I was in the library yesterday and picked up a comic book version of “Beowulf”, one of my favorite literary things. In the acknowledgements at the end, the illustrator, Gareth Hinds, list many martial arts instructors and schools, and then “in reference to the above” and “abject” apology to various people he has “picked on or physically bullied” and specifically lists four or five by first name and initial.
It’s funny to think of a comic book illustrator as being a bully, but there it is. I can only guess that at some point in his martial arts training some instructor saw he got his rocks off hurting people and told him it wasn’t cool. Bullies are very hierarchical people, and if this instructor or instructors were guys who could kick his ass, it might have sunk in.
I guess it’s nice he realizes he was a dick and makes a public apology for it. I don’t know how I would feel about it if I was one of his targets. Does he think it makes everything OK now? Does he expect forgiveness? Should he get a cookie? To me, an adult man who has come to the realization it’s not OK to harass or hurt people is not an example of mature wisdom, but of a pretty slow learner. That’s something you should have internalized when you were, I don’t know, seven? Nine? Certainly not later than ten.
It’s a sad commentary on our society that this kind of thing is considered normal and acceptable, and that a man would need to learn this lesson in someplace as esoteric and subcultural as martial arts training, rather than from his parents and teachers as a young boy.