- Most bullying in my high school days was through making fun of people. There wasn't much The Wonder Years-style slam-the-loser-into-the-locker physical intimidation. Mainly the popular kids/bullies/assholes would make fun of the losers (us losers...).
Fights at my high school would take place at a nearby bridge, off school property, and were high profile events. In my grade 9 year Kevin fought Colter and a couple years later Riley fought... some girl... but that was it. Two.*
- Not to compare bullies to Our Lord, but Jesus used humor, too. Two examples:
"Go the extra mile." This popular saying was coined by Jesus. It is not about self-sacrifice, pretty much at all. Its about power and it leans heavily on humor to wield it. Read "Example 1" at the bottom.
"Give him your cloak also." Jesus again. Basically he's recommending public nudity as a tactic in dealing with legal matters. "Example 2" at the bottom.
- Finally, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are highly influential. "I believe/agree with them because they say things about the world in a way that makes me laugh." Do you agree with that statement? I used to be a pretty political and pretty conservative dude and used to be jealous of their ability to sway people just because they were so damned funny.**
In sum, there's a lot of power in humor. Hell, I can remember as a kid making my little brother laugh so he wouldn't tell on me... I really think there's something here.
Maybe I should go try and be funnier?
* Maybe bullying is communicated through jokes because violence is so strongly suppressed in our society?
** Check out http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/2010/10/october-31-2010.html (hour 3, early on) Here is an interview with professor Kelly McBride who offers - hands down - the best take on news media I have ever heard. I believe its about 6min in to hour 3.
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Get the joke? "If I take your pack more than one mile your commanding officer is going to whip you! Hahahahahaaa!"