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 Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)

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LPorter101

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PostSubject: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:47 am

Cullen would have us believe that he was the first to debunk the bullshit that the media put out in the days and weeks after the shooting ... but he wasn't.

In early August 1999, Denver's weekly newspaper, Westword, published a lengthy article by Alan Prendergast called "Doom Rules."

Let me quote the following:

...

Yet much of what we think we know about Columbine, much of what was reported in the frantic first days of coverage and repeated endlessly since, is wrong. It's a product of overreaching and often sloppy reporting, hysterical and sometimes unreliable sources, misinformation from official sources, or just plain tabloid luridness. Examples:

* Hours after the onslaught began, an ace investigative reporter at Channel 9/KUSA announced that the Trenchcoat Mafia was a tight-knit "hate group" with national ties.

* The day after the killings, the Washington Times reported that Klebold and Harris "admired the Gothic scene and Satan worship, sometimes donning makeup in the style of one of their heroes, shock rock star Marilyn Manson. Sometimes they wore swastikas."

* Two days later, building on a sketchy report in the Denver Post, the New York Post announced that the killers "rehearsed their rampage in a morbid video they made for school," in which a trenchcoated Harris and Klebold pretended to shoot jocks.

* Just a couple of weeks ago, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reiterated that during the massacre, "Klebold and Harris said they were targeting athletes because they felt they ruled student life and needed to be brought down."

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

Klebold and Harris were not leaders of a close-knit hate group known as the Trenchcoat Mafia. They didn't make videos of themselves roaming the hallways of Columbine, shooting jocks. They didn't openly sport swastikas, and such attire would hardly have been permitted in their homes--Eric's father, Wayne Harris, is an Air Force veteran, and Dylan's mother, Susan, is Jewish. The boys' allegiance was to the German techno-rock band Rammstein, not Marilyn Manson or the goth scene. And while eyewitness accounts do indicate they made remarks about jocks during their killing spree, it's hard to credit the notion that they were targeting anyone in particular on their apocalyptic suicide mission, which investigators believe was supposed to end with a fireball consuming hundreds of lives.

The carnage of April 20 is not a simple parable of humiliation and revenge, nor is it a cautionary tale of a permissive society gone mad. The mass homicide may have more to do with the special culture of Columbine, the world its students inhabited on a daily basis, than school officials will ever acknowledge. The high school that Klebold and Harris sought to destroy was a place of long-simmering resentments and pathology, wrapped in a bright lie of communal achievement and mutual respect. It's a place where teachers and parents were nominally involved but ultimately irrelevant, since adults were easy to fool or ignore. A place where teenagers were encouraged, even badgered, into straitjacketed notions of success, while others plunged into a realm of violent fantasy. A place where, as if by magic, what was considered cool and daring became unspeakably cruel and grotesque.

...

Read the whole thing - it's well worth it. Prendergast should write a book.

And Dave Cullen ... well, everyone here knows what I think he should do with his book. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:29 pm

hahah Before Cullen.Thats a good term to add in "Columbine Vocabulary'.
Fantastic finding LPorter!.
Its just me or the highlited paragraph describes almost any high school out there?

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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:47 pm

The following is from "Doom Rules" (1999-08-05):

Klebold and Harris were not leaders of a close-knit hate group known as the Trenchcoat Mafia. They didn't make videos of themselves roaming the hallways of Columbine, shooting jocks. They didn't openly sport swastikas, and such attire would hardly have been permitted in their homes--Eric's father, Wayne Harris, is an Air Force veteran, and Dylan's mother, Susan, is Jewish. The boys' allegiance was to the German techno-rock band Rammstein, not Marilyn Manson or the goth scene. And while eyewitness accounts do indicate they made remarks about jocks during their killing spree, it's hard to credit the notion that they were targeting anyone in particular on their apocalyptic suicide mission, which investigators believe was supposed to end with a fireball consuming hundreds of lives.

The carnage of April 20 is not a simple parable of humiliation and revenge, nor is it a cautionary tale of a permissive society gone mad. The mass homicide may have more to do with the special culture of Columbine, the world its students inhabited on a daily basis, than school officials will ever acknowledge. The high school that Klebold and Harris sought to destroy was a place of long-simmering resentments and pathology, wrapped in a bright lie of communal achievement and mutual respect. It's a place where teachers and parents were nominally involved but ultimately irrelevant, since adults were easy to fool or ignore. A place where teenagers were encouraged, even badgered, into straitjacketed notions of success, while others plunged into a realm of violent fantasy. A place where, as if by magic, what was considered cool and daring became unspeakably cruel and grotesque.

Eric
Like a lot of gawky freshmen, you wonder where you fit in at school. You are a Columbine Rebel, proud and true, but what does that mean?

You lack your brother's bulk and stature. Three years your senior, Kevin is a tight end on the football team, an A student and a varsity man, popular and easygoing. You're nobody. Larger, more confident Rebels shove past you on the way to class, strutting in their letter jackets and white caps, high on hormones and victory. You used to love baseball, but your interest is waning. This is a problem. At Columbine the jocks rule.

You suspect you are smarter than they are. But so what? Every day you still have to wade through that mass of muscle crowding the hallways--plodding, arrogant, contemptuous. So you rant about it on your computer. "YOU KNOW WHAT I HATE? When there is a group of assholes standing in the middle of a hallway or walkway, and they are just STANDING there talking and blocking my fucking way!!!! Get the fuck outa the way or ill bring a friggin sawed-off shotgun to your house and blow your snotty ass head off!!"

The computer is a great comfort. It's another world, one in which you can reinvent yourself, become even more powerful and intimidating than the bully boys you despise. You can hurl your rage into cyberspace, to an audience of faceless strangers, and your own parents will never know--because in this world, adults are clueless. You can do what you want, be what you want.

What you want is blood, and you find it in abundance in the wildly popular computer game Doom. Lots of boys your age vent their frustrations in waste-'em-all games like Doom, but you are more deeply entangled in its mysteries than most. Something about it--the vividness of its 3-D graphics and sound effects, the frantic pace, the demand for quick wits and savagery, the game's stoic, fatalistic attitude and all-encompassing mythology of mayhem--speaks to you. It beckons to you like a lover who can show you your true self.

The game is a gory cartoon version of your own situation. You are a badass space Marine dispatched to a distant moon, where invading demons from hell have overrun your platoon and turned your buddies into zombies bent on killing you. The only leatherneck left to defend mankind against the infernal hordes, you're outgunned from the start. But you are resourceful, and you acquire noisier, more devastating weapons as the game progresses. You wipe out the zombie soldiers and the demons who command them as you move on to higher, more intricate levels of carnage.

You master Doom and its even more violent successor, Doom 2. You engage in "deathmatch" versions of the game involving two or more players, vying on a single computer or over the Internet. It isn't enough.

You spend long hours in your room designing new levels to the game, called wads, and posting them online for other fanatics to play. You alter the noises that the weapons make, the screams of your victims. Eventually you will design fields of combat that resemble your neighborhood--and, it's rumored, your school.

It's still not enough.

You hunger for recognition. You slap a plea on the side of a building in one of the wads, urging players to send comments to your e-mail address. "This one took a damn long time to do," you write in the text file attached to another wad, "so send me some bloody credit man!"

By the middle of your sophomore year, you've completed your most sophisticated wad yet, a tricky, brutal, two-level shootout that's many times the size of your previous efforts. It climaxes in an orgy of killing, the screen flooded with hundreds of demons. The player has only two options: engage in a tedious, mechanical ritual of slaughter, or end things quickly by using a cheat command to go into "God mode," in which the player is invincible. (Later, after you are no longer around to bask in the attention, the wad will be reviewed on several Doom Web sites and ridiculed for its amateurishness, its "insipid gameplay" and "Thing overload." One reviewer will compare the experience to "viewing the clown paintings of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.")

In your America Online profile you call yourself Rebldomakr. You list your hobbies as "professional doom and doom2 creator, meeting beautiful females, being cool." Personal quote: "Shut up and shoot it.--Quit whining, it's just a flesh wound--Kill Em AALLLL!!!!"

There is no question now about who you are. You are no longer Eric Harris, pathetic dweeb. You are the Rebel who makes Doom.

...

The following is from "I'm Full of Hate and I Love It" (2001-12-06):

Harris made only one entry in the journal in 1999, two weeks before the attack:

"Months have passed. It's the first Friday night in the final month. Much shit has happened. Vodka has a Tec 9, we test fired all of our babies, we have 6 time clocks ready, 39 crickets, 24 pipe bombs, and the napalm is under construction. Right now I'm trying to get fucked and trying to finish off these time bombs.

"NBK came quick. Why the fuck can't I get any? I mean, I'm nice and considerate and all that shit, but nooooo...The amount of dramatic irony and foreshadowing is fucking amazing. Everything I see and hear I incorporate into NBK somehow...feels like a goddamn movie sometimes...

"I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no, don't fucking say, 'Well, that's your fault' because it isn't, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no no no no no don't let the weird looking Eric kid come along, oooh fucking nooo."

That is how the journal ends -- not with the howl of the wolf-god, but the whine of the pathetic geek who can't land a prom date.

And decides everybody deserves to die.

[...]

Although questions linger about Klebold's death -- gun in right hand, wound in left temple -- there was no doubt that Harris killed himself. He stuck a shotgun in his mouth and excavated the cranial vault. He blew his brains out.

It was as if, after blaming his misery on "all the fat ugly retarded crippled dumbass stupid fuckheads in the world," the snotty rich toadies and the bitches and the un-self-aware and all the other despised people who needed to be winnowed out, he'd finally elected to deal with the problem at its core.

On a day of obscene horror, it was his one decent act.

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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:49 pm

Dylan

Sarah Bay: "From the start, I saw Dylan as a follower. If he got an idea from someone that he thought was cool, he'd go along with it, as long as that other person was doing it, too."

Jeni LaPlante: "He did have a lot of anger, but he hid it most of the time. One time in bowling class, he got so pissed he slammed his fist down on the ball return. It freaked me out."

Sarah Bay: "In a way, Dylan's mind was still back in junior high, where girls were yucky and video games were cool and you sort of had this fantasy land you could go to."

Everyone sees you as a follower. True, when it comes to the usual adolescent rites of passage--smoking, drinking, seeking out music obnoxious enough to annoy your parents--you aren't exactly a trendsetter. But when you find something that really fires your brain, you embrace it with enthusiasm. Hence your nickname, borrowed from the magic elixir that produces so many weepy late-night phone conversations with friends: VoDkA.

People remember that shy, vulnerable, teen-angst side of you, so they make excuses for you. You must have been drawn into Eric's orbit, brainwashed somehow, they say. You did not have that kind of hate in you. Hell, you were still making trades in the fantasy baseball league with Tim Kastle the night before the massacre; hours later, you were waving a TEC-9 at him in a ceiling crawlspace, trying to make up your mind whether to shoot. You must have had some kind of psychotic break to switch from good old Dylan to a head case like that in a matter of hours.

They want it to be simple--little Eric the evil mastermind, and you trailing after him, towering over him, a six-three zombie in a black coat, shades and a turned-around Boston Red Sox cap--Dr. Rammstein and his monster. They don't understand the bonds between VoDkA and Reb. They don't understand that he needed you as much as you needed him, maybe more so. Like prisoners manacled together, you reinforced each other in your misery. Together you could accomplish things you wouldn't dream of attempting alone.

The relationship begins the way a lot of adolescent friendships do, as a buffer against loneliness and the grim demands of growing up. You play Doom and Quake, cruise the malls, take a lot of the same classes. You cultivate a mutual interest in death-rock and Tarantino movies, ape the casual attitude toward racism and violence that you see on the screen. None of this is terribly unusual, but at some point you recognize something in each other that most of your friends don't share: a boiling rage against your enemies.

The more time you spend in each other's company, the more enemies you seem to have. Other kids call you faggots. They misunderstand. What you are is a two-man terror squad.

"Ok people, im gonna let you in on the big secret of our clan," Reb writes on his Web page. "We aint no god damn stupid ass quake clan! We are more of a gang. We plan out and execute missions. Anyone pisses us off, we do a little deed to their house. Eggs, teepee, superglue, busyboxes, large amounts of fireworks, you name it and we will probly or already have done it. We have many enimies in our school, therefor we make many missions."

In your junior year of high school you embark on several nighttime raids. Both you and Reb have curfews, but your parents are busy people and it's easy to sneak out. You drive to Wyoming to load up on fireworks, extract the gunpowder and make pipe bombs. You set them off in the fields and ravines surrounding your parents' stunning house in Deer Creek Canyon. The secret is exciting, in part because you share it. It's one more wedge separating the "gang" from everyone else.

In January 1998, the two of you are caught in a field with stolen electronic equipment. This is your first encounter with the legal system, the world of adult laws and adult consequences, and it's a joke. You enter a diversion program, write a letter of apology, pick up trash for no pay, pee in a cup. You are polite to the judge and feed your folks some corn syrup about how much you're learning from all this. Your probation officer sees you as a dreamy slacker who just needs to get cracking: "Dylan is a bright young man...if he is able to tap his potential and become self motivated he should do well in life."

By senior year, the amount of time you spend with Eric Harris would be scary, if it didn't seem so right. You share four classes, work together at Blackjack Pizza, make videos, go bowling and spend long hours on the computer together. Your attachment to him creates inevitable conflicts with your other friends, many of whom you've known much longer than Harris, a relative latecomer to the south Jeffco scene. When you must choose between them, you choose Eric.

Many of your friends are getting into dating now, getting serious with girls. It's one place you can't follow. This social stuntedness is another quality that the two of you share, that isolates you from the rest--but at least Reb had a girlfriend once, before the gang of two was formed, a girl named Tiffany. (When Tiffany broke up with him, Harris staged a fake-suicide scene for her benefit.) You can't score a date to save your life.

A platonic friend, an honors student who likes you so much that she bought guns for you, pleads with you to take her to the prom. Your parents offer you $250 to go. You agree. For a few hours you're in the social whirl, and Eric Harris is nowhere to be seen. He shows up later, at the after-prom party, with no date.

There is no escape from each other. With all that you know about each other now, all that you share, how can you go your separate ways? People want to say that Eric Harris is the problem. They don't get it.

Graduation is the problem.

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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:19 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
The boys' allegiance was to the German techno-rock band Rammstein, not Marilyn Manson or the goth scene.

I'd argue KMFDM was just as important to them, but otherwise they got it right.

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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:03 am

>The carnage of April 20 is not a simple parable of humiliation and revenge, nor is it a cautionary tale of >a permissive society gone mad.

While I don't adore Dave Cullen, he didn't really believe these things either.

The bit about Dylan is more spot on though than Cullen's love-fest of declaring Dylan to be a "sweet, loving kid" though.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythbusting in 1999 B.C. (Before Cullen)   Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:14 pm

"Doom Rules" is still my favorite article on Columbine, even after all these years.

The whole thing is here:
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