Posted by Pattie on 10/01/2002 07:49:00 AM

I won't go into details because it would dignify the offensive party with too much publicity, but once again someone has attempted to put me in my place. There are days in which I cry for the world and how fucked up things have become. I hurt that people sleep while the world burns. I want to scream wake up!!!! Don't you see where all this is heading?

Then there are days like yesterday. The great zen philosopher, Snoopy (of Peanuts fame) once said, "I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." Particularly people who build up their own egos by making fun of others, including making fun of me. The bullies of the world come out of nowhere and they aren't always wearing the cloak of conservatism. For fat people, the left and the right meld together into one big group of fat-bashers who think that in order to keep their end of the playground under their control, it is necessary to beat up on a few kids. Fat kids are fun to beat up. There's so much social support to do so.

But I am an adult with a long history behind me already. So it really pisses me off when I get hit by this as an adult. I especially hate the part where I get hit when I don't expect it, when I think the bully is on my side and working for my causes. I forget sometimes that I'm not welcomed in many places. You'd think I could remember that: there are no chairs for me in which to sit down; there are no visual images of people who look like me being held up as admirable; I cannot turn on the radio or television or read the newspaper without encountering a fat-hatred remark, a fat-bashing picture or a fat person being belittled. So you'd think I'd never put my guard down, never believe that I'm welcomed.

It isn't just the fat kids who are bullied. The smart kids are targets as well. As I wrote last week, there are so many ways that people divide themselves into "good" and "bad." I have found that I end up on the "bad" side of those dichotomies a lot. Fat. Smart. Woman. Working-Class. Sensitive. Artistic. Disabled.

What really pisses me off is that it still gets under my skin. I am still hurt when it happens. I wish I could grow the thickest armoured shell that would send all those bully-vibes right back in the direction from which they came. I wish I could simply zap them back with power and efficiency and rid the world of bullies in some sort of kharmatic, just way -- you know, only those who send the vibes would get hurt. No innocents, no calateral damage. The offenders would collapse under the reflected negativity of their own bullying and I would only feel a slight tinge that I would shake off as a passing insect.

The problem is inventing a discriminating shell that would allow me to feel the good vibes. But that's the rub, isn't it? I do, in fact, tune out the bad guys, for the most part. It is the seemingly good guys who get me. They talk the right talk. They say the same words, but then once they have my confidence, they spring something on me. Their words are cloaking devices of their hatred, lulling their victims into a sense of security before the cloak is removed and their true intents are revealed. Then zap. They get me and they get under the shell where it hurts.

Oh, fuck em.

There's a public service ad airing in Canada currently. A 12 year old boy is bullying someone, calling him names and threatening him. You see the bully at first, not the victim. Then the camera pans out and the bully is doing the bullying behavior to thin air. No one is around him. He is on the playground alone. The voice over says, "if everyone walked away from a bully, he'd look pretty silly, wouldn't he?" I kept thinking, yeah, but it looks like no one gets to play on the playground then. The playground is his. The fact that he is too stupid to know this, to actually play on the playground is irrelevant. Because he is the bully, none of us get to play on the playground either. That's what pisses me off. I want to play. But apparently the playground is not my place.