--Dr. Delia Surridge
V For Vendetta
I say that because I was a kid myself.
I don't mean that as in I did cruel stuff. As far as I recall, I was not one of the cruel ones. I was the one picked on. I came to Illinois in the third grade, when the kids already had their little social circles set up. So I was always an outsider. Combine that with my general preference for solitude over socializing and the fact that, always an individualist, I didn't hide away the things that made me seem odd, and I was a ripe target. My view of other kids became one of anger and cynicism because I saw the worst behavior. It's no surprise to me that I didn't go to prom, didn't hang out, hell, I didn't even lose my virginity until I was well rid of high school and that group of idiots.
Now, I wasn't picked on all the time, just when I was a convenient target. There were a lot of kids that were better targets for their hazing and their hatred. Because of my grades, I got stuck in classes with the preps. They would raz me once in a while during class downtime. The important thing about public humiliation is getting the crowd on your side. I knew I'd never get these stuck-up dipshits to see my side, so I just ignored them and went back to drawing my cartoons (the classes I had with the normal kids? They loved my cartoons and couldn't wait to see what I was drawing and what jokes I was making. Great crowd). It sucked, but it was managable. Other kids got far worse. I remember one kid was subject to a "Be Nice To (Whoever)" Day. They told him that they weren't going to pick on him that day and that day only. He didn't look so good, knowing that any kindness and consideration was not only phony, but it would be back to the harsh treatment in 24 hours. I think he would have prefered the harsh treatment just because it was honest and not condescending.
Treating people with dignity is a lost art. It's something kids just don't know and appreciate when they are the big names. This is why South Park is so great in my mind. No other show on TV captures the childhood mindset so accurately. South Park proved it again when they did an episode in 2005 called "Kick A Ginger Day." Unfortuately, kids don't get the satire of the episode, and Facebook has been rife with invitiations to kick a redhead on a certain day.
Peter G's Rule #1 -- People who want to hate will seize on any excuse to lash out. Vestal High School in New York apparently doesn't have many redheads, because the students declared a "kick a Jew" day. 37 students are being investigated and could be suspended. Apparently, the mistake was not sticking to Gentile students. The school didn't seem interested in investigating that. The students, in fact, had "kick a blond" and "kick a redhead" and nothing happened. And this is coming from one of the parents of a kid being investigated and suspended. (Which also means he did nothing when his kid was kicking anyone until now, because despite the justification of the earlier kick days, he says what his kid was wrong and he should be suspended now. Wrong is wrong no matter when. Some parent.)
Students were claiming the kicking was done "in jest" or "in fun." Yeah, that's easy to believe when you are in no danger of retaliation. Try that shit on the jocks, you dipshits.
These are the parents raising the next generation. And that generation will be raising the next.
God, I'm glad my life is half over.