Like a Dockside Bully

I recently rewatched a couple of my favorite home entertainment items: A Man for All Seasons, and Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror.

A Man for All Seasons tells the tale of Sir Thomas More, named by King Henry the VIII as Lord Chancellor of England, but, when More declines to endorse Henry’s divorce from Cathrine, Henry has him beheaded in 1535. It’s an engaging story for a certain audience.

At one point, More is being interrogated by Thomas Cromwell…

Sir Thomas More: You threaten like a dockside bully.
Cromwell: How should I threaten?
Sir Thomas More: Like a minister of state. With justice.
Cromwell: Oh, justice is what you’re threatened with.
Sir Thomas More: Then I am not threatened.

It’s a great scene, and an excellent commentary on the nature of bullying.

Later in the film, one of More’s friends asks him to relent and endorse Henry’s divorce, “for fellowship!”

More replies, “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

Can you imagine someone of such character today?

And that brings me to the other piece I rewatched this week, the 5-part Netflix miniseries Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror. It’s an interesting study in bullying, especially the horrible bullying by radical Muslims, also sometimes called “Islamists,” toward their communities and especially toward women.

At one point in one of the episodes, an interviewee says, “Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a woman.”

These actors are the biggest bullies on the planet, forcing other people to behave exactly as they say or face cruelty, torture, or death.

These excellent excursions in entertainment certainly sparked a lot of thoughts about bullying, and conversations that revealed how many people feel that they were bullied when they were younger or continued to be bullied to this day.

At one point (I think while I was mowing), I had an epiphany about bullies: they really are afraid. They really are. Think about it: one of the very hardest things to do every day is be honest and vulnerable, and then think about how hard bullies try to act dishonest and invulnerable.

In conclusion, I would encourage anyone reading this to make an attempt to improve your entertainment consumption habits with media like that I have described. Even if you don’t agree with the underlying points of view, it would do us all a huge service to cast off our baser viewing habits and try to use them as educational.

I expect I will have many more thoughts about this topic as the weeks go on.

How can we know what is really true? We are given the power of reason.
How can we know what is really true? We are given the power of reason.