Without fresh updates on the "constant gubernatorial sex scandal" front or the new and improved recession 2.0, the news can seem a bit slow. Maybe that is why New York Times This Land columnist (and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter) Dan Barry wrote eleven hundred words on a kid getting beaten up on the regular in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Exhaustion with scandal and financial ruin is the most charitable explanation for Barry's piece today on "A Boy the Bullies Love to Beat Up, Repeatedly." You may wonder if this article talks about the larger trend of bullying or even a "Sordid Online World." But such hope would be lost on an article about a random kid, Billy Wolfe, who gets knocked around a lot.
To be fair to Barry, he does incorporate a Web 2.0 angle. Billy Wolfe, the kid who gets beat up a lot, had his own anti-Billy Wolfe Facebook group:
In ninth grade, a couple of the same boys started a Facebook page called "Every One (sic) That Hates Billy Wolfe." It featured a photograph of Billy's face superimposed over a likeness of Peter Pan, and provided this description of its purpose: "There is no reason anyone should like billy he's a little bitch. And a homosexual that NO ONE LIKES."Okay, so now we know what Times style for "Heh-heh" is. Sadly, that group has been taken down. Maybe the bullies should start a Tumblr?
Being a responsible journalist, Barry interviews school officials too, at least one of whom thinks Billy is partially to blame for all the bullying. Billy "had words" with the boy who punched him at the school bus. Scandal! Maybe he isn't deserving at all of the New York Times essay about his unpleasant high school experience.