I still have paint on my fingernails from all the painting I did yesterday. Three quarters of my hallway is now complete. (I'll show you all soon.)
I'm sitting here at my trendy new white trestle desk, in my half-painted hallway remembering how troubled I was as I spent the day rollering the walls and thinking about the gross display of bullying New Zealand had witnessed on X-Factor the night before.
Two judges (a husband and wife couple, Willy Moon and Natalia Kills) had gone after a contestant and skewered him with cruel words, taunting him, calling him disgusting and creepy among (many) other terrible things.
See for yourself (if you haven't already)...
The contestant, a socially awkward chap called Joe, who is usually prone to tears, stood his ground bravely in the face of their bullying tirade.
By the morning New Zealand was in an uproar. There were petitions going around and Facebook Pages set up to try and get the pair of judges sacked; two major corporate sponsors (2degrees and McDonalds) complained to TV3 about "unacceptable behaviour", countless official complaints had been made to the broadcasting standards authority and even Simon Cowell's production company were investigating this "bringing of their show into disrepute." The debacle even made headlines around the world on massive webzines like Daily Mail, People and Buzzfeed.
By the afternoon, they were gone. Sacked, given the boot, gone-burgers.
I never thought it would happen (my kids never thought it would happen).
We thought the best we could hope for was a lame apology and a rap over the knuckles. But no.
It was great to be able to say to my kids, See, it doesn't pay to be a bully. Look what happens when people stand up to bullies. One person can make a difference!
Apparently New Zealand really is serious about sending a message to bullies.
The way the whole country responded with a resounding "THIS IS NOT OK!" was pretty awesome.
It's unheard of, really.
Judges on a show like this being sacked in the middle of a season???
And who made it happen? All the little people who hate bullying.
All the little people who signed the petition (like me). Over 70,000 in less than a day.
The big people in those corporates who saw a mass of little people making a fuss and for once, used their influence for good (money talks).
And the big wigs who actually listened and did something unprecedented.
I mean, who does that?
Well, apparently here in New Zealand, WE DO!
The power of One (plus one plus one); a tide of voices on social media. Clicktivism.
It's a form of democracy, really, with pretty powerful results!
As I read through the comments which accompanied the Herald article link on Facebook, I saw one comment which really struck me:
"Yep, we used our voices to get rid of of some bullies and see justice done. Awesome New Zealand! Now how about that cyclone in Vanuatu? What we gonna do about that now we're on a roll...???"
Makes you think doesn't it?
Imagine what we could do if we got this up-in-arms and motivated about the cyclone victims in the Pacific. Child poverty. Human trafficking.
Just think what we could achieve.
I wonder why mostly we don't speak out, use our collective voices to demand action, influence change, do something?
And I wonder why sometimes, like in this situation, WE DO?