Friday, May 2, 2008


  • One of the most unexpected shocks I ever experienced as a kid was a kick to the groin by an opponent in a schoolyard fight. I had landed one punch because I beat his reach by about a foot, and he resorted to what we all knew was cheating: a kick.
  • Fifth Grade brawling can be surprising enough, since I usually didn't have to deal with that nonsense because I was the tallest one in my class, and unsettling enough, with all the "he started it" stuff and useless energy expenditure. But the kid obviously had no intention of fighting fair -- according to the no-kick rules of the day -- and onlookers recognized that, chased him off the yard, and treated him as a pariah until, I'm assuming, high school.
  • This tempered my opinion of something called "kickboxing" (since it seemed to defy an important rule) and even that John Cusack movie. Unfair fighting is unfair fighting, and kicking was, to me and my crowd, cowardly stuff.
  • And so, I react to the Mixed Martial Arts controversy with that lesson.
  • A major part of sport is respect. It's called sportsmanship. It's not the egocentric selfishness of "winning is the only thing." Sportsmanship is a respect for the guys who played before you and will play after you. It's respect for the people watching and the other people playing -- even on the other team.
  • So-called "Mixed Martial Arts" is JUNK SPORT and shouldn't be encouraged. And the adherents' arguments that kids "learn self-defense and self-respect" and "nobody's died from it" is dangerously delusional JUNK SOPHISTRY. It may, indeed, teach kids the rudiments of some cobbled-together movie stuntwork while insulting every Eastern discipline, but it is not "art" or "sport," no matter how much phony morality or fear-driven tough-guy bravado you slap on it.
  • But Fall River usually encourages both violence and stupidity. So, at least there's no hypocrisy involved.
  • Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, as the Good Doctor reminded us. See if you can spot what's going to be the next Umbrella Academy. And in other comic book news...
  • The bigscreen popcorn-cruncher Iron Man enters general release today. I'm looking forward to it, and shared this trailer

  • with my Beloved.
  • She instructed me to forward it along to a friend of ours, who e-mailed back. I'll share the relevant quote from that e-mail:
    "Wow! I made out with Iron Man in Junior high! :) Cool."
  • So, yes, mixed sentiments all around. But the real behind the headlines story is that Peter Billingsley is Executive Producer. You might remember Peter? Now, what was that again about "self-respect"?


Anonymous said...

I hanvent seen the movie.

Does he say "Bite my shiny metal ass"

That would be funny.

Dr. Momentum said...

In fighting, rules are often imposed by some order which has benefited in some way from those rules.

However, for those of us who were small, our only concern in a fight we did not start is getting out of it. In that case, my teacher taught me that the first thing to do is try to talk. The second thing is to try to run. And the third thing is anything goes, with whatever will bring the fight to the quickest end being the best. That's self-preservation.

That is not something you turn into a sport.

ThirdMate said...

So true, Doctor.
But I don't like watching the decline of our fragile civilization brought about by a bunch of trash-talking goons who sell cheap merchandise and club membership to guilt-ridden parents of damaged kids with low self-esteem.
On the other hand, if all that your kid aspires to is "ultimate fighting," I suppose there are other, uglier issues.

cat said...

It was a wise man who once said; "First, sanda alla flooa." The issue isn't that kids are being taught to use a self-defense technique as a way to look/feel/act/pretend cool to their intellect-challenged friends. The issue is that these kids are allowed to be LAZY AND THEY AREN'T MADE TO WORK FOR S*** AT HOME ANYMORE. I remember being so tired after 'helping' that playing fort for a hour or two was all I had time for. My eloquence eludes me, but the sentiment is true enough. :)