The other day I read how our presumptive redundant presidential nominees have been in imaginary trouble for their respective school-age high-jinks. Slick Mitt from Mich and Mass is reported as providing an unwanted haircut to a victim who is now conveniently dead and whose family has no recollection of the incident. Republicans countered by pointing out that P.BO reported in his own book that, in an uncharacteristic Binky-like moment, he once shoved a little girl in a playground altercation. This, in turn, provoked the Democrats to respond with, “Nanny-nanny boo-boo.” To which the Republicans replied, “I know you are, but what am I?” And so on.
Along with causing indigestion, what this exchange does is hi-lite the problem our society has with spelling highlight. Personally, neither of these incidents bother me in the least. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I want my president to be a bit of a bully, lest our nation end up an unprincipled, wishy-washy, milquetoast laughing stock, or worse, like France.
But ever since Sam the Sham’s hit “Wooly Bully” raised awareness in the ’60s, school bullying has been at the forefront of everyone’s list of peripheral crises. And so these presidential incidents got me conTIMplating…How can we most effectively bully the bullies into stopping their bullying without being accused of bullying by the original bullies we are trying to bully into not bullying? And more importantly: What can I do to prevent 40-year old manifestations of petty juvenile behavior from making headlines that distract us from the things that really matter, like who is going to be the next judge on X-Factor?
Unfortunately, this problem will never go away because the whole issue of bullying ultimately comes down to the simple fact that people are idiots. Not all people, just other people. If history teaches us anything, it’s that powdered wigs are utterly ridiculous. But it also teaches us that people have been idiots–and thus bullies–for as long as there have been people. Take, for example, this exchange from Plato’s Dialogues:
Thrasymachus: “Listen, then, I proclaim that might is right, and justice is the interest of the stronger.”
While I can neither confirm nor deny that the entire reason the Greeks came up with indoor plumbing was to administer swirlys, I can say with moderate confidence that in-school bullying has been and will be a hot-button issue for as long as we have 24-hour news channels.
So since we cannot seemingly eliminate school bullying, my selfless motivation to better society and use this influential time-wasting forum for the sake of goodness and not for evil dictates that I tender my pretend expertise on this topic and offer to my younger readers the following
Do’s and Don’ts on how NOT to be bullied at school:
Number 1: Don’t attend school. Studies have shown that almost all incidents of school bullying occur at school or during school activities. While correlation admittedly does not show causality, this is very suspicious and I propose the government spend billions of dollars to not prove it one way or the other.
Number 2: Do be physically intimidating. That is, Do be very large. Not soft and squishy large like a giant jellyfish or France, but more like “your-muscles-are-gross-when-you-flex” large. If you are slight of frame like myself and largeness is a distinct improbability, then an alternative is Do have crazy eyes. Nobody messes with anybody with crazy eyes.
Number 3: Don’t believe anything to be true. It turns out that if you believe something to be true the manner in which you conduct yourself reflects what you believe, which causes agonizing angst among those who believe differently. Thus believing something to be true is just throwing open the door to getting harassed by ignorant disbelievers and later in life, university professors.
Number 4: Do legally change your first name to “The.” I have never heard of anyone picking on “The” Rock, “The” Gipper, “The” Hulk, “The” Situation, or “The” Unknown Comic.
Number 5: Don’t be the young man on the cover of the May 21st Time magazine.
Number 6: Do be perfect. This is perhaps the most challenging option, as it involves a sliding scale heavily dependent upon the beholder who is a person and thus an idiot. A related option is Do be invisible, which is even harder but would be way cool.
Number 7: Don’t Do Doobies. This may not stop you from being bullied, but it’s sound advice and fun to say out loud.
I hope this helps. Some may think that this issue does not deserve the amount of attention I have given it, but I will consider this post a success if I have prevented just one young person from watching a 24-hour news channel.