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I shot an arrow in the air
April 23, 2006 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Columbine's Most Wanted Sure are a lot of people getting outed on the web these days.
posted by telstar (111 comments total)

 
Whoa.
posted by bz at 12:19 PM on April 23, 2006


Damn.
posted by brundlefly at 12:20 PM on April 23, 2006


Why would a guy named Rocky have a nickname at all, let alone "Dusty"?
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:27 PM on April 23, 2006


My memories of getting picked on in high school make me think that this article has the right general idea about why the Columbine Massacre happened, but internet call-outs for vigilante justice are not going to help the situation much.
posted by lekvar at 12:29 PM on April 23, 2006


Surely, this will solve the problem.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:34 PM on April 23, 2006


Let's ruin his life because the internet says he is evil! He's a jock, so it must be true!

Even if he was a contributing cause to what happened at Columbine, there are some things you just can't do, even on the internet. Inciting his readers to "ride the fucker straight to alcoholism and anti-depressants" is really not responsible, and I can't see how it will help the writer's reputation.
posted by jenovus at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2006


We have given you his name and his general whereabouts. Now I'm asking readers to hunt him down and find out where he lives, so that we can publish his address here in the eXile.

Wouldn't this be better off with the SA Goons? Vigilante justice reaches about as far as quiet mumbling on Mefi and anything above that generally succeeds in making everyone involved look like an easily-excitable idiot.
posted by hugsnkisses at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2006


Is this guy really telling us to hunt down this high school student, regardless of what kind of dimwit the kid is? What the fuck?
posted by xmutex at 12:37 PM on April 23, 2006


Pretty weak, really. The gist is that Harris and Klebold went to school with a big jerk. Who didn't? There's nothing suggesting that the big jerk ever interacted with them, much less ever did anything mean to them.

I'm all for blaming the high school culture if there is actual evidence, but this wrestler guy falls pretty far short of being a root cause.
posted by Mid at 12:37 PM on April 23, 2006


Yes, inciting violence always makes things better.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:37 PM on April 23, 2006


We would all like to see those who bullied us in Junior High and High School driven to "alcoholism and anti-depressants"... but that wouldn't change what we went thru...

If one wants to exact change, don't wait until you are older and write a blog about it, do something relevent...

By that I do not mean shoot up a school... that is a bit drastic, even by MeFi standards...
posted by WhipSmart at 12:39 PM on April 23, 2006


Why would a guy named Rocky have a nickname at all, let alone "Dusty"?

I was wondering the same thing.
posted by brundlefly at 12:40 PM on April 23, 2006


I was sorta with this article for the first part... I was a senior in highschool in 99, and was the very sort of black trenchcoat and boots wearing, KMFDM listening stereotype that became heavily scrutinized after the shooting.

In the days following the shooting, every class would slow to a halt where the teacher, well-meaning or otherwise, would lead some discussion about what happened and would pay some lip-service to the concepts of tolerance and violence, and unless there was a bigger stereotype in the class with me, the teacher would inevitably look at me and go "So, what do you think?" as 30 kids turned to look at me, expectant to speak for my "people".

I always found it greatly irritating that everyone blamed music, dress, video games, practically everything BUT the fact that there is a very clear and often, faculty-reinforced caste system in highschool, and that while the level-headed among us persevere regardless, it drives some people to crippling depression, violence, or a desperate combination of both.

Jello Biafra addresses this entire incident and problem in his spoken word peice "Hellburbia" which I recommend everyone listen to at least once in their lives.

HOWEVER.

The fact that he concludes the article by singling out some random meathead and calls for, of all things, internet harrassment of him, just shows that the author is a reactionary boob, and not only offers no viable solution to the root problems of Columbine, but further discredits his entire argument (and many similar).
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:48 PM on April 23, 2006


The thing that is not understood by so many in high school is that in just a few years things will change. If you can just put up with the crap for 4 years, by your 10th reunion you will be hearing about how the asshole jock who made your life miserable went to jail, or is now working at the tire shop down the road. Or you hear how the 'popular' kid who made fun of you was just arrested running a meth lab (both true stories). Life isn't high school, it just feels that way.
posted by UseyurBrain at 12:50 PM on April 23, 2006


Bullying is a serious problem. After Hillary gets elected, and morphs the War on Terror (War on manifested rage) into the War on Unsafety and Rudeness, Assholeism will be outlawed, and people like this will be taken care of toot-sweet.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:55 PM on April 23, 2006


a neckless Bush Country meathead
I see a tshirt in the making...
posted by slickvaguely at 12:59 PM on April 23, 2006


The other thing that isn't understood by so many in high school is that the asshole jock who made your life miserable will probably wake up five years from now, five years older, five years of the real world under his belt, and he'll realize that he spent what were very much the peak years of his life making everyone around him unhappy. And for just a fraction of a moment he'll wish that he could just go back and apologize to you.

Everyone is unhappy in high school, and no one gets to be themselves. Maybe Rocky's still a hateful asshole. Or maybe he's dropped that inferiority complex, come out of the closet, and spends his weekends nourishing adorable multi-ethnic orphans. The only thing we know for sure is that high school is really fucking retarded.
posted by Simon! at 1:06 PM on April 23, 2006


"Everyone is unhappy in high school, and no one gets to be themselves"

As with all sweeping generalizations, this one is 100% wrong.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:07 PM on April 23, 2006


"I think it's time we honor this day by doing something constructive, something positive."

Right. What?
posted by Addlepated at 1:13 PM on April 23, 2006


As with all sweeping generalizations, this one is 100% wrong.

Well said.
posted by scottreynen at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2006


And so the circle of disingenuousness continues...
posted by dobie at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2006


The thing that is not understood by so many in high school is that in just a few years things will change.

Unfortunately that's the fallacy of the Just-world phenomenon.
posted by raygirvan at 1:19 PM on April 23, 2006


Or maybe he's dropped that inferiority complex, come out of the closet, and spends his weekends nourishing adorable multi-ethnic orphans.

I'll take that bet. $100 on "still a hateful asshole."
posted by quite unimportant at 1:30 PM on April 23, 2006


We need to send all these bullies off someplace where they can have their own country so they won't bother people any more. A bully country. No, wait.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:31 PM on April 23, 2006


While we don't know if Rocky/Dusty hassled the Columbine Two, I'm betting grandma's pension check that the author got Rock Dusted at least once.

The article made me laugh, but then again, I was my school's resident Dork in a Trench:

"Don't want to make you mad, eh?"
"Kinda late for that."
"Gonna blow up the school?"
"Too small-scale."
"Not on your list, I hope!"
"Naw, I ran out of paper."

Good times.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:32 PM on April 23, 2006



Wouldn't this be better off with the SA Goons? Vigilante justice reaches about as far as quiet mumbling on Mefi and anything above that generally succeeds in making everyone involved look like an easily-excitable idiot.


Please, please shut up. Internet Detectives are the subject of scorn and bannings on SA in a lot of cases.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 1:33 PM on April 23, 2006


YHBT. "The Exile" is well-known for its deliberately provocative stories.
above links advocate extermination of human race, gassing republicans, Jew-baiting, support for Bush, calls for violence against Victor Davis Hanson

also, Matt Taibbi is God
posted by Bletch at 1:34 PM on April 23, 2006


raygirvan : "Unfortunately that's the fallacy of the Just-world phenomenon."

I can see where you're coming from, but I don't think it holds in this case. It's a belief that the world outside of high school is a juster world, which is a subtle but important difference.

My high school was great. It had little to none of the drama I keep reading that everyone else had in high school. However, my junior high was pretty much in line with what people are saying. And, from my experience, the world just plain is more just than my junior high. No, not everyone got what they "deserved". But more people did than didn't.
posted by Bugbread at 1:34 PM on April 23, 2006


It's not really that the world is juster. Well, it is, but not because of anything inherently "grown up" about it--it's simply that there's such a larger pool for the injustice to spread about, and far more opportunities for people to simply move the hell away from the pockets of concentrated everyday evil to a more sanely diluted one.

Try to do that in school, and they call you a truant. It's basically a prison sentence at the worst, and no surprise that occasional folks in the brunt of it will explode in really ugly ways. Other people in the brunt of it won't really explode, but will just sort of crack and fester, and turn into idiots like the author of the linked piece. Either way, it's a shame.
posted by Drastic at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2006


So, because a couple of morons were unable to enact their revenge on the right people, I'm suppossed to waste my time and do it for them? They managed to kill everyone else, but like poor marksmen, they kept missing the target. It's a shame what they had to endure, but it dosen't excuse them, and the murdering fuckheads killed themselves seven years ago. The world has moved on. I don't know why some goofball in Russia hasen't.
posted by Snyder at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2006


The info in the article is new to me; thanks for posting it. It's incredible that I never heard this before:

He also tormented a Jewish student, singing pro-Hitler songs and yelling out "another Jew in the oven!" every time the student scored a basket during PE...Klebold and Harris have been repeatedly compared to Hitler (even though Harris explicity denounced racism and Nazis), while Hoffschneider, a violent, cruel, girlfriend-smacking, anti-Semitic fuck, has gone on to become a successful jock at Wyoming University, pampered all the way by a society that loves its spirted Nazis, and hates those who "have no school spirit," as one Columbine wrestler's father put it, explaining why Klebold and Harris were justifiably tormented as students.

And this tidbit sure is interesting:

He had a previous criminal record: an arrest for criminal mischief in 1992, and another arrest in 1995 relating to a "missing person," the details of which are sealed.

Anyway, the call for revenge is almost unbelievably shocking and wrong, but the rest is important stuff, and I don't mind at all that someone would point specifically to Hoffschneider as a way to mark the anniversary.
posted by mediareport at 2:00 PM on April 23, 2006


The Exile has always been about outing US targets while hiding behind Russia's lack of libel laws. It's where little Matt Taibbi finally stepped away from his father's long journalistic shadow. And they do it well. (Warning: Horse Sperm cream pies in face of NY Times sell-out reporter.)
posted by zaelic at 2:02 PM on April 23, 2006


Oddly, the biography leaves out his greatest achievement: "Incited worst high school massacre in American history."

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume the accounts of this kid's behavior in high school were accurate. That would probably put him in maybe the top 10 assholes in my class (1985), maybe the top 15. Similarly, there were at least as many picked upon, brutalized outcast type kids that had relatively easy access to firearms. Not sure why these two things went hand-in-hand, but they seemed to. There were no massacres or shootings of any kind in my four years in high school, nor have there been any since, nor in anyone's recollection: ever.

Hoffschneider was probably a collossal goon, bully, asshole, whatever. He probably humiliated some pretty undeserving people. But incited a massacre? Wow.

So, here's are the guy's heros: Eric Harris was a narcissistic, violent, dipshit loser who refused to take his proscribed meds because he liked the burn of his own unchecked anger, and Dylan Klebold, a more docile, lesser articulate (and intelligent) version of the same.

High school bullying is terrible, and I doubt it's possible to eliminate (particularly, with the South Park style overreactive measures that are in place these days), but Harris and Klebold were scumbag killers. That's it.

You know what I blame this on breakdown of?

Society.
posted by psmealey at 2:15 PM on April 23, 2006


Well, it would be nice to see some evidence of this internet indictment.
posted by delmoi at 2:32 PM on April 23, 2006


The problem, I think, is people's desires to live in a world free of violence. It's not going to happen. Steps can be taken to reduce obvious sources of violence, but at some point you get to a point of diminishing returns. Some times, people are just going to freak out and kill a person or several people. Trying to sus out the socioeconomic reasons for the freak out is an exercise in futility, although I believe a general sense of futility and hopelessness pervades in these situations.

Anyway.
posted by delmoi at 2:36 PM on April 23, 2006


...and he'll realize that he spent what were very much the peak years of his life making everyone around him unhappy. And for just a fraction of a moment he'll wish that he could just go back and apologize to you.
I dunno. I see too many of these assholes in management positions, further terrorizing others. We seem to reward such behavior these days.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2006


In light of the recent anniversary, I was sort of surprised and delighted that Starz on Demand is running Heathers this month.

Jock #1: "Hey, Ram, I thought they had a 'No-Fags' policy in this cafeteria?"

Christian Slater: "Well, they seem to have an open-door policy on assholes."

...he then proceeds to stand up, pull out a gun, and shoot them (with blanks, but yes, pulls out a gun).

After watching it again last night, I was bemused to realize that he spends the entirety of the movie walking around in a black trenchcoat.
posted by thanotopsis at 2:46 PM on April 23, 2006


I shot an arrow in the air

Is that a Hamlet reference?
posted by dios at 2:51 PM on April 23, 2006


This just reminds me that we need more Billy Madison moments where the Adam Sandler character realizes that he's been cruel to many of his classmates and calls one up and apologizes. The guy accepts, hangs up, and crosses him off of his "People to Kill" list.

Sorry for mentioning a Adam Sandler film.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:52 PM on April 23, 2006


Remember, Rocky is a big, mean hog, but he's also an incredibly stupid, evil piece of shit. That means he's got vulnerabilities wider than the Maginot Line which you can exploit. The goal is justice. Let's ride the fucker straight to alcoholism and anti-depressants.
You'll say that, but you won't say "titty twister"?
posted by oxonium at 2:56 PM on April 23, 2006


High school strikes me as one of the few places where violence is the answer. Not an insane massacre like these two wackjobs pulled of, obviously, but in the face of constant, unrestrained bullying, a brick to the face seems not only appropriate, but one of the few things likely to give a bully pause next time. (Admittedly, they'll probably just move on to an easier target, but perhaps if it happened more often, fewer kids would be seen as easy targets.)
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:57 PM on April 23, 2006


I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.


The Arrow And The Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I always figured it was from a poem about Robin Hood, myself.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:57 PM on April 23, 2006


He's in the phone book anyway. Perhaps the author seeks to name someone else for "releasing the address".
posted by bkdelong at 3:00 PM on April 23, 2006


Ahh yes. That's it. Thank you Alvy Ampersand.

For some reason, just reading the post and the title, Hamlet popped into my head:

I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

(Act V, Scene 2)

I was trying to figure out what the allusion was to this post. I should have recalled The Arrow and The Song.
posted by dios at 3:04 PM on April 23, 2006


psmealey: Hoffschneider was probably a colossal goon, bully, asshole, whatever. He probably humiliated some pretty undeserving people. But incited a massacre? Wow.

Okay then, what should a horribly humiliated, put-upon kid, upon being subjected to the loving attentions of the top-ten assholes of the school, which assholery is supported by the administration, do? Accepted that going nuts and killing a bunch of students is not the answer, what recourse is there other than bending the head and taking it? One who accepts oppression, in a way (and certainly in some people's minds), deserves it, so what answer is there?

What can one tell such a kid? The traditional answers only go so far, and it's possible that the jerks in question instilled an atmosphere of reprisal for those who speak out against them, it wouldn't be unheard-of. It's possible that Harris (no relation) and Klebold figured the only way really out of it would be sudden, extreme escalation.

delmoi: Some times, people are just going to freak out and kill a person or several people.

Ordinarily I find your comments quite insightful, but I'm not convinced that the ninja response is impossible to plan around. There are plenty of places in the world with less of a murder rate than the U.S., and many of them have put a lot less thought into it. You might be remarking on the impossibility of completely stamping out murder, but there is certainly room for improvement.
posted by JHarris at 3:20 PM on April 23, 2006


Apropos of nothing:

"I shot an arrow in the air
She fell to earth in Berkeley Square."

(Louis Mazzini disposing of an inconvenient and obstructive relative in Kind Hearts and Coronets.)
posted by Grangousier at 3:21 PM on April 23, 2006


Reminds me of Ben Elton's recent book Past Mortem. I recommend it to all those who were bullied in high school, and to Richard Branson.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:00 PM on April 23, 2006


Any kid of mine is taking a martial art pretty early. A little self confidence goes a long way. Wish my parents had done that for me. I went to a junior high so bad that by the time I left I would not look people in the eye.
posted by dibblda at 4:10 PM on April 23, 2006


Harris and Klebold's hatred of Hoffschneider was obsessive - indeed most kids there hated him. But he was popular and a state champion.

That's quite a feat!
posted by jewzilla at 4:17 PM on April 23, 2006


"In light of the recent anniversary, I was sort of surprised and delighted that Starz on Demand is running Heathers this month."


Not just Heathers, but Mean Girls and Saved!
posted by Mick at 4:34 PM on April 23, 2006


Okay then, what should a horribly humiliated, put-upon kid, upon being subjected to the loving attentions of the top-ten assholes of the school, which assholery is supported by the administration, do?

There are no easy answers, to be sure. Personally, in my situation, I think, direct, one-on-one violence is the only answer in that situation. I switched schools mid-Sophomore year, and I encountered some arbitrary bullying in my first two weeks in my new school. At that point, I decided I had had enough, and that it was worth getting my ass kicked by my tormentor's friends, if I lashed out. I lashed out hard, got a week of in school suspension and a blot on my record I had to overcome in the college admissions process, but no one ever bothered me again. Having said that, I was no 98 pound weakling then, so I'm not sure I would recommend the same course of action to a slight kid or someone incapable of standing up for himself against one of these assholes. Most of the kids I knew in that situation tended to find safety in numbers. Not sure what I would suggest if a kid, owning to personality problems, couldn't find that even.

What I really object to, though, is anyone elevating a couple of racist, asshole, narcissistic scumbags like Harris and Klebold to cult hero status. I knew guys like those two in high school also -- scary losers that used to listen to, scrawl swastizkas on their notebooks, and torture and kill animals with firecrackers and pellet guns, and talk endlessly of killing preps and jocks -- and I had as much contempt for them as I did for jock assholes like Hoffschneider.
posted by psmealey at 4:38 PM on April 23, 2006


Longfellow and Shakespeare - this is why I love MetaFilter :-)
posted by dopeypanda at 4:43 PM on April 23, 2006


"Please, please shut up. Internet Detectives are the subject of scorn and bannings on SA in a lot of cases."

Hey I was merely commenting on the reputation your forum has acquired, but I commend you on your attempts to alter that stereotype. However, an antagonistic tone rather detracts from your point, see: (meta).
posted by hugsnkisses at 4:45 PM on April 23, 2006


I always thought that the anger during the Columbine shootings was misdirected at wierd misfit kids when it should have been pointed at the tormentor jocks.

I don't control what society thinks though.

This Hoffschneider guy may or may not deserve our scorn. We have no evidence other than the speculation in this article.

Really though, I hope that what tormented high schoolers learn is that the people who say that high school is the best time of life are flat out lying. I had way more fun in University, and the high point of my life was my mid-late twenties. I am 30 now, and I don't feel any desire to go back to highschool. That said, I don't really have any ill-will to the people who were kind of shitty to me in high school (I wasn't tormented but wasn't A-list). I led a much more interesting life than most of them and am still going strong - a lot of them peaked at 17.
posted by Deep Dish at 6:26 PM on April 23, 2006


My solution to bullying was simply to finish the fights people started with me. It took a lot of beatings to get to that point, but it took far fewer won fights to convince people that maybe I wasn't anyone's bitch.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:23 PM on April 23, 2006


I always thought that the anger during the Columbine shootings was misdirected at wierd misfit kids when it should have been pointed at the tormentor jocks.

The anger should be pointed at Harris and Klebold. "Tormentor jocks" are certainly a problem, but I'm still going to rank the massacre of your fellow students just a tad higher up on the evil scale than titty twisters.



Bears repeating.

posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:44 PM on April 23, 2006


i'm very interested in the subject of junior/high school caste systems, and efforts to change them. i don't think bullying is even taken seriously in most schools...they expect their students to just figure it out alone.

i think the right path is giving students the opportunity to actually say "this group of kids are ruining my life" and then doing something about it, like moving them into different classes. and do this without making a big deal about it... everyone has the right to invoke the Bully Protocol, or something. i also think that any attempts to deal with it directly (talking w/ the kids involved, etc) are a waste of time, if not detrimental.

i agree that self-confidence and standing up for yourself are important, but your child should be able to get a hassle-free education without having to kick someone's butt. (maybe i'm being naive... i often fantasize about going back in time and standing up to those who made my life miserable) psmeasley- your sound like the protagonist from ender's game ;-)

re: the just/er world: i think you can say that life will get better when you leave high school...if your current HS experience sucks. that would be the one thing i'd try to give the potential freakout victims: perspective on going to college and meeting new, different people.
posted by cgs at 9:49 PM on April 23, 2006


i often fantasize about going back in time and standing up to those who made my life miserable

It's not just me, then?
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 PM on April 23, 2006


There are plenty of places in the world with less of a murder rate than the U.S., and many of them have put a lot less thought into it.

That would probably be because banning or restricting the general use of firearms in those other places does not violate their constitutions...
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:28 PM on April 23, 2006


It isn't always easy to address bullying even if you are a teacher because the culture that supports bullying is often reinforced by a high school "code of silence."

We have a jock at our school that we know is tormenting some of the other kids. We have never seen him do it, but we have heard kids complain about it - or come to class in tears because of it.

Try to get them to go on record that he behaved that way (and believe me, I've tried) and to a student they refuse to do so because they believe that, while this would make things better at school, they would get it twenty times worse outside of school. Furthermore, they believe that even their friends would get angry with them for being "a snitch."

The snitch effect is usually pretty accurate, too. Even if a kid has a totally legitimate reason to complain or report something, other kids (even friends) will shun the kid that brought it to the attention of an adult.

Anyhow, my first couple of years teaching, when I encountered this sort of situation (but had not witnessed anything myself) I went to the proper in school authorities about it. Generally, that would be the end of it.

On only one occasion was the bullying so bad that I was actually able to get the school authorities to take it seriously. However, since none of the kids effected were willing to speak, and since the boy's parents got furious and threatened to sue the school for making false claims against their child, and since the school's lawyers advised the school to just let it go, not only did my reporting it not help the situation, his bullying majorly amped up through graduation.

He is now in law school and doing very well according to all reports.

Anyhow, what I've tried to do is create a safe environment in my classroom so that when students are there, they don't have to worry about any of that crap. They can hang out in my room anytime they want and for as long as they want. Furthermore, in my classes, if I see anything that seems like bullying behavior, I call it out immediately (as do most of my colleagues).

It isn't always easy, because sometimes it is difficult to recognize bullying. One girl who has long since graduated had been accused of being "a slut who slept with 14 guys." A girl in my class made her burst into tears by fitting the number "14" into everything she said that day. All the other kids found it hilarious. I didn't know what the hell was going on until a week later when a third party explained it to me. Since then, if something seems to be bothering somebody, I do my best to quietly make it stop.

The point is, bullying is pervasive and the unspoken rules of being a teenager are yet another piece of the pie. Lousy teachers, parents who encourage the behavior, parents who deny or ignore the behavior, substance abuse, fear, ignorance and many other things all contribute to a climate where bullying occurs.

Oh, and lawsuits. I am not allowed to talk to a student about something that is bothering them unless I report it up the ladder. I still talk to them about these things without pushing it up the ladder sometimes, but I am risking my job every time I do.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to diminish the role of inadequate teacher supervision (and behavior) in this story, but the bully culture cannot be truthfully reduced to "it is the teacher's fault." Nor can we teachers say "it isn't our fault at all."

Also, it is not one lunkheaded asshole wrestler's fault, unless he bought them the guns and told them where to shoot.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:55 PM on April 23, 2006


I always thought that the anger during the Columbine shootings was misdirected at wierd misfit kids when it should have been pointed at the tormentor jocks.

If it was not clear enough, yes I think the shooters crossed the line and hold the most responsiblity for the murders. I don't absolve them of any responsiblity - their victims deserved better.

But I thought the post-massacre analysis missed the mark on the related issues and circumstances.

Please don't categorize me as a Harris and Klebold fan.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:23 PM on April 23, 2006


The other thing that isn't understood by so many in high school is that the asshole jock who made your life miserable will probably wake up five years from now...and he'll realize that he spent what were very much the peak years of his life making everyone around him unhappy.

One of the people who tormented me in junior high later got his PhD from an Ivy and now holds a comfy tenure-track job at a major liberal arts college. Bullies aren't always failures.
posted by Yakuman at 2:12 AM on April 24, 2006


- There are plenty of places in the world with less of a murder rate than the U.S., and many of them have put a lot less thought into it.

- That would probably be because banning or restricting the general use of firearms in those other places does not violate their constitutions


That may be part of it but I don't think it's all up to access to firearms. Sure it's harder to pull of a full-on massacre with knives only but you can engage in violence with all sorts of means and bullying itself doesn't require guns. You can't confuse cause and effect, it's not access to guns that creates conditions favourable to violence, and it's not laws that create mindsets.

There's such a thing as cultural factors after all and it strikes me that there's a tendency to generalise about human nature or being a teenager or the experience of high school, as if it was universally the same across different societies, when it obviously isn't.
posted by funambulist at 2:39 AM on April 24, 2006


One of the people who tormented me in junior high later got his PhD from an Ivy and now holds a comfy tenure-track job...

What's his name? We'll ride the fucker straight to alcoholism and anti-depressants.

Sure, some bullies must make it, but most of the bullies I recall from schooldays weren't succeeding at school (or happy at home, from what I heard about their families) and they had little to lose by being given detention, suspension, and the various other relatively painless punishments you get for measuring your worth through a little amateur bareknuckle boxing. If the bullies I remember ever succeeded, they must have totally changed, or maybe succeeded in jobs that require low skills at the entry level -- worked their way up in the janitorial industry or something.
posted by pracowity at 3:03 AM on April 24, 2006


Bullies aren't always failures.
Their kind are currently holding the highest offices in the U.S. Government.

But the biggest fallacy of the "just world" is that it matters. I was taken out of the LA Public School system by my parents in sixth grade and put into the most expensive private school they could afford because I was a bullying victim... all I got was exposed to a higher socioeconomic status of bully (including the son of a "television legend" who years later, after the son's drug-related death, wrote a book about his failures as a father).

But before that, I had the rare privilege of watching two other of my tormentors punished by karma, with absolutely no help from me. A junior high bully was well on his way to becoming a high school football star when he suffered a freak injury in practice, breaking his neck similarly to Christopher Reeve with similar quadriplegic effect. A high school bully took a post-graduation vacation in Hawaii where he got drunk and fell off a hotel balcony. His funeral was the first and last reunion of my class that I attended. My response bounced wildly between glee, satisfaction, sympathy and guilt for years until I became a born-again agnostic and learned to accept the true randomness of life.

Yep, karma is a bitch - you could even say that it's MY bitch, but it doesn't matter. Even 30+ years older, I still get scared when I find myself among high-school and college "jock" types. I never have and never will get over high school.
posted by wendell at 4:09 AM on April 24, 2006


Anybody ever see Tom Brown's School Days? When Dr. Thomas Arnold takes over Rugby boarding school, his first act is to expell the school bullies.

And then there's the Ripping Yarns episode "Tomkinson's Schooldays," in which school bully is a prestigious position, and schools compete with each other for best bully.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:57 AM on April 24, 2006


Deep Dish : "I hope that what tormented high schoolers learn is that the people who say that high school is the best time of life are flat out lying."

Or, you know, having a different experience. For them, maybe high school was the best time of life. For someone else, maybe not. I don't think that gap makes what they're saying a lie, just inapplicable to the tormented high schooler's situation.
posted by Bugbread at 5:36 AM on April 24, 2006


At least half of what defines a specific group of kids in high school is the presence of other kids who aren't like them. The bullies hang out together because they have a common group of misfits to pick on; the misfits hang out together because protection is easier in a herd. The people who end up lumped together become friends - either friends for real, or friends of convenience.

In many cases this ends when high school ends, and people figure out they do not have to hang out with Group X any more, because they do not see the same people every day. Without the constant influence of the truly cruel kids, the less-willing bullies might turn a new leaf and mature into decent people. Without constant harassment from the bullies, the misfits might find new confidence. The groups that are defined by a common target or common enemy just fall apart when that target/enemy isn't a constant presence. (Of course this isn't a universal occurrence - some people never get over their cruel bullying, or never recover from the torment they went through.)

The really tough part is that kids don't figure this out until long after graduation. To them, high school is the world, and they can't see an end to it. It sucks. Best thing I can think of to do is to find the kids most likely to be causing a problem - or to be the recipient of bullying - and try to find some way to get them involved in a project that gets them away from their peers, to hopefully help start the maturation earlier. It might not work, but if it keeps one kid from getting beat up after school or keeps one other kid from getting a gun it was worth the effort.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:31 AM on April 24, 2006


He lost me when he missspelled Adolf in the first sentence.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:55 AM on April 24, 2006


I lost myself when I misspelled misspelled in my first sentence.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:56 AM on April 24, 2006


I got fed up when at least a dozen people blocked my way off the bus after school, including one I'd regarded as a friend, forcing me to fight my way off. I proceeded to do just that, losing my temper at last after months of hiding in the school library till everybody else left, and "stomped the gauntlet." The bus windows must've been shatterproof glass going by how many times I slammed my ex-buddy's head into one once I got that far, hardly noticing that some kids I hadn't hurt too badly kept hitting and kicking me from behind; when I finished with Danny I turned around to find myself unopposed as a sort of "post-massacre hush" came over them. Then as I was finally stepping down off the bus a neckless moron named Brian Carr punched me hard in the side of the head -- I had to laugh because even then I'd still for once given worse than I got. That was the day I went ahead and dropped out of 8th grade, ending my formal education at age 12. (I had to barricade myself in my room a few times till my parents got that message, then they got The Authorities on my case for being "uncontrollable" -- and an embarrasment, thus beginning my career of juvenile delinquency.)

If I'd have had a gun or two I would have shot up the school: I recall spending months daydreaming of it. Even 30+ years later I think my school experience ruined my whole life. One thing that strikes me as "ironic" is that it took Columbine and a few other such events for Society to begin to acknowledge that it isn't always the bullied person's fault.

Put me down as a Harris/Klebold fan: their "victims" got off easy. And maybe blowing up the school and everybody in it was a bit much, but it's too bad some of their bombs didn't work. (So yeah, of course I'm a damn curmudgeon.)
posted by davy at 8:16 AM on April 24, 2006


Armitage Shanks: Love that point, and I think there is a lot there. I'm all for low-level violence being more prevalent. Not a lot, just a little. Kids who aren't afraid to get a bloody nose and a black eye are less likely to brood, and show up armed. It's a slippery slope, but I can't help but wonder if a massacre would have resulted from a "3 o'clock by the flagpole" situation.
posted by butterstick at 9:41 AM on April 24, 2006


(So yeah, of course I'm a damn curmudgeon.)

No dude. You're a psychotic. Especially if you think "their 'victims' got off easy".

Thier victims were blameless 15 year old girls, who kneeled begging for thier life and got thier brains blown out. Thier victims were other misfits who didn't do shit to them. The people they say bullied them got clean away.

As with most revenge killers thier vengence is scattershot and 90% o the time the hammer comes down on the weakest and most innocent of people. People who do this are every bit the fucking cowards as the people who bully.

Saying the Columbine dipshits did thier massacre as some half-way justifiable result of being bullied is like saying some pedophile is justified for raping a child becuase HE was raped.

And you know Columbine didn't stop or allay bulling anywhere.
posted by tkchrist at 10:11 AM on April 24, 2006


It isn't always easy, because sometimes it is difficult to recognize bullying. One girl who has long since graduated had been accused of being "a slut who slept with 14 guys." A girl in my class made her burst into tears by fitting the number "14" into everything she said that day. All the other kids found it hilarious. I didn't know what the hell was going on until a week later when a third party explained it to me. - Joey Michaels

This is a great example of how insidiuos bullying can be.
posted by raedyn at 10:49 AM on April 24, 2006


The internet obsession with Columbine proves one thing about a lot of netizens: that they never got over high school. Let shit go, find your place, and try not to become as big an asshole as those you hate, although that may be inevitable.
posted by jonmc at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2006


The other thing that isn't understood by so many in high school is that the asshole jock who made your life miserable will probably wake up five years from now, five years older, five years of the real world under his belt, and he'll realize that he spent what were very much the peak years of his life making everyone around him unhappy. And for just a fraction of a moment he'll wish that he could just go back and apologize to you.

No. No, he probably won't. It would be nice if that were true...but I know plenty of those guys in their 30's and 40's...and they're still assholes. Assholes who are raising their sons to be just like them. One of them just bought the house next door, and we've already had to have words. Fortunately, adult bullies rarely resort to physical violence, at least against women to whom they are not married. (And especially not against women who have let it be known that they are both trained in hand to hand, and heavily armed.)

Seriously, this guy is a jock asshole at 40, and I can't imagine what a dick he must have been at 16. And as long as the culture treats athletics as more important than chemistry...jocks will continue to be assholes and get away with it. Because, in base Pavlovian terms, they are rewarded for the behavior.

That said, was "Dusty" a dick in school? Maybe, I dunno. Wasn't there. Watched it all unfold via the net, just like the rest of us. Is he a dick now? I dunno, I guess you'd have to ask his wife and baby and the people that share a collegiate hallway with him.

But even if all of the story is true, and even if he is still the biggest asshole that ever walked the planet, that just makes him free-range soylent green, it doesn't mean he should be clubbed like an baby seal MBA bearer.
posted by dejah420 at 11:14 AM on April 24, 2006


dejah420, I hear you, but listen to yourself. Here we are in our little nerd preserve continuing the same stupid superficial rivalry. Look, I took as much bullying as anyone here, but I simply refuse to continue the stupid cycle any longer. I'll defend myself, but I'll also recognize the humanity of anyone I meet and encourage them to do the same. The best thing anyone can do to this junior high mentality shit is simply refuse to countenace it and walk away from it.

As a very wise man once said: everyone's a secret nerd, everyone's a closet lame. Once I realized that, I was carrying a lot less weight through life.
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on April 24, 2006


And as long as the culture treats athletics as more important than chemistry...jocks will continue to be assholes and get away with it

yeah, but what are those kids who happen to have a good curveball or hookshot to those backing them? Racehorses, that's what, and if they cease being useful somehow, they become nothing again. Everybody's getting fucked, one way or the other. (also, I fully acknowledge that there's a difference between an athlete and a jock, as I hope you do).
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2006


(and yes, I am challenging our reflexive anger because that is supposed to be what separates us from the bullies of the world, right?)
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2006


One of the things that has surprised me about MetaFilter is how fixated everyone seems about high school.
posted by Bugbread at 11:29 AM on April 24, 2006


bugbread: *cough*

I'd say that's one thing that bothers me about the 'Net sometimes. The misfits (and I count myself among them) find a place for ourselves, and rather than abandon the shit that made us miserable, we often continue it. Sad.
posted by jonmc at 11:32 AM on April 24, 2006


jonmc: Yes, I read it. I meant my comment as a kind of seconding of your comment.
posted by Bugbread at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2006


One of the things that has surprised me about MetaFilter America is how fixated everyone seems about high school.

Look at our TV shows. 70% of prime time is dedicated to which teenage dipshits are hot, who they are humping, what they are wearing, solving their resulting inane mysteries, and, Oh Mah Gawd, getting right back there after you graduate and proving your no nerd.
posted by tkchrist at 11:53 AM on April 24, 2006


veronica mars, woot woot! ;-)

jonmc: i think you said it right... by holding that hurt so close you allow it to define yourself. which, in the end, is pretty sad. though knowing that and being able to let go are two different things...
posted by cgs at 12:00 PM on April 24, 2006


I understand that, cgs, and I fully understand that to someone who's been hurt by social cruelty, it can be massive power/ego rush to hurt somebody back, but that fades and, to me anyway, my reflexive sympathies always go out to the person being made to feel small, regardless of the context.
posted by jonmc at 12:06 PM on April 24, 2006


tkchrist : "Look at our TV shows. 70% of prime time is dedicated to which teenage dipshits are hot, who they are humping, what they are wearing, solving their resulting inane mysteries, and, Oh Mah Gawd, getting right back there after you graduate and proving your no nerd."

I don't live in the US, so I don't know what the overall TV scene is like, but judging from my past experience with US TV, I suspect this is a bit of a different situation. That is, teens have money and a desire to use it stupidly. Advertisers therefore like teens. And networks like advertisers. Therefore, while TV may be insanely focussed on high school, I dunno if that's because Americans as a whole are, or just a by-product of following the money. MeFi, on the other hand...well, people aren't talking about high school in order to increase revenue.
posted by Bugbread at 12:14 PM on April 24, 2006


I don't live in the US, so I don't know what the overall TV scene is like

eh, I've never lived in the US, but come on, it's hard to miss the prevalence of high school life and drama in many internationally popular tv series and movies, since the sixties really, though I guess the apex was the eighties and nineties (arrrrgh). Of course marketing must play a big part especially today but I don't think it's all about that.
posted by funambulist at 12:21 PM on April 24, 2006


Funambulist,

I dunno. The dramas I know of from the TV here are "24", "Ally McBeal", "Friends", "ER", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Full House" (yeah, I know, odd choice), "X Files", and not a lot more. Only 2 of those has teens. From the net, I know of "Lost", "The Sopranos", "Sex In The City", and "West Wing". None are about teens. Now, I lived in the States until '96, so I know fully well what the 80's and 90's were like, but I was just couching my bets on what the 00's are like. I suspect, of course, but I don't want to say anything with authority only to find out things have changed a lot in the last decade.

funambulist : "Of course marketing must play a big part especially today but I don't think it's all about that."

Ok, that's a fair statement.
posted by Bugbread at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2006


Of course marketing must play a big part especially today but I don't think it's all about that.

No. Your right. It's not. There is something going on here. I think we embrace a general extended adolescence in our culture. From adults collecting toys to our odd contradictory views on Sex ("Oh. Mah. Gawd. She is SUCH a slut. Sigh. I wish I could get laid") and violence. We are a pretty wierd culture.

Maybe because we have had it so easy in the last three generations? Maybe a dependency backlash against our rugged individualist past? I dunno. Nothing negative we have done collectively as a nation really touched the majority - we are like teenagers who get to live at home and not pay any bills.
posted by tkchrist at 12:39 PM on April 24, 2006


“before injuring his shoulder (hint-hint!)”
What’s that supposed to mean? If this guy wants it so bad he should hop on a plane and deliver it himself. What a dick.

I was mostly phoning in high school so I wasn’t plugged in.

/I was bullied as a child, but martial arts and being Sicillian (temper, long memory, grudges) took care of that.

That made me mostly socially neutral, but I was an athlete and I remember being disgusted with the whole social bullshit. I remember trying to ask this girl out and she pretended not to hear me (we didn’t have a lot of money growing up so...).
Then Friday rolls along (and we all wear our football jerseys before game day), suddenly she’s interested.

Lots of the suburban high school “violence” made me laugh too. I was doing a lot of running with my cousins, getting into trouble downtown. I saw the leader of the Popes get killed in Humbolt park. I remember a few weeks later hearing from someone that this one guy wanted to kick my ass and just thinking how entirely silly that was (in part for letting me know he was coming after me, but nothing ever came of it).


Bullying infuriates me but I don’t see anything that came out of this that could be called good. Particularly the fact that nothing (apparently) has changed.
I understand the POV of Harris and Klebold, the didn’t deserve to get bullied and their victims didn’t deserve to die and maybe "Dusty" deserved an asskicking to straighten him out.
But “deserve” is besides the point. The point is need.

Firstly - trap any animal in a corner and it’s going to fight with everything it has. Sounds to me like these kids felt trapped even if they weren’t. It certainly seems like no one was listening to them.

Which is what the problem is again. They’re not heros, or special in anyway simply because they were victims. They were trying to get out of a corner. Trying to be heard.
Think any kids in that kind of situation now aren’t being heard?

Saying we can’t prevent all bullying is the moral equivalent of throwing up your hands and saying we can’t hear these kids.

I mean suburbia is a whole other world man. Especially in the schools. Things are the way they are because someone - perhaps everyone, or everyone who ‘counts’ - wants it that way. It is a controlled environment in every way that urban streets aren’t.

You allow kids to get trapped within that system than it’s your fault when they snap and kill some other innocent kid.

We may not be able to administer justice to all the “Dusty” assholes who deserve it, but we can provide comfort, support and at least an ear to all the “Harris and Klebolds” who need it.

I know I didn’t get it from high school. I’m just fortunate I had the family I had.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2006


Spite and revenge are among our basest impulses.

It is not good for you to dwell on past offenses.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:51 PM on April 24, 2006


Only 2 of those has teens.

Whoa. Then you lucky. There are way more than that. Some of these are old - but the trend of highschool kids or their tenders as central characters built rapidly:

90210
Roswell
Moesha
Buffy
Sabrina
Do Over
Dawsons Creek
Laguna Beach (MTV)
High School Reunion/Reunion
Smallville
South Beach
Point Pleasant
Everwood
One Tree Hill
The O.C.
Party of Five
Boston Public
Joan of Arcadia
Veronica Mars.
8 Simple Rules
That 70's Show
Freaks & Geeks
Gillmore Girls (half of it)

That's all I can think of right now - but there are more and I don't have cable so who knows how many.

And lets not forget that most shows featuring Twenty-Somethings may as well be highschool dramas.
posted by tkchrist at 1:00 PM on April 24, 2006


Whoa. I've only heard of about a quarter of those. And half of them sound like suburban subdivisions. Laguna Beach, Smallville, South Beach, Point Pleasant, Everwood? Weird.

Anyway, my point of claiming ignorance was not to disagree. I figured there were probably a lot. Just didn't want to state something based on assumption.

And it shames me to think that I've always assumed, for some reason, that Gillmore Girls was like Golden Girls, about retired women.
posted by Bugbread at 1:08 PM on April 24, 2006


As Cecil Adams once said, "I'm not interested in your freaking opinions. I want facts." I did a little Googling on Rocky "Dusty" Hoffschneider, and it generally confirms the columnist's assessment of him as an asshole.

According to teacher's assistant, Patti Stevens, Hoffschneider was a "principal participant" in bullying special education students. In this other Rocky Mountain News article, Patrick McDuffee, who was friends with Harris and Klebold, said "I hated him [Hoffschneider] because he used to pick on all my friends." The article also quotes court records, which state that Hoffschneider was arrested for burglarizing a house in Littleton, but he only got charged with a misdemeanor and a deferred sentence for burglary. Another tidbit from the Rocky Mountain News article is that Hoffschneider taunted another Columbine student, Jonathan Greene, with anti-Semitic remarks. (This was evidently reported in a local Jewish newspaper, the Intermountain Jewish News, but there's no record of that article on the Web I can find.)

The slap on the wrist that Hoffschneider received for burglary was probably a necessary condition for Hoffschneider getting an athletic scholarship that allowed him to become a college football star. Had Hoffschneider been convicted of a felony, things probably would have turned out much differently for him. Like Hoffschneider, Harris and Klebold also got busted for breaking and entering, but Harris and Klebold still might have thought Hoffschneider got off lightly compared to their punishment. (Note: Klebold, Harris, and Hoffschneider were all charged with misdemeanors and required to do community service.) All of this suggests Harris and Klebold had a strong motive, regardless of how groundless it might seem in retrospect, for putting Hoffschneider in second place on their hit list when they planned the massacre.

Harris & Klebold's response to bullying was way out of proportion to the provocation, but we can at least prove that Harris & Klebold really hated Hoffschneider (not without some good reasons), even if I can't find slam-dunk evidence that Harris & Klebold were personally mistreated by Hoffschneider.

By the way, a creepy coda to all this is that most of the articles on the Web about Rocky Hoffschneider are about what a great college athlete he is, not about how he's an anti-Semitic, thieving asshole who picked on "special ed" kids. If anything proves that school shootings are futile in getting rid of oppression at the hands of the "jockocracy," then this is it.
posted by jonp72 at 1:33 PM on April 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


For me, it was elementary school that screwed me up. High school, by comparison, was a revelation. Even so, I never bought the "these are the best years of your life" crap. I remember one particular moment when I was 16 (the year my parents divorced and I was raped) thinking "If this is the best it fucking gets then end it now, I don't want to experience any more of this". Thankfully I didn't listen to that bullshit so I'm still here today and my life has gotten better and better from there.
posted by raedyn at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2006


bugbread: Beverly Hills 90120, Saved By The Bell, Fame, Happy Days, Roswell High, Dawson's Creek, Buffy, Daria, Smallville, The O.C., many more where high school is more or less prominently featured, and then there's the tv movies, and the movie movies, and I can't even begin to think of them all. Animal House. Revenge of the Nerds. Ferris Bueller. The Breakfast Club. American Graffiti. Back to the Future. Grease. American Pie. Scream...

Those are only a few ones I recall, and they're only the ones that did have international distribution, and I haven't even watched them all. I just know I've been exposed to more stories of American high schools than I can remember.

Of course there's lots of stuff set in completely different enviroments, considering the huge amount of productions coming from the States, there's a bit of everything. Cops are probably top of the list anyway. But teens in high school do feature a lot in both cinema and tv. It's not just how often they feature, it's how. There's always a fair bit of mythologising going on. But then that goes on for the cops too.
posted by funambulist at 1:53 PM on April 24, 2006


See, and I'm not even familiar with all of those in tkchrist's list...
posted by funambulist at 1:57 PM on April 24, 2006


Anyway, my point of claiming ignorance was not to disagree.


I know. I really do think your fortunate to be ignorant. The shit is usually like some insidious pollution your not aware your exposed to until you do a little mental audit of how much crap you know about stuff you don't care about.

Though to be fair Freaks and Geeks was AWESOME!
posted by tkchrist at 2:53 PM on April 24, 2006


tkchrist : "I really do think your fortunate to be ignorant."

I would be, if it weren't for the fact that my ignorance of recent American television is all replaced by knowledge of recent Japanese television. It's not an improvement.
posted by Bugbread at 2:58 PM on April 24, 2006


But before that, I had the rare privilege of watching two other of my tormentors punished by karma, with absolutely no help from me. A junior high bully was well on his way to becoming a high school football star when he suffered a freak injury in practice, breaking his neck similarly to Christopher Reeve with similar quadriplegic effect. A high school bully took a post-graduation vacation in Hawaii where he got drunk and fell off a hotel balcony. His funeral was the first and last reunion of my class that I attended. My response bounced wildly between glee, satisfaction, sympathy and guilt for years until I became a born-again agnostic and learned to accept the true randomness of life. - Posted by Wendell

Dude, are you serious? As an adult, you're celebrating (again) the paralysis of one teen and the death of another?

What the fuck is wrong with some of you? HS students are kids. People grow up and change. Ever hear of forgive and forget?
posted by b_thinky at 3:22 PM on April 24, 2006


What the fuck is wrong with some of you? HS students are kids. People grow up and change. Ever hear of forgive and forget?

I have been a victim of bullying. And a bully. And have been confronted with both as an adult.

There was this one guy who was real prick to me throughout highschool. He spat on me. You know, the usual high school fascism.

When I came back to town occasionally through college he would attempt that back-handed snide shit at gatherings. Insult my girlfriends. All that.

Without his old homies to back him up I could see fear in his eyes - and with the obligations of being an adult - he never crossed a line enough for me wallop him openly. With any justification.

Finally the time came that I felt he did cross a line. It was at a party nine years after highschool. Finding myself in better shape, better trained, and "justified" I kicked the shit out of him. But not just that. I humiliated him. Badly. In front of all his friends. He was taken completely by suprise. I wouldn't let him up or retreat. I tore his shirt off. I had his shorts pulled up and ripped up to his chest. And he lay there, me a knee on his stomach - slapping him and spiting on him. He was helpless and pathetic.

It was so out of character for me that it took a few minutes for people to snap out of thrall and intervene. Then I felt so stupid.
He got all this backlash sympathy and I couldn't show my face with that group of friends for a few years. I realized I had so over reacted.

I heard many years later he mouthed off to the wrong cats in San Diego and he was beaten badly and nearly died. He had spent months in a coma. I saw him at my 20th high school reunion. He is brain damaged now and has to use a cane to walk. I have never felt so ashamed. how could anybody feel GOOD something like that happened?

I could have twenty five years ago, in high school, just walked up to him and asked "Why you gotta be a dick? What is it?" or something. Yeah maybe he woulda popped me but at least I could have diffused my own rage.
posted by tkchrist at 4:58 PM on April 24, 2006


“I have never felt so ashamed. how could anybody feel GOOD something like that happened?”

I’m with you there tkchrist. One very good reason not to mess with people is there is always that REAL bad ass out there. My cousin was one. Temper like Sonny Corleone. Beat him and you’d better kill him kind of guy. (yes, he was in prison...until recently) Learned bibles full truth as to where I didn’t want my life to go.

Probably why Hoffschneider and his kind bully special ed kids and those that can’t hit back.
But I have another cousin who is autistic.

I mean do people think that? This guy might have some family that might be itchy for payback?
I can’t imagine what I’d do to someone who I saw picking on my autistic cousin. But that’s off the cuff. I’d probably press charges and bring a lawsuit.

Speaking of which tkchrist - did your guy press charges? If not that probably speaks volumes about where his head was at.

Cowards die a thousand deaths. Probably why they are bullies in the first place. Nothing good or bad about that, it’s just his (secular) karma. Everyone has the life they make for themselves and people like that are stuck being them. I can’t imagine a worse sort of hell.

Speaking of which - Dante had a nifty comment on revenge in the Inferno. He’s got two men damned - one to chew and gnaw on the back of the other’s head and skull for eternity.

Yup, gotta let that stuff go.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:37 AM on April 25, 2006


this article, though poorly worded, makes an interesting point. high school is a good metaphor for society's worst traits and class systems. the differences in people are borne solely on superficial terms. the behavior is curde, violent, and immature... but then, what is high school without immaturity? seriously, i was the nerd in high school. i went through a lotta shit, but i came out stronger and better equipped to deal with the real world. i'm not saying th eadversity was GOOD in any way. it was terrible. but, everyone DOES go through something similar in high school, and you just grin and bear it until you graduate.

honestly, what i think columbine signifiesis something even less drastic than video games, bullying, parenting, or any other form of passing the buck. it IS society, but its not a generalized concept. its the propogation of a self-indulgent and self-obsessed mindset which causes situations like these. the bullies though they were above everyone else. the killers thought that they had the right to do what the did. they all did not see themselves as doing real wrong. we are a fat, spoiled nation of idiots. the longer it goes on, the longer we will have problems like this.
posted by Doorstop at 9:19 AM on April 25, 2006


Speaking of which tkchrist - did your guy press charges?

Against me? No. Though there were threats to that effect if I recall. They were all hollow.

I think the law obviously was involved when he got beaten so badly years later in the early 1990's. He was found unconscious on a beach or parking lot or something. So the law got involved by default. I think they caught the guys but not much came of it.

I remember building up in my head how bad this guy was. Then after I got my piece of him I realized how pathetic he was. He was afraid. He wasn't a threat to me. And I realized how pathetic my rage about him was.

Then when I saw him at the Reunion so messed up my heart sank. I remember thinking "Oh Jay, why didn't you learn your lesson?" I didn't feel "Somebody showed you! Beeyatch!" It was nothing but sad.
posted by tkchrist at 10:39 AM on April 25, 2006


I figured . Guys like that must know they’re inferior somehow. Otherwise he would have pressed charges.

It must be a compulsion or something. Bullying. Certainly a lack of character. I don’t know that raging over it is pathetic. Someone dumps a truckload of manure on your front lawn for example you might be pissed that you have to clean it up.
Same thing with that kind of social and emotional crap. He just dumped his shit on your lawn. The guy that gave him brain damage is the asshole, not you.

Seems to me it took you less time to stop being hung up on that than most folks.

Hell, I’m still looking for this one D.I. ....
posted by Smedleyman at 4:46 PM on April 25, 2006


Hey jonmc and tkchrist, I've exploded your "theory" already: my gripe is that I was violently hounded out of 8th fucking grade, that I never got to high school. Nor is it my fault, tk, that H&K were inefficient nemeses. The problem, you see, is not the one or two bullies, but the crowds that condone their actions or even applaud them, as such behavior would not be tolerated otherwise. "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down", i.e. "normal" people are vicious creeps. See Goldhagen, 1997.

As for being "psychotic", I try to keep it to a minumum since I get neither overtime nor performance bonuses.
posted by davy at 8:27 PM on April 25, 2006


My highschool bully blew his brains out behind a tool shed.
I was dancing down deserted schoolhouse hallways while everyone else went to his memorial.
The grief counselors were a lot of fun too.
Zero guilt then, even less now.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:17 PM on April 25, 2006


Alvy Ampersand's last comment ("... everyone else went to his memorial") supports my last point: bullies are upstanding members of the community, "they just have the guts to say what everybody's thinking and do what everybody wishes they could." (This was most memorably expressed to me by my 7th grade English teacher.) Why else would most Americans "support our troops and our President Bush" (as one bumper sticker I see often goes)?
posted by davy at 7:11 AM on April 26, 2006


High School is like boot camp for real life.
posted by longbaugh at 8:20 AM on April 26, 2006


sorry i saw this a month late. but that author of that article has mislead everyone who has read it. i happen to have grew up in littleton , co . i didnt go to columbine but had friends and aquaintances that were there that day. anyhow, from growing up here and playing sports myself the hoffscheider name was pretty recognizable in local football and wrestling. the name and photo which the author used is incorrect. the person who klebold and harris referred to is rocky hoffscneider. not rocky "dusty" hoffschneider. dusty hoffscneider , who i might add is the wyoming football player pictured is rocky hoffscneiders younger brother. they are 2 different people. i believe dusty was only a freshman or sophomore when the shooting happened, rocky a senior i believe. i cant believe i paid 5$ to clear this up but he has no business writing an article like that and posting the wrong persons picture and calling him down like that despite how much of a dick his brother is. thanks, im done.
posted by lp at 2:44 AM on May 20, 2006


Super Columbine Massacre RPG
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:38 AM on May 20, 2006


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