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The Cowardice of the Bully

January 2020

The bully is the sneak-thief of decency. Unable to come out into the open and fight like an honorable human being, he, or she, finds others to do the assault for him, or attacks when the target is most vulnerable or least expects it. One extreme example is Adolf Hitler and his armed invasion by the Wehrmacht of the under-prepared nations of Europe. A minor example is the punk who only fights on his turf, according to his rules and with his back-up bullies. Tribalism in America has encouraged this vicious behavior, especially in the urban areas, but the suburban pack-brat is not immune from this craven comportment.

I have read of late about on-line bullying, which has to be the all-time nadir of cowardice. The lazy fraidy-cat does even not have the guts to show her face to her intended victim! A person has the right to face his accuser — and his attacker!!

The concept of a fair fight is obliterated by such a lily-livered skunk. The only way to win such a fight is to walk away from it. Focus on your life, and your goals, undeterred by the taunts of the stinkin’ coward. You cannot defeat a jelly-fish by punching back or stepping on it. I can tell you from very unpleasant experience that any contact with a jelly-fish will only STING, and badly.

If you are picked on, head-on, by a bully, then by all means, have at the yellow belly. But experience also has taught me, from an early age, that the bully does not deal with anyone, or anything, head-on or in an honest and fair manner. The sneak attack, especially from the rear, is the preferred method of unprovoked aggression.

When I was the new kid in town in the New Jersey borough that would, during the next decade, constitute my Home Town, I engaged in a sledding race that winter among the neighborhood kids, and I won. Well, that victory came at a price. A child-hussy shoved me, completely without warning, from the side, with the entire heft of her hog-body — down, onto a storm drain. One of my two front teeth broke against the cold cast iron. The other children were horrified, but this conscience-less creature skipped away down the street.

The next week, her brother, likely egged-on by his thug of an older sister, threw a snowball with a rock in it at my eye. To this day, I thank the hand of God for saving my eyesight.

The word had evidently gotten out amongst the hellion-children that I was vulnerable, not merely because of my small size (I was shorter and smaller than these beefy bullies), but because my father was dying, and my mother would not protect me from them. I recall asking her why she wouldn’t go talk to the parents of this juvenile swine. I was told: “I don’t want to start trouble in the neighborhood.”

My reply was: “She IS the trouble in the neighborhood.”

My lessons from those experiences taught me to learn how to protect myself. By adolescence, no one could pick on me physically, but then I encountered the emotional bullies, and I wised-up fairly fast about them.

The emotional bullies of today are the Internet phantoms who spend precious God-given moments in the tormenting of other people. Who has not witnessed their words “in action” on-line in the form of “posted” vile verbiage? It’s as if “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” no longer has the ring of truth. For those snakes-in-the-grass, neither truth nor morality ever rings a bell. They are deaf to decency, from an early age. They treat life and its very sanctity with such vulgarity that, in time, they become vulgarities.

From childhood right on up though an adulthood that is in-name-only, the bullies congregate together in an ever-shrinking circle of crass conduct and an ever-widening corrupt contempt of a true moral code. They assemble in groups, anti-societal gangs, firing squads of verbal venom. They believe that they run the show, the neighborhood, the world. Their world has been reduced to the phoney pretender sphere of the Internet, where mental illness dwells with impunity.

I’ve witnessed the digital ganging up of “girls” on makeup blogs, where the woman in charge of her own website failed to leave the scene of the crime. After a certain point in the ether-assault (but not battery, since there was no physical harm perpetrated) on her, she invited her own victimhood. Maybe that ploy was her schtick for added clicks. Those clicks come with a cost. The plagues of bullying and victimology seem to go fist-in-fist amidst the cyberspace crowds.

There are far better things for anyone to do with “leisure time” than to engage in online discourse that resembles a digital mugging in an alternate universe that too rapidly degenerated into the quicksand of cowardice — instead of developing into the free-flowing movement of innovative electrons! Even the “news” is skewed to the point of being lunatic farce!

The vicious squealing of the pigs at the trough is an odious sight. Even more odious is the fact that the trough consists of other people’s money, perhaps even their benevolence. The ungrateful troughers swill what belongs to everyone else, and then gripe, moan, shriek and complain they have nothing left to eat! During the Occupation, the Nazis guzzled so much of that decadent French wine, food, and culture that they grew increasingly fat and lazy, at least in Paris. Time is never on the side of varmints and swine.

The cowardice of the bully is her most salient feature. It is not a quality because such a person lacks quality of any kind. The Christian guidance to turn the other cheek applies but once. There is no moral obligation to keep turning that cheek until the face is bruised and bloody. There is no way for the bully to win if you leave him, or her — alone, with herself.

That loneliness is the real enemy that stalks the bully. That terrifying abject aloneness in the world is really what the coward is battling, with gutless games and venal acts that bring him one step closer to the Devil with each attack upon goodness and fairness and kindness and decency. For the bully is the loner of the worst kind, a person who hates herself and lashes out at the world with her own self-hated.

Louis L’Amour wrote compellingly about a different type of loner, the outsider who stands alone with courage and conviction against the unruly crowd, that herd of humanity that threatens to ruin a society on the brink of either coalescing or falling apart. This unrivaled writer of Westerns saw the battle lines drawn very clearly between good and evil, valor and cowardice. He knew intimately the forces that pull the man without a conscience to his doom, and the forces that draw the man of conscience to his destiny.

L’Amour took deep umbrage over his fiction being deemed by literary critics as a Western, and not as historical fiction. The elites of the East, and particularly the Northeast, viewed his works as the lesser-thans of the world of fiction, almost like step-children. In his objection to this, or to any, literary elitism, he was justified. He probably did not, however, perceive that his books had journeyed from the inclusion of a clash of cultures between the East and West in America, to the portrayal of the culture of that West as vastly superior to the presumed respectability of the more-settled and “civilized” East.

L’Amour got the drubbing that was coming to him from those high-brow hypocrites of the mid-20th century. And he laughed all the way to bank!

I am very fortunate to be working on my Westerns during a time when those “erudite” elites have finally shown their haughty, fraudulent hands, and have subsequently been shown the door by so many Americans. Those red-blooded, true-blue Americans will not be run roughshod over by the elites, the experts, and the academicians who have yet to learn what the real world is all about. Those citizens embody the spirit of the West and the code of the West! They will not be bullied by cowards into denouncing America.

The code of the West dictated that a bully receive swift and direct justice. There was usually a Sheriff, but if he was a chicken-heart, or was unavailable to administer the law, the Outsider, seeking his own redemption, came to the fore. He won a heart-felt victory over his own embattled conscience through righting the wrongs that the Bully had inflicted on a person, sometimes on an entire town.

The heroes among us persevere and ultimately prevail “over the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and over the outrages of cowards. The bullies fight unfairly and flail indecently and ignobly die those thousand deaths, until they succumb to their own virulent hatred and reach their final dusty Destination.

The Western ethos revolves around such a code, and there is no way for any computer bully to erase that one!


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