Here is my comment:
You are indeed correct that Dave Cullen's book is full of inaccurate and misleading information. Unfortunately, you take the ball and run with it in the wrong direction, focusing on the tired issue of antidepressants.
The main problem with Mr. Cullen's book is that his characterization of Eric Harris as a swaggering, confident ladies' man and Dylan Klebold as his cowering emo lapdog is so thoroughly at variance with the established, known facts of the two boys' lives that one wonders how a reasonably intelligent (and honest) person who spent ten years looking at the available evidence could have come to such a conclusion.
I could write a book debunking Cullenbine, but for now I'll make these points:
As evidence of Harris' popularity and promiscuity, Cullen cites the testimony of a now-discredited "Columbine fangirl" (or groupie, if you will) named Brenda Parker. (She claimed to have been Eric's lover, but later admitted to the police that she had made the whole thing up.) Cullen has steadfastly refused to acknowledge or correct this error.
It is clear that Eric harbored deep, deep resentment over his lack of success with girls and his low social standing.
* Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look, how fucking weak I am and shit, well I will get you all back: ultimate fucking revenge here. you people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for my knowledge or guidence more, treated me more like senior, and maybe I wouldn't have been as ready to tear your fucking heads off. then again, I have always hated how I looked, I make fun of people who look like me, sometimes without even thinking sometimes just because I want to rip on myself. Thats where a lot of my hate grows from, the fact that I have practically no selfesteem, especially concerning girls and looks and such. therefore people make fun of me... constantly... therefore I get no respect and therefore I get fucking PISSED. as of this date I have enough explosives to kill about 100 people, and then if I get a couple bayonetts, swords, axes, whatever I'll be able to kill at least 10 more. and that just isnt enough! GUNS! I need guns! Give me some fucking firearms!
* Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face. I'll get revenge soon enough. fuckers shouldn't have ripped on me so much huh! HA!
Those are brief excerpts from his journal. In the past, in response to various things that I have written, Cullen has claimed that I "cherry-pick" entries to make Eric seem as if he had lower self-esteem than he did. Cullen believes that Eric's numerous expressions of contempt for "all the fat ugly retarded crippled dumbass stupid fuckheads in the world" indicate that he regarded himself as a truly-superior being. I don't buy that. He hated everyone and everything, but first and foremost he loathed himself.
This is the last thing that he wrote: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't fucking say, "well thats your fault" because it isnt, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. no no dont let the weird looking Eric KID come along, ohh fucking nooo."
As Westword reporter Alan Prendergast put it, "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."
(In an article published in August 1999, Prendergast - an underrated figure in Columbine journalism - debunked most of the myths that Cullen claimed to have debunked in his book.)
Eric's writings are supremely angry - there are parts where his rage boils over into descriptions of brutal cannibalistic sex fantasies. (But some of Dylan's writings are so disjointed and bizarre that I am inclined to agree with Peter Langman's view that he was possibly borderline schizophrenic.)
Here are some quotes from newspaper articles on the basement tapes, written by reporters who (unlike Cullen) actually got to see them when they were screened for the first (and only) time by Jeffco in December 1999:
* But Harris shows some anger toward his father, Wayne, a military man who moved his family across the country several times. Harris talks of always being the new, "white, scrawny" kid. "I had to go through all that shit so many times," Harris says.
* "Only four or five people here didn't rip on me - four or five out of the whole state of Colorado!'' Eric Harris moaned to his pal. If he were just able to get in small fistfights, like he used to, Harris says. Now, he'd get suspended, his parents sued. Now, he says, pointing his shotgun "Arlene'' at the screen, he has no choice.
* "You know who you are. Thanks. You made me feel good. Think about that for a while, f---ing bitches." - Harris, after listing five girls "who never even called me back."
Eric constantly felt slighted. This might be evidence of his psychopathy, and/or it might be evidence that he was extremely sensitive to his very real inability to live up to the masculine ideal that some of his fellow students (and his own brother) embodied. He was a little geeky guy.
(Next to Klebold, who Cullen would have us believe trembled at the prospect of Eric's wrath, he looks like a midget. Klebold's body language in the clips of the two boys together is always confident - he stands up to his full 6'3"/6'4"-ish height.)
Here is a quote from a Denver Post article (1999-12-14):
"Contrary to popular opinion in the Columbine community, Harris comes off in the videos as the more sympathetic character of the two. Portrayed in the days after the attack as angry and weird, he is apologetic and somewhat remorseful in the tapes. He's careful to absolve his parents of any blame and shows sympathy to his mother, Kathy, for what he is about to do, trying not to 'bond' with her because he will soon die.
"'It's not their fault. They had no f---ing clue,' Harris says. 'It would not solve anything to arrest them.'"
Was Eric acting, enjoying putting on a show? Cullen would claim that he was. But he can't explain away the fact that Klebold came across as a bloodthirsty monster:
"Klebold is monstrous on the videotapes, openly raging about his lifelong hidden anger and all the slights he suffered at the hands of students, teachers and his family. He smiles ghoulishly into the camera, lovingly handles weapons and constantly combs his fingers through his shoulder-length red hair. He shows no contrition, only deadly aggression.
'This goes to all my family: I'm sorry I have so much rage,' Klebold says. 'You made me what I am. Actually, you just added to what I am.'"
And a Rocky Mountain News article (1999-12-13):
"Then Harris says, 'Let's talk about our parents for a minute.'
"Klebold begins coldly. 'It's my life,' he says. 'They gave it to me, I can do with it what I want. . . . If they don't like it, I'm sorry, but that's too bad.'
"Harris is gentler. 'They might have made some mistakes that they weren't really aware of in their life with me, but they couldn't have helped it.'
"Both boys say again and again that their parents are great.
"The Klebolds saw this tape last fall. They cried. The Harris parents know the tape exists but haven't seen it.
"'It s--- to do this to them,' Harris says. 'They're going to go through hell once we're finished. They're never going to see the end of it.'
"Klebold promises his parents there was nothing they could have done to stop what will happen.
"'You can't understand what we feel; you can't understand no matter how much you think you can,' he says.
"Harris plays with a pair of scissors, rapidly snapping the blades together and apart, together and apart. They laugh at the noise.
"He explains why he didn't spend more time with his family.
"'I didn't want to do any more bonding with them. It will be a lot easier on them if I haven't been around as much.'"
Would a psychopath with no regard for others bother to make such remarks? Again, Cullen would say that Eric is acting for the camera. (Why a guy who wanted to come across as a badass muthafucka would try to spoil that image by talking about his mother is beyond me.)
On another tape, Eric did start to cry while reminiscing about old friends. Cullen (who hasn't seen the tape) claims that it was an act. Unlike him, I'll reserve judgment until I see it for myself.
The bullying angle might be somewhat exaggerated. But at a school where hulking jocks did demonstrably enjoy many privileges denied to the rest of the student body - not the least of which was the right to torment others without fear of punishment - Eric was a short, scrawny, geeky boy with a shrunken chest. His older brother was the perfect son - athletic enough to make the varsity football team but smart enough to make the honor roll. Even most of Eric's friends - fellow computer nerds - were well over six feet; they literally towered over him. Dylan, an ugly (sorry, fangirls) ogre of a boy who seldom bathed, had a girl friend (not a girlfriend, per se) who begged him to take her to the prom; Eric, a decent-looking guy who kept himself well-scrubbed, begged six girls for prom dates and was turned down by each and every one of them. Every minute of every day, he was subjected to reminders of his failure to measure up.
I maintain that Eric's body language at the beginning of this clip is revealing:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
When Eric sees the larger boys approaching, around the 0:15 mark, he stops talking and tenses up. (The other boy seems them first, and stops talking - he stares straight ahead, not taking his eyes off of them.) He stands as erect as he can, steeling himself for a confrontation. But as he nears them, he lowers his head and cowers like a dog. (Some claim that he is "ramming" through the wall of jocks in a macho manner, but I disagree.)
Also note that the jock on the right side of the screen is flipping off the camera. It's hard to see, due to the pixelation, but if you look closely you can tell that his middle finger is extended. So the mutual dislike and contempt between the "popular" crowd and the "outcasts" was very real.
Later, in the cafeteria, Eric was humiliated in front of some other boys when a girl who had promised to meet him instead walked out of the room without saying a word:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Around 11:24, he slouches and lowers his head until his chin is resting in his hands. His body language indicates that he is giving up, accepting defeat. He has already lost - that girl has already walked up the stairs and out of his life, at least for the moment - so there's no point in puffing himself up any longer.
Examine Eric's facial expression around the 11:40 mark. Is that the face of a swaggering ladies' man at the top of his Game, or that of a dorky boy who is beating himself up over his pathetic inability to prevent yet another cruel rejection? (Or neither?)
I could (and probably will) go on.