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‘You’re Weak’
Crackpot Phone Booth: Two Readers Take James to Task for Not Being a Street-Fighter or Bar Brawler: Part 1 of 3

Both of these folks, both readers, both voices, both people with far more experience with violence than most, but far less experience than I, took me to task for not being a bar-fighting or street-fighting champion, but “play-fighting” as a boxer and stick fighter and skulking cowardly about as a street survivor. And, they are correct on both counts: for, as an adult, I have never engaged in casual mutual combat and have never sucker punched anyone in a bar fight. I have avoided all such violence, because, my last two “street-fights” at age 15, one on a Monday and one on the following Tuesday, after school, against a much larger 16-year-old and a larger and much stronger 18-year-old, turned out to be negative experiences for all three of us, with none of us walking away winners. Rather, two of us were injured and all three of us embarrassed—we all lost social status and two of us blood and broken bones. Also, the 18-year-old, as he quit against my smaller, battered savage self, made the point that if we took this thing as far as I was willing to take it, he could end up doing time, because he knew that I was tireless, tough and fighting to the death, which is the only way I can fight, because I am an inferior physical specimen of manhood in all aspects.

Mike and I were both injured and humiliated.

Mike and John were both terrorized, having the unsettling experience of a little savage trying to kill them as he snarled with every breath.

I was totally ostracized by my few friends and a very attractive girl who was disgusted by my actions. I learned then the truth of what Reds Foley, my boxing coach at the YMCA had said, when he refused to train me in bareknuckle methods, about street-fighting, that it was a fool’s game with no winners. For the rest of my life I have never had a mutual combat and was once taken to court by my attacker, who I defended against, who claimed we had had a mutual combat, giving as evidence the fact that I fought him to a draw, indicating in his mind, that I should not have been able to turn the tables on his sneak attack and that the fact that I had he latched onto as “proof” in court that his failed sneak attack was a “fight” or as the judge said, a “mutual combat.” Had I used the term fight rather than attack with the public defender, I may have been hit with the assault and battery charge rather than having the case dismissed.

I have, on two occasions which I can recall, agreed to “fight” coworkers in what would have been standup, bare-knuckle fights, 7 of which I fought as a teen, 4 being wins and 3 being draws, the fights with Mike and Tom being two of those draws, with the other against a heavyweight wrestler named Desmond. By agreeing to fight these two workplace bullies, a black heavyweight boxer who would have squashed me and a heavyweight redneck who I would have cut down like a tree, the fact that I agreed to do it as a formal meet-up battle, not an escalation from words to fists, made both of them chicken out.

On another two occasions I diverted one challenge to fight a monster bar-brawler who would have crushed me, by using humor and making friends, and flat-out declared that Stick, a middleweight boxer who was twice the fighter I was, the winner—just admitted I wouldn’t have a prayer. With the latter two, both men knew me on reputation as having used a knife to defend myself against coworkers who had put hands on me. So the subtext was, “You are the better man. Touch me and die.”

If the reader is interested in my history of violent encounters up until 2016 checkout 40,000 Years from Home, which has the litany of my many beatings, torments, tortures, stupid teen fights and averted criminal attacks and police bad intentions.

I have never, as a man, fought in a street fight or bar brawl and never will, for these activities are 100% voluntary and I do not volunteer for zero-some danger. There is no possible positive outcome from a street-fight or bar brawl but many possible negative ones, including injury, death and incarceration.

Since we as a society lack an actual understanding of the spectrum of violence, clouded by misleading terms and conflated definitions, I will follow this article with The Spectrum of Violence and the interrelationship of the various forms of violence between humans who are members of the same society, and these forms are:

-Play fighting

-Informal Fighting

-Formal Fighting

-Casual Attacks

-Serious Attacks

-Predatory Attacks

-Extra-Predatory Attacks

Note: Non-social violence is divided into:

-Ritual Warfare

-Symmetrical Warfare

-Asymmetrical Warfare

-Annihilation Conflict


These forms of violence will be covered under Posturing to Hunting Humans.

40,000 Years from Home

Add Comment
JJ PrzybylskiJuly 1, 2019 11:50 PM UTC

My Irish-German brother-in-law was an alcoholic lawyer's son. He was a suburban kid but an authentic bad-ass. A bona-fide street fighter. For instance, a big alpha-Indian laughed at him on the top floor of iron-worker's job. My brother-in-law, fighting on his own terms, waited for him on ground level and whipped him mercilessly.

Word got around and a bigger-badder Indian from the iron-worker tribe appeared to avenge the loss. My brother-in-law, handsome enough to be in GQ, whipped him too.

Here's the thing: when my brother-in-law talks about going into iron-worker bars, and being amongst men who "didn't give a shit" about murder, jail or death itself, he is circumspect. It wasn't his league. It was the league of the damned. At around 35 years old, he turned his life around. He went to chiropractic school. He because a healer instead of a destroyer and, yes, it made him boring. Now he's a vegan in California!

The primary lesson: if you live your life taking every pissing contest that comes your way? You'll meet a loser with no future, who is happy to exercise the "Samson Option." The secondary lesson: Never get too nice and civilized.
responds:July 2, 2019 11:44 AM UTC

Very fascinating slice of wisdom.

RileyJune 28, 2019 12:32 AM UTC

Oh, one will. A no-doubter that!
Bryce SharperJune 27, 2019 10:29 PM UTC

Your detractors don't sound like they've been involved in real street violence after which someone usually goes to the hospital. Even in the cases where you are the victor, the scar on your conscience of putting someone in the hospital after a fight that could've been avoided is brutal.

To quote you from "The Violence Project," "Do you want to be your own bodyguard or your own prize fighter?" If the latter, fight a sanctioned bout. There are many opportunities for this nowadays. If the former, you'll fight with what's between your ears rather than physically.

Even if you do what Juan suggests and carry around a waiver in your back pocket and get the other guy to sign it, chances are the guy whose ass you kick will have no honor and will take you to court anyway.
responds:June 28, 2019 9:47 AM UTC

Actually, I know both of these people, and they are frightening folks, especially the woman and have both been arrested multiple times with the woman hospitalized thrice and the man beaten by packs of cops and negroes on various occasions. So they know violence and have tolerated it at what I regard as an unsavory level. These are the kind of people I love using as models for fictional characters. Having emerged from such a life—both of them—intact, they see my approach as weak, which it is. They are both very robust specimens of their gender and I am not. I also regard them as partially lucky in surviving some bad intentions that have swallowed others for good.
Juan StaboneJune 26, 2019 9:05 PM UTC

You are absolutely right about the basic legalism of knuckles 'n know-how: Never agree to or participate in a "fight". If apprehended after successfully defending yourself, never let the F-word pass your lips. "I was attacked/assaulted" is your mantra, and you used only the force necessary to stop the threat and stabilize the situation. you fled the scene because you were afraid that your attacker might have homies who would gang up on you.

At one point in my beautiful career, I became so irritated by certain bipeds on my dept. that I wrote out a waiver, and carried it around in my pocket. It specified that the parties agreed to a mutual competitive demonstration of defensive tactics skills, and that both agreed to refrain from filing criminal or civil charges or making an internal disciplinary complaint following the contest. I never got the opportunity to use it, but I made sure that "people" knew I had it.

This lifted my spirits.
responds:June 27, 2019 10:24 AM UTC

Thank you Juan!
WellRead EdJune 26, 2019 5:55 PM UTC

Your detractors seem to have a schoolyard-level understanding of violence. The majority of the bar brawls I have witnessed usually involved two half-wit, half-inebriated dumbasses throwing wild haymakers at one another until one of them gets lucky and connects. It's more theater than violence. The few that I've seen that were in earnest involved one of two scenarios; Idiot A sucker punches Idiot B for some slight, either real or imagined, and Idiot B either goes down for the count or, if Idiot A didn't connect very well, Idiot B pulls some sort of weapon and makes the fight "real."

Scenario 2 (much more common) Idiot A visits some bar he's never been to before, makes an ass out of himself to someone's girlfriend or wife, puffs up when he is warned (usually because of Beeroid Abuse) and receives and educational beatdown for his trouble.

In any case, here is the most honest assessment I've ever seen of the fighting public:
responds:June 27, 2019 10:26 AM UTC

With these two folks—and some others—experience doing well or not in street violence has caused some distortions, like me trying to figure out why a pistol shooter makes himself a bigger target and having to be brought up to speed.

Such folks searching for the truth are my best muses.
TonyJune 26, 2019 12:58 PM UTC

LaFond seems like he’s more interested in teaching readers how to safely navigate dangerous places, get to point A to point B intact. In none of his writings have I ever got the impression that he advocates street brawling or proclaims himself to be a street brawler. He doesn’t have anything to prove. He never claims to be a bad ass.

I’ve seen James LaFond beating a heavy bag with sticks enough times to know that he’s no joke. I’m twice his size, 15 years younger, and have been in more than a few street fights. If the motherfucker ever came after me with a stick I’d run as fast as I could.
responds:June 27, 2019 10:27 AM UTC

Sir, rarely have I been so complimented and it has been many years since I have gloried in the dark light of the heroic honorific "motherfucker."

Thank you.

Once before I die I hope a hoodrat calls me motherfucker!