Carlos Rotella at Slate has a good article on “The art, the poetry, the idiocy of YouTube street fights” – the posting of online fight videos. He reports from the virtual “Land of a thousand asswhippings”.
The fight video is a compelling genre and holds a grim fascination for many. There are some great “stories” in some of these fights: Bullies beaten, loudmouths silenced, assaulted women avenged, one man beating twenty attackers and pimps felled by karate instructors. Unfortunately they are the exception.
The vast majority are simple thuggery, bullying, gangs stomping outnumbered victims, unwilling schoolboys goaded to fight and drunken street fights. The sheer unfairness of many of them is staggering. Sucker punches, men beating women and as mentioned gangs attacking lone victims. It seems that the most disgusting cowardice brings no shame in some cultures. In my culture, striking a woman was considered an enormity. According to these videos, it is perfectly normal behavior in most places.
Referring to this video, the Slate article notes:
I’m hideously fascinated by the sheer dumb enormity of this infamous sucker-puncher’s belief that landing one of the most cowardly cheap shots in the archive confirms him as a man among men. He actually says, “I’m so cool”—and adds, somewhat anticlimactically, “I’m not the average motherfucker.”
I am also fascinated by this. And outraged. The puncher is the most contemptible coward yet he is completely unaware of both his cowardice and idiocy. One has to marvel. I think that perhaps notions of chivalry, nobility and fairness are much rarer than I thought.
Two videos one from the article and one I found as a result of the article – are outstanding. One for the sheer hilarity of the start and the brilliance of the end. the other for sheer horror of what very may very well have been a murder.
Firstly the hilarity…You must watch to the end. From the article:
Take, for example, this 81-second masterpiece. Listen to the crowd’s response when the guy in the red shirt assumes his stance. It’s as if they’re exclaiming “Doofus!” and “Genius!” at the same time. Is Red Shirt a clown? Is he actually good at martial arts? Is he scared stiff and trying to bluff his opponent, or deeply serene and about to wipe the floor with him? The doofus/genius effect persists throughout the fight, which you have to watch to the very last second in order to appreciate its full import. On the one hand, Red Shirt displays competence: He keeps his feet from getting tangled up, stays focused on his foe but also checks for blindside attacks by additional opponents, remains relatively calm when warding off blows, and delivers a decisive shot. On the other hand, his performance takes on a certain awkward quality when the initial You Just Made a Big Mistake moment gives way to an extended sitzkreig that goes on so long the video-maker had to edit some of it out. When he does finally land the big blow, it looks more like a prayerful haymaker than an expert application of the Vibrating Fist of Death.
And now the horror….
I will not embed this video because I never want to have this sort brutality expressed through my blog. A gang on Asian kids firstly brutalizes a cowering boy, then the real nastiness begins when they suddenly turn on a girl in the crowd. A single butch attacker begins the furious assault – and then in what looks like some sort of hideous emergent flocking behavior, a group of girls continue the assault with a viciousness that is hard to believe, not to mention watch. The girl is left completely unconscious, possibly dead.
There is debate about what happened and where. It appears to be a Chinese or Filipino gang somewhere in North America. The police and FBI have been alerted to its existence.
Here is the video [WARNING: HORRIBLY UPSETING AND BRUTAL]