Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Justified Punch in the Beazer

I saw this video last night. It's not new news, but it was the first I had seen it:

I have written about violence before. I hate it. I have not gotten into a fight since the playground in boyhood, and, even then, I remember being reluctant to hit back the kid who was hitting me, for fear I might hurt him. Even then, I realized that it just is not worth blinding someone over a dirty play in a pick-up football game.

I couldn't find the exact version I saw of this video, in which the heckler clearly licks his finger and sticks it into the Silver Cowboy's ear. This video opens with that, but they don't show the guy deliberately licking his finger and following up with the "wet Willy". (It is important to note, though, that the Cowboy restrained himself, even after that action.)

I have to tell you, all intellect and logic aside, it just feels right to me that the dude punched his tormentor. That was a justified punch, if I ever saw one. As I said, that's how I immediately feel about it.

I know you might be expecting a turn-around here, as I reason through it; you might expect I echo the officer in the video who says a punch can kill...and it can.

But, you know, if you violate a stranger's personal space, especially by inserting a spitty finger in his ear, all bets are off as far as I am concerned. You set yourself up for that risk.

Just because punches can occasionally kill does not mean they usually do. I would wager it's pretty rare, in fact. (I play in music in bars and I have seen my share of brawls over the years. At least anecdotally, I can present a tiny bit of support: no one died.)

I do think we need to toughen up a little bit. Guys fight. It's not the same as...ah, I'll hold back  on the points I was going to make about violence in today's world. Another post, perhaps.

The "long and short" of it is: someone does that to me, he's getting clocked. This is not me being a tough guy; this is me being honest; this is me reacting to what I see as a violation. And I would not feel the least bit guilty about my actions, afterward. If something tragic happened, I would regret it. Sure. But I would not say I had done the wrong thing; I would regret that the results were worse than I intended; that one punch caused a freak result. There is a difference.

I'm interested to hear how you all feel about this.


  1. The punch is justified.

    The guy harassing the human statue violated the basic social contract we have with street performers: We may interact with them, but we can't harass or assault them. (The woman in the wench costume at the Ren fest may say lewd or suggestive things to you, but that doesn't give you the right to feel her up.)

    But the harasser didn't get that. In his hubris, he believed that he was the only person brave enough to do what was necessary to humble the human statue. (These sorts of people tend to take it as a personal insult when someone else demonstrates competence at something.) Instead of asking, "Why aren't other people harassing this guy?", he assumed he was being "transgressive." He was too stupid and selfish to realize that there are unspoken norms of conduct for the benefit of public entertainment and performers' safety.

    And now he's one sore jaw closer, one hopes, to understanding that.

    1. In short: the fourth wall ain't thick enough tom stop a punch. I agree completely.