After the jump, you can (and should) watch the trailer for a new documentary called The Bully Project about the bullying crisis in America. I think it goes without saying that I HATE BULLIES. Sorry to any bullies out there whose feelings I may have hurt. My personal experience with bullies has been relatively tame. There was this kid in elementary school who was a couple years older than me who would take my Ocean Pacific hat off and throw it down the hall. But then one year at the All School Roller Skate, we ended up skating next to each other, and our wheels touched and ground together and he fell down on the rink and I didn’t and he never bothered me again. Oh, there was also a BMX bike gang that chased me all the way to Dave Ecklund’s house, but they didn’t catch me. It was awful, but compared to what these kids are going through these days, it was small potatoes. Small, relatively benign potatoes. Kids are so mean. Oh, this movie trailer breaks my heart!

“The power of hearing one voice in solidarity with you can be transformative for people.” We are in solidarity with you, kids who are getting bullied! Right, you guys? Who is with me? Let’s transform these children! Admittedly, children probably shouldn’t be reading Videogum. It’s not appropriate. Or, if you DO read Videogum, read it with a parent who can answer your questions. But, you know, it’s like The Secret. We’re putting solidarity vibes out into the universe. BULLIES STINK! TO SAY THE LEAST!

Comments (169)
  1. “our wheels touched and ground together and he fell down on the rink ”

    Bullshit. You PUSHED me.

  2. Yeah I feel like bullying way back when, 10-15 years ago, so long ago, was relegated to the school grounds, and there were no texts so girls couldn’t keep texting girls calling them sluts, and comic books only cost a nickel

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    • Like 10 kids have killed themselves due to bullying in the past year, and that’s just what we know of
      Actually last week 2 14 year old girls killed themselves together

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        • I think the difference is that bullying is something that follows kids home now. With all the new forms of communication kids are using there are now so many new ways to make someone feel like the world is actually conspiring against them, and I don’t think there’s a problem with putting out the message (through many of the same mediums bullies are using) that no, actually, it’s not.

          • Agreed, it is the anonymity factor that is causing the biggest problem. Facetaco is right (ah, the normal statements on v-gum) that bullying is nothing new, but it is how it is being done (immediately and without accountability) that is the big problem.

            At the school in which I teach (“whoa, hold the phone, you’re a TEACHER!” — you guys) we actually had an outbreak of freshmen girls bullying this one girl via Facebook. When I first heard about it, I was like, “how bad could it be?” Then I got some particulars and trust me when I say that the answer to that question “FUCKING BAD.”

            So, the moral of the story is social networking sites that allow anonymous commenting in a public forum are evil.

          • Tons of this. I remember some bullies when I was a kid, but they didn’t come home with me, and I didn’t have to see them all summer or any weekends. Youth, idyllic. I also don’t recall any bullying after middle school, whereas now it appears that kids are bullied all the way up until they flip the tassel on their mortarboard (which is just crazy. I mean, the kids who would have been bullying at my school were way too wrapped up in their own drama to pay attention to anyone else by the time we got to high school. What happened to good old fashioned ignoring people you think you’re better than, am I right?)

            Technology has changed bullying in some major ways that aren’t just an issue of degree. And I think kids trying to be themselves when being themselves means being gay is more prevalent now too. When I was a kid people basically just stayed in the closet until college, and I think more kids now are trying to not do that. Which is freaking awesome, but then, bullying.

        • Facetaco, I understand where you’re coming from and initially I’d agree with you. But there seems to be rising evidence that empathy in young Americans has decreased over recent years. The causes aren’t clear, although I blame the internets. Just yesterday on NPR I heard about a study using pop song lyrics to show a rise in cultural narcissism.

          And if you can access it, the actual study is here:

        • Wait till your kid is in school and has to interact with bullies. when you have to go up to the school to talk to the principal about why your kid is being physically abused by other kids and no one is doing anything about it then come back and let me know if you think bullying isn’t such a big deal.

          • Physical violence is totally uncalled for… and you need to involve much bigger authorities if school faculty that does nothing to stop these actions. My understanding is that these videos are meant to stop the psychological stuff. Of course, I think we were shown movies like this in the 80s and then used whatever verbiage was from the film to fuck with each other on new levels. Kids are horrible. I remember one of my teachers throwing her hands in the air and saying she gave up because we were such terrible tiny people. I grew up with just awful, awful people. I cannot stress this enough. In 6th grade or so, we had to watch a video from the late 70s or early 80s from Quebec in which someone was called a frog and went home crying. (Probably because someone was getting picked on a lot.) As we had no understanding that is a slur to the French and our teacher didn’t explain it, we spent the rest of the year calling each other frogs. And I guarantee that kid who got picked on in some kind of incident which led to us watching this filmstrip got it way worse afterwards. Ugh, such awfulness.

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        • Several thousand years? Well that’s a really honest and genuine argument. Yeah, let’s compare bullying today to how we lived when we were cavemen. So what, things have to get worse then when we were marauding tribesmen before we take action? You ridiculous clown.

          • So I find this interesting. You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, I have no problem with that. But how is calling me a ridiculous clown NOT bullying? When is it okay to call people names, and when is it not? At what point does it become bullying?

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          • You’re responding to my opinions on a subject with personal attacks. I didn’t say anything about you. I expressed my views on an issue. You made a counterpoint that resorted to personal attacks and name-calling, meant to make me feel foolish and inferior. That sounds like bullying to me.

          • I felt your opinion was making others feel foolish for supporting a valid cause, and was making a valid cause inferior, all very underhandedly, so i lashed out. I certainly wasn’t attacking your for kicks and pleasure of demeaning someone weaker, as a bully would.

          • So due to your incorrect analysis of my motives, you said things that were more malicious and bullying than you would have if you had truly understood the points I was making. Sure, you didn’t mean for it to be an attack on me, but that’s what it ended up being, thus making you a bully, whether that was what you inteded or not. So do you think that you did a bad thing? Because if not, then you have to accept that it’s not a black and white issue, that bullying isn’t a terrible thing in every single instance.

          • I don’t think i made an incorrect assessment of your motives. I did mean it to be an attack on you for the reasons i’ve stated. And i don’t think, as i’ve explained, that it was the equivalent of bullying. You’re making up both statements and conclusions i haven’t made. You’re a terrible, and disingenuous debater.

          • Okay, so you DID mean it to be an attack on me. Because I had different ideas and beliefs than you, you took that personally and insulted me for it. That’s even worse, then, because that makes you a bully. You can rationalize it as standing up for people, but you’re not standing up for anybody. You’re attacking someone for thinking differently than you do. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

          • I am proud of attacking someone for underhandedly and disingenuously trying to discredit a valid cause. It would be one thing if you simply stated that you don’t think it’s a problem, i would have simply disagreed with you, but you went on to construct misguiding and deceitful arguments to defend your already horrible opinion.

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          • Wait are you trying to defend a religion in that example or discredit it? It’s confusing.
            Anyway, if religions were in fact valid, and you were trying to discredit one using deceitful and misguiding arguments i would have done the same. I don’t really see what you’re trying to say.

          • Also, i’m sure a lot of never caught rapists feel they’re doing a good job, and a lot of surgeons with high success rates feel they’re doing a good job. That doesn’t make surgeons and rapists the same, just like both me and bullies feeling justified doesn’t make us the same. Another example of your ridiculous and disingenuous debating.

          • Oh my God.

            Go to bed, you two. No dessert.

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          • What is this now? Moral relativism? I sure as hell attack people who have different opinions than mine if those opinions are not only immoral, but use underhanded and deceitful tactics to undermine possible opposition. I’ve very well debated the matter, but you’ve, to no surprise, chosen to focus on a relatively toothless insult, than on my deconstruction of your ridiculous and misguiding arguments and play the victim. You’re a complete jerk.

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          • facetaco, please do not compare yourself to the victim of a hate crime. Are you joking? You don’t really believe that. stlolth is being a bit of a dick, but he’s not bullying you by any stretch of the imagination.

      • But why aren’t we addressing the fact that people 9-16 are literally the worst human beings on the planet? And they always have been! (Ahem, Romeo and Juliet isn’t a love story… it’s about how incredibly stupid teenagers are. Don’t even get me started on the Grimm’s…) I know you can’t and shouldn’t grow a child in a sterile environment but why not teach your kids that you can defriend someone if they’re being a dick on Facebook. And hiding behind an Internet facade is actually hiding. And teach them to call assholes out on being assholes. (I guess that occurs with age and confidence…)

        Sure there were girls at my high school who wanted to beat me up because I got good grades or rode the same bus as their boyfriend or whatever, but even at 14 I knew they were trashy and complete jackasses. And the day I said something to the effect of “Really? *This* is what you want to do with your time?” they left me alone. And yeah the kids in middle school were mean but they were middle school kids. Ditto on elementary school kids. And my parents taught me that kids are fucking awful and it ends. (I was called Roberta because it was a fat girl’s name because I had bony wrists and couldn’t put my fingers around my wrist at a 3rd grade sleepover. I’m not kidding. Followed me for YEARS. And my gym teacher said I’d never amount to anything because I couldn’t climb the rope. Oh yeah, wasn’t even a fat kid. Just grew up around assholes.) And when I was a senior in high school and generally popular and definitely scary to younger kids, I used to scream at the cool and/or douchey freshman who used to pick on this totally cute little kid (also freshman) who had a HUGE backpack and whose center of gravity was totally jacked up because of the backpack. And then all my girlfriends did too and then the senior guys stepped in and the kid stopped getting pushed around the halls. We all said hi to him all the time and his stock rose simply because some seniors were cool to him while hissing at the allegedly popular kids. Of course these kids grew up to be the teabagger assholes of Wisconsin, so lesson went unlearned. And I got out. Fuck you, suburbs.

        But Facetaco is right. Bullying will literally never stop. You — as a parent, friend, teacher, relative or whatever — just need to give kids the skills to combat what is an inevitable part of adolescence.

        And maybe some kids killed themselves because of bullies… But maybe they also had depression or manic thoughts or a whole slew of other things going on in their lives that we will never, ever know about. It’s unfair to give the bullies that much credit, just like it’s unfair that someone who dies in a car accident at 14 will forever be remembered as a “beloved cheerleader” or “troubled youth” or “that kid with that awful haircut.”

        • And how do you think bullying affects already psychologically unstable and sensitive kids?

          • Well obviously as you think I am pro-bully and not, say, pro-teaching kids conflict resolution at a young age to end cyclical behavior and focusing on actual psychological issues that contribute to and confound this problem, let alone blah blah mental health awareness and treating chemical instabilities or say talking to bullies to figure out why they’re acting like assholes…

            I’ll say fuck the nerds. Let’s not teach them anything except not to be weird. Also: let’s get them! I need lunch money.

          • I don’t know if you’re pro-bullying, but what you said amounts to basically saying that psychologically unstable kids would have killed themselves anyway, regardless of the bullying. Which is callous, insensitive and untrue.

          • I see what you mean, but there’s also a large amount of self-worth involved in not letting bullies have the power to make you feel bad enough to kill yourself. Part of the healing process/growth of self-respect is to ‘take power’ of your own feelings and not let other people ‘control’ how you feel.

            There is still a strong stigma against mental illness, and if these people were getting treatment they may have been strong enough to withstand the burden placed on them.

            You made a bigger leap with your interpretation of badideajean’s comment than was warranted. The comment you describe would have been awful, but it’s not what was said.

            We all know bullying is bad, mental disorders are also bad, and no one supports just letting kids kill themselves. Let’s not get worked up over accusations that we do.

        • To the people who are saying “bulling will never stop, and we need to teach our kids to deal with it,” I am not all there with you. That is like saying rape will never stop, let’s teach women to deal with it. True, rape will never stop, but don’t we want to say hey, rape will never stop but it will get better because we’ll prosecute rapists, erradicate sexism and hatred (or do our best to) and just refuse to accept it? The only reason everyone isn’t smoking in every office in this country is because at some point society decided smoking is wrong and now you’re an ass if you light up a cigatette. We need to get the same mindset in schools. Bullying is wrong and if you do it you are an ass. I beleive it can happen.

          • Needs more upvotes, canadiantuxedo.

          • We also teach women (hell, women teach themselves) self-defense, right? Because if we waited around for society to catch up with decency, we’d be in a bunch of trouble.

            So, I guess we need both, right? Teach kids not to bully, but also teach kids who are targets for bullying some methods for maybe stopping it. Do I win the most obvious statement award?

          • This is everything I wanted to say and couldn’t really say. People say children are terrible, and they are! They’re terrible! But why are we continuing to endorse the fact that they can be awful by saying they’ll grow out of it, instead of trying to make them better people now?

          • My point of dealing with it involves calling out the bullies on their actions and making them accountable and making this whole scenario socially unacceptable at any possible level. But as we will never totally eliminate it, and I know very few people who have never encountered bullying in some form or another. Some of these stories are breaking my heart. And I guess when bullying goes from teasing to serious violent behavior (Jesus, these stories are so horrible and I’m so sorry anyone went through this), I would assume legal or serious authoritative action should take place. My little brother had some major beat downs when he was a kid, though nothing like what I’ve read, and as in my case of girl psychological crap or arbitrary rock throwing or whatever, it ended when he called the bullies out on their terrible behavior.

            Getting teased or made to feel bad about how you look or having your backpack thrown in a ditch vs. getting the crap beat out of you are very different scenarios. There are shades of awful to the whole spectrum, and I’m incredibly fortunate that I only know the lighter ones. However, bullying doesn’t usually start with a serious beat down. If you deflect it, stand up to it or stop it at psychological levels, it usually ends.* I’m not blaming the victim at all. I’m not standing up for bullies. But as it was noted earlier, though later down in this thread, all this behavior can end with an arbitrary third party saying something like “that’s pretty uncool.” I have been that arbitrary third party a lot. And I still am.

            But if the kid is taught to have self-worth (and not the you’re a special butterfly self-worth which is generic and easily crushed by others but actual value to your life self-worth), learns to ignore the crap comments and rise above this stuff, the bully looks like an asshole a lot more quickly to the mouth-breathing masses that will eventually tell that person to shut it. And that’s what stops this shit, peer pressure. (At the kid level. The awfulness of a bully boss is just the fucking worst. I have no answers to that one…)

            Additionally, at what level are we going to say this is bullying and at what level are we going to say this is criminal level violence and/or abuse? Maybe we need to change the language. Bullying makes it seems less harmful than other words.

            And we absolutely need to address it on a large social level. If the president is getting peer-pressured to PROVE HE’S AN AMERICAN by jackasses and it’s accepted by the mouth-breathers as something he probably SHOULD DO (wtf, honestly), if Congresspeople continue to act as if people those who aren’t straight are subhuman, if women are treated as lesser than or objects or whatever psychosexual b.s. you want to get into… bullying/abuse/whatever will absolutely continue. These horrible children are learning their moral cues from horrible adults. The horrible fact is that live in a democracy and capitalist society that rewards bullying — look at the Robber Barons or reality TV or any self-proclaimed Horatio Alger story to see how stepping on others to get to the top is, in fact, the goddamn American Dream. So thesis: all of this is learned behavior… but so is self-esteem, gaining perspective that things CAN change and finding a niche where you can feel good about yourself on whatever level you need.

            And I’m off my soap box. But I am unsure why I’m on it because I’m pretty sure no one here is actually pro-bullying.**

            *Let’s be honest, some kids are junior psychopaths.
            **Though some kids are acting out because of their own personal hells and their needs deserve to be addressed as well, especially if it stops the cycles of abuse. (I’m pretty sure the kid who tormented my brother was dealing with family issues and was angry that my brother was not — or not the same kind of issues or whatever.)

          • badideajeans, I really am liking all the things you say. I just kind of take issue with the idea that calling people out makes them stop, but I think that’s largely from personal experiences. When my sister was in first grade, a supposed friend of hers had another friend hold my five-year-old sister’s hands behind her back, while this girl punched her in the stomach repeatedly. And they stayed “friends” for years. I think sometimes the problem is definitely when it comes from supposed friends, and victims think they can’t say anything because it’s just their friends, and that whole mindset can be clearly seen played into adulthood (Harlan Ellison and Connie Willis being a prime example).

            #latetothepartygum #probablynotrelevantgum

    • “Stop Bullying in America”
      - sign outside benefit concert to raise awareness, 1994 Rwanda

    • The sad thing about bullies is that a lot of them are not just jerks for the sake of being jerks (although some most CERTAINLY ARE). A lot of them are acting out because negative attention is attention, and for whatever reason they are craving it. It’s wonderful to focus on the poor little nerdlingers that get bullied (I myself regularly got beat up and bullied for a long time), but resources need to be made available to the swirly-givers of the world.

    • I think the internet has added a whole new level to bullying that didn’t apply when we were kids. You can’t just go home and get away from them by playing video games or watching tv. If you go on the internet or facebook or whatever, kids could be taunting you. You could get aggressive texts at any given hour of the day, when before if a kid prank called your house or whatever, they had to talk to your parents first. It’s just a whole new level of access that kids have to each other that isn’t as easy for parents or teachers or non-assholes to have a hand in or even necessarily know about, so kids can just take it as far as they want, and kids don’t have any boundaries or realistic understanding of how their words and actions affect other people.

      • But the thing is, the internet goes both ways. I was homeschooled until 5th grade, so when I went to public school for the first time, I didn’t really know how to interact, so I was a pretty easy target for bullies. But around the same time, my parents got a CD with 300 or so free hours of AOL, and I discovered the internet. And it turns out that it was full of people that I could talk to WITHOUT being bullied! As much as the internet might grant access for bullying, it also creates a whole new way to escape the bullying, and find comfort and support. Any regular in the Videogum comments section can attest to the sort of community that can grow and thrive in this here world wide webiverse. It might make bullying a lot worse, but it also makes it a lot better, too.

        • I get what you’re saying, but sometimes your personal experience with something isn’t the universal experience. So just because the internet provided a refuge for you, it makes life hell for others, to the point of pushing them to KILL THEMSELVES.
          As such, I see no problem with trying to make their lives less hellish. Just like we should try to make the lives of those in war-ravaged countries less hellish. It’s not mutually exclusive. In fact, “less hellish lives for everyone” is a fairly good motto for how to live your life.

        • Well, I think that’s true to a certain extent, but between AOL and today, the internet has kind of looped back around, from at one time being a haven for nerds, to being open to everyone, including the bullies. A lot of kids don’t even really see the internet beyond Facebook, or maybe youtube, which as we all know is basically just a cesspool. Bullying online took a lot more effort when it took 25 minutes to connect and then you paid by the minute once you were online.

          I also think it just takes time for kids to figure out what they’re really interested in and go out and seek it. Most kids in school just want to be accepted. I know I wanted to be popular when I was in school, and I never really thought of going outside of school to try to gain acceptance. Some people figure that out early, and for them, the internet can be a great place. Kudos to the kids who can be bullied at school and then come home and join a fun, supportive community online, but I don’t think that’s all that common in the 11-17 set.

        • As someone who was a bit nerdy growing up, I experienced my share of bullying, but I will say that standing up to bullies did do me some good and taught me to defend myself and have some self-respect. Sooo not to go all Satan-in-the-South-Park-movie (What is evil anyway? Without evil there can be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes?) there can be *some* good to come of bullying. Still, it’s an awful thing to have happen to you when you’re young, and it can lead to problems (like the link posted about suicide) if people feel it compounds already bad personal situations.

          • You guys, there is a difference between true “bullying” and just having awkward and difficult social interactions growing up. Surely there must be some of us that remember how terrifying it can be to grow up, even if you had a great home life.

            Kids, by definition, do not have the same coping skills as adults, so it’s awfully easy to look back and say “well my personal experience wasn’t that bad”, but for some kids, school and social-life are a living nightmare.

        • When I was kid in late elementary school and junior high (UGH junior high), there were several girls who bullied me for no reason that I still don’t understand. I was also a kid who was lucky enough to have the internet. And guess what? The internet didn’t make it any better! I still went to school everyday and got made of, and tripped and pushed in the lunch room and hallways. It sucked!

          I’m glad that in your personal experience you had place to turn to, but that’s a generalization (as Miss Rabbit is saying) that doesn’t include everyone; and saying things like “But it also kind of gets you ready for life, you know?” makes it sound like kids should just grin and bear it, which can set a dangerous precedent.

        • Shut up, nerd.

    • I don’t know how accurate it is to say that “when bullies get older, most of them STOP being bullies and start being productive members of society. And those who continue being bullies, they usually end up in jail…”

      Actually, I think some bullies grow up to become bosses of videogum monsters who read this blog to get away from their bullying bosses (I don’t really have anyone specific in mind, just kind of spitballing here, could be anyone) or even presidents of the United States of America who take us into made-up wars in Iraq (again, not naming names).

    • You know what else has been around forever? Crime. Does that mean we don’t work on reducing crime and helping the victims of crime? No!

      With the mentality that the world is an awful place and we need to accept it, and it’s good that it’s awful to our kids because they need to accept it we wouldn’t have ever made any progress and have the civilization we have today.

    • This is a little more severe than #cyberbullytimgarlitz

    • I think it’s kinda weird that I just said aloud, “Jesus, facetaco.”

    • I think it is interesting that you point out that bullies as adults will probably be in jail. Do you realize that we’re not just talking about kids getting farted on, but kids being terrorized, stalked and beaten? If someone threatened or stalked me I would get a restraining order because I’m an adult. If that happens to my daughter, she has to deal with it. Not only does she have to deal with it, but she is legally obligated to go to school and is breaking the law if she doesn’t go to avoid an attacker. My problem with the bullying issue today is that we don’t give kids the same rights as adults. Let them take someone to court for battery, let them get a restraining order. Why the hell not? That is preparing them for the real world too.

    • This is far enough down where I can get this off my chest but not be totally embarrassed, so whatever. I was tormented for several years in elementary school. I went to a very small parochial school and there were literally three other boys in my entire grade. The problem seemed to be that I was too smart and effeminate. One day in third grade, they collectively decided that their only interaction with me would be extreme verbal and physical assault. I had no other choice but to take it because even getting thrown to the ground and called a faggot while my clothes were being ripped was better than the alternative of crushing loneliness.

      It was a small community and all of our parents knew each other. To say anything about it would only invite escalation. One night at a basketball game, one of the boys repeatedly stomped on my stomach with full force. On the bleachers. About three rows behind fifty adults. No one did a goddamned thing and I didn’t dare say a word to my mom when I shit blood for a week. I considered suicide IN THE FOURTH GRADE.

      As a result of this, it became extremely difficult to make friends. The only time I felt safe was when I was alone so as a young adult, a become subconsciously suspect of anyone getting too close. Today is my birthday, I’m 28 years old and I still have social anxiety that stems from those years.

      To say that they got me ready for life is, let’s say, misleading.

      • Thanks for sharing this. Can’t even say how hard it must have been. I really had very mild psychological stuff from primary (elementary) school up through high school. That was despite moving from the rural north to a biggish city. The focus in the first place was because of my dad, who had kind of public job in our village – kids were obviously getting a lot of their dislike from their parents. The next school had only 600 pupils, and no one at all like me. Lots of bad thoughts, pretty constantly for about 4 years or so. Attempts by teachers to resolve things never really worked out, so I know that sometimes, there really is not much that can be done.

        It took me a long time to drag myself away from feelings of utter worthlessness. I don’t think anyone deserves to suffer like that, like you did, in silence just because that’s the only thing they can do. I wish I knew how to fix it. Really, like any other crime, you have to find a way fix the problems that make kids into bullies, not work from the bullied kid outwards.

      • I have a lot of heart for that… That One. My bully never physically hurt me, he never had to. When your young your constantly learning; your mind, ideals and beliefs being formed because of (or in spite of) the external stimuli you are subjected to. Any input is volatile because this is the foundation your life-house will be built on.

        So when the bully at this time tells all your buddies to stop talking to you, and suddenly your spending all your lunch times, recesses and after schools alone you start to wonder if there’s something wrong with you. Then this self view begins to shape as the bully starts sending your former friends to you at recess sometimes to make fun of you, and even as it escalates well past that, it’s all mental assault so there’s no hard proof, and the school just shrugs. And so it goes on for years and when you’re young, years are significant portions of your life. So you start hiding when you can, and being silent when you can’t. You stop talking to people because the pain of being alone is far less than the pain of the potential betrayal of another person.

        This supposed knowledge comes at the cost of proper social evolution, and to say it can in anyway prepare someone for life is a tough sell considering there are more than 6 billion other people, and I can’t avoid all of them.

        I will immediately regret hitting the submit button!

        • Amen. I hate the word “bullying” because it covers such a range of behavior, which is why you get people saying, “Oh, that’s just how kids are.” Sure, kids tease each other and gossip and maybe get into fights occasionally (but adults should still intervene it when they’re aware it’s happening). But I was routinely targeted for abuse and casual nastiness on a daily basis for years, and eventually it was a good day if nobody spoke to me at all. And the lesson I learned was “I deserve to be treated this way,” because that was the only explanation that made sense.

          This was 20 years ago, and there were actually a few kids in my class who had a much rougher time than I did. I can barely stand to think about it.

      • It wasn’t that early for me, but only a couple years later I was deeply contemplating my own reason for being. No child should have to go through that.

        When I was a senior we had an 8th grader hang himself from his bedpost with his belt because of the kids always calling him a faggot and other such niceties. I wrote an editorial for the school paper about my own history with those dark thoughts and asked to speak with the 8th grade class at a meeting they were having to “deal” with the issue and I damn near got sent to counseling. Nothing was published and I did not get to speak to those kids who probably could have used something more than the “Bobby’s in heaven now” speech they probably did get.

      • God, I want to give you a hug. I’m 31 and still working out a bitch of an anxiety disorder. It’s really hard to explain to people who know me where it comes from, because the usual response is still this “toughen up! don’t let it get to you!” stuff I heard when I was 8. It’s not a rational response.

        And when people really like you immediately, and say wow you’re really great, are you always waiting for them to tell you of course they’re kidding? It doesn’t matter how far away from that I get; I just lost trust in people right at the moment when I was figuring out what people are and do and how they treat each other.

        I don’t know if it’s any kind of advice, but I was 28 when I started saying to myself that the only thing that kept me from killing myself in 4th grade was the fantasy that when I was older, I’d be so much more free. So I owe that little miserable kid who I once was the gift of just fucking doing whatever I want.

      • That One, I wish I could go back in time and punch your tormentors in the face. That would be a great birthday present for you (happy birthday. I hope you are having a good one when you’re not having these nightmarish flashbacks?) Really, your post brought me to tears. I hope you get past your social anxiety some day. You should go post a video on the It Gets Better Project!

    • Yeah. Kids are killing themselves. And they were probably killing themselves back then (thousands of years ago, i guess?) due to bullying as well, but now there is more of a platform to help get awareness out and help kids deal, so what really is wrong with that? Why not try and make it better for kids. Also this happens to a lot ot LGBT youth, or youth perceived as LGBT, so helping kids learn empathy towards LGBT people is a great way to help the LGBT movement towards being accepted as actual human beings deserving of equal rights. Kids calling other kids “fags” on the playground should be stopped, and the kids being called “fags” on the playground need to have resources like this that teach them that who they are is not abnormal or wrong.

    • Sometimes I catch myself thinking about bullying like this, mostly cause it’s treated as this weird abstraction that is kind of just a vague BAD THING WE SHOULD DO STUFF ABOUT, and after a while I’m thinking ‘yeah bullying, blah blah okay enough, there are worse things going on.’
      But after watching this trailer I really don’t see how you could look at it as some big character building exercise. I mean, look at that kid with the glasses! I want to scoop him up from wherever he is and just spend the rest of my life trying to make him feel happy and wanted. Maybe that’s just me being overly empathic or whatever, but I don’t understand how watching this doesn’t break your heart.

  4. In the bullies’ defense,

  5. TrueStroyGum time: I was bullied quite a bit in mid-school, but I was lucky to have the then-burgeoning world of Alternative Rock to escape into. Do kids even like music anymore???

  6. “Quit being such a baby, NERD.” -Videogum’s older brother

    • Stereogum?

    • And on a serious note: I wasn’t bullied, but was definitely made fun of by the popular kids in middle school. Yeah, it sucks, but I think it prepared me in a way. Have I teased other kids? Yes. Everyone does at one instance. And I’ve realized that and I’ve been trying really hard to help anyone out when I notice he/she needs help.

      • I bought into it: I was a bit of a loser when I was a kid, but I let them fart on me and throw me off the bleachers and laughed about it like I was a maniac. Eventually, they thought I was funny and I was part of their group. When the head guy left because he had to move with his family, I took over that mantle and wound up popular and fucked the homecoming queen [/explainabrag]

        Seriously though, if I had to do all that stuff and ALSO deal with online personas like kids have to do now, I’d be fucked. I think texts/FB/Twitter have changed the bullying game entirely.

      • I remember taking part in a bit of bullying during chorus (chorus!) and in an odd way it did change me. There was never any physical component and it was basically bullying at the level of making fun of someone’s name over and over, like the grown man who sits in front of me at MLS games and calls out to the goalies. After middle school was finally, finally over, I thought back on that time and felt a huge amount of shame for being part of something like that, especially because I wasn’t exactly immune to being picked on myself.

        I get that picking on and bullying aren’t exactly the same thing, although one can certainly lead to the other. And it’s not like that girl feels great because my poor treatment of her made me a more sensitive person eventually. But it did, so I’ve at least taken that small bit of goodness from a wholly unpleasant situation.

  7. Wait, is that Sexman?

  8. Bullies are the worst. For as much a target as I am/was, I wasn’t really “bullied,” which I count myself sooooo lucky. But my favorite bullying incident though happened in late high school. By this time, I had come out to the school, and it was just another random Tuesday for all I knew. I went to my study hall in the library, and as I sat down at one of the tables I saw that some had not just written but ENGRAVED into the old, mid-century wood, “[DSN] chews the cock.” I wasn’t so much insulted that someone had written it, it was that they took the time to SERIOUSLY engrave this shit into he table. Also, poor word choice, bully. Who chews cocks? That sounds like you’re just bad at beejs.

    • When did you come out? Because I’ve known I’m gay for about a year now and I have no intention to come out anyime soon.

      • I figured I was gay around 7-8th grade. I came out to my circle of friends sophomore year of high school (man was my girlfriend SURPRISED!). I came out to the school at large early in my senior year, to a lot less fanfare than what I was expecting. My family got in on the secret when I got to college. Now everyone knows!

        Don’t ever feel like you HAVE to come out, but trust me, life’s a lot less stressful when you finally come clean (TWSS?).

        • That’s what HE said! #topicaljokesnottopicalointments

        • I live in a horrible racist backwater hicktown fueled by hatred and the shattered dreams of 4000 individuals. I don’t think the people in my town will be at all understanding.

          • I didn’t think my town would understand either, but I never really got hassled for it. Then again I don’t live in your town, so I can’t really speak to that.

            There was another gay kid in my class, and he was a walking stereotype: lisp, ballet, etc. People talk about how you can just “tell?” This kid, you could tell. I bring him up to say that he was very smart about things. He knew the town wouldn’t really get it in our small, conservatively leaning town. So he did the best thing he could have done. He got the fuck out of there. He transferred to a ballet school in New York.

            I’m not saying take up dancing so you can live in New York, I mean if you don’t think you feel comfortable in your town, get out. Go to college somewhere else. Start over whenever you can somewhere new.

            (I’m sorry if this is sounding like “DUDE, JUST COME OUT ALREADY! GOSH!” But I’ve run into a lot of closet cases and it really effects them negatively. Keeping their secret, sneaking around, etc. etc. is no way to go through life. But as I said, NEVER feel like you HAVE to come out. Do it in your time.)

          • (intro added after rest was written) I’m assuming by racist backwater hicktown that this place is also largely religious:

            Sometimes you (me) feel like everyone can tell, and other times you (I) realize that sometimes Christians have the WORST gaydar in the entire world. Seriously, in my church group there are 4 regular attendees out of the 20ish total group that are some form of queer and everyone either ignores it completely or has no clue. Also, I know of a certain married man who used to regularly fuck my exboyfriend when they were growing up, so I’m sure his marriage is fantastic. The Church (capital C for generalization time) has such a storied history of covering up homosexuality that people are maybe willing to overlook certain attributes that in a secular setting raise all sorts of flags. #OffOnATangentGum

      • Umm…Son Of Gabe? I think you just did. To us, at least.

      • Son of Gabe, what did you think about the whole “it gets better” campaign? I always wondered how that came across to someone of the age and demographic they were trying to target. Did you find it helpful? Condescending? Did it even break into teenage culture enough to make a significant impact?

        • Well I don’t plan on coming out until after I graduate so it never made much of a difference to me, but I thought that the speech that the city councilman from Texas gave was incredible.

          • Just wanted to second DSN here. I got made fun of a lot for being “some kinda lesbian” when I was a kid, and I did have girl-directed thoughts all that time. As an adult, I’m bi, and pretty generally queer, which I think people imagine means you can stay closeted easily. But everyone’s always known, and people have always been shitty about it. The only people who aren’t shitty about it are people I come out to. Their ammunition is your closetedness. If you’re not ashamed of yourself, they don’t have anything to use against you.

            This is the kind of advice I hated when I was a kid and people said that haters gonna hate and they can smell fear, but it’s pretty true. If you act ashamed, they can do so much more damage. Small-town gay people are just as likely to find a tightly-knit, caring community as anyone, and it may even be more supportive than it would be in, say, SF or NYC, where no one gives a shit about one more gay kid. Find allies.

          • Well it does get better, Son of Gabe. It really does. Then it gets worse. Then a little better. Then kind of stagnant. Then you find yourself working from home in your mid 30s and on a pop culture blog with nice people and it gets a little more Videogummier.

        • To butt in on your question as someone who was just on the edge of the age and demographic, I thought the original idea was a little flawed, but it brought us some really great things, like the speech Son of Gabe mentioned. I think if it had started out as a “you can make it better” campaign, it would have just generally been a better idea. It had good intentions, though.

  9. I was bullied by this asshole One day he was chasing me around in his car TRYING TO KILL ME on my skateboard! I dodged out of the way real quick and he ran into this truck filled with manure! That just made him more angry though.

    • Wait… are you Cool Dog?

    • Your anecdote is as dumb as Screen Doors on a Battleship

    • I was chased by a bunch of bullies who liked to pick on me for my leg braces. They tried to run me over with their truck and I just ran as fast as I can. Next thing I knew, my leg braces started to fall off and I managed to outrun a truck! I went on to play special teams for the University of Alabama and walk across America for no discernable reason.

    • I was bullied by these assholes who wanted to kill me because one day I was going to lead the Jedi in the destruction of evil. But I was so consumed with my own internal power, which was reinforced by the idea that people wanted me dead since I was going to be SO powerful, I wound up becoming what I hate when my own kind abandoned me and I was left in a smoldering pile near a volcano or some shit.

      But guess what gang? The bullies fixed me! Sure, now I have to wear a cape AND a mask and I even bullied my son by cutting his hand off, but HE WAS A PUSSY!


  10. I’m sorry. I thought I was on the website that shows up Coppercab vid caps whenever they go up.

    (pack your bags, everyone, we’re going on a guilt trip!)

  11. Guys, I have a true confession.

    I was bullied and made fun of a lot in elementary and middle school, and was always desperate for people to like me. In my horrible, cruel way, when I was ten, I decided to deflect the attention put on my by targeting another kid – someone who was actually a friend of mine – by telling everyone that he tried to kiss me during a sleepover.

    It was a horrible, awful thing to do, to put a stigma on a kid who was totally nice to me, and never did anything mean to me. I have never really forgiven myself for it, and have always felt terrible about it.

    I hope that kid is okay, and he didn’t grow up to hate everyone because of the way I betrayed his trust. I feel even worse about it because it made me feel good to do it. Bullying turned me into a bully, just to get through the school day – to get the upper hand for once – to make someone else the target.

    This video dredged all that up – and this happened in 1985. I’m really sorry.

    • Brian, I did this too, and also feel horrible about it. Every now and then I check up on that guy (I made fun of his dirty hair to someone–luckily, everyone still hated me too much to make a meme of it), who left our school after one year and ended up becoming a cutting-edge physicist. His success doesn’t absolve me, but it’s good to know he’s alive. Lord knows he had it hard enough without the second-biggest loser in school piling on.

    • Yeah, I think this is pretty common. When I was a kid I think I felt a lot more bullied and ostracized than I really was (thanks to a religious martyr complex, yay) and lashed out quite a bit. Ultimately I wish I had parents who weren’t nuts, maybe I would have been less of a dick.

    • Thisthisthis. I was bullied (verbally, except this one time when a girl threw a tomato at my head. Moderately ridiculousfunny looking back at it, but not so much at the time) in primary school and the first few years of high school, and I still worry about this one guy who I was horrible to. He came from a super poor family and had a few siblings- they all smelt bad, and had super unclean knotty hair and clothes in incredibly poor condition, and they got ripped to shreds each day. This was when I was about 10, and I had one friend who would still tell me to go away at lunchtime if she was hanging out with other friends, so I was super insecure. So this guy was getting hassled after school and I was walking past, and the bully yells out to me, ‘Hey, you hate this guy, right?’ and I just went paused and went ‘Yeah, I hate him’, and kept on walking. I mean, fuck that was cruel. Fuckfuckfuck.

      I know that this generally doesn’t work, but man, standing up to one of my high school bullies was a super awesome moment. Like, looking back on it, it was pretty shitty of me to say this to her, but 15 yr old me still thinks I’m awesome- I was walking through the common room after school, and the crazy-stereotypical popular girls starting yelling shit at me, so I just kept on walking until one of them goes ‘You think you’re so cool, don’t you?’ and I go ‘Yeah. Actually, I am cool, and you’re just a stupid slut.’

      She invited me to her pre-ball party like 2 weeks after that.

  12. I’d be cheered by this if our president hadn’t just let himself be bullied by a fucking oompa lumpa into defending his citizenship with the release of a redundant document. #trumps

    • Exactly. There is literally no way to stop bullying if it’s happening to the goddamn president by some asshole who has made his career and fame out of yelling at people and being gross.

      • Correction: If it is happening and the president placates it instead of ignoring it or calling it out for what it is. (Institutionalized racism is the answer I’m looking for for the is part.)

  13. You guys should know that if you want me to go see a movie, all you need to do is put Grizzly Bear’s “Foreground” in the trailer.

    That also works for getting under my skirt, FELLAS.

    • Jesus, I know. As soon as I heard that piano I just started bawling and now I have mascara all over my face and hands and clothes. Also: this looks super sad and I want to give everyone a hug because man, life is ROUGH sometimes.

  14. My bullying story: when I was in middle school, I was in a class where I was one of two girls with the same name (Amber). The other Amber’s boyfriend had to change seats because they were talking too much. He moved to sit between me and his best friend. When the teacher joked that she hoped he wouldn’t start talking too much with his friend, because it might lead to him dating his friend instead of his girlfriend, someone shouted, “Yeah, and he’d have to learn a whole new language to talk to the other Amber!”, after which he proceeded to start barking. The teacher didn’t say anything about it. I credit her with instructing me clearly in what kind of teacher NOT to be. It started a whole thing about how barking was my native language. Nice.

    • :(

      One time in 6th grade, we were being awarded our dumb “prizes” for selling X-amount of candy for the school (pretty much everyone does that, right?). The teacher was nice, but also was lobbing each prize (mostly keychains and the like) to the kid it was for. Every boy caught theirs, every girl missed. The boys were amused that the girls couldn’t catch. Finally, I was up, and somehow felt it was up to me to catch it for the team. I did! “See!” Miss O’Connell said, “She caught it!”.

      “Yeah,” Eric Sandoval replied dryly, “but that’s just [Rara].”

      Uproarious laughter from entire class. Stigma on me until 8th grade graduation that I was homely/mannish/possibly a man, etc etc etc.

      Every single Glee episode featuring Coach Bieste makes me cry. Like, hysterically, sucking in air in between sobs.

      They also made fun of my (curly) hair a lot. Straightened it ’til I was 21.


  15. Oh man, this made me cry. I was bullied for about five years in elementary school–beat up, pranked at school and home (usually some kind of joke on the theme that some boy or girl liked me when of course that person would rather die, etc.), made fun of almost constantly, at school, home, and church (especially church). It sucked. I tried to kill myself a bunch of times, and I was just a little kid–8 years old. Luckily, at 8, it’s pretty hard to get the stuff you need to kill yourself.

    It Gets Better, yes, but it still had a rotten effect on my life. By high school, I found some good friends and became very social. As an old woman, I’m as socially successful as I could want to be, and no one guesses that I’ve ever been shy or sensitive. But every now and then, if some adult starts teasing me in that weird tone that kids have, like they’re laughing at something on TV rather than a live human person, I totally revert to being 8 again, all sullen and weepy.

    I really hope visibility stuff like this helps these kids, and not just to find friends when they’re all grown, but when they’re kids, to feel like adults are people they can trust, who aren’t just going to tell them to toughen up. Being a kid is so fucking hard I can’t even think about it, and this habit of cringing and expecting the worst can last long after the bullying stops.

    Somebody please put a stop to my #seriousgumming.

    • the ways little children think of to kill themselves are the best (they are the worst). i used to think i could jump off the top bunk and… I guess break a leg that would lead to complications killing me?

      when I was in college I settled on pills, but of course no one tells you which pills to take, so I just ended up with a killer headache and a close call on damaging my liver. Oh, and a free (very expensive) Thanksgiving week trip to the psych center.

  16. kids who are bullied grow up to be judgmental hipsters. lets stop bullying kids!

  17. You spelled Dave’s last name wrong

  18. As much as this subject matter interests me, I can not see this film. The empathy I feel for bullied kids is so intense, it makes me physically ill. You would see me in the theater crying the entire time. I couldn’t even finish the trailer. Once the eye water started, I had to shut off the video.

  19. I was bullied pretty extensively from about 4th grade (the first time I remember being teased about watching cartoons, fucking really?) to about freshman year. I tend to believe a lot of it had to do with the color of my skin…somewhat olive due to my Portuguese heritage. I was seriously the “darkest” person in my entire school and I was made very aware of it everyday by my peers. I’ve heard just about every racial slur imaginable. The thing about my school was it was K through 12 in one building, so you went to school with the same group of people forever. Its in a small farming community and there were 85 kids in my graduating class. I actually had an ARCH NEMESIS, which looking back on was pretty fucking rad and may one day serve as inspiration to write a novel or screenplay about. Who knows?

    The worst instance of bullying I endured was when said nemesis and a few of his cronies hit me over the head with a textbook (Yikes!) and the next thing I remember is being yelled at by the middle school principal while laying in a trash can in the girl’s restroom. I nearly got suspended for that. Oh, and there was the time some kids just embarrassed me to the point I started crying and the substitute teacher joined in the subsequent laughter. I would later in life slash that guy’s tires after a chance encounter where he pulled into the parking space next to mine as I was about to leave and it just became an instinctual reaction to do so.

    I think the biggest problem I had was that none of my teachers or the administration wanted to hear about it. Our guidance counselor was supposed to be the sympathetic ear but told me not to tattle tale on anyone. There just wasn’t any support system for me or the other kids.

    • I was also urinated on at a sleepover.

      But it got better, I was Class President my senior year.

      • A thousand upvotes for kids who get elected to office!

        That was also my cure for bullying (see above):

        I made the football players clean the locker room after practices so the golf/soccer teams didn’t have to walk through their shit (I was a member of both) and our custodial staff was already gone. Sure, they hated me for it, but the joke was on them – they ALREADY HATED ME! It wasn’t like they were ALREADY cleaning their shit.

        And it was a high school problem: who was going to assassinate the student body president? Fucking nobody, idiots.

        Final act of revenge: in their spotless locker room, I fucked Amanda Rausch during our homecoming dance as the brilliant majesty of Tatu and Eve 6 enveloped us. TAKE THAT, FOOTBALL BULLIES!

  20. I was bullied too, mostly in middle school. A kid threw a brick at my head once, which was super mean… I can’t remember his name. Being bullied is formative, and it sucks. But I agree with what everyone else has said in that when I was bullied I could still escape it. It didn’t follow me on my phone or into my living room.

    Now I work in group homes which are pretty much bully headquarters. I don’t know how to stop kids from being so GOD DAMNED MEAN to each other. Is it awareness? Is it more love and compassion? My POV is there is enough pain and hurt in the world, I don’t have the energy to actively create any more. But that doesn’t translate to any of the teens I’ve ever worked with.

    I’m still confident that bullying is learned behaviour and no one is born an asshole. I’m sure there are kids who grow up in good homes that are bullies, but I bet that’s the exception not the rule.

    I would really love for a documentary to make life easier on a few kids (kids who bully hate themselves too), but I dunno…

  21. In memoriam, circa 1985.

  22. I used to get bullied by this one guy, but he finally pushed me over the edge, and I just beat the hell out of him. He never bother me again. I thought I’d get in a lot of trouble for it (so did my brother) but my mom covered for me, and Dad was never the wiser. Man, oh, man, best Christmas ever.

  23. Internet bullying is pretty avoidable, and i don’t mean to shock anyone here, but YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A FACEBOOK. It is not a required thing, you don’t get graded for it, you don’t get a job for it, you don’t need it. I get it, everyone loves facebook, but in reality it is pretty dumb (opinion). If you don’t have a facebook (blog, twitter, whatever) you’re not going to get followed home by the bullying. Plus, why the hell are all these kids who get internet bullied friends with their bullies? What?

    • My point exactly (from before).

    • kids get bullied by their own “friends” all the time. obviously they should have the sense to de-friend someone who’s bullying them, but kids aren’t that smart. if they’re desperate to be accepted by the same people who are bullying them, they won’t stop being friends with them.

      and how easy would it be to fit in, if you’re the only kid in school without a facebook page? its easy for us as adults to say its stupid, but kids would be ostracized for not being on facebook.

  24. It would be great if schools and parents took the thing about solidarity seriously. I think that while there are going to be bullies, and there are always going to be weird kids, we should also be talking to the kids who are neither, and teaching them that siding with the weird kid is always the better thing to do. I didn’t expect them to be my best friends or even snitch, but just one or two people saying “That’s not cool” would have made a world of difference for me.

    With adults, there may be only a handful who openly tell racist/homophobic/misogynistic/transphobic/mental-illness jokes, but there are a lot more who find it easier to laugh perfunctorily along than to make it clear that they don’t find it funny. It seems like no one’s hurt if there’s not a “victim” in the room, but it makes the joker feel like it’s OK. Can we please come up with things that are funny other than the fact that some people get treated like shit (because that’s not actually funny)?

    • That is, I don’t put primary blame on bystanders, of course, but when all these people are asking how to get all this to stop, they seem to be talking exclusively about the bullies and the bullees, when the only thing I ever saw stop a bullying session was a neutral party expressing that it wasn’t cool.

    • This makes me remember my experience with bullying. When i was in 7th grade (at a catholic school) I was generally bullied every day by people of different grade levels. On the last day of school i had a breakdown and started crying uncontrollably. One of the main nuns there took me in and tried to comfort me, she was crying to. By providence my family came to pick me up to surprise me not knowing of the event (they didn’t even know i was bullied as I was too afraid to tell them). This was actually a really good thing for me as i was dreading the long bus ride home.

      Next year, different school, I get picked on by some person, for getting tears in my eyes when i got injured practicing wrestling the other day. I again was brought to tears, and I felt terrible and felt that my new school experience was ruined. However afterwards everyone generally called him out as a dick, and some people invited me to their table to sit down and have lunch with them. I wasn’t picked on again by that guy and it made me feel a lot better that day than i would have. I still felt like shit, but it was a lot nicer to know that people cared for me.

  25. I am pretty much sitting in a puddle of tears at my place of work, waiting for one of my coworkers to call me a fag. Seriously. I work with grown ass adults and the gay quips and jokes have not stopped since I started working (I’m not gay, but am totally on board with making these fuck faces feel uncomfortable about my ambiguous sexuality). It’s not that being called gay angers me, it’s them thinking it’s some kind of insult that drives me up the goddamn wall. Are we in junior fucking high?! Is this not 2011?! FUCK HUMANITY!!! Bullying is the absolute worst. I also got 3 hours of sleep last night and am in no state to deal with other human beings. Sorry. #grumpygum

    • I have no idea how to make it better for you, other than to say, you deserve a better job where you will not be surrounded by knuckle draggers. Keep looking if you haven’t started already.

      Meanwhile, here is a cake for you (that’s the best I can do, virtual cake, but it is cute, so there’s that)

      • Virtual cake = the best/only cake on the internet, so thank you! And I’m moving in two months!!! And there are some gems who work here, so not everyone’s the worst. Thanks for the cake, Feartle!

    • Can we start a #fuckhumanity hashtag?

      Seriously though, where do you work? Do you have HR? That sounds so terrible and you certainly need a real outlet (not that VG isn’t real) to convey these feelings. The idea that these people are basically torturing you, even though the situation may/may not apply to you is crazy at best and sadistic at worst, which is a long-winded way of saying you work with some fucking assholes who need to stuff their shitty attitudes in a sack.

      • I’m all about the #fuckhumanity hashtag. And I work at a random hospital and have never even thought about contacting HR. Mostly because I’ve convinced myself these people are not really worth my time, but if somebody in my situation is ACTUALLY feeling emotional pain because of their ass-hattery I should probably let someone in authority know about it. Thanks monster!

        • Hospitals are actually zero tolerance for that shit; well the good ones anyway [/explainabrag: THIS moi-ster happens to have a desk WITH a nameplate at a big hospital in a major metro area] so I would think HR is a good bet with this. I mean, their whole job is to make sure that “humans” “relate” to each other! It sounds like your fucking ass-bag co-workers (humans) need a swift punch in the junk to shake them out of their idiocy so they can be decent “human” (human) beings and actually relate (!) to you. HUMAN RELATIONS!

          Monsters make the world better.

    • You may want to start a log of comments and whatnot to establish a pattern of behavior that could constitute a hostile work environment. I’ve had to do that before, but I found a new job before it went anywhere.

      Also, I’m not a lawyer, but I talked to one about it during the time and they said to keep records and write down quotes, etc. Then I found out the person sitting where I used to was doing the same thing before she quit. Wow, what a shitty job.

  26. HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS! My friend edited this! Haven’t even looked at the comments yet! Hope it’s not full of bullying. HI LINDSAY WE’RE STILL 7-1 IN WORDS WITH FRIENDS!

  27. Bullies are the worst. I know Gabe has had his fair share of run ins with these guys!

    • Why do they have white hoods? It would make more sense if they had black hoods, then it would seem that the white skull is floating in darkness, like the bones in the rest of their outfit. You don’t make sense you guys!

  28. I have been bullied by children as an adult – at a roller rink I was skating and this like, 11 year old kid started following me around, calling me fat, and making cow sounds and lots of rude stuff. As a 31 year old woman, I didn’t know how to handle that (can’t hit a kid, right?) so I just ended up in tears. If someone finds the right thing to bully you about, it can really wound someone – even someone much older than you’d expect.

    • I feel like I should respond just because I was adult bullied by a group of teenagers .. a while ago? last summer? Like, they started bothering me at my work…and then happened upon me when i was off of work…and then again at work. I just was not … fun. And I didn’t know what to do. I mean, why were they picking on me?? Then like, everyone told me *I* was the dumb one? Like “how could you let THEM bother YOU?” ugh.

      BUT, what can you do? People keep telling you to let things go or grow thicker skin. but how? I mean, i finally stopped any pretense of composure and told the kids to fuck off and quit bothering me…and they responded with “Chill! Geez! Relax.” ugh. just..ugh.

      SO, anyway, I understand. And everything is pretty much the worst always.
      I mean, I also get adult bullied by adults and had my own personal bully in elementary school and, after we moved, one in middle and high school as well…ugh again…where is my ‘it gets better’!?

      • I’m not entirely sure why this got a downvote, but I totally get what you’re saying. It’s a little shocking that shitty people stay shitty and continue to produce little shit eaters. What helps me is realizing that I’m a better person than those people(incredibly unhealthy) or that they’re likely going through shit too, inflicted upon them by some other douche, and that they’re actual human beings who I can empathize with. This happens very infrequently and most of the time I just conclude that those people are rotten to the core. Those asshole teenagers were probably just that, asshole teenagers who will either grow the fuck up and realize they are assholes, or become stock brokers.

  29. i saw movie yesterday at the tribeca film festival, it was incredibly sad and moving. i’m very happy that it will be getting national distribution (+10 points for the weinstein company) and everyone should absolutely see it and go to

  30. ATTENTION TORONTO MONSTERS: This is playing at Hot Docs! This week! Go see it!

  31. Tough say to be a FaceTaco on the site

  32. Reading everyone’s stories is incredible. I knew we were all a bunch of nerds (we do spend our days hanging out in a blog community) but it always amazes me how many people were bullied, especially people who are so funny and cool.

    I’m watching my Godson go through the same thing now and I’m actually glad I was bullied because I know how to help him. I’m the cool adult in his life, I sneak him out of school and take him driving (he’s 13), I fill his iPod full of gangster rap and crusty punk jams, and I let him watch movies with nudity and violence (his mom would kill me if she knew all these things, lol). So when I told him that I had the same problems, he was literally shocked. He couldn’t believe that someone so cool (in his eyes obvs) could be picked on. The best part is now whenever something happens he comes to me, and I help him get through it. I tell him to befriend the other kids who are getting bullied, to stick up for them, because they’re stronger as a group, and frankly, those kids usually grow up to lead the culture. I also try to break him outside of that world, take to him to places where he can meet other kids his age (the arcade, carnival, motorcross races, etc.). I tell him to focus on school and playing guitar, because they’ll mean something one day, not the social stuff. I even sat him down and showed him the kids who were really mean to me on Facebook and how they are gross losers now. Things are getting better now. Two weeks ago he was jumped in the locker room, but this time it was because he was standing up for another kid AND he hit back (he still had the serious crap beat out of him, it was not pretty but still). Then afterwards he told the Principal the truth about what happened, instead of being too scared to rat out the other kids. I could not be more proud of him! He’s such an awesome kid, I could cry when I think about it.

    I think that’s how we’ll fix this problem. All of us who have been bullied, we now have the hindsight and the strength to know how to handle it. So we just need to pass on our knowledge and experiences to the kids that are being bullied. The only way to get it to really stop, is to have the kids handle it themselves. So we have to help them get the skills and confidence to do so.

  33. Reading all this was incredible. I had no experience being bullied or bullying and didn’t see it (notice it really, I’m sure it was happening around me) so it’s astounding to me that kids get away with this crap. Everything I did; poor grades, poor posture, poor behavior GOT CALLED OUT. It was a tough childhood, being yelled at by teachers for something as simple as tracking a little mud in from outside or chewing gum but once you’re afraid of being embarrassed in front of your entire class you avoid being a shitty person in any way like the plague. I didn’t take out the stress on anything else, I wasn’t scarred by strict rules and strict consequences. I fully support hurting little shits’ feelings once in a while if they get out of hand.

    A person in this thread said her mother went in to yell at the kid at it worked. DO THIS, ADULTS. Trust me, kids are afraid of you. Shame the hell out of them, threaten their reputation, alpha-dog them in front of everyone. They’re tiny, teachers and parents are not..this should not be happening. There’s a good compromise somewhere of old school screaming at your kid for not saying ‘yes, sir’ and respecting your kid’s individuality and space by not caring what they’re doing to their peers.

  34. This. Just have to leave a comment after watching this trailer that made me cry like a tiny little girl…

    Anybody who says bullying builds character doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, and has never been bullied. Kids kill themselves because of this shit. Children. Ending their lives.

    Middle school, junior high, high school were terrifying. I was thrown on the cafeteria floor, hit, tripped, mocked, spit on, locked in a closet, called names. I didn’t have any friends. Small fundamentalist Christian schools where the teachers hate you as much as the other kids are the best. So much character building I almost killed myself. I couldn’t breathe normally until I got into college, it took two years in college before I could even look anyone in the eye directly, and I’m still trying to re-work my psyche two years after leaving college. 24, and I’m finally approaching normalcy. It took me that long to unravel the damage, and I guess I’m fortunate, because some people don’t.

    All that to say—until you know what it feels like to be afraid and alone for 7 years, as you try to just make it through school in one piece, and until you know what it feels like to try to rebuild your confidence and self-respect over a lifetime, and convince yourself that yeah, it might be worth it for you to be alive and on this planet, don’t even attempt to imagine that you can dismiss bullying as unimportant.

    • betheni, god, I don’t know what to say. Someone told me to be strong once, and I don’t really know why those two words helped me when it was hard, but for some reason they did. So if it means anything: be strong.

      I was thinking about this more today, and: If there is anyone still reading this thread who is still all, “Everyone gets teased and it’s how kids are and what’s the big deal anyway?” –please think about this. The people describing what they experienced are still ashamed. That’s what’s insidious. I hate to speak for others, but I don’t think I’m the only one who finds it very hard to even admit how I was treated as a pre-teen/teen. I don’t know how to express the shame I still feel for things that were done to me. I know it’s not rational, but I still feel it. When adults make excuses for their abusers and say, “Well, I probably deserved it,” we realize it’s horrible that they’ve become so acclimated to abuse. Think about what it means when children feel that way.

  35. Let me preface this, seriousgum, that bullying is a huge problem. The reason that people want to call it a crisis is because they are just noticing it (or caring) and want to feel better about themselves (not these filmakers, rather, media etc. who have already dubbed it a crisis long before this film came along).

    Obviously it’s been heightened and changed by technology, as have most things (remember when Videogum was on stone tablets, guys?) – but I think that for a long time the suck it up, be a man mentality (or ladies do this or that mentality) was a cover for all this carnage. So I’m glad people are taking a look, and I am not dismissing the problem – but don’t let people get away with the excuse that it’s suddenly gotten worse.

  36. I want to adopt the kid on the scooter as my little brother. Then we’ll get matching scooters and write comic books about how much bullies suck. Also, if the bullies are about 6 years younger than me I can maybe even beat them up too if they’re, you know, asleep or something.

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