Let’s be honest: I’m an asshole. Or at least I perceive myself that way, as I’m sure many of you do. I’m jaded. I’m cynical. I’m self-loathing and have contempt for the majority of the population. I hate idiocy. I hate conformity. I hate groupthink and, hence, the ability to think for oneself. Yet despite my flaws and self-perception as a jackass, I do, in fact, have a heart.
Normally I wouldn’t post something like this on my blog. Not because I want the rest of you to think I’m an asshole, but simply because it doesn’t so much jive with the overall tone. Other than Versus, this blog is typically comical and light-hearted. Hell, that’s all I’ve asked and all I’ve wanted. But then, as I was reading through my timeline on Twitter, I came across this tweet by one of my heroes, Patton Oswalt, which prompted me to write today’s entry.
[UPDATE: Patton blogged further about this issue, in an honest, self-incriminating piece.]
I do marketing for a nonprofit organization that works with 12,000 youth and families a year nationwide. What’s more, as I’ve mentioned a million times, I hate my job. I don’t hate what we do; rather, I hate how we do it from an administrative perspective. I don’t agree with how money is allocated. I don’t agree with the management style. I don’t agree with the groupthink of those in charge. What I believe in, though, are the people in the field who are working with our clients. And this October 12 speech by Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns (which you can again view here if you didn’t already do so in Patton’s link) was enough to make me want to share it with the rest of you. Burns gave an impassioned and highly revealing/personal speech on the effects of high school bullying, particularly in how it affects gay and lesbian youth. My organization focuses on bullying as one of the factors for at-risk youth we look to stomp out. And as a parent of a six-year-old, it’s heartbreaking to think she could ever be on the receiving end of this type of verbal abuse. The video is over 12 minutes long, and I absolutely promise you will watch it in its entirety.
Again, I don’t typically share this sort of thing here, and I’m mainly on my soapbox only when it pertains to things like music and why I’d advocate for Rachael Ray to be buried alive in that Chilean mine. So, I hope you’ll forgive this off-brand post and at least take 12 minutes out of your day to watch Burns’ speech. It’s worth it.