I think many people already know about a student’s suicide in Rutgers University. This is sad, but I bet we all knew this coming at some point. This reminds me of a similar incident in Korea about 4-5 years ago. A 15 years old boy distributed pictures of his girlfriend naked and having sex with him over internet. I can’t recall whether he was charged or not. Fortunately, on this case, many people who actually downloaded the pics condemned him, found all of his personal information and spread it. And the girl didn’t really know how serious it was. No one knows what they are up to now – typical in Korea, you just hush-hush on things like this.
There was bullying back in my school days, too. Call me pessimist, but I don’t think we, the human race, can ever get over the bullying completely. It’s in our blood – our social animal blood. Social animals isolate and attack someone who are not like us. Furry Persian cats avoid, and sometimes even attack their fellow cat who is shaved off. Macaques and Chimpanzees are known to pick on a weak member of their group, and sometimes lynch the member to death – and when lynching, they make sure everyone take at least one hit on the victim.
So am I saying that Clementi deserved it and bullying is just fine? No, hardly. I am scared. I am scared to see how the increasing number of people do not stop and think about the consequences of their action, and unable to picture the very same thing can happen to them. Ability to do that, I believe, is what distinguishes human from others. You can’t help disliking someone (which is natural, I believe). There are some people who just don’t click with you, no matter what you do. You don’t have to try too hard to love everyone. And sometimes you just have to bash-talk about people you don’t like for your mental health. You are free to not like someone, but that doesn’t mean you get to humiliate and tear that person apart.
But that really doesn’t mean a person you dislike, or don’t really agree with, has to be humiliated by having their most private moment exposed without their consent. NO. How would you feel if someone you are unaware of dislike you, thus live-broadcast you masturbating? I really don’t know where the world is heading, or what it has become.
I’m not a romantic idealist (maybe you already figured that out by reading my posts on blog). I don’t really believe in so-called clean-cut good, bad, moral and civility. Moral/civility to me, like Murakami Ryu once said, is “something that we agreed to not do to each other that none of us wants to be done on ourselves…why do we all agree that Nazi’s persecution on Jews was evil? Because, none of us don’t want to be forced to scrape floor or dragged into gas chamber or have our head shaved just because of our skin color or biological background by some others.”
Maybe Ravi and Wei were homophobes. Maybe they did it just for a “good fun, like everyone else in college.” But had they stopped for a moment, and asked themselves whether they would be fine to have their sexual intercourse live-broadcasted over the campus by others, they might have made a different choice; and Clementi might not have taken his life at age 18.
PS: This reminds me a lot of my life in dormitory. This partly explains why I always distanced myself from fellow dorm residents, yet not far enough to make enemy. Someone might not like me and there are people who will take advantage of me if given a chance, whether they like me or not. I had some people I did not like, but figured out I can’t really do anything about it, let alone have to face them at least once a day. Best solution: leave them be, just say hi with some fake smiles. If you have to bad-mouth him/her, go ahead for the sake of your mental health, but make sure you do that with someone who is on your side yet has no connection with your community. When needed, take your revenge but subtle enough that you are not into trouble, but showing you are not that nice. That way, I was able to keep myself away from troubles and survive.