Re: Gary, if it's you, I understand your concerns but...
(no login) Posted Sep 2, 2005 12:50 AM
Jonathan, I'm going to quote your post intermittently throughout my response...
>>>>But Gary, I had just moved to Montvale 2 months prior to the incident. I can't relate to Harry's state of mind that night; all I know is that I was severely and cruelly teased and tormented the first several years I lived in this town by my classmates, and very few people in authority were able to make it stop, or for that matter tried to make it stop. In fact, it got so bad that I changed schools for 4 years in large part due to this abuse, and this abuse began the same school year that the murders took place. Any outsider would naturally assume that this incident would have had such ripple effects, that it would be a wake-up call for the entire community to make sure it stopped happening. Instead, things progressed as normal.<<<<<
I don't think one can "naturally assume" anything. The response was appropriate for its time. In those days (I can't believe I'm saying those words!) we didn't have a rabid press to keep a story alive until no end. As a kid, I always felt something was "wrong" in their family -- they just didn't seem happy, and Mr. De la Roche was pretty much a hothead and a disciplinarian. I never knew exactly what it was, but could surmise. I was friendly with Ronnie, knew Eric and Harry only by acquaintance. The community responded to their deaths in symbolic ways. A tree was planted in the courtyard at school in Ronnie's memory. The community eulogized the family, and then moved on. That's just the way it was... we didn't pick things apart in the media, analyzing things to death. The community didn't respond like Columbine, because it wasn't like Columbine. You can't compare the two, other than peer pressure being involved. It was a family tragedy, not a community one. It wasn't on the same scale at all. We mourned, we remembered, but we moved on.
>>>So, do you think I can follow a linear path along the lines of Harry's abuse, which has been verified repeatedly by many of the classmates we have already spoken to, and add to that mix the other family pressures to understand what drove him towards that moment? Absolutely I can. Keep in mind, as well, that I was the son of a high school administrator, and that fact alone didn't prevent me from being virtually ostracized amongst my peers for years.<<<
Jonathan, it was nearly the 80s. It was who you were, what you looked like, what labels you wore on your body that defined you to the general community. Add to that the fact that the area was rapidly becoming a desirable place to live and attracting people with money, so there was a bit of the "haves" and "have nots" and the "right side/wrong side of the tracks." Lastly, I suspect that the fact that you were the vice principal's son was the cause of you being "virtually ostracized," etc. If it wasn't the cause, it probably didn't help, I suspect it would never prevent it. I am sympathetic, and can relate to your feelings about your high school years. I seems that you relate to Harry on some level because of it.
>>>This is a timeless story, and if you don't think this could happen again, you should go and ask people at Columbine if they agree with you.<<<
Again, no real comparison. Different times, different circumstances... the only real connection is peer pressure. Timeless? I think that is a bit dramatic.
>>>I see my responsibility as a consultant and scriptwriter on this project to tell the entire truth, without placing blame or judgement on anything or anyone except where it needs to be. Maybe others wanting to contribute to this film have different motives, but I'm not going to assume they do, or paint them with one broad brushstroke, as wanting to "cash in".<<<
That's fair, but I think you should question why people want to be involved with this project and how much truth, or actual value they can bring to the table. Looking at this list of "consultants(?!!!)", from Ronnie's graduating class there are only two names who I could see were really friends with Ronnie, with one being a lot closer than the other. The rest mystify me.
>>>Gary, I'm a storyteller. If this story can prevent this kind of incident from re-occurring; if a group of teenagers see this film and treat the "less popular" kids with more respect and dignity; if a teacher, guidance counselor, school administrator, clergy person, little league coach, or parent, can see this film and understand the long-term effects this kind of behavior can, in the extreme, lead to, and prevent it from happening; then I feel as though I will have contributed to an improved sense of community in this country.
Why is that such a bad thing?<<<<
It's not a bad thing at all, but what makes you think that this is the vehicle to accomplish your goals?
>>>>Gary, I appreciate your feelings, and that you took the time to express them. One way to ensure that the film IS portrayed accurately and fairly is to be involved in the process of joining us. I personally welcome anyone to be involved in the making of this movie, even if they disagree with it being made like Gary does. That's the only way the ENTIRE truth can be told...<<<
It angered me to see that video trailer of Harry asserting that Ronnie murdered his family. Blaming Ronnie for doing things (drugs, hanging around with a "bad crowd") that he himself did, and worse. I have no pity for Harry. There were others who were picked on, had worse family lives, but didn't murder their family. Harry dished out as much as he took.
See, this is what is sad to me: "that's the way the ENTIRE truth can be told"... because the film will be made one way or another, right? With only the welfare of a community in mind, right? That's where it all falls apart. We only have the viewpoint of a convicted murderer, because obviously, he is the only one alive. Who speaks for Ronnie? Who defends Ronnie from his brother's allegations? Who speaks for Eric? Or his parents?