See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Born this way.



Taunting and bullying.
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I woke up this morning with Gaga's Born This Way running through my head.  I watched the Anderson Cooper interview Sunday night, I had seen the interview before, but watched the rerun again - thus embedding the music in my head.  The worst thing about Gaga for me is the flaunted, in your face eroticism of her act and clothing.  Outside of her performance art, I'm sure she is a 'nice' person, who vehemently disagrees with Roman Catholic teaching.  Her anthem to encourage youth and the arrested developed to believe they were born to be a freak, for some reason has even influenced the most sober journalists like the senile Barbara Walters, talk show hosts like Pastor Oprah, and now seemingly, the federal government - as in the Obama Administration.  Acts of the Apostasy has some good coverage on the government lying to gay youth, so I won't get into that here.
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I'm not sure Gaga is really all that influential with her anti-dogma - she's a showgirl after all, parroting provocative concepts on how to incorporate performance art into one's lifestyle.  Perhaps her devotion to Madonna of the Perpetual Rebellion is a result of feeling alienated in Catholic girl's school.  I don't care - it's her schtick.  Yet the political opportunists are the ones who seem to believe she's a prophetess of some sorts, and therefore exploit her in the process of exalting her.  Manufactured pop stars with an agenda get to be boring really fast - which may explain why Born This Way dropped in the 2nd week of sales.
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"Do you really want to hurt me?"
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Yes we do.  Anyway - believe it or not, this post isn't about Gaga.  Nah-uh.  Last evening I went out to eat and this kid comes in with his mom and brother.  The kid was dressed with cat-in-the-hat stripped elbow length gloves with the fingers cut out, a top hat, lots of chains, skin tight really low rise pants, lots of piercings and accessories and belts, and he kind of, sort of looked like Ron Weasley trying to be Harry Potter. 
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My first thought was, "Now how can this kid go to school without getting beat up."  Then I said to my dinner companion, "This is the type of kid who should be bullied."
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My friend protested, "That's disgusting.  What's wrong with how he looks?  If he was bullied, he might be the type to bring a gun to school and kill everyone."  My friend obviously knew he was a weird kid and a potential mass murderer, yet he disagreed with my hyperbole.  I of course deliberately failed to moderate my tone.  I so wanted to call Dottie Hinkle at that moment.
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Seeking attention.
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Seriously, the kid obviously had issues and his mother is probably an alcoholic or insane.  No - I don't know that for sure - the mother being insane, I mean.  Single mother, permissive, tolerant, and incapable of discipline is the more likely situation.  The kid obviously doesn't get enough attention from one parent, hence the cat-in-the-hat costume.  Someone should tell him that bullying is a form of attention.  Nevertheless, it occurred to me that a little bit of criticism from one's peers, even mockery for dressing like a comic book character, or getting pushed around a'la Napoleon Dynamite can be character building and go a long way to help a kid to mature and better assimilate into society.  Quite honestly, I am of the opinion that a certain amount of taunting and bullying is not all that bad - it helps form a person; suffering develops empathy, and so on.  If my friends never taunted me about using drugs and drinking so much, I might be dead today.  Everything in moderation of course.
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I know there are those who will say bullying is responsible for teen suicides - but I'm not so sure.  As for the issue of teen suicides, I think as a culture if we stopped advocating killing unborn children, the sick and the elderly, teens would no longer get the message that death is a way to deal with the problems of life, or to avoid conflict, or as a way to gain fame and recognition.
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What?
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Editor:  Serious posting will resume shortly.

40 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    Terry, while the connection you draw between abortion and teen suicide is the most profound part of this post, my favourite line is the description of the boy as "Ron Weasley trying to be Harry Potter." I wish I could write like you do.

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  2. Bullies are everwhere. I've seen some right nasty stuff in the past. Even on blogger. Even clerics. Some of their commenters grovel to them, and confirm the bully in their self righteousness. Friggin well annoys me!

    Anyway, I'm off to photograph my supper preparations for posting to friends websites,later. I am having bananas on toast, cut thinly.

    I bet the bullied commenters have occasional violent dreams where they whack the offender!

    Sorry, I'm insane. I was born this way. Lack of potassium in the womb apparently

    What?

    Ageism is alive and well, on blogger. Everywhere.

    Sorry Terry, what's this post about? I wasn't listening. I only popped over to borrow a cup of sugar!

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  3. I know you have to pander to your anti-gay, ex-gay sensibilities, but bullying is never acceptable. Even a cursory reading of the CCC or the Gospels makes that clear.

    smh.

    *prepares for the onslaught*

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  4. So why do gay people bully those who disagree with them?

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  5. Well, to begin with, you're generalizing. I have never bullied anyone.

    Further, and correct me if I'm wrong, but how many schools have a problem with gay kids picking on the straight kids? How many straight kids get beat up by gay kids for being straight?

    And even if none of the above were an issue, that doesn't change the fact that basic human and Christian decency teaches that bullying is wrong, for any reason.

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  6. Additionally, how many times have you written about being bullied for being "too holy" as a child? That was inexcusable, too.

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  7. Thom, Some of the nastiest bullies I've met are catholic bloggers! Certain highly respected/paid ones have a culture of death aswell, the desired soon demise/life's end of vatican 2 catholics, be they laity or hierarchy. I think that is disgusting, when in the same breath they call themselves protectors of the unborn. Bishops and hippies were unborn once upon a time.

    Also, I don't think there is a safe place for chaste catholic priests to admit their homosexuality, without it becoming a negative aspect on their priesthood. One priest has actually told me this, privately. It's a subject not talked about publicly though, for fear of ?????? Well, we'll see, now that I have talked about it.


    If we are presenting a viable option to the world's non-christian welcome to homosexuals, here on blogger, showing compassion, sensitivity and respect, as we are taught in the catechism, as Catholics, I must have missed it?

    I daren't open my mouth around some catholics!

    I still do though, then duck for cover!

    I would want people to stick up for me, if I become a minority group. As an alcoholic, I get plenty of snarky comments but I can't control other people's thoughts, words or deeds so I don't hold on to them for too long. If I did, I might drink.

    I've got a big enough mouth to be the voice of a few people!!

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  8. Thom - not because I was 'holy' but because I was 'religious'.

    Shadowlands - yes indeed - catholic bloggers can be the worst bullies.

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  9. Let's all turn Proddy, for a laugh!

    What?

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  10. Lady Gaga is a theologian at America Magazine...I have what I am sure will be viewed as a patholgoical and unchristian idea about bullying. We forget that the natural law lies in the heart of even children and adolescents. They know in their hearts that there something very wrong with the world, that homosexuality is wrong. With no adults in their lives to protect them from the cesspool of sin that surrounds them, they cope in the only way they know how. They lash out at others. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like for kids today. I would be probably be arrested. I was not a sanguine adolescent.

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  11. According to the Catholic church, all human nature is subject to the fall.
    The church would not look on children bullying other children as their inherent 'goodness' reacting to the other children's inherent 'badness' or are we giving out the message as catholics, that homosexual children are bad and heteresexual children are good, by nature? If so, I am in the wrong church because I do not accept that. If someone has various prejudices, own them as one's personal opinion and this stops ohers assuming it is catholic teaching, which in this case, it isn't. It's not even christian.

    This is where I sometimes see other catholics not being clear and honest to themselves about their own ignorance and prejudice regarding catholic beliefs around homosexuality. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us, the true condition of our hearts regarding fellow humans who are homosexual. Prejudice is an inherited defect of character, it can be spiritual. If you don't believe me, come and meet some of my Irish Protestant relations and some of the Catholic ones!

    Also, we must try and listen to people outside the faith when they speak about how they see the 'message' being given by the church, don't assume they are exaggerating or lieing or is that another false belief we hold, when it comes to homosexuals? We must search our own hearts before we are able to show another how God sees them. Personally, I think we have an appalling evangelsing method towards gay people in general, ill thought out and hardly a burning Christlike love motivating us, more like anger and frustration.

    Our Lady holds us all in her heart. This is a wonderful truth that needs sharing with every human being. Learning this myself, is helping me to change, anger didn't. Love is such a powerful motivater.
    We all need love. Jesus commands us to love.

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  12. Shadowlands: What do you think is the root cause of "bullying"?

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  13. Couldn't name a Gaga tune if my very life depended on it, couldn't hum a fraction of a chord, couldn't describe an image or likeness of her, couldn't tell you anything about her. Yes, yes I live in a closet, a prayer closet because I am *so* holy - (insert maniacal laughter) - but really, I am clueless about many of these things and people. What would I do without my daily Mr.Button?

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  14. Maria:

    I had to look it up as I would have said 'fear'
    However, Jane St. Clair@http://www.byparents-forparents.com/causesbullies.html says....

    Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem, and put down other people to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school, new research shows that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem. Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. They enjoy being cruel to others and sometimes use bullying as an anger management tool, the way a normally angry person would punch a pillow.

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  15. Kids bully other kids because lots of kids are jerks. I think that's it.

    Owen, God bless you man for never having heard that crap. Gaga, who is herself just "edgier", recycled Madonna, is the symbol of a civilization moving forward by sheer inertia. What counts as "art" is now the equivalent of a teenage kid saying the "F" word in class just o get a rise out of the teacher and other students. The joke is that nothing shocks anyone anymore, so even the shock value is pointless, and all the crap is a grotesque charicature of crap.

    I recently discovered classical music. To thing something as beautiful as Wagner's operas and Beethoven's symphonies were once not only produced, but enjoyed wide popularity is beyond the comprehension of someone of generation - heck, I just wish we could get back to where pop music was in the sixties. At least there was some real art there.

    Oh, and best out-of-context quote: "bishops and hippies were unborn once upon a time" - gotta love it, shadowlands!

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  16. I recently discovered classical music.

    Get thee to some Mozart piano concertos!

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  17. Haha, there are some rad trads who believe there is a direct link between Romanticism and Lady Gaga. But then you'd have to blame Beethoven, and Mozart, and back to whatever dude invented instruments, and musical notation - oh no, there is a direct link between Gregorian chant and Lady Gaga!

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  18. I so enjoy posts like this.

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  19. How do you say "shit-stirrer" in Latin?

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  20. Thanks Shadowlands. Here I was thinking that kids are overwhelmed by the perversity of the world around them, lol. Me too, Terry, lol. I'm done now.

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  21. I kind of think most bullying is like chicken pecking...where chickens start pecking at the weakest amongst them...

    I was bullied alot in Junior high, because I was tall (for my age, not to more :), not that pretty, shy, and a bookworm...plus I got good grades in school. Fortunately I lived through it and had a good mom and dad that helped me handle it.

    there are adult bullies nowadays....although in the work environment their action have to be really subtle, but they are still bullies.

    I blow off the Internet bullies...hiding behind anonynimity, won't post their real photo or real name because they KNOW the reprucussions... can't say what they really want to say TO MY FACE....screw you...nothing but a bunch of bits in the bit bucket of cyberspace. People that take them seriously really need to get a life.... you can come shovel wet hay and horse poo with me. Bring your own shovel.

    Incidently, today is IPv6 day...the days of anonymous users will soon be over...revenge of the nerds :)

    Sara

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  22. Maria - I'm sure the idea that kids can just "fee" the perversity is wrong. Kids bully kids for all sorts of things - and in most cases it has little to do with perversity. I was bullied cause I was a "nerd" and didn't like sports and doing other stupid crap the other boys did.

    I also think that the bullying plays right into the hands of gays who want to recruit teens who feel "different" and "confused". I doubt there is a person on the planet who was ever discouraged from embracing a gay lifestyle due to bullying. Quite the opposite - if there were less bullying there might be less "exploration", really.

    And yes, gays do recruit.

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  23. ...by way of X-Men, right? lolz.

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  24. Haha, yes, Thom.

    I remember when X-Men made a big deal in the early 90s about how one character was going to be revealed to be gay. Wolverine? Beast? Gambit? Nope. Northstar. Yes, a member of Alpha Flight and sometime X-Men member that few people cared about.

    Because in the end it's really about profits, and turning a beloved character gay usually doesn't rake them in. :)

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  25. I agree with Mercury's comment, about bullying sometimes resulting in kids who are different identifying as gay. I have a friend who has suffered a lot because of this. He is a classical musician, and likes old movies and antiques and costume-making. The boys at his high school teased him brutally, saying only gays liked those things, and if he liked those things he must be gay. He started to wonder if they might be right. A sequence of rejections from girls in college and the welcoming overtures of gay activist groups have sealed the deal--he is now 30 years old, and self-identifies as gay.

    It saddens me that he allowed others to convince him to take that path. A little bullying might be a good thing, sometimes, but the cruel persistence of some bullies can have long-lasting and horrifying effects on a weak personality.

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  26. What about tinky-winky?

    Gays have to recruit; they don't reproduce naturally.

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  27. Actually, this touches on something personal: when I was 19-20 I suffered from tremendous OCD fears that I "must" be gay, because I wasn't like others. There was never any real indication of such thing, but it did lead to constant questioning. One can only wonder how things may have turned out had I had a different family. Even the first counsellor I went to said "you know, there's nothing wrong with it" and even went so far as to encourage me to think the whole "what if" line. It freaked me out.

    The "recruiting" world because culturally we are conditioned to think that lots of people have deep-seated, hidden, gay tendencies that only need be discovered. And if we find such tendencies, that's it - gaaay. The straights can always potentially turn gay, but for the gays, it's "once gay, always gay" - sort of like homo-Calvinism.

    I'm not saying all gay people really believe this, but it is the assumption one finds in movies, TV, music, novels, etc. The idea that a gay person can give it up and "go straight" is seen as preposterous, but when a man, eve a family man, goes gay, he's getting in touch with his true self.

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  28. I was never bullied by any gay children, but I was pestered by one especially persistent and aggressive lesbian in high school. Having been sheltered in Catholic grade school for 8 years, I had never encountered anything like it in my life. I felt sorry for the girl, but not sorry enough not to spurn her advances. She eventually got expelled for groping girls without an invitation.

    Those who bully have a streak of cruelty running through their veins that I cannot explain. Bullies will only pick on those they know are not likely to fight back. As soon as they get a dose of their own medicine, they're quaking in their boots. My autistic son was bullied for most of his grade-school years. It cost me thousands of dollars in counseling to help him through this Hell, and once he was in therapy, he learned that if he ignored the bullies, they'd get tired of picking on him and find another victim. Most of his friends today are the kind that other kids bullied. And fortunately, he's a size now that no one wants to mess with. They don't know he couldn't hurt a fly, and they don't need to know either.

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  29. Has anyone bothered to right click on the photo and check 'properties' to see who it is?

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  30. No, I can't bear to look at that photo. Who is it?

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  31. Pleeease tell me that's Photoshopped! Big Bang is the only show programmed in my DVR. Say it ain't so Amy!

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  32. bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/Amy_Farrah_Fowler

    Amy Farrah Fowler. Huh? Terry--Exactly how hot IS it in Minnesota, lol?

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  33. Mercury makes an interesting point. So true that straight people can turn gay, but not vice versa, and don't even suggest that a gay person can "straighten out." Such lies.

    Props to Thom for saying bullying at any time is unacceptable. But parents do need to prepare their kids for the inevitable, especially if they're artistic or meek in any way.

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  34. It isn't really Amy Farrah Fowler - I just named the photo that - it kind of looks like her though.

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  35. +JMJ+

    I actually thought it was Marilyn Manson . . . or Lady Gaga.

    Seriously.

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  36. Anonymous6:02 PM

    The worst bully I ever encountered was a nun - ironically, a Sister of Mercy. She was my Grade XI teacher and never lost an opportunity to remind me (in front of the entire class) that I was going to fail, that I was a phoney who fooled everyone else because my grades had always been good (except for Math). Math had always been a stumbling block - my brain isn't "wired" that way - but I excelled at languages, music, and the humanities in general. The final year of high school was unmitigated hell because of this woman, and even now, at the age of 64, the memories still hurt a little. Before that year, I didn't have much self-confidence to begin with - alcoholic parent (Mom), emotionally absent father - and since then, it's been a life-long process to get back what little there was. By the grace of God I held on to my sanity, and life today is getting better. But I wonder what God will have to say to one of His "Spouses" who did such damage. I suspect there are a lot more like me out there. If not for Jesus, I would be a)dead; b) a drunk or addict; c) or would weigh 500 lbs. So who I am today is mostly because of His love for me.

    Sorry for the length.

    Regards,
    Chloesmom

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  37. Cloesmom - I had a nun just like that in 7th grade - it was like she hated me. She was mean to other kids, but with me she seemed especially vicious. Very weird woman.

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  38. Perhaps she saw you commit acts of liturgical abuse and she was righteously indignant in saving the liturgy, thus saving the world. She was a hero, really, if you think about it.

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  39. Thom, do you think she said the black and did the red?

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  40. She said the red and did the black and practiced lectio with the copyright information in the front.

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