Monday, January 19, 2009

"Now we see if your Shaolin Being Sensible style can withstand my Wudang Shan Complete Idiot technique!"

I'm not sure what I'm on about here. But why don't I start with Bruce Lee? He was really something. Even if all he'd done was master fencing, regular Western boxing, and Wing Chun Kung Fu, he'd have been legendary. But he went beyond these and came up with own style, Jeet Kune Do. Did anyone ever wonder where Jeet Kune Do went? How come when you wander down to Chinatown there's no Jeet Kune Do schools? What was that all about?

I'll admit I'm no great expert on the martial arts. If anyone who is an expert wishes to pick holes in the following, fine. The comments are below. But let's carry on. As I understand it, Jeet Kune Do was not a martial art as such. It might be more accurate to describe it as a way of thinking, a philosophy. Jeet Kune Do did not have any kata (or what my school called 'form'). Nor did it have any particular stance. It did not say A is followed by B is followed by C and that this is how things are done. Whilst it didn't reject these things, it rejected the concept that 'this is how you must think', or perhaps that 'these are your limits'. Jeet Kune Do declared that there are no limits.

The logic here is simple. In fighting an opponent why come at him in a predictable fashion? Think of all those chop-socky movies you saw with the villain fighting in Praying Mantis style, switching to Kwan Lun Toad style, followed by Kung Pao Chicken style, etc etc. Each of these would be clearly demonstrated and invariably accompanied by the appropriate hissing, mad facial gestures, and the hero's announcement of, 'Oh, I see you know place-name-creature style!' Well that's the movies for you. Everything must be explained so that the punters know what's going on. But who would do that in a real fight?

In a real fight it would pay to have your opponent on the back foot with no idea what you're going to do next. Loosely that's what Bruce Lee was on about with Jeet Kune Do. Discard anything stale or predictable. Throw out limitations and constraints. Use whatever works. (And if I, great sage and equal of heaven, may add my own thoughts - keep your balance. Lose your balance and you're fucked. Bruce Lee would probably roll his eyes and say, 'Well, duh!', but let's carry on.)

This style of thinking need not be limited to physical fights. It's useful for all sorts of things besides smashing Mark Regev's teeth in. I know it's poor of me to have thoughts of violence fill my head every time he's on the television, but I just can't help it. As much as one would like to find oneself in a state of harmony with all people and things and become the Buddha it's a remote prospect. Meanwhile, here we are in the real world where arseholes like Mark Regev aren't any kind of exception. Instead they're as common as muck and seem to rule the air-waves and dominate the discussions. So repulsive, obnoxious, and omnipresent are they that right-thinking people turn away in disgust and leave them to it. Funnily enough, that's the whole idea.

In terms of argy-bargy of this nature, I started out on indymedia. Indymedia was founded in a spirit of right-thinking. It would be an open forum (emphatically unlike the mainstream media) wherein all things could be discussed by whomever. However, if a thing like this can be corrupted by the usual suspects, it will be, and it was. Everything connected with Israel became off-limits. Above and beyond all else the bloc-media is about totality. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be a bloc (stands to reason, no?) What indymedia failed to realise is that openness of this nature is also an openness to those who would deny that very thing. Totality will always strive for totality.

But there I was, however many years ago, unaware that this was how things were and attempting to have sensible discussions. What a waste of time. There were no sensible discussions to be had. I was talking to individuals who would pretend to be half a dozen people, all of whom would agree with each other. Arguments consisted almost entirely of ad hominem with the routine only being broken up by bare-faced lying, straw men, words-in-mouth, limited hangout and everything except argument-rebuttal-conclusion.

It's all so obvious now of course. The people I was arguing with, in spite of insisting that everyone follow the rules of decorum, didn't give a fig for the rules or for decorum. Back then I was confused. Why were these people here? What was their purpose? What did they hope to achieve? Without having a definitive answer, I'm inclined to think that they were there in a spirit of 'rejection of all that is not me', if that makes any sense. They were not there to explain the rightness of their views nor to have anyone come over to their way of thinking. Imagine a vampire movie where all the people have been turned into vampires. As they celebrate their victory, someone pipes up at the back, 'Yeah, but who are we going to eat now?' Damn!

The metaphoric vampires aren't there to convince anyone of anything apart from the fact that this topic is verboten. Yeah, well fuck that and fuck the hoops they hold up and demand I jump through. I refuse to follow some motherfucker's diktats. If proof is demanded I will ignore it and make my next point. I will leap from topic to topic. If the subject is Hamas rockets I will talk about: the ringworm scandal; the denial of compensation for Holocaust victims; Ehud Olmert bragging about telling the idiot son what to do. It's not their conversation. It's mine. And yes, the 'conversation' will not flow. Nothing will make sense. I will not make sense. Whatever is expected of me, I will refuse to deliver it.

Why not take this to its ultimate point? Why even fulfil the role of opposition? Why not simply be more them than them, if you can dig it. Subsequently I shall be the uber-fascist, the uber-racist, the motherfucker unvarnished. I shall strip away the niceties and say what they really think. I shall be Ariel Sharon screaming bloody murder and calling for the deaths of all who oppose me. What are they going to do? Agree with me? Oppose me? Who are they fighting precisely? Themselves?

I've done this on indymedia and was met with the same thing every time. Complete silence. Weirdly enough, the automatic response is a feeling of social rejection. 'I'm being ignored and no one wants to talk to me.' This is wrongheaded. Truth of the matter is that the motherfuckers have been put on the back foot. The conversation they thought was theirs has been seized from them. It now belongs to someone else and they don't want to be a part of it anymore. Excellent. And sure, the niceties of discourse have been trashed. But these niceties, as far as the motherfuckers are concerned, are things to be taken advantage of. Why stick with a thing that only serves your opponent?

And the last thing I'm going to do is take them seriously. If a thing is expected of me, I'm not going to give it to them. Nothing. Subsequently all they'll get from me is comedy. The role of the fool is a very powerful one. Comedians can get away with murder. Anyone who wants to get huffy over a joke they don't like is going to look like a dickhead. Remember, the point of the exercise for them is not to convince me. They're there to play to the crowd. Well, two can play at that game and we'll see who makes who look stupid.

Okay, so I'm crowing about myself. Cock-a-doodle-doo. But then again Bruce Lee wasn't exactly shy and retiring neither. Mind you, being cocksure and philosophical aren't mutually exclusive. No mistake, Bruce Lee was a philosopher. His dictum 'Be like water' shouldn't be written off as simplistic. It ain't. You cannot grab water. You cannot push it around. And as any body surfer knows, God help you in a dumper. Did you know that one cubic metre of water weighs a tonne? And okay sure, people build breakwaters and canals and pipes etc, but in the context of arguments, these constructs are illusory. If one refuses to concede their existence, they don't exist. It's as simple as that. Whatever rules there are, have invariably been laid down (like pipes are laid down) to suit those who did the plumbing. Like that's a surprise.

And me, I never signed up for this or any other bullshit academic version of Marquis of Queensbury.

Fuck other people's rules. I have my own. And if the defenders of genocide and the racist motherfuckers of this world don't care for how I go about things; my idiocy; my rude manner; my glee at heaping shit on them; my slippery refusal to be pinned down; or whatever fucking thing it is that they don't expect from me, to hell with them. I ain't going to give them what they want. Instead I'm going to dance around in my yellow stripey go-go suit with no form, no style, and no idea of what I'm going to do next. And if they don't get the gag what do I care? I laugh my head off regardless.


nina said...

This is who I always knew you really are.
Its good. Its great. Definitely not temple material, but very promising strategically. A parallel whose time has come.

Strawman said...

Hilarious and informative article. Have you seen these?

Anonymous said...

Amazing synchronicity . . . I just finished watching Return of the Dragon with the wife, as she had never seen it and I hadn't seen it in ages. It doesn't age super well in some areas, but Lee's moves are fun to watch. What a great loss he was.

Jeet Kune Do is still practiced, btw . . . although I never got that far in the martial arts ladder.

Keep them on their toes, Nobody! To do that effectively, though, you need to train every day like Bruce, if you catch my drift. Bruce never took a day off from training . . .

psychegram said...

This Way of the Fool (baka-do? If your Japanese extends far enough to get that joke) has applications far beyond the debating ring. It can be applied to the arena of life, too. When the law is unjust and the authorities obtuse, why then would the wise man play by the rules? It's no fun, and you'll lose, which is even less fun. Better to play by no rules, which is at least fun, and you might even win.

Ever see Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? The scene where Hunter deliberately races the highway cop, not to try and outrun him but just to fuck with his head, comes to mind.

nobody said...

Ah Nina, you say the nicest things. I think.

Can I just say that part of me detests the whole thing?

It never occurred to me, when I started with indymedia, that such senseless self-obsessed, genocide-supporting motherfuckers existed. I was a real babe-in-the-woods. And I remember the first time I was called an anti-Semite. I was gob-smacked. And I hadn't said anything about Israel that I wouldn't have said about any other country, my own included. But like that matters...

Anyway, I piled in, took no prisoners, and the blood ran from the scuppers. But I sickened of it in pretty short order. To be honest with you, I was only there for a couple of months. And then I pulled out. I really couldn't stand it. My tolerance for such things is pretty limited.

So I turned into a ghost for a couple of years. Like the majority of readers of this blog. Hi ghosts! I used to be you. Unless you're spooks of course. In which case - wake up to yourselves.

But to hell with them. The reason I started this blog is because of the function whereby trolls could be prevented. And apart from a few scrapes (and those mostly with white supremacists) it's been fairly cruisy since then.

And sure, I leapt in on Craig Murray's blog. My choler rose and the blood lust returned, ha ha. Three cheers etc.

Mostly I'm down with Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger. I want to leave the Jianghu world behind. Go somewhere quiet and carve Buddhas. And believe it or not, I am temple material. The temple guys grooved on me and I grooved on them. The reason I left is complicated and I might explain it sometime. As always, the devil is in the details.

Thanks Strawman, I'll check that out. And haven't you adjusted that monitor yet mate? Still fiddling with it I see. And onya Slozo, we do love our Asian cinema. As for daily training... Ayah! See above.

Psychegram just popped in. And mate, you get the brass ring. That was precisely in my mind as I wrote it. In the end I ran out of space and didn't mention it specifically. But really, this line of thinking can extend as far as you want it to. It could even extend to art, ha ha.

Anonymous said...

The Jews made their own Jeet Kune Do. It is called Krav Maga.


the Silverfish said...

Had something funny to say about being beat up by Owls and Deer and that I could have used some Kum POW Wild Chicken but I didn't.

All worked out well in the end. Went with the flow. I simply did that which they did not expect.

Perhaps when the memorys become less painfull I shall contiue.

The word of the day was goodluck

nobody said...

Krav maga eh? I expect that their principle dictum is 'To ensure victory only fight people who can't fight back'. And all their techniques would pivot around starving people, bulldozing their houses, chaining them in various stress positions etc. And then beating them up. Bully for them.

And Silv, with your record, if you were to take on that wild chicken, I'd have my money on the chicken! Ha ha ha ha, I crack myself up.

Anonymous said...

The Man of Understanding is also apropos:

nobody said...

Onya Brian, that was uber-apropos (if there's such a word). Most excellent read. The Fool indeed...

Anonymous said...

Short form of a lost comment on here Jeet Kune Do...

Bobby fischer vs. Boris Spassky first championship...Spassky has studied all Fishers games, but Fischer surprises him by daring to open in a way that is statistically a disadvantage at that level of play. Spassky is unnerved, "on the back foot" and loses the championship.

Muhammad Ali refuses to go to Vietnam, gives up the championship and goes to jail. He comes out and he has lost his speed. He reinvents himself and begins using a style he names "rope-a-dope" allowing himself to be punched while he lays in the ropes. He has gone 180 degrees, from being very hard to hit to letting himself be hit. The new strategy is dangerous, relying on the boxer being able to take a punch. Most who try it are unsuccessful and get hurt. Ali wins the title again.

nobody said...

Thanks Brian,

Ali, what a guy. And I'm also a fan of Bobby Fischer. Not on account of chess (which really ain't my kettle) but because he's so balls out, ha ha.

Mind you, he's a bit too balls out and just comes across as a cranky old bastard. This suits his detractors just fine. You'd think a chess master would get it but he seems not to.

But broadly it seems confusion is the key. Before action comes thought. If the opponent is confused and can't gather their wits, how can they act sensibly? Unpredictability = opponent's confusion.

Sure enough, the predators know this too and keep us all in a perpetual state of confusion. The key is the media. I figure if it can't be taken it should be smashed. We'd all be better off with nothing, than with perpetual confusion.