Preface: I am not advocating you fight another person to change yourself. Go see a shrink if you think violence is the answer for you. That said…
“You’re damn right my grandfather was in the KKK, just like my Dad is and just like I am.”
I blearily stared at a short, but fit, white man as I sipped my Keystone Light. I set my cup on the edge of the beer pong table as I regarded the man. He was in my apartment, drinking my booze and he had the audacity to brag about abusing people for the color of their skin. Still, I was most assuredly drunk, as I had been running the beer pong table with six consecutive wins. My female partner was doing her best Tim Tebow impersonation in the game as she couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a volleyball. I brushed by her as she said to me, “2Wycked, don’t do anything stupid!”
My friend had already told the man and his KKK posse of six guys that racism wasn’t cool. As I approached the situation, the man refused to back down, saying that it was high time the “negro disesase was eliminated once and for all.” I approached the man and asked, “What in the hell are you running your mouth about?”
His jaw stiffened as he shifted the dip in his mouth from left to right. Arms akimbo, he stated, “I hate niggers.” He stepped so close to me the fetid stench of his Skoal Wintergreen stung my nose, “You don’t like them niggers now do you?”
I didn’t flinch as he was in my face and I retorted sternly, “Get the fuck out.” We maintained eye contact for a tense several seconds as he backed up. “I can tell we got a bunch of nigger lovers in here. Let’s go outside for a smoke, boys.”
They left the apartment and went over to the apartment of a friend directly across from mine. I breathed a sigh of relief, as we were outnumbered 6 to 4 and I was in no mood for a fight. For the moment, the music was back on and people were vibing again. I took a shot of nasty rum with some of the whores at my party right before I noticed two of my friends had gone outside.
Outside, the racist was in my friend’s face again, this time demanding he give him one of his Marlboro cigarettes. My friend had refused and I walked out just as the man stepped on my friend’s foot with his black cowboy boot and spit on my friend’s white American Eagle polo. “You are begging for an ass-beating,” he drawled.
I rushed out to try to break it up just as a fist crushed the side of my face. The blow completely caught me off guard and I fell against the woodwork framing the stairs down to the parking lot. I got back up and swung on the asshole who clocked me. His over-sized cowboy hat flew off his head as I broke his nose and doused his button-down shirt with blood. He was very drunk and took a couple seconds to recover. I was staring him down as he took a wild shot that I easily dodged. I grabbed his body and slammed him against the same wood railing he pushed me into. He stumbled for a few moments before he tucked his tail between his legs and bolted for the stairs to the parking lot.
I had realized that every apartment’s light was on and everybody was outside. My female neighbors were shrieking and throwing hysterical meltdowns. One girl sputtered, “Stupid ass boys and your stupid ass fights!” She pounded the keys of her flip-phone furiously as she dialed 911. My friend had gotten struck in the face and had squirts of blood trailing down his white shirt. My one friend was knocked out by the stairs, snoozing hard. The women had flocked to him, cradling his bleeding skull in their arms. By this time, all the KKK members were headed for the exits, fleeing to their cars.
I got down the stairs, only to get blindsided on right side of my head again. Dude immediately fled to his friend’s car. My fourth friend got Bruce Lee cross-kicked in the chest and flew a good few feet in the air before landing right on his ass. My friend with the white polo and I watched as they all got into their two separate cars right as police pulled into the parking lot, barring any exit by them.
The drivers got collared for DUI and the remaining racists were arrested for battery. One of my friends had to go to the ER as a result of the serious head trauma he endured. Statements were given on our part, with multiple sobbing women recounting their stories to reassuring and comforting police figures. I waived treatment for my wounds, telling the medical officials that “Bandages are for women. I have more beer to drink.”
By the time this was all settled, the morning was dawning. I reopened my apartment, with the music still blaring. I believe it was R. Kelly’s “Rock Star” that was playing. I turned off my surround sound. Shuffling to my refrigerator, I grabbed a Bud Light. I couldn’t find an ice pack in my freezer, so I grabbed a bag of frozen sweet peas. I turned on my PS3 and settled into my leather couch. I mindlessly watched an episode of “The Office” as I nursed my throbbing skull with a quickly defrosting bag of peas. I leaned back and fell asleep as I think Dwight was getting AMOG’d by Jim again.
I awoke the next day, surprisingly refreshed. Since I didn’t drink myself into the black and cooled off a bit before sleeping, my hangover was next to non-existent. I grabbed a bacon cheeseburger with a bunch of fries at my favorite joint run by two Lebanese brothers downtown.
Then, I went to the police station, where I gave another statement and followed up about the racists. The officer I talked with chuckled, saying men like those dudes usually shut the fuck up pretty quickly when a big, black police officer escorts them around jail. He told me, odds are, it was the booze talking. They ramped-up general, sober prejudice turned it into cocky, beer-infused bravado to show off. He ended the conversation, saying that absolutely no charges are being considered against us and told us to simply be grateful that nobody got seriously injured – outside of my friend who got a severe concussion and a broken nose.
Later that night, after going to see a movie, we got together again. One of my friends leaned over and said, “I gotta be honest, that was pretty fucking awesome.” All the men the in room smirked as the women guffawed and a chubby blonde even booed.
Truth is, every man in the room who had been in a fight knew what my friend was talking about. I knew. I knew the rush of a physical contest between males can bring. I instinctively knew about defending my own values against prurient and hateful views of humanity. In sum, the experience was exhilarating.
As we drank once more unto the brink — as only college kids can do — all four of us (the concussed man abstained from beverages, opting for weed) talked intermittently about the fight. “Remember when 2Wycked bashed that faggot into the railing?,” “Man, remember when the KKK leader punched straight away to start the fight? I was 100% ready to fuck up these jackasses!”
After a taking a shot of some God-awful Skol, a future ex-wife blurted out, “God, it was so hot when 2Wycked beat that dude up!” Some women chose to remain silent, a couple other females smirked and looked away and one woman said point blank, “Look, it’s hot when boys fight and win.” I smirked at the original girl and leaned forward, “I am so glad we are friends.” I continued to smirk as the party starting laughing.
The undeniable truth is that, for men, sparring and physical confrontation is inevitable, necessary even. Sometimes only with the blunt end of a fist or the butt of gun can some men be corralled into being better people or simply controlled. There are some men you can never reach. No wisdom of a pastor can alter these men’s pysche, no reassuring advice of a shrink can rehabilitate their sickly ignorant minds. Only through violent coercion are these men changed so they stop hurting others. Violence and war are never off the table simply because there exist people who simply won’t do right by the world.
However, more broadly, being in a fight changes a man. The drab day-to-day of a modern man’s life is stultifying. Movies like “Fight Club” exist because the modern man is shunted and forced into roles he would rather not take, but needs to provide for himself and those around him. The pressures the modern man faces can’t be stomped out by force nor can’t be rectified with the double-barred end of Remington shotgun to a person’s head.
That being said, the sheer rush a man experiences with anticipation of a physical battle of wills nigh is second to none. Actually being in a fight – that is a whole other beast. I have only been on the losing end once and still, after licking both your flesh and mental wounds, there was a serious personal rush. It is no wonder that many cultures have emphasized that a boy doesn’t become a man until he has killed a living creature, most usually an animal.
A man has to confront is testosterone-infused aggression, come to terms with and tame it ways that benefit not just himself but the people he cares about. A man might, instead of being a reflexively-aggressive MRA, become a lawyer and do his utmost to right the wrongs against men in family court across America. He might start a non-profit and deal with the male problem of homelessness.
Still — and this relates to fucking beautiful women — once a man fights, he is calm. I have known men to be at each other’s throats and grappling back and forth, only to be getting drunk at the bar, bonding over how the Packers are a shit NFL team.
Once men act out their aggression, there is a great change for healing. I remember one of the arresting officers asking the self-professed KKK leader, “Seriously, man, what the hell is wrong with you?” The man remained silent. The officer looked at him patiently before leading him back to the squad car simply saying, “You are young. It is so sad to see so much hate and anger in a young man. I hope you can move past this.” The officer put him in the back of his squad car.
One of the most misunderstood aspects of male violence is the cathartic effect it can have. It can be used to express personal frustration with somebody, only to have those differences resolved through physical confrontation. However, it can also be an outlet for displeasure with the self that leads to personal growth.
I have no idea if the KKK lover ever changed his life. Yet, I can’t even count on one hand how many times a man’s life is transformed through an aggressive act — a beatdown, verbal smackdown, self-harm — only to lead to wildly successful personal change.
How many times have you read about a man coming off another alcohol-infused bender ending in a DUI only to get the help he needs? Maybe a man beats the living shit out another man, only to find personal salvation through true change? Possibly, he spews hateful rhetoric against blacks, only to realize that is very wrong and harmful and becoming a better person? Probable? No, but like Kevin Garnett once said, anything is possible and everybody can change.
Fighting represents the culmination of male frustration with themselves, others or society in general. It is natural by-product of being a man and is sometimes necessary for who you can’t reach. However, what is most striking about fighting is the healing it can engender in both parties. It seems very counter-intuitive, but 100% true.
Fighting another man can change your life only if you understand why you are fighting.