Bullying Hypocrisy

I wanted to make a separate post about this because it’s such a glaring contradiction that seems to be widely accepted among the “supporters” of the Parkland students and their movement. And like many other things, it seems to be something that people cling to solely because of how it makes them feel rather than there being definite truth behind what they are saying. The students don’t like clear backpacks because it makes them feel like they are in prison… their words… and the students and supporters fail to acknowledge that bullying could have played a part in what Nikolas Cruz did. Possibly because it makes them feel (or at least concerned) that people are somehow putting at least some of the blame for what he did on them.

First of all, the decision was his. Mental illness, bad childhood, bullying or not… the final choice fell on him. He is to blame. Having said that, of course there were a ton of contributing factors – and him being picked on or bullied would be one of them. But if you even bring up the topic with students or supporters, they’ll either say you are “victim blaming” or they’ll reply with something like “Well, I was bullied in high school… and I never killed anybody.” That’s fine, and I’m happy for those people… but acting as if everyone’s school experience and mental struggles should be judged the same is about as useful as going up to someone with lung cancer and saying “Well, I smoked a pack a day for decades and I didn’t get cancer.”

Go check it out for yourself. When someone is bullied and lashes out violently, look at how the people will try to remove the bullying as any kind of motivating factor. I don’t know if it’s because they have a guilty conscience and are subconsciously dwelling on what they might have done to that person, or if they legitimately believe that bullying is never a factor in causing someone to snap or what. If it’s the second option there, that’s scary… because if people don’t think that bullying someone could ever push them to do something awful, they’ve got little reason to not bully that person. I guess while some people feel like it is victim blaming, it makes me wonder if those people are just trying to relieve themselves of any potential feelings of responsibility.

Now, think about the role of bullying in the context of suicide. When that happens, the reaction is almost completely reversed. When someone kills themselves, all you hear is about how they were picked on, bullied, ostracized, etc… and that’s “obviously” what caused them to eventually take their own life. Hell, there are even protests or activism or whatever you wanna call it… campaigns about “mean girls” or things to force students/people to think about how they treat others, stories about how they were verbally or physically abused at home and how it needs to stop… anything that can possibly turned into motivation for suicide, relating to verbal, mental, or physical abuse, will likely be acknowledged and discussed.

Now, I wasn’t the most well adjusted kid during junior high and even into my high school years. Any bullying or “picking” that I may have experienced wasn’t even that bad… but you can bet your ass that it had an effect on me. Did I ever think about bringing a weapon to school? Did I ever think about who deserved my revenge and how I’d do it? I’m not saying I that did, but I’m sure not saying that I didn’t. I never crossed that line – but even today I’m not sure that I could tell you where that line was, or what might have caused me to cross over it and turn into one of the stories that you would have heard on TV back then. And let me tell you… my home life was fine, my family was fine, my time away from school was fine… and the only thing that was pushing me closer and closer back then was the shit that I endured from the few asshole children at school. So, from my own experience, I can tell you that bullying can indeed be a contributing factor towards someone lashing out – if not the main cause.

Are there really that many stupid people out there though, who honestly can’t see the link between bullying and lashing out? I mean, Christ, everything we do in life is based on the stimulus that we get from interacting from other humans… good, bad, mean, nice, happy, sad… and you’re an idiot if you think that only in the case of someone snapping and doing something violent, that those negative interactions didn’t have anything to do with it. It could just be a matter of most people never having experienced that feeling, where you don’t know if you’re going to be able to control yourself or what you’ll end up doing if you can’t. So, I’m glad for that, for them… but if you look me in the eyes and saying that bullying plays no part if that person lashes out later, I’m going to think that you’re either full of shit or that you’re a fucking moron.

It’s a sad to see so many people refusing to acknowledge that there could be a link between bullying and school violence, because for every voice that denies it – that’s a voice that could be making some other student’s life feel like hell… one more voice that could be unintentionally pushing someone towards something awful. And when you are immediately shut down when you bring up the subject, or even made to feel like you are doing something wrong by bringing it up, that shows that there are thousands and thousands of people who are unable or unwilling to learn. Unwilling to even allow the possibility that it’s true, what people like me are trying to make them understand. And, obviously, when people don’t learn from a tragedy, there’s not a whole lot that’s gonna stop it from happening exactly the same way again.

The people who were involved in the shooting… the “survivors” as they are called… they really do seem desperate to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again, but as with all of the security measures that they reject – they reject the idea that their actions or the actions of their friends could have even possibly played a part in what happened. I don’t think of that as victim blaming, I just think of it in terms of humans evolving and just being a little more self-aware, and more aware of the cumulative results of their combined words or actions. For people to treat that as something bad, disrespectful, or even bullying in itself… I just don’t get it.

That’s another point where their argument loses impact. A thorough argument of “bullying didn’t do this” when it comes to someone that lashes out, but go on Twitter and search “parkland bully” and just look at how many people have their hair on fire about how adults are allegedly bullying the students. Granted, in some cases it’s definitely true, but claims of bullying include simply disagreeing with the students and trying to discuss the differences with them or their supporters.

But here’s the thing… if bullying isn’t a big deal, never leads to anything bad happening, and is something that “normal” people should just get over… then why are so many people crying about people “bullying” the survivors? (By the way, they are called “survivors” just from being in school that day… it doesn’t matter if they weren’t even in the same building as the shooter, or never even heard a shot fired.) But yeah… you better not suggest that bullying had anything to do with Nikolas Cruz snapping and murdering 17 people, because that’s just insane nonsense, right? But also… DON’T YOU DARE BULLY THOSE POOR SURVIVOR CHILDREN! STOP! JUST STOP!!

All these folks who want change. Most of them can’t even say, “Yeah, I mean, it wouldn’t have affected me if someone picked on me like that… but I guess I can see how someone with other mental issues might handle things differently. Hell, even without additional mental issues, maybe I should just try to be a little nicer to people.” And no, nobody is suggesting that you force your kids to be friends with the scary, troubled kids at school… and nobody is saying that you, as a student, shouldn’t feel okay by hanging out with just your friends and not necessarily trying to make buddies with the entire school body. Everyone acts like this is a fucking trick question or unreasonable idea. Don’t think about it so hard, and if you feel like maybe you’ve been more of a dick than you needed to be… maybe just knock it off. Is that too hard for humans these days?

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Easter Snownado

Like I sometimes do on holidays, I decided to go to Columbus to grab Cassi so she could stay for a couple of days here. Genesee also made sure that the Easter Bunny took care of me again this year with lots of goodies to eat and play with. One of the things was a small box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean jellybeans… the ones that taste like ear wax, boogers, vomit, soap, grass, dirt, earthworm, etc. I haven’t had those since I worked at TS Trim and took a bunch of them in for the people on the line to try.

Believe it or not, we got a couple inches of snow on the night of Easter, with about an inch of it sticking as it fell. It was the middle of the night, so man was it pretty as it silently covered the yard. And then today we had thunderstorms and tornado warnings. I actually missed most of the real excitement though.

Back up in Columbus today, I decided that we should go over to the casino for a minute since I had such good luck the previous time. So we actually went in there right when the first tornado warning sirens were blowing – but we didn’t realize how bad it actually was, and not too awful far from us. It wasn’t until we caught a glimpse of the news on one of the TVs, where we saw the radar and some images of power poles crushing cars and buildings missing their roofs and such. We’ll probably know tomorrow if it was truly a tornado.

But our luck was pretty good. We were able to play and play, I was only about $50 when we left, and Cassi was actually ahead. I’m not greedy… if the place and the games just keep me playing all evening, that’s good enough for me. If I hit something good that’s just gravy – but being able to have a little unplanned fun and not having it really cost me that much, I can’t complain. The weather was still shit though when it was time for me to head home, so that did wear me out.

When I say it was raining, I’m meaning it was RAINING. Late, dark, rain coming down in sheets, people forgetting how to drive… oh, and a bunch of lightning… yeah, it was kind of a “butt puckering” drive home, trying to keep it between the lines and away from the other assholes out there. So after the fun, dropping her off, that crappy ride home… it took away my buzz, and whupped my ass mentally and physically on top of that. And it’s around 3am now, so I don’t think I’m gonna be worth a shit tomorrow. I’ll go ahead and call it a “day off” right now – and if I end up making something of the day, then yay for me.

(Sorry… I’m too tired to add italics and emoji and shit like that… heh)

Unpredictable

I’ve had a couple of days that were pretty good, or at least not bad… and yesterday ended with me feeling good enough that I thought for sure that I would wake up today and probably be able to make something of it. 🙂🤷🏻‍♂️ But nope, it wasn’t meant to be. 😒 Thankfully (I guess) today was more “normal” headache rather than something revolving around my neck and shoulder… but still… I feel like crap, but I wanted to take a minute to throw something out here so people would know that I’m still around. 🙇🏻‍♂️

I’m just not likely to be very social for the rest of the night and possibly tomorrow. (Shit, maybe even longer…) Gotta try to take care of myself, and sometimes that requires tuning the rest of the world out.

That’s Just The Way It Is

It looks like I can just count on one week out of every month being horrible thanks to the runaround I get regarding my medication. 😒 A full one-quarter of my current existence on this planet, already set aside for fuckery and feeling physically and mentally miserable. 😣 So, starting this month, I’m gonna have to start rationing – so that way when there are extended delays in getting stuff approved, I won’t be going completely without and feeling the affect of that accordingly.

I don’t even have the energy to get into it. 😔 I’m just hoping that it doesn’t mean that I lost my court hearing weeks ago. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I still haven’t gotten any paperwork on it, but I’m guessing the magistrate is probably close to making a ruling if he hasn’t already. But yeah, when I’m already having a hard time functioning like a human, knowing that I’ll lose a week each month like this certainly doesn’t help matters.

But anyway… in an attempt to not think about that for a while tonight, I put my phone on airplane mode and set up a short time-lapse shot. I think the elapsed time was actually about two hours, but it plays out in a minute or so. I used an ISO of about 1200, an exposure of 1/3 of a second, with digital light trail enhancement of 3 seconds. 🤓 I’m actually fairly pleased with the result, although I’ve already thought of what adjustments I need to make next time so there’s less grain, brighter stars, and longer light trails.

So yeah… this is just another thing I have to adjust for, the same way that I need to adjust the amount of shit that I do when I’m feeling good – since I know that too much moving around will screw me up. 😐 Meh… it’s almost too hard to explain how complicated it actually is – the stuff that I can actually somewhat control – so when stuff that I can’t control gets added on top of it… yeah, things start to get bad bad. I’ll figure it out. Eventually. But hey, that video is kinda neat, no? 🙂

(I might try to capture the movement of just the stars next time we have a new moon.)

Let Them Words Out

Feeling a little better, even though my sleep is still really screwed up. I really do give credit to the sunlight that was coming in through the picture window all day today… until I unintentionally fell asleep for four hours in the recliner. 🤦🏻‍♂️ I had a really amazing dream though, and I did need to catch up on my sleep, so I can’t be too upset I guess. Hoping that means that I’m coming out the other end of this recent bleh, but I don’t wanna get ahead of myself on that. Heh… it’s quite the balancing act.

So anyway, probably a bit over a year ago I was dealing with a weird thing where I’d be listening to all of my favorite songs, yet not feel a damn thing. Nothing. And this was with any of the couple thousand songs on my car’s flash drive, all of which I selected to be on there for a reason – so of course I should feel something. Well, now that’s completely flipped. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I can’t listen to anything without being instantly transported back to the moment where that memory was formed with that song… and unfortunately nearly all of those times feel a whole lot happier than “now” feels. 😞

So rather than torture myself with memory-filled tunes, I’m gonna try something different. I’ve got satellite radio in my car, and it has a ton of stations and a lot of options, but it’s still like traditional radio – they play what they want, and you listen as it comes. 😒 That’s no good anymore. Not when there are cheaper options for music like Spotify. Ten bucks a month and you can basically listen to any song you can think of, within reason. So that’s what I’m gonna do… drop the SiriusXM and just use Spotify and bluetooth with the car.

Oh, and unlike XM I’ll be able to use it anywhere. (They’re really gonna have to re-think their business model if they wanna be viable in five years.) And it’s funny, the thing that finally prompted me was when I watched someone’s long-form abandoned exploration video and they had several songs that I had never heard, from bands that I’m completely unaware of, but that I absolutely wanted to hear again. 😃🤘🏻 Heh… this is a new thing for me, because I’ve been so content for years to listen to the songs I already like, with maybe a few new ones sprinkled in here and there.

(It’s a shame, this deserves more than 150 views in well over a year.)

I read an article long ago that said once a person reaches a certain age, their brain is no longer “open” to new music. That’s my poorly worded summary of what they said… but they made it sound biological. 🤔 Like true enjoyment of new music just doesn’t really happen… not like when you were a kid. I can see where is is psychologically difficult though, because when you are young you aren’t jaded or worn down by the world. 🙇🏻‍♂️ The lyrics you hear, the hope, optimism, happiness, etc… it all seems absolutely possible. The older you get, not so much. 😏 Of course one person is different from the next, but when you’ve been through some shit – sometimes those songs with hopeful upbeat lyrics can be almost annoying.

But, and especially now due to digital media, I think it’s more that we grow up liking what we like and then as we get older we just tend to stick to that. The stuff we know, the stuff we really did feel back then. ☺ Now that everything is just a click away, I don’t know if that will continue to be the case with most people. For example, when I get Spotify and click on Fly by Sleeping With Sirens, after that it’ll probably suggest other shit like them or by them. Same thing when I listen to tracks I already know and like. It could and should keep expanding my range… giving me new shit I like, without the annoying attachment of some other place and time.

And hey, ten years from now when I hear all these new songs I discovered “back in 2018” I’m hoping I’ll look back on them with the memory of “Whew… glad I don’t feel like that anymore.”

Venting, Whining, Whatever…

Today was challenging. So much bad news to absorb. My own bad news, my friends’ bad news, and even the bad news of my friends‘ friends… it’s just been a lot. 😓 After spending half the day useless and frozen from all of that, I finally pulled it together and started working on all of the laundry that has been building up over the past several weeks. 😳 Yes. Weeks. It wasn’t gross or anything… I could just never find the time to get to it, so I basically went through almost everything in my closets and dressers – which has gotten me to this point. Doing laundry at 3am on a Tuesday night. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Is it Tuesday night? I honestly don’t even know what day this is/was. 🤦🏻‍♂️

It makes me feel better to finally start catching up though. 🙂 While helping Cassi through their move, my stuff went on the back burner. Another instance of doing the best that I could, but my best not being enough to help her and keep my own stuff going. I’m just tired of not being good enough or able enough or around enough or motivated enough. So it seems dumb, but being able to start and do almost all of my laundry so far tonight… I pat myself on the back for that. And tomorrow when I pay my bills I’ll pat myself on the back for that too. And despite my carpets being completely covered with fur, I’m actually almost done grooming Maven already, and I only started yesterday. 🙀 It’s not a quick process… shaving a cat. It’s kinda up to her what that schedule will be like.

Fuck… this is another entry that sounds like whining, and I hate doing that. 😒 I’m just not operating like a normal human right now, and most people aren’t going to understand my physical and mental limitations or why they exist… so I just have to take these small accomplishments as tiny little victories towards being better able to emulate the humans… because that’s what everyone expects. 😐 I swear if I have one more person tell me that I should be doing this or shouldn’t be doing that. Meh… like I said… today has been challenging. 😔

Comes At You Fast

So, just since this morning I’ve learned that I’ve got some kind of growth on my thyroid that I need to have checked out, one of my best friends… I’ll save the gory details, but his mom’s cancer has progressed to where they’re pretty sure the time is coming soon, and then another one of my friends flipped her car and is in the hospital as we speak. 😔 And that’s just the bad stuff that I know about. I hate to think about whatever awful news I’ve missed due to not being on FB for a couple of weeks.