The filmstrip. Remember those? In school they'd wheel in the big projector and shut off the lights and you'd watch some sort of educational film about washing your hands or what to if there's a fire or why we shouldn't throw rocks at people's heads or whatever. Filmstrips were there to kill time when we couldn't go out for recess on a rainy day, or maybe because the teacher had grading to do, or whatever on earth grownups did in the old days. Who knows? It was all very mysterious.
For some reason last night, I suddenly remembered this filmstrip they showed us about this kid named Cliff who died because everyone was mean to him. We watched it several times in 6th grade, usually in reaction to someone being driven to tears by everyone else being mean to her. Fortunately for me, the Internet allows us to piece together entire chunks of information from shreds of things you aren't sure if you remember.
It's not the first time I've remembered this movie out of the blue-- I'm pretty sure I wrote a poem about it in college. The movie also contained some version of the rhesus monkey experiment, and showed baby monkeys dying from lack of love. Or lack of food after they played that dirty trick with the wire mother and the flannel mother.
So in this movie, everyone on the bus is being mean to Cliff. Then he steps off the bus and keels over dead for no apparent reason. Then it turns out the reason he died was from loneliness and because everyone is mean to him. There are flashbacks with the kids making fun of him, or teachers that don't pay attention, and his mean stepfather telling him he's an idiot all the time. And then he just dies.
I couldn't find the whole movie, but here's a trailer. As it turns out, it's a cautionary tale courtesy of the LDS.
I know I usually try to be more eloquent, but that's some fucked up shit.