Sunday, March 22, 2009

MakeBeliefs Comix: Classic hallmarks of bullying

Comic strip in four panels. In the first panel, a fluttering pigeon with the head of a man says, "I find it difficult to feel sorry for you as so many students like you have never really made an attempt to be part of the student body." Listening to him, a human-looking cat thinks, "Wow ..." In the second panel, the pigeon says, "You simply stand to the side and criticize what you didn't understand and never tried to correct." The cat thinks, "Verbal put-downs ..." In the third panel, the pigeon says, "This article ... will reach a lot of alumni and only make it more difficult for you to return for any of our All-Class Reunions." The cat thinks, "And threats of social exclusion!" In the fourth panel, the pigeon says, "The word will get out ..." The cat thinks, "Where'd he learn to bully so well?"

While claiming that bullying never happened at my high school and that I just didn’t make an effort, my accuser exhibits classic hallmarks of bullying: verbal put-downs and threats of social exclusion with victim-blaming thrown in. Created via MakeBeliefs Comix, this comic strip utilizes text from an email sent by someone who graduated from Calistoga Junior/Senior High School 20 years before I did, and objected to one of my newspaper columns about being bullied in school.

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