From high schools to townhalls, the topic of bullying has elbowed its way to the front of the grievance parade. City councils are passing “anti-bullying laws,” and the term is now used to describe all sorts of bad behavior. And of course, America is always accused of being the world’s bully – despite the crap we take from just about everyone (especially Belgium, and their stupid chocolates).
There’s a reason for this. It’s an easy thing to get earnest about: no matter how much of a jerk you are (and I’m at the top), you can’t say, “bullying is awesome.” You can say it builds character, but don’t tell that to a parent of a terrified kid.
And it’s a slam dunk for celebrities. It makes for legitimate and easy outrage that even the shallowest dope can get behind. More important – as every celebrity constantly reminds us – they were once bullied too. The cause becomes about them, just like everything else.
And this leads me to what I’m gunna say now, without making people feel bad: there’s a bully gap going on. Everyone claims to be bullied. No one claims to be the bully. Ever.
Look, I was bullied once. His name was Patrick Semmel. He followed me home, demanding money from me. When I finally stood up to him, he sulked off into obscurity (you’re welcome Pat – that’s your one and only shout out, for Googling purposes).
Everyone here was bullied. I’m betting you were bullied too. Which leads me to my only question: if we were all bullied, where are the bullies?
The answer: we’re both. We can be bullied and bullies. I remember being bullied, yep. But if I try harder – I can also remember Spanish class at Serra High. The teacher’s name was Manual Fojo, a Cuban refugee. He went through hell to make it here, and I made it hell-ier. Sorry Manny.
My point is, those kids whose webcam peeping was blamed for a suicide did something wrong. But was that bullying? Even now, people are realizing that while those coeds may have been mucking about, they weren’t trying to hurt their gay friend. But If you demonize them anyway, ’cause it makes you feel good, then there’s a pretty good definition for that. It’s called bullying.
And if you disagree with, so help me God, I’ll kick your butt.
…cuz that’s all we need!