Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dancing monks

Tomorrow in The Sunday Times I interview dancing Chinese monks in Luxembourg. Link later. Here.


  1. I think, on reflection, I would really like to be a kung fu monk. Alas, I fear it's too late for my body to become just right.

  2. That someone would become a monk because he wanted to fight is right on. That we are inclined to think otherwise indicates we are repressing this aspect of our humanity. The philosophical ramifications are that we are far from world peace, because we are disrespecting the fighters among and within us.

    My youngest son was so small and short, I though that he would get picked on by others. It's not just the city, but bullies are everywhere. And the smaller the kid, the easier the mark. So I wondered how to broach this situation as a father.

    It was around the 5th grade. I received a note from the school saying that he picked on another kid on the bus. I ask his brothers what gives with this, and found out that he is no one to mess with. He's a little fighter.

    I told him that this was just what I was afraid was going to happen to him, that he would be bullied, and how does he think that kid feels after being bullied by him. I told him to apologize, and to go a step further, to be that kid's true friend, to say it and mean it, that if he ever needs my son, just to ask. He did this.

    He didn't become a monk, but when in high school he joined the wrestling team, and led them in his senior year as their captain at 112 pounds, to the school's one and only state championship. He wrestled in both the open and senior nationals, and went on to be Bridgewater State College's starting 125 until he lost eligibility in his freshman year.

    Once he had the right outlet and guidance for his fighter within, no longer would he make the bullying mistakes. I imagine this must be something all fighters must make a mistake at, to be immature and misapply their fighter natures. Fighters seek out other fighters, and in a way they do so while looking for someone who can beat them. Completely the opposite from bullying, they are not interested in people they know they can beat. They need to get to the point where they can beat the person who can beat them. And it's not really mental learning, but rather bodily learning with mental attitude.

    We need fighters because there will always be bullies. If you or I are being bullied or accosted, even if to some degree we know how to handle ourselves, it is great to have a starting collegiate wrestler, or better yet, a Shaolin monk, close by to handle the situation in a matter of seconds, with no dukes going up, just bullies going down really quickly.

    A mistake people make, well-intentioned and intelligent people, is in identifying the evil of the bully Taliban and other terrorists with the terrible mistakes of USA, UK, et al. Our mistakes are in using our warrior capabilities immaturely too often, in poor prison management and torture, in unnecessarily bombing and such. For the most part, the heart of what our soldiers have been doing is good, and the effects should or at least can come to good. Right now, we are dealing with the madness of bees after ripping their hives out of the rafters of homes.

    One problem may be the power we give to capitalists. Fighters become arms of greed, sure, but more importantly part of pop managerial philosophy. Only in a society where getting less information means efficiency, could we run occupational prisons without the aid of our own experts at running prisons, or could we torture suspects who too often were simply bamboozled farmers. If we were a true warrior nation, this would not happen. No mature fighter wants to take part in any such thing.

    A short friend of mine was often picked on. He took karate and became very good. When 15, there was a ruckus on his street. His bigger brother-in-law of 30, was attacking him. My friend would simply move and counter with a solid kick or punch. Never did my friend attack his attacker, but after a short time, the older man was bloody, and not once did he touch my friend. A few days later, word came from karate class, that the instructor, a police officer in town, gave my friend a karate beating. He should have left the scene.

    There will always be bullies. We need our fighters to be monks.

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