Friday, May 25, 2007

Fight for my amusement, Geeks!

What was the first rule of Fight Club again...?


Fight club draws techies for bloody underground beatdowns

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP)They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club.

Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable — from frying pans and tennis rackets to pillowcases stuffed with soda cans — they beat each other mercilessly in a garage in this bedroom community south of San Francisco.

Then, bloodied and bruised, they limp back to their desks in the morning.

"When you get beat down enough, it becomes a very un-macho thing," said Shiyin Siou, 34, a Santa Clara software engineer and three-year veteran of the clandestine fights. "But I don't need this to prove I'm macho — I'm macho enough as it is."

Inspired by the 1999 film Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, underground bare-knuckle brawling clubs have sprung up across the country as a way for desk jockeys and disgruntled youths to vent their frustrations and prove themselves.

"This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.

Despite his reserved demeanor, he daydreams about inflicting pain on an attacker. "I have fantasies about it," he said.

Gee, that quote doesn't sound like it was taken out of context at all.

Let's skip down the article a bit.

Whoops! Looks like someone just broke the first rule of Fight Club:

Gints Klimanis, a 37-year-old software engineer and martial arts instructor, started the invitation-only "Gentlemen's Fight Club" in Menlo Park in 2000 after his no-holds-barred sessions with a training partner grew to more than a dozen people. Most participants are men working in the high-tech industry.

Oh Gints. If that is your real name. Why, Gints? Why would you start a Fight Club?

"You get to be a superhero for a night," Klimanis said. "We have to go to work every day. We're constantly told to buy things we don't need, and just for a couple hours we have the freedom to do what we want to do."

Ah, yes. The money shot of quotes. Now the reporter can tie in adolescent power fantasies and take the opportunity to bash comic books, cartoons, board games, role playing games, video games, make-believe...pretty much anything that gives kids joy.

Men involved in fight clubs often carry bottled-up violent impulses learned in childhood from video games, cartoons and movies, said Michael Messner, a University of Southern California sociology and gender studies professor.

"Boys have these warrior fantasies picked up from popular culture, and schools sort of force that out of them," he said. In these fantasies, "The good guys always resort to violence, and they always get the glory and the women."

Nice. Yeah, children LEARN violence from movies and TV. And video games. I'm sure they could never learn anything about violence by LOOKING AT THE WORLD AROUND THEM. Because we live in a peaceful utopia. Free from violent impulses.

Kids in no way pick up warrior fantasies from something like, say, A GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM.

Note to Michael Messner: you are a jackass. Pop culture is generally used as an OUTLET. Y'know, a safe alternative way to explore human beings' INHERENT violent and sexual tendencies. It's a reflection of culture. Sometimes a dark reflection, but a reflection, nonetheless. But please, keep perpetuating the myth that "make-believe" is bad. Kids are violent because of video games. Right. Jackass.

The other disturbing thing about this article is how it kind of mocks these guys for being geeks. Like, look at these computer nerds trying to act like real men. Once again, geeks can't win. I say, if they want fight each other in some underground, clandestine club, let them.

Let the geeks fight!

Until, of course, someone gets really hurt. Then it's totally not cool...