Monday, September 8, 2008

"My Brain is Hanging Upside Down" - Ramones

I have a confession to make. This is just between us, ‘kay?

Last night I watched a show about some ultimate fighters and I liked it.

You have to understand: I hate fighting. I have never understood the appeal of watching someone get pounded, slapped, kicked, tossed or otherwise pummeled. Not interesting. In fact, I always found it to be a barbaric, disturbing form of “entertainment,” to the degree which I most certainly would judge you for enjoying it yourself.

I was painting, a tree in fact, a lyrical, almost childlike watery wash of tangled roots and spreading limbs rising from an ocean into a yellow sky. There was some show on in the background, a marketing calculation of fighters/entertainers, all with personae, costumes, tattoos. Totally stupid; nothing redeeming about it. Worst sort of pandering to inner and actual twelve year olds. These fighters were scouting for new blood and had found a tiny, densely compacted acrobat and…sit yourself down…a female. She was an ass-kicking “mixed martial arts” fighter. In my defense, this began as a personality driven “documentary,” which is more chick in its appeal than balls-out head slamming is. So I got snared with the narrative.

But then these bemasked asskickers got to the ring. It was absolutely compelling. My blood was pumping, heart stuttering; I caught myself, embarrassingly, punching the air several times. I’m here to testify: these kinds of antics used to turn my stomach.

This speaks to a fundamental change in brain dynamic. This wasn’t me “finally allowing myself to enjoy” some male enterprise. I hate this shit. And I was really into it. I felt none of the repulsion, none of the horror I typically experience when seeing someone take a fist to their face. What I’d always heretofore found disturbing I now was looking forward to seeing. The fighters got bloodied. They stood together and hugged it out after the fight and I found myself moved by their “good sportsmanship.” Yeesh.

Afterwards, while boxing-dancing to the fridge for post-slaughter prandials, I felt ill and chastened by a severe adrenal hangover. What had been an exquisite rush of power was now a human organ-fry. I was toxified, queasy.

None of my nausea, however was moral. My barometer of right and wrong had changed. I could not find it in me to respond with the same viscerally experienced respectable revulsion for one-on-one violence. Wasn’t there. Still isn’t, although I’m a tad mortified by having to record that I watched such a show (it feels like confessing to an admiration of Dog the Bounty Hunter - like, great, what’s next? Racial prejudice!? Fantastic!) much less soaked in its briny, Tag spray man juices.

I did an interior scan: had I really changed? In the mail today were my test results from the endocrinologist. “As you can see” she reports, too dry for the occasion, “ the testosterone level is right where it should be in the middle of the normal male range.”

Actually, I can’t see. I couldn’t box my way out of this blood report if it were wet. It makes absolutely no sense to me; “as you can see my ass” is what I should like to report back. But the tell is there, isn’t it? Hairs are growing on my thighs in an almost time-lapse photography way. I actually saw them, over the course of three days, emerge, sprout, and do the wave. Tiny dark hairs are populating my cheeks. I leg press 240 lbs. I enjoy watching people get pounded in the puss, and I don’t feel any particular way about that at all. I still cried this morning. I’m a huggy man, and I say “I love you” easily. I would say it to Robert Bly if we were in a drum circle together and I would mean it. I kind of want a muscle car. I feel more and more estranged from women, and that feels genuine and frankly, a bit of a relief. They never have made sense to me. Just remember, Sam, ass-kicking may have its transitory pleasures, but as global policy it’s a bad, bad idea. Now, I should like to witness Sarah Palin get taken down by a moose.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah Palin? I would soooooo slap that bitch! Yeah moose!
    Naw, I ain't slappin' nobody ain't slapped me or mine or someone helpless....but the righteous power of being able to do that, to be jumped by a pack of street-fucks and break them quickly and badly enough to be able to run away and have them not chase....'s fierce.
    It's an animal trait; your cat stands there, alive, as the dog yelps away, a moment prior intent on another squirrel-murder, now, perhaps, more cautious concerning the ostensibly weak.
    What is karate? A empty hand...holding only that ethereal thing, a power not manufactured in an arms factory, one you have made, thousands of hours stilled into a gracefully cupped palm that can shatter's kinda gorgeous...
    Blood sports are nasty, all the little war games, but the beauty of the beast is part of us...and part of that, usually sublimated, fortunately, is the urge to tear the throat out of something and take its meat...
    Oh, I am drivelin' on; dude, who you got in the fifth? I'm goin' with Conchita-damn, that chick is fierce! She's got a roundhouse like Superfoot, shit will take you DOWN! Terry ain't got a chance! Yeah? Bullshit, motherfucker, I will take your money! Yeah, alright, now, lessee,....

    Ciao, brother, welcome to our hairy world!