Monday, March 23, 2009

Apparently our President is a Bruce Lee fan

Bruce Lee:
"Just keep calm. No illusion and no imagination, but to apprehend the actual situation you are in and find a way to deal with it. No excessive action is needed. Just keep your body and mind relaxed to deal with the outside emergency."

As a person who has been in his fair share of bar brawls, I feel like I'm uniquely suited to pass down some jewels of wisdom in terms of the time honored tradition of alcoholic fisticuffs. First off, whenever you encounter some angry group of men upset at you for tongue kissing one of their girlfriends, or unplugging the jukebox because they choose to play some some monosyllabic rapper that disagrees with my virgin ears - be sure to target the mouthpiece of said irate mob. Sure, the mouthiest one of the bunch is usually the one with the flimsiest jaw and weakest resolve - but I couldn't tell you how many times chin-checking the thug spokesmen virtually paralyzes everyone else. Be economical: I don't care if you fight someone in a bar that you've been going to for years, if everyone in attendance shouts your name out when you walk through the door as if you were "Norm" from "Cheers" and shit - you never know where the friend of the person you are fighting lurks. So keep fights quick, throat-chops, clotheslines, knee strikes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting your WWE on and hitting a motherfucker with a chair. Besides, I'm a chubby alcoholic, I get easily winded. Lastly, when taking on one or more thugs at a time, you will be best served to do so calmly.

That was Bruce Lee's philosophy. As difficult as it may sound, putting your anger aside while trying to dispatch someone intent on putting you on the business end of a beating, the inventor of Jeet Kune Do had it exactly right. You think clearly, see punches coming from a mile a way, you don't make the same strategical mistakes born out of anger - and you conserve the much needed energy usually sapped by emotion. Granted, I'm sure that Bruce Lee didn't have drunken bar brawls in mind when passing along said wisdom, but I digress.

I've been thinking a lot about Bruce Lee ever since President Obama's appearance on "60 Minutes" a couple of days ago. There have been many criticisms of our newly elected President, from writers who have dangled their credibility over a ledge by assessing Obama's first term after 60 fucking days in office to the usual partisan drivel coming from the outdated mandibles of your garden variety conservative - but Obama's "laugh heard around the world" on "60 Minutes" has apparently offended the delicate sensibilities of those on the left and on the right. Douchebaggery is clearly bi-partisan. Hackery knows no political affiliation. Jesus Christ, one day Obama's message on the economy is "too dire, not upbeat enough" - the next day he is "too happy", "needs to strike a somber tone about our country's economic situation". It seems that President Obama can't take a fundamental bowel movement without scores of people ringing their collective hands about it.

Watching the interview, especially after he said "we can't govern out of anger", it became crystal clear that President Obama has decided to use Bruce Lee's lessons for good and not evil.(Like me) With an economic crisis to deal with, the public outrage over AIG bonuses, two wars, health care and education to deal with, the clusterfuck going on in Mexico - those problems have to be dealt effectively by having the clearest mind possible. The same way a calm demeanor allowed me to duck a pool stick swung by the girlfriend of a guy that I had just body slammed, or the extremely lazy uppercut thrown by an old man upset that I had just very cavalierly broke his walking cane in half for questioning Barack Obama's citizenship - Obama's calm demeanor proves to a bar brawling asshole like myself that he has the clarity to make the right decisions. Mainstream media hackery sees his laughter as a hellworthy trespass, I see it as a President putting Master Lee's lessons to good use.

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