Thursday Thoughts ~ The Root of Bullying aka “The Bully Pulp Hit”

Thursday Thoughts ~ The Root of Bullying aka “The Bully Pulp Hit”

Spring is here, spring is here, life is skittles and life is beer. Whoa, I was about to set off on a rousing rendition of humorist (and my own secret hero) Tom Lehrer’s “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.” (Click here for that classic. And you’re welcome…)  Usually on Thursdays, I send you to an inspiring website or tell you about some cool person or resource to spark your imagination. Last week, I departed from that tradition and yeah, I probably got a little heavy with the subject of art versus the artist and separating the two. Well, guess what? I’m feeling rebellious again. Part of it is that I don’t believe in ‘fake’ referrals  just because I have to come up with something in time for my blog. If I really don’t have something to reference in that moment, I’d rather use this space for something else, other things weighing on my mind.

 

It is Thursday and I do have some thoughts, so  put those together and you get… Reese’s peanut butter eggs? No, but I do wish I had some at my desk right now. I’m having a major chocolate craving at this moment. Sigh.

 

The phrase I was going for was #ThursdayThoughts. I’ve got some of them, so why not share them? In their own way, they may meander back to the overall theme of creativity that I champion here.

 

I hate bullying.

 

 

Now, I know the moment I write that, there will be some of you reading it who will naturally think that this is a political statement I’m making about our current President and for that reason, some of you will start to nod and others will probably roll their eyes at yet another attack.

 

 

Oh sure, 45 is a culprit of this silly practice and his latest antics did inspire this blog, but it isn’t so much about Donald Trump as it is about a cultural shift toward this growing practice of belittling, a mob mentality to gang up on others.  It’s starting to infiltrate our lives from every direction like…

 

BullyTattoos

 

…in response to what we say out here — we may make a simple statement and suddenly receive a barrage of hate tweets/FB posts/ insults/blocks/mean DMs. Online friends, some of whom may have been former co-workers, distant family members or elementary school classmates suddenly become thugs and we strategically work out ways to eliminate them from our social media without them noticing — for fear they’ll get even worse!

 

 

…in response to expressed interests or tastes in certain films, books, TV shows, music, hobbies, artists or  public figures. We are quickly ostracized if we don’t choose the “correct” one to like or even worse, choose one that “the wall of loud voices” has deemed is not acceptable to still like, follow or support their artistic contributions.

 

 

…in response to our decisions to go against norms of dress, hair, makeup and any other visuals that are declared the “appropriate” way we should look and if we step outside the boundaries of what the strong armed THEY deems should be how we appear in terms of our garb, height, weight, hair color, skin color, religious jewelry or adornments that may indicate a specifically unpopular belief system… well, forget even stepping out into your platform of choice before the comments are hurled at you. If it’s Facebook, it’s small potatoes. On Twitter, it can get heated. On Instagram, if you’re not a locked, private account, you leave yourself vulnerable to whatever poo the scorekeepers want to fling at you as they rate you from head to toe. And then there’s YouTube. I spend a lot of time out there, but I’ve learned never to look at the YouTube comments. (Click here for “Don’t Look Down” courtesy of that delicious 80s duo Go West. Gosh, I sure liked them. Yeah, my mind is weird the way it wanders, but everything said or written usually leads me to some pop cultural reference that comes to mind.)

 

How on Earth does this topic tie to creativity? I’m convinced that those who turn to bullying as a means of attacking the other are devoid of any creativity of their own and turn to volatile words or actions because they know no other avenue to express themselves. They’d rather be larger than life out there to hide what they either are lacking or because they are secretly harboring resentment, envy or anger that the other person possesses some quality, talent or object they wish was theirs.

 

The “logic” of the bully is… if I attack you first, you will be so overwhelmed by my forceful words or fists, that you won’t notice how little creativity or ideas are held within my bullying. Maybe you won’t realize that it is merely a blanket of bad taste and personal jabs used to conceal a weakness. To quote the flawed and complicated Terry Malloy played by Marlon Brando in one of my all-time favorites, ON THE WATERFRONT, “do it to him before he does it to you.”

 

Is it possible that if somewhere deep in the bully’s past he or she would have been shown more creative outlets to channel their anger and frustrations and spent some time cultivating their creativity, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to reach for the sharpest tools in their tool box every time? Maybe instead they might turn to other resources like humor or imagination for coping mechanisms and communication with others.

 

 

Am I  being too nice or fanciful with my theories? Possibly. Or am I just being creative and choosing to see the situation with less anger and more pity for what the bully has missed out on in their life to make them so angry, hurtful and vengeful.

 

 

I think back to those older girls who chased my young friend and I outside the rec center when I was a kid no more than 7 — why? We annoyed them, I suppose, but shouldn’t these two tween-aged girls have more important things to do than jumping two little nerdy kids? You’d think so. But we were different, and I’ll wager we were probably smarter even then but it didn’t help us. Of course, I faked that I had fallen when I arrived by my folks playing tennis at the rec center courts but those tears were real alright and full of fear and wonder about what the future would hold if the bullying was already starting at seven years old.

 

 

The root of bullying — is it insecurity? Is it a fear of vulnerability? Or just a lack of imagination for how to handle an uncomfortable situation or manage feelings we don’t understand? Maybe a little bit of everything. And what is the smartest way to go up against it, besides getting bulldozed over by the bully? How about finding ways using the imagination, creativity and ingenuity that these bullies lack?

 

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts here or at the social media platform where you find out about this blog.

 

As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

 

biff tannenUniversal pictures

Who knew Biff would seem almost charming compared to today’s bully? Sigh.
(Photo Still from Back to the Future II)

 

 

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