Bare-Knuckle Boxing in the UK
Once regarded as something that happens exclusively in Guy Ritchie films and on Gypsy sites, bare-knuckle boxing is fast becoming a thriving scene in the UK—the ultimate British bloodsport.
When Clive Martin embeds with the bare-knuckle boxing elite, what he discovers is not dissimilar to Fight Club: IT technicians, builders, lifestyle coaches, and even a lawyer, all throwing their unprotected fists into one another’s faces. It’s a subculture of honor, pride, and violence.
As the UK prepares to play host to the first US-vs.-UK bare-knuckle title fight in 150 years—the biggest event the scene has known since it went underground in the 19th century—Clive tries to find out whether violence is a cause or effect for these angry young men.
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The British Soldier Who Killed Nazis with a Sword and a Longbow
Above: “Mad Jack” on the far right, clutching a claymore sword. Photo via WikiCommons
The first thing the Nazi garrison on Vågsøy Island, Norway, would have heard when the British No. 3 Commando battalion landed on December 27, 1941 was the sudden blaring drone of bagpipes. One commando stood at the fore of the landing craft, facing the impending battle and playing the peppy, martial “March of the Cameron Men.” Upon coming to a halt onshore, the soldier jumped from the craft, hucked a grenade at the Germans, then drew a full sword and ran screaming into the fray.
That maniacally fierce soldier was 35-year-old Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, and his stunts at this battle, known as Operation Archery, were hardly the most bizarre and semi-suicidal of his life. Over the course of World War II, “Mad Jack,” as he came to be known, survived multiple explosions, escaped a couple of POW camps, captured over 40 Germans at sword point in just one raid, and in 1940 scored the last recorded longbow kill in history. And that’s just the CliffsNotes on his wartime rap sheet.
For many war junkies and badass aficionados, Mad Jack’s exploits are the epitome of military romanticism. His recorded statements, full of swagger like, “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed,” and, “I maintain that, as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are senior to him he will cry ‘jawohl’ and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently,” seem like the physical manifestation of some mid-century boy’s adventure tale. The Royal Norwegian Explorers Club found him such a paragon of brawn and endeavor that, in a book released this March, they named him one of the greatest adventurers of all time.
Photo via WikiCommons
Not much is known about Churchill’s youth, save that he graduated from Britain’s premier Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1926 and, at age 20, was shipped off to Burma, where he spent the next few years driving his motorcycle around the region. Possibly bored by a long peacetime, Churchill left the army for a period in 1936 and spent some time as a Nairobi newspaper editor, male model, and a bagpipe-playing, arrow-shooting extra in films like The Thief of Baghdad and A Yank at Oxford. By the end of the decade, he’d become so obsessed with the pipes that he took second place in a 1938 military piping competition at the Aldershot Tattoo, causing a mild scandal because an Englishman had beat out so many Scots. The next year, his archery habit landed him a place as Britain’s shooter at the World Archery Championship in Oslo.
As soon as the Nazis invaded Poland and war became imminent, though, Churchill rushed to the battlefield. The longbow came out almost immediately during the Allied retreat to Dunkirk, France, in mid 1940. He took to practicing guerilla tactics, staging raids, and earning commendations for his bravery, even surviving a clipping by machine gun fire. Then, while watching a German force advance from a tower in the little village of L’Epinette, Churchill signaled his attack by shooting a Nazi sergeant through the chest with a barbed arrow, immediately followed by a hail of bullets from two fellow infantrymen in tow.
In Defense of American Bros
We need to support these men, our finest specimens. The ones whose asses bounce in their jock straps as they strut toward the shower in the locker room. The ones who jog shirtless through the park, the sweat cascading in rivulets into their sopping shorts. The ones who sit with their legs so wide on the subway, calling attention from all quarters to the fleshy mass in their shorts that is just dying to be sucked. These are our champions, and we really should be championing them.
I’ve certainly done my part. One night, back in college, I was driving home with my bro friend Dave, who was majoring in econ and pussy pounding. He had a bad night with one too many green Jell-O shots (green is always the worst color), and the girl he was getting handsy with had the audacity to reject him. He had made a big scene about how it didn’t bother him, how he had bigger and hotter girls, and how he gets as much ass as he could ever want. But in the car he was different. He was despondent, clearly lingering on his rejection. “You OK?” I asked. “Yeah, bra. You know, bitches,” he said. “Yeah,” I replied putting my hand on the knee of his jeans. I left it there a little too long, and when he looked at me, I didn’t know what to expect.
“Dude, will you do me a favor?” he asked. “Will you tickle my back?” He took off his white baseball cap and pulled his T-shirt over his head, his rippling muscles flexing and relaxing in astounding patterns as he bent over in the passenger’s seat. I rubbed the tips of my fingers across his smooth skin for what seemed like hours. Eventually he sat up, and I moved my hands. “Keep going,” he said, letting me cup the firm contours of his chest, the stiff prickles of his nipples, the trail of hair that lead into his jeans. I rubbed everywhere, down onto the crotch of his jeans, which was now propped up with what those “bitches” didn’t want. I let my hands rest on the button of his jeans, unsure of how to proceed, thinking as much about his own pleasure as what was happening in my own jeans. I hovered there a minute, and he sat up straight in the chair, his head back and eyes closed waiting to get what he wanted—no, what he deserved.
“What are you waiting for?” he said, remaining still.
Man, there is nothing better than fucking a bro.
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In Defense of American Bros
There are certain villains of society whose relative merits no one will defend. Anyone standing up for child molesters, serial killers, or members of the Bush administration would be publicly pilloried, and justifiably so. But there is another group that seems to have been added to the list, and though he is without champion, it’s about time that someone stand up for him. This aggrieved class of human is none other than the American Bro.
Just last week on this here website, the American Bro was deemed “the worst guy ever”in a scathing attack that called into question not only his behavior but also his existence. This article paints the picture of a man who lives only to consume and impress, someone who wants to leave his mark on everything, not just the women whose tits he jizzes all over and the gutters that he vomits into after one too many craft beers, but on everything at every moment. He is loud and aggressive, not because he actually has something to say but because he wants to steal that moment—and your attention—for himself.
And what is so wrong with that? That is what men do. That is what men have always done. The problem is not the bro but the society in which he lives. This used to be a great country, a country that made things. America used to produce crops and clocks and cars. Who made all these things? Who ran the farms and worked union jobs in factories and provided for their children? Who were the bikers, cowboys, construction workers, and other Village People archetypes we prized? Men. They got to take this atavistic need to stamp a little bit of themselves onto everything and put it out there into the world. They made your cotton, soldered your TV sets, and tightened the bolts on the first space craft to make it to the moon. They not only manned the tanks that rid the world of Nazis, they drove them too—a dozen men in uniform with their bodies pressed against each other fighting for freedom.
Examining the Pull of Group Masturbation Parties
Of the various group masturbation parties 30-year-old nudist Kyle Rudd has attended over the years, the biggest one drew a dozen-odd men, predominantly over 50. He was the third to arrive that night, and when he walked inside, the host and another guy were already naked. As the remainder of the guests sauntered in, conversation centered on things like work, how the week had been, and the bodies and penises on display. Rudd did most of his masturbating—a blend of group and solo—from the vantage point of the organizer’s couch and managed to ejaculate on himself three or four times in six hours. In the breaks between these bouts of industry, Rudd, a Melbourne-based arts-sector employee, spent his time socializing, drinking beer, and eating pizza.
While some men might prefer to spend their weekends watching the game or relaxing with the family, Rudd says he had a great time.
“I find genitals to be very erotic—ten out of ten,” he says. “For me, I think being exposed and on display is very erotic. It’s knowing that others are admiring your genitals as they mutually get off on it.”
For anybody entertaining the idea of attending a group masturbation party, the grassroots DIY scene is a fertile field of opportunity, according to Rudd.
An A-Z Guide to Making Your Indie Rock Band Not Suck in 2014
Indie dudes in indie bands: Can you just put everything down and stop for a second? Literally everyone else making music: You are OK. Carry on with what you are doing. Jazz singers, old guys in shitty blues cover bands, art kids layering their voices into shimmering soundscapes usingMelodyne, next-levelers coming up with drone metal/Philly disco hybrids, Satanic choirs, DJs who perform using wind-up gramophones… literally everyone except indie dudes in indie bands, just keep on keeping on. (Note: for the purposes of this article, girls can be dudes too.) This A-to-Z is of no use to you. You are already saved: go treat yourself to a Snickers.
Now, indie dudes, I’ve got something for you to read. Print it out and put it on your fridge Or just continue to stare out of the window, composing lyrics about your ex who won’t give you your skateboard back and coming up with chord changes that even that bald Mormon sex-case Will Oldham would have thrown away for being too insipid. The choice is yours.
A is for Anarchy: In all creative enterprises there is no authority greater than yourself. The second you start chasing fads you are dead in the water artistically. Plus, unless you’re extremely lucky, it won’t do you any commercial favors either. For example, if your unsigned band has a triangle in its name as a replacement for the letter A, why not instead form a new band that dresses in giant turd costumes and hats made out of plastic dog shit and rename yourself Fecal Fred and the Fucking Turd Hats? You will literally have more of a chance of getting signed and acquiring an audience than you will by chasing after 2009’s lamest and most insubstantial trend. Think for yourself—it doesn’t cost anything.
B is for Bullshit: Don’t believe in rock mythology. None of it is true. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips penned such classics as “Should We Keep the Severed Head Awake??” and “Oh My Pregnant Head (Labia in the Sunlight),” but do you know how many times he took LSD ever? Four times. When I was in a band (who you will not have heard of), we used to take LSD at every practice. The more scientifically-minded among you will be able to find some correlation between these two facts.
Rolling with the Lords of Fun
The Lords of Fun is an unfunded, unsolicited, and somewhat unintentional fraternity of folks thirsty for kicks who took a road trip from Richmond, Virginia to the Outer Banks using the FBM bikes tour bus and a dozen motorbikes. Our goal was to hit up a bunch of skateparks, campsites, dirt dragstrips, and what have you. But we ended up getting trapped in a tidewater suburban nightmare—the roads were flooded, rain and winds all but made moto travel impossible, the drags got canceled, and… Well, you get the idea. We still managed to make tuna fish out of tuna shit, just nothing like we initially pictured as we first rolled out of town… London-based filmmaker Fraser Byrne was there to film the haphazard cross-country journey. You can get a peek into our absurd odyssey in Fraser’s short documentary above, which is affectionately titled Beat Ass: On the Road with the Lords of Fun.
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