Fliers all around campus bear the same image: well-muscled, shirtless lads glistening with sweat and approaching each other with a knowing look in their eyes.
Surprisingly, these male-male pairings have nothing to do with Queer Pride Week. It’s Fight Night, the frat-sponsored celebration of old-fashioned pugilism. Although the juxtaposition of the two events might raise an eyebrow or two, they’re completely unrelated.
But I can almost hear the groans from our campus’ hoity-toity, too-good-for-boxing crowd.
“Boxing is barbaric!”
“Fight Night is violence, not entertainment.”
“If I wanted to watch two people kick the shit out of each other, I’d just go to DP.”
I think these people should shut up.
I’m an English major, which means I spend a lot of time plunging through really dense books wrought with symbolism and allusions more cryptic than SparkNotes would ever reveal. Furthermore, I don’t watch movies. I watch films, often ones with pretentious, indecipherable plots that masquerade as thoughtfully complex. My music tastes generally lie five steps ahead of my friends’ and people usually assume I’m making up band names when I tell them about what’s good now. Basically, I’m a huge culture snob. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy two guys punching each other bloody.
Boxing is entertaining. It’s one of the purest sports popularized in America, wherein two men – or women – struggle against each other until the weaker one collapses, exhausted and defeated. Boxing tests a fighter’s most brutal strength, like how a marathon tests a runner’s endurance or riding a unicycle tests a monkey’s sense of balance.
Some might claim that Fight Night portrays women poorly, as scantily clad women traditionally hold the cards that herald the beginning of a new round. I don’t know whether this year’s Fight Night will repeat this aspect of boxing, but I’d say people can no more demonize the event itself than the women who volunteer to be the Ring Betties. Besides, cheerleaders titillate football and basketball players into greater and greater feats of athletic splendor even at the junction of sports and sex
Others might turn up their nose at Fight Night because it’s sponsored by Pi Kappa Alpha, better known as Pike, the frat that nicknamed itself after a medieval instrument of impalement. I say those of UCSB who hate greeks should attend for no other reason than to see greeks beat the snot out of each other, as several of the combatants are members of various frats.
I am so enamored with boxing that I have secretly wished that campus events outside of the greek sphere would incorporate a Fight Night into their annual festivities. Queer Pride Week, for example, could delight scores of students if its planners followed rainbow candle-making sessions with Queer Pride Fight Night. If UCSB’s drag kings challenged its drag queens to a fight, people would flock to find out who would win.
Week of Welcome could up its coolness factor by pitting fresh meat against fresh meat with Freshman Fight Night. Why stop with All Hall Ball when dorm could fight dorm in the All Hall Brawl?
Besides, Fight Night benefits Say Yes to Kids, an after-school boxing program for kids in Santa Barbara. Violence doesn’t solve anything, but it’s acceptable in the proper forum. Boxing is a worldwide pugilistic athletic tradition.
You’d be smarter if you stayed home and finished reading Joyce’s Ulysses. You’d be cooler if you scanned the employee picks at Emerald to find some obscure movie your friends have never heard of. Or you could watch two guys beat each other up and not feel bad about it. It’s low culture, but you don’t have to drag your knuckles to enjoy it.
Daily Nexus county editor Drew Mackie suffers from an abnormally large ego that drives his foot into his mouth on a regular basis.