Saturday, June 23, 2012

Making The Case For Violence

Almost daily, I fantasize about socking teenagers square in the nose.  In fact, I believe one of society's greatest failures is the taboo status attached to beating the ever-living piss out of a 16 year old, regardless of how badly the little asshat is begging for it.

Early Wednesday morning the internet caught fire in the wake of an excruciating ten minute video of New York schoolkids verbally abusing an elderly bus monitor.  Various mainstream media outlets have since picked up the story, and by week's end the woman will almost certainly be making the morning talk show rounds as a new twist on a growing national narrative on bullying.  

What is wrong with these kids?

I have a theory.

Nothing keeps people in check like the fear of physical harm.  That was true 100 years ago and it will hold true 100 years from now.  If you take that chip from authority figures, it falls directly in the lap of the very people that need checked most.  It is this "who watches the watchmen" dynamic that has long made the school bus a petri dish of youthful douchery.

Bullying has always existed.  The school bus was no picnic when I was a kid, and the rural Iowa community I grew up in was Mayberry compared to New York City.  What concerns me about this particular incident is the victim is a recognized authority figure.

That is what keeps new dads up at night.  We want our sons to be sweet, compassionate, and peaceful without becoming a target for bullies, while instilling a strong, quiet confidence to counter the pack mentality that transforms otherwise decent children into the bullies we mean to protect them from.

It's clear what has to be done.  We must teach our sons to kick ass.  Not just figuratively - as in one who kicks ass at long division - but literally, as in "hey, that kid is being unspeakably awful to the sweet old lady on your school bus, rather than document this for your Facebook page, go kick his ass."

It is important that we establish some ground rules.  These skills we intend to develop are not to be taken lightly.  The last thing the world needs is another hothead running around picking fights for sport.  Our children's violence shall be tempered and righteous (read: Norris, Chuck).

If we discourage any and all violence, there are two likely outcomes.  One, only rule breakers will develop the wherewithal to leverage the fear of physical harm.  This leads to one jackass kid with inept or absent parents terrorizing his community from the back of the school bus.  Unfortunately, this will also be the teenager getting laid regularly, until he impregnates some poor girl, thereby launching her to MTV Teen Mom stardom.  I hate to spoil the ending fourteen years in advance, but the kid named after a car, whose "dad" is an aspiring...can't really tell...ends up being a shithead.

My wife makes me watch the show...

The second potential outcome is scarier yet.  Just kidding, nothing is scarier than the idea of your teenage daughter getting knocked up by a total spare and having MTV compound your problems by giving her the fame bug.  I'm sure all famous actresses get their start by documenting their quest for a GED in Chattanooga.

"A dialect coach?  Nah, you don't sound that southern."

But back to the bus.  There is a negative consequence to the anti-violence stance that can be devastating, even in the absence of an ill-fated star turn on MTV.  There is the distinct possibility we could succeed.  The only thing we need less than one bad apple running the show, is nobody running the show.

The New York school bus incident wasn't the result of traditional bullying, it was a collection of kids that don't spend enough time wondering, "is there a possibility this could get me punched in the face?"

If the first kid to make an off-color comment to a defenseless elderly woman would have received a Chuck Norris roundhouse to the ear, I have a hard time believing that situation escalates to newsworthy status.  

I know the case for situational violence isn't universally popular.  Just remember, when your teenage daughter comes home with a positive pregnancy test and an MTV camera crew, you can't sock her asshat boyfriend in the nose.  

I think it's best we cut him off at the school bus and save you the frustration.

"Hold my bottle, I'm gonna go settle this..."

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