These are tough times for the American bully.
Last week, after a young man opened fire in his Ohio high school, killing three classmates and wounding two, renowned scholars of adolescent psychology such as Charlie Rose andMarlo Thomas were quick to prognosticate and assert that the alleged shooter, the gawky T.J. Lane, was just a bullied kid taking bloody revenge on his tormenters. That the theory turned out to be utterly false did little to satisfy the national hunger for bully-flavored sanctimony. Speaking at Harvard University, Lady Gaga unveiled a foundation dedicated to nurturing a more congenial environment in school, aided by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and by society’s Empress Emerita herself, Oprah Winfrey. The singer decided to start the foundation, she said, because she had been a victim of bullying, and she hoped the foundation would help make kids kinder to each other.