I just heard a discussion of the film “Bullying” on NPR, and the asshole who opined that we “need” bullying because it teaches us to “stand up for ourselves” so enraged me that I had to turn it off.
I haven’t seen the film, and I don’t intend to. I know all too well what it’s about. I lived it, and that I survived had more to do with my ability to withdraw into books and similar pursuits, shutting out that part of my world, than it did with the quality of my character. I completely understand the kids who chose to leave theirs.
There’s no point in going into details, because I’m not looking for sympathy here. What is important in this is that I was bullied continuously from first grade through what they now call Middle School, and that it shaped my life.
Rather than going through whatever normal evolution I would have, and becoming whatever I might have, I ended up with a fixation on martial arts, a fascination with firearms and other means of committing mayhem, and in a profession (police officer) for which I was spectacularly unsuited. Until my alcoholism and other addictions made it clear to me that I didn’t belong in that line of work, and until my recovery forced me to look at my real interests and calling, I spent nearly forty (that’s 40) years fumbling around trying to find out who I really was.
That’s what bullying accomplished for me. It taught me to stand up for a self that I wasn’t, and kept me from becoming whoever it was I would have been. I’m pretty much OK now. I didn’t die, and I’m comfortable in my own skin. But it could have gone a different way.
I wish the sphincter on NPR could have experienced one week of what it was like from the other side of the fence. Maybe he’d keep his mouth the fuck shut about things he has no chance of understanding.
On the other hand, maybe he did. The bullied sometimes make the best bullies. On the job training, sort of.
Not all of the terrorists are “out there.”
A family member wondered why I’d been absent from the email scene for a couple of days. My answer:
Basically, I’ve been ignoring email as much as possible, and deleting a lot of the rest. I need a break. I’m tired of spending hours a day futzing around with junk mail and vetting links and articles that I really have no interest in, because people with whom I have little in common think it amounts to “staying in touch” in lieu of actually communicating.
Another problem is collective mailing lists. Hit a button and bother ALL your contacts, not just a chosen few. I’ve never done shotgun mailings except for necessary family announcements, and it pisses me off.
If I sound grumpy, it’s because I am. I’m sick of having electronics and people who misuse them intruding in my life, and I’m seriously considering reading personal mail only, and ignoring all links, videos, cute cats and other glurge. I make a good part of my living in front of a computer, spend hours at it, and I’m less and less interested in screwing around with them when I don’t really have to.
The email is one major reason I no longer consider it fun. It’s really too bad the things don’t cost 43 cents apiece the way snail mail does; it might slow people down a bit. It’s just too damn easy to paste something and hit “enter” without any conscious thought, or any consideration for the people who have to wade through it.
So if you have something to tell me, please feel free. I am not, however, interested in your political views, your religious ideas disguised as photographic displays, or other mindless forwarding of useless crap. If you want to interact, I’ll join in. If your best efforts are going to waste my time, fahgeddaboudit!
There. I said it, and I’m glad. If you agree, send this around to all your friends. Just don’t put my name on it.