Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Violence, etc.

The Radiolab podcast on violence and empathy started out promising, but the human half is decidedly less insightful than the insect part. Disappointing.

Anyway, I don't want to discuss the subject of empathy or an indifferent universe or whatever, but rather that one of the comments left by "nerdmom" reminded me of something I sort of forgot.

A long time ago I went out with a grocery shop clerk, a slightly pudgy guy whose appearance to which I was attracted (don't ask me why). On the first and only date, within 2 minutes of talking, the physical attraction evaporated and I knew as well as he that this was not going anywhere. Nevertheless we chatted, perhaps more out of politeness than some residual hope. Nevertheless, I asked him about getting into fights with other young men, not because I was contemplating having a relationship and therefore gauging my chance of being beaten up, but merely out of curiosity. And thinking back I am a little ashamed to admit that it was a bit of a class stereotyping, because I never ask other men I met, who were perceived by me as more educated and "civilized", whether they had got into fights.

Now thinking back on that conversation, I suppose he could have been torn between the urge to show a bit of machismo and the instinct that he should not scare me off. I must admit I do not remember most of what he told me, but one anecdote stuck in my mind. He said there is no room for thinking in a fight. One entirely lives in the present, all his attention and strength must focus on the moment, so that he can hang on for just a little longer than the opponent. Hanging on, that is all that counts (at least to someone who has no training in fighting).

No comments:

The Last Jedi as a Spiritual Descendant of ESB

I was about 9 or 10 years old when I made my first contact with Star Wars. It was the novelization of "Empire Strikes Back," ...

Popular Posts