Tuesday, November 24, 2009



I got a number of comments about these two subjects which I wanted to address, so rather than hide them in the comments section where the people they are aimed at may never see them, I'm putting them in this EDICION ESPECIAL posting.

Yes, I learned about Elvis's fascination with Holy Grail from the recent Python documentary. Great show, by the way, catch it if you can.

Some say dogs and dolphins fight for fun. I actually don't know anything about that behavior in dolphins and I'm too lazy to look it up, but when dogs rough-house, it isn't really fighting. When I say "fighting" I'm talking about inflicting pain, injury and occasional death for fun. Dogs don't do that, as far as I'm aware.

Someone mentioned that chimps do this and I don't doubt it. Chimps are among our closest relatives (I think only gorillas are closer DNA-wise?) and exhibit some of the same abhorrent behavior as we do. Someday there may be two species of dangerous, mutant apes on the planet. If we don't kill them all first. (which, of course, we would)

I didn't mean to criticize the existence of Mixed Martial Arts or demean the abilities of the participants. I have no doubt that it takes an incredible amount of training and discipline to reach the highest levels. I can appreciate it and could even potentially become a fan, but while violence within a sport is something I can stomach, I'm a little too squeamish when violence is the point of the sport. Just a personal preference thing, not a judgmental thing.

Regarding the existence of these sports, I think they perform an invaluable service to society. Given that humans are by nature violent, mutant apes, if we didn't employ vicarious ways to express our violent urges I suspect it would lead to even more war and violent crime. Perhaps this is one reason that sports have existed as long as human societies have. When given the choice of leaving home to shoot real people or sitting in your beanbag chair with a sixpack of Bud watching people fight in a cage, most people will choose the beanbag. Without that choice, men will go out and break things.

Which reminds me, most of this problem with human violence resides in males, not females. Although some women are in touch with their violent side. (Sarah Palin)

Someone questioned my comment that humans have no natural weapons like fangs, claws, etc., by saying "what about our minds?" I understand your point but it I don't think it is really the same thing. Until we developed our current brain powers, humans weren't particularly good at "out-thinking" stronger, faster animals. That happened after we developed language and thus, the ability to plan and cooperate, which occurred relatively recently in our history. Just my opinion based on something I probably heard on Jeopardy, I'm not an anthropologist.


Unknown said...

Dan: Thanks for clarifying on my question. I see what you mean about how it took time for us to develop our brains as powerful tools, and I guess I was thinking in too modern a frame.

IBerg said...

My offer to buy you a beer if your are ever in Chicago still stands (we don't have to talk about MMA even).

Anonymous said...

A minor point, but chimpanzees are more closely related to us than gorillas are, and are actually our closest relatives.

Edstock said...

"Someday there may be two species of dangerous, mutant apes on the planet. If we don't kill them all first"
Lately, people have started to wonder if that's what might have happened to h. neanderthalensis.

fyvp said...

I heard, from the Internets, that "releasing your anger, so that it doesn't pent up and you explode" is bullshit. (http://www.cracked.com/article/85_6-bullshit-facts-about-psychology-that-everyone-believes/)
Is interesting point, is all.