Well, then Chris is a far better man than I am, because I would no doubt have that dude ejected.
“The best revenge is living well.”
Thanks, I tried that.
I guess it all depends. I ran into a childhood bully on the internets. Literally picked up right where he left off calling my mother fat and poor. When I explained my mother had died a few years prior he decided that was in poor taste and switched to making comments about my father. I laid into him and the fact that his keyboard seemed broken because he could only type in all caps and found the whole thing funny that this guy was still holding onto to this 30 years or so later.
I’ve run into other bullies who jus said/did nothing acted like no thing I guess my reaction would be similar to Chris Rock’s. Mostly I’d just give any of them a chance to apologize. If not I’d just move on.
I ran into my childhood bully when I was about 30. He was working at the convenience store. He was very short, bald and looked 55 already. He seemed happy to see me and seemed not to remember treating me like crap.
I decided to let him off the hook. I wasnt mad anymore.
Same. Very same. I was constantly bullied as a little girl, and don’t want any of those bastards anywhere near me.
I have never run into one of my childhood bullies irl, but did Google one of them years ago and learned that he was, at the time, deeply involved in an online vampire (not The Masquerade, just folks who wish they were vampires) online community. It made things much more clear.
Too many of those fuckers are still exactly the way they were when they bullied us. They never got past being 10, 13, 17 year old spoilt assholes. I’ve given long-ago bullies the benefit of the doubt when encountering them IRL, and most were still abusive. One had actually gotten worse, and was using its age and experience to be an even more horrible person than ever. I didn’t think anyone could do worse than spreading lying rumors in the 80s that a really sweet guy we knew had aids, but that one managed it.
right about the time I had a fabulous book stolen
I remember mine… it was a sh1t load…
don’t spose I’ll get that opportunity
I bullied someone in primary school once, I was perhaps 7 or 8 and to this day feel deep shame as it is a memory that keeps coming up. No excuses and am deeply sorry.
Was bullied myself in high school and ended up not going to class and dropping out.
On both sides of the fence it fucked me up.
I wish I could apologise to the one I hurt.
I have always felt like these were guys (usually guys) whose lives peaked at 17 or 18, and have been treading water since then. Lots of us have moved on significantly from that time. Ran into one of mine, working a beer delivery truck driver, living paycheck to paycheck, and kept calling me “sir.” I couldn’t even be mad.
Like many (most?) I was bullied throughout school as well. However I also did some bullying that I am not proud of, and met one of them as a mostly-adult.
One of my first jobs as a teen was in a pizza place, and one day we got a new hire. She knew me, but I did not remember her. After a few days of working together she told the story of how I had bullied her in elementary school. I apologized profusely and we talked about it a bit. I hope it made her feel better, and I feel bad about it to this day. The exchange made me reflect and realize how much other bullying I had done as well. Bullying awareness wasn’t much in the public gestalt like it is now so it took this meeting to make me realize how much of it I had done.
I guess it’s the cycle of violence at work. I was bullied to the point of going home crying on a weekly basis until high school where administrators took it more seriously. Yet that never stopped me from doing it to others, and in fact probably made me lash out even more at those with less power than me.
I looked up one of my childhood bullies online recently. He’d done time for fraud.
Stirring stuff. It’d be neat if this guy, that other guy who wrote, produced and narrated “Good Hair” and the guy who told the hacky ableist joke at the Oscars could get together and have a chat. Teachable Moment, is I think what it’s called.
Yes I am calling Chris Rock the bully because he dunked on someone & their medical/neuro condition because he did the mental math of “She’s married to Will Smith - what’s he gonna do, refrain from cursing in a verse at me?”. I know an awful lot of people have had a hard time dealing with this moment in time, but despite what Judd Apatow said in the deleted tweet, the only things that came close to getting murdered were:
- The facile image of the Oscars ceremony(Which has had so much caping for it in the last week)
- The image of Will Smith as a man of infinite patience
- About 15° off of Chris Rock’s posture for about 5 seconds
Chris Rock being bullied as a child and him growing up to be the better man when he saw his bully again does not mean he’s never going to bully anyone himself and he did it in front of a worldwide audience and a room full of peers at a corporate event(I have no patience for stand-ups saying this better not inspire people to try to hit them - this was not a club and his joke was one fine line away from turning to the crowd and making it look like he wants to get someone’s attention before yelling “Marlee! Marlee! She…She’s not listening. On with the show”.
About 20 years ago I got a phone call from a woman I went to grade school with, she said they were planning a 25th reunion and wondered if I’d be interested.
We talked for a bit and then she asked for my happiest memory for the booklet she was preparing.
I thought about it and said you know what, I won’t be coming to any reunion because the happiest memories I had were the days I made it the 3 blocks home without getting beat up or chased or things thrown at me. Why would I ever want to see any of those people? The ones that weren’t bullying did nothing but in their defense they were probably just glad they weren’t the ones getting beat up.
It was a Catholic school
I’m 40 years out of high school, I do keep in touch with a small group of people, we were misfits or probably the most normal kids there. There were bullies and I did get knocked around but it was a very large school so they could be avoided but high school is not a fond memory.
Also a Catholic school.
I have seen those bullies in the alumni group online, they do not appear to have grown up.
I wonder why I was a full blown alcoholic by the time I was 17 and no one really cared.
It’s hard to be human without fucking it up at some time in our life.
I like to think that the person I am now was shaped by the good and the bad in my past but I know I’m not that bad person anymore…
At least I’m trying to be a better version of me.
I stand by my earlier comment but bearing in mind how unrelated it looks versus pretty much every other comment, I worry that my first comment here might look like I tried to hijack the topic. I’ve spent the last couple of hours reading the other comments here and trying to work out my own, more on-topic comment. Then I read a comment on the newer article about Will Smith’s old anti-violence video about how bullying can be, and often is ignored.
Where I was a long time ago, I was quickly written off as “Boy Who Cries Wolf”(People were extremely keen on other people knowing that they were familiar with the concept of the fable/story…but the ending seemed to elude them as indicative for them being part of the problem), which meant whenever I was in trouble, it must have been my fault. Nowadays that would be called victim blaming - words I did not have at the time. Sometimes I lashed out verbally or physically(& often emotionally) because I felt so isolated and victimised that I had no idea what to do, other than shun everyone for enabling what I was going through.
- Trigger warning for assault -
One time I was lured into a room on school property and kicked in the head. I can see fleeting images of walking out of the room with tears in my eyes and people staring at me, then another of having been sat down on the steps outside the school, then another on my feet in a nearby train station. Everything in between those moments is a gap for me, because I had obviously been concussed by the force of the kick. To make matters worse, the only person who checked to see if I was ok throughout this told me they didn’t believe me when I said that I didn’t know what was happening in the lucid moments I can recall. They accused me of making a story up to be interesting. To their credit, they stayed with me through the latter stages of the events I’m trying to explain. But then my choices were offered to me; You’re late for class. Would you like to dry your eyes and stay or tell the office you want to go home?
I’d love to be more supportive to the people here who’ve shared their own stories, and I’d love it even more if I could say I’m over my trauma. I have no forgiveness though which makes me problematic.
Bullies can make life a prison and my school felt like the teachers were only interested in being prison guards. Some of the comments here suggest that it’s possible to be over it, or at least feel more over it than I do. I feel proud of the people who are, and empathy for those who aren’t. I have no kind words yet for the people who bullied me then, no interest in hanging out with people who knew me back then because they - to me - are people who passively enabled it. To be clear, this is being written decades after it took place.
I guess my point, if anything, is that people often enable terrible things to happen because they think that if something really bad was happening “on their watch”, they would feel different and would do something about it. Often people get wrapped up in identity stereotypes of “What a bully looks like”, or “What a victim looks like”, or “That person is telling sarcastic jokes in all directions, they can’t be near suicide because they’re trying to make me laugh”. I am not suicidal now, I live a relatively quiet life trying to support my partner and we make each other very happy and are starting to grow old together. At the time I was in real danger of becoming either a statistic or a memory.
Hopefully some of this makes sense or is familiar enough to other people still going through it. Trauma, both physcial and emotional, takes a toll. If any of this makes sense to you, I hope you make it through too.
Close bracket, period.
(For real, “I am upset and my keyboard sometimes works” is the insipid future that Harlan Ellison was no doubt afraid would come to pass)