Why does Columbine have a fandom?
It’s simple. Columbine has fandom nearly 20 years later because much spotlight was given to the killers. This was also contributed by the vast amount of content (video, diaries, websites, photos) created by Eric & Dylan. So much content inevitable fed the media, which in turn fed the already growing image of the killers, an image made up of miseries and pop fascination shrouded in myth. Also, it must be taken into account that they actually intended to become legends and icons of the pop culture, much like the protagonists of Natural Born Killers, the movie they loved so much. To do so, they choose elements that they knew would appeal the teen population and by proxy the public at large, elements that would have looked ‘’cool’’ but also unsettling. So here we have videogames like Doom, the metal music, the Nazis; and apparel like military cargo and boots and trenchcoats as staplers of the Columbiner subculture. They wanted to be martyrs, to have followers, and they were quite cunning and intelligent. If the hypothesis of Eric Harris being a psychopath is factual, here we have the actual demonstration: he wanted to spread his message of death and gain a following like no other mass murderer of American History, and he coscientously chosed elements he knew would appeal weak-minded people hungering for role models to look for and imitate. Eric and Dylan also went beyond that: they also managed to become the icon of the violent, problematic, cynical and nichilist youth of the late Nineties and early Millenials. It’s correct to say that even if their original plan botched and they didn’t achieved their ‘’operational’’ goal, they still achieved the larger scope objective: to enter History. And they did, in their own sick, tragic way.
I think it has to do with the fans themselves. They feel lonely and isolated, and they have probably experienced some sort of bullying growing up. And they identify with this image of the two young men and other mass shooters.
Yes, theres reseach to suggest that bullying is a huge contributing factor in many of these school shootings. Howewer, theres a lot more which contributes to a school shooting other than bullying. They usually tend to have a history of mental health issues and a host of other social factors next to it.
The image that they are usually pushed into retaliation is therefore inaccurate.
But for the people that have a certain fandom, I believe that they have problems with themselves and should be helped.
I think that isolation and loneliness is a huge problem in our western culture. And in the long run its unhealthy when you have this amount of isolation. The underlying factor seems to be a problem with bullying and that they are isolated.