Over the holidays, we all have traditions. Some are the banes of our existence and others we choose to embrace.
Many of us go to family get-togethers and use our Shazam app to discover who in the hell just came in the front door. Others fight over the turkey leg with that drunk Uncle Ed (we all have one of those). Several folk debate the genuine thought of procrastination that goes into a $25 gift card from Sears. And then there are folk like me who insist on joining TBS in the 24-hour-marathon of the greatness that is “A Christmas Story.”
You know, Scut Farkus? He’s the bully with yellow eyes … yellow eyes. So, help me God, yellow eyes! Whelp, aside from acting, his life is a paradox of his on-screen debut. And it’s kinda cool too.
Meet Zack Ward.
In 1983, he was the malevolent soul trying to get sweet Ralphie to cry, cry, cry. Alongside his sidekick, “Toadie” Grover Dill (Sidenote trivia: He was also the kid in Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.”)
Today, Mr. Ward has had quite the nice acting career with parts in TV and film. According to IMDB, Scut Farkus has grown up to be in “CSI:NY,” “The Mentalist,” “Cold Case,” “NCIS” and whatever else CBS can fit him in. However, what’s most important to Ward is speaking out against … you guessed it … bullying.
Life imitates art, indeed. *Applause*
The Canadian actor (represent to my fellow Canuck) Ward, 43, has launched an online anti-bullying campaign that coincides with “A Christmas Story’s” 30th anniversary this year. (Now, you feel old, don’t ya’?)
“I was the new kid in at least 6 different schools before Junior High,” Ward wrote on the fundraising website. “I came from a single parent family. My mom did the best she could while she was working two jobs, but honestly, I was mad…a lot. I got into a lot of fights because I didn’t know how to handle all my anger and frustration.
However, he realized what the character was really like after he filmed it. “Just a brutal, nasty little boy is what I was,” Ward told CBC.
The man knows how to optimize an opportunity — something we flacks should aspire to do for our clients more often. What would speak to more kids about bullying than a dude who made it famous as a the most well-known bully this side of Kris Jenner against Bruce Jenner? Zack Ward is making a positive into an even bigger one — and definitely a more meaningful one.
If you advocate anti-bullying anything like I do, please give Ward’s video a view on IndieGoGo.com called “BULLYPROOF: The Real Christmas Story.” It’s worth a share as well. Drop him a tweet. Farkus/Ward has less than 1,000 followers on Twitter, and I know he’s doing more important things with his life than you and me.
(And, um, Scut/Zack? I’d love to interview you as someone who was bullied and grew up in a dojo to kick the ass of those bullies. Oh, and to give your mission more pub in front of people who understand it the most. Hit me up on Twitter.)
But before you do, enjoy this bit of nostalgia. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, kids. Except for you bullies. Eat coal, schmucks.