Bullies, Batman, Bullets
Posted on July 20, 2012 by Kris Nelson
Hello. Lucky you (#sarcasm). I have just written a series of ridiculously rambly posts which I will unleash into the ethernet over the course of the next couple of days (or weeks — adding a buffer there in case I get lazy or just forget because I tend to get distracte- oh, looook, a pretty butterfly).
So prepare yourself for… a lot of words… because I’m not going to bother editing it. It’ll be raw and unfettered and I hope it doesn’t wind up sounding too Afterschool Special, but it’ll be from the heart. From my heart to you. Because I love you. Oh, crud, too late.
I want to talk to you about bullies. Of course, this is going to be a one-sided convo because it’s a blog, doi… not because I don’t care what you have to say about it. Oops…
Okay, obviously I’m attempting to ice-break this otherwise awful subject because I feel terribly down and empty about the news this morning and I guess I am trying to cheer myself up through the power of words *dramatic Shakespearean gesticulation*.
The horrific shooting at the Dark Knight Rises premiere in the Aurora Colorado theater reminded me of the last tragedy in Colorado at Columbine High School, which involved bullied kids. Quite possibly, bullying (or at least ostracism/social digression/violence begets violence) may have been a factor in the recent theater shooting case with neuroscience PhD candidate James Holmes (totally my speculation because my investigative brain doesn’t cease making connections, sorry! And I am really hoping this isn’t just another Mark Chapman — by which I mean there was evidence that Holmes felt affinity with Batman’s nemesis, the Joker; Mark Chapman with Holden Caulfield). **CRAP, I said I wasn’t going to edit, but I have to make this point clear because I actually didn’t: I feel situations like these could be avoided through a little empathy and tolerance in the years leading up to it. From both parties. Yay.
It seems bullies are a huge topic in entertainment and it’s really affecting me lately. It affects me on a lot of levels. “But, Kris,” you’re probably thinking, “it’s a pretty clear-cut case: bullies are just mean, meaty meatheads.” Well, isn’t that perpetual stereotypical backwards thinking what gets us all into trouble in the first place? I mean, how the heck are we all supposed to get along if we don’t celebrate and embrace each other’s differences?
I don’t want to be misconstrued as a “bro sympathizer”, but let me point out that not all jocks are bullies, and not all bullies are jocks. I had a lot of jock guy friends/bfs and some were pretty romantic, wrote poetry, and watched Peter Greenaway films (before they met me; I didn’t hog-tie force them). Some were on scholarship and incredibly insightful. Some, yes, were borderline misogynistic lunkheads, but, on a similar tip, are Kardashian fans Rhodes Scholars? Why hate on jocks or any one particular clique?
In fact, some of the most intimidating, calculating, and shocking criminal masterminds have been blessed with some form of heightened intelligence (doesn’t have to be book-smarts; charisma/manipulation can be a form of social intelligence, i.e: Ted Bundy). And this is not an anti-nerd rant, of course… you know that I am impossibly nerdy and I love my peeps.
And then there are trolls and disturbing cyberbullies, sometimes escalated or created by parents, that are so sad and twisted, they barely even deserve a mention.
And I don’t believe bullying ends in school. For whatever reasons: overconfidence, insecurity, upbringing, delusions, roadrage, some sad saps are always going to do their best to physically or mentally dismantle other people. For sport. Sometimes I overhear “adults” (well, hard not to with Decibel Dan and Screeching Sally, right?) taunt and ridicule and I just want to yell “grow up!” or “why don’t you look in the mirror!” or “quit picking on him/her!”, but sometimes it’s best to let the “victims” deal with their own battles. It hopefully will make them stronger for it.
Chris and I (the social nomads) both stood up to bullies for ourselves and for our fellow friends or classmates. The bullies actually turned around and tried to be our friends later, possibly out of some odd, newfound respect. To this day, I still pity bullies just as much as their victims. Not making excuses for them, but they can be just as lost and misunderstood as their victims. And if you’re being bullied, whatever you do, please understand that it is not hopeless. It is something you have to either ignore or confront. But never with violence or revenge. It may be difficult to hear, but society isn’t something that makes sense. It’s not something you can really change and you shouldn’t have to bend to please either. Don’t hide away and feel sorry for yourself. Everyone is amazing and incredible and beautiful in their own way. If you are the best you can be to your own capacity and it isn’t hurting anyone else, then you are doing something right… unless it’s eating your own scabs in class… maybe ease up on that one.
I know I overuse the phrase, but time sorts things. I truly believe that. You’ll make it through. I truly believe that, too.
Here’s how you can help the victims and families of the Aurora Theater shooting.