Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chicken Soup with Izzy Kalman's latest Psychology Today article...

It may be my imagination, but Izzy Kalman seems more defensive than in the past. At the beginning of his latest exercise in victim blaming, Kalman declares his financial interest in the "anti-bullying industry" with an "Author's Transparency Declaration."

Then he includes a quote from someone named Rumi. "Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself." This isn't unusual. Kalman frequently uses quotes as if he believes that we'll become more supportive of his ludicrous ideas.

Here's a quote I dug out the Old Testament (Joel 3:10) that reminds me of school shooters:

"Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears. Let the weak say, I am strong."

The meat of his article tells the story of a man who learns that he is sick because of a bacterial infection from which he has no immunity. The doctor refers him to a company that will follow him around 24 hours a day, sterilize anything he's likely to come in contact with, and do whatever it takes to protect him from bacteria regardless of cost. Obviously Kalman is trying to equate what this business is doing with the efforts of the anti-bullying movement.

This is one of his worst analogies yet...

People are not bacteria. If you kill millions of bacteria with disinfectant spray, none of the other bacteria will become frightened and stay away from you. If you make an example of some of the worst bacteria by treating them like dangerous criminals and locking them in a cage far away from their victims, none of the other bacteria will learn from their example. If everyone ostracizes bacteria, all of the other bacteria will behave exactly as they've always behaved.

Really Izzy...

How does a man with a Masters Degree in Psychology shamelessly advertise his inability to tell the difference between human behavior and the behavior of bacteria?

Izzy Kalman then continues by attempting to equate administering an antibiotic with blaming the victim. The doctor refuses to provide penicillin because that would be the same as blaming the victim of the infection.

Where does he get this stuff?

I occasionally visit the websites of various hate groups and I've seen many of their members interviewed on television or in documentaries. There's no end to the creativity they'll summon in order to rationalize their hatred of whoever they happen to hate. I don't know why a school psychologist has chosen to fixate on hating victims so tenaciously but it's very reminiscent of more honest bigots.

Kalman titles the concluding section of his article, "Taking responsibility doesn't mean the problem is your fault." He includes a couple of ridiculous examples.

He says that if you own a house and it snows, it's your responsibility to shovel the snow out of the driveway. Owning a house doesn't make it snow so it isn't your fault. Kalman is correct on both counts, but he's hoping his readers are just stupid enough to miss the fact that meteorological effects, unlike bullies, are not predatory. Snow is just snow. Bullies are violent sociopaths who find hurting smaller, weaker people pleasurable.

His second example involve an individual who has developed "emotional problems" as a result of growing up with abusive parents. He says it's not your fault for being abused, but it is your responsibility for addressing your emotional problems. Once again Kalman is betting on stupid readers. If Kalman's such an expert at teaching victims how to stop making others abuse them, why doesn't he offer a little advice for those who are currently being abused by their parents? How about a program called AbusiveParents2AdmiringParents? Those who successfully turn their abusive parents into "Buddies" would never develop "emotional problems" in the first place making the whole question of taking responsibility for them academic.

As always...buyer beware.


  1. While Kalman does simplify things, you do the same. You assume that every single bully is a violent sociopath. Many are idiots who honestly think it's just stupid fun and that the people complaining are overly sensitive, or insecure assholes taking their misery and anger out on others

    1. That's pretty much the behavior of a sociopath.

      For clarification, I don't consider harmless pests to be bullies. Bullies enjoy inflicting pain and fear on smaller, weaker people. Harmless pests make noise in order to get attention.

  2. Did you read harry potter?

    On of the things Harry finds out is that his father was a bully as a kid. He talks to his Dad's friends and they admit that yeah it was a pretty horrible thing that they had done (Even though Sirius still hates the kid they picked on he admits that it was going to far, and lupin admits that he was afraid of loosing his only friends so he kept his mouth shut even when he knew it was wrong). Harry's father ultimately grew out of it, and became more mature as a person. What I was actually saying is that some bullies are basically immature idiots. Sometimes they grow up and realize that what they did was wrong (Billy Madison also has this. After going through high school again and gaining perspective he calls up a kid he tormented and apologizes, admitting that "yeah I thought it was funny but now I realize I was kind of an asshole"). Sometimes that does happen.

    I mentioned personal experience because I ultimately made peace with my tormenter (he was basically taking his issues out on me, and after he had grown up he realized that what he had done was wrong.)

    1. If I steal your money or vandalize your property, apologizing later does not make up for it. You worked for money that I got to spend. You had to pay for the damage I caused to your property. And most damaging of all especially in the case of bullying. The victim lived in fear of being violated again because the bully was allowed to get away with it.

      Apologies remind me of Mitt Romney's apology for bullying the high school student he claims to not remember.

    2. Dude. You seem to say once a bully always a bully. In many cases that's true but you fail to acknowledge that so e people think about what they've done and realize yeah I was an asshole. That happens. Or that others become bullies to feel better (ie they want to drag others to their level so they feel less shitty).

    3. Lots of people stop bullying when they become adults. But allowing them to openly get away with it and blaming the victim for what the bully did contributes to producing men like Adam Lanza and Timothy McVeigh.

      The bully blithely moves on with his life without an iota of guilt for creating a monster. Your children die. The bully laughs.

  3. so every single apology is worthless? I have been on the receiving end of bullying, so I am hardly a stranger. However, the idea that every bully is an EVUL HORRIBLE ANIMAL just comes across as dogmatic. Not every bully is a sadistic monster. Apologizing can be a step in the right direction. Like it or not some apologies can be genuine. YEs there are some that are false (mitt romney) but acting like every single kid who ever bullied someone is a monster and irredeemable monster equivalent to pol pot is just…..stupid

    1. Aaah Grasshopper. Nothing prepares a soulless social climbing whore to receive the royal penis faster than watching His Majesty brutalize and thoroughly humiliate a less sponge-worthy male like yourself.

      Read my Chicken Soup with the Bully Enablers post for more details here.

  4. I did. It had points but it was overly simplistic. You seem to view all bullies as a monolithic bloc of sociopaths that sprout from the womb EVUL!!!!!! Again, I've been bullied. I've gotten the bully who humiliated to give a sincere apology in high school.

    And no Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were monsters. They weren't born that way, and they were certainly shaped that way by the abuse they received from the bullies (a problem that is downplayed.) But they lost any claim to the high ground when they killed children. Same with Adam Lanza. What they did made them loose any right to the moral high ground.

    1. Sarcastic, sexist prose aside...

      All human animals are born killers. That's the definition of a predatory species. The killers you mentioned and all the others were not aberrations, nor were they evil. They were products of a culture that lavishly praises and rewards the most violent assholes the American Family can produce while heaping cruelty, shame, and ostracism on anyone not violent enough to be deemed worthy of consideration.

      It should have surprised no one when a two young males raised on a steady diet of cruelty and social ostracism become mass murderers.

      And don't forget...

      Go Rebels!

      We Are Columbine!!

      What a bunch of idiots.

  5. There are many kinds of bullies, but I think I’m getting it. This place isn’t as much about categorizing them, as it is about civilizing the sensibilities of the average schmuck enabler. Am I right?

    I find it completely bizarre that the ideals presented in the New Testament, the Constitution, the Hippocratic oath, hell, most Hollywood productions... which promote fairness and justice for the civilized man, are so publicly popular yet so privately despised by enablers.

    I just found out from a bullying expert that two of the most bullied/mobbed types of professionals, are nursing and clergy. WTF? Is it that there are more enablers in those fields? Or are bullies more attracted to the meeker more empathic types found there, than in, say, engineering?

    1. Bullies are using individuals whom they consider expendable in order to set an example for anyone who doesn't treat them as alphas.