PooterGeek– a victim of serious childhood bullying– has some interesting thoughts on the matter, including this depressing conclusion:

Yeah, children are cute and lovable aren’t they? Bull. Male or female, they are born instinctively selfish, intolerant, vicious shits. After a few years they learn cowardice and conformity too.

Well yes, childhood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be by forgetful adults. I, for instance, cringe when I remember what an insufferably whiny brat I could be at times. As for bullying, I was sometimes the victim of non-physical intimdiation. I remember other kids being far more oppressed by it, especially those who appeared a little “slower” or looked a little “stranger” than the rest of us. In fact, to my shame, I seem to recall engaging in some group-bullying aimed at such kids. (I can’t imagine doing it on my own.)

It is, I suppose, a reassuring sign of adulthood that one is able to look back on one’s own childhood behavior with horror. (Orwell, for instance, remembered being “an odious little snob” at 13.)

Anyway PooterGeek’s post has drawn some fascinating comments from other victims of childhood bullying. (Why is it that everyone seems to remember being a victim of bullying but nobody remembers being a bully?)

Commenter Steve K (God Save the Queen) wrote:

One reason for being emotionally predisposed to favour the overthrow of tyrannies is being able to imagine how it would be if all the bullies of one’s schooldays were running the country.

Hak Mao wrote:

It would be interesting to compare the childhood bullying experiences of readers of ‘blogs such as this, with those of, say, LGF readers.

Hmm. I can easily imagine Stalin and Saddam Hussein as vicious childhood bullies. And I can see some of the nastier LGF commenters as the kinds who ganged up on the “different” kid at school.

But I’d hate to think bullies are destined to remain bullies, in one form or another, for their entire lives.