The bullied kid as metaphor

Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, market collapses, Middle Eastern turmoil . . . .  It’s been a busy week news-wise.  So you want to know what the hottest story is?  None of the above.  Per Allahpundit, the absolute hottest story is this video:

The story behind the video is that the bigger boy, Casey Heynes, has been bullied for years by swarms of kids at a difficult school in Australia.  The video represents the moment when, finally, he has his Popeye moment (“That’s all I can stands and I can’t stand no more.”).

Allahpundit decries the video’s popularity:

Between popping iodide tablets and fretting about the carnage to come in Benghazi, the world’s got a fee-vah and the only prescription is more bully body slam.

Which means, I guess, that I owe Obama an apology for goofing on him over his NCAA brackets. No worries, champ: Your priorities are just fine.

This is one of those rare occasions when I think Allahpundit has misread the zeitgeist at work here.

The video, distilled to its essence, shows that something bigger, whether a kid, a nation or a culture, can be swarmed and bullied by smaller kids (or nations or cultures).  For a long time, the big one takes it.  It doesn’t seem sporting to use that size against the aggressors.  If you’re not really being hurt, and if you’re not naturally aggressive by nature, you just stand there, sucking it up.  Indeed, if you’ve been told for a long time that you’re worthless and evil, part of you may even think you deserve the bullying.  But there comes a moment, finally, when enough is enough.  No one, no nation, no culture, can or should passively accept such unrelenting abuse and attack.

The thing is that when someone (or something) big finally snaps, that snap is BIG too.  Casey didn’t retaliate with a little push back or punch.  Casey used his size and strength with punishing force.

We in the West have been bullied relentlessly for years.  We are insulted, pilloried, reviled, blown up, shot, beheaded, robbed, etc., with impunity.  We’ve taken it.  Indeed, not only have we taken it, but we’ve funded those who attack us and opened our borders to those who steal from us.

Currently, our leader is one of those who thinks that we’re worthless and evil, and that we deserve the attacks, opprobrium and theft.  He’s not striking back.  But we, the people, in our hearts, are approaching our Popeye moment.  We’ve turned the other cheek as long as possible, knowing that our vast strength means that we run the risk of ourselves becoming bullies should we respond to the endless provocations.  There comes a moment, however, when you pop the spinach and strike back.  That’s what Casey did and the video is popular because that’s what we, in the West, long to do.

Between popping iodide tablets and fretting about the carnage to come in Benghazi, the world’s got a fee-vah and the only prescription is more bully body slam.Which means, I guess, that I owe Obama an apology for goofing on him over his NCAA brackets. No worries, champ: Your priorities are just fine.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Quite appropriate to your metaphor, Book, is that the bully’s mother insisted that the bullied kid apologize to her son.
    Sheesh!  Slap her, too!

  • Danny Lemieux

    Whooops! I see that this story has since been corrected – the bully’s mum wants her son to apologize.
    That’s good! Progress.
    Maybe that’s what we should insist that other countries do to us: apologize!

  • jj

    We better get off our ass, then.  Our “vast strength” is being vastly eroded from within – and that right rapidly.
    Hard to share your optimism.  As recently as four months ago segments of this country re-elected Harry Reid.  Barbara Boxer.  Barney Fwank.  Patty Murray.  Schumer.  Pelosi.  Murkowski.  McCain.  And a nearly complete galaxy of brainless, worthless, useless, witless poseurs, fakers, and liars.  People you wouldn’t allow into your home.  I don’t think we’re fast approaching much of anything, except maybe self-immolation.  Certainly not a Popeye moment.

  • Charles Martel

    I think Israel may be the first western country to have a Popeye moment. After that. . . .France?


  • zabrina

    What enrages me about the video is:  where were the adults at that school? If they knew this larger boy had been bullied for a long time, why was there no supervision? They left him to the wolves. I have no sympathy for the little bully who threw the first taunting punch. Sorry, he deserves the thrashing he got, and may he benefit from the education. This was the best possible demonstration of consequences to the little brat about why he should not bully people (since moral arguments hadn’t convinced him).  And now that there’s plenty of media attention to the story, all the adults onsite must weigh in, and evidently both boys were suspended from school for fighting. I say if these negligent adults can’t guarantee the safety of the children in their care, the bullied is justified in taking care of the situation himself, and the punishment for both boys should not be “equal.”
    To follow your metaphor, it is the same with nations–where there ARE no adults, i.e. overweening, supposedly caring, wise, and supervising authorities–to appeal to for protection. At base, it’s every nation for itself when a bully comes along. Hobbesian, but a sad fact of life.
    This story remind me of Israel. They continue to be restrained while being punched in the face.

  • jj

    The disconnect is what gets me.  The Whatever-BS-Title-She-Is from the New South Wales schools says that the school doesn’t tolerate bullying, and controls the place.  The kids, the ones who live in the middle of it all, offer the opinion that the school is an ongoing rodeo, with fights happening every day, being posted on line, and everybody feeling full-time uneasy about attending there.
    I don’t know for certain whose correct, but my instinct tells me to go with the kids, and suggest to the school authorities that maybe it’s time for them to make an effort to pull their heads out, stop buying into their own BS, and take an honest look – insofar as they’re capable of an honest look – at what’s really going on in the apparent zoo where they work.
    Teachers… Jesus.  I guess they’re offal everywhere – all over the world.

  • Charles Martel

    The school administrator who declared that violence is never the answer probably would have been in charge of the welcoming committee in 1942 when the Japanese army swept into Queensland.

    What a crock. Who in his right mind believes that violence can never be the answer when it is so obvious that well-applied violence—American Revolution, Civil War, Hiroshima, Grenada, for example—works wonders.

  • Ymarsakar

    where were the adults at that school?

    Obeying their union dictates, of course.

  • JKB

    Unfortunately, that won’t end it.  The little punk wasn’t the leader.  Notice the bigger kid come in.  The kid being bullied has to beat, hard, the leader.  Has to make him realize that he lives because the boy chose it.
    The boy’s mom hates her son.  By making him apologize she is opening him up to more abuse.  Idiot.  But if he must apologize, I suggest: “I’m sorry you harassed me to the point I had to take matters into hand.”
    As it relates to the US, remember how for a week or so the world held its breath after 9/11.  They weren’t worried about al queada, they were waiting to see how the US would react.  It is to Bush’s credit he held response for a cooling off period and then did a measured response.  For all the whining, Afghanistan and then Iraq were the measured response.  If in the weeks of September, October and even November 2001, George Bush issued the order, “Go” to the US military, they would have went, the majority of Americans would have cheered and the greatest fighting force in the history of the world would have run across this planet resolving the terrorists in a wave beyond imagination.  No nation building, terrorist killing, fast, brutal and no apologies, and taking out a government or two if needed.  We kill good, we can put it back together.  The problems come when we let the yapping dogs start snapping at our ankles instead of kicking them in the head.

  • Ymarsakar

    The thing is, jj, they are there expressly to promote bullying. The more bullies there are, the more power and control the union’s can accrue to themselves.
    Normally these things are handled by the victims themselves. In the good old days, there were two factors keeping bullies and intimidation in check. 1. Bigger, meaner students that will get into the fray to protect the small ones (because they were paid by the small ones or it was a favor) and 2. Teachers had actual discretionary authority to remove, punish, or make fun of bullies. So for the big problems that the kids themselves couldn’t handle, like gangs or what not, teachers would provide the resources and backup. For the insurgencies and mid night battle royales where no teachers or administrators know about, the students themselves handle the issue.
    By focusing and centralizing all power, including the power to use violence, in pie in the school “educators”, the consequences are obvious.
    If the resources of the school are brought against the victims themselves, then the students cannot use the force of violence to deter or stop attacks. All that is left is school authority. And when school authority cares only about punishing people after the fact, including those that defend themselves, there is no school authority ever, effective or not. There is only the union and the massive amounts of money they are taking in from students, teachers, and parents and taxpayers.
    It’s a good gig if you can get it.
    This is of course how the Left operates in Iraq, Vietnam, and the Middle East. They love centralizing authority, then when chaos happens, they start punishing the innocent. They poopooed General Petraeus and his COIN initiative to slowly but assuredly spread from a center and hold territories in the Sunni Triangle. They said it couldn’t be done. They wanted to attack the Sunnis that were working with America to increase security. They wanted to attack the Americans actually doing a damn thing against the terrorists in Iraq for “excesses”.
    At home, serial killers run around and guess who the Leftist lawyers are on the side of? Terrorists, rapists, murderers, and serial killers, that is who. What about Black Panthers, did CENTRALIZED AUTHORITY come to your aid there? Not if you are white, Republican, or a race traitor, boy. A movie director escapes to Switzerland after raping an underaged girl, and who’s side is the Left on? False accusations using the power of the state, the law, the judge, the court, and the UNIVERSITY DUKE CAMPUS ADMINISTRATION, got who on their side?
    The Left has one Standard Operating Procedure. Keep people oppressed and they are easier to control, brainwash, and make into victims.
    Trying to expect unions of teachers to “do anything” about violence and chaos is like expecting LibProgs to save human life.

  • Ymarsakar

    I concur with JKB that the little guy doesn’t seem like he’s the ring leader. His defeat obviously didn’t intimidate the other boy that stepped in. So either they weren’t together in the same hierarchy, or they were together.
    I seem to remember this recent movie about an adult getting time warped back into his high school body and youth in order to relive his star basketball days.
    The way I would envision the plot is if I go back to a school, just like that Australian school, in an age appropriate body, but with all the skills, mindset, and training I have now.
    What do you think would happen then?

  • Ymarsakar

    What the Left means is that violence is never the answer when the objective gets in the way of the Left’s Utopia. When it is for the Utopia, then violence is perfectly fine with the Left. The more the better even.

  • MacG

    Y ” All that is left is school authority. ”

    And they have taught kids to question authority and can’t figure out ahy they have lost control….

  • Ymarsakar

    MacG, they think that all good children will Obey an Obama or Chavez or Chinese dictator. They dream about it.

  • Mike Devx

    Charles Martel: The school administrator who declared that violence is never the answer probably would have been in charge of the welcoming committee in 1942 when the Japanese army swept into Queensland.  […] What a crock.

    Ditto and Thumbs Up!  It is well known that the only response to bullying is to fight back by all means possible.  You must NOT just sit there and take it.  That leads inevitably to more bullying and in fact an escalation of it.  There’s a nasty dynamic at work there expressing the darker aspects of human nature and the need, among some, to have someone below them on the totem pole of life to relentlessly persecute.  The bullying will not stop.

    As you said, Charles, sometimes violence – in self defense especially!- is the only answer.  That so-called adult, supposedly in charge of maintaining law and order on the school grounds, is failing to do that job AND is a complete and clueless idiot.  Bravo to the kid!

  • MacG


    They must mean parental authority then but “forgot” to say that.

  • Bookworm


    What’s sad is that there are good teachers out there.  The Leftist rot in the system overwhelms and paralyzes them, though.  It’s hard to teach actual subjects, let alone core values, when you have administrators spewing that kind of nonsense.

    I’d also say that, for poor Casey, in what’s obviously a dysfunctional school system, violence was the answer.  He’d been on the receiving end of it for a long time — without any responsible adult stepping in to save him — and it was his eventual reciprocal violence that seems to have made the difference.

  • Charles Martel

    The UN Security Council has given its OK for a no-fly zone in Libya. All of the world’s handwringers (Zach, you there?) can breathe easier now that Joo-Hatin’ Mama’s OK makes the act of defending Libyan rebels moral.

    This could work out well for NBOTUS (Nancy Boy of the United States). He can now come to the rescue with American military power while showing a grateful world that he was willing to wait for the United Nations to give him permission to do the right thing. Thank goodness China, Russia and Germany were feeling nice today and didn’t vote to veto.

  • Charles

    What a great metaphor! And by “big” I am going to assume that you don’t just mean size; but, also, mean attitude –  as in “be the bigger man.”

    Yes, it is interesting how the “little” ones get away with doing so much sh*t with nary a peep out of anyone. Then when the big one finally hits back everyone and his brother then complains bitterly about the unfairness of it.

    It did seem hopeful there for a while that Bush’s response to 9-11 would change that; unfortunately, as so many have commented here and elsewhere, Obama is working double-time to undo that. Obama still doesn’t get it  – the world is full of bullies and there is only one language that bullies understand – force.

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, the way to get a critical injury from a body slam or judo throw, is to throw your opponent into the ground, then fall on him as he impacts the ground (put your weight on top of his), and all the while ensuring that his head and neck is the thing that is first touches the ground.
    this in turn will produce catastrophic and irreparable damage. just an fyi

  • Ymarsakar

    MacG, Revolutions often eat their own due to the simple fact that having come to power based upon an appeal to aged old blood lusts and class divisions and petty hatreds, how will they maintain power? Someone else will just say of them, what they said of the previous ruling regime. “Down with the tyrants!” sounds good and all, but a functional government it ain’t.
    There is no future with their truck and ilk. Even if they succeeded in ushering in “utopia”, they would lose it immediately upon the demand of others. If they were justified in demanding that Western civilization bow down to LibProg ideology, how could they refuse Islam, who uses far more persuasive arguments and methods of demand.

  • David Foster

    “The school administrator who declared that violence is never the answer”….school administrators typically do not seem to be thinking, feeling human beings at all, but rather some species of very simple stimulus-response-playback robot.
    I would think it would be much easier for IBM to program an AutoAdministrator than it was for them to program the Jeopardy-playing machine.

  • Ymarsakar

    The zero tolerance policy of many schools is simply designed more to cover up their problems than fix them. For they neither have the power nor the resources to solve such problems. In point of fact, they deliberately refuse to adopt methods that would allow them to make inroads on an insurgency.
    Oakland, New Orleans, Chicago, and Detroit. All places where “crims” seem to have a run of things far larger than their numbers would warrant. Not because there is no possibility of a solution. Not because there is no availability of a fix. Not because people just don’t have the firepower or manpower for it.
    Only because the powers that be want it to stay that way and they’re willing to make you sacrifice something important to you, to see that it remains that way.

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