Everyone in high school seems absolutely bent on getting into a brawl with someone else. Its pretty ridiculous in hindsight for most of you, and for me its pretty ridiculous right now.

Here's the inspiration for this write-up. Sitting in English the teacher brings up the poetry of William Blake, which we are studying, and assigns the reading of two of his poems as homework. A jock, well, an athletically inclined person states that he has read the poems in question and does not understand them, and because of this thinks they are stupid. A dear friend of mine says that he thoroughly enjoyed the poems and that they were some of the best he had ever read (he is rather well read). The athletically inclined person turns to him and asks, "Are you calling me stupid?". My friend answers no, and the jock turns around. Later during the period, he turns around and makes an incendiary comment towards my friend, trying to incite an altercation.

I almost burst out laughing right then. How can one not realize what an absolutely ludicrous situation this was.I knew a laughing fit couldn't help the situation, per se, but it was very close to irresistable.
Hmmm...ludicrous, eh? Personally, I believe everyone should at least get into at least one fight during their life, should at least throw one punch; it builds character. Really. Don't believe me? Hear me out.

I've always been a geek (currently debian, perl, and dead languages are guiding forces in my life), and so naturally I got picked on a lot. I quickly came to the realisation that if I never fought back, I'd be picked on for the rest of my life. So I fought; I've only ever started a fight once (though it was more of a brawl, actually, and involved a soccer team, and it's twice if you count that little scuffle over the state of the Russian military during the cold war), but if someone hit me, I had no problem decking them. I've also seen others, who decided pacifism was the way to go; most of them work middle management, and go through life whipped and broken.

I don't mean to promote violence, because it's not just fighting. Even if you lose against that gorilla in the locker room, you'll at least have learned to punch back, and not keep the anger saved up for a sniper rifle later. And high school, where 90% of the people hate you anyway, is a good place to learn.

These days, I hate jocks, passionately and with a Dead Kennedys-like disgust. But now I'm 6'2" and weigh 200 lbs, so getting into fights is rarely an issue (though picking on frat boys is still a hobby of mine). But it's all about attitude. Bullies rarely pick on people who they know will sock 'em one right back. So go ahead; pacifism bites.

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