You are currently reading this article on the internet. In seconds, you could be watching the worst, most depraved things imaginable. We all have that power. Because we have this power, we know to pay extra attention to filenames and the titles of YouTube videos. We also learned that the vaguer the name, the more likely something disgusting is going to be happening. These are the rules.
When I see a video entitled “Making the bus monitor cry,” no, I’m not going to watch that. Why? Because that might be the saddest phrase ever to become a personal euphemism for masturbation. But the main reason: fuck kids, that’s why. I know exactly what I’m getting into watching that video. Junior high is the time where people become the worst they’ll ever be, filled with a rage fueled by puberty, the need for dominance and terribly blunt insults. Shit, I was a decent kid throughout junior high and high school, and even I regret things I said then on a semi-regular basis. How can you watch anything with such a straightforward title and expect to feel good about the world afterward?
Because America, we saved the day. That old, old lady getting yelled at is going to go on a $650,000 vacation for some reason! Because she got yelled at too much, and people figured “Hey, there are a lot of problems with the bus system to allow this, and also the education system in general for not being able to properly treat bullies for the obvious problems they must have in their quest for school bus status, so let’s give this bus monitor a really nice vacation.”
So to help solve the problem of bullying, let’s say there is a child psychologist on duty, similar to the school nurse, and troublemakers could be sent to them before receiving discipline that won’t help. Let’s also say that they don’t require a lot of money, but will make more than a bus monitor. Let’s just say $20,000 a year. With the money donated for the bus monitor’s vacation, you could hire 32 therapists. Give troublemakers some fucking agency, for once. However, we are no doubt starved for vacations.
I have a hunch that this was about people having no control over terrible things happening all over. We hate feeling trapped, and we will relish that moment when we feel like we could help, even if we can’t actually “help” the problem at hand in an easy way. We’ll distract ourselves with causes as computer chair optimists, but never actually think about why said social problems happen. Granted, it’s more helpful than, say, spending life collecting KISS memorabilia, but I would still consider it light delusion. What’s not delusional is that a theory will remain an unprovable, stupid hunch of a theory until enough people see it, agree with it, and decide to give me a $650,000 vacation (oh please oh please give me a shot, internet).
I suppose after thinking about this story way too much that most human interest stories are a bit insane. Don’t get me wrong, some people deserve it, but imagine if the terrible things you’ve gone through were rewarded with a week of media coverage and people giving you a $650,000 vacation. Nothing would get done! We’d all be floating around island resorts, glad that the last indelible embarrassment doled out by faith is good enough for a Jamaica repeat. We’d never have to confront a problem again! Instead, the bus monitor lady will spend a plane ride with the rest of humanity. This is somehow considered “better.”