By Elana Laham © 2013 Elana Laham
General Omar Bradley once said, “Although we have become technological giants we are moral infants.” Welcome to the 21st Century where along with our highly advanced technological digital age we are undergoing the throes of a worldwide bully epidemic that has assaulted our humanity by introducing into our society a new type of bully – the Jerkoholic. THE JERKOHOLIC IS ADDICTED TO BEING A JERK. He is an aspiring dolt in training clutching his daily affirmation to his chest of, “It is cool to be cruel”. The Jerkoholic – Society’s Bully – facilitates and perpetuates bullying by encouraging us ALL to be mean for the sake of meanness.
The Jerkoholic zygote was conceived during the 1970’s, which was the decade of the ME-ism era. The “Me”ism era influenced the populace to become selfish with an “attitude”. And so its motto was, "My butt is number one under the sun". While there is nothing wrong with being selfish for the sake of self-preservation when taken to extremes selfishness becomes taking care of oneself at the expense of others. During the 1970’s era, people began to regard other human beings as “expendable.” It was no longer considered in vogue to help others. So, it became the norm to look the other way if another person was in trouble. The 1970’s “Me”ism era was when the NEWS told the story about a young female who was murdered to death in broad day light in front of lots of eye witnesses by a thief. Yet the robber escaped justice because no ONE would help her. The perpetrator, who happened to have knife, relentlessly pursued the victim. Even though the entire neighborhood heard her screams for help, and saw her desperately struggling to ward off her attacker from the safe haven of their own apartment dwellings, none of them ran out to rescue her or let their fingers to do the walking by calling 911. So finally after, half an hour, the criminal succeeded in stabbing her to death, and then he ran away.
The Jerkoholic's embryo rapidly grew during the 1980’s, which was the decade of the materialism era. The era of materialism in capitalistic terms meant consumerism for the sake of consumerism. Commercialism improved the financial lot of many and increased the sales’ quotas of business enterprise reinforcing the payoff of being a completely self-serving person. When I was a youngster the media’s sales pitch for advertisements was that people who were generous and shared things had more fun. I remember watching and listening to television commercials advertising large groups of people for example teenagers hanging out together laughing and partying while sharing for instance a six pack of beer. But one day all of that became taboo. Instead the opposite message was conveyed to the public. Business enterprise now believed that being in other peoples’ company and sharing things might give people the notion that they don’t have to be so materialistic to feel good. Concerned that its sale’s revenue might drop, marketing changed. Businesses now believed that the idea being miserly generates more monetary profit than sharing. Thus, hoarding it all for one’s own sake became the new slogan for advertisements. Hence, a flood of commercials entered the media wherein for instance some model ranted and raved about how sexy some brand of make-up was, while telling the viewer with a haughty expression on her face and in a brash tone of voice, “I’ve got mine. Now go get your own.” Businesses hoped that by broadcasting these commercial messages, people would get into the habit of socializing by being stingy with their goodies. We were to seek social gratification by having a one on one interpersonal relationship with for example our toilet paper. And it ranked number one with “It is cool to be cruel” since being utterly self-serving is being mean for the sake of meanness.
The Jerkoholic developed into a fetus during the 1990’s decade, which was the decade of the affluenza era. Not to be confused with the flu virus, affluenza is the attainment of affluence as a result of this era’s slogan, which was, “One has to keep up with the Jones’s”. The accumulation of things was all that mattered. People no longer owned commodities for the sake of having creature comforts. They were now amassing materialism for the sole purpose of gaining social stature and financial status. The material values of the Bully Culture – what one had, was deemed more important than the people values of Human Society – who one was.
By the commencement of the 21st Century, any act of generosity shown to one less fortunate than oneself was looked down upon as the shame of “The Scarlet Letter”. The only type of charity that was socially acceptable was the donation made to mainstream charity organizations. So, for example, when the Fire Department stands on street corners holding their boot out for a hand out to the drivers’ passing by, such is not regarded as loitering. However, when the homeless ask for alms, the enforcer bully police officer forces them to vacate the premises because they are supposedly obstructing the flow of traffic. Never mind that they are standing on the same sidewalks as the Fire Department, which is the public property of the “tax payers’” dollar. One day, on the television show called “COPS” I watched a homeless guy get arrested by the local town police for taking coins out of a wishing well so that he woulda, shoulda, coulda buy some food to feed his starving stomach. Before they carted him off to jail, they made him throw the coins – which the public had freely discarded – back into the body of water on the public property of the “tax payers’” dollar. Maybe in jail he will get some free meals. The affirmation for the wringing out of the old 20th Century and for the ushering in of the new Millennium of the 21st Century is, “No good deed shall go unpunished”.
The Jerkoholic now fully formed is born as the unruly, spoiled rotten, adulterated brat ready for rude for nothing action.
The following are a few real life examples that illustrate how the Jerkoholic goes out of his way to be a jerk:
The Jerkoholic is the instigator of road rage. He has his horn blaring at the motorist in front of him who did not start moving his vehicle the microsecond that the traffic light turned green. He is the driver whose middle finger as fat as a phallus shoves itself out the car’s window to the driver that it passes by who did not immediately make a right hand turn since he was waiting for a pedestrian to cross the street. He is the driver behind the automobile who screams obscenities at the elderly and the handicapped who are struggling with walking cane and wheelchair to make it half way across the cross walk faster than an Olympic athlete can before the “walk” sign changes into “don’t walk”.
The Jerkoholic is the catalyst of social strife as the party hardy big mouth downstairs neighbor who plays his blasto-butt music all night long any and every day of the week. And while he gets drunk on beer with his friends he talks so loud that it sounds like he is speaking through a bullhorn on the porch below your bedroom window. Meanwhile, you are trying to get some sleep because, unlike him, you have a job to go to in the morning. However, when the smoke alarm inside of your apartment accidentally goes of, he bounds up the stairs, and thunderously pounds on your front door ten minutes after you have already shut off the malfunctioning smoke alarm.
The Jerkoholic is the instigator of economic fallout for he prides himself on being a mean, stupid, selfish, lazy, arrogant, lying flunky who believes that “work” is a nasty four letter word. He is the owner of a business who spends his time and energy practicing his putz on the golf course instead of supervising his own store. He is the worker of a company who, instead of spending his time and energy promoting himself up the corporate ladder, he takes out his petty frustrations on the one who gives him a livelihood – the customer – with his unbelievably rude for nothing unprofessional demeanor.
The Jerkoholic’s meanness for the sake of meanness is as contagious as a sneeze or yawn. The Jerkoholic initiates unnecessary social stress and thereby is the catalyst for such social disorders as social anxiety, chronic depression, and obesity to name a few. What keeps the Bully Culture alive and well, is the Jerkoholic since he prevents people from bonding in a meaningful way so that they don’t rectify the social injustices that have befallen our society by doing away with the sick social roles of the bully, the victim, and the bystander. The Jerkoholic is a very useful tool to the Bully Culture because his type of bullying keeps us all estranged and alienated from one another by influencing us all to hate and fight with each other and for no particular reason or specific purpose so that we won’t and can’t unite together to stop the BULLYING.
The following is a real life scenario illustrating how Society’s Bully – The Jerkoholic – operates:
On 2/2/13, I went to OFFICE MAX located at 1135 North West Leary Way, Ballard, WA 98107, phone: 206-789-8839. I went there to buy a $2,000.00 Apple Laptop Computer. I browsed through the computer section that Office Max had available for sale. None of the computers were Macintosh brand. So I asked a sales clerk named ANDREW if Office Max sold the brand of computer I desired to buy. And lo and behold I met Jerkoholic Number One. He answered, “No.” And then added, “But you can go to Mexico and buy one.” My reply was, “Excuse you, how unbelievably rude.” After that, Andrew gave me an insincere apology followed by a sarcastic chuckle. So, I said, “Guess what? I don’t have to go all the way to Mexico to buy an Apple Computer. I can go to Best Buy right here in Seattle and buy one.” Andrew said, “I know.”
Just as I was about to tell Andrew, “Excuse me, I did not realize I was talking to a Jerkoholic”, Jerkoholic Number Two interrupted me. He invaded my space like a bull in a China shop. He was a very tall and a very wide adult male, sporting a black beard and black moustache with a full head of black hair who looked to be in his thirties in age. I am only five feet two inches tall, an adult female and fifty-four years old. Instead of standing there and waiting for me to finish speaking to Andrew, like a normal, decent person will do, while he was still walking over to where Andrew and I were, he rudely butted into our conversation by saying, “He (Andrew) is a good sales clerk.” Initially, I thought he was a supervisor. So, I said, “He (Andrew) is not a good sales clerk.” Then I realized that he was just another customer like me. So, I said, “Thank you for minding my business because you don’t have any business of your own worth minding.” After that he said, “I am buying something. All you are doing is talking.” So, I said, “It is my turn. Wait your turn.” Instead, he asked Andrew where a $20.00 printer cartridge was. Andrew let him interrupt my turn by telling him the whereabouts of the cheap commodity that he wanted to purchase. Incensed at being dissed for no reason, I said to Jerkoholic Number Two as he was leaving, all proud of himself that he had taken my turn, “Goodbye bully coward.” Suddenly, his head made a one hundred and eighty degree turn. On his face was an angry look. Now it was my turn to feel smug. As he continued to walk away from me I said, “You are a mean, stupid, selfish, lazy, arrogant, lying flunky.” Without looking back at me he said, “Is this what you do with your life?” So I said, “Is this what you do with your life?!” He was dead silent and said no more to me. After that, I turned to Andrew and said, “Thank you for siding with the bully coward, you bully coward.” Andrew just stood there with a poker-faced expression dead silent.
As I exited Office Max I saw through the store’s windows that Andrew had left his station, gone over to the cash register where the other bully coward was, and started talking to him. I was not able to hear what he said. Shortly afterwards, the bully coward patron exited the store. He saw me, and gave me a dirty look, but said nothing to me. Instead he walked away from me towards his car. Incensed that he was still bothering me I said "Stop harassing me bully coward." Once again, his head made a one hundred and eighty degree turn to face me and on his face was an angry look. Then he said in a deflated tone of voice without looking at me, “You want to start with me?” I noticed that he had a wife and a daughter who climbed into his truck without saying a word. They appeared to be subdued as if he bullied them behind closed doors. I said back to him, “This is your crap.” Once again he said in a deflated tone of voice without looking at me, “You want to start with me?” I said back to him, “Take your crap back!” Now he was dead silent and said no more to me.
I went back into Office Max to report him and Andrew to the store's manager. I told the manager, while Andrew was present, that Andrew a) was rude to me without cause and b) let another customer take my turn instead of directing that other customer to another sales clerk and c) let the trouble maker start an altercation with me for no reason instead of calling security and d) left his station to go talk to the trouble maker in the cashier line. The manager proved to be Jerkoholic Number Three. He just stood there and said and did nothing. So I told the manager that not only will I never ever do business with that Office Max again, but that I am going to blog on my website to the whole English speaking Internet world to, “BE LEERY OF THE OFFICE MAX ON LEARY STREET. IT CATERS TO JERKOHOLICS.” There must have been a sale on Jerkoholics at Office Max that day. I got three for the price of one.