Dave Cullen's Blog: Conclusive Evidence of Dave Cullen's Existence--The GoodReads Edition

January 16, 2017

It sickens me that I had to do this 18 years after Columbine, but I finally added a "When A Shooting Strikes" resource to the Tools section of myColumbinepage:I kept it simple, with the basics:1. What to do if you ever face a gunman, and what to teach family and friends. The Run, Hide, Fight concept was popularized just in the past few years, which is a fantastic development. It is simple, easy to remember and to teach kids, and tells you 99% of what you need to know in three words. One key point, though:Follow those steps in order: Only hide if it's impossible to run, and only fight as a last resort.There are several short, excellent videos, which I urge you to watch. They flesh out the ideas succinctly, and provide great examples, with visuals that you are likely to remember, particularly on ways to fight back.I also included one side of the TSA's great active shooter pocket card, and a link to download the card.2. Interpreting media coverage:Luckily, the vast majority of you won't face a shooter, but you will be inundated by media reports of these. There is a lot you should know, and a good start theSkeptic's Guide to Media Coverage of Mass Shootingswhich I wrote forThe New Republicin 2015.3. What we can do:I've written a new epilogue for theexpanded edition of Columbine, to address two key strategies to curtail this blight. I outline them, and link to afree excerptfrom the epilogue.
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Published on January 16, 2017 10:06 • 25 views

January 12, 2017

A twitterer (hehe) said he wanted to dig into some books he probably hadn't heard of in 2017, asked for recommendations. Here's my list. A few you might have heard of or even read (a few classics in there), but for the most part, I bet you haven't. And I loved every one:A Manual For Cleaning Women,Lucia Berlin.Stunning short stories. She was my mentor, so I wondered if I was biased, but then the New York Times heralded her as a lost genius, and I've yet to find anyone not awe-struck by these stories. And check out my appreciation ofLucia Berlinin Vanity Fair. And if it's not clear, that's her book cover up top.Jesus' Son,Denis Johnson.Henry IV, Part 1,William Shakespeare.Note: Part 2 is a completely different play--and terrible! Part 1 is fully self-contained. Part 1 might be my favorite of his. Up there with Macbeth. I love all the histories, that I've gotten to. Except Part 2!The Last Magazine,Michael Hastings.Skinny Legs and All,Tom Robbins.The Architect of Flowers,William Lychack.Stunning short stories. Refreshing and intimate voice, wondrous prose, startling events. Click the pic for more info.As I Lay Dying,William Faulkner.If you haven't attempted Faulker, this will blow your mind. Really frustrating at the start, till you learn to roll with it, but what a payoff.Grunt,Mary Roach.Creation,Gore Vidal.The Name of the Rose,Umberto Eco.Wearing Dad's Head,Barry Yourgrau.Changed my perceptions of what was possible, as a writer. And so much fun to read!Beowulf,the Seamus Heaney translation.(Not what you think. Not boring, or long.)The English and Their History,Robert Tombs.(I'm 200 pages in now. Best English history I've ever read, by far. And I've read a lot.)Longitude,Dava Sobel.Monster In A Box,Spalding Gray.The Right Stuff,Tom Wolf.The Perfect Storm,Sebastian Junger.Conclusive Evidence(aka, Speak, Memory), Vladimir Nabokov.(My favorite book ever. His memoir. Dazzling. His publisher pressured him to change the name to Speak, Memory decades later, but I don't accept that title. He said the original referred to conclusive evidence of his having existed. Wow.)
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Published on January 12, 2017 11:26 • 70 views

January 11, 2017

I taped my segment in Chelsea (NYC) today. It's a 7-part documentary series, and Columbine will be part of the hour on terrorism. (Yikes. Also covered in the episode: OK City, Ruby Ridge, Waco, The Unabomber, etc. Each episode will be thematic, rather than chronological.)Really impressive group of people creating it. I didn't realize until we were filming that it's Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone. They really knew their stuff, and were really approaching it thoughtfully.And so many people! There were about 20 people just at the shoot! It takes an army. (Here is the really attentive make-up woman (sorry, I forgot your name now!) removing the last remnants of BobbySneakers from me. Haha. (Lots of corgi hair still clinging to my suit from last time I pulled it out.)They don't have an air date yet, but I'll let u know when it gets close. #TheNineties
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Published on January 11, 2017 14:05 • 47 views

January 10, 2017

This is a test post, really. I've got the new blog, and syncing it to feeding my Amazon and Goodreads pages. Just checking to make sure it works.Once it does, I'll start adding real posts, so do come back. :)
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Published on January 10, 2017 23:10 • 28 views

January 5, 2017

If you're here, you obviously saw my new page design. (If this is your first time, it was completely different yesterday.)Let me know of broken links, readability issue or other problems. (Or if you like it.)I'll post news and updates here periodically. I believe you can subscribe, but I'm not sure how yet. Haha. Soon. New system.
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Published on January 05, 2017 18:42 • 10 views

July 12, 2016

Watching that Dallas shooter's poor dad was 1 of the saddest things I've seen in ages.

Brought to mind Columbine parent Sue Klebold. And the other 3 parents, no doubt, wherever they are.

In most cases, those people did nothing wrong, but their lives are ruptured and they are typically vilified. I hope this family finds some peace, eventually. Won't happen today.
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Published on July 12, 2016 07:30 • 107 views

June 17, 2016

I wrote two vastly-different pieces on the awful Pulse shooting for Vanity Fair this week--the first based on my Columbine experience, the second on my gay experience.

"Mass Murder at the gay bar: Watching my worlds collide.""The Orlando shooter may have been gay? The gay community isn't surprised."
I discussed both pieces with Vanity Fair editor Mike Hogan at the new Vanity Fair Hive site.

I'm really glad that's over with, praying I don't have to do it again soon.




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Published on June 17, 2016 13:02 • 78 views

June 13, 2016

My worlds collided this weekend: years immersed in mass murders after Columbine, and refuge in gay bars each time one has passed.

I was so distraught when I finished this piece on the Pulse tragedy in Orlando after 1am that I emailed my editor that I had failed, but he could publish if he thought it was OK. Turned out he really liked it, and it’s Vanity Fair's cover story right now. 

I’m still really sad. But this actually wrung much of it out of me, for now.
My hearts going out to all my gay friend brothers and sisters out there, especially in Orlando.
In an odd bit of harsh timing, I've spent the past few weeks writing the chapter in my upcoming gay soldiers book about the first trip one of them ever made to a gay bar, Oilcan Harry's, in Austin. Such a feeling of relief once he was in there, discovering his own people. Even the windows are blacked out so you can feel safe once you're inside. 
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Published on June 13, 2016 12:51 • 86 views

June 6, 2016

I updated my site with much more info on my gay soldiers book coming from HarperCollins in 2018.

I added a summary description of the book (3 paragraphs), as well as some background on the origin.

(just a temporary mockup, for discussion purposes;
not what the final will cover will look like)I started following these fascinating soldiers in 2000, when I did an in-depth piece on them for Salon, which won a GLAAD Media Award. Since then, I've whittled the story to the two most interesting lives, and plunged in deep.

I'm still writing the book, making great progress this spring.

Here's a taste--more at the site:

Brett served in three wars: Iraq, Afghanistan and The Gulf War. Drake deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus hotspots in Kuwait, Haiti, Korea, Venezuela and Egypt. They both served tours in Germany and played significant roles at Guantanamo a decade apart. They are have led extraordinary careers on the front lines of many of the international developments of the past thirty years. This sprawling story will take you inside all those places, as well as grubby army towns and high-level Pentagon meetings, seen through the eyes of these two men and a string of boyfriends, as they struggled with an invisible foe.

More at my preview page: gay soldiers. And here's a page of pix from along the way, including West Point and  Guantanamo, and me as an infantry private.
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Published on June 06, 2016 08:13 • 27 views

June 2, 2016

I just signed several copies of the new expanded edition of  Columbine  at McNally Jackson Books  (a great indie store), and Barnes & Noble Union Square. Both ship worldwide.

I try to keep a supply of autographed copies at both stores. In the future, call to make sure they have a signed copy:

McNally Jackson: 212-274-1160 or info[at]mcnallyjackson.com (And big thanks to them for the "We Recommend" sticker they keep on copies of Columbine.)B&N Union Square: 212-253-0810. They always order many copies at a time, so they generally have the best supply. 
Down the road, if they do are both out, email me and I'll try to head down there soon: dave@davecullen.com



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Published on June 02, 2016 09:39 • 13 views

Conclusive Evidence of Dave Cullen's Existence--The GoodReads Edition

Dave Cullen
Thoughts on books, writing and hopefully a few other passions from Dave Cullen, author of "Columbine."
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