Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A History of Violence

People watch movies. They think violence is cool, awesome. We see some guy take apart another guy. It's the movies. It's not real, right? People shoot people. It's...entertainment.

Of course, it's entertaining. I'm entertained. Be nice if it wasn't real, but the violence they show on television, it isn't real. It's not a dance, it's not beautiful. It's dark, mostly, someone's probably drunk, it hurts your knuckles, you pull your shoulder. Violence isn't cool. Never was. It's functional, essential, sometimes. Often, I blog about love. Tonight, I'm blogging about violence.

Is it a dichotomy, to write about men who hurt and kill (and women, too) and yet wish everyone would just be nice? Sure, unless you're amazingly tolerant and saintly, sometimes there isn't a choice. I wrote the other day about understanding, but when someone threatens you? Do you walk away?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not violent, don't like fighting. If I was a loony who was into fisticuffs, I certainly wouldn't blog about it. I can't say I never wanted to hit anyone...younger me, certainly. But violence isn't something you revel in, bath in. It's not like the movies, and it doesn't have a soundtrack...unless you time it right in a club or something (don't do that, by the way).

Violence in films is fancy, almost like a ballet, but with people who wear black suits and spin around with guns instead of tutus. Let me give you an example: They Live. Two guys, beating the shit out of each other...for around, what, five, ten minutes? Doesn't happen.

Another example, of violence I witnessed: Carny at the fair, beating the shit out of a local guy. Punch, two kicks to the head, the end. A guy tried to hit me in the head with a crowbar a long time ago. I was lucky, I think...I'm still not sure what happened. Fine by me. Don't want to know. Either way, it didn't last long. I'm a wuss, I'll add, without embarrassment, because, why would you be embarrassed about not enjoying violence? Violence isn't cool. It's short. So short, often people don't even know what happened.

Fight in a pub I was in. I moved my pint. The end.

Yet, films, books (ones which I write, too) return to violence. We don't write about people just having a cuddle. Why? Because it's boring? Yeah, it is. But it's become a convention, nothing more. We write, we film. People do a little Kung Fu, Jujitsu, some fucked-up mish-mash of martial arts styles...it's cool, right?

No. No.

I've practised Aikido, Kendo, Jujitsu, Boxing, Karate. I'm not cool. I fought a rugby team, bosozuku in Japan. I fought a guy punched a horse. And all of that was not fucking cool. It was...essential. I'm fat fella, sits in his shed. Violence isn't cool. Never was. You know what's cool? The guy that sits in his shed. Not fighting. I'm wicked cool. :P I did all those fighting things when I was a youngster. I wanted to be like Bruce Lee, a whirling dervish of destruction kicking all the bullies' arses. That'd be really tiring though. I don't do that. I'm not twenty anymore, thank God.

Fighting's not cool. Being cool. That's cool.

You know what's also cool? Walking away. Looking after your family. Not being there in the first place. Go to pubs, walk around looking tough...you'll get in a fight. You might win, you might lose. Sometimes, people's heads bounce in the right/wrong ways...they die.

The guy I fought that punched a horse lost when someone put a hammer in his head. He was a legend. He was in the year about me in school. He was sixteen.

Sure, I've got a point. I think it's that people are fragile. Hug someone instead.*

*Caveat: Don't hug a psycho with a broken bottle, or sing show tunes to a gangster. Also, if you get killed hugging someone at the wrong moment, like, if they're holding a gatling gun or something...it'll be too late to sue me.

Love you. x