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On male violence

Posted January 23, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

After three funny blogs (well, my mum thought they were funny) one that isn't.

At Blunty.

26 Responses to ‘On male violence’

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 23, 2014

The sad reality is that men have more to fear on our streets of other men, than women do of men. How bizarre is that?

NBlob mutters...

Posted January 23, 2014

You just posted...
That failed. You can't post nothing.

Fuck You

third attempt

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted January 23, 2014

stay off the roids NBob

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted January 23, 2014

I see very little evidence that women are inherently less violent than men, they just don't generally hit as hard.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 23, 2014

Are you saying they hit like a girl?

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damian would have you know...

Posted January 23, 2014

This was a rather wonderful article today, I considered commenting but didn't have a clear enough head.

I think it's a mistake to attribute the problem to a tiny minority of disordered individuals. I think there are problems with the version of masculinity that our culture currently prefers. I think this intersects with the emphasis on competition and the aggressive pursuit of self interest. I think it also plays to the sense of entitlement to respect that others have written about. But ultimately it's about identity and the sort of identity politics we expect mostly from the right of centre.

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted January 23, 2014

Hey JB,

I live in Sydney and I took 'Confirmation' or Communion ro something at Merrylands Catholic Church when I was about 8 years old. Thereabouts.

What's up with this Ibrahim family?

Do they know the Obeids?

Anyway some fuckwit Ibrahim bashed up the 'wrong' kid in Merrylands.

Made a mistake.

A 'Grown Man', a Nomads Bikie(Where they send the wannabees), picked up some kid off the street and smashed his teeth out. Lebanese Style? The realised it was the 'wrong person'. Lebanese Style definitely.

Anyway his brother has some 'business'' in the cross and passed me in my 4 cylinder jap crap on the Harbour Bridge a couple of years ago doing way over the 'speed' limit' in his Lambogerney. I driven a Tractor. (A proper one but don't tell them that.)

Saw the same car on Roseville bridge going way too fast.

That was after him and his girlfiend got 'shot' at point blank range.

I mean if I was at the passenger or driver door and wanted to shoot someone how could you FKN miss?

Lebanese Style?

Don't get me wrong I have Family that are Lebanese but all Countries have Fuckwits.

Don't they?

Honestly I hope the 'guy' who is going to take out a hit on me is Lebamese.

I'll be fine.

Couple a scars and a nice story.

"Thanks Bro."

So many losers.

Hope the SMH Publishes my comments.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted January 23, 2014

Nah SMH won't publish my comments.

You can get the gist of it above.

Any hoo next time they are parked on my street, doin' their strut, keep 50 dollars in ya pocket for me.

Bail Money.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted January 23, 2014

Holy Fuck! they did publish my comment!

Anyway So next time I meet a Lebarnerse I will have a conversation.

They will probably lay a mat down pointing at Tel Aviv.

Cause there is a problem with the Christians and the Moslems and the Syrians and the Shia and the Sunni and the British and the French and Napaolean but just tell Sam to get the fuck out of my line of sight.

Just out of my line of sight.

Say 'hello' to his mum too.

Before I do.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 23, 2014

Over at the Guardian today they had a piece called Drunken street attacks are in focus, and decline, unlike domestic violence

"....The rate of domestic assaults is more than twice that of alcohol-related assaults, and while the rate of alcohol-related assaults has been falling since 2008, the opposite has occurred with domestic violence. On a 10-year basis, the trend for domestic violence is that it is remaining stable, whereas the 10-year trend for alcohol-related assault is decreasing by 1.6% per year."

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2014

Barnesm - I was listening to 612 ABC yesterday & the federal president of the AMA said the same thing.

He also said that on Australia Day, DV assaults double.

That's linked to alcohol intake, & DV is often linked to alcohol & substance abuse.

I think they're very, very worried about the young folk under 25 because their habits of drug & alcohol use are so much worse than when we were that age. 11,000 hospital admissions p/y of 15 -24 yros for injuries/OD due to alcohol is not good.

I think what worries them is not just the immediate problem - if the current batch of 15 - 25yros persist with their habits of binge-drinking & poly drug use - and having worked in health, they do keep it up until well into their mid-thirties & later - it's going to become a lifestyle. With terrible repercussions for child and spousal abuse, aside from the obvious health risks.

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Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted January 23, 2014

That was a great article, JB, insightful and simply eloquent. Thank you for writing it.

I do agree with Damian, though:

+++I think it's a mistake to attribute the problem to a tiny minority of disordered individuals. I think there are problems with the version of masculinity that our culture currently prefers.+++

These days I sum that version up in the words of a sixteen-year-old acquaintance during a conversation about this sort of thing: you've just gotta get in people's faces and let 'em know who they're dealing with.

You see it all the time. Co-operation is for pussies and bitches; even "live and let live" is for losers who don't have the guts to go up to someone, get in their face and let 'em know who they're dealing with. If you get yourself into a confrontation you're automatically a bigger and better man than if you hadn't.

It pervades everywhere, it's like bushfire smoke. I see it all the time at work, and way too many times outside of it. Punches outside nightclubs are the places where this particular memic poison collects easily and becomes most visible but I think it's a mistake to think that we can look at those incidents in isolation without fooling ourselves.

It won't go away, either. It's hardwired into us: we're troop primates, and we have the troop primate set of instincts to thump our chests and bare our teeth and make the man opposite us back down.

But we're more than the sum of our grunting, snarling primate brains. To quote our host on a similar topic, even if we as a breed can never be better than this, we as individuals can aspire to be.

So how can we get more individuals to aspire?

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Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted January 23, 2014

Very much liked the article. I don't agree with Damian and Nocturnalist though. Whilst males might be the tooth baring chest thumping lot, the vast majority of us have evolved far enough to rein it in and NOT be the instigator. It is a small subset that are either unable or choose not to rein in their primal fear of others taking our place in the hierarchy. I and every single other Father I know personally do our very best to ensure that our male (and now female) offspring use the same ability and reasoning to control their baser instincts.

This is a real problem though and the wife and I talk quite a bit about how we can mitigate the risk to our boys and girl from these cowards. I cannot imagine much worse than having to turn off life support for one of my children.

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted January 23, 2014

+++Whilst males might be the tooth baring chest thumping lot, the vast majority of us have evolved far enough to rein it in and NOT be the instigator. It is a small subset that are either unable or choose not to rein in their primal fear of others taking our place in the hierarchy.+++

We're not in that much disagreement, I think, since I broadly agree with this.

I am, however, wary of considering it a finished process. The reason I talked about those instincts being so pervasive is that they do still have to be reined in. The most evolved of us still have to learn that skill and exercise it, because otherwise all the alpha-chimp wiring bursts into life again, clogs our thoughts and fucks up our lives. By extension, then, I'm wary of doing to much othering of the people who do let the alpha-chimp circuit rule them - "nothing human is foreign to me", and all that.

+++I and every single other Father I know personally do our very best to ensure that our male (and now female) offspring use the same ability and reasoning to control their baser instincts.+++

That's an awesome thing to read. As someone who's not a parent but who is a fellow citizen, thank you for your work.

I still have a part in the broader and greater work, of course, as we all do: that work is continuing to develop and strengthen a culture that reinforces the thinking, controlling brain and keeps the alpha-chimp firmly in check. That work will never be completed, but it can't be backed away from or dismissed.

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Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted January 23, 2014

I think somewhere in the middle of all this I was going to trot out David Brin's cultural meme stuff again - Paranoia, Machismo, Stability and Inquiry - but I'm about to go travelling and may not be online for a day or two. I'll dig it up again later on if people are still interested.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted January 23, 2014

Sure.

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted January 24, 2014

ABC radio news last night said the figures are: 11,000 admissions per year for the consequences of alcohol related violence among the 15-24 yro age bracket, the bulk of it on weekends.

If you talk to people who work in A&E they hate doing the weekend shifts because that is all they see - kids who've fucked themselves on drugs & booze.

I had a friend who was badly injured last year (not from alcohol) & has spent the last 6 months in the brain injury unit at the local hospital. Apparently that's where a lot of the alcohol & drug ODs, and the results of the violence, end up. The bulk of them are very young.

My partner works in a hospital & he sees the same thing, too. Kids who've turned themselves into vegetables because they've gotten fucked out of their minds on drink & party drugs for one fun night at a festival.

I don't think the worst of your fears should be switching off the life-support. That's swift and merciful. The hard part is watching someone young and full of promise who's fucked themselves up crying and begging you to kill them because they've destroyed their lives and they have to live a half-life with the terrible injuries that they've gotten.

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Liz Connor reckons...

Posted January 24, 2014

Just heard JB on RN and I want to ask him/you to lay off gorillas and other great apes.

The silverback gorilla does thump his chest to warn off other males, but that usually does it. And young unmated chimpanzees tend to go off on gang rape expeditions to neighbouring troupes - especially now that their territories are collapsing.

But hand-to-hand combat among the great apes is usually confined to challenges of the alpha male by a younger male of the troupe - you could call it a kind of initiation ritual. And there are no coward punches among great apes - and no deliberately getting drunk in packs with the express aim of losing control.

No, all that is confined to male humans in so-called civilised societies. So put the blame where it should be.

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Jarrod mutters...

Posted January 24, 2014

They are wrong to blame violence on alcholol and in that respect you are absolutely correct. Everyone knows that the media, especailly TV and Movies are to blame. I mean how many times do you see people on TV and Movies punch each other, ALL THE TIME. Every evening its just a complete punch fest.

I mean the other night I watched a TV show where the protaganist was punched and kicked in the face and head and HE WAS JUST FINE. He fought back and won the day and killed the other guy and NEVER EVEN GOT ARRESTED, let alone charged for murder and sent to the big house for life. In fact in the very next episode he went and did it all again without any consequences whatsoever. I have seen every tarantino film and no one ever gets arrested and the heros always win and are just fine (apart from George Clooney in that vampire one which was stupid anyway)

So kids today they watch this TV stuff and learn that most people can take half a dozen punches in the face and the odd stomping and they will be just fine. So of course when they go down the valley and get a skinful and see someone they don't like the look of, they just givem the odd knuckle sandwich and stomp on thier head a few times and it dont matter. They will be just fine, and the cops dont care so what the hell.

Of course despite having watched loads of movies I have never punched anyeone in the face but I suspect that I am an abberation. I mean most politicians have probably had a few benders on occasions and they never punched anyone (well apart from Ken Clarke in the UK) but the fact that they personally never got drunk and punched someone doesn't mean that booze isn't the cause of it all.

So I think that every violent show should be followed by an episode of Law and Order and CSI where everyone is always caught by some guy with red hair who wears sunglasses everrwhere and then given the electric chair. That way kids will learn that violence always gets punished.

It is plain to see that the only solution to street violence is for the government to regulate all Television and have much stricter classifications for movies so that people learn aren't exposed to the constant flow of violence and then everyone will be nice to each other. Perhaps there can be a violence tax on TV shows which will raise money for the government as well.

Of course I could be wrong, I suspect that it probably Julia Gillards or Anna Bligh's fault, I mean they are pretty much being blamed for everythting by Abbot/CANDO at the moment so I suspect that sometime later this week the truth will out and we will learn that it is all Labour's fault for giving the sweaty proles access to alcholol in the first place, becasue conservatives use thier aggression for good, like playing rugby and stuff.

I might have missed my medication this morning

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Jarrod mutters...

Posted January 24, 2014

They are wrong to blame violence on alcholol and in that respect you are absolutely correct. Everyone knows that the media, especailly TV and Movies are to blame. I mean how many times do you see people on TV and Movies punch each other, ALL THE TIME. Every evening its just a complete punch fest.

I mean the other night I watched a TV show where the protaganist was punched and kicked in the face and head and HE WAS JUST FINE. He fought back and won the day and killed the other guy and NEVER EVEN GOT ARRESTED, let alone charged for murder and sent to the big house for life. In fact in the very next episode he went and did it all again without any consequences whatsoever. I have seen every tarantino film and no one ever gets arrested and the heros always win and are just fine (apart from George Clooney in that vampire one which was stupid anyway)

So kids today they watch this TV stuff and learn that most people can take half a dozen punches in the face and the odd stomping and they will be just fine. So of course when they go down the valley and get a skinful and see someone they don't like the look of, they just givem the odd knuckle sandwich and stomp on thier head a few times and it dont matter. They will be just fine, and the cops dont care so what the hell.

Of course despite having watched loads of movies I have never punched anyeone in the face but I suspect that I am an abberation. I mean most politicians have probably had a few benders on occasions and they never punched anyone (well apart from Ken Clarke in the UK) but the fact that they personally never got drunk and punched someone doesn't mean that booze isn't the cause of it all.

So I think that every violent show should be followed by an episode of Law and Order and CSI where everyone is always caught by some guy with red hair who wears sunglasses everrwhere and then given the electric chair. That way kids will learn that violence always gets punished.

It is plain to see that the only solution to street violence is for the government to regulate all Television and have much stricter classifications for movies so that people learn aren't exposed to the constant flow of violence and then everyone will be nice to each other. Perhaps there can be a violence tax on TV shows which will raise money for the government as well.

Of course I could be wrong, I suspect that it probably Julia Gillards or Anna Bligh's fault, I mean they are pretty much being blamed for everythting by Abbot/CANDO at the moment so I suspect that sometime later this week the truth will out and we will learn that it is all Labour's fault for giving the sweaty proles access to alcholol in the first place, becasue conservatives use thier aggression for good, like playing rugby and stuff.

I might have missed my medication this morning

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 24, 2014

Its not movies and Tv, kids dont watch movies and TV. Its angry birds. Those little buggers positively enjoy being chucked full force at pigs (um there might be a metaphor somewhere there)

This has been going on in Tasmania for years. Bogan bullies hitting little kids with round house punches to the back of the head. I was at a bar a few months back and this assclown tried it on with me (and everyone else) So I just yelled at him to 'f**k right off you sad little c**t ' muscle clown clod backed down and ended up being chucked (well dragged) out by the manager a few minutes later. She was actually tough.

Anyway it could be all down to lead poisoning in pooer areas creating poor impulse control. Tasmania is basically a toxic wasteland regardless of how many trees you plant and subarus you drive, combined with low educational expectations, high poverty, unemployment and low literacy rates. Its no wonder these now grown men act like 11 year old twats.

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Rob mutters...

Posted January 24, 2014

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline the amazing lead poisoning casuing crime article is here.

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S.M. Stirling mutters...

Posted January 25, 2014

Forensic archaeology is useful here. Over the last little while a lot of work has been done on cataloguing human remains by probable cause of death, and there are a -lot- of remains covering very wide areas and spans of time preseved in museums.

A consistent pattern is found in pre-State societies, hunter-gatherer or neolithic. About 33% of adult male remains show signs of death by intraspecific violence (killed by other humans); usually slightly less than half that percentage of females show similar marks.

That's an underestimate, of course, because soft-tissue damage doesn't show up on the bones.

Cf. Otzi the Iceman, who was preserved by a freak of circumstance and who turned out to have defense cuts on his forearms and to have been shot in the back with an arrow. If we'd had his bones but no tissue, he'd be classified as "cause unknown" or "no evidence of violence'.

So the natural, default state for human beings for a long, long, long time -- since before the emergence of modern H. Sapiens -- was for the commonest cause of death for adults to be violence by other humans. The average way for a grown man to die was being stabbed or clubbed, and while less common for women (who were a big part of what the men were stabbing and clubbing each other for) it was still probably the largest -single- cause of death.

Incidentally this is the typical pattern for a social predator. Wolves show a very similar distribution of deaths, according to the latest studies. And again, according to the latest investigations, humans (and Neanderthals and pre-human hominids back to roughly h. erectus) have been cooperative apex predators since forever. Since the emergence of the modern body plan, which makes no sense except as a cursiorial hunter.

Pre-State societies don't have big wars; no Verduns, no Stalingrads, no Taiping Revolts.

But they don't have any -peace-, either.

What they do have is a continuous round of low-level violence that cumulatively makes them far more unsafe; spearings, beatings, ambushes, raids. You'd stand a better chance of dying by violence if you were born in an uncontacted New Guinea highland village in 1898 than if you were born in Germany or Russia in the same year.

The State's monopolization of violence cuts down on this general murderousness very substantially, and the modern (post-18th-century Western style) state does an even better job.

Like anything else, if you make it a government monopoly the price goes up and the supply goes down.

That's a cultural change.

But the "old Adam" is still there; our -genes- haven't changed and we're the descendants of 200,000 years (or more) of successful killers.

The biology is always waiting to reassert itself if circumstances change or learned inhibitions are released. Short of genetic engineering, there's really nothing to be done about that.

"Natural" =/= "good". It's natural to be always ready to fight, and for that matter it's natural to be very suspicious of outsiders.

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S.M. Stirling mutters...

Posted January 25, 2014

Jarrod: I mean the other night I watched a TV show where the protaganist was punched and kicked in the face and head and HE WAS JUST FINE.

-- well, I've been punched until I fell down, and then kicked in the face and head; as the saying goes, you should always kick a man when he's down, it's much easier then.

It hurt like hell for days at a minimum, but I survived. For that matter I've had people try to rearrange me anatomically with pieces of pipe, rocks, and big sodding knives.

Though thankfully not anytime lately.

I carry a knife myself (what I believe you guys call a flick-knife, Tanto folder from Cold Steel Knives) and have nearly every day since I was a teenager. Mostly I use it for opening envelopes and cutting string, but it's there.

>He fought back and won the day and killed the other guy and NEVER EVEN GOT ARRESTED, let alone charged for murder and sent to the big house for life.

-- first, most murders aren't even -reported-, much less result in a trial or imprisonment or execution.

They generally get filed under the category of "missing persons" or "unidentified assailant".

The really ludicrous "myth" propagated by TV and movies is the competence and omnipresense of the police. They're really nothing like that, you know. Most of the people in prison are deeply stupid because those are the ones they catch.

Second, if you kill someone in self-defense you're not guilty of murder. If it's sufficiently obvious, you usually won't be charged even if the police get involved; it depends what the prosecutors think.

Definitions of self-defense depend on the jurisdiction, of course, but if someone comes up to you and starts pounding away or threatens you with a weapon, you're generally golden.

Here in New Mexico, it's interpreted rather broadly. For example, someone in a passing car shot at a house here. The householder came out shooting (Colt 1911) and emptied the magazine into the car as it sped away. It hit the lamppost at the bottom of the street, probably because the driver had two .45 slugs in the torso. Householder then walked calmly down the street swapping out his magazine and leaned into the car, firing one round into the head of each of the four occupants, then went and phoned the police.

In court he claimed to have been apprehensive that they would revive and shoot at him again.

Found not guilty; justifiable homicide on grounds of self-defense. If he hadn't leaned in and capped all the occupants, it would probably never have been brought to trial, but the DA thought that was going a bit far, even for this area.

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S.M. Stirling ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2014

Oh, and on kicking people in the head: I helped teach a women's self-defense course once.

One thing you'll often hear in such courses is "knock him down and run away". This is VERY BAD ADVICE (usually, sometimes it works), and is quite likely to get the woman raped and/or beaten to a pulp and/or killed.

He's probably bigger and probably has longer legs, so he's going to catch her and will then be -really pissed off- even if he wasn't before. And this type is likely to have very poor impulse control and severe anger-management issues to begin with. That's why he's going around and attacking women.

So the advice -we- gave them (I was sort of 3rd assistant) was that if you succeeded in knocking him down, kick him in the head -really hard-. Use the heel, and stomp-kick him two or more times, hard as you can, bam-bam-bam. Give him a concussion, break his face. At that point he's not going to be focusing on his anger any more.

-Then- run away; or call the cops (this was before cell phones became so common) as circumstances indicate.

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