The situation is Chardon is all too familiar: a bullied outcast with a troubled home life snaps. If TJ Lane had broken in the usual manner, he might have committed suicide. But TJ snapped differently and took a gun to his tormenters. In an instant, any sympathy for his situation is gone and he’s just a thug, maybe a psycho, and the words “Columbine,” “Goth,” and “Dark Side” start getting thrown around.
Bullying has always been a fact of life in the US–now it’s commercialized and glorified as entertainment. A lot of people turn in to American Idol and other reality shows not for the great performances, but for the truly dreadful ones and the cruelty that follows. The losers tuck their tails between their legs, cry for the camera and their supporters and go home to face down the humiliation.
That’s what the victims of bullying are supposed to do: suck it up.
But victims fall into three categories: the A Victims, those who put up with it until they can get away from it; the B Victims, those who break and turn on themselves; and the C Victims, those who go all Carrie on the world. Continue reading