Tuesday, April 6, 2010
ON BULLYING, VICTIMHOOD and CLOSURE
I’m addicted to bullying. I’m seeing a therapist and we’re working things out. ‘Oh Mr. Fugger, how did it come to this?’ I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. . .
Noticing that it was all the rage and not being one to get left behind by popular trends, I first considered bullying as a pastime a couple of years ago. The sight of exuberant and naïve youngsters being encouraged and then ruthlessly dismantled on reality TV really did it for me. It struck a chord deep inside. ‘Who do they think they are anyway? They’re not special.’ Bullying, yes, there was something to it alright and society seemed to be saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK to bully now’. I could tell bullying was a real craft though and knew I couldn’t just jump into it. It would take time to perfect a technique. Once that was done, I could sit back and bask in the rewards of bullying: It gives one influence. It gives one status. It makes one matter.
I have to admit that what I really wanted to be was a Mean Girl. You know Mean Girls, named after the movie. Adolescent females with a gift for psychological dismemberment. Ugg boot wearing experts in ego erosion. Oh to be a Mean Girl, that was my goal for Mean Girls are the greatest of bullies, harassment’s highest achievers, the apex of intimidation, the ne plus ultra of the malicious arts. If novice bullies climbed mountains in search of bully sages from which to garner wisdom they would discover Mean Girls atop those mountains, dispensing tips and making entries into burn books. Unfortunately, being a middle-aged man with no small resemblance to Tin Tin’s good friend Captain Haddock, I was somewhat disqualified from inclusion in the elite club of the Mean Girl, but I would not be deterred. ‘There must be a way’, I told myself and, indeed, there was.
I set about befriending teenage girls on the Internet. I know that may sound untoward but trust me when I state that my intentions were in no way sleazy. I merely viewed these girls as unwary participants in my new sport. They inspired no more carnality in me than clay pigeons inspire in men with shotguns. They were target practise, nothing more. I made the online acquaintance of a lonely pubescent called Una. Overtime, our acquaintanceship grew into friendship and we began trading confidences, mine were entirely fabricated of course but Una’s, well, the emotion, anxiety, confusion and heartbreak of her words seemed to sear themselves onto my monitor. Those long, sad and desperate PM’d tracts were unmistakably genuine. Heartfelt stuff. Almost touching. The silly little moo.
Una worried about her lank hair, her lack of popularity, her weight and the fact that she slept with her older brother’s friends when they came over to the house to get drunk (her parents seemed largely absent). After a month or so, I had enough material to launch a campaign against her. That’s the great thing about the Internet, everyone is famous in a way and so the humiliation is public. Public humiliation is the best kind of humiliation there is. I set about making Una look bad to our shared friends on the social networks we frequented. ‘OMG! SUCH a whore – How cud any1 hump d minger! Hav U seen her hair??? GROSS! Even her folks don’t wanna b around her! LOL!’
I had coerced Una into making disparaging remarks about some of our shared friends in the past and these quotes were enormously helpful in my efforts to vilify the girl. I had even obtained Una’s mobile number which I publicised online and texted disturbing messages to in the dead of night (my number withheld of course, LMFAO!). Una began to crumble. Her online pleading was pitiful. The sense of empowerment this provided me was heady and strangely cathartic. It was as if I was exorcising the failings of my own life, of which there are perhaps a few.
I experienced a crescendo of ecstasy upon learning that Una’s persecution had spread to the classroom. One of my fellow anti-Una campaigners (my new BFF, the lovely Sorcha) was actually in Una’s year. Una’s brother’s friends even got wind of our efforts and they were in another school entirely. It was like a virus, everyone had it but Una alone was suffering its ill effects. PWNED!
Una ended up having to change school and go live with an aunt in another county. She closed all her online accounts and, in an odd way, I missed her. Still, it was a job well done and it was time to move on. Who next? Oh, of course, right under my nose, my BFF, Sorcha. I won’t bother going into details about this second project as it was largely similar to the first and the ones that followed. However, this campaign had one extra benefit. I had obtained actual webcam footage of Sorcha lip syncing to a Lady Gaga song whilst prancing about in her knickers. (Again, let me reiterate my lack of lascivious interest in my victims. I’m a MILF man myself and more likely to be attracted to the ladies who drive these girls to school than the girls themselves). Sorcha was soon roundly reviled and met with a fate similar to Una’s: despised, demolished and banished. I moved on to my next assignment and soon found myself juggling several bullying projects at once. I was good at this. Very good. Or so I thought until I ran afoul of a cunning little rat called Tracy McManus. McManus wasn’t having any of it and somehow traced my IP address. Next thing I knew, the authorities came a knocking.
Widespread surprise was expressed by the online community when it was revealed that I was principle of the school my victims attended. (I forgot to mention that earlier didn’t I? LOL! Yes, my job provided me much opportunity to scope out my subjects and gauge their suitability before embarking upon their destruction). Anyway, to cut a long blogpost short, it was decided there would be no restraining orders and that I would not have to leave my position in the school as long as I agreed to therapy.
Therapy has unearthed some long standing insecurities stemming from my childhood. My father was very distant and, as my therapist explained, in a way it was my father bullying those girls and not me at all. My therapist had Una, Sorcha and the rest of my online quarry come in to talk things through. This was to be an effort at reconciliation and renewal (reconciliation and renewal are all the rage these days. They are kind of like this year’s bullying so I’m still hip). We explained to the girls how I too was a victim of my bullying and suffering alongside them in a senseless maelstrom of maliciousness. I wept a little. Una, Sorcha and the other girls all saw reason. They apologised and said they would consider my feelings in the possible event of any future relapse on my part. I appreciated their understanding, despite the fact that it reinforced my belief that they were fundamentally weak people.
It was around this time that I found the strength to ring my Pop in an attempt to gain Closure TM. As my therapist pointed out, Closure TM is a birthright. Freeze frame on a happy scene. Credits roll. Curtains close. A happy ending like in the movies except in real life. Yes, a heart to heart with Pop would be my final step in obtaining Closure TM. I told Pop what happened, explained what was ascertained to be at the root of it, asked that he recognise my pain and perhaps take some responsibility for it. There was a long silence on the phone, a calm before a storm of expletives. Amongst this avalanche unsavoury abuse, Pop told me to ‘cop on’, asked me if I thought calling him on the phone at 3a.m. was normal and also asked since when had I started referring to him as ‘Pop’. Then he hung up.
Denied Closure TM, I became quite distressed. I fell off the wagon, immediately going back online and taunting my former prey with unprecedented venom (many of the girls had unwisely reactivated their social networking accounts). On this occasion the girls were considerate. They inquired about my feelings and offered hugs (or the online equivalent). This was some compensation at least but I know I have some way to go before I finally shake this bullying monkey from my back.
In closing, I would like to thank my therapist for helping me see the true narrative of my life up to now and guiding me toward the final act that must be performed in order to obtain Closure TM. The sessions have been well worth the money. I would also like to thank Una, Sorcha and the other weaklings for their kindness and compassion but I would not like to thank Tracy McManus. McManus did not attended any of our reconciliation get-togethers and seems hell bent ruining my reputation online. Really, you’d think Facebook would put a stop to her slanderous behaviour. I mean, they have the wherewithal to invade your address book, surely the have they wherewithal to moderate their network. But then, perhaps that would be seen as contrary to ‘free speech’ or unremunerative. Who knows? All I know for sure is that Tracy McManus is the nastiest little bitch I have ever come across. A Mean Girl times ten. I fear I may be forever denied Closure TM. I fear I am PWNED.