta? Maybe they were taking out some beta male rage on the sly by indiscriminately firing into the crowd!

"Eccentric people were able to get married and have families until not too long ago. "

Who said the killing had anything to so with not being married? It was a work dispute.

Who says someone who is married is happy?

"Irrelevant since Johnson did not want to go on a killing spree for which he needed a gun. He only wanted to kill *one particular person* - Ercolino. He could easily have done that without a gun."

Obviously, but a lot more can go wrong if you're a 5'3 unaggressive beta going to stab a guy much bigger and stronger than you. It takes a lot more guts and aggression to stick a knife in somebody than it does to shoot them from a distance. It's possible that Johnson would have considered stabbing Ercolino, but thought about what a pathetic wimp he would have looked like if he failed, not to mention the years in jail. Plus, if his goal was to kill himself, it's harder to commit "suicide by cop" with a knife. He could just stab himself, but that takes more guts than shooting oneself or letting others shoot you.

Therefore, I think that there's no way he tries this without a gun.

"And where does the Alpha SWPL fit in?" - Just Speculating


I couldn't say because I haven't seen any. In California attractive women married to SWPL men frequently have affairs during the day. One women was even having sex with teenage boys as the men around her (including her well off husband) were too beta. The only alpha SWPL men I can think of are celebrities but even then the women divorce them (like Tom Cruise) even that Twilight actress cheated on her co-star and heartthrob boyfriend. SWPL = emasculating environment that's bad for men.

"I'm 5'8, never had any problem with the ladies. I've known shorter guys who had twice the sucess with girls and tall guys who couldn't get laid in a whore house." - ibejeph


How old are you? A lot of you guys in denial about this stuff are fossils (no offense). I see a lot of guys in public who are married with kids today but many could not survive the hypergamy of the 2000's. Sometimes younger guys (like Matt in RTP) believe in the same nonsense. It's hilarious because he's on the juice, was a go-go dancer (buff and good looking), lives in fly over country where everybody is a loser (so a decent job counts for more), but erroneously believes there is a girl out there for everyone.

Alex - if women's bodies could prevent pregnancy from rape, there'd be less rape. The main study that the pro-life types use to justify Akin's belief is one from Hungary after WW2, where the Soviet soldiers went across the country raping and pillaging, and the pregnancy rate was pretty low. However, after a few years of war, malnutrition was common, which probably had something to do with the low pregnancy rate. There's a more recent study from the war in Bosnia, where women who were raped once were very likely to get pregnant, but those raped multiple times were very unlikely. The factor in that case is that women who were raped multiple times were also physically abused in other ways, which does make it harder to get or stay pregnant.

"Get below 5'6, and you are fucked no matter what you do. You literally might as well kill yourself."

-

That seems overly cynical. Women are not hyper-focused on height or other physical attributes. The most beautiful women can afford to be brutally selective, but average women can't and isn't. If you can demonstrate a winning personality and status potential they will definitely overlook being a little short or even ugly.

Was Rocky Balboa from first Rocky a beta male? He's acquired an ugly nerdy girlfriend at age 30 and was socially clueless by many of his habits.

The more I ponder this case, the more I suspect that Johnson was gay. We may yet to hear from some ex-boyfriends. Or possibly Johnson was just very deeply closeted, remember that he grew up before being gay was widely accepted.

What makes me suspect all this is the fact that his abusive relationship with Ercolino was not strictly one-sided. Johnson could give as much as he took and at least in one instance was the aggressor. One thing I've learned over the years is that in spite of their reputation as wimps and cowards, many gay men will take no sh*t from anyone and are not at all reluctant to stand up for themselves.

[HS: Not gay because (1) no boyfriends; (2) draws pictures of scantily clad women; (3) has one-itis for some chick he met for 30 seconds 25 years ago. You really don't need gayness to explain why a short skinny weird loser like Johnson doesn't have a wife.]

"Therefore, I think that there's no way he tries this without a gun."

Johnson did not acquire his gun for the express purpose of shooting Ercolino. He had purchased it in Florida over a decade ago. He had never gotten a permit for the gun, so his ownership of it in NYC was illegal.

"The most beautiful women can afford to be brutally selective, but average women can't and isn't. If you can demonstrate a winning personality and status potential they will definitely overlook being a little short or even ugly." - Bill


This is only true when the woman is past her prime and wants to settle down with a beta provider. When she's in her teens to mid twenties and in the club and party scene things are different.

I wouldn't say bird watching is a prole hobby, but it's definitely in omega territory since practically no one does it anymore. Has there ever been an alpha birdwatcher?

From what I've heard about birdwatching, it's quite upscale, and can be extremely competitive. It's not really suitable for being ranked on the Alpha-Beta-Omega spectrum.

@ Peter

You're right, birders tend to have money. Done properly it's an extremely expensive activity. Same thing with hunting, although hunting has this large prole underbelly that people tend to think of rather than all of the loaded retirees who buy a hundred acres, build a lodge and essentially run a private hotel and hunting camp for all of their buddies and their buddies kids.

@ trollwizard

"I wouldn't say bird watching is a prole hobby, but it's definitely in omega territory since practically no one does it anymore."

Birding is super popular, more popular now than ever. You have no clue.

"Plus, if his goal was to kill himself, it's harder to commit "suicide by cop" with a knife."

Ya mean like the guy in Times square a couple of weeks ago?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/nyregion/police-fatally-shoot-man-brandishing-knife-in-times-square.html

Yeah, it was really difficult for him to convince the cops to shoot his ass.

Here's a new story in the NYT with some more info on Johnson:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/nyregion/after-empire-state-building-shooting-jeffrey-johnsons-mother-asks-why.html

"In an hourlong conversation, Ms. Johnson spoke of her agony in trying to comprehend the shocking descent of a little boy who loved the Boy Scouts and animals, and who grew into a patriotic and thoughtful man.

Mr. Johnson was born in Japan. His family came to the United States when he was 10 months old, and he grew up in Georgia before going to art school in Florida and then making his way to New York City more than a decade ago. “He had a kind life,” his mother said.

Maybe the head injury he suffered as a boy caused him to “snap” all these years later, she said.

He had been struck by a car when he was about 11. He was in a coma for five days and doctors did not expect him to live, Ms. Johnson said.

“The doctors told me once that they would be very surprised if he didn’t have any aftereffects,” she said. “But he seemed to recover all the way. He was not acting funny, but you know, when you get older, your body, especially if you are injured, will kind of deteriorate.”

“I don’t know,” Ms. Johnson added. “This may be some kind of excuse. I don’t understand what snapped in him to do what he did.”

Her son had to drop out of the Boy Scouts after being struck by the car. He had to wear a helmet to protect his head from further injury, she said.

After attending Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., he joined the Coast Guard and got married. After four years he and his wife divorced, about three decades ago, Ms. Johnson said.

Mr. Johnson moved to New York to be at the center of the art scene. He spent hours in museums and revered the Dutch painter Vermeer, she said.

He was enthralled, too, with Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk that made its home near Central Park. He took dozens of photographs of the hawk and mailed them to her, she said.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Johnson, who lived in the city at the time, sought to return to the Coast Guard, she said.

“He was very patriotic,” his mother said. “He wanted to fight again, but the government told him he was too old.”

She said her son had earned a citation for marksmanship while in the Coast Guard — a poignant sidelight to his actions on Friday. But she found some small comfort in that her son did not shoot any of the bystanders who were wounded.

***

"Though she had not seen him for 22 years (he had not returned home since 1990), Mr. Johnson used to call her every Sunday. He rarely spoke about his work. He never told her that he had been laid off from Hazan. Instead, he told her he quit because he did not get along with a co-worker, she said.

“He is hard on himself,” she said. “He is a perfectionist and he is hard on himself, but he is also hard on others, too. He just cannot compromise.”

The last time she spoke to her son was April 6. He called to wish her a happy birthday. He had not made his weekly call since a Sunday this past January, when she asked if he needed any help with money and questioned how he could afford to live in New York City.

“That just made him very angry,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Mama, by right I ought to be building a house for you. That’s what the firstborn should do.’ He always had a self-guilt that he didn’t take care of his parents the way he wanted to.”

Just before the falling out, he sent her a two-page typed letter.

Much of the letter focused on the death of Romeo, his cat. He had fretted so much over the cat’s health that at one point, Romeo’s veterinarian expressed worry about her son, she said.

At the time, the veterinarian did not realize that Romeo was suffering from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Mr. Johnson spent months trying to save and treat the cat. In his Jan. 10, 2012, letter to his mother, he wrote that he had to let the cat go: “All I can do now is try to give him a peaceful death.”

He went on to detail how the veterinarian had euthanized the cat six months earlier, she said.

“I felt like such a moron,” he wrote. “For years, he had been trying to tell me that something was wrong. And I hadn’t been able to help him.”

He wrote, “The doctor let me use her office and I wrapped Romeo in my best Fendi jacket so he wouldn’t shiver.”

Though Mr. Johnson still had another cat, Tiger, his mother said, he said that life seemed dimmer since Romeo died, and he wrote that he “honestly would have traded places with him.”

“I am astonished by how much I miss him,” he wrote. “He just filled every room in the apartment. Nothing seems special without him around. It embarrasses me that I feel this way. Life is bigger than one cat or me or you. But I can’t shake the feeling that life has been diminished tenfold by Romeo’s parting.”"

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