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17 April 2007 @ 10:18 pm
 
Strange timing. We just read the first draft of my play in class yesterday, which happens to be about a school shooting and its repercussions. And then I came home and learned about the shootings at Virginia Tech. I was planning to do some more research at a couple of the sites I’d been looking at to help expand on some of the points I want to make. I guess this will fuel more discussion anyway. My play is mostly based on Columbine. The killer had a fascination with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. And it’s kind of weird to look online and see how many “fans” those two actually have, or at least those who can admire or relate to the standpoint they have come to represent - the idea that they were fighting back against bullying and prejudice.

In my play, there are four characters, and each of them represents a different point of view. I’d like to elaborate more on what each of them feels. Right now I’ve just got some basic arguements, but I feel I can develop them further. The research I’ve done so far has helped to explore these viewpoints by hearing what actual people have to say.

First, there is Jonathon, the killer. And he obviously represents the killers. He explains his feelings, what drove him to it. Some of his reasoning is flawed, but he does have his reasons. He shows frustration over having been bullied, of being treated like dirt, he’s gone through depression and fluctuates between feelings of low self worth and superiority. He’s a messed up individual with a lot of hatred and hurt. But he’s up there talking to you, showing his justification for his actions.

Secondly, there is Jessica, a friend of Jonathon’s. I’d like her to be the most sympathetic of the characters. She is trying to come to terms with why he did what he did. She sees him as a human, not a monster. She knows what he was like personally. But she also knows that what he did was wrong, and has difficulty accepting that he would do something like this, never realizing that he had that capacity or motivation. She also represents those who were left behind, dealing with grief. And yet she can somehow relate with Jonathon, because she had experienced a lot of the same crap he had gone through, yet she was able to make the better choice and get through it. She’s able to articulate some of the same frustrations that Jonathon experienced, only she is able to deal with them rationally.

Then there is Paul, who idolizes Jonathon for his actions. He represents those “fans” I mentioned up there. He thinks that wow, this was cool, and that Jonathon was right in what he did, he was standing up for himself and teaching people a lesson. He probably feels victimized and “different” himself. But he’s obviously wrapped up in his own fantasy and idealized visions and doesn’t realize the severity and reality of the shooting and the suffering it has caused.

And last, there is Matt, who is a friend of Paul’s, and pretty much has the exact opposite view. He thinks that Jonathon was a loser, a coward. He has no respect for Jonathon or his reasonings, and pretty much dehumanizes him. He can’t fathom what Jonathon must have felt or what must have driven him to do it. If he was bullied, then he’s a wuss for being unable to take it. Matt represents how many people view the killers, those who make no attempt at understanding or who label everything as just excuses. He views Jonathon as evil, a psychopath, a crazed killer and nothing more.

So, I think that Jessica is my voice in this play, illustrating the points that I would like to get across. I would like to show how others feel about the matter though too, and people can get from that what they will. I like where this could go, but I’m hoping I can articulate it well enough and get it to a point where I’m happy with it. I think I just need to sit down and write as much as I can from each point of view. Let me know if you have any input.
 
 
 
thespianlynn82 on April 18th, 2007 09:49 am (UTC)
I've been tempted to write a screenplay or a story about bullying for a while now, but I'm scared to because I don't like to face confliction from the days that I suffered that hell. It's still traumatic to me on some level, probably because what it mostly drove me into thinking and feeling.

I meant to write it as a wake up call to society that bullying isn't what it appears to be. As I mention in my one entry last month or so, the medical community is *finally* recognizing it as a form of abuse and it can affect people into adulthood. Shit, it can still happen even in adult hood.

I hate to admit the fact that I almost became like the teens from Columbine and this guy from VT. Of course, I wouldn't have targeted everyone. I only wanted to target the people that cause me hell. They were the ones that deserve it, no one else. However, after doing some serious thinking, I came to the conclusion that I value my life and freedom too much not to commit homicide against the people that tourmented me. I wouldn't sink to lower than their level.

I can relate to what drove the teens from Columbine and maybe this guy from VT. However, I think they stoop lower than their tourmentors by committing mass killings and then offing themselves. What problems did it solve of theirs? Absolutely nothing
Vickiemelopene on April 18th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not the best person to give any advice on this type of thing, but after hearing about the experience of the professor that had been a holocaust survivor (he stood in front of the door and took the bullets so his students could escape), and after having heard all the talking heads saying that we academics should be trained and deputized... maybe a character who's a faculty member?

...but for the record, I will -never- carry a gun into my classroom or serve as a substitute for real campus security.