Humanity Won; Kangaroo Didn’t

I have never been more proud of my species than the occasion on which I watched the video of an Australian man squaring up with and punching a Kangaroo.

To begin, this was not one of those cruel kangaroo-boxing charades as per the Victorian era…it was a kangaroo that deserved to be punched and man that deserved to do the punching.

To set the scene of this wonderful moment, it begins sadly.

A young Australian man has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, meaning that his life is a great deal more ‘over’ than the rest of us currently walking around.

This being so, the chap is still luckier than a fair many people; because he has his friends who are insistent on taking him out to live life whilst it’s still liveable.

So this friend takes his very ill pal out to do what they both enjoy most; hunting with their dogs in their jeep.

Here is where the video begins.

A shakily held camera (a shakily held camera is forgivable considering cancer) atop the jeep, Aussie outback whizzing past and distressed calls of the men looking for their dogs which appear to have disappeared.

As it turns out, they had a fear of what had become of their hounds, and the fear was confirmed.

The motor pulls to a stop and a man, the friend, leaps down and begins walking towards what we can now see; a large dog in the unfriendly embrace of a very large Grey Kangaroo (‘the big kind’).

The man is walking towards the two animals with manly purpose; and here’s why that’s brave.

A Grey Kangaroo is about 5-feet-something tall and filled with testosterone and all the muscly meat that entails.

Have you ever seen a shaved chimp? Whilst casually reaching for a banana you’ll see their arms ripple with all sorts of unnecessary-yet-insisted-upon-by-nature muscles, and a kangaroo is no different.

In a permanent ‘look at my muscles’ pose, a lone male Grey Kangaroo is highly aggressive and will happily consider your garden as it’s new pot to piss in.

Along with this, the kangaroo is deadly owing to one weapon in its arsenal; the tail.

Usually seen as a mere aid to its hopping about the wilderness, it is in fact like a crocodile’s tail; filled with muscle and unyielding bone, not prehensile but it’ll make you apprehensile (but only if you’ll excuse poor puns) when you discover it’s trick.

When fighting, kangaroos might look as though they are indulging in a bitchy little face pushing fight, with scratching being the order of the day, but this is not the end all. For the deadly strike, the kangaroo will lean back on it’s bewilderingly now-leg-like tail (currently holding its entire bodyweight) and proceed to kick out with its legs into the abdomen of the opponent.

Picture a tripod bouncing across the Australian landscape, only you didn’t realise this until too late and now its going to involve that third leg most unfairly in a fight.

The force breaks bone, and should claw catch flesh: the belly can easily be carried off and away.

To tackle this takes guts, as it is your ‘guts’ that can also quickly be staining your bush shoes and the kangaroo’s toes.

That is what this man is walking towards, with oh-so-perfect a purpose.

The kangaroo sees the approaching Aussie male, and let’s the dog escape (with which it appreciatively flees).

The man is now right up to the kangaroo, and there is a hell of a lot of testosterone in the air this afternoon.

He and the kangaroo both square up, with the Roo bulking out and the man shaking loose like Bruce Lee as he adapts to a boxing pose.

And then, the man promptly puts his hand though the kangaroo’s chin.

Through it’s chin.

Butter.

Like UTTER BUTTER.

And I’m standing up and yelling “YEEEESSSS” at this, in my cosy bedroom at home, thousands of miles away and two weeks later.

The kangaroo waves is arms in pathetic yet vital little spirals in effort to keep balanced whilst it leans back dependently on its deadly secret weapon of a third leg.

The look on its face is of be-fucking-whilderment.

Befucklement.

It does not have the processing skills demanded of it now to understand the tuned ability of this incredible species: humanity.

Exactly how to stand so as to generate adequate power for the punch, precisely where to aim and land the blow through the now-since-buttery chin of the kangaroo, and the compassion of heart to not have your mate’s trip spoiled by the loss of another great friend to our species: dogs.

The kangaroo is entirely and irrevocably undone by the chap’s species, his knuckles and his good form.

The standing up for your species and your mates is the pinnacle of what we should be spending our time doing and this could not have been better (like BUTTER) exemplified here.

Kangaroo defeated, humanity the victor, this Australian man nods his head in appreciation of the occasion (“Yeah.” would fit well here) turns, and walks away, back to his dog and his mate to enjoy the rest of their trip together.

My hero and yours.

The statement is ultimate.

The next time we have a chance do this this it might be Aliens…so get your shit together, do some push-ups and hug your mates.

Well done sir; bravo humanity.

Sam

Video here: http://youtu.be/FIRT7lf8byw

(Disclosure: A kangaroo WAS mildly hurt during the making of the article, but it was being a bully dick and deserved it.)

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How To Remember Robin Williams

To begin with, I am sad.

I am three days over 25 and realised, as Robin died on my birthday, that I am getting to an age where people I grew up with, staples of the world I regard as being ‘daily’ to me, are leaving us by various means. Robin left by his own means, which I feel is fair enough, whereas I do simply wish that we had one more chance to say ‘thank you’. The final choice however was always his own- that is not the issue.

We may feel that owing to his last moments undoubtedly being ones of true despair, this is how we should remember him. But it needn’t be thought that his life was ruined accordingly. Nor should it be when we remember him.

He was sixty three years old. By far not long enough a time for treasuring time with those we love, but other than this; how many more years do you need? I think that 50 would do me nicely, and sixty would be great- thanks for the time, particularly in consideration for getting things done, and this is the point: Robin Williams got things done.

From a very young age he excelled, through the natural ‘different-class’ and speed of his comedic wit and persona but most essentially through the hard work that made the people we remember worth remembering. He was a young comedian at Richard Pryor’s comedy roast. You don’t think of him as having come from that era, let alone to be so highly regarded even back then, but he was. Don’t forget this whilst we also easily recall his later stand-up specials and, of course, his acting.

The fact that he straddled such a broad range of characters and genres is partly why we remember him so well. He was Mrs Doubtfire and the Genie whilst we were children, and as we grew we recognised him for his roles in the inspirational films of ‘Dead Poets Society’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’: films espousing finding your own path and celebrating life for how you live it. All whilst being painfully hilarious- giving us a chance to work out that guttural noise of hilarity that we so often yearn to yield and so rarely able to.

And this is what matters to me here- he was a man of tremendous success and acclaim and although I am aware that this acclaim is like dust on bone to a man suffering depression- it does mean that in between the worse bouts of the disease: he was happier than he might have been.

What I’m saying is that compared to others that share the disease of depression, although that cruel despair experienced is equal for all that suffer it, the times between bouts are not.

In between the sadness- Robin had his own happiness, his wife and child with whom things were no different from any other family’s love for one another. He had his career and his success which, though being no matter of consequence to his (here) fatal disease, it would have made things better between the worst of the tempests of depression. In the lighter moments, the knowledge that he was providing for his family well would have been of tremendous power, if only in the times of natural happiness.

Aged 63, loving wife and children, successful entertainment career, a long life of acclaim and interest. Robin Williams lived life, despite his condition, with a passion brought from appreciating what life is- at times joyous and always fleeting. I think it is an admirable way to live and though we all wish he was still here, had not died as he chose to and had simply not been alone on that darkest evening (for which fault can go to no one); his life was not one of woe. Often, like all of us, he was happy and he was content, at times obviously ecstatic and joyous- with the aspects of life we all hope for, though having a life-long disease.

What I’m trying to say is, although it pains us so badly to know that his last moments were of despair- that is not all his life was, and we should feel no despair because of this. There will be grief, and an unending sadness for his departure, but we there must also be acceptance in the knowledge that we’re all going to die, no matter our success, stature or condition. So let us live much as Robin did; to the full despite what tries to bring us down.

As far as I can see- Robin Williams was victorious in battling his disease owing to living the life he had. Our final moments are not all we are. I will choose to remember Robin Williams, not only as that unparalleled comedic tour-de-force and that distinguished actor (speaking of which, how much does that academy award pale in comparison to the distinction of how incompetent we are in explaining just how much he made us laugh? Apart from this description, which I feel is actually pretty on the nose. Nosed it!). I will remember him for having made for himself, amid those seas of misery, large islands of happy hope and love for life with family. I envy these islands.

Robin Williams- a sad death and a happy life. We could never understand the mind’s darkest hours, but we must think of those bright moments of his life. For us, we might assume his success was the best. In fact, I am certain that thoughts of wife and family were the successes he achieved that we should all hope to look back on some day.

And here, more than in any other medium, I say “Bravo Mr Williams”.

For living life as we all should. Remember this.

Sam

Post script.

This reminds me of Stephen Fry addressing the death of Peter Cook and the media’s response to his demise, purely as it reminds me that we should remember them for their own personal happiness. The link to the Youtube video is as follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQrTnhkQo5k

Also included is a link to Robin performing, and killing, at the great Richard Pryor’s comedy roast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCVpJ6DFqao


The Thing About Gaming

Gaming is fun, and gaming is good.

You can spend 3 minutes playing, say, Call Of Duty on PS3, shortly before having to hurry off and do something constructive. And of those 3 minutes, you can say happily to yourself: “6 kills. I got 6 kills. That’s good, because I got 6 kills”.

Bless us and our ‘6 kills’. We really are adorable in the strange things that matter so much for so short an amount of time. In the monumentally short-term, those 6 kills are everything to us, aside from the likely proximity of snacks. But it is merely short-term, as we do not reminisce about our 6 kills later that week:

1: “Dude I totally got 6 kills on Tuesday night!”

2: “Oh. Good.”

Does not happen.

There would also seem to be a gap in the game market for saving people. Perhaps it is because they aren’t real, and that somehow equates to them receiving a worthy death, or maybe it is because we know that although they die- they will be coming back.

I am glad re-incarnation is only suspected. Otherwise the death-rate would soar and instead of guys sitting in their homes thinking their ‘6 kills’ mantra- they would be sitting there saying to their wives: “Hey, y’know what? I didn’t get butchered today! Isn’t that a pleasant thought before bed!”.

Murder would seem to be the only thing the gaming world offers that has that feeling of being constructive. As if though they’re real terrorists that you kill six times.

What I think needs to be created is some translation of energy, so that the amount of hours that are put into games can have some off-shoot potential. So, say that if you could play a game for two hours, you power that games unit for both those hours, using a pedal mechanism that further goes on to store further power as well as keep your arse in shape whilst you sit on it.

It was often said that if kids actual spent that time learning how to play guitar, rather than tapping buttons on an computer imitation guitar, then they’d be pretty good at it by now. So perhaps making games as realistic as possible is the way forward, so that we actually know how to dismantle a terrorist should the occasion arise, or play guitar.

The thing about gaming is that it permits failure of grand schemes. People, in games, attempt and fail- sometimes dying. And they keep playing. And they keep going. Very few of us attempt this in real life during the minor moments, let alone the grand scheme, as failure is tragically unacceptable and success is the only thing that can ever be permitted to happen.

Lack of a decent amount of failure will make you sick and lame, and although we can not ‘save’ in real life, we should hold that one life precious and spend it because tomorrow might now happen. You don’t want to end up at that tomorrow that shouldn’t come as the pussy that didn’t jump out the window because you have some sort of pussy reason that your mind has desperately mashed together to permit you to not have to act up here and enjoy life for some fucking reason that seems so important at the time. The minute you’ve jumped, you want to do it again. But you won’t jump, and you’ll think of a bad reason why not when it comes to it.

Jump out of more windows. It’s good for you’re choice of shoes in future. You’ll want the sturdier pairs.

And find people with a grand scheme, or get one of your own. Then leave the house (preferably by window) and take that scheme down to city hall and slam it against the side of the building and say: “I’m 5 foot 8 and I have a scheme today”. You may attract attention, but that is a good thing because you have a scheme and you’re only 5 8″.

All in all, at least you won’t be playing irrelevant video games (they’re all irrelevant)- you’ll be making a scene downtown, with a scheme in your hand. And 5 8″.

With any luck you’ll fail terribly.

And then do something else till it works.

Sam