One night at a party in Isla Vista I came upon a scene in which some asshole was threatening a seemingly innocent girl and consequently pissing off the wrong people. Needless to say, he got punched in the face. While he was down, a spectator with apparent ties to the situation felt the need to add to this guy’s punishment by “kicking” him. Only instead of just kicking him, he managed to stomp his face straight into the curb. Imagine a UFC fighter, with all his strength, slamming your face between his shoe and the concrete.
After the blow, the guy twitched for a second as if trying to fight the pain, then lay completely still. No one is quite sure how injured he was — if he broke his jaw or if he has permanent brain damage — but this much is positive: he was unconscious but he wasn’t dead.
Does this story seem a bit excessive? Yes, I think so too. Nonetheless, it is not a fictional one. Fighting is a common occurrence among an inebriated community. From death and bloody massacres to play fighting in your living room, I would be willing to bet a solid sum that at least 80 percent of the male population and 25 percent of the female population in Isla Vista has been in a fight. I am positive that every single person living in Isla Vista has witnessed one.
Not all fights are as heinous and terrifying as this story. While some are bloody and chilling, others tend to take form in a stupider and funnier shape. Some people pick fights they cannot possibly win — like when two guys try to fight a balcony full of people because the people were talking shit to them in the street. Others are funnier fights — like when a whole bunch of your neighbors decide to rearrange their furniture by wrestling each other to the ground in a drunken stupor.
So why does this phenomenon occur? The answer seems simple enough: active hormones + excessive amounts of alcohol = FIGHTING. It is a fact that when you have a certain number of males in the same area consuming insidious levels of alcohol, fighting will occur. People become emotional and even angry when alcohol starts to dominate the blood stream. Some even become like savages, unaware of and unable to control their actions, reduced to the level of the primitive beast, reacting to the plight of misplaced hormones, acting on a survival instinct that lies dormant during the hours of sober consciousness.
Some of the most docile and peaceful people can be persuaded to violence with three shots of Jack Daniel’s and a bit of beer. I myself have been witness to even the most respectable and intellectual people behaving in a way fit for a zoo animal. Even I, who points my finger at you, am guilty of falling under the spell of that infamous liquid courage.
Though I have only mentioned males, I will not continue to single out the fairer sex. There are plenty of women, especially in Isla Vista that are quite partial to anger and violence in the throws of inebriation. Although many times this tendency inevitably results in sobbing from either hurt feelings or a broken nose, it is usually the case that upon first meeting this person in a sober state he or she would appear quite normal. However, with the added element of liquor, that seemingly sane person could transform into some kind of wild animal.
Now, I am not saying drinking alcohol is a bad thing (although, I would not recommend it to alcoholics); however, I think we all need to recognize that alcohol seriously contributes to the level of control or lack of control a person has over physical actions and emotional reactions. It is important to remember that alcohol makes everyone plain just not give a shit about anything, especially consequences. It is also important to remember that while consuming alcohol, one is more likely to experience the urge to punch another in the face or smash every piece of glass in sight or throw a television off the balcony into the middle of the street. Finally, it is most important to remember that when the courage wears away and sobriety sinks in, the consequences you didn’t give a shit about still give a shit about you.
Kelly Nassour is a third-year English major.