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 I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.

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anonacc489



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PostSubject: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:54 am

I've spent alot of time lurking this board, and almost 90% of the things I see mentioning Cullen's book act as if he has reached the most heinous and unfounded conclusion possible, and the book is nothing more than Cullen shouting declarative statements at the reader and pushing "Eric is a psychopath and Dylan depressive" as a complete 100% fact, when in reality none of that happened in the book.

I've had Columbine sitting on my shelf for the past month, and after reading a post which once again threw a jab at Cullen's book, I decided to read it for myself and see what it said that everyone here found so heinous.

As it turns out - Cullen himself didn't actually say that they anyone was a psychopath or a depressive. He merely was documenting the conclusions that the detectives and psychologists working on the case came to, specifically Dwayne Fusilier.

That's it.

He never ever said "Eric was a psychopath. That's why it all happened. Dylan was innocent."
EVER.
And the bits that he focused on Dwayne's research, he went into detail as to how Dwayne reached that conclusion, and presented it in a compelling and thoughtful manner. Cullen does not offer the psychopathy conclusion as fact, or the be all end all reason behind Columbine, he merely offers it as a single possible reason for it to happen.

I honestly don't see what the big deal is everyone here has with the book. If anything, I think it would be appreciated here, because Cullen pretty much took Columbine and made it into something more than "two bullied kids kill people". He instead shows how it's a much deeper issue than that, something the community was doing for a long time before the book. Cullen just took it to mainstream.
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:57 am

Youtube Cullen. He has many interviews where he explicitly says Eric was a psychopath and that Dylan was drawn into it by Eric. He never says Dylan was innocent, but he does not let his man crush on Dylan be lost at all.

My issue with his book is that he took many early "facts" about the case and put them into his book as facts when in truth those facts were proved to be myths. And after all of that he has never revised his book/comments and has never really afaik even said he made any factual mistakes in the book. I think he did finally make some sort of remark about Brenda Parker but other than that he says his book is the be all end all of Columbine books. And in my opinion it is not

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:31 pm

Cullen downplayed the bullying situation at Columbine way too much. He made it seem like bullying hardly even existed, despite multiple students speaking out about it. And he focused mainly on research that supports the "Eric is a psychopath and Dylan a depressed follower" claim, without providing other realistic possibilities (or at least not focusing on them enough). He's just a biased author. He took the research he liked and wrote around it.
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:50 pm

Survivors of the massacre have even said that the book is full of inconsistencies. And as [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] stated in interviews and articles he does call Eric a psychopath. Like others have said he paints Eric to be the mastermind and Dylan to be a reluctant follower, which isn't true. Not to mention his description of Eric couldn't be farther from how people who actually knew him described him.  People that knew Eric said he died a virgin yet Cullen wrote that he outbedded the football team. I mean come on. Eric himself wrote about how he couldn't get laid. Some of It is just flat out lies.
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PostSubject: it's a mixed bag   Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:47 pm

In general, I mostly like Cullen's book, as a sort of compendium of lots of things related to the story of Columbine. Certainly I have no problem with his writing style (go read Nicholas Pileggi or Robert Graysmith for a bad writing style) and I think his organization of the book is handled very well.

It's got its problems though.

I do feel that his "Eric = psycho, Dylan = emo follower" thing--which really is the centerpiece and purpose of his book--is an overgeneralization, and that he's writing the book around the research he liked. And he pushes it as THE answer to the whole thing, just like Robert Graysmith will never stop insisting that all that circumstantial evidence about Arthur Leigh Allen proves Allen is the Zodiac killer (for those of you who don't follow Zodiac, Arthur Leigh Allen's DNA, fingerprints, and handwriting do not match Zodiac.)
He did get the Brenda Parker story wrong, but deleted it completely from the 2016 revised version of the book, which contains a coda responding to some of the criticisms of the book. He's apologized for it (his detractors always bring it up first thing), whereas In Cold Blood still ends with a somber scene in a graveyard that Truman Capote completely fabricated.
He also feels way too sorry for Dylan, not unlike so many girls on the Internet who seem to love Dylan ("What a sweet, loving kid" he says in the 2016 coda. Sheesh. There's also the rather embarrassing line "Dylan Klebold was not a man of action. He was conscripted by one who was." CONSCRIPTED? Kee-rist...) and most people will bring up evidence that Dylan was planning to do something as early as 1997.
He also left a few people out of the book entirely, but I guess I wasn't THAT interested in Kyle Velasquez's story, or Kelly Flemyng's (neither are mentioned by name in the book at all) and I don't think he left them out to be insulting.
He goes over Eric and Dylan's journals seemingly ad nauseam, making the book rather repetitive in its later sections.
He also made a rather dumb comment about the Boston marathon bombing, acting as if that bomber guy and his accomplice worked the same way as Eric and Dylan (mastermind/follower.) That got some hilarious responses here.

I'd have to read the book a second time to be sure, but even with its flaws I couldn't quite get myself to hate it.

HOWEVER, there's the other side of the coin:

"Columbiners," in general, have shown themselves to be more than a bit disreputable, mostly because they all-too-often like Eric and Dylan way too much. Nothing Cullen has ever did is as wrong as nutjobs on the Internet who love E&D making comments to the effect that they were fighting back against bullies. Yeah, "bullies," like Kyle Velasquez and Steven Curnow and Rachel Scott, I'm sure those people just did TERRIBLE things to E&D!
Just as Cullen downplays "bullying" too much as the answer to the point where he says Columbine has little to nothing to do with bullying, "Columbiners" push it way too much. Bullying bullying bullying. And I'm saying that as someone who was at the bottom of my own high school's hierarchy (Cullen himself was bullied, which he talks about in the 2016 edition coda, and is grateful for the anti-bullying movement that sprung up after Columbine, so it's not like he's some redneck Republican who thinks bullying is a good thing or nonexistent or something.)
"Columbiners" also endlessly insist that Eric's diaries are some great big bluff, that he intentionally overplayed how full of hate he was knowing that we'd all read his journals after he was dead. Well.....so what? It doesn't mean that he wasn't full of hate, right? How "normal" can you be when you blow away 12 classmates you barely knew?
Columbiners also love to bring up the "ketchup incident," which a)may never have happened at all, and b)hardly strikes me as a particularly heinous example of bullying. (I would definitely do a double take if the incident in the terrible-looking movie "I'm Not Ashamed," about Rachel Scott--now the most famous victim, since the Cassie Bernall story didn't happen to Cassie Bernall--where a bunch of big football players in letterman jackets grab Eric and slide him along a greased floor into a wall, actually happened.)

In the end, I feel the "truth" probably lies somewhere between "bullying" and Cullen's theory, it's probably more complicated than either side makes it out to be.
But the "motive" isn't my main reason for being interested in Columbine.
My main reason for taking a renewed interest in the Columbine event--it happened while I was still in high school--is partially due to being haunted by the shock of the crime and the bits of eerie evidence surrounding it to this day ("Hitmen For Hire," 1999 class photo, the cafeteria footage, the footage of people fleeing, the crime-scene pictures of the aftermath, etc.) and partially due to an interest surrounding the details of the goings on at the school, and the various people who were bit players in the whole E&D drama (the girls in particular), leading up to the event.

Is Sarah Slater the girl sticking her tongue out next to Robyn Anderson in the class pic? Will someone confirm this for me? (Several people have falsely identified Rachel Scott as being in the front row. That's not her!)
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Is Sarah Slater the girl sticking her tongue out next to Robyn Anderson in the class pic?  Will someone confirm this for me?

I think it is Tiffany Burk

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:17 am


She was one of Robyn Anderson's best friends.

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:09 am

I have never read the book, though I tried to. Like the OP mentioned I was curious as to what all the fuss was about... I couldn't even get to page 25! Chock full o'untruths, it is. That's not to say I won't ever read it, however. I could use it for a laugh one day.

@Lunkhead McGrath,* WELL SAID! S'matter of fact, there are A LOT of really nicely articulated posts on here...I enjoyed reading all of them. Now here is mine!

* tag not working?

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:51 am

I've tried to read his book and all I kept thinking was: "Is this some kind of fanfiction?", as I turned page after page
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:35 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
In general, I mostly like Cullen's book, as a sort of compendium of lots of things related to the story of Columbine.  Certainly I have no problem with his writing style (go read Nicholas Pileggi or Robert Graysmith for a bad writing style) and I think his organization of the book is handled very well.  

It's got its problems though.  

I do feel that his "Eric = psycho, Dylan = emo follower" thing--which really is the centerpiece and purpose of his book--is an overgeneralization, and that he's writing the book around the research he liked.  And he pushes it as THE answer to the whole thing, just like Robert Graysmith will never stop insisting that all that circumstantial evidence about Arthur Leigh Allen proves Allen is the Zodiac killer (for those of you who don't follow Zodiac, Arthur Leigh Allen's DNA, fingerprints, and handwriting do not match Zodiac.)  
He did get the Brenda Parker story wrong, but deleted it completely from the 2016 revised version of the book, which contains a coda responding to some of the criticisms of the book. He's apologized for it (his detractors always bring it up first thing), whereas In Cold Blood still ends with a somber scene in a graveyard that Truman Capote completely fabricated.  
He also feels way too sorry for Dylan, not unlike so many girls on the Internet who seem to love Dylan ("What a sweet, loving kid" he says in the 2016 coda.  Sheesh.  There's also the rather embarrassing line "Dylan Klebold was not a man of action.  He was conscripted by one who was."  CONSCRIPTED?  Kee-rist...)  and most people will bring up evidence that Dylan was planning to do something as early as 1997.
He also left a few people out of the book entirely, but I guess I wasn't THAT interested in Kyle Velasquez's story, or Kelly Flemyng's (neither are mentioned by name in the book at all) and I don't think he left them out to be insulting.  
He goes over Eric and Dylan's journals seemingly ad nauseam, making the book rather repetitive in its later sections.  
He also made a rather dumb comment about the Boston marathon bombing, acting as if that bomber guy and his accomplice worked the same way as Eric and Dylan (mastermind/follower.)  That got some hilarious responses here.

I'd have to read the book a second time to be sure, but even with its flaws I couldn't quite get myself to hate it.  

HOWEVER, there's the other side of the coin:

"Columbiners," in general, have shown themselves to be more than a bit disreputable, mostly because they all-too-often like Eric and Dylan way too much.   Nothing Cullen has ever did is as wrong as nutjobs on the Internet who love E&D making comments to the effect that they were fighting back against bullies.  Yeah, "bullies," like Kyle Velasquez and Steven Curnow and Rachel Scott, I'm sure those people just did TERRIBLE things to E&D!
Just as Cullen downplays "bullying" too much as the answer to the point where he says Columbine has little to nothing to do with bullying, "Columbiners" push it way too much.  Bullying bullying bullying.  And I'm saying that as someone who was at the bottom of my own high school's hierarchy (Cullen himself was bullied, which he talks about in the 2016 edition coda, and is grateful for the anti-bullying movement that sprung up after Columbine, so it's not like he's some redneck Republican who thinks bullying is a good thing or nonexistent or something.)  
"Columbiners" also endlessly insist that Eric's diaries are some great big bluff, that he intentionally overplayed how full of hate he was knowing that we'd all read his journals after he was dead.  Well.....so what?  It doesn't mean that he wasn't full of hate, right?  How "normal" can you be when you blow away 12 classmates you barely knew?
Columbiners also love to bring up the "ketchup incident," which a)may never have happened at all, and b)hardly strikes me as a particularly heinous example of bullying.  (I would definitely do a double take if the incident in the terrible-looking movie "I'm Not Ashamed," about Rachel Scott--now the most famous victim, since the Cassie Bernall story didn't happen to Cassie Bernall--where a bunch of big football players in letterman jackets grab Eric and slide him along a greased floor into a wall, actually happened.)  
 
In the end, I feel the "truth" probably lies somewhere between "bullying" and Cullen's theory, it's probably more complicated than either side makes it out to be.
But the "motive" isn't my main reason for being interested in Columbine.
My main reason for taking a renewed interest in the Columbine event--it happened while I was still in high school--is partially due to being haunted by the shock of the crime and the bits of eerie evidence surrounding it to this day ("Hitmen For Hire," 1999 class photo, the cafeteria footage, the footage of people fleeing, the crime-scene pictures of the aftermath, etc.) and partially due to an interest surrounding the details of the goings on at the school, and the various people who were bit players in the whole E&D drama (the girls in particular), leading up to the event.  

Is Sarah Slater the girl sticking her tongue out next to Robyn Anderson in the class pic?  Will someone confirm this for me?  (Several people have falsely identified Rachel Scott as being in the front row.  That's not her!)
Oh I see, so you don't think bullying is a problem? A lot of these school shootings happen, because of bullying and it needs to be stopped. I don't condone what Eric and Dylan did either, far from it. I'm just saying they're two sides to a story. Of course you can't overlook murder, but I always investigate what caused them to snap.
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:50 pm

Oh I see, so you don't think bullying is a problem? A lot of these school shootings happen, because of bullying and it needs to be stopped. I don't condone what Eric and Dylan did either, far from it. I'm just saying they're two sides to a story. Of course you can't overlook murder, but I always investigate what caused them to snap.

Bullying is a huge problem and bullying certainly contributed to Columbine. Cullen is understating it. I just feel that a lot of Internet armchair sleuths are overstating it, and perhaps, because they were bullied. Hell, I was only bullied a little tiny bit and I've never come close to forgetting it.
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:49 am

Dwayne Fusilier's children went to Columbine. He spent several hours not knowing if his son had lived or died.This makes him unavoidably biased.He should have recused himself from the case.

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:39 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Dwayne Fusilier's children went to Columbine. He spent several hours not knowing if his son had lived or died.This makes him unavoidably biased.He should have recused himself from the case.

OK.

Then what about Dr. Frank Ochberg, Dr. Mary Ellen O'Toole, and Dr. Peter Langman, all of whom independently came to the same conclusions as Fuselier?

And what about the peer reviewers at the NVAVC conference in Leesburg, VA, who heard his findings and also endorsed them?

Or Dr. Robert Hare, who invented the category of psychopathy, and also endorsed Fuselier's diagnosis on his website?

We're talking about a consensus here.
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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:01 pm

It's a good book (bite me), I read the whole thing, and the only thing that pissed me off is the parts where he presents Eric as a "swaggering ladies man". I think the bullying aspect of columbine is overinflated.

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PostSubject: Re: I really don't understand the big deal about Cullen here.   Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:09 am

Could someone with time on their hands point out the inconsistencies in Cullens book? Other than the psychopath/depressive schtick and the Eric as a ladies man idea.
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