It's been a while, and it will probably take a bit for me to get back in the swing of things. As I write this, I'm fighting a hangover (yes, from yesterday, still) so allow me a bit of slack to get rolling again.

Today, I talk about one of my favorite things to hate. UFC. Let's start at the foundation, shall we?

The Name

Ultimate Fighting Championship. I'm going to have to say that this is quite possibly the most unique, and fitting names for this event. For example, if we called it Awesome Fighting Championship, it doesn't quite have the same ring. Additionally, we would be left with the feeling in the back of our mind that somewhere out there, is an even more awesome form of fighting championships. However, the good people at UFC have taken care of this problem, making sure that there will be no chance at mistaking UFC as the ultimate one.

Also, this name was tailored to work only with UFC. You couldn't make the name work with anything else, the people at UFC have made sure of this. For example, you couldn't take something as mundane as say. . . typing, and make an ultimate championship. That would be preposterous. Don't even try to trespass on their creative genius.

Professional Wrestling, Reloaded

Most of us (even myself, regrettably) had some point in our lives where we thought professional wrestling was awesome. At its core, professional wrestling is simply a soap opera with interludes of fake fighting. Each character in the ring has their own back story, there are good guys, and bad. The audience generally has favorites, because maybe they agree with said actor's stance on global warming, where his opponent who he will soon be body slamming comes on stage spraying aerosol cans in every direction.

UFC is the same deal. Each fighter has their background, their "unique" fighting style, and this keeps announcers employed because they can sit and talk about how Johnny's Snake and Whirlwind style of kickjitsu will inevitably triumph over Tom's Crouching Cloak Snapback technique because of the inherent disadvantage it has when put in a ring against Johnny. The buildup is so strong, the anticipation to see how the match will unfold is palpable before either fighter is even in the ring.

They then circle each other. The crowd holds their breath, waiting for one of them to make a move. 30 seconds later, they're both on the ground, playing wormdigger.

So, what do we have here? We have professional wrestling, without the acting (I do not claim that the value of professional wrestler's acting is very far above zero, but it's something), and without the showmanship. In trade, we gain two grown men sitting on their opponent's face, punching their crotch.

The Following

As with most entertainment mediums, people love to become experts on the subject. Since UFC involves "real" fighting, those who are loyal followers of the competition immediately become definitive experts on the subject of martial arts. Let me, to the best of my memory, recall a monologue I overheard a fan of UFC say a few months ago.
Have you ever noticed how there are no Asian martial artists? I mean, there are, but they're not winning any championships. Every UFC is won by white or black guys. The Asians don't even compete. If they did try they would get beat so bad. MMA is the only real form of fighting, that's why the Asian fighters don't even try to enter UFC.
Unfortunately that's about all I remember, since shortly after my head exploded and all I remember was a deafening ring in my ears that generally only happens after my internal stupid gauge overloads from things I hear others say.

As much as it hurts me to do this: I'll respond to this monologue with my own monologue. Fire with fire. Yep. The effectiveness is staggering, isn't it?

The reason you don't see Asian fighters in UFC is because the moment you put say, a Shaolin Monk in a ring with any MMA meatbag the fight would be over so fast the people who bought the PPV subscription would whine and ask for their money back. Don't get me wrong, the fight could go either way theoretically, but people don't spend money to watch a 1-5 punch fight. People who like UFC are the type of people that want to see people sit stationary on the floor and beat the living hell out of each other for as long as possible before the other guy passes out.

Additionally, while I can't speak for all Asian martial arts, getting knocked down generally means you've been beat. It doesn't mean that you wait for a guy to sit on your chest and continue to pummel you, because ladies and gentlemen, that's not fighting, that's homosexual fist to face rape.

So I guess the choice is up to you. Do you prefer technique, or brute force? Here's a prime example of the first, and should illustrate why UFC is like 2 player football with no ball, and half naked men.

The Overtalker

Everyone knows someone like The Overtalker. This person, who seems to be present in nearly every culture in existence, is one of those types of people that just doesn't get it. If the title alone doesn't explain exactly who this person is, let me explain briefly.

The Overtalker is the person that, instead of giving you a chance to talk, thinks that what they have to say is so important, they will just talk louder in order for you to . . . understand better? The oddest thing, is that they most likely have no idea at all that this is probably the rudest thing to do in a conversation ever. Not only is it impolite, but it is also a sign of inability to interact with social situations.

Social situations might seem like, a rather broad category, and that's because it is. Any time you're dealing with anyone at all, it's a social situation. What does this mean? The Overtalker is the epitome of the worst person to be around, ever.

If you're still a bit unsure as to who an overtalker may be, this could probably help you out. While he does indeed deserve a blog post of his own, here he is, in all of his . . . glory?

Great way to express your opinion, sirs. Now, I'm sure all of the intellectuals and people with more than 3 total brain cells will agree with you, since that's the audience you're lacking at the moment. (If you watch this to the very end, the closing screen is hilarious)

Notice the etiquette, and eloquence they both have. While I oddly enough believe Geraldo is on the right side of this argument, he's also not dealing with the conversation in the right way. Instead of making Bill look like (more of) an asshole, he's leveling the playing field and coming across as desperate.

How do you deal with a guy like this? I think a perfect example is here.

Here is a link to skip to the important part. Or just watch it all, because it's pure gold.


I Don't Love China

I travel to Japan, a lot. Well, I did until I started getting hardcore back in to classes, which leaves me without the free time anymore. Anyway, during that time, the primary flight out of Minnesota to China was a connecting flight that landed in Narita, Japan. Thus, inevitably, I would be sitting next to some businessman who had just come back from China, and they felt it their duty to correct my course of study.

I have, for the past 6 years or so, studied Japan, Japanese language, culture, history, etc. Why am I doing this? It's rather simple, I like Japan. More often than not, when stuck on a flight for 12 hours sitting less than 3 inches from another person, you start a few conversations. My conversations on these flights to and from Japan? "You're wasting your time, China is what you should be studying."

Thank you, random sir. What is it you did in China again? You speak of the thrilling and expanding economy of the world's largest political party. The Communist Party of China. You, sir, must obviously be some high level exec, in the top floor of a 200 story building, with a room made entirely out of windows and glass furniture. Your intuition has found that this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and now you're just sitting pretty.

Oh, you sell tires. For construction equipment. That's building a road, because the country isn't even connected by infrastructure yet. Oh well, at least just physically being in the country for a week every few months promises you to a huge bonus check, right? No? You never see your family? You never learned the language? You're immersed in a culture you know nothing and don't care to learn anything about? Thank you, sir, for your insight! This sounds amazing!!

Why must I justify myself on every flight that I take to Japan? Is it not enough that after 2 years, I know more about my country of choice than you have learned in over 35? Not only that, but you can't even write their numbers. You tried to show me, you tried to show me how the Chinese draw their numbers. I tried to politely correct you, saying "I actually think the character for 6 doesn't look like a series of dots, and it has lines." You refused to be corrected though, insisting that 'this is how it is.'

How I wish you were an isolated incident, sir. You are not. You are on every flight, in every seat on that flight. Do you think that you hold some sort of Holy Grail of corporate knowledge that will unlock the key to fortunes? How would you even know, you sell tires. You leave the central urban areas as soon as you land, and pitch your goods with binders that you didn't even create, showcasing how great your traction is on various terrain.

Finally, China is not Japan. Don't assume that since I've studied Japan for so long, I can just decide one day that I think I'm going to know everything about China. You, sir, are the reason there's the ignorant American stereotype. You travel overseas, spend so much time there, and learn absolutely nothing.

You, sir, are an idiot.

I don't love China.

Here is a video explaining more:

Mr. Global Perspective

Currently, I am taking a class about Eastern European Politics. It's an elective for me, since to be honest I can't stand politics or Europe. Adding the both of them together was basically a sign for me to just fall asleep and turn in whatever work was assigned.

Now, normally in America, we tend to regard those that come from other countries as having an increased global perspective. They have, in fact, come from another country, and enter this stereotype with a lot of truth already. I have one of these students in my class, he comes from Zimbabwe. Let me start off by showing a few of the incredibly intelligent things that he has said in class so far.

  • Mugabe isn't as bad as people think
  • Why didn't Poland just overthrow the Nazis?
  • Why don't the citizens of China fix their government?
First of all, Robert Mugabe, has an awesome first name. Other than that, I must admit I didn't know much about him at all. Here is some information if you want to get caught up. Here's an article published this week about his recent endeavors. Let me summarize for those who don't have the patience. Here are two interesting paragraphs of the happenings in this "not so bad" guy's country.

The campaign has in the past few days seen MPs for the Movement for Democratic Change arrested for offences including playing music that "denigrates" Mugabe, and stealing a mobile phone. Fourteen MDC MPs and senators are facing charges ranging from corruption to rape. If convicted, they will lose their seats, forcing by-elections. Less than six months after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister, the strategy again raises questions about the role of the country's courts and police.

Yesterday, many Zimbabweans were outraged after a court in Chivhu imposed a fine of just US$200 (£120) on Chinoona Mwanda - who had been found guilty of culpable homicide, after the 6 March incident when his lorry swerved into the path of Tsvangirai's car, killing Susan, his wife of 31 years.

Next, we have Mr. Global Perspective's opinion on the Nazi takeover of Poland. The conversation went something like this:

Professor: And now, the Nazi regime had moved in to Poland and taken it over.

Mr. Global: Why didn't the Polish people fight back?

Professor: . . . with what? This was a good portion of the Nazi army.

Mr Global: Why don't they just go to the Nazi HQ and attack it?

Professor: These people couldn't exactly put up a fight, the Nazis had automatic weapons, tanks, etc. The average Polish person didn't have these kinds of things at their disposal.

Mr Global: But if they were on farms they would have had tools like pitchforks to attack with.

Sadly, this is how the China conversation went as well. Mr. Global Perspective believes that any sort of regime, no matter how violent, ruthless, or large, can be toppled overnight by dissenting farmers.

I honestly have to wonder, why is he so convinced that the history that he is being taught didn't happen? Why, at every unhumanitarian issue, is it something that he believes could be averted by running headlong in to a military force with a pitchfork?

Really, if you're going to hold the fact that you have more experience with global matters over the heads of students that have never left their home-state, at least give what you have to say more than 0 seconds of internal thought before blurting it out as fact.


For my first post on this blog, I wanted to address something that has been on my mind for quite some time.

Going back as far as grade school, I would often see other classmates riding bikes such as the pictured BMX bikes. They were small, easy to learn, and didn't have any pesky gears to fool with that all of the 'grown ups' rode.

As soon as we were able to grasp the concept of shifting gears when riding a bike, the world of 18 and 21 speed bikes soon followed. These were real bikes, they were faster, were easier to ride after learning, and could really get you some place if you wanted to go.

However, there were still people riding these BMX bikes. The best part is, these were 5'8 to 6'0 tall men that were riding these. These bikes are what, 2 feet tall? How can you even pretend to look cool when your knees come up to your chin.

You might as well be riding a bigwheel.

Let's say you were riding a bigwheel. At least your bike sounds cool now. Instead you've got that voice of a kid following you wherever you go. "Way out far sweet freestyle kickin glidin" or whatever it's called these days.

I went to find some bmx terms on a slang dictionary, and it turns out with my previous attempt to mock the anti-literate terms often used by freestyle bikers, I actually gave them too much credit.

n. a suspension fork or stem; a dual-suspension bike is a boing-boing. "Mark's not going to feel much pain with his new boing-boing."
n. a bike with full (front and rear) suspension. Might possibly be considered offensive by certain owners of said bikes.

Honestly? I'm afraid to look in to this subject any more due to fear of brain hemmorage, but of course I will.

zone out
v. a state of mind where you think you've reachedThe Zone, but you really just stopped paying attention to what you're doing. Usually used as an excuse for a particularly embarrassing biff.

So while you attempt to wrap your head around that. Here's a video showing the only time freestyle biking can be cool.