Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Post About Bullies/Bullying, Serious, Probably TMI, So What.

Two notes before proceeding:

A, this is a touch personal, not my usual rant when I am merely homicidally annoyed with the universe, but something I feel like saying. Feel free to blow it off here if you are looking for boats, cats, and bigfoots.
And 2, this is a TED talk about bullying. Before you watch this video, warning - at least in my case, it dredges up some bodies I thought long buried, drove me to pissed off, where I caught the bus to infuriation.

A poet/performance artist named Shane Koyczan:

An old friend from high school sent this to me, said it would resonate. It did. I should re-watch, I don't know what to think about it, but right now, I am in a decent mood and don't really want to watch again. Nothing against the artist, or the presentation, it was very well done, but the topic, something I've known.

I was bullied in HS, in retrospect maybe not as bad as some, but especially for a couple years I was ulcerifically miserable. I had a peer group, but was not really a peer, one or two friends from then I keep track of at all. Sort of a big round nerd, band geek, not really into sports, too damn smart for my own good and not afraid to show it, very shy, metalhead.
A Catholic high school - naturally, I had already started to think about such things*, and my senior year I flunked the first semester of Religion, primarily for arguing with the lunaticinstructor - boy, was I gonna fit in. One of my parents has since apologized, saying I should have gone to the public HS, with the science classes, CAD labs, and some blessed anonymity.
A school that purchased a basketball player, then when he got on a three wheeler, got maytagged, and got paralyzed, he got a handicapped accessible van. A school where one of the A-listers in my class, a couple years after graduation, got drunk, got on a jet-ski, got in the way of an oncoming boat, got Buster-ed, and got a memorial fund. A school where one of those bullied, far worse than I, never recovered, ended it a couple years later, no one mentioned a damn thing, I only found out about it years later through family. 
A jockocracy, bullyocracy, and we all know how well those seem to work out. The only thing I want to hear about my HS class is that at a reunion, someone went all Carrie White, leaving a debris pile I could urinate on.

My solution is simple. Make bullying a capital crime - 3rd strike and you, and your parents, get a fair trial and a first class hanging. End all high school and college athletics as we know them - if the pro leagues want farm teams so badly, let them do like baseball and set up minor leagues. Save athletics for students, who attend classes, real classes, who get actual good grades. No more $6 million dollar a year coaches. Make booster clubs illegal, punishable by 5-10 years, no paroles. School is important, the most important activity your kids will ever have - let's make interfering with schooling come with the punishment it deserves.

As for me, I was a bit screwy for a long time. I'd happily verbally/mentally beat the tar out of myself for any real or imagined transgression, and unfortunately will still do that - ugh. Beer and theoretical pharmaceutical studies helped, making true friends helped more - I remain very bad at making friends, but for those I have, I'll help hide a body. Took years, travels, and travails, for me to realize that I like being a geek, I like being one of the smartest kids in the room (even if too much brain matter is dedicated to things what go bump in the night as opposed to stuff making me wealthy and powerful, with a hot-and-cold running scotch dispenser).

Last night I sat with my wife, my quirky, wonderful, occasionally messed up, geeky-as-I-am, incredibly beautiful wife, watching Firefly and answering her questions about characters. I have a mansion, a yacht, and a drum machine. Well, working on the drum machine. I bleedin' win. But I am in no mood to forgive.

In conclusion, fuck 'em in their big fat goat asses.

*and had come to the conclusion that, although the red words were pretty cool (a statement I'll stand by), actually, the Old Testament and the New Testament were bullshit, their god a terrorist, their rulers and superheroes terrorists, and St. Paul a complete human whack-a-mole game. Much like almost every other religion ever. At least the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Discordianism allow free will. And in the case of the FSM, a beer volcano and stripper factory.


  1. I have never had a tolerance for bullies. The only two fights I got into in high school started because one of my classmates was bullying a younger student during "career night" when no alum was in the room to give a spiel (the first broke up when we were warned that a teacher was about to poke a head in to check on us- I told the bully I was going to kill him after career night and he took off early, probably because my opening gambit in the fight was grabbing his windpipe. The second was a comic affair involving the bully's friend, and was broken up by a cop before things got too heated- dude didn't really want to fight anyway).

    We really didn't have much bullying in school, and (nerdy as I was) I was the nerd whose afterschool job involved navigating a handtruck loaded with cases of beer up and down a narrow cellar staircase and occasionally humping around 100 lb bags of sugar. I also made a point of being seen whaling on a heavy bag in the school weight room at the beginning of each school year in order to give any aggressive assholes ideas about how they'd fare.

    Can't stand bullies... never could. Punched my first wannabe bully in the stomach when I was four or five and send him off crying. I think I get this tendency from my mother.

    1. Yer a good man, Charlie Brown.
      How was your mother's trip?

    2. She will be in Europe for another two weeks.

  2. Actually, the first fight started with an opener right out of a bad action movie. The guy was pushing around the younger, smaller kid, and he used an ethnic slur which just happens to be my paternal grandfather's, and my uncle's, and my cousin's name. I stepped up to the d-bag and asked him, "You got a problem that I can't handle?" The actual fisticuffs began very suddenly.

    As an added bonus, the bully was absent the next day. I think I got to him.

    1. Bad action movie? Totally OT:

      May I present to you the northern Wisconsin Townie, in its natural habitat, a bar. After 17 or so Bud Lights, about enough to give a normal person a mild sense of something affecting them in some way, they commence the mating challenge, as each other's wives look on.

      There are two frequent ends to the dance. One is, in response to their individual secret prayers, their respective tribes pull them apart before any actual damage is done, allowing each of them to repeatedly declare their superiority in a loud, slightly coherent cry.

      The second end happens when each challenger's tribe says fuggit, there is a football game on, and allows the two to throw a few ineffectual punches, followed by 17 more Bud Lights, at which a normal person would have long ago thrown up and gone to look for a summer ale, but allows the barriers between our two warriors to fall, and they sit huddled in a corner, pledging eternal brotherly love, and occasionally shouting, to no one at random, "Sher-mf's BOOBS".

    2. Last time some guy in a bar said he'd kick my ass, I got him to back off fast by calmly asking him if he had medical insurance.

      In a real fight, even the winner loses.

    3. My other line for guys who get stupid is "I'm not as wimpy as I look". Gets them thinking...

    4. Assuming they understand 2 syllable words...

  3. Paleo, where in Wisconsin did you grow up? One of my college roommates grew up in the Fox Valley.

    "Get on your knees like you were in a chapel, son.
    Give respect to the homeboy from Appleton.
    He'll run you through the cycles like he was a washer.
    The Bronson from Wisconsin, out of Menasha.

    1. Sponge did an homage-song to an exit sign from that area, called "Neenah Menasha"

      Although the actual sign is "Menasha Neenah". Probably didn't fit the meter or somethin.

    2. I grew up in La Crosse, WI, but when I left I lived all over the state, including Green Bay, and when I became a journeyman electrician I 'lived', for a given value of lived, all over the country, farthest east was York PA, farthest west was salt water...

    3. Project, or loaded-up-the-truck-and-they-moved-to La Crosse?

      There is a music scene, not necessarily big or eclectic but there; some fine old houses; pretty area. A little boring perhaps, a very professional community, as in not many blue collar jobs, you have yer service jobs and then the hospital and colleges. I dislike the town because I grew up there and did not have necessarily the happiest childhood (see above), but beyond that it is reasonably pleasant.

      Oh, the air show on Father's Day weekend and the US fireworks competition in August are damn cool, and since I can see both from my parent's house we've gone back for them.

    4. job offertunity post-college. Oh, there are no jobs to be offered in Today's Republican Wisconsin if you're not one of the rich fuckers.

  4. If you listen to the song, you will know that it is the Band In The Next Room that has the drum machine. It's ALWAYS the Band In The Next Room that has the drum machine.

    In fact, I think my next band may be NAMED The Band In The Next Room.

    I have neither had horrible bullying experiences, mild at best; except for the one time I found myself on the wrong side of it. Suffice to say that I also have never been as virtuous as the Bastard. Hence, my yammering about drum machines. Well, that and just killing time doing some billable work on a holiday that is too rainy to go outside, until it's time to go outside and go to Turner Hall to see Japandroids. Possibly shoot some darts afterward with a friend, and a few drinks.

    So, sorry about that, in general.

    1. Leave it to you, old chum, to get me listening to twenty-year-old Too Much Joy songs.

      Fun fact: I went to grammar school with the drummer's younger sister.

    2. Z, just wanted to vent/yell/spew, I was, ummm, affected.

      New band name? Virtuous Bastard.
      May be taken, though, that's no bad.

  5. I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.