Canadian ‘pork chop’ bullying video goes viral
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Canadian poet Shane Koyczan has hit a nerve in the public psyche with his newly illustrated video on bullying.
Koyczan, who electrified audiences with his performance at the Vancouver Olympics, describes bullied kids as growing up “believing no one would ever fall in love with us, that we would be lonely forever.”
In two days, more than 1 million people have watched the seven-minute video, part of the anti-bullying campaigner’s “To This Day Project.”
Writer Dan Savage told Koyczan his poem “had me crying into my salad at O’Hare airport. Seriously.”
Koyczan replied via Twitter: “So humbled by your kindness. Please send me the bill for your salad.”
The poem, with a tumbling series of animated sketches, chronicles the name-calling and humiliation Koyczan and other kids in school endured. It opens: “When I was a kid, I used to think that pork chops and karate chops were the same thing.”
Koyczan released a version without the animation in July 2011, that received only 24,000 views.
One girl was called “ugly” in Grade 3 and had a sign “Beware of the Dog” taped to her desk in Grade 5, he says.
Together, they would stay inside for recess or “rehearse running away.”
An adopted boy bullied by classmates disintegrated into “a mixed drink that was one part left alone and two parts tragedy.”
Kids are still being taunted, he says, but with strength they can get past it.
“We are not what we were called. We are graduated members of the class of we made it.”