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vivico1
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MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

So we get to the big break of the trial. Did any of you have an idea why the boys used those names before this revelation? Do you think that this happens more than we think or know about? Is media in any form, culpable in any way when crimes are committed because of their content? If not "because of" do you think things we view can be catalysts for things we do?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)


vivico1 wrote:
So we get to the big break of the trial. Did any of you have an idea why the boys used those names before this revelation? Do you think that this happens more than we think or know about? Is media in any form, culpable in any way when crimes are committed because of their content? If not "because of" do you think things we view can be catalysts for things we do?




I figured it was something like that but I wasn't sure exactly what the influence was for the names. I definitely think we are influenced by the media, music, etc. because we are exposed more than ever. I don't think the influence is always bad and I think that anyone that is going to commit a criminal act was probably going to commit it anyway. If a person has been taught the proper behavior growing up, how to obey boundaries and the laws, is mentally competent, is capable of caring for others and knows right from wrong, in most cases these outside influences are not going to cause them to commit a crime. There have to be some preexisting conditions and then other things can add to it. A reporter on TV was commenting on the horrible crimes at Virginia Tech and they were telling about the gunman's problems that led to all of this. They called it "the perfect storm" because everything that was wrong in his life had come together at that precise moment and that was why he carried out his crimes when he did.
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vivico1
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)


Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:
So we get to the big break of the trial. Did any of you have an idea why the boys used those names before this revelation? Do you think that this happens more than we think or know about? Is media in any form, culpable in any way when crimes are committed because of their content? If not "because of" do you think things we view can be catalysts for things we do?




I figured it was something like that but I wasn't sure exactly what the influence was for the names. I definitely think we are influenced by the media, music, etc. because we are exposed more than ever. I don't think the influence is always bad and I think that anyone that is going to commit a criminal act was probably going to commit it anyway. If a person has been taught the proper behavior growing up, how to obey boundaries and the laws, is mentally competent, is capable of caring for others and knows right from wrong, in most cases these outside influences are not going to cause them to commit a crime. There have to be some preexisting conditions and then other things can add to it. A reporter on TV was commenting on the horrible crimes at Virginia Tech and they were telling about the gunman's problems that led to all of this. They called it "the perfect storm" because everything that was wrong in his life had come together at that precise moment and that was why he carried out his crimes when he did.


I agree with you that while we may be influenced by what we see, theres got to be a propensity for an act to begin with for someone to commit a particular crime. That having been said, I think then certain movies or songs played over and over like these boys did, can give credance to that propensity and then when opportinity presents itself, some can act out on it and in the way its portrayed. When immoral or bad things are constantly portrayed as the norm or exciting and you can get away with it kind of thing, there is going to be someone who will finally use this for their catalyst to act out what they may have done without it anyway but now feel its ok to do, after all it was on tv right? As soon as they said they were just talking to each other and using the names, I knew they were contrived names, but as soon as they talked about doing things to her in certain "posed positions", I thought ok, CHECK THE MOVIES they have been watching!!! About a decade ago when that guy in florida killed those girls at the Gainsville college and they were trying him and it was on CourtTV. I remember catching some of it and half way through they were talking about how he would pose them in death, sitting their bodies up with the heads cut off and on a shelf or something, posed as if looking at the bodies. They werent sure on that first interview about this ritualistic thing and I sat straight up and thought , SOMEONE check the movies hes been watching!!! Look for the Exorcist III, two days later, they said they had found that he had seen that movie like within the week of the killings and feel he was trying to imitate aspects of it. I thought, maybe somone heard their first interview and thought what I did and told them to check the movies.
These things may not cause the crime but i do think they affect someone who has the ability to do such thing and be some kind of final catalyst to just do it. But, just like here in this book, it has nothing to do with lack of culpability of the boys. They are just flat guilty of premeditated rape, and played it out in the fantasy way that had excited them to watch for 6 months.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

The secret of Cal and Jim Revealed:

I didn't know how Harlan would bring these characters out, but wow! Is that brilliant.Wow! What a great mind, he has! I would have never thought of that, in a million years. And also, things like that, especially porn movies,I believe do bring people to do bad things to get their kicks,and those that are rich and bored. Especially kids and young people. Especially those less responsible than they should have been.
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cindersue
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)



kiakar wrote:
The secret of Cal and Jim Revealed:

I didn't know how Harlan would bring these characters out, but wow! Is that brilliant.Wow! What a great mind, he has! I would have never thought of that, in a million years. And also, things like that, especially porn movies,I believe do bring people to do bad things to get their kicks,and those that are rich and bored. Especially kids and young people. Especially those less responsible than they should have been.




I didn't have an inkling either. Especially since I rent my videos at Blockbuster. LOL Way to go Harlan! A group of college kids, drinking, watching porn is never a good combo. Many adults watch porn to get their kicks but don't act out their fantasy's. But the combo ... not good!
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cindersue
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)



cindersue wrote:


kiakar wrote:
The secret of Cal and Jim Revealed:

I didn't know how Harlan would bring these characters out, but wow! Is that brilliant.Wow! What a great mind, he has! I would have never thought of that, in a million years. And also, things like that, especially porn movies,I believe do bring people to do bad things to get their kicks,and those that are rich and bored. Especially kids and young people. Especially those less responsible than they should have been.






The frat house is so believable. We've all heard stories of frat parties. I had a friend in college that was invited to a frat party. She loved the attention she was getting from the guys. Yes, she had been drinking too. But she didn't ask to be raped ... gang raped. Like the girl in the book, she liked the attention and the thought that perhaps the boy liked her too.
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LizzieAnn
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SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

I never would have guessed that the names came from a porno movie that the frat boys had been watching - that was a great twist. A little creepy that they followed the movie exactly - like a script! I just figured Cal & Jim were assumed names that the boys picked out of thin air.

I think what really threw me off scent was that on page 45 when Paul was saying that something about the names "Cal and Jim" was just out of his reach. I took it to mean that the names were familiar to him.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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vivico1
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Re: SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)


LizzieAnn wrote:
I never would have guessed that the names came from a porno movie that the frat boys had been watching - that was a great twist. A little creepy that they followed the movie exactly - like a script! I just figured Cal & Jim were assumed names that the boys picked out of thin air.

I think what really threw me off scent was that on page 45 when Paul was saying that something about the names "Cal and Jim" was just out of his reach. I took it to mean that the names were familiar to him.


I used to watch CourtTV a lot and crime shows and read about real murder cases. That stuff interests me cause I have a degree in psychology and at one point took a course in forensic psych and thought about that perhaps as a career but went a different direction. Anyway, you would be surprised at how many crimes are carried out exactly as in a book or movie. When he said , it was just out of his reach and something about her being almost posed, I knew it was something the frat boys had seen in an x-rated movie and to look there. Then when he first saw the Netflix movie thing and then the other one with 3 x's on the end,(cant think of the name of it right now), that was the next clue and clincher for me, so i was waiting for him to go back to those again. When I see crime shows now on tv, real ones, thats one of the things I think of first when there is something a bit different about the crime, I think, check to see what movies this person has seen in the last month and in the two days before the crime. Thats why I guess it wasnt a surprise to me at all.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Stephanie
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Cal and Jim

I was thinking that Cal and Jim were cartoon characters, like those ugly ones --Beavis and Butthead. I kept saying to the book: Paul, just Google it!
Stephanie
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kiakar
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Re: Cal and Jim



Stephanie wrote:
I was thinking that Cal and Jim were cartoon characters, like those ugly ones --Beavis and Butthead. I kept saying to the book: Paul, just Google it!




Well, Stephanie , that is better than me! I thought it was just nick names that nobody else knew.
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Cal and Jim

You're so right Steph. Wonder why that idea didn't come to them?



Stephanie wrote:
I was thinking that Cal and Jim were cartoon characters, like those ugly ones --Beavis and Butthead. I kept saying to the book: Paul, just Google it!


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Wrighty
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Re: Cal and Jim


LizzieAnn wrote:
You're so right Steph. Wonder why that idea didn't come to them?



Stephanie wrote:
I was thinking that Cal and Jim were cartoon characters, like those ugly ones --Beavis and Butthead. I kept saying to the book: Paul, just Google it!







Probably because they spent more time watching porn then cartoons!
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Stephanie
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Re: Cal and Jim

Liz,

Do you mean the idea of Googling? Goodness, I guess I always go to the 'net when I'm looking for information- it's so simple, and right here, isn't it? I wonder what we used to do when we wanted to know something... guess we actually racked our brains, hm?

I was completely shocked to find that the boys had acted out that video. It's terrible to think of that as the power of video games, movies, etc. What does this say about the effect our media-driven society has on our young people? It seems that today's "entertainment" glorifies sex and violence on a level that a few decades ago simply did not exist. In 1969, Midnight Cowboy came out and was originally rated X! (Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight.)

Group - your thoughts?
Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

[ Edited ]
Good questions. I've finally caught up to this section, but didn't have a clue as to where these names might have come from. My thoughts definately didn't go along the lines of a porn film.....Maybe because there is never a plot? ;-)

I have to agree with you on the aspects of what prompts a crime, of any sort. If there is a precognitive disposition, it could be tipped into action by a visual stimuli....I think that the younger the mind, the more the imagination will be stimulated, and the the results will result in their actions. The population has become a nation of overload.

After a while, when bombarded with this overload, there becomes a lessening of our concern, or a desensitization to violence, or agression, as portayed by the media. It becomes the accepted, and applied, and the norm or forbidden is changed and minimized. And I do have to say, even with a moral base founded, the temptations are immense for young minds.

This in no way excuses or justifies what these boys did, or anyone who commits a crime, it's only my attempt to explain it. We should always be held responsible/accountable for our actions.



vivico1 wrote:
So we get to the big break of the trial. Did any of you have an idea why the boys used those names before this revelation? Do you think that this happens more than we think or know about? Is media in any form, culpable in any way when crimes are committed because of their content? If not "because of" do you think things we view can be catalysts for things we do?

Message Edited by KathyS on 05-08-200707:15 PM

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vivico1
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Re: MIDBOOK CHAPTERS 10-20 THE SECRET OF CAL AND JIM REVEALED (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)

I am reading this true crime story right now too, (was a cheap older paperback i saw when I had bought Harlan's book and thought , what the heck lol) and am half way through it and not going to go into the book or its name, this club is about The Woods, but speaking to media's affect on those with a predipostion to do these things...this book is on a serial rapist, and since we talked about the boys acting out what they saw on the DVD, check this out about this real serial rapist/murderer in the making. He had already started having bizarre thoughts about women and tying them up and stuff, had become a stalker but never touched any female until he starts checking out want ads in the paper and goes to people's houses, just to get in, looking for single young attractive girls, and they always let him in. He says this about deciding to get into people's houses this way " I got the idea from something i saw in E.... I....(not going to say here) magazine. I purchased handcuffs from the same magazine."

He was working his way up to doing something, he knew it and then something in that magazine triggered his beginnings of what and how to do it.
I dont think media is responsible for the crimes we see, but I think they make some things that people are thinking about in the back of their minds, ok to do, because its there and ok for them to see or read. I worry that in a world where our young are so desensitized to violence, in a way we werent, that all these "how to" books and videos and websites, including ones on "how to make a bomb", 'how to pull of the perfect robbery", "how to take a child" (isnt that one scary) and also the simple way its depicted in like here, porn, or in music (rap can be the worst) and other movies and books, we are giving our stamp of approval that these are acceptable...but forms of art so protected! Do people or kids who are prone to try some of these things, or grow up in violent households, where dad thinks its ok to hit mom (or visa versa) and the music calling women all kinds of names and what they are good for, or kill the cops videos and music...do these kinds of things not in some way help create the problem by making it seem "normal" to people? Do you think kids or adults drawn to these kinds of things are thinking, oh this is an art form, until they are questioned about it and have heard that used as some kind of justifiable support for it? How do we do something about it without stepping on someone's civil rights? Or have we gone so far in protecting someones civil rights to create these things, that we are stepping on peoples real civil rights to be safe? Is terrorism only someone who does a horrible thing or can it be media items that help in terrorism of all kinds? I dont know, and this may be a discussion for some other place some other time but it does bother me how and why Cal and Jim play such a big role in this story, the substory really and it bothers me becuase its real.

That substory is important to learning more about Paul's character too and his sense of right and wrong at all cost and tho I whole hearted agree with him on this one, i worry what this part of his personality can mean in his personal life later in the book.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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KathyS
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The desensitizaton through the "so called arts"

Viv,
You bring up more good points to this continuing dilemma....and we as a nation are finding ourselves mired in it, and blinded by it. I struggle with this "one fine line", and how it has become "a widened fine line" throughout the years. We used to say, "oh, that can't hurt you" - being only a simple suggestion, or thought, or something viewed. But that little bit of information becomes a little more, and a little more, until you wonder WHEN will it stop....actually, it's not when, now, it's IF. The acceptable has gotten out of control.

Censorship is the big issue, which becomes that civil rights issue. There isn't just one issue where this problem is concerned. I'm an artist, and I've witnessed these discussions within the fine art's field. Funding artists who you wonder where in the world these ideas come from, and why in the world any organization would fund the use of pornography in the art world. It comes down to defining porn....Committees upon committees try to work through these widening fine lines, and where you break those lines, I have no idea. But talking about them is key to the issue! We must all be involved in trying to understand these problems, and trying to resolve them.

Denial of these issues, by the majority of the population, "maybe it will all go away by itself", I believe, is the number one problem to overcome.
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Stephanie
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Cal and Jim - Are we really off-topic?

Whether or not we're off-topic regarding media influence on crime or immorality, or in this case, the porn influence: I think that when a book creates a discussion about society, that is an excellent book. It's true that many people are concerned about the desensitizing of our youth through media sex and violence. When an author creates a plot-line based on such a societal concern, it's natural that people will talk about it when discussing the book.

The main thing to do here is to keep the book in the conversation - and while my knowledge of porn is severely limited (okay, it's fairly nonexistent!), I don't doubt for a minute that such videos do indeed exist. My question then is, FOR WHOM do such videos exist? It can only be for people who find rape and abuse stimulating. Therefore, is this form of media not pandering to criminals? Because rape and abuse are crimes.
Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: Cal and Jim - Are we really off-topic?

I agree with you...if an author can write about subjects that will cause us to think, and have discussions, we definately need to applaud Harlan's ability, right here and now!
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vivico1
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Re: Cal and Jim - Are we really off-topic?

I agree with you Stephanie, now what do we do about it? There are some laws about porn, probably differ state to state, but now the biggest peddler of porn and also the other forms of committing criminal offenses I mentioned, is the internet. Is it time for national legislation about the internet? People fight that one like crazy, more than a lot of other forms. You can get a nearby strip club out of town much much faster than one site off the net. Is that because those who wouldn't be seen publicly enjoying these things are more vocal about the internet where they can hide in the anonymity of their homes?

Interesting, I just thought about the two crimes in this book, the boys rape of the girl, and the crime in the woods have one thing in common... as do most crimes i guess...anonymity. But I mean, by the boys hope of the rental of the video keeping Cal and Jim anonomous (why I think most people will rent that kind of stuff through the mail faster than in person) and the promise of anonymity of the journals involving the crime in the woods. Here we have two uses of the idea of "anonomously, secretly" being used in the book to forward both plots. But then thats what good suspense stories are made of huh, secrets and hidden things. :smileywink:
_______________________________________________________________

Stephanie wrote:
My question then is, FOR WHOM do such videos exist? It can only be for people who find rape and abuse stimulating. Therefore, is this form of media not pandering to criminals? Because rape and abuse are crimes.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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