I mean, think about it. Were you the nerdy type in grade school? Even if not, imagine the following scenario: you spend your childhood being teased and looked down upon by the “cool” kids. Then, you grow up, rise to a position of power at work, and begin teasing & looking down upon others who are below you.
It feels good, perhaps. Maybe it feels like some sort of retribution. The nerds suffer, then they grow up and try to get even. Does that actually right any wrongs?
No. It only serves to perpetuate the act of bullying into adulthood.
I was browsing Reddit today when I came across a post that really struck a chord with me. Mike Taylor, who goes by wickerman316 on Reddit (and @AdmiralMikey on Twitter) went to a concert in Philadelphia last night. The performer? mc chris. (Yes, that’s not a typo — the nerdcore hip-hop/rap artist spells his stage name with lowercase letters.)
In his own words, here’s Taylor’s story from his original Reddit post:
So I got kicked out of the Powerglove & mc chris show at Union Transfer in Philly last night by mc chris himself over a tweet. I wasn’t digging his opener, Richie Branson. I felt his lyrics were lame and pandering to us gamers and other assorted nerd fans. I also didn’t think his delivery was good and his beats were mostly sampled from others songs and music from games, anime and whatnot.
He didn’t like the opening act, so he went to Twitter and typed out his thoughts in 140 characters:
After sending the tweet, he walked out to the lobby to get a drink. Meanwhile, according to Kotaku, mc chris was checking Twitter while he sat back in the green room. Then, as Taylor sat drinking his soda, he heard mc chris start talking from the stage area:
…I heard him ask for my real name. My friend and I looked at each other confused and heard him ask for it again. I got up, walked back onto the floor and raised my hand. He then pointed at me and yelled, “Security is going to take you the f**k out now! That’s what you get for talking s**t on Twitter!”
I’ve added the asterisks to the swear words for your reading pleasure.
Anyway, Taylor felt a “combination of humiliation, shock and disappointment,” according to his post:
I realize what I said was petty, but how immature is it to publicly humiliate someone for something tweeted to just my hundred (which are mostly bots) or so followers? Am I not allowed to have a negative opinion? Didn’t mc chris just post a video on Youtube not long ago criticizing the Avengers movie for screwing up Hawkeye? Should the producers of the movie publicly embarrassed him and Marvel cut off his comic book description? No, they’re bigger than that, and he should be too.
FOR THE NERDS
What bothers me the most about this situation is this: mc chris’s genre of choice is nerdcore — which, if you couldn’t tell by the name, is a “sub-genre of hip hop music characterized by themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds.” (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
Nerds. A subculture of people who probably grew up being bullied. (Can I meekly raise my hand here to profess my own nerdiness and verify that I, indeed, was bullied throughout middle school?)
mc chris sets a bad example here. No matter how many times the class bully stuck gum in your hair, called you names, or spit in your eye (for the record: it feels gross), you don’t magically inherit the right to reciprocate those actions on random others when you grow up.
Lead by example, they say.
So: does this qualify as bullying? Does bullying need to happen over a period of time in order to be labeled as true bullying, or does a single serving count? Does it make a difference that Taylor, the concert-goer, was called out amongst a large group of people?
Let’s put it to a vote.