Thursday, 12 March 2015

Lip Service: Bullies On The Tellybox

***This post is intended to educate, and hopefully inspire some conversations. This post is not intended to offend anyone, but it was spurred by this: 

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. I was bullied all through my life. On one occasion I was assaulted by someone younger than me who had a disdain for my hair and freckles. I used to be forced to go to the shop and buy those little cola flavoured frosty sweets in the red packet for two girls older than me and because of them I used to miss my bus home from school which made me scared and upset because I did not want to get in trouble at home when my school life was pretty bleak at the time. That was primary school. Secondary school was pretty bad for the first year, but eventually you find your friends and you carve your groove and things settle. That's fine for me, but what about the bullies?? Well bullies grow up, as we all do. Sometimes they change. In fact I would argue that the majority do. But sometimes bullies grow up, and then they get on the telly. 

So I'd be willing to bet that Katie Hopkins was one of those people, who as a kid had some misplaced belief that she was better than others around her, with a need to put people down to prove it, and grew up not letting go of that silly idea. Last night, (11th March 2015) at around 11.30pm, there was a debate on The Nolan Show, on BBC1 Northern Ireland with herself, and Baz Black. Now I've had the pleasure of speaking to Baz a few times, and his lovely lady Emma is the mastermind behind my latest tattoo, so I'm not just making stuff up when I say that he is a lovely chap, well spoken and a gentleman. His studio is my boyfriends local place, and it's one of two in the country that I trust completely. So when he was taking on Katie Hopkins, it was going to be good. If anyone has the metal to take on a grown-up bully like her on a live broadcast, its someone calm and educated in the topic at hand. 

Bullies will back down at the first sign of authority, and with 80% of his body tattooed, as Baz said himself, there's nobody else better equipped to take this one on.  Katie made her point that we all know and to be frank, it's getting old now: "I wouldn't employ someone with tattoos". Yes Katie, we know. What I didn't comprehend until last night though, was how much of a bully she is when she's not being agreed with. 

Baz made some very sound points about her lack of knowledge, her "opinion" being just that - an opinion, and then went on to remind her that the industry of modification is something she has absolutely no information on, unlike a whopping 22 million people in the UK. She doesn't understand and like a lot of bullies in the school-yard, she has no basis for the points she makes. She criticizes without understanding, and as a fully grown woman, it's pathetic... I'm sure if I met her, dressed in my usual attire of a cardigan and jeans and spoke to her like the polite, mannerly person I am, she wouldn't suspect that I've got 6 tattoos. Maybe I could even have her formulate a positive opinion, employ me and then unveil myself from below the neck! Wouldn't that be fun?! 

A great point was made about the industry wherein Baz works, that it is his passion. It's not just a job, it's not about money or anything, it's a love for the culture, the meaning and everything that goes along with it. For people who get mod work done, it's not just an action, it's not a destination, it's a journey, it's a whole experience and it's something you have with you for life. The question was put to her: "Why do you have your ears pierced?", to which the weak and feeble response came, "Because I thought it would be easier to put earrings in..." Have you ever heard such a pathetic excuse in your life?! Ear lobe piercings are a mod. That point alone rendered everything she had said and continued to say totally invalid. 

This was where this post was decided on: When Katie saw that the debate was clearly favouring the well educated and calm side in favour of mods, she then attacked Stephen Nolan, the host. Her loathing for obesity came out and she actually brought the audience and his MOTHER into it!! Who does that? Who humiliates a grown man on national television as part of some last ditch attempt to prove some pathetic point? All she did was prove to me that she is a bully and a bigot, prejudiced against everything that makes her uncomfortable, and there was no coming back from that. 

Of course I'm aware that some people don't like mods, my boyfriend of 4 years doesn't understand them but he doesn't go around with any illusions that people who are modified are any more or less unremarkable than anyone else. Just because people like being poked and coloured in does not give Katie Hopkins the power to use it as a stick to beat people with. 

In the end, bullies are cowards.So why do we let them on the telly??