Streetfight Study 4: Battleship Mouth, Rowboat Ass

Posted: August 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

If you don’t want to fight somebody, then shut the fuck up. I can’t make it any more straightforward than that!

Although I only have this abbreviated news report of the this jumping, I’ve seen the original video a while back and it illustrated my point perfectly. What point? Refusing to fight someone while simultaneously asserting your right to offend them is a deadly combination. Here’s the news report of this horrific attack:

What the news report doesn’t focus enough attention on is the victim’s behavior that contributed to him being assaulted. As I recall from the original video, the victim says “I don’t wanna fight you” or “I’m not here to fight you” at least once during the confrontation. To makes matters worse (for himself), he does the typical talk-to-the-hand gesture, even going so far as to make contact with one of his assailant’s faces and pushing the man’s face away from his personal space. It’s at this point that one of the other men throws the first punch, connecting with the victim’s face and the jumping commences. While most people will say that pushing the man’s face away from him was the victim’s first mistake, it was actually his last in a line of tactical errors he made that morning.

Mistake number one was was announcing his intentions NOT to fight. I don’t know what started the argument between the three thugs and the victim, but making it crystal clear that you don’t want to fight, or that you’re not going to fight, is like ringing the proverbial dinner bell to people like the three assailants in this video, and it gives them the confidence needed to escalate their behavior.

Mistake number two was continuing to debate with his assailants. Again, I couldn’t find the original video, but I seem to recall that right after the victim announced his intention NOT to fight, he then went on to criticize them and chastise them for picking on him. In other words, even though he didn’t want to fight, he continued to have a warrior’s pride about him, allowing his ego to take control of him. Classic case of “battleship mouth/rowboat ass.”

Anyone who’s ever had any experience with a bully can likely cite what the victim’s third mistake was. If you answered “making contact with his attacker,” you get the gold medal. Here’s the bottom line: no matter what a bully does to you, their body and personal space are SACROSANCT. This means NO ONE can touch them, even if it’s something as harmless as accidentally brushing up against them. Such transgressions are always dealt with in a physical manner, as it’s a challenge to the bully’s ego and reputation. In short, from the attacker’s perspective, that face-shove “forced” him to react in the way he and his friends did.

Sadly, this confrontation is typically of what happens when a square from the 9-to-5 world crosses paths with thugs who grew up in generational poverty. Squares are used to fighting their battles with words, which they’ve honed to sarcastic perfection; nobody at the office or golf course is likely to take a swing at them. Thugs, on the other hand, live in a world where one’s reputation hinges upon being tough or “hard.” The thug knows that any perceived sign of weakness could invite attacks by other thugs who perceive him as “soft,” so they ferociously guard their reputations and have no compunction against using violence.

What the square should’ve done was apologize to the thugs while backing away from them and heading to a different car. In most cases, saying, “I’m sorry, man! I know I can be a real asshole sometimes. I shouldn’t have said that” is usually enough to allow the thugs to feel they’ve “won.” It doesn’t matter if he’d mean the apology or not, it’s simply the best option a person who “doesn’t want to fight” has in these situations. The question is, would HIS ego allow him to do it?

Oh, and if anyone can find the original video of this entire confrontation, please share it with me!

  1. Hi John,

    Another good post. Check your ego, de-escalate and walk away…pretty simple but so many people can’t do it.

    One thing that blows my mind, when people who come from a background where they fight using sarcasm or insults think that people from other sub-cultures play by the same rules or somehow the other’s rules won’t apply to them.

    • johnribner13 says:

      I think it’s that they don’t stop to consider the other person at all, Christopher. Read my post about Catholic school bullies, it pretty much covers the mindset of wealth and privilege and how oblivious they are to the realities of the street.

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