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 To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine?

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LPorter101
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PostSubject: To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine?   To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine? Icon_minitimeSun Jan 17, 2016 6:38 pm

Even now, after all of these years, I keep coming back to some of the articles that Alan Prendergast wrote for Denver's Westword in 1999 and 2001. I've always felt that Prendergast's journalism is shamefully underrated.

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.

...

Okay, maybe that line about the "one decent act" is a little harsh. But it goes without saying that Eric's actions on that day were more than a little harsh...

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PostSubject: Re: To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine?   To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine? Icon_minitimeTue Jan 19, 2016 12:18 am

You know what sticks out to me? In my highschool, if you had an older brother or sister, especially a brother who was on the football team and popular himself, that automatically made you sort of cool and on the "not getting bullied list". People with older siblings always were invited to upperclassman parties and hung out with them sometimes too. If anyone would ever start shit with you, they'd have upperclassman make sure you knew if you said another word, you'd be in for an ass whoopin. Now I can see that Eric and Dylan didn't have the greatest relationships with their older brothers, but even after people with older brothers graduated it was like still a notion not to fuck with someone's younger brother who has older tougher friends to back them up. I guess every highschool is different though.
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PostSubject: Re: To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine?   To hate Cullenbine is to love ... Prendergastbine? Icon_minitimeTue Jan 19, 2016 1:05 am

slippy123 wrote:
You know what sticks out to me? In my highschool, if you had an older brother or sister, especially a brother who was on the football team and popular himself, that automatically made you sort of cool and on the "not getting bullied list". People with older siblings always were invited to upperclassman parties and hung out with them sometimes too. If anyone would ever start shit with you, they'd have upperclassman make sure you knew if you said another word, you'd be in for an ass whoopin. Now I can see that Eric and Dylan didn't have the greatest relationships with their older brothers, but even after people with older brothers graduated it was like still a notion not to fuck with someone's younger brother who has older tougher friends to back them up. I guess every highschool is different though.

Eric and Dylan weren't bullied much, if at all, in their freshman year - the year that Kevin was a senior. That was their best year at CHS.

Hoffschneider came to the school in his junior year - their sophomore year - after being kicked out of two private schools for fighting. The bullying was the worst in their junior year - Hoffschneider's senior year. By that time, Kevin was already a sophomore in college.

Hoffschneider and his tight little group of buddies bullied everyone - even other football players. (Landon Jones, a star football player who was one year behind Eric and Dylan, said that Rocky used to beat him up and spit in his helmet.)

And Eric was one of the dweebiest kids in that school. So it's not surprising that, if Rocky and his buds did bully Eric and/or Dylan, he didn't give a shit whose brothers they were.

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