THANK YOU! In your May 6 issue you privileged me and the rest of my school with a recap of everything we've been saying ["Blown Away: If You Were Shocked by Littleton, You're Not in High School"]. Reading those articles was intensely comforting in ways I can't describe. You pointed out the movie similarities (who DIDN'T cheer at Heathers?) and gave a concise and intelligent summary of just EXACTLY why it happened, and why it will happen again, and likely again and again. I happened to be one of the lucky ones--I got my ass to Nova Alternative School and crawled out from under the suicidal shadow of standardized education, but too many are not so lucky. When this week's stack of The Stranger arrived, there was a unanimous cheer at its headline. Because not one of us was surprised.



TO THE EDITOR: Dan Savage's "Fear the Geek" and the interviews with high-school kids is the only--repeat, only--decent coverage I have seen about Littleton. I have searched in vain for any mention of queer kids in the coverage nationally, and with the exception of a blip where coverage seemed to blame Harris and Klebold for being queer--i.e., they were "accused" of being queer and therefore they were--there have been few column inches. What is ironic is that the accusations have been taken semi-seriously, rather than investigated as a problem.

Tim Kingston


Finally, an article addresses what is really going on here ["Fear the Geek: Littleton's Silver Lining"]. I actually used to live in Littleton, and went to Columbine High School. I totally agree with this story. When I went there, I was having the same exact problems and no one cared at all. One day I was walking outside during lunch when some "jocks" decided it was my turn to be beaten. One of them started hitting me to impress his friends... I hit him once in the face and ended up on the ground. One teacher was right there, and did nothing to stop it. I was sent to the principal's office and told that I should try and "fit in" with the rest of the students and not wear black clothes. All I can tell you is that on days like that (and there were many), I could have shot them all. I ended up leaving the school, and driving to the next town every day to attend an alternative high school. I learned more there in the first week than I did in the three years I went to Columbine. When I talk with friends who went there, not even one person was surprised this could happen. We were just surprised it didn't happen sooner.

Jason DeTrempe


I have read Dan Savage's article entitled "Fear The Geek: Littleton's Silver Lining," and I am amazed, wondering what on earth he was thinking when he wrote the piece. How could anyone find silver lining in that ugly business? There is none.
Dan, could you please get that straight and mind your big influential mouth? Kids with weaponry are a huge fucking problem. Kids without enough reason to behave sanely plus armaments spell disaster. This is unquestionable and plain. Becoming angry and violent when provoked is no trick. These days, for many of us, becoming hostile when hardly provoked seems to be no trick. This human defect (the get-crazy-angry-and-act-on-it defect) cannot be defended. Under no circumstances can it be defended.

Nancy J. Martin


TO THE EDITOR: I applaud Mr. Savage for having the balls to write a piece on the Littleton shooting without descending to the depths of bathos plumbed by the rest of the media. It's about time the nostalgic, patronizing asshole quotient of "sympathizers" had it pointed out to them how culpable the student body is. Fucking right!

Dan Ward


TO THE EDITOR: Dan Savage's article ["Fear the Geek"] touched a chord with me. I was one of those outcasts who was mercilessly teased in elementary school, in the "rich kids' school" I went to for junior high (I was a middle-class kid), and to a lesser extent in high school. The morning after the Columbine High shootings, I read the profiles of the gunmen on CNN's website. When I read the accounts about how they were "outcasts" and how others teased them, it brought back a lot of strong emotions and painful memories from my school years.My heart goes out to those killed and injured in the shootings, the people close to them, and the whole community of Littleton, Colorado. But I also could relate to the overwhelming sense of rage and shame of the two gunmen, and apparently that was the impetus behind what they did.

The blood of those killed and injured in Littleton isn't just on the hands of Dylan and Eric. I believe it's also on the hands of those students who chose to tease instead of being tolerant--and the adults who chose to look the other way.

Brian Heath


TO THE EDITOR: In my overly privileged and white high school in the western Chicago suburbs, we had a similar display. Only in our case, the perpetrators were caught before they could do any damage. These kids espoused the same sentiments as the Littleton killers. Confiscated from "The Circle," the [group of] misguided youths from my high school, was a list of all their planned victims. Included were administrators, teachers, jocks, blacks, Latinos, and gays. In Littleton, the list is similar. Is this a list [written by] underdogs? NO. It's the misinformed plans of a bunch of cowards.No matter how you slice it, it was their pathetic political leanings, not their heroic "fuck you" to the jocks and parental authorities, that provided the impetus for Harris and Klebold to try and turn every student's diabolical daydreams of dynamite and school deans into a reality. These are the crimes of a couple of privileged white kids in privileged communities. They couldn't do these things in, say, working-class minority neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. Halfway through their first "sieg heil" they'd receive the beat-down of their lives.

High school is incredible shit. No argument there. But both the jocks and the Harris/Klebolds are cowards. The jocks from my school who made the most fun of the "losers" did so because they were starting to get a little peek at the truth. They'd be stuck in dead-end, middle-management jobs the rest of their lives, and the kid they were beating to a pulp would be kicking it in Silicon fucking Valley. I don't think Harris and Klebold have necessarily struck fear in the eyes of jocks everywhere. They've made a spectacle, and they've died. People will forget about them like yesterday's news.

Joe DeNardo


TO THE EDITOR: I thought Dan Savage's "Fear the Geek" was especially well said. One of the kids in my poor, rural school eventually did kill himself due to the pretty much daily humiliation and physical abuse. I had my share of problems with abuse in high school as well, and the trauma took me years to work through. But I guess the point the mainstream media is trying to make here is that neither of those things involved dramatic public bloodshed or had much of an impact on beautiful/popular/rich/white people or their social clique.



TO THE EDITOR: Thank fucking god for Dan Savage's article "Fear the Geek." In all of the non-stop bullshit that I have been inundated with since the massacre in Littleton took place, this is the first commentary that has made any damn sense! This is the type of article that should be headlined in each and every paper in the country, rather than the finger-pointing, blame-Marilyn-Manson-and-every-movie-that-has-violence crap that all the periodicals are touting.

Darcey L. Barker


TO THE EDITOR: Judging by the brilliant use of People's cover on this week's Stranger, I thought maybe you guys were going to skillfully avoid the mainstream impulse to pound out more Littleton media shit-patties. Then plop, plop, plop. From "Were You Surprised?" to "When Steven King Ruled the World"--eight pages of trite, redundant, self-important, pseudo-social reflective horseshit worthy of the somberest of People magazine specials. And I can tell by the melancholy layout that you've done it with a straight face, too. How? Did you borrow an editor from Parade? As a loyal reader, one who knows you know better, let me ask that the NEXT time a school gets shot up and you're tempted to eat your poo-poo-pundit style, please! My God! My God! DON'T DO IT!!

David Russo

Editor's Note: We received more letters on our Columbine coverage. Read them, and related stories (see archives), at