People tell me that we need to be tolerant to all religions, I'm the first one to ask, “Does that include being able to blow yourself up in public?”
I'm told about Nike paying pocket change for someone to make their shoes overseas, and I ask “Is that comparable to local wages?”
Someone tells me that, “I'm going to burn this book!” All I can think is, “The bookstores are going to love you when you buy out their inventory.”
I like bumper stickers that say “Nuke the whales.” I've hated every Presidential candidate for the last twenty years. Green advertizements make me want to litter. Negative ads make me want to vote for the target. Vegans make me want to eat a porterhouse. Atheists who hate me for believing in God make me want to go to church daily. I believe in women's lib, and chivalry, and that Gloria Steinem is an idiot. If you gloat about the Yankees, I will become a Mets fan, even though I hate baseball.
In short, if you give me two sides of any issue, I will find a third alternative that will, somehow, be the same as telling both sides to go perform an impossible anatomical act on themselves.
This includes fads. Mentioning breast cancer month will earn a glare from me, and the fact that more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.
Recently, there's been a few suicides of younger people, some who were gay, at least one who was questioning (I say this because I can't imagine that any fourteen year old knows what the hell they are).
My normal reaction to suicide is that “you get no sympathy from me.” (Keep reading, go with it.)
Not for any religious reasons. There is a strain of thought in the Catholic church that suicides are a coin toss: how mentally disturbed were they? Were there factors that someone missed in terms of mental health? What was the thought process going on in their brains? Were they trying a stunt they saw on “Jackass”?
Suicides rarely get sympathy from me because I was the nerdy fat kid. From Kintergarden to The start of college, I was that person with no friends. Over the years, I have been accused of being a future terrorist, a current terrorist, a soon-to-be mass murderer, or a future serial killer. I was a target of bullying for more than half my life. I have never given serious thought to suicide, or mass murder. However, I did come up with various and sundry ways to assassinate individuals who had earned my ire.
Only two types of people come up with creative ways to kill large amounts of people: terrorists and thriller writers. I hope to be the kind that pays better.
So, my first thought about teenagers and college students committing suicide is usually: I lived, what the Hell was your problem?
But, as a friend of mine educated me on details that the newspapers don't mention too loudly, I noticed some things. A lot of people have focused on the gay issue (“LGBTQ”). I believe I've mentioned before, I don't care who you sleep with, as long as you're not giving me the details. You straight people, I'm talking to you, too.
[For the record, I'm using the word gay in substitute for LGBTQ … mainly because if we keep adding to the acronym to encompass everybody, we're going to run out of letters. And because not even Wikipedia is 100% certain what the Q is for.]
And as I look at the suicides of late, I'm more interested in the bullying aspect. While I went through it for over a decade, it was never organized. No one put so much energy into it that they formed moderate to large sized gangs of thugs to launch a campaign of harassment that drove someone to death.
I've come to a few conclusions.
1) It's probably not because of who they're sleeping with / thinking of sleeping with / are suspected of wanting to sleep with.
I like to refer to it as the Freakish Individual Syndrome (FIS). If you look like you're out of place, if you're a brunette in California, the nerdy fat kid, the gay one, or even possess the random genetic quirk, you are a target. The people in question were easy targets for the pack of jackals to gang up on. I am told that sexuality is an easy subject to lock onto at any age from 13-22, mainly because development in that area is still ongoing. If someone did an indepth report, I would lay money, right now, that the bullies in question had tried previous targets, and failed miserably.
Also, FIS will probably also mean that you'll be called some variation of gay as an insult—I went to an all male high school, and I heard the variations on a theme tossed around so often, I wasn't sure if it was a running gag, the insult of the day, or if half of my student body was thinking of making time with the other half. It's just one of a hundred random insults of teenager-dom; extend this into college for any large clique, because their IQ drops significantly in large groups.
The point: if you suffer, even slightly, from FIS, you have a bullseye on you. Because there are people looking for a target.
Why are these twits looking for a target? See #2.
2)Someone has too much time on their hands:
Hey, you. Not you, the one next to you. The one with the stupid brand name clothing. The one organizing the bully mob. You're a moron. You can't think of anything else to do? Nothing good on television? Really? Teasing people is part of growing up, so is being teased, and occasionally being made fun of. But organizing groups? Seriously, that's your idea of a pastime? You have no life. You're downright pathological...
And you're not even paying attention, are you? That's your problem. Your mother and I have been worried about you for a long time. And when you get into barfights because you think you're impervious to the consequences of the checks your mouth is writing, and someone sticks a shattered beer bottle in your guts, don't say I didn't warn you. Now be a good little moron and go torture some animals, and change your sheets, you wet the bed again.
3) Advice from a madman (me):
If being gay (you know what I mean) is the excuse someone is using to target you, you might want to take a page from my book. You might not, but it worked for me … no, I don't mean fantasize about mass murder, or shoving your adversary down a well, or introducing them to the finer points of piano wire, you don't want to become THAT much like me. However, you might want to become blatant. At least for their benefit.
For example: In college, I kept dressing in suits and ties … green jackets, yellow shirts, and green and gold ties. I had purple shirts for the season of lent, black and orange ties for October, shamrock ties for Halloween; if I was going to stand out by dressing professional, I was going to be as brightly colored as possible. I covered my mild FIS of being the nerdy fat guy by becoming the UBER-nerdy, overdressed guy. It wasn'y a costume, or put on, I just exaggerated my natural tendencies, going from "overdressed" to OBVIOUSLY overdressed. Also, it was the only time in my life I was color-coordinated.
Now, while I don't suggest dressing in lavender (it only works during Lent, Easter, or on a Ninja Turtle), the next time you hear “gay,” “queer,” “fag,” pick another insult word here, just smile at the men and tell them “I know our breakup was unpleasant, but I am not into S&M, see you at the bathhouse” or laugh at the women and say, “Don't worry darling, I wouldn't steal anyone you would date, honest.” Watch the tormentors change color.
I also suggest that this works for anyone who has insults on sexuality thrown at them, and the insult doesn't even come close to the mark.
Sharpen your tongue, and any campaign of harassment and bullying turns into a battle of wits, and they're the ones who have brought the knives to an artillery duel. They come to bully you, you use it as an opportunity to laugh at them.
4) If you're a target:
I have to tell you, you will live. Honest. I have learned to enjoy my freakishness. I may have far too much fun with it too. Then again, I had freakish qualities like being a gentleman, believing in chivalry, wanting to avoid sex until I got married, that sort of thing. You'd be surprised how badly such things go over around “normal” people. Normal people are a little weird.
Now, I don't know how much anyone should take my advice. I'm geared with a mindset that conjures up images of garotting my victims, feeling the life leak out of them as they struggle against the wire cutting off their air …
I'm also the person who thinks that a terrorist should be sent back to their homeland alive and relatively healthy … except they have their hands, feet and genitals cut off with a blow torch.
At the end of the day, targets of bullying certainly don't want to turn into me. While, despite my thought processes, I have yet to inflict malevolent harm upon a single mammal on God's Earth (killing insects does not count), I have come to enjoy and make use of my mindset, they may not.
So, as one of my ties says: non illegitimi carborundum.
Don't let the bastards grind you down.