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Episode 11 Bully Me

June 17, 2011

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Words and Music–Richard Allen
Produced by David Barratt at the Abattoir of Good Taste

Vocal and Guitar–William Thaumatrope
Ukulele and everything else–David Barratt.

NARRATIVE

Being a victim of physical bullying at school, and feeling powerless, I sometimes became a bully myself, using the power of language to weasel into the mind of another. While we associate bullying with physical violence or the threat of physical violence–“sticks and stones”–words are possessed with a corrosive power to torment and abuse.

When a love relationship turns abusive, or is expressed as abuse, it is often because that is what the parties experienced in their families of origin. The well of nourishment is experienced as poison, and it is perhaps perversely reassuring to deliver and even to receive that poison in an all-too-familiar state of chaos rather than to confront the weak and damaged selves that emerge as its victim. How often, too, does the enabling victim feed the cycle of abuse in a state of dependency. But there is, of course, a profound gender dynamic in the exercise of violence; men are usually the main perpetrators of physical violence and women the victims, and the degree to which violence toward women is accepted is a good a measure as any of how patriarchal is a society.

There is a glamor attached in our culture to violent sexual play in spite of the horrible quotidian reality of domestic violence. Contemporary pop stars, especially these days, female stars, seem to purposively embrace the idiom of s/m chic in search of the latest, safely provocative, formula to sustain ratings. It’s partly, I suspect a status thing, s/m chic is a function of leisure consumption. But it is partly due to the nature of sex itself. That is, to the extent that physical sex is isolated from the envelope of human life and feelings that give it meaning, it is a profoundly primitive, obsessional, and incipiently brutal and brutalizing act. It is, in short, perverse. When that act becomes the subject matter of art, to be explored, aestheticized and displayed, s/m chic is in many ways its natural idiom.

LYRIC

Bully me and bully you
Cause I like it black and blue
When your down I ain’t though
Bully me and bully you

Bully you and bully me
That’s the way it’s gotta be
Use up all your energy
Bully you and bully me

Bully him and bully she
Beating her, beating me
Use your words, use your knee
Bully him and bully she

Bully she and bully him
That’s the circle I am in
Do you think your gonna win
Bully she and bully him

The deepest urge within my soul
It’s like a drug as it takes hold
Hit it hard, make it high
Keep on Going till you die

Bully me and bully you
Cause I like it black and blue
When your down, I ain’t through
Bully me and bully you

Bully him and bully she
Beating her, beating me
Use your words, use your knee
Bully him and bully she

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From → Thaumatropemusic

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