Violence Solves Everything
June 14th, 2017 by Mike Coughlin
As part of my SUPER FUN YALE TIME, I was asked to explain to a fellow SUPER SMART WRITER PERSON why I’m appreciative of violence. This is what followed. This is not complete. It’s a first draft of a stream of consciousness rant. I will rewrite this and incorporate it into a larger piece. But you know me and I love attention and content and this is both.
Violence solves everything. It isn’t always the fair or right solution but you drop a bomb on someone and the discussion is over. You crack a knuckle on someone’s jaw and they have to do what you say. If they don’t, you do it again and again until they do.
The threat of violence is usually enough to get your way. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be an overt threat. The private knowledge that you can kill someone frees a person to be themselves. You walk down a dark alley and you’re afraid. You walk down a dark alley and have a gun in your hand, you’re less afraid. There’s a reason why so many women take self-defense seminars and walk away feeling more confident. They probably shouldn’t, because violence needs to be practiced repeatedly in order to be effective, but if they don’t know that, then all they know is the ability to stop someone from fucking them up makes them larger than they were before. That knowledge lets them be them.
It’s also terrifying. That’s the reason I don’t strike anymore (punching, kicking, etc…). I only focus on wrestling/grappling. There are those who turn punching into an art and I am in awe. They have mastered their instincts on a level most don’t even know exists. For me, when I start hitting someone, I’m scared I won’t stop. I’ll see my dad or a bully or some faceless person who somehow embodies everything that’s scared me, and all I want is to hit until a permanently blood stained pavement is all that’s left. Sex doesn’t feel that good.
Violence is sex. Yes, we all eat and breath and all that but our two most base instincts are to screw and to kill. One of our ancestors had to make the choice to kill or die and since we’re all here, that means they killed. Those genes don’t exist without that being a “Yes, I will kill this person/animal that is trying to hurt me.” We are all the children of murderers.
And when you close your eyes and punch someone, you reconnect with that part of you that’s been buried for generations. And you’ll scream as you do so, and you’ll drool and froth like a dog, and when it’s over, you’ll look around and scream some more. You want someone to see what you did. You want the world to know you can kill. Fighting returns you to the way nature intended you to be.
Intellectually, fighting is a rush. I look at someone bigger and stronger and more athletic than me, someone who would kill me if all things were equal, and then I shift my weight, position myself just right, and bring him down. My brain beat his brawn. It’s why I love jiu-jitsu. I can have a 350 lb man on top of me – and I have – and within 30 seconds he will be tapping out: he’ll be saying, “I admit it, you’re better, you can kill me in this moment, please show mercy.” And I do, because he’s a good guy and I’m not a murderer. But for a brief moment, I am. And all I used was my knowledge. It’s a nerd’s revenge. It’s conquering nature. It’s upending the natural order.
And all of us are violent, no matter what they say. Screaming is violent. Screaming is the first thing an animal does to try and intimidate. If you’re a pacifist out protesting but you’re screaming at Them, you’re violent. When you’re protesting with 5000 people, that’s violence. It’s also a show of solidarity but what is solidarity? It’s you and all of them saying with your mere presence, “This is how many WE have, how many do you have?” Safety in numbers works because the safety is, “You can’t hurt us because we can hurt you more.” Why does a hunger strike work? Because the threat is simple: I will not eat. This will hurt me. This will get attention from others. Those others will not like to see someone being hurt. They will stop you from doing what it is that makes me hurt.
MLK didn’t win because he was right. He was always right. His forefathers had been right. They were still trampled because the other guy had more firepower. He eventually won because he had numbers. Gandhi did the same. Voting is violence! It’s one group saying, “We have more than you so we get to do what we want.” It’s obviously an attempt to minimize the physical violence, so we aren’t just killing everyone until only one guy remains, but the government works because when the rubber hits the road, it can shoot you in the head. I’m not paying my taxes because someone convinced me it’s a good idea, I’m paying them because if I don’t, I go to jail, and if I refuse to go to jail, they can cut put a hole in my chest.
Yes, this all being an extension of nature while at the same time being a way to control nature, as I do with the big fat guy is contradictory but such is life. Jesus was God and Man at the same time. I am animal and man at the same time, all because of violence.