Monday, May 23, 2011

Bullying Dog Style-- Google's Ad Campaign

I don't bully-- I sleep and watch tv.

So, Google has an ad campaign on television now that is about bullying-- especially the bullying of gay persons. In my effort to at least mention dogs in each of these posts, I'd like to tell you about my dog, (now deceased) Maurice.

Early on, when we moved to the house where we live now, the dog next door came under the fence and chewed up Maurice. He had open wounds, needed stitches, and was altogether in a bad way. Maurice was a lab mix, on the small side-- not a fighter at all, even though he was a trifle grumpy at times.

After the mauling, while Maurice made a full recovery, but he could not be around loose dogs without taking grief. Some fear component in him made itself apparent to the dogs around, and running loose on a beach for example, led to him being bitten. I felt bad for him. He never had problems around dogs before, and here he was, suddenly a target.

I'd been the target of bullying now and again. It's pretty awful. I suppose a time or two as a teen, I'd even bullied some myself. I remember fighting some guy at the mall just because he was there. He cut my eyelid with his fingernail during the fight. I bleed like a stuck pig. Served me right. The next year at school I apologized to this guy for my being such an ass. That apology was probably as enlightened as I ever was as a teenager.

Bullying is a rotten, demeaning, miserable thing. You'd be surprised at my politics, so don't pigeon-hole me quite yet. I have a problem with gay politics, as much as I have a problem with Rush Limbaugh. Everyone gets bullied in high school. Every group has to endure bullying. That doesn't make it right. It doesn't make it easier for gay people, or any other group. It doesn't build toughness. It doesn't build character. It leads to heartbreak, depression, and even suicide.

Some people just don't want to fight. They don't want to defend themselves, or their characters just because they are perceived as different. Again, bullying does not build character.

There's a show on MTV2 called "Bully Beatdown." People who are the subject of bullying send an appeal to the show in an effort to stop their suffering. Always the bullies are totally deluded. They've broken the arms of the victims, thrown them down stairs, caused damages to eyes, skulls, and all limbs. Often they feel they are teaching their victims a lesson by toughening-up the always smaller, less aggressive, and usually unsuspecting victims.

A guy named Mayhem hosts the show. He was a mixed martial arts fighter who had won over thirty matches. He is a bad ass, and he had been bullied himself as a kid. Mayhem brings in one of his fighters to challenge the bully in the "cage." The deluded bully always thinks he's going to beat up the mixed martial arts professional, and if he can, he can win up to $10,000. I've seen some pretty bad ass bullies on that show. Even when they manage to win any of the money in the two rounds of fighting, they usually pay a heavy price in damage to their bodies. And always, the beating they take leads to an apology to the people they have bullied. Funny what changes a couple of serious kicks to the liver and minor concussions can bring about.

Unfortunately, when the bully gets his ass kicked on the show, it is again-- bullying. On one show, Mayhem, who is usually just a host, actually fights the bully himself. I've never seen anyone get their ass kicked that bad. The bully ends up losing the whole ten grand and gets beat senseless on top of it.

Look, even if you are a Bible thumper who detests the sin of gay sex, gay people don't deserve the scorn people heap upon them. Even if you think your victims are characterless, offensive, and miserable blots upon the universe, please, don't bully them. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Jesus only attacked the money changers at the Temple, not the prostitutes.

Being bullied has so many consequences other than a split lip. Do unto others etc. Walk a mile in another's shoes. Just stop. You don't have to be a teen to be a bully, but you can stop the cycle no matter what age you are. Don't judge. Don't cast the first stone.

Think those sarcastic comments to your nephew about his hair or dress is going unnoticed. They're not. Give the kid a break, he's going through enough just trying to fit in.

Kudos to Google.