Tag Archives: fighting

Integrity in the Face of Violence

My parents sometimes sent mixed messages when it came to fighting.  They were adamant that I not start a fight with anyone, to be sure.  However, they were – or at least my father was – just as adamant that if I were to get in a fight that I be ready to teach the attacker a lesson.  This wasn’t an official thing, but if I told my dad I got hit, I remember him asking if I made the attacker sorry.  

The whole fighting mechanism speaks to a frustration and inability to express oneself – specifically, the emotion of being upset.  I didn’t know this when starting as a teacher, but apparently growing up in today’s society automatically means that you don’t know how to express anger and frustration without beating into someone’s face.  Why is this still a thing?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  We have the words to express ourselves.  We have YouTube for comparison, gifs for emotions… why is violence still a thing?  Is there no replacement for the catharsis involved?

Or is it just… easy?  

About one in four high school students reports having been in a physical fight in the past year.

 

Social Media

Today, there are so many opportunities with social media to talk smack and say the wrong thing.  Push someone a little bit too far.  Something you post for one person can look like shade to another person.  Even the best of texts can be re-read by someone and reacted to the next day.  Worse, the immediacy of social networking means that the offense can reach scores of people and give every sleight a built-in audience.

Social media also rewards spectacle. A fight is a spectacle.  Social media has taught students to flock to spectacle instead of avoiding it.

My father had a saying. He said this: sometimes people want to bring you down to their level, and you have to treat them as you would treat dog poop; walk around it, not through it.  (My father is so poetic, I know.)

Lack of Problem-Solving Skills

It is important that we understand that some people have only been presented – either by example or directly – with a few options for solving the problems in their lives.  In fact, someone with only the most basic instincts will choose either fight or flight.  As a teacher, it is important to immediately make clear to our students that the time of fight or flight has long past – we are in an age of creativity and civilization.  Let’s build some pyramids!

Therein is the problem; peaceful solutions often require unanimous maturity, while violence does not.

If you have no idea how to talk about your feelings, or are unused to figuring out ways to talk about your feelings, then you’re way more likely to swing at someone.  Also, while it takes two to solve a problem amicably in these situations, it only takes one to fight; after all, if one person swings, there are not a lot of people that will not swing back and just take the punches.  Therein is the problem; peaceful solutions often require unanimous maturity, while violence does not.

dodge
Unless there are serious skills involved, once one person starts swinging most people are forced to swing back.

The List

Here are some options just off the top of my head for solving problems – feel free to copy this list for home use.

  1. Apologize for something. What’s that?  You’re not sorry?  Then lie.  He won’t know!
  2. Never talk again.  Be like my dad.  Walk around them.  Let the poop image guide you.  Stay in your lane.
  3. Write about it.  Catharsis!  Super important.
  4. Talk to someone you trust about it.  They can give you perspective.  Or just take your side and make you feel good without you actually doing anything.  Note: choose confidants wisely.  You want someone even-keeled.
  5. Speak plainly.  This made me feel _______.  This is why.
  6. Make new friends with someone.  Increasing your circle decreases the percentage of conflict.
  7. Listen to Linkin Park or something.  Or anyone with lots of guitars and sadness.

I remember the one time that I wanted to fight someone in high school, I remember a very clear voice ringing in my head through the red haze: “It’s not worth it.”  I’m not self-extolling, but the clarity of that voice highlights for me the problem: we need to make sure our students also have that voice.

It’s better to walk away and let them yell that you’re a coward, because all that matters is what you know about yourself.

Fighting is easy. All you have to do is make a move, and the rest is instinct and consequence, completely outside of your control.  This can feel liberating to a stressed, emotional young person.  It’s those with the strength to take control of the situation and bear the burden that will bring us toward peace.  In Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout beats up a boy for insulting her father.  It’s not a reaction to danger, but a response to her pride being threatened.  Her father stresses that hurting other people and becoming a person who hurts other people is too big of a change to make based on the small-minded whims of those who would insult you.  It’s better to walk away and let them yell that you’re a coward, because all that matters is what you know about yourself.  Your actions won’t match their slanderous words; they will match your true self.  You will have integrity.

A side effect also is that you’ll make them feel lame and insecure because they’ll be all noisy and blustery while you walk away like they’re no big deal.  Two for one!  

Works Cited

“Physical Fighting By Youth” Child Trends.org. 2017. Web. <https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/physical-fighting-by-youth/&gt;. 11 Dec. 2017.

Advertisements

About This Here Power Rangers Reboot…

ufs6exsxh5o10nljakmz

Whoa whoa whoa, slow down, America!  We’re really doing this?  We’re going to make a reboot movie of a show which literally took action footage from another show and inserted white people to make a completely new show with roughly the same storylines and battle scenes?

Okay, I’m down.  But we all know this is going to be bad, right?  Even the best parts of the original show are bad.  Awesome?  Sure, but nobody thinks that this is going to be good, right?  Like am I going to be mad because Saban’s Power Rangers was overlooked by the Academy?  Every year, I keep expecting the acting for the latest Power Rangers franchise to get better because, hey, it’s 2016, maybe they figured it out by now.  No such luck.  The movie will not be better.  CG doesn’t make everything better.

movie_rangers

This is the armor Saban made for the very first movie.  Besides removing the lump that was the Yellow Ranger’s package (he was a man in Japan, you see) and making everyone shiny with little coin logos, there wasn’t much modification done.  Now we have alien cyber-suits, possibly some kind of bio-engineered thing.  But of course those aliens made sure the girls got boob cups and high heels.

elizabeth-banks

And let’s not forget our classy villain played by Academy Award Winner wait no sorry Elizabeth Banks.  She’ll be wearing an equally practical suit for ruling the world.  Is that part of her gauntlet doubling as shoulder armor for an otherwise bare shoulder?  She looks like a stand-in for Poison Ivy from Batman and Robin.

Ooh.  Just got a chill.  Must be a freeze coming.

The only way I’m really on board with this is if it really embraces what it is and doesn’t even try to be serious.  This is not going to be Chris Nolan material – heck I’ll be glad if it’s even Chris Rock material.

Half of the success of the Power Rangers is the amount of camp in it.  No camp = no Power Rangers.  If they try to get dark and gritty, or worse, go the way of CG = Everything.  If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got an apology to the fans a decade later.

I could swear I’ve seen something like this, where an alien suit gets dropped down and some kid finds it and uses it to fight the alien chasing after the suit… I could never find that movie.  I guess I won’t have that problem anymore after this.  Just…

(UPDATE 5/7/16: Because the Internet is mighty, I found it.  The movie is called Star Kid.  Don’t watch it.  Just rest knowing that it was found.  Curiosity satisfied.  Case closed.  Keep moving.  Don’t IMDB it.)

Are we sure we want millions spent on this?  Don’t we have a struggling education system that could use the money more?  What if they just made a new series with our own CG and solid acting and just aired it after Arrow on the CW until people realizes it won’t work, or it backfires and goes on for 10 more seasons and makes a lot of people famous?

Update 5/07/2016

I can’t believe I didn’t see this before: WHERE’S FREAKIN’ TOMMY?!

tommy_oliver_motivator_by_pyrodarkfire

I mean, yes, they’re probably doing the whole evil to good arc considering that’s the only story arc worth anything from Mighty Morphin’, but still… how dare they cause us to doubt his presence.  Obviously if they can’t get JDF in there they should at least have the character.

Top 5 Fighting Games of All Time

Fighting games; the genre that pits you and a friend against each other in a battle of physicality… with no physicality.  A catharsis for disagreement among brothers, and for the ever-so-stressful elements of life.

Something to clarify right now; I am an old school fighting gamer.  No, that doesn’t mean I think Street Fighter II is the greatest game ever.  What it means is that I am overwhelmingly against the online experience.  These games are meant to be played with your opponent right next to you, dangerously within reach.  Even my wife agrees with that.  As a fighting game enthusiast, I enjoyed immersive stories, fun, relatable, and varied character designs, and fun gameplay!

5. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate: Last Round (PS3/XBox 360)

DOA+Last+Round

This game series is well-known for being one of the most beautiful 3D fighters of all time, with the latest one being the best.  With a fun but difficult counter system, varying character designs, free movement and interactive levels, this hard-hitting title is great fun with another person.

That being said, the game has a free-to-play mode and tries to sell DLC to you like pans and pickaxes during the Gold Rush.  The single player experience is pretty abysmal as well.  This game is all about hitting hard and having a person to play with.

4. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Dreamcast/PS3/XBox 360)

marvel-vs-capcom-2

A wonderful, fast-paced, frustrating cluster of Marvel and Capcom characters fighting each other and holding to a story that’s almost nowhere to be seen until the little slideshow endings.  If you have a Marvel or Capcom fan with you, bring him out and play until you can’t keep your eyes open.  This game was horribly imbalanced, with broken characters and cheat moves.  Nobody in my family cared.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us (Ps3/PS4/Xbox 360/One/PC)

injustice_gods_among_us_6

This game is fun, fast-paced, and hard-hitting, with the caveat that it takes itself maybe a little bit too seriously.  The absence of a tag mode is almost unforgivable, but the copious amounts of costumes and such involved make this a fun game of escapism and beatdowns.  The block button from its Mortal Kombat predecessors is GONE, and the speed of gameplay definitely reflects that change.  This game also possesses a long story mode, and has plenty of replay value.

2. Rival Schools II: Project Justice (DC)

pj

I grew up playing the Japanese version of this game, so it took a while before we realized what we were playing; the most awesome fighting game Capcom has ever created.  This game is so fun that writing about it makes me want to play it.  If a remake came out on the PSN I’d snap it up.  I pray that Capcom makes a sequel, and I pray that they don’t ruin it.

This game was great because of the variety of co-op moves, the fun “high school” setting, and the really neat character designs.  Batsu, Burning Batsu, Wild Daigo, Nagare, Hideo, Hayate, Roy Bromwell, Boman… I was always really surprised that this wasn’t based on a successful anime.

The music is ridiculously catchy in this game as well:

1. Soul Calibur (DC)

soul calibur

This game came with the Dreamcast.  It was actually the reason we bought a Dreamcast.  It remained a family favorite.  Even my dad played this game with us.  I have owned Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur V, and the first one is still my favorite.  Highlights of this game include a massive art gallery, mission mode, weapon select, and great story.

Honorable Mentions:

Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein

plasma-sword-15

This is the game with Hayato.  Favorites from this game between my brother and me were Bilstein himself, Hayato, Shaker, Gamof, Rai-on, Byakko, and Zelkin.  Really fun character designs.  Also, each character has about 3 possible endings.

Last Blade II

last_blade_2_4

For when we were in a seriously old school mood.  Every fighter is like playing a different game in this one, kind of like the Guilty Gear or BlazeBlue series.

 

Dragon Ball Xenoverse – Review

The only Dragon Ball games I played before this were the SNES ones, Budokai 3 and Burst Limit.  With that in mind, I had passed on purchasing Dragon Ball XV simply because when I read the reviews people described the fighting as simple and boring and when I looked at gameplay it looked hard to keep track of; everyone looked like little flies whizzing around, occasionally colliding and sometimes shooting little beams at long range.  I didn’t have any sense of the large-scale exaggeration that is evoked with Dragon Ball Z.

However, fate intervened, and I found myself not only with a copy of the game for my birthday from my brother, but two systems to play it on, courtesy of my wife, so that I didn’t even have the “out of memory” excuse.

Graphics:

I love the environments in this game.  They’re huge!  I’m not saying you’ll never touch the edges of a stage but there’s definitely room for everybody.  I didn’t run into the framerate issues that other people complained about when playing on the PS3… Just the occasional slowdown with maximum players and all of them doing their Ultimate Attacks.

Player models looked perfect.  Of course more customization options would be grand but it’s not too hard to be unique through your playstyle.  Weirdly enough though I saw a lot of copies of established characters.  (Is everyone a 4 year old with a character named “SS4 GOGETA”?)

There’s huge pop-in with player-created characters, but what else is new?

Sound:

The overworld music is disco, but catchy.  The new cover of CHA LA HEAD CHA LA is nice to hear.  All of the sound effects are faithful to the original, all the dubs have the voices.  It’s satisfying to hear your character yell the name of the attack.  “FINAL FLASH!”  The occasional sound glitch happens with the in-game cutscenes (Frieza’s transformations seem to not make any noise until the very last moment, making all the debris flying around beforehand confusing.)  The in-battle music is… forgettable. Maybe I just need to turn it up?

The character interactions while you play eventually get repetitive, but I always found they helped me get into the scenario, which is really important with any RPG.  I like that all the characters react to some weird Saiyan intruding, and that they all underestimate me.  I like that if Nappa sees Vegeta go Super Saiyan, he freaks out a little bit.  I like that Goten keeps asking about that toy Trunks offered him as a consolation for losing the Strongest Under the Heavens Tournament.

I just sort of wish they’d remember me from battle to battle.  “Hey remember that dude that totally turned the tide of that battle with Majin Buu?  This guy kinda reminds me of him…”

Gameplay:

If you just go in mashing the melee buttons, you’re going to lose.  Strategy is exciting if you’re playing with a friend, but as a single player you’ll find the real leisure is when you start getting attacks you recognize from the show.  Galick Gun, Final Flash, Instant Transmission, Special Beam Cannon, Death Beam, these are all favorites of mine that made me giddy.  The first time my character yelled “FINAL FLASH!” and obliterated the opponent – such moments are iconic.

The first time you turn Super Saiyan you’ll burn it out in about 3 moves… but once you start beefing up your ki, Super Saiyan starts lasting a lot longer… then you get your energy charge attack (in which you power up with that iconic DBZ yelling… you almost expect the action to cut off so that the narrator can describe “the next exciting episode of Dragon Ball Z….”).

I found the AI to be frustrating.  Enemy AI is good, which is different from being cheap.  Ally AI on the other hand is a mixed bag.  This especially becomes annoying in the beginning when battles are long and grueling, with your power level enough to ensure your survival but certainly not enough to deal with someone else’s enemy for him.

STOP DYING KRILLEN OMG YOU –

I’m good.

The idea then, becomes to get enough power to either a) dispose of your own enemies quickly or b) be able to absorb damage from behind while you double team your weak ally’s enemy.  Vegeta’s AI in particular loves to attack me from behind while I’m working someone’s lifebar down.  Weird, because his build seems to focus on his Ki attacks…

Replay Value:

I don’t know about replay value… I can’t see myself grinding from the beginning just to try being a Namekian now that I can kill people with a single move.  Apparently there are all sorts of incentives to do so but it all sounds so tedious.

So if I’m going to do this mathemagically, I have to give Dragon Ball XV a solid 8.  Very fun first time around, awesome moments of creativity, beautiful graphics!  A 10 needs to be a game you can come back to and never be tired of.  I haven’t played a fighting game like that since the first Soul Calibur.