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In middle school, I was bullied because I was quiet and shy.

In 9th grade (my final year of Catholic school before I forced my mom to transfer me to a public school, or else I would drop out), I was bullied because of how I looked.

Dark-skinned Mexican idiots mocked me because I had buck teeth and an overbite and had just got braces on.

Two things happened as a result of that bullying:

1. I solidified my growing sense of “slight racism” towards Mexicans. (Yes, I am fully aware of the irony of that.)

2. I sanctimoniously decided I would never “bully” anyone, because I believed it was a terrible thing to be on the receiving end of it.

Fast forward today…I’ve thankfully outgrown both stances and have changed my views.

Now I believe conscientious bullying – or what I call “strategic mockery” – can be used for good.

I’m no longer slightly racist towards Mexicans. I’m an equal opportunity hater who reserves her hatred for STUPID, LIMITED THINKING. (Skin color isn’t the enemy; limited thinking IS. Racism Reversal 101.)

Today I make good money by mocking and bullying the stupid systems and paradigms of the world, via writing killer sales copy.

I write sales copy that mocks old, outdated ways of being. My clients cash in, as new users flock to buy their products.

Strategic mockery works.

In fact, it works scarily well.

This is not to be confused with UNCONSCIOUS mockery, where someone is projecting all their unprocessed psychological junk onto others.

Yes, with conscious mockery, you might hurt some people’s feelings or offend people in the process – but remember that they’re working through their own psychological shit that has nothing to do with your mission. (For them, “being offended” is the real offense.)

When a stupid, widely held idea is imprisoning scores of people, limiting their potential in life – you MUST mock that idea. In fact, you have a responsibility to BULLY the thinking that’s behind that limited idea.

I believe we can systematically dismantle limited ideas by mocking them in creative ways.

Without realizing it, the high school bullies taught me that mockery is an instrument of communication that can be used to cause damage, or to create good. Luckily for them, I was fucking smart enough not to turn into a school shooter acting out in revenge (though I fantasized about it a couple times!)

Instead, I took the bigger picture lesson, and stored mockery away as one of the many tools in my writing toolkit.

Mockery is defined as:

  • teasing and contemptuous language or behavior directed at a particular person or thing.
  • synonyms: ridicule, derision, jeering, sneering, contempt, scorn, scoffing, teasing, taunting, sarcasm

I would add to this: poking, prodding, and jabbing with well-timed questions, sophisticated attacks on small thinking, intentionally abrasive language that stimulates someone to think more expansively, exciting verbs and nouns that create visceral reactions in the body, prompting positive change.

The possibilities are unlimited.

Like a warrior, one must be responsible and learn to use mockery correctly.

MASTERING this tool – and refraining from using it irresponsibly – is a great gift to society.

An awesome example of a mockery-based campaign is Only Organic – a campaign designed to make consumers aware that the word “natural” is meaningless marketing language and doesn’t mean products labeled as such are actually natural. Here, mockery is strategically used to communicate a message that sells people on the idea that “certified organic” is better than “natural.”

Watch the video below as the Corporate Liar character humorously mocks the “natural” label.

Hilarious and well done!

Here’s another funny video that starts, “A Message from the False Advertising Industry”:

To me, these kinds of campaigns are refreshingly irreverent.

As an added bonus, they bond the right people together faster.

The more we use these kinds of campaigns, the faster the old, stupid systems will crumble.

Key takeaway: Unconscious mockery and bullying are reserved for dumb high school kids. STRATEGIC mockery and bullying is a secret weapon for conscientious businesses that are out to expose the lies, deceit, and propaganda of their industry – and anything else that limits people’s potential in life.

Props to Carlotta Mast who wrote “Is attacking natural the best way to support organic?”, the article that inspired this blog post.

About the Author

Michelle Lopez is a writer, editor, and copywriter with a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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