Archive for October, 2011

Bullying

Monday, October 24th, 2011

In the year 1 million B.C. we observe Gronk scouring around in the dense underbrush. (I chose this year because of a movie poster of a cave girl babe, Raquel Welch. She starred in a movie from 1966, called 1 Million Years B.C. Raquel’s photograph still haunts my mind and heart . . . and sometimes even my loins.)

So, there is poor Gronk  schnuffling around, dodging dinosaurs and pools of quick sand when he stumbles upon his, up until then unknown, neighbour Ospa. Gronk discovers that Ospa lives in a relatively safe, dry shelter-like thing we’ll call a ‘cave.’ Gronk like cave. Ospa like cave too. Gronk want cave. Ospa grunts, “Ooga, ooga!” (Loose translation: Is my cave, Gronk.)

Gronk somewhat lacking in the social graces and being considerably bigger than Ospa, he bonks Ospa on the head with a rock and tosses him aside and takes over Ospa’s cave, renaming it Gronk’s Hide-Away.

 And with Gronk’s bonk of Ospa, bullying is born.

I’m bothered by news stories regarding bullying. How is it we can tease, torment, harass someone to the point that taking his or her own life seems like a good solution? Sometimes, for some, it seems like the only option.

What’s wrong with us? Are some of us born with a bullying gene? Has science not developed an anti-bullying serum? Are there no additional funds for the creation of an anti-bullying drug?

I confess I was a bully. Not a beat ‘em up, knock ’em down bully, but one of those lippy, mouthy kind. I once teased a person to the point that he suddenly burst into tears and yelled at me, I hate you! I hate you!

 Well, I can take a hint. I never sat on Santa’s lap again.

 I teased because I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be popular and poking fun at others proved an easy thing to do.

 Stand-up comedy has taught me to know when to jump in and make a joke, but it has also shown me when to back off and move along.

 Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. What a load of crap. I know that a well-placed verbal shot can be as hurtful to someone as a blow to the head.

 Don’t talk about putting an end to bullying, not when we cheer and applaud the heavyweight paluka on our favourite hockey team for his participation in a vicious bloody scrap. And these enforcers,  these bullies, are rewarded with millions of dollars for their Gronk-like actions.
Bullying has been with us since before we took our first upright steps. As a species we’re not that far removed from the animal kingdom. Creatures big and small stake out their territory, maintain their herds, defend, attack and kill any bullies that try to take over.

Flip to any period of history when empires were the rage and discover bullying at its worst. Did you think the Roman Empire came about because the folks of neighbouring countries thought, Geez those Romans are swell folks. We should have them over for some of your potato salad and grilled goat.

 And now, technology allows us to cyber bully, sending our stings from relative obscurity. But the hurt inflicted is as disgusting and lethal as ever.

Imagine a modern day version of David and Goliath, David’s slingshot not required. He the smarter, the wittier of the two repeatedly tweets Goliath. Goading Goliath, crushing him.

 And another thing Goliath, Your breath stinks too.

 Oh, Gronk, look what you’ve started. And, Ospa, if only your cave had not been so swank. And Raquel. . . . Raquel, I think I feel the stirrings of a haunting coming on.