Do I stay or do I leave these cavemen on snow?
I’m not going to criticize or judge the participants of the on-snow altercation. Yes, they were all acting like jerks, but I have behaved the same way myself.I stopped because I thought someone was injured; I stayed to prevent someone from getting hurt.I have no idea what happened, who was at fault, or who made the first overtures of violence. What I do know is on one side there were three snowboarders in their 20s, on the other a lone skier who looked to be 40-something.When I arrived they were all calling each other names. The snowboarders labeled the skier “a middle-aged &^$*# loser who should shut the $^&*% up and go away.” The skier responded by calling the one-plankers, “chicken@$# punks, who if they don’t shut the @#%# up are going to get their !#%#$ kicked.
To the young kids’ credit, they didn’t threaten or posture violence but rather taunted the older guy. I’m not sure if the skier had it in him to strike a blow, but he certainly wasn’t afraid to threaten.While skiing down a narrow cat-track at a local resort, I saw two people wildly gesturing and one person lying on the snow; I was afraid that someone was injured. When I saw it was anger not injury causing the commotion I began to ski away, but thought better of it. I had no desire to get involved, but I didn’t want the three kids to gang-up on the older guy, so I took off my skis and stood at a discreet distance and watched the drama unfold. I know firsthand the damage that can be inflicted by a simple fistfight, especially when those doing battle have boards and poles as weapons. I could not in a clear conscience leave and let violence ensue without interceding or at least acting as a witness.My mate was waiting for me at the bus stop, so I was in a hurry. Though I certainly hoped for a peaceful resolution I wished they would either “get it on” or get going. After a few more threats the skier slid away.On the ride home, I was telling Ellen of the altercation. “Men,” she said. “You are so childish.” When I tried to defend my sex, she volleyed, “Can you ever imagine women punching each other because one gal skied into the other? That is something purely male.”
Of course she was right. Though I’ve read of girl gangs and girl-on-girl violence, women usually only kill their husbands; often for good reasons. Then to add salt in my male-wounds she added, “That same male-macho-aggression accounts for most of the pain on this planet. It’s men who oppress the women and the weak, so called Godly men who bomb Planned Parenthood clinics and fly into the World Trade Center, it’s mostly men on death row and its men who start the wars.”When I told her I don’t do any of this stuff she gave me a hug and said, “Yes I know, but you do have old knife wounds.” Now, I know it is a stretch to equate a handful of sliders and riders namecalling and making impotent threats to the fact that since the dawn of time we’ve been killing each other in the name of God and country. But if you take that resort-rage and magnify it by pride, population and politics, an armed conflict is not such a stretch. I will respectfully both agree and disagree with my mate. Yes I do admit violence is decidedly a “man thing,” but I would also contend, at one time, it was a necessity.
Back in the caveman days, males needed to be aggressive to get the best food, cave and mate. We all know a comfortable cave is a romantic cave. Thus for generations the more aggressive cave people were able to reproduce in comfort. As a result the hostile male produced more kids than the sensitive cavemen who lived in inferior caves but spent more time decorating. Now many of us would contend, in this era of low interest rates, primal aggressiveness is wasted. Today all a hunter/gatherer needs to assure a comfortable place to breed is a down payment and good credit. I also would agree with my mate that that the male Cro-Magnon attitude is responsible for much of the ills on the planet. But it is my contention that only time and evolution will wean that condition from the species. In the meantime I’m making some new curtains for our cave.Jeffrey Bergeron under the alias of Biff America can be seen on RSN, heard on KOA radio, and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at email@example.com. Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or at Backcountrymagazine.com.
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