Archive for August, 2015

Your immediate environment can be the best and most effective weapon you can ever use in a self-defense situation. I’ll bet Al Gore never taught you that!

But before I start waxing poetic, let’s watch this video:

Okay… there are so many different directions this post could take based upon this 1:46 second video. It was brought to my attention from a friend who shared the video on Facebook and used it as a platform to discuss the efficacy of headbutts in a self-defense situation. While that proved to be an enlightening discussion, I’m going to take a different direction… namely, that most environments that people fight in can be the most devastating weapons, and they’re all available for you to use.

Before I start, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not talking about “weapons of opportunity.” A weapon of opportunity is something you can grab – a beer bottle, pool cue, stick, etc. – in the heat of the battle and use as a tool to defeat your opponent. What I’m talking about is using the actual environment itself as a weapon to disrupt and disable your opponent.

Case in point, this video. The crazy long-haired guy effectively used the pane-glass window – part of the environment inside the Subway restaurant – to his advantage by quite literally pushing his opponent the length of the floor and through the window, itself. The shattered glass did more damage to his opponent than the push/shove did, as was evidenced by the profusely-bleeding lacerations all over his opponent’s face.

Needless to say, shoving the young man through the window will likely result in felony charges for the long-haired wildman, but that, too, is a separate post.

Using the environment as a weapon can be easy if you’re mindful of it. For example, if you’re going to push someone, push them into a wall or through a window. If you’re going to slam someone, you can always slam them into a table and/or chairs just as soon as you can the floor, though the floor works, too. Pushing someone down a flight of stairs is also a good example of using the environment as a weapon, though a a high chance for fatality or serious injury usually follows this choice. (Just like pushing someone through a window.)

Quick trip down memory lane: After a few years at a private junior high school, I transferred back to public school in the eighth grade. A fellow student decided to test meddle in drama class, of all places, on the stage in the auditorium. It happened to be set up for a play and there was a large “bar counter” made of wood paneling placed upon the stage.

Long story short, the student climbed the steps to the stage and confronted me before swinging a wide, looping right that caught me in the ear, making my head ring. Much like the long-haired wildman in the above video, I somehow grabbed the young man’s wrist, spun him around, and sent him crashing through the wood paneling, which broke like glass and raked the back of his neck, causing bleeding lacerations. He also hit his head on the hard, two-by-four frames, giving him a slight concussion. As I was running in to pull him out and finish him off, my fellow students restrained me, thus ending the fight.

This is a true story, and it was a rather shocking revelation to my eighth-grade mind regarding the effectiveness of using the environment as a weapon. Feel free to share your stories when you’ve either used your immediate environment as a weapon or have witnessed someone do the same…

debate   The recent Republican debates and who might have shined in them doesn’t mean a thing. Why? Because we’re once again deluding ourselves into believing that ONE person is going to lead us into some new golden age of the American dream.

It hasn’t worked that way for a long time.

What I believe needs to change is the relationship that we the people have with governance. For too long, wealthy and powerful corporations with unprecedented access to our elected leaders have been influencing that laws that government. We can’t change that because the practice is Constitutionally protected. (First Amendment, free speech, etc.)

Now, these corporations are actually drafting and writing the laws that our elected leaders rubber stamp their names upon and push forward to be ratified. And in case there’s any question about what kinds of laws these corporations are creating, they’re only those that will further their interests, increase their profit motives, and solidify their hegemony. And this is almost always in adverse opposition to we the people’s best interests.

Money corrupts everything. This isn’t exactly a newsflash, but it’s something that needs to be thought through to it most logical and inevitable conclusion. To wit,  our need to provide for ourselves makes all of us complicit in this sick little game. We’ve all sold out… we did it a long time ago, and we did it for chump change. How? By turning a blind eye to the corrupting influences the power structure places upon us in our jobs. Sure, we’ll say things such as, “I know it’s not fair, but I gotta pay my bills.” I guess that’s meant to make us feel better about sacrificing our cherished ideals on a near-daily basis.

This isn’t anything I haven’t done and the knowledge of my complicity shames me to no end. As a professional writer, I’ve allowed job security to trump the truth, writing articles that I KNEW were false on behalf of our infallible advertisers and the power of their almighty dollar. Disturbingly, I’ve heard similar stories from doctors, teachers, police officers and nearly every other profession. (Scared yet? You should be!)

Since so many of us have long ago compromised our ideals, perhaps this is why we put so much faith in elected officials, particularly our POTUS. Every four years, we magically believe that the person we’re voting for will somehow be above the corrupting influences of money. Further, by finding something(s) to identify whom we’re casting our vote, we magically believe that, if elected, this person will become our personal savior.

Newsflash: Practically every president we’ve ever had has sold out, too. What makes this dangerous is that they often sell away OUR rights and freedoms in the process. And once the new relationship euphoria with our president wears off, we the people go back to our time-honored tradition of rationalization by saying such things as, “Well, everyone in politics is a little corrupt,” or, “Well, they have to do a little dirt to get things done.” Disillusionment sets in and we go back to our daily lives, waiting for the “game-changing” election. (If you’ve been paying attention, you should see a pattern here.)

So that brings us to today and the dawning of yet another election. With the recent Republican debates, many of us allow ourselves to once again be swept up into the hype and hope of finding our next savior… that ONE person who will save us from the forces of evil… but it’s not going to happen.

Whoever becomes our next POTUS is either already corrupted by the existing system, or he/she will be in short order. Consider our current POTUS, a man whom many Americans truly believed would be the savior of this country. While he may have helped do a few good things, depending upon whom you’re talking to, a whole lot of bad shit went down on his watch. And he’s not come close or even tried to put a halt to Big Money’s continued corrupting influence upon our country.

So what’s the answer?How do we undo the lies, greed, and corruption that have hijacked our government and way of life?

Truthfully, I don’t know. I’m only certain of two things: 1.) Going along to get along has gotten us to where we are, and 2.) The notion of electing a “savior” never works. We now need to change our relationship with governance, starting with us being less accepting of the many ways they infringe upon our rights. If anyone has a solution, I’d be willing to listen… but I don’t think the answer exists with anyone featured in the debates. And I’m also fairly certain that our salvation also can’t be summed up with some witty catchphrase and corresponding hashtag.