What I Would Like to See In “He Was Weird,” the Movie

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago, I posted about how overjoyed I’d be if someone was to make “He Was Weird” into a film. I think the great majority of authors would be. However, I also stated my reservations about it as well, especially if the film was made by the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC. Like all authors, I would be fearful of the filmmakers changing too much of the book or delivering scenes in a way that might miss the point I was trying to make when I wrote it. The school shooting is the prime example. On the other hand, there were things not in the book that I would like to be put into the film, only because those items don’t transfer well between book and film.

If you look at the page of everyone I thank for their assistance when I wrote “He Was Weird,” you would find that the last thank you goes to former lead singer of the punk band Dead Kennedys and now a days, a political spokesman and social commentator, Jello Biafra. It was his speech on school shootings that encouraged me to write the book. When I first listened to that speech, I had to reflect back on my own life, especially during the three years of bullying hell I went through and conclude that in the case of school shootings: This could have been me.

Jello Biafra

In any movie on the book, I would hope that segments of the speech would be used in key points. The most obvious one would be when Mark is riding his bike to school on the big day. While I believe and have been told that I do a reasonably good job in showing how he is feeling as he is riding his bike to school to carry out his extravaganza, this would be hard to capture on film. Basically, Mark has come to the conclusion that he is a failure to everyone and that the town of Ramsgate is responsible so it’s only right that he end his life as well as those of his tormentors. Jello provides the right words here. So, during Mark’s final trip to school, we could hear Jello commenting:

“There is nothing more dangerous than someone who has nothing to live for and therefore nothing to lose. Doesn’t particularly want to die but can’t see the point of living. Knows who wrecked their life and thinks ‘If I have to die, I’m taking them with me.” 

I truly believe that this would be a powerful build up to the brutal climax to come.

Another point where Jello’s words can be useful is right after the shooting. While news of it spreads around the world quite rapidly and the introductory words to the speech could be used in any of the newscasts following the shooting, my personal preference would be when Mark’s love interest Lisa is coming downstairs the next morning and is about to be told about Mark’s deeds by her parents. This can be playing on the radio in the background:

“Dateline Hellburbia! Wallmart wasteland USA! Monster teenagers shot up their school again.” 

Again, the power behind the speech would jar the people in the audience to the shock news that Lisa is about to receive.

The final use of Jello’s speech would come at the very end of the film and serve as a warning. While I do my best to end the story happily and we understand the why’s and how’s behind Mark’s actions as well as the effects it had on many people, the problems of bullying and other factors that might lead to a young person shooting up their school never disappear. So, while Mark’s sister Leslie and her boyfriend are walking off into the sunset before the closing credits, Jello’s voice will put a solid reminder to all with:

“No matter how much we drug, profile and ban music, some vacant stranger out there, raised on guns, raised on hate, mind fucked by pedophile relatives, molested by mind controlling drugs, smothered by successful older siblings and relatives will find a way to be pop star for a day and we’ll tune in and watch every time.” 

Not all of the above applied to Mark but most of it did. I think all of these parts of Jello Biafra’s speech would fit in very well in a movie of my book. Now, I await the offers from film companies, fat chance.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494925485&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Alone With My Strange Thoughts

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Throughout my life, I have been made to feel that there must be something wrong with me if I have interests which are not considered ‘the norm.’ What is normal anyway? There have been times when I have made to feel abnormal because of certain interests. In this case, as seen in last week’s post, it is my excitement when I see women engaged in acts of physical aggression.

Maybe it’s because of my Asperger’s, though I’m not using it to justify, but I have openly admitted that I get enjoyment out of the above. However, I think most men do, at least I’m honest about it. Throughout my life, whenever a female fight broke out, all males in the vicinity flocked like predators to a wounded prey to watch and they’ll be the most vocal about it. I’ve even witnessed occurrences in films and television where men have reacted the same way as if a live event. The problem is that most men don’t want to admit it, especially around women. I have been in this boat as well. However, my problem is that I could never keep a lid on it for long. That’s a trait of Asperger’s, most people who have the condition are sometimes too brutally honest about things like that.

Another reason why I know I’m not alone with my thoughts on this subject is the fact that it has now become so available thanks to the internet. It is extremely simple for anyone to find a women’s wrestling or a catfighting website. Plus there are plenty of material on Youtube. So if these things are so easily available, there must be a huge demand for it.

Before anyone simply writes this off as a typical man thing, I have also observed many women react the same way when men went at it. I mention in “He Was Weird” that at the elementary school, there seemed to be a fight every week. This was based on truth. There seemed to be that many fights at my school in fifth grade. Except for one girl bout, all the other fights were boys. When these broke out, the girls were just as quick as the boys to come, watch and cheer. Furthermore, there seems to be just as many females as males at pro wrestling events and I’ve heard ladies get rather vocal when fights broke out in ice hockey games. My own personal experience was when I went to a wrestling event and the advertised women’s match never took place. I questioned this with the ring announcer who gave a plausible explanation for why that match never happened. However, when I was questioning it, some woman walking past remarked, “He’s just mad because he couldn’t perv out on the ladies.” My response was, “So, it gave you another men’s match for you to do that.” She seemed to smile at that but I thought it was a good comeback.

Ronda Roussey and Michelle Rodriguez in Fast and Furious 7. Possibly the greatest movie female fight ever.

Now that subject is exhausted let me move to another one where I don’t think I’m alone in my opinion. This is the case of visiting Eastern Europe, which has become a popular tourist destination in the past thirty years. However, I have no desire to see Eastern Europe. If anything, I had more of an interest in visiting Eastern Europe before the last thirty years, when it was under Communism. I’ve been told if I said that to any Eastern European over thirty, they’d probably slap me and I wouldn’t blame them. Communism did suck for those living under it at the time but I wanted to see that for myself. For me, the collapse of Communism has taken away my desire to go there. Now, Eastern Europe has become just another tourist trap.

I’ve been told that not many people share my view but I think there are more people who do than what those others think. Like me, Eastern Europe has lost its appeal to these people because it’s not different on account of being ruled by Communism. I wonder how many. Now, I don’t want those countries to go back to Communism just so I can visit. That wouldn’t be right but don’t expect me to want to go there.

To buy He Was Weird go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494270733&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

Does This Make Me Weird, Perverted or Something Else?

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Par for the course now, many of my posts lead onto further posts and last week’s had led to my thoughts now. Last post, I talked about how I would be wary if the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) made a movie about my book, “He Was Weird.” I won’t go back over covered ground so if you’re reading Peaceful Rampage for the first time, then go back and read that post at your leisure.

What I am talking about here is one particular scene from the book. It has been called by some, the girl fight. Most readers deduce from the story that Mark’s one love interest, Lisa, is also getting bullied. Mark’s actions have an impact on her and her family. In fact, her father takes her away for the summer because of all the press attention afforded her through her brief liaison with Mark. She returns home after the summer and goes back to school. On the first day, she is accosted by her bullies, actually her chief bully and the bully’s followers. When Lisa tries to avoid confrontation, the chief bully remarks, “What are you gonna do? Get a gun and shoot me like your boyfriend did in New Jersey.” At this point, Lisa snaps and goes for her bully resulting in a one sided mauling of the bully.

Thoughts of how this fight would be made on the big screen fall into two camps. Camp one is the BBC. Like I said in the previous post, the BBC shies away from violence. Plus, there is a strong feminist core with the corporation who would think it wrong to see two girls engage in a fight no matter what the result or intention. Many readers are with Lisa in this part. However, in a BBC film, the fight would have been relegated to a face slap with the bully running off in tears, vowing to get revenge on the assailant. To me, that wouldn’t have been enough revenge against Lisa’s bully.

Camp two comes out of Hollywood. Throughout the century of film, there have been a good number of movies that had female fight scenes. Just check out Youtube. Therefore, Hollywood would have had the fight in its full glory. The downside to this is that it would not have been so one sided. From what I’ve seen from Hollywood, Lisa and her foe would have rolled around on the ground for a bit with some punches thrown both ways before Lisa finally prevailed. For me, that would have diminished the impact of the revenge she finally gets on her bullies. But to Hollywood, that wouldn’t have mattered because the men in the audience get to see a good ‘girl fight.’ BBC and Hollywood, one extreme or the other.

Ronda Roussey and Michelle Rodriguez in Fast and Furious 7. Possibly the greatest movie female fight ever. Would it be like that in “He Was Weird?” 

Now this brings me to the crux of the post. See, I would have been one of those men in the audience who would have been glad to see that female fight. I have always loved watching such things, starting when I saw my first lady’s wrestling match on TV when I was eight. With my Autistic anxieties, I’ve been afraid to speak out about it out of fear of being branded a perv. Especially as I find myself unable to explain exactly why this is the case. Furthermore, I fear that some people out there think that I put that girl fight into the story in order to get some sort of erotic thrill out of it. I assure you, that was not in mind at the time I wrote it. In “He Was Weird,” I wanted to show that Mark’s violent way of dealing with his bullies gave other victims the courage to stand up to their bullies in a less violent way. Lisa surely gets her revenge on her bullies. Hopefully that would be the conclusion of all of those who read that part. My fear is that should it be made into a film, that impact would be lost.

To buy He Was Weird go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493759398&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Was Weird the Move? I’d Love It, But….

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

What author wouldn’t want their book made into a move? There may be some but I know that I would. Seeing my words turned into real life on the big screen would be the ultimate achievement. However, I would be more than a little worried if the filmmakers happened to come from the British Broadcasting Company, the BBC. This isn’t because I think that the BBC would tamper with the plot or anything like that. No, my worry is over the fact that in the past, the BBC has shied away from violence. Take the fantastic 1970s television series, “I Claudius.” Having read the book, there were numerous accounts of gladiator battles plus Claudius’s remarkable conquest of Britain. Therefore, I would have expected some sword play in the series but there was none. I found that disappointing.

The BBC did make a film about one of the books on school shootings, which I post about, “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” In my opinion, the filmmakers didn’t do the book justice. I won’t go into some of the scenes from the book that were left out in the film, which I thought shouldn’t have been. It’s the scene were Kevin actually carries out his school massacre. We only get a few seconds of Kevin shooting his arrows. We don’t see any of them hitting their targets or any reaction from Kevin or his victims. Hell, the bow he used in the movie wasn’t the same type described in the book. This is my reservation about the BBC making the movie of “He Was Weird,” the shooting would be left out. All we would see is a five second clip of Mark shooting his Uzi and that would be it. Such a thing would do my book a great disservice.

The shooting scene from “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” There’s not much more to it.

If a movie was to be made from “He Was Weird,” it would be imperative to see the school shooting in full. Some readers were actually glad when Mark finally gets his revenge on his bullies, although some of those said that they felt a little guilty about that after they read of Mark’s carnage. They’re right though, the audience needs to see Mark finally get is revenge after all his suffering up until that point. One piece of feedback went further to say that one can feel him releasing all of his hate when he double taps (he shoots them again) some of those he shot. I’m not saying we need to see blood and gore on “Saving Private Ryan” scale, although there would be filmmakers who would go to that extreme but we would need to see the shooting from the first shots all the way to the end. I would worry that the BBC wouldn’t do that.

Other parts of the book could be omitted or expanded upon depending on how the filmmaker viewed those bits. I would be interested to see how Mark’s “Week in Paradise” would have been covered. Again, there, I would worry that some filmmakers would age Mark in the film so they could have a sex scene. from that chapter.  I don’t see the need myself. Besides, that is where Mark officially enters puberty.

What caught the attention of New Generation Publishing was the ice hockey scenes. The head of the company told me he liked how the reader was reading about Mark scoring first the tie-ing goal and then the winning goal to give the Junior Flyers the championship. One second, you are celebrating with Mark on the ice, then all of a sudden, you’re back in his bedroom while he is celebrating because the computer is saying his team won. Therefore, I would hope that any hockey scene from the book, used in the film, would be real.

My beloved Philadelphia Flyers, are they celebrating with Mark?

They will probably never make a movie from “He Was Weird,” but here’s to dreaming. I wouldn’t tell the BBC no if they offered but I would hope that they wouldn’t cut out any of the shooting or the bullying because both form the basis behind the entire story.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493150135&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullying As Seen On TV: Criminal Minds- Part 2

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Some of the team from Criminal Minds

For this post, I’m back on the subject of bullying as seen on TV. The television series “Criminal Minds” has given me three episodes worth of inspiration. The first one was posted about two weeks ago on school shootings. Today’s post was inspired by the eleventh episode of season nine, simply called “Bully.”

The story as far as I’m concerned, begins with a man being murdered while he was out jogging. What really astounds the BAU, as well as local police, is the ferocity of the attack. Here is a well conditioned man who appeared able to handle himself but he is beaten really badly to death. Things get more interesting when the team discover a young couple who suffered the same fate a year earlier. There is debate whether the two murders are linked and that provides an interesting counter plot but I’m not here to review the programme.

Another murder happens and that leads to the big breakthrough in the case. A husband and wife are murdered in their house and the team interview the young daughter who has to come back from university to deal with her parents’ affairs. She tells the team of a young boy who was believed to have committed suicide because he was bullied so badly. This boy was forced to wear girl’s underpants in front of the entire school. One can only imagine the humiliation and it makes me glad that I didn’t have such an ordeal. It turns out that the murdered jogger was a substitute teacher at the high school at the time and saw the bullying but didn’t do anything about it.

Here comes the murderer. We discover that in the years after he dropped out of high school, due to the bullying, he has become a physical fitness fanatic aided by taking steroids. Viewers get a full look at his now extremely aggressive tendencies. They also get a flashback to when he was bullied by having his head stuck down a toilet. In the end, the team locate him at the high school after he was beaten up but not yet killed another teacher who was present at the bullying of his friend but sorted the problem by making the victim and the bully shake hands. Unlike so many American cop shows, the murdering victim is not shot but taken into custody on the promise that he would get to tell his side of the story. After reading the books, “Nineteen Minutes” and “Endgame,” I wonder how much of his story would be told and would anybody listen?

While I be the first one to admit that murder doesn’t justify anything like this, I couldn’t help feeling a lot of sympathy for the killer. I know that Mark in “He Was Weird” would have felt it too. Both of us faced bullies but unlike the teacher who didn’t effectively deal with it on the programme, some of my teachers actually tried to turn it around and blame me, the victim. I highlight this quite a lot in the book. Another interesting personal link to this episode was that although I didn’t take steroids, I did join the marines after high school because I wanted it to give me the physical tools to deal with any bullies. Even though the horrendous bullying I endured was in junior high school, it had still left a mental scar that is still present today. It’s just faded a lot.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492712964&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

High School Does End

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Bowling for Soup

My previous post based on the episode from the TV show “Criminal Minds” has given me food for thought. In that episode, ten years after a school shooting occurred at their high school, there was one group that saw continued to see themselves as above the others. They were even called the “Top Ten.” This group still excluded one young man who felt he should have been part of that group but wasn’t and was still excluded. That exclusion was what led him to start killing members of that group.

That episode and post, along with seeing the video for the song, “High School Never Ends” by Bowling for Soup, had me reflecting on my post high school days. In high school, I was nearly what one of the characters in “Crime Scene Investigation” used to describe his high school days, a ghost. I did engage in some extra curricular activities in school and I wasn’t bullied, except for the odd occasion but unlike most of junior high, I never walked the halls in fear. Saying that, I was considered a ‘loser’ or weird or other things by a number of students.

However, in my own mind, I did return to my old high school in triumph a few months after graduation after I became a marine. Walking the halls in uniform with stomach in and chest out and receiving no hostile or even patronizing rebuffs from anyone, I felt I put any specter of high school to rest. I had become a marine and had made something of myself.

At the conclusion of the previous post, I mentioned how I ran into some former jocks and had a beer with them. I was never friends with any of them in high school so I thought barriers had been broken down. However, I saw one of them a few weeks later and he gave me a patronizing “Hi.” Like those in the “Criminal Minds” episode, he obviously saw me in the same light as high school despite the fact that I had served my country and seen the world through my own eyes, which he had only seen on TV and textbooks.

I’ve never been to a high school reunion. I did try to go to my five year one but no one answered when I dialed the phone number given in the radio advert. By the time the ten year reunion came around, I was already living in the UK. By chance, my mother crossed paths with someone I was in high school with and who was on the committee for the reunion. Not wanting to go on record as ‘whereabouts unknown,’ I instructed my mother to tell this person that I was living in London and married with a baby boy. Since then, I have always speculated if it was announced I was living in London and what the reactions of my graduating class would be. I believe a good number of people would have been impressed that I was living in such a city. However, there would have been others, the ones who thought I was a loser, would have claimed that I was living in the biggest slum in London and working at McDonald’s. Neither speculation would have been correct.

Jello Biafra

Nowadays, I wonder if I’m still listed as living in London at reunions. I don’t anymore, I live in rural Gloucestershire. I amuse myself once in a great while by speculating what those from the Mainland Regional High School Class of 79 would make of me should I ever run into any of them. After all, while I’m not some corporate big wig or a star in the arts, although I have written and published two books, I don’t think I’ve done too bad. However, in the end, I choose not to worry about it because like Jello Biafra once said, high school isn’t all that important and it’s not the best years in most people’s lives. It certainly wasn’t for me. Although I didn’t hear him say this until 2005, I’m glad I followed his advice in regards to my high school years and those awful years before by pissing on its grave and getting the hell out of town. When you do that, the less significant those days become.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492123102&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

Bullying and School Shootings As Seen on TV: Criminal Minds- Part 1

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Some of the team from Criminal Minds

Last week, I posted about bullying and school shootings from an episode of the long running TV series, “Crime Scene Investigation.” This week and for the next two after, I will talk about similar episodes from the series, “Criminal Minds.” I’ll start with the earliest episode on the subject and move on to the most recent which was from the current season. Therefore, this post will deal with the fourth episode of season seven entitled “Painless.”

A brief synopsis of the programme: Ten years prior, a school shooting and bombing took place at a high school in Boise, Idaho. As the survivors, along with family and friends of the slain, prepare for the ten year memorial service, the principal of the school is murdered the same way as the shooter had done ten years earlier. While the service is allowed to go on, two of the survivors are also murdered. The investigation by the Criminal Minds team reveals that those two survivors were part of a group called “The Top Ten.” These were students who survived the ordeal and who afterwards, went on tours of schools and talk shows to tell all about what happened on that fateful day. They comprised all the high school social groups, jocks, stoners, nerds, cheerleaders, etc. As the climax unfolds, we learn that one young teen is wrongfully left out and that the one popular boy who was murdered actually lied about his role in the shooting. He said that he was the only one who looked the shooter in the eye when in fact it was the boy who got left out. We also learn that this left out boy was knocked out by the bomb that was set off and therefore, he didn’t get the chance to tell his story. This is why he killed the principal and the other two survivors because he was wrongfully denied his chance at fame. Unfortunately for him, he never will get his chance to tell what really happened because the Criminal Minds team is forced to shoot him dead.

While I was watching it, comparisons and contrasts to my book, “He Was Weird,” came to mind. First the contrasts: Unlike Mark in my book, the shooter in the Criminal Minds episode was a popular kid and captain of the wrestling team. That is what befuddled investigators as to why he carried out the massacre. It also turned out that he had assistance from another boy who was never suspected because at the time of the shooting/bombing, he was satisfying his marijuana addiction. Mark, on the other hand, was the complete opposite of this guy, badly bullied and totally acted alone. Another contrast is that after the shooting on the TV show, the shooter’s family becomes national pariahs and are unable to move out of Boise. Contrast that to Mark’s family where his mother reverts back to her maiden name and with the help of relatives, are able to relocate to another state. And although the school officials know about what Mark has done, they are willing to give his younger sister and brother a fair chance.

Similarities between the programme and the book come in the fact that “He Was Weird,” ends with the ten year memorial service of the shooting. At the end of the programme, those at the service light a candle to honour the dead with each person lighting a candle and saying the name of someone who died that day. The younger brother of the shooter, who was killed in the bomb blast, says the name of his older brother. At the ten year service at the end of “He Was Weird,” Mark’s sister points out that actually eighteen people died that fateful day and not the seventeen that had been talked about for the past ten years since her brother carried out the shooting.

On a personal note, one thing I gleaned from this particular episode was the comment that even after high school, the social structures don’t change. The “Top Ten” still thought they had an air of privilege about them, even ten years after graduation. When I came out of the marines, four years after graduation, I ran into three of the jocks and outside a bar and had a beer with them. I thought that the high school group crap was no more. However, when I saw one of them a two months later, he said “hi” to me in a patronizing tone. I took this to mean that even though I had served in the marines, I wasn’t good enough for him. Maybe he was still in high school in his mind. I didn’t let it get to me and if I did manage to get to a high school reunion, I wouldn’t be ashamed of who I’ve become and what I’ve accomplished in my life.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491412808&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

Bullying and School Shootings From TV- CSI

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

As I stated in my last post, there are over fifty books that deal with school shootings, many of which show the shooter as a victim of bullying. My book, He Was Weird, is one of those. However, in spite of all of these books, Hollywood has not picked up on this and made any films about school shootings. In fact, the only movie I know of about a school shooting is a BBC production of Lionel Shriver’s book, “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” I wasn’t too impressed with the film as it left out what I felt were important parts of the story and the shooting scene was crap. Lionel should sue. Fortunately, television hasn’t been afraid to deal with the subjects of bullying and school shootings and I will be looking at these in my next few posts.

Scene from the Bully for You episode on CSI.

The first one I know about appeared in Season 2 of “Crime Scene Investigation,” CSI for short. The title of the particular episode explains it all, “Bully for You.” It opens with the discovery of a dead body of a boy in the boys’ bathroom of a local high school. Almost immediately, the investigation of the CSI team uncovers the fact that the dead boy was a high school bully. Therefore, all of the victims of the bully are interviewed who tell their individual stories of how they were bullied, some are rather bad, but it is deduced that none of them could have shot the bully.

Further interviews and the obvious great forensic work by the CSI team lead to the inevitable twist in the story. In the end, it is discovered that the shooter was a female guidance counselor at the school. A background check showed that she was traumatised by an school shooting at her previous school, where she was assistant principal and happened two weeks after Columbine. At that school, one day, eleven people were shot and killed by the shooter. She explained it all happened because some Sophmore  didn’t like people making jokes about his glasses. That was her justification for shooting the bully. It was better to shoot one bully than to have a mass shooting like the one she experienced. Does she have a point? Maybe, but it was no excuse for murder.

What I liked about this particular episode was that it neither glorified the bully or justified the murder. For me, it reinforced my belief that bullying is wrong but there are better more effective means of dealing with it than taking lives.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490815891&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

Literary Cyber Bullying- He Was Weird

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

There are now over fifty books about school shootings. In fact, school shootings has become its own sub-genre in books. I am proud to say that “He Was Weird” is one of them. Because there are so many books on the subject, I, as an author, have to explain how my book is different. While I haven’t read all fifty books, I can talk about the other four I’ve read and posted about on here.

One big difference between “He Was Weird” and the other four books is that when you begin reading the story in those other books, the school shooting has already taken place. Each of them go back in time before the shooting and talk about all the events which lead up to the big event. While doing so, they present reasons as to why the shooting happened in the story. Well, I don’t do that in my book. “He Was Weird” opens with the family moving to the new town and Mark, the protagonist, excited about his new adventure. As the story progresses, we read how Mark is worn down by the constant bullying to the point that he finally snaps and shoots up his school. All events are as they happen and not told past tense like the others. One point I take great compliment in is that some of those who read “He Was Weird” were hoping that somehow Mark wouldn’t go through with the atrocity he commits. That hope has been a good hook in the story.

The other difference is the amount of cyber bullying that goes on. In the other four stories, there is very little if any in each of them. Even in the one book I feature in my last post, there isn’t a whole lot. That is different in “He Was Weird.” Mark is subjected to some really bad cyber bullying. Most of it was on Facebook where the other children do say horrible things about him. One instance is a pretend post onto Mark’s Facebook wall, supposedly from his hero, hockey star Kip McClary, who says that he doesn’t want a faggot like Mark as one of his fans. Another is the use of mobile phone camera where someone films Mark getting badly bullied and then uploads it onto the site. On the morning of the day Mark becomes a pop star, he reads some more mean comments from people online and that only strengthens his resolve to carry out his massacre.

On the other hand, Mark does use social media to his advantage for his big day. On the day after the shooting, the reader discovers Mark’s dying declaration on Facebook. He names some of his worst bullies and states that he is going to get his revenge. He also lets everyone know how mean they were to him and that they won’t escape his wrath either. That post has its backers and haters. While friends and relatives of the victims of Mark’s carnage say horrible things, there are others praising him for having the courage to do what he did. When it is finally taken off Facebook, his dying declaration has over 1000 ‘Likes.’

The cyber bullying I write about in the book is totally from the recesses of my imagination. Unlike the other bullying experiences Mark faces, it isn’t based on anything I experienced directly. Social media and the internet didn’t exist when I was going through all that hell forty years ago. That’s probably a good thing because if my bullying experiences had been in modern times, I’m sure those who bullied me in the physical sense would have bullied me online as well. Probably more because there would have been those who would have hurled insults at me under a cloak of anonymity. So, I dodged a bullet there but I am still very supportive of anyone who falls victim to this type of bullying.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490044713&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

Literary Cyber Bullying- Rupture

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

My last post about the horrible new cyber bullying game and the brave young lady who spoke out against it gave me incentive for this and my next post. I was always intending to write one or more posts about cyber bullying and after last week, this is as good a time as any.

Like I have done with several topics, I have decided to look at cyber bullying through the books I often cover on Peaceful Rampage. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no cyber bullying in either “We Need to Talk About Kevin” or “Endgame.” In Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes,” the only instance is when the bullies spam their victim’s personal email to a girl he likes all around the school. That leaves my own book, “He Was Weird” and Simon Lelic’s “Rupture.” It’s the latter, I’ll focus on in this post.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, “Rupture” is about a teacher who is bullied by both colleagues and pupils to the point where he snaps and carries out a school shooting. The police detective assigned to investigate the shooting uncovers something called the “Bum Blog,” which is written by pupils and hurls insults at this particular teacher. What’s worse is the fact that the Head Teacher knows about this bullying blog but allows to go on because of free speech. Simon Lelic only treats us to a few highlights of some of the things written in the “Bum Blog” but it is enough to let us know that this blog is nasty. A clear cut case of cyber bullying and it leaves the detective with little doubt as to why the teacher shot up his school. Further proof that even in fiction, cyber bullying stinks.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489443538&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird