I recall a time as a child playing with friends in the schoolyard as kids. We had a ball and were set to play foursquare. Out of the side of my view, I could see a teacher marching in who’d regularly made it known she had favorites for whatever reason.
Marching up to the foursquare party we were about to kick-off she shouted, “Boys I’m going to need that ball. It’s not for you it is for everyone.” Grabbing the ball from my friend, she made no comment as to what we would be playing and why she’d just now decided we were not playing fair and sharing.
As she marched to the other side of the blacktop we could see her hand the ball to a little girl who ran off to her friends. That summer after the school year ended I saw the teacher driving through town with that little girl. It turned out she was her aunt.
To this day that slow lesson burned into me, into every pore of my being. I grew a hatred for every schoolyard bully throwing myself with reckless abandon into fights with any bullies I could find. There was Barry, he was the first obvious bully. He’d kick dirt in faces, take lunches, pick on little kids half his size, and then he came after me.
That day I was laying on the tire swing with two friends. We’d been keeping it mellow and then Barry walked up. Laughing, he grabbed the chain and started spinning us in a death spin circle. Holding on for our dear lives, my friend yelped, “BARRY, STOP!!! I CAN’T HOLD ON…” Barry kept going, kept laughing. I leaned in, put my head down and closed my eyes. One of my friends fell off and the others began to cry. Grabbing the chain and jerking, Barry, still laughing, Barry brought us to a sudden stop.
My world was a spinning mess and my stomach began to gurgle its dissent. Maybe it was the swing, maybe it was the deep discontent and latent anger from the teacher who’d taken our ball the year before, I don’t really know. With every ounce of effort and even more bitter resentment of bullies, I aimed my mouth at Barry the bully, leaning within inches of him I blurted out “Barry!!!”, turning to me just as did, I barfed on Barry with one epic and fully gross shot.
Over the years there were more. In Sixth grade, it was Ricco, who decided to bully me and my friends by grabbing my buddy Derek’s lacrosse stick while demanding I give up the other to his friend. Instead, I took that Lacrosse stick to Ricco’s knees. In the principals’ office, I apologized for beating up Ricco, who also to happen to of been the 8th-grade bully and somehow oddly a friend of my sisters. It was not a good night for me when I got home.
I can keep going, but the moral is the same, I cannot stand bullies, and I’ll even call myself out if I sense that I am being or becoming one. So what is the point of this..?
It seems to me that in America we have a problem like the one I experienced playing foursquare, except this time it is not teachers who’ve given favors to favorites, it is our government. Be it the 1% Billionaires who corrupt legislation to their favor, or the big banks who’ve seemingly usurped the nation from the citizenry, we’ve got a problem with legislative, economic and social bullies.
That money is power and nothing more than a tool is beyond me. People who run amok with weaponry give rise to a call by citizens to disarm a nation. Why is it so that banks who run amok with currency, debt and credit do not give rise to citizens calling for the financial disarming of global institutions?
Bullies on Wall Street haven’t even got half the respect of Barry. At least Barry was willing to look me dead in the eye. At least Barry was willing to do his own dirty work. At least Barry visited my vomitorium. I’m not sure where this is all going except perhaps the nagging question I have, when will America get tired of its bullies?
Just because they wear suits does not make them any better than anyone else. Just because they wield economic weapons does not make those weapons any less dangerous then guns wielded by a madman. Yet, we debate them not.
If only the bullies were like Barry, and a world sick of the economic death spin got sick enough and centered enough to see their enemy, perhaps then we’d shower them in the very vomit they created.