The Southeast Texas portion of the Internet is a-crackle with a report out of Beaumont about fight videos produced by their local youth, some of them shot at area high schools with teenage bystanders egging on the participants.
What seems to shock the writers of these stories the most is that many of the "stars" of these Beaumont Brawlz videos (DVD coming soon! If YouTube is to be believed...) are females.
Having seen more 1990s daytime talk shows than we care to admit, we're not shocked that young girls like to mix it up. What kind of did amaze us, on the other hand, is how fiercely they fight, especially in comparison to the dudes in these videos.
We mean you see these guys and a few of them are built like Evander Holyfield was back in his Olympian God heyday, and then they throw a punch like Richard Simmons. They bob, they weave, they clench....We guess you could argue that they were boxing properly, à la the Queensberry rules, or you could contend that they were just scared of each other and can't slug their way out of a paper bag.
Check out the slap-fight below at 1:40 and contrast it with the downright frightening girls who follow immediately thereafter...
Girls go directly for the kill. They don't waste any time dancing around, or trying to work the body, or feinting and jabbing -- it's all either haymakers aimed at the head or swipes for handfuls of hair.
And while some of the guys seem to be buddies doing these videos for fun -- in one we saw, the two cousins hug and slap skin at the end of their fight -- that is never the case with the girls, who all seem to want to kill, scalp, blind or maim their foes.
At any rate, you read a lot of alarmist piffle in articles about this phenomenon. Experts are trotted out who gravely inform us that this is something new under the sun, American youth's terrifying descent into uncharted Clockwork Orange purgatory.
Sociologists are wheeled out to blame the recession, babies having babies, poverty, and parental abuse of drugs and alcohol. While those are valid explanations for youth violence, there's nothing new about any of it. There have been hard times before. Teen pregnancy has been a problem for several generations, and people have been getting fucked up and parenting badly since the pre-Stone Age...
So we are not sure if youth culture is actually more violent than it was when we were participating in it. Back in the Oil Bust Houston of our youthful malaise, we more or less routinely witnessed random acts of violence the memories of which still scare the bejesus out of us all these years later.
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What has undoubtedly changed is the technology. Now kids can film their combats and easily share them with the world. And so now we adults can see what callous monsters adolescents can be at their worst.
Only a few of us can remember how we were once much the same. No, most of us wouldn't have been in those fights, and many of us would not have stood by and watched, either, but how many of us would honestly have had the white-hat huevos to wade through the throng of jeering onlookers and break them up?
Such an act violates every principle of the schoolyard code, so if you can honestly say you would have, you were a better person than Hair Balls was in his high school daze.
More Beaumont video-brawling madness here.