It’s the first Friday of summer which means things are “heating up” in the “seasonal cliche” department.
Also, it’s time for another edition of The Hollywood Outsider, twodaymag’s weekly look at the world of news and pop culture from a lens of ignorance unequaled on the internet.
This week’s headlines has a mix of the absurd and the cruel, but don’t worry, the Outsider’s here to break it all down for you.
Honey, who is “headlines” and why do they keep texting your phone at 2 a.m.?
There is a fine line between edgy and stupid. Lady Gaga wearing a meat dress is edgy. Fashionable references to slavery are stupid.
See the difference?
If so, then you are one step ahead of Adidas (if not, see the Outsider after class). The company that has been making shoes and apparel for years has caused some controversy lately when it introduced the JS Roundhouse Midas. It is a type of purple basketball shoe that has a unique feature: velcro gold colored shackles that go around the wearers ankles.
Well what comes to most people’s mind when you think of shackles?
Here’s a hint: It rhymes with “not freedom.”
Adidas has pulled the shoes and said they meant no offense by the crazy design. The company had no idea it would spark such an outcry. The Outsider is struggling with this. You mean in a country where merely criticizing a president’s policy will get you labeled a racist by self-righteous morons (read: former news anchors [http://www.examiner.com/article/sam-donaldson-on-neil-munro-conservatives-oppose-obama-because-of-race]), that a sneaker with built-in shackles couldn’t possibly taken in a racially sensitive manner? Seriously?
That said, the idea that a company like Adidas would intentionally make a shoe designed to inflame racial tensions is even more foolish, so in the end the Outsider is more willing to believe that they are just dumb enough to miss it, but not dumb enough to do it on purpose.
There is a lesson here, sometimes it’s advantageous to take a step back and look at what you are doing from a big picture perspective. The Outsider learned that lesson the hard way when he tried to sell rear view mirror hanging car fresheners that looked like handicap parking passes.
Sure he sold a ton, but he’ll never live that one down.
By now most of you have heard this story and if you haven’t, strap in because it’s a bad one and it has the Outsider furious.
In a show a cruelty not normally seen this side of the African Congo, a group of middle school kids in Rochester, NY suburb filmed themselves verbally abusing an elderly bus monitor beyond tears.
The video is one of the most disturbing things the Outsider has ever seen and was not able to get through the whole thing, not just because of its contents but because the Outsider is from Rochester, NY. And it’s horrifying to think these kids grew up in the same city.
Granted the Outsider isn’t from the EXACT same suburb this incident happened, but that doesn’t really make it better.
Or does it?
The basic gist is this little group of about four or so kids were riding the bus when they started taunting Karen Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother who has been employed by the school district for over 20 years.
After a few minutes of taunts ranging from calling her fat to threatening physical violence, Klein started to cry. Rather than letting up, the little botched abortions dug in deeper.
One of the kids made the comment that the reason she has no family is because they all killed themselves to get away from her. It is unknown whether or not the little bastard knew Klein’s son did in fact kill himself 10 years ago. Something that is immeasurably painful for any parent.
The video was posted online, quickly going viral and creating a massive call to arms spread across the internet. It was really something to behold.
The reaction has varied from groups identifying the kids and publishing the contact information of them, their families and the member of the school so everyone can tell them what a terrible job they have all done - to people starting a fund to send Klein on vacation (which is currently well over a quarter-million dollars).
These kids have become the most hated people in America, beating out the Westboro Baptist Church, and they served as a reminder that overall, humanity is a species that will do its best to defend and protect its weaker members.
And that is a pretty cool thing.
It also shows that no matter how much you neglect to teach you kids to respect the real world, and try to protect them from it, you can’t. The real world is coming down on these bullies and their families hard. Police have even been stationed near their houses because of all the threats.
The Outsider is not condoning any action being taken on these kids or their families, but if you want to help then donate to the indygogo site set up for Klein, here it is: Love For Karen Klein. Be a force for good in this world.
Unfortunately, this type of schoolyard cruelty is not an isolated incident. The public school system in this country is hilariously broken. Even watching the press conference given by one of the school officials was laughable.
The school said it had its “Bullying Response Task Force investigating the matter.” Which for those who don’t speak the exclusive language of Public School Administrator, that roughly translates in English to, “hand-job.”
Cases of bullying have gotten so much worse in the last decade, correlating directly with the rise of anti-bullying techniques that don’t involve a rubber hose.
You can educate a bully on how his actions hurt other people’s feelings all you want, but why would you expect that to do anything. He knows his actions hurt other people, THAT’S WHY HE’S DOING IT!
Public schools have been so emasculated in the way they can discipline kids and their parents. If a kid is drastically misbehaving, the school system is not allowed to kick the kid out, hand him back to his negligent parents and tell them, “You raised this piece of shit, he’s your problem now.”
The best they can do is give the miscreant a short term suspension, but that is discouraged because standards for federal funding are largely based on attendance, so the school could lose funding if too many kids are suspended for too long. Funding is obviously very important.
Ultimately raising a child is the responsibility of all who come in contact with that child, but the bulk of it really does fall on the parents. Complaining about how hard it is to be a parent is a lousy excuse, too. Yes, it is one of the most expensive and difficult things you could do.
1. You signed up for it.
2. The vast majority of this species and every other species on this planet has figured it out on some level.
3. Just do your job.
There is no excuse for you or your children to ever end up in a video like this. Karen Klein is a hero and hopefully her suffering will serve as the wake up call our society needs to move forward and finally start taking more responsibility for our own personal actions.
twoday magazine wants to know: Did you watch the Karen Klein video? What are your thoughts on bullying in our society? Has it gotten out of hand? Share with us on our Facebook page.
Follow @twodaymag on Twitter.
Check out these other pop culture articles for twoday magazine:
Did Oprah Redeem the Kardashians? By: Mia Bencivenga
The Hollywood Outsider: Highway to Hell By: John Dupra