I have always felt some sort of sympathy or at least an understanding towards Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. I can see that they were lashing out because of the harassment they had faced, which fueled their hatred. In part, Sathiel’s mindset and behavior were influenced by them. One of the main driving points for my novel about him is that society screwed him over and helped to make him who he is. In his mind at least, he places blame on all those who tormented him as a child, on all the screwed up people around him. And I can see that others’ behavior towards an individual can breed hatred and resentment. These violent, vengeful people are victims themselves. It’s no surprise that they turn to acts of violence in order to vent and cope. And yet, everyone acts so shocked when these acts of violence occur. To quote Nightwish, Dwell in hypocrisy, “How were we supposed to know?”
I’ve noticed I’ve tended to root for the underdog in a sense. In my stories, I like to illustrate that these dark, “bad” people who you’d normally despise can actually turn out to be good in a way. They become the protagonist, the anti-hero. These lost souls are not necessarily lost. Or perhaps they are, and I can take the opportunity to explore the darker side of human nature, to recognize that the way they think and view themselves at least has some glimmer of light. They can justify their actions, they’re not bad guys, if you’ll only look at them from another view. That was the main motivation for another novel of mine, which I just recently took the characters from to make a 10-minute play. It has a role reversal in which these fallen characters become the good guys and the one who sees himself as doing good actually is commiting greater atrocities. The only trouble is, I don’t really know what it’s like to be a “bad guy”, aside from studying personality types and similar types of characters and trying to imagine what it’s like. (Sathiel’s an 8w7 btw, aptly titled “the Maverick”. And quite an unhealthy one at that.)
Anyway, the idea came of relating the story of a teen who commited a school shooting murder-suicide and using that to address the issue of bullying and how it can cause school violence. I imagine the “ghost” of this teen scoffing at people’s attempts to make sense of the crime by placing blame on video games, music, etc. It’s sort of seeing things from the other side, having him relate his feelings and motivations. Something drove him to this point, and the only way to prevent future such acts of violence is to take care of what caused this hatred and desire for vengeance in the first place. I’m still debating about what his personality should be like. Should he be arrogant and see himself as superior to those who taunted him now that he has power over them? Does he see himself as a martyr in a way? I don’t want him to be too much like Sathiel, cause that’s a whole other story. Maybe he shouldn’t be too full of himself, just expressing himself through lording power over others during his killing spree. Hurt deeply at the heart of it all, depressive and angry. He shouldn’t see himself as better, just now they’re even.
Now, I wonder how I should present it. I imagined him talking directly to the audience, but I don’t want it to seem too preachy or “talking rather than showing”. And I don’t want it to blatantly be saying THIS IS THE PLAY’S MESSAGE. I thought about maybe one of his friends kind of talking to his grave while he’s expressing his feelings about what he did and what drove him to it. It can be sort of like what we did with Pinter’s Landscape. Only less confusing, lol. So we can kind of hear two sides of the issue. Yeah, I like that. Don’t know how long that would be though. Maybe I can add some other people and give their feelings on the matter. I can kind of show the less represented people - everyone knows how the teachers and parents and victims feel. I can show the people who actually knew this kid, who might have known what he was going through, maybe kids who idolized him and his actions. Ooh... getting my creative ideas flowing. :)