Looks like we're all blogging and shit again. ANYWAY... So, I read an article yesterday about how apparently kids are getting plastic surgery (like getting their ears pinned back and such) to deter bullying.
Huh. Now that is some shit.
As someone who went through some pretty serious bullying shit, one lesson I learned early on is that there is not a damn thing you can do to make those people like you, and hell, who gives a shit if they like you anyway, because those people are assholes. If it's not one thing, it's another- if you get surgery to pin your ears back, they'll make fun of you for having gotten the surgery. They will corner you on the playground and berate you for having worn bellbottoms despite the fact that you were not, in fact, wearing bellbottoms. They will simultaneously accuse you of being a whore (in a heterosexual way) and a lesbian. There's no logic to any of it. I always sort of figured that, given this fact, I might as well go ahead and be myself, and dress the way I wanted and say whatever the hell I wanted. Weirdly, it was a kind of freedom. I saw other kids who were targets continually try everything humanly possible to fit in, and I never saw that work once. I remember constantly thinking "Why are you doing this? These people are not going to be your damn friends! They're not even their own friends- they're horrible to eachother!"
Nothing ever changes, and I'm gonna make a crazy leap here and say that this is the problem with the whole political situation right now. Because the people that we have in power who are supposed to be on the Left are the same kids who thought that everything would be ok if they just got their ears pinned back.
Look at what's happening. Obama kept the Bush tax cuts, floated out a healthcare plan that was written by the damned insurance companies, increased taxes on the working poor, cut assistance to the poor, and started another war. How is he all that different from Bush? Huh? And yet, the people on the right are still screaming that he's a socialist and totally not a US Citizen. Now, if he had actually implemented single payer healthcare, or gotten rid of the Bush tax cuts, or boosted programs to help the needy, or, I don't know, do something, anything that the people who voted for him wanted, at least half of the country would be happy. But no. And now no one is happy. Except for the people who are pretending to be happy because if they don't, the sky will fall and Michele Bachmann will be the next president.
Back to the schoolyard. One way for kids who got picked on to combat bullying was to try to be bullies themselves. They'd turn around and pick on kids who were lower on the rung than they were, hoping it would get them the respect of the cool kids. Like, "Look at me, I hate this one too! We have that in common, you and I! Please like me, or at least leave me alone now.". See, the thing about me is that a lot of the reason I was a target was because I was so insistant about standing up for other kids who were picked on. I was on my own little crusade. A lot of the time, these kids would later turn around and pick on me in order to get in with the bullies, and it would really hurt my heart. Not because I felt they owed me anything, but because they felt they had to give in in order to survive and I thought that was sad.
Back to now. Ralph Nader. I'm going on a bit of a tangent here, I realize, maybe. But it's amazing to me how quickly and completely "the left" turned on Nader, despite the fact that it's been proven again and again that he had absolutely nothing to do with the turnout of the 2000 election. Now, obviously I am not comparing my 8 year old self to Ralph Nader, but it's the same tactic nonetheless. Demonizing Nader was an easy way to get people to shut up and stop asking for too much. "Look at what happens when you ask for too much! You get Bush! Now shut up and be happy with the few crumbs we're going to pretend to throw you, while doing all the same shit the Republicans do." Same thing, I think, with Michael Moore. With women and feminism. With the general public and unions. With people who say "I'm pro-choice, but abortion shouldn't be used as birth control" (?!?!?), or people who care about the poor but are still willing to believe in Ronald Reagan's "Welfare Queen" fallacy, or who fall for other dimwitted strawman arguments.
The fact is, as we've seen the last couple of months, the people in power on the right are absolutely willing to fight for all the shockingly horrible and ridiculous things they want. The Democrats, when they were in charge, acted as though they thought that if they capitulated in most areas, and left things alone for the most part, that the Republicans would be willing to return the favor. Which we can clearly see is not the case. You can pin your ears back all you like, people are still going to fuck with you. They will always find something else wrong with you, I promise you that much. The fact is, you can't win by trying to play for the other team, and the arguments for what you're willing to settle for are never going to be as strong as the arguments for what you want.