This is a post my friend Jimmy wrote about bullying and all the news surrounding it these days. It goes with my last post and I thought it deserved a show here.
I don’t know what it’s like to think about killing yourself. I don’t know if I could ever consciously think about ending my life. I think that if I ever did try, I would be concerned about how much it would hurt, or who would clean the mess that would be left behind. I would be more concerned about my parents picking up the cost of my education. I can’t imagine holding a gun to my head and not thinking of not pulling the trigger. How can someone put a knife to their wrist and start slicing away? How can someone overdose on medication and not want to induce vomiting? I would induce vomiting. I would have so many failed attempts because I’d be too afraid of what someone else would think. I don’t think people who commit suicide are selfish. I don’t think they’re weak. I don’t think they’re lost. I don’t think they’re thinking clearly. I’m not saying that my head is clear and that I’m never lost in the world, but I just can’t fathom being so beaten down and emotionally distraught and lost and alone and helpless that taking my own life is the only clear path I can find.
I think what happened to Tyler Clementi this past week is absolutely horrifying. He was an 18-year old Rutgers University student whose roommate, Dharun Ravi, used a webcam to post his (Tyler’s) personal affairs online. Tyler found out, reported the incident, but then updated his Facebook status to show that he was going to jump off the George Washington Bridge. He typed that on his Facebook page. He (I’m assuming here) sat at his computer and typed out what he was going to do. He consciously thought about what he was going to do. He walked to the bridge determined to jump. He jumped from the bridge into the Hudson River. Did he once think about turning around and going back to campus? Did he once think about his parents? Or his friends? I think the outcome of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei’s actions are atrocious, and I hope they live the rest of their lives buried within insurmountable guilt. Tyler killed himself because of their actions, and because of them, numerous lives will never be the same. I hope they’re able to sleep at night. I also hope someone throws rocks at them. They deserve it.
Another story that broke this week, but thankfully hasn’t resulted in someone killing themselves, is the story of Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell and Chris Armstrong. This asshat and a half created a blog about the student assembly president, Chris Armstrong, at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Chris is gay, and Andrew Shirvell is a concerned Christian who talks like a big, repressed queen. Basically, I’m saying, and I have no proof of this, he likes little boys, and like every other repressed Republican with power or preacher/priest/closeted Christian, thinks overdoing it on the gay bashing will hide his own homosexuality. Again, I’m not saying he’s gay, but he’s a bit too concerned with Chris Armstrong. Boy, how those two just fit together perfectly! Shirvell created his anti-Chris blog, http://www.chris-armstrong-watch.blogspot.com (you have to be invited to be able to read, I already tried), in April, and has used it since to spread the word that Chris is basically using his all-so-powerful post as student assembly president to turn unsuspecting straight people gay and pushing a radical gay agenda. Because if anyone is going to push a radical gay agenda it’s going to be a student assembly president. Because everyone knows that in the order of power, it’s God and then student assembly president. Shirvell needs to get his ass in check and leave Chris alone. This guy obviously has nothing better to do than fuck with some guy who he’s never met and doesn’t know personally.
Anywho, back to my original thought… Numerous kids have been in the news over the past few years because of bullying. Some of the kids were gay, and they were being tormented at school. It bothers me that they felt they had nobody to turn to. It bothers me that they didn’t talk to someone. Or, maybe they did talk to someone, but there was no resolution. “Kids will be kids” is always a great way of masking the true colors of bullying, but bullying should never, ever lead to a 13-year old kid hanging himself in his closet with a belt. Someone needs to listen to these kids. Someone needs to help these kids. Someone needs to tell them that it’s alright to be different.
I was picked on in high school. I was called a fag regularly. It was always in one ear and out the other. It never bothered me because I never believed it to be true. Maybe I’m more thick-skinned that I think, and I wish more people were, too. I just can’t imagine being at the point of no return and throwing myself over a ledge. I wonder if Tyler had an “Oh, shit!” moment where he thought he made the wrong decision and he shouldn’t have jumped? What was going through his head when he updated his status to reflect his plan? What was going through his head when he realized his roommate and neighbor hooked up a webcam and controlled it from another room, posting his personal life online for others to see? What was going through Dharun and Molly’s head when they concocted their plan? Did they once think of the consequences? Did they think of how this could affect Tyler? Not likely. What’s going through their heads now? What’s going through their heads now knowing that they are the root cause of a boy’s suicide? What’s going through their heads now knowing their futures have been permanently sealed? What’s going through their heads now knowing they’ve sparked a whole load of controversy over cyberbullying? I wonder if they at all think they’re responsible? I wonder if they have the same overwhelming amount of support that Tyler’s family has? I hope not. Dharun and Molly and despicable, disgusting human beings.