To fight or not to fight?

Around 300 people filled up just over half of the Tivoli on Saturday night to see modern rock’n’roll’s answer to Keith Richards himself, Mickey Avalon. There were very few punters at the venue without a tattoo, a senseless stumble or a flat brimmed hat. I unfortunately happened to be one of the few. The place was wigger’d out of control. I tried my best to fade into the background of the half empty hall, quietly giggling to myself about the absurdity of the performers. However, there was one person that decided to take it upon himself to not let that happen.

This one particular man, who had obviously had one too many ‘red-bulls’, thought he would take it upon himself to start crumping (dry humping in fast forward) on my leg. After about 20 seconds, I thought, ‘No, that is not right, I don’t have to tolerate this shit. I need to do something.’ So what did I do then?

This is what this particular blog is about; violence.


It is this situation that brought much consideration to my mind. As a 22-year-old male, its situations like this that I find the most internally conflicting. In this particular situation, a small (imaginary) cloud of smoke appear on my shoulders and there, two pieces of my conscious pop up on each of my shoulders and both start talking into my ear as to what action I should take.

The first mini-Chris is yelling in my ear, ‘This f’n guy is walking all over you, are you going to let him do this? Everyone is watching. Stand up for yourself. Punch on!!!”


gandhiThen the other one is gently whispering, ‘What would Ghandi do? You are way to evolved for this shit. Just turn the other cheek.’

The tragic truth is that both actions are right and both actions are wrong, depending on who you ask and what day of the week it is. Having brought this up with quite a lot of people since, there does however seem that there is a disparity between the decision that you would make sober and the one that you would make drunk.

I feel a deep sense of pity as a human being that some people need to do this shit to give themselves an identity. And the really sad truth is that you really aren’t even fighting the person, you are fighting the projection of something bad that has happened to them in their past.

9 thoughts on “To fight or not to fight?

  1. Hey Chris,

    Good blog topic! 100% agree with what you have wrote.. but I was just pondering, have you ever found that alot of fights begin because someone has knocked another persons drink out of there hand?

    Last week I nearly got into a punch up because I was trying to get past a bloke to get somewhere but he was taking up all the walking space. I tapped him on the back and asked him to move so I could get past and he looked at me and turned back to his mates with a grin and took a big swig of his beer and stayed there. So I tried to get past him the best I could, which ended up with me pretty much climbing over his back and him knocking his beer over. He then turned around and blew up calling me this and that with me reply “mate I asked you politely to move and you didn’t so what’s your problem?” But it didn’t make things better, because he then tried to start me. Even when I said I would buy him another beer he only seemed content with punching my head in. Luckily it stopped because security happened to see it and stopped the fight and kicked him out.

    1. Yeah – the old spilling of the drink. Speaking to my roomie last night he said something that’s pretty true. ‘If you are going to have a fight, you are going to have a fight’.

      The spilled drink is just an excuse.

      It’s unfortunate that people are in so much pain with themselves internally that they need to project that shit onto other people, rather than get some help with it.

      What’s even more sick is that his behaviour is glorified by his mates. I know if I saw any of my friends do that to someone else I would like to think that I would call them on it. That kind of shit is unacceptable.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I agree totally with what you’ve written about fighting and alcohol. It really makes sense to say that both of your possible reactions to that situation are right and wrong. I have found myself in similar situations so many times before and I find those times possibly the most troubling. You are right in saying that you aren’t even fighting the person, you are merely fighting their need to project themselves in a certain way to gain the approval of their friends or in some sick way to make themselves feel better.
    The problem is thinking so clearly and logically doesn’t always occur after consuming a few alcoholic drinks. Being male I know that such happenings evoke the release of hormones and an over-riding need to prove yourself as a man can often lead to such reactions as…. head-but your guilty counterpart or throw them into a garden bed. I find that on occasion, alcohol can lead to the seeking out of these violent arenas. Being sober now, I can still place myself in that mindset and feel the blind confidence and desire to assert oneself by inflicting pain and dominance over another male. Obviously it is an evolutionary throw-back to another time when this was the way to win over females. This behavior can be seen in pack animals such as dogs and lions.
    Sober, one can see the foolishness and idiocy of this highly dangerous and later embarrassing behavior, but under the influence of alcohol, it can be seen as hilarious, tough and good-bloke type behavior – A.K.A the characteristics of a true-blue, hard working aussie bloke who isn’t afraid of a good old biff. This may sound odd but I know for a fact that fighting is hero worshiped in many circles of Australian men, and, although unknowingly even women. This includes my own group of closest mates. A good fighter is a good bloke.
    My best friends love fighting and to be totally honest I would love to be a fighter, but I’m just not and feel I never will be. People will say they try and avoid fights and don’t like them at all..(lies)..but it really is easier to avoid them than you might think. A good drunken fight can be a lot of fun. The release of testosterone and adrenaline can be considered a real natural high. The problem is the consequences. Rarely does one leave a fight unscathed. Even the so called “winner” will usually have injuries like broken wrists and dislocated fingers, and the pressure on emergency units on known drinking nights is unbelievable. The problem is the cultural mindset that exists in present day Australia. Good luck changing that one

    1. Your absolutely right. You can really only judge things in the moment and make a decision on your perception. You need to stand up for yourself, but if it comes from anything outside protection of your own and other’s space, then it is about ego.

      I don’t think that fighting in a retaliation sense is ever the way to go. An eye for an eye and all the world goes blind.

      The fact that your friends have a value system that gives merit to fighting is interesting. I can see you have some internal conflict around that.

      The final point – about our culture. Every keeps telling me that ‘you can’t change culture’ & ‘it’s just the way it is’. Well I disagree, I think that we can. We all have a choice every second of the day in how we behave. ‘Culture’ is often perceived as being the choices which we don’t have, when the reality is that for us, in Aus, it is 24 million choices at once, every moment.

      I think it gets down to a belief in responsibility for choice and of course, a better way.

  3. There are in my opinion 3 main elements that can contribute to this situation.

    1. The group (pack) mentality: This individual may have arrived with four, or forty people. No matter what number of people he is with, he has a sense of belonging, he may place high emphasis on impressing the group with acts that attempt to degrade strangers of self esteem and respect. It does not matter if this person has had two drinks or many more, he will still behave in this manor whilst in a group as he has established a role which he feels he must maintain.

    2. Perception/non-perception attributes.
    We are all naturally perceptive beings, but when we drink, our ability to read other peoples non-verbal language diminishes. That is, why this individual was grinding up on your leg, you may have politely said no, and he may have taken this very badly and began to pick a fight with you (keeping in mind element 1 is effective). But, on the other hand (and in my personal experience) if you were able to display dominant and strong body language and a disapproving facial expression whilst making the situation more awkward form them (optional), nine times out of ten you can bring “superman” right back to earth.

    3. Alcohol
    Now this is the tough one. As we know, alcohol gives us an ability to get right up in everyone elses’ bubble. Again keeping in mind elements 1 and 2 are most probably in effect,when an individual enters a venue they take on a character, like in a play. This is similar to role and script theory. This is why you have a recipe for a good ‘man grinding’. You see you would not normally get a man coming up in the middle of the day, on the street, by himself, sober, trying to grind your leg. This is because there is a little part in us that wants to be someone else sometimes. And the above elements are the contributors.
    I rest my case

    1. I’ve never been as good a dry-humper as you unfortunately Andy.

      I pushed him away and I think he got the point.

  4. Aren’t we overlooking what seems to me to be a glaring issue – one that causes so much pain and injury for its many (yearly) victims?:

    Drunken dry humping.

    We all have someone close to us that’s been affected. I had a friend whose injury resulted in an uncanny ability to fit earrings to his foreskin (he says it was worth it). Grazing and ‘pant burn’ is common. Many find the frontal area of their jeans never fit the same again – this is costly as jeans can be outrageously expensive.

    This raises another interesting question to ponder – should there be more encouragement from society to put out in order to ease the pressure on emergency units?

    1. Hey Garth.

      Yeah. I never got the whole ‘grinding’ thing – sober or drunk..

      What ideas did you have to ease the pressure on emergency units?

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