Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I had a friend in Junior High who was not a bully himself, but who sometimes did identify with and smile at the abuse heaped on designated outsiders by bullies.  He would commonly insist that "the rules", the junior high rules, for how to dress, how to interact with girls, what music to listen to and how, were the indisputable truth indisputably universal and most of all indisputably important.  I my part would generally disagree though in a knee-jerk way and not especially well.  I was not cool per se.  I was smart but more '14 smart'; blindly contrarian, an empty Trapper-Keeper sort of rebel. 

Looking back now I realize that my friend believed that THE RULES OF BEING COOL IN JUNIOR HIGH were both universally mandated and of great cosmic importance because he was in Junior High and of course he was of great universal importance. So in exploring the link between childhood bullying and adult bigotry-authoritarianism; well that is a thing right now and also rather fraught, so maybe I won't attempt something so grand as that right now. 

And yet, to hear something like the tired 'football vs. football' debates or any sport vs. sport debate, one gets the sense that their our athletes and coaches who need to believe that their particular games have exceptional powers of measuring moral fiber in order to justify their own hard work, along with fans who fear they'd be exposed as damned fools, (Which is what we sports fans are fully aware of being deep down) if the games we've invested our emotions in did. not have such powers of moral detection.

At the social level there may be those afraid that if; for example, white rural/suburban US culture is not Just Better than everything else in all details great and small, that is there is no inherent harm in that culture being altered by integration, immigration, the whole galaxy of liberalizing social forces, than their own identities are lies and that the great amount of work put into being responsible & conscientious solid citizens was a life-long waste.  In one's apocalyptic raving about Kids these Days or Welfare or Those People taking over there may be a protest-too-much woundedness in having invested oneself deeply in living "The Good Life" only to be blithely told by some liberal do-gooder that actually there is no "The Good Life."

Though again, I attempt nothing so grand as all that.     

No comments:

Post a Comment