When I began writing my novel in 2006, my original concept of the main character, Craig Looms, was him being like a cousin of mine, whom I grew up with. My cousin was the target of constant bullying from other kids. Oft times, I was forced to defend him from these other kids. I was a small kid with a big mouth. I too experienced bullying, but I didn’t sit back and take it the way others sometimes did. I did everything I could to make the bully look stupid. I’d make fun of him in front of the class, tease him about his inability to pronounce words while reading aloud, mock his apeish movements. And guess what? They stopped the bullying. But I knew when the fight was over. I never bullied weaker people, and all of this led to a life-long hatred of bullying. And not just the school yard variety.
My cousin on the other hand, was obese, un-athletic, lacking in hygienic instinct and hickishly unpolitical.
My concept of Craig Looms morphed over time. Originally I wanted to show that when someone is picked on, they are more likely to abuse power if they every gain it, because of all the wrongs that have been done to them. Not only do their own wrongs feel justified, they learn to enjoy the sadism just as their own tormentors did. This is what I saw with my own cousin. On several occasions ,when a small group of knuckle-dragging bullies taunted and tormented him, and even resorted to physical violence, I’d step in to protect him. Mostly it usually just took me standing behind him with my arms folded. I had a rather nasty reputation as someone who was willing to fight.
When the bullies backed off, many times my cousin would immediately begin making things worse. One time, while I stood behind him, the bullies suddenly becoming shy and timid, he threw a raw egg at one brute, covering his pants in yolk. I grabbed him and drug him back to the house. I think I may have slapped him around a bit.
This whole BP oil thing brings much of this past to my mind. Now I know it will outrage some that I can view BP as being the victim in any of this disaster, but I think the politicians and our own public are going way too far. Recently, during congressional hearings on the spills, Republican Pep Joseph Cao of Louisiana suggested that an BP executive kill himself:
Americans are really disappointing me with their words during this spill. What happened to the classic American stoic? The person who rolls up his sleaves, stops pointing fingers after the problem has been identified, and gets to work. Yeah, we get it. BP spilled some oil. Saddam Hussein didn’t get nearly this much attention when he loosed the taps to his wells in the Persian Gulf, creating the largest spill in history. And he lit over 600 wells on fire. Imagine the carbon foot print… But leftists can rarely bring themselves to be critical of America’s enemies, so they let Saddam off the hook.
The politicians have read the political grafitti. Now they’re piling on and punching BP in the gut while the American people hold the oil company down. With each punch, the bully-politicians look for the approval of public. Who can land the most vicious blow? Who can prove they have the biggest cajones? It’s a pack of jackals on a wounded elephant. And oh what an easy target, Big Oil. Every news organization, every politician every pundit–except maybe Rush–is taking their free shots while they can get them. It’s quite pathetic and stands in contrast to past American generations
America–stop whining. Always consider the historical context here. If you destroy BP–which you probably will–you’ll only hurt yourself. Stop embarrasing yourself. You even went overboard with BP Exec Carl-Henric Svanberg’s “Small People” comment. Is there anything more disgusting than refusing an apology? That’s what the man was doing.
I guess there is one thing more disgusting: Enjoying your victimhood.