The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124679   Message #2756598
Posted By: Will Fly
31-Oct-09 - 11:18 AM
Thread Name: BS: Schoolyard bullying
Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
I had long wavy hair the colour of an Irish Setter... I was skinny and wore my hair in high side bunches resembling long floppy ears.

Sounds adorable, VT!

It would be hard to imagine, if you met me now - 65 years old, bearded, cynical, 13 stone, hardened by over 40 years of public performance - to imagine that, up until the age of 16 or so, I suffered quite severe and persistent bullying at school and out of school. I wore glasses ("speccy four-eyes), had a bad stammer, was asthmatic and was very under-developed for my age. A natural victim and, like many before me, used humour and quick wit to deflect being persecuted. You develop a quick wit when you have to.

From 16 or so onwards, I grew up quickly, started to play blues harmonica and boogie-woogie piano. Then left school, got a job, met different people, started to play guitar, joined bands, etc. etc - and everything changed. I became confident and Life became OK. But it certainly wasn't OK for a large part of my younger life. Schools 50 years ago were not were they are today - those of you in the UK of my generation will know what I'm talking about. Bullying in whatever form it takes place - through race, disability, physical appearance, background and anything else - has to be brought to the attention of teachers and parents alike and taken very, very seriously.

Someone else has pointed out that, if bullying becomes severe, the victim can take quite sudden and violent action in self-defence. I recall, playing cricket one afternoon, some kid or other started mimicking my stammer. A red mist - literally a red mist - descended in front of my eyes and I hit him extremely hard on the shoulder with the cricket bat - nearly broke it. (Good practice for the future pub gigs, eh?). That's when the bullying started to stop - but it was a deplorable thing to have done, and no-one should have to resort to red-mist violence in that situation.