Archive for April, 2015

“Yo! Dat’s da realest shit goin’ down in Baltimore right now, but Geraldo don’t want no part o’dat!”

Well, that’s what someone on Facebook said about a video featuring an angry black man from Baltimore who confronted Geraldo Rivera. On my friend’s page, the echo chamber kicked in with their typical enabling, and soon his thread become a place for a bunch of angry liberals, white hipsters and the occasional Internet Social Justice Warrior gassing each other up about what they think they know about race relations, the media, and the law, among other topics.

Yeah, it’s real… really stupid.

It’s late so I’ll get right to the point: this young man doesn’t like Fox News’s use of the term “thugs,” yet he didn’t do the greatest of jobs of convincing anyone watching this video that he isn’t one. He’s chasing Geraldo around, shouting at the top of his voice, with his eyes bugging out of his head. I’ve seen enough WorldStar videos to know that this very behavior is oftentimes a prelude to a fight, so it’s no surprise to me that Geraldo is trying his best to avoid the young man and not engage him.

In his pursuit of Geraldo, the young man castigates who he works for (Fox News), what he assumes Geraldo will report upon, and what he assumes Geraldo will ignore, namely poverty.  All while this is going on, the angry young man is being gassed up by an euqally angry crowd on a public street in a city that just experienced intense rioting. To top it all off, the young man informs Geraldo that he would like to talk to him with the cameras turned off.

I simply can’t understand why Geraldo would try to avoid him!

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Arnie2  Boxing can be a great sport, fitness activity, and even self-defense, but it does have a downside…

Read the story here.

In my hometown of Flint, MI, a former boxer turned security guard was sucker punched by a person carrying some type of weapon. The blow or blows resulted in him suffering fractured eye sockets, a cracked jaw and broken nose. Doctors inserted a plate into his cheek and pins near his eye sockets, while also having to open his sinus pockets and nasal cavities, which were crushed.

First of all, this is a chilling reminder of just how fragile the human body can be. Equally important, this sad situation should drive home the point that in real life, self-defense situations, there’s no referee, no rules, and most importantly, no ringing of a bell to start the action.

Admittedly, this used to be a problem for me.

My years of competitive amateur kickboxing and boxing gave me plenty of advantages in self-defense situations. The full-contact sparring prepared me for the reality of getting hit and how to stay cool under the pressure of that. The increased stamina helped, too. The only downside is that I tended to expect a fight to begin with both parties are ready, i.e., the ringing of the proverbial bell.

The problem was that the bad guys don’t play by these rules. More often than not, the only signs my erstwhile attackers ever gave me prior to their attacks were much more quiet than any bell. That said, once you learn how they operate, you’ll hear see – or hear – them coming from a mile away and have time to decide your course of action whether it be flee, stand your ground, pre-emptive strike, etc.

This kind of training cannot be found in any boxing gym, however.

If you really want to be ready for everything the bad guys might throw at you, try mixing in some scenario-based self-defense training that mimics real-life situations. Only this type of training can prepare you for all the tricks the bad guys employ. When you combine this knowledge with your boxing/kickboxing/Brazilian jiujitsu training, you’ll be armed with both the psychological and physical aspects needed to survive these types of encounters. In other words, you’ll be able to act “before the bell.”

And remember, stay safe, good people.

Tom

I found this gem while scrolling through my news feed. Read it over and let it sink in.

Got it? Good!

Whoever created this meme tapped into a bigger truth than he/she perhaps realizes. On the surface, it’s an affirmation of how cool, detached, and independent people can be, but I see it as yet more proof that people are so full of shit… especially when they’re trying to convince you that they don’t care if others accept them or not.

How do I know this? Because I used to be a “Tom.”

There was a time when I took great pains to let people know that I didn’t need anyone’s love and acceptance. As a result, people went out of their way to not  invite me to various social gatherings and functions. As a result, I would become pissed/hurt/offended; in fact, I would become filled with righteous indignation at the injustices of a world that would reject me just because I was different, unique, outside of the mainstream.

Self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone?

The way I see it, people who don’t need others also don’t need to let the world know this. They’re happy to go about their various pursuits. Those who make a point of grandstanding about not needing people are perhaps the most needy people of all… they’re just too afraid to admit it. Again, I know this because I was “Tom,” and I was the king of projection and overcompensation.

In the end, ask yourself this: If Tom really didn’t need love and acceptance, his back would’ve been turned on the crowd as he floated off into his own little world of solitary happiness and fulfillment.

If my kid called his mother a “bitch,” I’d knock the teeth straight out of his mouth. That’s the way I was raised.

Not so fast!

This video got one of my Facebook friends all riled up today. It was the usual yarn about “no child of mine is gonna call me a bitch and still have teeth in his mouth, blah blah blah.” In came the requisite “echo chamber” of friends who agreed that this little monster needed some instant “hood justice,” and soon, their righteous indignation had been abated, allowing them to go back to their normal day.

The thing is, I didn’t think young Jayden is such a bad little guy.

Though I don’t know this child or his mother, I strongly suspect he’s somewhere on the Autism/Aspergers/developmental disorder spectrums. As the father of one Autistic son and the stepfather of another, I know a classic “meltdown” situation when I see one. It typically follows a patter of the child expecting some type of routine, the routine gets broken or disrupted, and the child is unable to cope with the sudden change to his/her routine, which is extremely important to them.

When this happens, it’s not uncommon for the child to yell and shout. Flailing limbs is also a part of this behavior, and this is often mistaken for punching and/or kicking at a parent.  (Jayden’s so-called punches and kicks were thrown lazily and without much conviction.) His mother did what many parents of Autistic children do during these situations: restrain them and talk them down from their distressed state. (I’ve done the very same thing a handful of times.)

Naturally, this discussion got me thinking about how grossly misunderstood Autistic people are. It also reminded me how easy it is for adults to fly into a near-murderous rage.

Apparently the act of shooting a child out of one’s vagina is an instant candidate for sainthood. I say this because I’ve seen and experienced kids getting damn near killed for back-talking their mothers. So who’s the child and who’s the adult here? News flash: there’s nothing intrinsically noble about the act of becoming a mother. (Unwed teenagers do it every day!) And when people decide to become parents, they should expect that their child will misbehave from time to time. It comes with the territory, but it’s far from a killing offense.

And what would beating the shit out Jayden really teach him? If he is Autistic (or has a similar disorder), the beating would traumatize him and scar him for life. If he’s not Autistic, then he’d likely go the way of most adults who are in prison for violent crimes. Most if not all of them were beaten and mistreated as children, and they grow up to do the same thing (or worse) to people who bother/insult/annoy them.

Funny thing about that: society – and the criminal justice system – have some very different ideas about this kind of behavior.