Monday, March 23, 2015


Bullies are basically weak. In mind. In spirit. I still remember the day I took some "old school" advice and punched mine in the face. I still recall him asking me through the blood and tears, "Why did you have to go and do that?" Most bullies are clueless. Some even see themselves as crusaders--a laughable idea if there ever was one.

No matter who you are, I am sure that you have had the misfortune of dealing with them. It is in the news these days and has caused some of those not equipped to deal to take drastic measures. Some have taken their lives. Others have taken the lives of those they perceived to be the root of their problem. Even sadder (and trust me, it is already tragic), often the casualties are people who had no idea who the person on the other end of that weapon was as they died senselessly.

In this era, the internet has allowed this practice to reach epic proportions. Safely ensconced behind a keyboard, there are people who are so miserable, jealous, or just plain idiotic, that they let whatever strikes their fancy to pour out on social media sites like Wastebook. And these days, children are not the only ones targeted.

The funny thing about when adults do this sort of thing, they verge on things like slander and defamation. They can actually be charged in criminal court as well as be hit for monetary damages.  And the evidence is SO easy to collect. Besides the always popular "emotional distress" angle, there is also times when these sorts of attacks are aimed at a person's livelihood. And if that can be proved...well, then you have to let the lawyers start tossing around damages both real and  potential.

Before social media made it easy for spineless little trolls to toss things out there on a whim, my best advice was always to ignore them. A schoolyard punch in the nose means suspension; doing it as an adult usually means jail. I've been there, trust me when I say it is NOT worth the trouble or short-term satisfaction that ends as soon as the cell door slams with a metallic 'CLANG'. Besides, most of these people suffer from low self-esteem, plain old jealousy, or the crassly worded penis envy. Simply put, they are miserable sacks of human waste that will likely never experience true happiness. Perhaps they were bullied in their younger days. Maybe they got beat up on the way home from school too often or got wedgied until they had trouble sitting down or stood up on prom night. (Who wanted to risk a 'Carrie' scene after seeing what happened after Sissy Spacek got laughed at?) I guess we might never know what it is that made them so sad. 

I sort of feel sorry for them. Sort of. However, as supposed adults, they really don't have any excuses for their actions. It is easy for ignorant people to spout off at the mouth (or fingers) these days. However, sometimes they start to let that type of attitude carry over until they end up paying a price they were not aware might come due. 

There is another aspect of today's society that I don't much care for. The whole idea of "lawyering up" makes me cringe. And when it comes to me, I can take pretty much anything that life has to throw at me. I have taken some huge shots and still managed to work hard, ignore the critics and nay-sayers to hit the Amazon Best Seller's list. I have a series that does exceptionally well and another that is slowly gaining an audience. This in the face of people who use a past of which they know none of the facts. (2021 will see me able to actually give MY side...stay tuned.) But...when things threaten my family and my ability to care for them...well, then I guess I have to break weak and bring in the professionals. 

It is still just simmering on the back burner...but who knows. I might cave and take some advice a friend of mine gave when he explained that there are serious legal issues involved when people cross a line. I never even knew there was such a thing as a line that people could cross with words. Sticks and stones...right? Apparently words can incur things called "damages." 

1 comment:

  1. I was bullied when I was at school, and there comes a time, as you said Todd, that you need to give them a punch in the mouth to make the stop. I did, and I always feel terrible when reading tho stories online of those who could not escape their tormentors. It is a horrid thing. Now that I have children, am all too ready to jump in and tackle things that come along.