Posts Tagged ‘Bully’

Pink Shirt Day – it’s like reliving the 80s for a good cause

I remember when the circumstances that helped create Pink Shirt Day first happened – it was one of the notable stories of the week, September of 2007. It had a John Hughes film quality to it – a new student attends his first day of classes at a rural high-school in Nova Scotia, wearing a pink Polo shirt. Fair enough – Polo is always a solid choice and in 2007, I think pink was supposed to be the new black.

No problem there, not counting the high-school bullies.

Surprising to nobody that’s ever attended high-school, they went to work on the new kid, verbally beating him down with the bluntest instrument in the vocabulary of teenage boys everywhere; homo.

The surprising, almost unbelievable part of the story is that two Grade 12 students took offence on behalf of the younger Grade 9 classmate, and using their own money, a discount clothing store, and online social networking, they bought 50 pink t-shirts and handed them out at the school door the next day. And the 50 was supplemented by even more students that wore their own pink apparel. It seems like an obvious twofer – get an awesome excuse to wear that pink sweater AND stick it to the thuggish common denominator at the same time.

Anyhow, happy ending – the new student’s confidence is restored, two grade 12 students are national heroes (Go Canada!), and the bullies are doing whatever it is bullies do when they don’t get their way. Smoking, carving things into desks, and punching one another in the arm, one would imagine.

But it doesn’t end there – an anecdote this perfect has, inevitably, become the focus of an new, annual campaign to take a stand against school bullying – the literally named Pink Shirt Day [PSD] on February 25th (yeah, I’m not sure why it’s not September either – I’m assuming there’s an awareness calendar and September was full.)

Most of us aren’t in high-school any more, but we were all there once. And at least in some small way, the kids around us aspire to be us – independant and critical thinkers. And to be honest, we’re all better looking people now anyhow. Plus black and pink looks awesome, hipsters. So, why not show a little support on Feb. 25th? Pull on some pink, and wherever possible, pass this along to your friends. The perfect Hollywood ending for this story is if the actions of two clever young men trigger and annual, international event.

Vancouver made game turns children into tiny terrors

Wii Bully

As you all remember the world ended in 2006 with the release of Rockstar’s Bully [mbv].  It had gay kissing, fighting, running from teachers and some more fighting and we all knew that it would destroy civilization, as it did.  Add to that the fact that it was made at Rockstar’s Vancouver studio and you had a recipie for disaster.  I for one have been living in a cave defending my stash of food with a stick and I’m pretty sure everyone else’s lives have been just as devestated.

Or perhpaps nobody’s lives were affected other than those people who saw a chance to get themselves some attention and appear on the television.  Now the teachers unions are wanting to get their screen time as Vancouver’s teachers are joining with seven other teachers’ unions from around the world to have the game banned [cbc].  Not just banned from schools, but banned from existing. 

Which of course is the best advertising that Rockstar can buy, better in fact from their own PR.  I mean until I read about their attempt to have it banned I didn’t know that Rockstar had released a special edition version of the game this month.  It also proves that local teachers are shockingly stupid and kind of mini-Nazis. 

Stupid in that the game’s not going to be banned, because at its core Bully is a fairly innocent game.  Compared to most games it’s so light hearted, I mean you get into trouble you go to detention.  You fight bullies.  You don’t murder, kill or cut anything off of anyone.  These people are supposed to teach our children, and part of that is to teach them about freedom of speech and not that freedom of expression is only meant for when we agree with what’s being said.

Vancouver teachers, enjoy your time on television.  I won’t be watching, I’m in my cave trying to survive the apocalypse brought forth by a game with kids punching each other.

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