Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Big Picture: "Magneto Was Right"

33 comments:

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

Hey Movie-bob.

I don’t know how this work, and I hope no one is going to call me a little weener because of this, because this is going to be rather long, I just really think you have hit a soft spot for me, and I suddenly sit with loads of stuff I need to unload somehow.

Because yeah, I think your right, and I even believe most in here agree on some level, because I do believe all who follows blogs and watches escapist videos are kind of nerds, and the people who were picked on back in the day, maybe is still picked on now in their real life.

To draw further on the X-men comparison, isn’t it sort of intriguing how we in fact do indeed rat together, discussing movies and story telling on what could be university level in analyses while we point out how stupid everyone else is because they can’t tell that Twilight is a bad movie while explain why it exactly is bad.

We do that, we do cheer each other as nerds and suffers together by pointing out how stupid all those normal people are for not appreciating what we like or like stuff that we don’t. Such as people in general not liking “Social network” but loving. “Transformers.” And us the nerds being mad about it, so like the X-men, we found together to fight those "normal people". When in reality if we were the better people, the way we kind of should be looking at it is that, we as movie nerds were wine experts, we know what the bloody difference is between a 1700 century France wine and a cheap knock-off bought in wall-mart, we can both taste and fell it, but that doesn’t give us right to put other people down because they can’t, because they have better things to do than drinking wine, yet that is exactly what we do in nerdy movie culture. It’s not accepting of man kind, or teaching fellow humans in arts, it’s just us turning the plate and bully the others so we ourselves can fell better and smarter.

I admit it, I do have a strong conviction that I am better and smarter than most people around me, that I often am on a higher level in awareness and inteligents. If it is arrogance or self-awareness, I honestly don’t know, I sort of hope it’s a bit of both.

It’s funny that you should mention Harry potter, because I love that series so much, I am a fan and grew up with the books, I read the first one over eleven years ago when I was ten years old, and to this date I still remember the experience, at first the book didn’t say me much, but I remember the exact moment that I got hooked. The moment that Harry got the first letter from Hogwarts, indicating that he is meant for something more and there is more stuff out there, and from that point, it all grew, the world, Harry’s importance and the promise he will go out and do great things, his families upcoming as they are scared out of their wits of the wizarding world. It’s first now in hindsight as you pointed it out I realise, that is probably what got me hooked, I also know I fantasized a lot about also getting a letter when I was ten and eleven, and pretty disappointed when I didn’t. And yet now eleven years after, I still maintain some of the childish conviction that I am meant for something greater and that I am indeed better.

I don’t know what my point is with all of this, and I hope I don’t sound like an idiot, but I just felt the need to put it out there and just say.

And I do believe I am not alone in these emotions, I think a lot of people have them.

And it may be arrogance, but it is also very human. At least I think so.

Lucas Neumann said...

I got Bullied too, so did mu friends, so did my ex-girlfrind, so did mu sister, so did my... bullies?

Everybody get bullied, in one way or another, and it sucks, but you know what, it's necessary evil in order to grow up.

School bully is not quite like the prejudice against someone diferent, it's picking on the week one. And that doesn't mean physically necessarily, it's just ganging on someone that won't fight back.

I don't agree at all in the motive being that the bullied person is perceived as superior, it's an easy escapism to think, that one is picked on because he's "better". It's a nice fantasy, but that's all, one shouldn't hold onto that

Bulling exists because people are mean, especially when they are children and teens and haven't developed yet something called "empathy", so they can make others fell bad without recognizing how horrible that truly is.

Diferent from the 80's movies, bullies are not sociopaths in training, they are insecure little jerks that need help as much as the bullied kids. And parents and teachers should help them every chance they get to everybody have a peacefull coexistence.

But that's an utopia, when kids are left alone, one will bully and another will get bullied, it sucks, but that's life, having to deal with hardships is importante to develop CHARACTER. I have bitter memories of my high school, so does everybody, and things don't work in the 80's school movies, a montage and some backyard figth and you get a cheerleader, it's a trial to develop self-respect as well social skills (because you can't act like a dork for the rest of your life, no matter how mommy keeps saying "you should be yourself"), and mostly important: STAND UP FOR YOURSELF Nobody can't teach you that.

It sucks balls, but we need to bite the bullet and grow up.

Now what I find sad is holding a grudge. I mean, yeah school sucked big time for me, but I had some fun, made some friends and I do have some found memories. I do have some regrets of course, and parts of me want that revenge you talked about Bob, but I try not to feed that thought, because it's pretty pathetic.

Good show Bob, althought I don't agree with you in some points, it's nice to learn a little more about you and with a subject everybody can relate to

Blue Highwind said...

Obviously the solution here is that you should punch people back when you're a little kid. Or else you grow up to me a mess of complexes bizarrely projecting their own psychosis onto mass culture (like Bob here).

Also, I don't know about any of you guys, but I usually wound being really good friends with my bullies in the end. Just saying.

Ezenwa said...

Another interesting vid to say the least, Bob. Bullying because they are intimidated about superiority? Some say that's the reason. I would think that it's jealousy, quite honestly. But, bullying has many different forms and shapes for one reason or another. I guess it depends.

That said, I do enjoy the question you post at the end. What side would you be on? I would say I'd be for Xavier, but my gut would say Magneto. Who knows?

H said...

Yeah, I'm kinda doubtful about the "bullying out of intimidation" thing. To me it's always seemed like someone who has yet to develop much empathy preying on someone with little emotional strength. Like you say, a comforting and motivating idea.

I'd like to think I'd be on the X-Men side; I might be angry at people who persecute me, but I don't wish such extreme punishments on anyone. Then again, I never went through any especially hurtful bullying as a kid. Perhaps because I'm Canadian (haha racism) and I hear American schools are pretty scary places, but I'd say I always had a good idea of who to ally with (for the most part). I was a smart, awkward geeky kid, so I stuck with geeky, charismatic kids, the kind who would defend you from bullies. Nowadays I'm a new man, and I realize I should have stood out and stood up for myself more often, but there's no point in what-ifs.

I don't really have any poignant wisdom, but I just hope we can do all we can and more to help both victims and bullies develop into functional adult humans.

John said...

My girlfriend and I were both bullied and, as we are still in High School, still see our tormentors. She's stopped whereas I have been fantasizing for months ways to get my revenge. Unlike X-men, I understand why she's forgiven them more than she understands why I haven't forgiven them.

Dave said...

OK be honest...who didn't see the 1st minute and last 30 seconds of this thing coming a mile away?

Lucas Neumann said...

The thing is, I don't think one should forgive or not their bullies, but move on, let go. School, especially highschool is such an stupid time of our lives, being the bully or the bullied, or any other steriotype. we can't let those three years shape our whole being.

I know, I know, our generation was some MAJOR problems to let go and grow up, as we can see this stupid nostaliga wave, adoring those horrible cartoons from the 80's and 90's.

And belive me, from time to time some nasty memory from those years comes to bug me. But you know what? I'm not in school, I'm not a stupid teenager anymore, and I don't want to hang to that, there's a wide world there to see, and I'm gonna do that.

And this is why sometimes I get somewhat annoyed with Bob's shows, when he tries to fit an ideia just to talk down on the steryotipe of people who bullied him in school. It's so obvious that's annoying. Witch is not the case of this episode, but still, let it go man...

Lucas Neumann said...

Also, i wasn't going to comment on that, but that Bill Gates/ Michael Jordan piece was completely out of place. People didn't hate Gates becuse he made money out of being "smart", but because he created one of the biggest and unfair monopolies in the modern history. In general, people love the geeks that make money because of their brains, hell, there's a lot of movies with this plot.

AC said...

Bob,

One of your best pieces yet. Even before looking at whether I agree with your position, it was beautifully reasoned, thought out, and described.

Having said, I think a lot of the commenters on here were probably not bullied. There's a difference between "picked on" or "kids are just mean" and "target of bullying". It's not a matter of weakness vs. strength; it's not even a matter of in-group vs. out-group. And it does come from the same place as race and other -isms, because there is a strong social component to it. One person selects a victim, for whatever reason, and everyone else latches on to that person as their target too.

As for the ways you respond to bullying, that varies a lot by the individual and by the nature of the bullying. Saying "it builds character" or "you become friends with them" is like suggesting date rape makes someone a stronger person and introduces them to future romantic partners. Some people survive it, some come out better; others don't. Is that because of some weakness or flaw in the individual? Maybe. But might as well blame someone for getting injured after a truck hits them.

Anyway.

Bob, you're right that the "you're better than them!" defense is a fantasy. Worse, it's one pushed upon kids. And not just by escapist media like comics and movies. My parents used to remind me that everyone calling me by names in grade school would be calling me by a different name after college: boss.

They were wrong. And telling kids to develop that mentality is also wrong.

Alcibiades said...

@ Lucas, your ability to forget adversity and to see bullies as people instead of monsters is commendable, but you can take the Stockholm Syndrome elsewhere. That there are often lessons to be learned from adversity does not mean that they are positive experiences, or that we ought to stop trying to prevent them. I recently lost my father, and I've learned a lot about myself and how I react to loss than I knew before. In all likelihood, I'll emerge from the experience a stronger and more reflective person. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be improving the quality of health care, because there's a silver lining in a horrid situation.

Accepting that bullying is just a part of life means that we can never improve the situation. All of us react to the expectations placed upon us. If we're expected to be asocial monsters, that's exactly what we'll be. Children the age we're talking about have often been expected to take on adult responsibilities in different cultures throughout history, and many succeeded. Dismissing bullying as kids being kids gives carte blanche for children to continue to commit their crimes. They can, and should, do better.

In fact, forget the word, "bullying." It's just not accurate. If what occurred to kids occurred to adults, we would call it what it is: harassment. And we would treat it with the appropriate gravity.

Adam said...

I like a good empowerment fantasy as much as the next dork, but the truth about it is that bullies are not always the people all those 80's movies made them out to be. Bullies are not all big dumb jocks with double digit IQ's or low life slackers who spend all their time skipping class and smoking cigarettes. Bullies are kids: rich, poor, smart, average, ugly, or exceptional. They come from all backgrounds and their futures are just as varied as anyone else's be it lousy, normal, or successful. Thinking of them in stereotypes and believing they pick on someone because they fear that their victims are better is just another way of making ourselves feel better about it.

Bullying or being bullied is all about power and the lack-there-of. A kid is bullied because his/her tormentor perceived them as being weak either physically, emotionally, or some other respect. In essence a bully torments because they think they can get away with it. To stop a bully you have to show them they can't just get away with it. Whatever means you use be it words, adult intervention, or getting a bunch of friends to watch your back if you want bullying to stop you have to actively make it stop yourself.

I used to work in the anti-bullying field. Read about if you are so inclined.

http://www.cfchildren.org/

Lucas Neumann said...

First of all, sorry about your father man.

Second, I'm sorry if I ever gave the impression that "bullying" is a necessary evil, it's not. Parents and theachers can and have to help children who suffer/cause it, but it's pretty impossible to stop.

If I ever have kids, of couse I won't want them to be bullied to "develop character", but I'll have them to interact with other children. School is important just not to learn subjects, but to learn how to behave in society, and in society you will have to learn how to deal with people who don't like you.

And nowdays "bullying" is a much more present subject in discussion in schools, and I do believe the situation is improving, but as I said, it's impossible to prevent it. The best one can do is help the children to overcome it in the healthiest way possible.

And Stockholm Syndrome? dude I don't like my bullies, nor I want to be friends with them, but I do want to move on. I'm out of school for almost 7 yers now and that's it, I can't and won't carry this bitterness for the rest of my life. Besides as i said, I have some good memories from that time too, it's not like we get bullied 24/7

jameshayes said...

The way I see it is that many subjects to bullying are targeted by their lack of confidence, "social awkwardness," or general discontent with their environment. I think this is one of the prime reasons these people are seen as "different" and therefore easy to prey on.

The problem is that this is often caused by some sort of bullying behaviour in the first place. It forms a circle - kid is bullied, he becomes less confident, so he's a target to be bullied, etc etc.

beyrob said...

I know what it's like too to be bullied, both pyschially and emotionally. It still hurts when i think about it so i tend not to. Though you forgot to mention something there Bob. Gates is a HUMANITARIAN, a damn good one. You don't think he had it bad as a kid? Even now from some people. The cold truth is Gates is supior in a lot of ways to the avarage joe but he doesn't act on the sence of supiority. In spite of everything that happened to me, in spite of damages done to my mind I'd still be team Xavier.

By the way Bob. Another figure who felt oppresed and felt it was because he was supior to his "oppesiors" so he acted on it to destroy them was frikken Hilter. The whole sad truth behind Magnito is in spite of how he and his family were shaken by the war he turned into a monster just like the ones who attacked them. Bob i know you're nowhere in their neiborhood and i'm not going to compare you to them. Just food for thought.

Kram said...

When i first found The Game Overthinker a few years ago I praised you as a smart and articulate gamer who's gaming views paralled mine. Granting a voice for those who love gaming, gaming culture and being a gamer.

However since December and the introduction of The Game Antithinker I've been largely disappointed ("A guy named Joe" and "Nerds Gods" as two of several exceptions to that disappointment) but couldn't put my finger on why till now.

it seems to me that this episode The Big Picture has shed the light upon my uneasiness in the changing spirit behind your show and the Anti-thinker era...




The strong and well formed opinions of the past faded in the wake of the Anti-thinker, and the tone of thevideos no longer seemed to truly be about the love of gaming and now had spiteful demeanor.

The episodes felt like a slap in the face to those whom I have shared and will continue to share many debates with about the current and evolving state of gaming and the gamer culture.

Some of my fellow debaters even share favorite titles with the Antithinker. And raise valid opinions about their gaming choice, while at the same time never insulting me for my gaming choice... We were gamers of different genres but fellow gamers none the less.

When the character of the Anti thinker so blatantly mocks these individuals and no longer treat them as our fellow gamers and more over as human beings I wondered why?

Then this video answered that question for me...

You have officially reached a pseudo-celebrity status (being that only us nerds will recognize you) in which you run three successful webshows, two on a weekly basis. This in one way makes you superior (perhaps superhuman if you will?) to those who picked on you growing up and you are now using this forum to gain on some level (maybe subconsciously) the revenge you feel is just deserved.

As a long time fan I feel this detracts from, as I saw it, the original tone behind your videos... the love of gaming, gaming culture and of being a gamer... It seems to me that by using your soap box as a way belittle those who once wronged only proves self defeating to many argument you have previously made as this lowers you to their (whoever these asshole "hardcores" truly are)level of inane name calling....

Please stop fighting ignorance with stupidity ... especially when your long time fans know you can be smart and articulate individual. Who's views we once considered one with our own ... but now, I'm not so sure

Hoping your videos return to having their original heart soul and good conscious to them,

Disappointed Long Term Fan.

KingOfDoma said...

The one thought that keeps rolling about in my head is, "hey, if we're supposed superior beings, shouldn't we be superior in attitude as well as ability? If, when our power is realized, we use it in the same way it was used against us, we will not only show that we are not superior to our foes, we are WORSE, as we have been given such wonderful gifts and squander them in petty revenge and baseless quests for more power. If we are to be the superior beings we claim to be, we must embrace higher morals than those who once tormented us, or else we shall be greater monsters than those who we let spawn us."

... wow, that was one big rolling thought. I must have a roller derby rink up there or something.

jameshayes said...

@King

Amen, brother

Robert said...

Bob, this message is looooooong overdo, but you really need to just man the hell up and pick a side. Who are you? Are you a good guy, or a bad guy?

I know you said you would be on the "Magneto" side, but trust me, everybody can see right through your false tough guy persona. If you REALLY were on the "Magneto" side you wouldn't give a second thought when it came to deciding whether or not to get revenge on the common high school dumbasses that plague every high school, you would have already done it. But you didn't do it because you're actually smarter than the average bear, smart enough to realize that violence doesn't solve anything in the long run. So stop demonizing your former, peaceful self and start embracing it instead.

Needless to say, this video was really pathetic compared to your standards, especially since in the very beginning you flat out admitted that the way you reacted to bullying was the worse way to react to it, then brushed that pathetic comment off with the same word my sixteen year old sister uses when caught using drugs, "whatever".



Besides, how do you want to remember yourself in your teenage years?

As just another a testosterone-hyper monkey who didn't have enough balls to get revenge?

Or the person who had enough brains and power
(you were not only tall but smarter than you thought you were)
to get revenge but didn't because he knew he was doing something great.

Your choice

Robert said...

@KingOfDoma

Couldn't have said it better myself

vlademir1 said...

*shakes his head* everyone who said something about "developing empathy" in these comments please consider how much empathy is really normal in light of the online disinhibition effect.

Bullying is just a way of showing monkey like social dominance when stuck in a situation of enforced social interaction, and everyone in the social hierarchy gets that treatment to some degree. Humanity isn't as far evolved beyond that as we like to egotistically tell ourselves we are.

The drop off in bullying after high school doesn't have crap to do with empathy, it has to do with no longer having as much interactive social contact outside your normalized social grouping and significantly more pressure not to be an asshat, because acting like that suddenly has a hell of a lot more chance to directly harm you in both social and financial ways.


On the question at the end of this ep... I'd take option three, neither.

Moshi said...

Because you were an easy target, that's why you got bullied.

And I guess that's the main difference between you and me, Bob. I Came to realize the above while I was still getting bullied, which lead to a lot of introspection and me starting to make conscious choices about my own character and who I wanted to be as a person.

You on the other hand are still a whiny little sissy-boy with lingering delusions of grandeur who not only thinks he can 'get back at' those who bullied him, but that you're somehow entitled to it.

Being bullied doesn't make you special. Do grow up

munchie64 said...

@ Moshi

You mad? lol

The entire point of the video was that they were targeted cause they couldn't fight back. And didn't he also say that he didn't "get back" at those bullies for a reason? Didn't he say he regretted actually doing the same thing in School? That doesn't sound delusional to me.

He never said it made him special it was just about imagination of what people who can't react could do if they had "super powers".

People just seem to hate Bob for having opinions these days. So many comments for this video, asking Bob to forgive and forget... What tells you that he hasn't?

Do grow up.

Philbo said...

I think for the first time since you were posting your episodes of moviebob and GameOverthinker on youtube, I have really enjoyed this episode.

Anyone who moans about the X-Men bit both knows nothing about you and didn't bother to read the title of this episode.

And no-one has the right to criticise whether you still have negative feelings towards your bullies irregardless of how they were treated in school. I'm not going to discuss my bully here but I have to say that knowing now that I'm a foot taller than him and stronger I truly don't know what I'd do if I ever met him again; I know what I'd like to do however.

Anubis Soundwave said...

I was bullied in middle school. I still hate that aspect of middle school to this day, but it's just a bad memory.

Who has time or energy to dwell on something as pathetic as a bully?

jameshayes said...

@Vlademir

Very true re: forced social interaction. I agree.

@Everyone, particularity munchie64 and Moshi

I think that those advising Bob to grow up and get over his experiences with bullying, also need to take a second look at the circumstances under which something can be bullied. Bob grew up in the 80s and was in high school in the mid-90s, if my knowledge serves me correctly. This was a completely different time in the history of "nerdity" than today.

Let me elaborate: nowadays, we've seen a shift in what the general public considers "nerdy" or otherwise socially unfavourable. "Nerd", today, refers more to someone's level of devotion or obsession with something(a hobby or other interest,) rather than the hobby or interest itself. For example, video games aren't nerdy anymore, obsession over video games is nerdy. Comics and superheroes aren't nerdy anymore, obsession over continuity is.

I grew up in the 90s and went to high school in the mid-2000s, which I think was the transitional period in this shift in thinking. The internet rose to popularity, megabytes and gigabytes were units that the average joe were aware of, comic book heroes started to pop up in summer blockbuster movies on a more regular basis, and everyone owned and played a video game console.

I was lucky in that regard. Things that I was and continue to be genuinely interested in were no longer considered particularly "nerdy", as long as I, rather easily, hid or downplayed the extent to which I was interested in them. As such, my personal bullying experience didn't come from me being "different" for things I liked, it mainly came from the way I looked or dressed - superficial things that have naturally stayed in the past. I don't have the same clothes anymore, for example.

I think I'm more lucky than Bob may have been, because the reasons for which I was bullied were easy to get over simply by getting older. I think back and I'm happy I wasn't judged for liking Nintendo or Spider-Man, for example. I still like those things today, and who knows what kind of association I would have with them if I was physically and verbally abused because of my fondness for them.

I, of course, don't know very much about Bob, just what he's told us in his videos. I don't know why he was bullied, and I don't know how he was bullied. At any rate, I think that my situation, just because of the time in which I grew up, was better than it was for some. Just some food for thought.

tyra menendez said...

Some others have mentioned this, but I'll throw in my voice, as well.
Social animals have group dynamics. In any given group, be it a pack of wolves, a band of baboons, or a pride of lions, there is a pecking order. Even in a group of friends, someone has to be on the bottom and someone is on the top. The omega is the first to get picked on and their opinion matters the least. We are not actually wired for democracy, which is why it's a struggle. And yes, the easy target aspect does confound the problem, the only real way to work your way up the social ladder is through attitude.
They actually did a study with men of many national and ethnic backgrounds and they found that any male in the "alpha" position, lowers the pitch of his voice and any male in a more subordinate position, raises the pitch of his voice. It's all subconscious and instinctual, we are just hard wired to the pecking order and someone has to be last.
Also, that's not to say you can't have the benevolent dictator, in a group. When my mother was in high school, the most popular guy in school was the super-jock that played like three sports, but also was nice to everyone and got straight A's.

Ryan said...

Grow the fuck up you fat piece of shit. Everyone gets shit in life I mean I got shit for being Hindu in high school and I can assure you it was worse than anything you ever got bucko. Difference between me and you is that I got over it and realized that maybe I was partially to blame for shunting my beliefs on people. Shit happens in life and you should get over it.

Mark said...

good one, bob,

i'm sure you've hit at something for lots of your audience.

As a nerd who was picked on in gradeschool, who eventually became one of the "cool nerds" in high school, I can say that i think you're missing one dimension of the "why" people get picked on.

Confidence. In a sick sense, I was kind of "asking for it" when I was 10 years old. I was shy, didn't think I really COULD stand up for myself - and at the same time, desperately wanted to fit in and be cool - and as a result, I "got it". Once I matured, had a girlfriend, etc., in high school, I adopted more of a "who cares" attitude. Thus, all this went away.

Now, I understand that bullies themselves have a certain type of low self-esteem, but they, at least, have "outward confidence," or at least venture to "take it out" on somebody weaker than them. The recipient of a bully's aggression, however, has a more obvious lack of confidence, and, at least in the case of my early childhood, plays the "victim" role.

Popcorn Dave said...

KingofDoma: A-bloody-men. I find this kind of attitude really depressing. "Some people were dicks to me at some point, therefore all human beings are WORTHLESS!" is something I hear far too often on the Internet and it's really not healthy. Some of this video was tongue-in-cheek but it's obvious Bob has this same attitude. Yeah, lots of teenagers feel the world is against them (I sure did), but guys, if you're still harbouring this kind of bitterness into adulthood it's time to grow up for crying out loud.

Someone in the Escapist comments made the point that Bob doesn't have a problem with bullying, he just wants to be the bully. That guy was spot on, and it's just sad IMO. At the risk of sounding like some darn hippie, if you really think you're entitled to some kind of "revenge" you're just as bad as any bully. And it confirms what a lot of people suspected, that all of Bob's whining about "douchebags" was really just a sad attempt to settle the score with the people that beat him up at school, and not the provocative reexamination of the culture that he wants it to be. If this video and several others are any indication, Bob has allowed himself to forever remain fixated the bad old days even though he's got the whole rest of his life to be getting on with.

Hard Truth time. It's an old cliche, but it's true... most bullies are just as screwed up and insecure as their victims. And people that are targeted are usually targeted for a reason, often poor social skills or a superiority complex, or simply the lack of any common ground in terms of interests, beliefs etc. School is a confused mess of insecurities and hormones, it's impossible and childish to draw a line between a bunch of teenagers and say "these ones are the innocent victims who got abused (yay!), these guys are the heartless assholes who abused them (boo!)".

Virtually everyone at that age has self-esteem issues up the arse and is desperate for validation; bullying victims assume they're the only ones with those kinds of problems, but really the bullies are only trying to cope with the same stuff. Now before anyone gets angry, that doesn't excuse bullying at all, and it doesn't mean it was the victim's fault. All it means is you're human, your bullies were human, both you and them are totally different people now, and you don't have to ever deal with that shit again. So don't.

Like you said yourself, Bob, it's not healthy.

* * *

Anyway, um, yeah, the middle section of the video was pretty good. You can probably view the socially awkward misfit hero as a modern version of the peasant hero from the old folktales - outsider, disliked and mocked by the muggles, ends up more successful than any of them. I've always been interested in the way people try to fit their lives into simplified narratives to find meaning where there is none, and this kind of wish-fulfilment genre fiction is a perfect example. "If I'm suffering now, it must mean I'm destined for something better, because when people suffer, there has to be some payoff!". Everyone does this to some extent, you can see it in news reporting and history as well.

In fact, if you hadn't tried to have your cake and eat it (by trying to imply that geeks ARE better towards the end), this would be one of the better Big Pictures so far. So yeah, I guess I'm looking forward to next time, but really, I just hope you find peace. :)

* * *

Damn, this turned out long (took a few revisions to write, as well). I guess, as a bullying victim myself, I always have to say something when this topic comes up. But that's what these videos are about, I guess.

Alcibiades said...

You contradict yourself, Popcorn Dave.

"people that are targeted are usually targeted for a reason, often poor social skills or a superiority complex, or simply the lack of any common ground in terms of interests, beliefs etc." places the blame squarely on the bullied, not those who are using their youth as an excuse to fail basic tests of empathy. In fact, what you said does, "mean it was the victim's fault."

Likewise, you claim, you do not "excuse bullying at all," yet a paragraph above, you claim "it's impossible and childish to draw a line between a bunch of teenagers and say 'these ones are the innocent victims who got abused (yay!), these guys are the heartless assholes who abused them (boo!)'." You claim the bullying and the bullied have no distinction between each other, and that their similarity in lack of self-esteem means that there can be no moral distinction between them. If that's the case, either bullying is not a morally problematic act, as being bullied is, or being bullied is itself a morally problematic act along with bullying. Either situation excuses bullying.

You're right that many responses to bullying, including Bob's, does a very poor job of recognizing the humanity of those who are doing the tormenting. Any solution to the problem won't come from the facile narratives that such dehumanization engenders. Yet recognizing that bullies are people with their own complex psychology, sometimes with decent reasons for lashing out the way they do, does not excuse their behavior- anymore than a hard home life excuses the animal cruelty we sometimes see such individuals practice. Both are inexcusable acts of cruelty for their own sake, and treating them as anything less prevents us from finding the solution.

white templar said...

Interesting but totally barking up the wrong tree. U want to know why certain kids are aggressive bullies. Try their family life. Chances are you'll either find parents who are violent, or totally apathetic. In some cases, both.
It has nothing to do with 'superiority'. Bullies dont understand that term.

PeteSquared said...

This explains why the Sorting Hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin. He already had a back story which would have primed him for a revenge mentality. He makes the choice to become a positive influence in the world. Which makes Dumbledores inability to help the young Mr. Riddle down the path of good seem more inevitable in the stories over all arc. Riddle had made hi decision long before there paths ever crossed.