Ben and I watched Elephant last night, Gus Van Sant’s movie loosely based on Columbine. Not sure I’ve thought the whole thing through yet, it was done in a very slow-paced, arty way, and most of it was set in the hours before the shootings, none of it at all in the aftermath, so you get to know a bunch of these kids and then they’re just gone, which is probably a lot of the point. I went into seeing the movie having forgotten completely what it was about – I was like, god, this is an awfully lovely Gus Van Sant movie, I kinda like these kids – for some reason I had the mistaken idea that it was maybe going to be like River’s Edge. Then I said to Ben, Oh, no, is this that Columbine movie? And finally they get more into the two boys plotting about the day and stuff, very similar to the real incident. And afterward I was left much as I was when it happened (minus the violent sobbing). How does this happen? How does one boy get to the point in his mind where they’re thinking about this in a really serious way – AND – how do the parents not notice even the moderately obvious signs (less obvious than, you know, hoarding guns and ammo in the garage) that their children are struggling? Then complicate that when the kid meets a like-minded kid? What is the psychology here? I don’t suppose there’s a simple answer to this, but is it about lack of parenting, genetic tendencies, some sort of complex group psychology, what?
Anyway, on a lighter note, Ben set his alarm for six-thirty am last night and since it’s his first Monday after leaving his job for school, I said Why are you getting up so early? He said Cuz I have to get up and go to work... ART work!