As a follow-up to two posts about today's young males' inexperience in dominance and how that will eventually get them crippled, last night at '80s night yet another college-aged dork tried to start something but couldn't follow through.
I had been dancing in one of the cages there, nubile babes piling in, when some guy burst in front of me, held on to the cage bars, and used them to back his ass up into my crotch, trying to push me back. As with the other incidents, he was about 20 years old, about my height or a little taller, a gym rat but not athletic, and crucially not having the balls to face me. Guys get a visceral thumping when they're standing face-to-face with another guy that close, so the fact that every one of these chuckleheads hasn't faced me shows how unfamiliar and uncomfortable they are with just standing up to someone, let alone actually escalating it into a fight.
Maybe it was the cramped space or the higher testosterone levels that begin during springtime, but I couldn't let this guy get away with just the usual pecking-order pat-down. He was too over-the-top and reckless, and needed more of a rude awakening. After a courtesy pat on the shoulder that went nowhere, I wrapped my left arm around his neck area, although I didn't apply pressure to choke him -- just close enough so he couldn't move around, and gripping his right shoulder / collarbone area, while leaning over a bit to tell him, "Watch where you're moving, bro." (I think that word sounds gay too, but sometimes you have to speak their language to get through.)
He lightened up a little, but still kept at it, so I resulted to giving him a couple hard knees to the butt so that he wouldn't be able to move his legs so frenetically. At that point I was expecting him to turn around and hit back instead of letting me beat up on him like that, but nope. Shortly after, a security guard was right next to us and took him aside, basically telling him to stop acting retarded and to go away. Then he called me over and told me that I shouldn't act like a dick just because they're acting like dicks. If it were something small, I'd agree, but this guy was too cluelessly extreme and needed a stronger correction.
Unlike the other times, I couldn't see what other people's reactions were, since they were either just out of my peripheral vision or behind me, although I did see a couple girls looking on in amused shock that he didn't even turn around to face me, let alone return what I'd done. I didn't hang around that area after being called over by the security guard, and instead went to take a piss and cool off. On the way back to the dance floor, two other guys gave me high fives, so they may have seen it and approved, given that I normally only get high fives when I'm in the middle of dancing and they're trying to keep me pumped up.
This series of encounters goes to show just how foolish people act when the violence level starts to plummet, as it has for nearly 20 years. When the rest of the society is becoming more violent, you figure that it won't take much to set someone off -- merely walking over someone's shoe by accident could wind up getting one or both bar-room brawlers killed -- so you watch your step. In contrast, when you see the rest of society getting less and less violent, you figure there won't be very heavy consequences for your anti-social actions, so the handful of guys who do start shit will go way farther right up front than they would have during the '60s, '70s, or '80s.
As with other "Black Swans," these wannabe bullies' lack of punishment lasts longer but is illusory -- eventually they'll run into a big problem, and unlike those who have gone through a tougher and more volatile upbringing, they will be utterly unprepared for the impact. (Like not learning rule #1 -- don't give your back to someone.) Thus, instead of a downturn in the housing market giving businesses a bad quarter or so, they get wiped out entirely, unless they get bailed out of course. Similarly, someone who's faced so little consequences for being physically confrontational will not just wind up with a bloody nose when they inevitably get into a real fight. If they're lucky, someone will be there to bail them out, like a security guard, but they could just as well wind up crippled like that shrimp in the second link at the start of this post.
That's one reason why violence levels cycle: when violence levels crash, then a handful of people who did grow up in more brutal conditions, and who therefore are better experienced at defending and aggressing, will easily mow down even the self-styled tough guys, who have never had any real experience. This causes the violence level to rise. Once it swings too high, though, people will find it more advantageous to just stay out of the arena altogether and shut themselves off from the outside world, as we've seen during the past two decades. As more people adopt that strategy, the violence level falls, but that makes the average person sheltered and weaker, setting up the invasion by hawks once again, completing the cycle.