- Politics and Social Issues
Bullying, from the perspective of a former practicer.
Here I will describe a number of events from my past, all of which could be considered bullying. The recent attention paid to the issue forces me, as a conscientious reformed grade school ruffian to try and describe, and perhaps explain why certain acts are deemed necessary, amusing and so on, leading to the issue at hand.
1) 1st grade. The year was 1996 (probably) I found myself surrounded by little twerps and punks, myself a rather grand spectacle of a hyperactive pituitary gland, towering above my classmates and able to overpower them as easily as a shark might a guppy. Though physically mature, I was still but a youngling. My underpants were of a superman theme, something I took very seriously, as though my choice of underwear in a way defined my very destiny. Today, I wear no underpants. It is my act of contrition as well as a personal choice in no way influenced by a tendency to not want to do extra laundry.
Enter a boy we will call "Chris Kapps." We will call him this because it was his name. Something about this boy struck me as intriguing. He was a scrawny boy, short, bespectacled and with a voice one might attribute to a tin fog horn being scratched with copper nails. The first time I laid eyes on this kid I simply knew that I had to chase him down and place him in the giant green trash can. The reasons, though not something I reflected upon as a child were not numerous, but utterly logical to my immature mind. Firstly I could catch him and easily transport him under my arm a rather great distance. Secondly he would fit quite comfortably in said can. It just made sense as a policy to search this boy out on the playground day after day and perform my ritual of Chris Kapps capture and trashcan placement. I didn't keep him there, for as soon as I had completed the task I let him go, only to repeat the process over and over again until the bell rang. As I grew older, I lost such tendencies and though occasionally I saw this kid around town we never spoke of our previous game of cat and mouse. But he remembered. The fact is I don't think I wished to torment him at all, I simply was attracted to the game, the pursuit if you will.
2) I used to trip kids all the time. When ever I saw a kid running flat out I would calmly maneuver myself into a proper trajectory and wait until the moment was correct. As the sprinting youth came within my deadly reach I would swiftly stick out my foot and watch the son of a gun fly. Then I would run away to hideout from possible teacher retribution. I probably did this forty times between 2nd and 5th grade. Although the fifth grade I had stopped being taller than most other students I still was possessed of some kind of near mutant grade level of testosterone that flowed through me like the leavings of a goose. By the sixth grade I was sparsely bearded, ridiculously overdeveloped muscularly and sexually. This is of course a story for another time. This was around the time I actually stopped being a bully, so to speak, and simply walked around in a blind stupor of manly rage and adolescent confusion.
3) Finally we will go back to my earliest memory of what could truly be consider a bullying act. I was in readiness. Readiness is sort of like an extra year of kindergarten for the unruly, vile masses of unwashed children deemed unfit to pass from kindergarten to 1st grade in one broad leap. At this time I believe I was in my pre-superman undies stage but growing ever nearer to what could be called a break into my eventual fixed personality. Enter Michael Wieczerzack. With him, I can give no special reason for having targeting him other than that silly ass name. Later I learned this was an essentially normal surname for one of Polish heritage, but at the time I knew nothing of such intricacies of international naming conventions. Also he was a new kid and he seemed like kind of a dork. I won't sugar coat what happened. The dumb, naive, nerdy boy with the crazy last name came into my target zone as if I were some sort of crazed young non-lethal terminator. I thought to myself, a distinct memory, "I bet I could get this kid to eat a crayon." I didn't dare force the crayon into his mouth as this would be far too obvious and easily spotted by a teacher. Instead I walked up to him and recited a line, I believe must have been imprinted on my young mind from some tv show. "Open your mouth and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise." Amazingly he did exactly as my poem requested. I mean I could have shoved anything in there. I could have pierced his god damned tongue if I had the equipment. I was slightly astonished at his willingness to submit to a rhyming request and so I shrugged and placed a black crayon in to his mouth. Now this part I will accept blame for, as I willingly and knowingly did the act. However him actually biting down on the crayon and causing the waxy substance to spread in chunks throughout his mouth and throat, this I maintain were his own doing.
I will end here. I will attempt no defense, detailed analysis or coherent reasoning for my actions and mentality. I merely relate this confession and let the tides of history judge me. I regret nothing and yet I regret everything. A contradiction perhaps but, I suppose one could say that all of civilization is but a contradiction of humanities own natural tendencies. You could say it. See, I just said it.