I can’t stand listening to adults talk about children and bullying. They continually tell kids what they can do if they see bullying, how to handle a bully, who they should tell if they are being bullied. Never is there any discussion of “What can I do to make sure my child isn’t bullying others?” The thing that I don’t understand about bullying in schools is not that children are dicks to each other, it is that people are raising kids who do not understand why bullying is wrong.
I don’t care if you think it is the ‘nature’ of human beings to exclude, taunt, chide, and be cruel to each other (even though I think arguing about the ‘nature’ of people in general is sort of, intellectually, a failure). The fact is that grown adults let their children go to school everyday thinking it is okay to be an asshole. I am bullied by other adults pretty much all the time (although not through variety beatings, name calling, or public embarrassment, but through them trying to force me to bend to their will) so I can see why this happens. I think the main problem is that parents are not teaching their children what is probably the single most important lesson of life: that other people have feelings.
Children who have serious neglect and abuse in their early years of life have extreme difficulty grasping this concept, and often leash out and hurt animals, other children, their family members, etc to try and reconcile their own pain. Adults like to pretend that every child who bullies others is obviously from a terrible abusive family, which is absolutely ridiculous. There are just as many (if not more) affluent and middle class bullies. Just because someone isn’t poor and put literally the bare minimum of care into raising a child to not be psychologically disturbed, that hardly means their child is incapable of maliciousness. They’re still going to be influenced by shitty things. What do people think facebook is teaching their kids? School never ends once you have an online community where you can say anything you want without face to face consequences. If someone has failed to cultivate a sense of empathy, they are going to act accordingly.
The oversimplification that people seem to make of almost everything these days is so absurd. “Why do kids bully?” “THEY JUST DO. THAT IS WHAT THEY DO WHEN THEY GET TOGETHER.” No, actually, no one just ‘does’ anything, and it is beyond disturbing that no one actually thinks about reasons why something might be a certain way. Kind of like how, in light of the Olympics, I have heard people say “No one wants to watch women’s sports, that is why they are not popular.” No, the reason they are not popular is because people have been culturally predisposed to think that women are not capable of being good or interesting athletes. Unless it is beach volleyball, because bitches be wearing bikinis. Athletics don’t reward women for being beautiful, they reward them for skill- which is at total odds with a culture that rewards women for being beautiful and much less for skill. Less conventionally attractive women are allowed to be star athletes, but men haven’t been conditioned to actually care about women’s talents, they’ve been conditioned to care about how satisfying watching the women is for them. But anyway.
Kids are going to bully because we live in a culture full of fucking narcissists who fail to teach them that they have the power to cause other people pain, and that other people’s feelings are just as important as theirs. It bothers me that people think bullying isn’t THEIR problem. It IS your problem if you’re not explicitly making it known to your child that their actions affect other people.
last saturday morning van halen’s ‘jump’ was playing really loud while i was throwing up in the bathroom at work, and i dont think anything has ever made me feel like my whole life is a fucking joke more than that moment.
One time a guy asked me if I was a virgin, like he was hoping i was. how creepy. once i got over the shock of someone actually asking me that, i told him no, of course i wasnt. he was disappointed and said, “but… I thought American girls were different. I thought you were a nice girl.”
A nice girl. what would make me a nice girl? if i didnt have sex? so would i also be a nice girl if i was a virgin who drank the blood of first born children? i’m pretty sure in order to be a ‘nice girl’ you have to not be a slut but it is okay to slut shame other girls. that is why taylor swift is a nice girl, right? which reminds me, you probably have to be white to be a nice girl. i mean, yeah. you have to smile and not say anything that might be substantive or argumentative or, like, thoughtful. if you come out with some kind of feminist-y shit you are not a nice girl, because feminism is such a DRAG, ugh. and most feminists are ugly, duh- they’re just jealous that men don’t like them! a quiet, constantly pleasant, virginal conventionally attractive girl is probably what being a ‘nice girl’ actually means. but it’s just some meaningless throw away phrase right? of course.
This whole idea of ‘nice girls’ makes me want to vomit. on a guy. because women aren’t supposed to have all of those gross bodily functions. it’s natural for men to let their body do what it does, but for women it is unacceptable- we are dainty creatures and our sweat and menstrual blood is unclean and wrong! and men should NEVER have to see any of that! ugh, they deal with enough inconveniences from us, don’t they? we are always going on about our problems and making up drama, wanting to be treated like princesses (whatever the fuck that means). we bore men with our stories, they don’t want to listen to us talk!
I also like that the equivalent of this term- a ‘nice guy’ is usually meant to be a guy who has enough tolerance for a woman that he can deign to treat her like a goddamn human being for awhile, even if he really just wants to sleep with her. yeah, the ‘nice guy’ always turns out to be great and really values women for their intellect and humor.
pete is my favorite.
the really irritating thing is when people go on about film adaptations of novels and how ‘they left too much out!’ ugh. please. a film is a different medium than a novel is. what is great about both of them is that they can do specific things that other forms of media can’t.
with a novel you can get the nuanced back story, the explanations that float into other memories and streams of consciousness, you get word play and analogies that are poetic and interesting. ‘she had blisters from sighing’ is a line that perfectly captures what a novel can do that a film cannot.
with a film, you can be shown things rather than explicitly told, it gives you the option of being subtle and clever in a different way. you can create images and situations that squeeze the true essence and meaning of a novel without doing a literal translation, which can be lengthy and not interesting to watch. simplifying text is necessary for a successful film adaptation. for a film to just be a literal play by play of a book would be convoluted, interrupted, boring, and also terrible. a film cannot ever put you into someone’s head the same way text can, it cannot deliver the same things. film has to use its own strengths to interpret text in a suiting way.
can you imagine if a harry potter novel had been reproduced in a literal manner? even pretending that in some unbelievable way it was within normal running time, it’s written in first person. so, do you use voiceover for nearly the entire thing? no, that’s ridiculous. and film narration is shit anyway. so now you have the task of showing everything from harry’s perspective without the narration, which is impossible to do without condensing, shifting, and adding to the original storyline. look, there’s a reason that jo rowling didn’t write anything about harry waking up in the middle of the night to stomach cramping diarrhea. obviously no one wants to read about that, let alone in the middle of an ongoing storyline. it stops the flow, is unnecessary, boring, gross. small details of a novel become that way when translated to film. if you cannot enjoy an adaptation that thinks broadly, you are missing the point.
i think the hunger games was an incredibly good adaptation. no, it didnt take too many artistic risks, but the ones it did fit well. nothing about it felt forced or disloyal to the fiction, and it was particularly clever at what it chose to add to the story- the asides between the president and the head gamesmaker, the games ‘lab’, the condensed caves arc, the district 11 riot. all of these additions were very good at getting across the main points at the heart of the story. pithy summarization in the right places and with the right themes is more valuable than getting every detail right.