One type of bully which I will go into more detail about in a later post is the one who feeds off the bullying by others. When not with friends or doesn’t have an audience to encourage, this bully will leave the victim alone. However, when either of both of those elements are present, this bully will go all out on that victim. (S)he may even take the lead in the bullying, especially if they are spurred on by the crowd. One such person who appears on “He Was Weird” is Damon Bates.
The first account of any bullying of Mark by Damon happens when Mark is besieged by a large group. Damon decides to be at the forefront of it all. All of the comments directed at him cause overload in his brain and therefore, Mark sees his only feasible response to it is to flip his middle finger at them. Most of the crowd just laugh it off but Damon suddenly decides to take offense at the gesture and goaded by some of the other kids, most importantly, the main instigator, he moves in to attack Mark. His fists are only stayed at the last minute when the captain of the safety patrol steps in and that is only because he fears losing his position.
Later on in the story, Damon once again is there to jump into the limelight of group bullying on Mark. When Mark is indecently assaulted by the substitute teacher, it is Damon who tells everyone that “the homo is probably wearing pink underwear.” Another instance comes one day during a shop lesson, where Damon steals Mark’s compass because he can. Even when not at the forefront of the crowd, other bullies feed off of him as well. Mike Sigfried took great inspiration from him when bullying Mark as did Joe Kellerman. Plus he was there to support his buddy Jim Friend when Jim began making Mark’s life hell. That is why when Mark finally gets his revenge, we see that Damon winds up as one of the casualties.
For me, Damon Bates shows what can happen inside a pack mentality. Some of the most passive people can be a great bully when there is a crowd behind them. This is true with David Boakes, the person who inspired the Damon Bates character. I remember a couple of times when seeing me in public, he was actually friendly towards me but in a group of hostiles, it was a different story. The problem with forgiving him comes as result of this type of bullying. The problem with pack mentality is that individuals in the pack feel they are not the most guilty ones. I can see that David would believe that of himself. However, if he was to see the truth of how he effected me and repented, I would forgive.
Next post: Nick Higbee
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444128214&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird