Sunday, 21 May 2017

playground politics

I caught the end of a stand-up routine, and it made me think. I won't have the words exactly right, but it went something like this.

Canada is the bully's friend. The bully beats the shit out of you, and his friend stands next to him, laughing, and when they walk away the friend turns around and says, Dude I'm so so so sorry about what just happened.  That's Canada.

Fair comment. America swaggers around the  schoolyard, elbowing little kids off the swings and taking their candy.  We caper in the bully's wake, telling jokes, sympathizing with victims, but mostly happy not to be picked on ourselves. In the picture there, we're the guy with the backpack.

My question to the angry comic - and the world, for that matter - is: what would you have us do?  We can't beat him up. (I'd use a gender-neutral pronoun but America seems so darn macho - a typical female bully would act different.)  And we can't run and tell the teacher, because the bully won't do what she says. 

There are a couple of other bullies on the playground.  (They won't obey teacher either.) We try to make friends with them, but America lives next door to us so we'll probably walk home with him.  And anyway the big bullies are more interested in each other than us. 

Mostly we are trying to get through recess with clean pants and an unbloody nose. 

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