Bullying in all forms should not be tolerated.
See that sentence? It’s pretty clear and concise, but unfortunately it doesn’t end the problem. It’s like saying, if we all turn our backs on Justin Bieber he’ll eventually get the idea and skip back across the border to Canada.
VH-1, the grown up home for grown-ups for grown up music like Maroon 5, has waded into the topic of bullying with a public service announcement aimed squarely at the bullies. ‘See that child,’ it cries, ‘See how you introduce his head to the contents of the toilet bowl in front of you. One day, oh one fine day, he will be an adult and you better brace yourselves. Because he is going to make your life a living hell.’
Yes, rather than pointing out that debagging someone for your amusement is a shitty thing to do and let’s be honest we’re all humans at the end of the day, so let’s just all get along; VH-1 is appealing to the menacing masses with the suggestion that what you do now will impact on you in the next life. Much like God did in the popular book, The Bible, but with the next life being eternal damnation in an office cubicle being crushed under foot by the girl you called Smelly Kelly.
One of the problems here, aside from suggesting all bullying is merely physical, is kids don’t work like that. As they’re writing another comment on Kevin’s Facebook wall about how he should just die, they’re unlikely to stop when you intervene with a glimpse of a future where Kevin is your boss and refusing you some leave. If anything, it’ll spur them on to punish them for future crimes like their Tom Cruise in Minority Report. I knew someone in college(!) who mocked me regularly because one day I might be rich like Bill Gates. In a future he’d created, I could have enough money to send a militia to his house and make him dance in his pants. This didn’t stop him lobbing bottles at my head. Well, jokes on them, I’m not rich. Ha! Bet they feel foolish now.
And there’s that other problem, where the ad suggests that bullying is just a right of passage with the dividends being a chance to spend your adult life being shitty to others. Again, this is not how bullying works. Victims do not all become vindictive with a thirst for their tormentors head on a spike. Often they become introverted and lose a part of themselves they’ll never get back.
VH-1’s intentions are admirable. Topics like bullying need to be addressed. But it needs to be taken more seriously than with a parody of Donna Summers. In real life, no matter how hard a child sings I Will Survive, they sometimes don’t.
About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at earlybirdfilm.wordpress.com. I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.
If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.