Morality is subjective

On bullying, homsexuality, and Jonah Mowry

Of course, this video makes no sense unless you’ve seen the original video, by Jonah Mowry, a young teen who is struggling with being gay and getting bullied at school:

Or, if you want to see the two of them side by side, use the YouTube Doubler!

Jonah Mowry, a gay teen, is terrified of returning to school shares his concerns and opens his heart on YouTube. His video is touching and pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who’s ever had to deal with bullying. I’ll even admit that his video made me get a little teary-eyed as I watched it.

So, then, why would I make a parody of it? Because there are no sacred cows. Life, religion, sex, love, death – it’s important to take them apart so that we don’t let anything have too much power over us. Using humor to discuss or showcase anything is not the same as saying I don’t care about a subject.

I’m not gay, Jonah, and the bullying I experienced in 8th grade was limited and over very quickly. However, I knew that terror and I knew that fear, and I commend you for posting about it in such a stark, honest way. The fact that I made the effort to create this parody only shows that the message was powerful and good enough that I needed to take it apart, because, as a wise person once told me, funny trumps all.

35 thoughts on “On bullying, homsexuality, and Jonah Mowry”

  1. Shame on you. Sacred cows do not apply here. Using humor to defuse or discuss a situation is appropriate for many (if not most) situations, sure, but not this one. This is a child, reaching out, saying something big and essential and exceptionally difficult. You don’t get to make fun of children who are in the middle of suffering.

    1. @crisi-tunity, first of all, everything and everyone is fair game. Secondly, I didn’t make fun of Jonah -I support him – I made fun of the method of his delivery. My video wasn’t mean nor mean-spirited.

  2. Meh, I’m so over this kid. I’m all for supporting the cause, stop bullying, gay rights etc but when I saw him making videos mocking fat people I lost a lot of sympathy for him. One big life lessons is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t cry about being made fun of one minute and then turn around and do it to someone else the next. Don’t dish it if you can’t take it and all that.

    1. @Tammy, I disagree completely. Fat people are funny and worth being mocked. I make fun of fat people and gay people and black people and all people.

      Do you expect him to be perfect? Never do anything wrong in his life and be completely thoughtful about all of his actions before he even reaches the age of 13?

      So, he deserves to be bullied because of what he did? He deserves to be reduced to a point that he cuts himself and is terrified to go back to school?

      No. The victims of bullies can become bullies themselves, especially if they don’t necessarily have good support at home, because that’s the only way that they can find any power in their world. And you don’t know the whole story. Maybe the fat people he was mocking in his videos were the people who were bullying him. In my school, it was almost always the bigger kids who were taller, heavier, and meaner who were the physical bullies. I mocked them mercilessly when they were out of earshot as my only way to respond.

      Nobody deserves this, and a victim of bullying is a victim of bullying.

      1. @Avitable, I’m not saying he deserves to be bullied. I never said that anywhere. I said I feel a little less sympathy for him knowing that he does the same thing to other people. That is MY opinion and MY feelings.

        Yes YOU make fun of and mock fat people, you mock EVERYONE but I never say a thing about it… why? because I’ve never once seen you complain about anything anyone says about you. You are an adult and you dish it AND take it… if you were on your blog crying because people made fun of you because you are fat, I’d also give you a great big wtf the next time you poke fun at someone.

        My point is that you -also- don’t know who the kids bullying HIM are… maybe it was the fat kids and maybe it was because they saw his videos. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not right from anyone, but if you are going to mock people and make fun of them, don’t turn around and cry because people are doing it to you.

        Sure, he’s a teenager, but there’s still a lesson in this for him.

  3. I’m with Tammy, the power of Jonah’s bullying video has been diminished by others he has also made. He may well have made himself an even bigger target. I hope some good comes from the original video, he gets help and stops the cutting.

    1. @Helen,
      I work with children and haven’t met a perfect one yet Adam.

      What I did say was that the video was powerful, that I hope Jonah gets help and stops cutting himself. What I didn’t say was that he deserves to be bullied.

      I haven’t seen the video Tammy is talking about but I have seen others. I guess I was disappointed that after the impact his video was having around the world, the wave of anti-bullying sentiment it was generating was damaged by other comments he has made.

      I witness bullying and the effects (sometimes tragic) it has on a regular basis. Everyday I strive to stop it. Bullying is never o.k. and neither is the inference that I somehow intimated he deserves to be bullied.

  4. I kinda of think Jonah is a mini-Avitable. A little attention whorish, a little different, a lot awesome.
    Adam I only saw Jonah’s video a few hours ago and it seemed a little too Susan Smith for my liking. I mean, it sucks if he’s been bullied but I think he’s in a good place; at least it seems that way by the end of the video & by the commentary on the video on the YouTube site. Seems like a pretty strong kid despite whatever he’s been through.
    Your video made me laugh. I wish there was a Hallmark card that read, “Sorry about your Jello arms.”

  5. Hey, once-bullied Gay kid here letting you all know that I survived. It’s probably a good thing that Youtube wasn’t around when I was a teen. Or else you would have seen the biggest Drama Queen out there. Without the flesh cutting mind you. I’m too cute for all that!
    I liked both videos that you posted today. Obviously, for different reasons. And I’m sad to hear that Jonah is a big jerk himself mocking other people. That sort of ruins his little cry for attention video for me. Too bad, cause I really felt for him. Oh well!

  6. You give yourself waaaay to much credit, Adam. Should Jonah somehow feel honoured that the ‘great’ Avitable would find his pain & his video worthy enough to mock? Really, Adam? Ridiculous. You do him no favours. The fact is you’re a grown man making fun of a vulnerable child. You are no better than the bullies he faces on a daily basis. You are a bully. You can hide behind humour/comedy and that ‘nothing is sacred’ all you want. The fact remains; you mocked a child in pain for no other reason than to bring attention to yourself. There was NOTHING humorous about this. It was pathetic and sadly that’s what you’ve become lately. The only comfort I’m taking from this is that fact that very few people will actually watch this video. I hope Jonah never does. You’ve gone too far mocking this child. Pick on someone your own size, bully. You just lost a long time reader.

    1. @Dragon, I don’t know, Paula. I researched this for a while before I chose to do the video. His video was done 3-4 months ago and since then his life has improved significantly. He even has other videos up talking about how popular he is now. In the end, though, I wasn’t making fun of him – I was mocking the style and delivery of the video, as it’s becoming a trend now. I think I made that pretty clear.

      This doesn’t feel like it’s actually anything to do with me and all to do with you and something personal.

      If I’ve become pathetic lately, then by all means, you shouldn’t read me. My goal is to consistently push the envelope and do things that make me strive creatively, and I’m sure that isn’t always going to gel well with everyone. I guess I expect people who have been reading me for that long, and talking to me outside of the blog world, to know me well enough than to think that I’m a bully. Ah well.

      1. @Avitable, you’re right, you hit a nerve. I remembered the bullies from my own childhood…they were all older and nasty. No way to fight against them. It’s wrong. I just felt for this kid.

    2. @Dragon, Honestly, Jonah put himself in the position to be mocked and vulnerable by posting a video on the internet where ANYONE can say what they wish about him and his video. If you have ever read this site, you know how Adam writes his posts and the tactics he uses. It’s called shock value and not many people have the balls to do it. I think he did a wonderful job on this video

  7. I guess bullying gay people is a foreign concept to me. It was perfectly acceptable to be gay at my middle and high school. When I came out as being bisexual, all my friends were like, “Oh yeah, we already knew.” And that was that. I have never seen anyone made fun of or treated differently for being gay. There were multiple gay football players, wrestlers and basketball players. I won’t say he is overreacting, but I kinda feel everything is being blown outta proportion. Being bullied for being gay is no different than being bullied for being fat. I was bullied by one kid in middle school for being fat, and when I showed him I couldn’t care less of his opinion of me he cut it the fuck out. I may sound like an insensitive douche, but really, be proud of who you are, stop being a vag and move on with your life.

  8. At first, I thought this was a horrible stab at this kid but after reading through the comments and how well you defended each negative comment with a cool collect. I have come to respect the way you approached the topic at hand. Kudos for the creativity.

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