Monday, 21 April 2014

Today I... I Just Don't Know What to Say

Today I came across a video on Youtube advertised at inspirational. It was of a young man of 26 who is a sufferer of Down's Syndrome and his quest to become an MMA fighter and show that he was not a 'sufferer' at all. After a few exhibition fights where he fought against opponents who would not hit back, the young man went on to compete in his first real bout. With a stunted reaction brought on by his ailment he found the fight difficult taking blow after blow. However, he did give a good fight, connecting with a few good punches and executing some takedowns of his own. The documentary was simple and did pretty much what it said on the tin.

His father had faced alienation from family and friends after supporting his son's decision to be involved in the violent sport. On the night of the bout he took further abuse and criticism to let his son be in such a position. But when the referee raised both competitors' hands at the end, they audience changed its tune.

I say kudos to them both.

Kudos to the son for not letting himself be beaten and doing something pretty much unimaginable. Kudos to the father for giving his son the support that he so sorely deserved. It takes unique individuals to allow themselves to be inspired and to try and inspire others.

The MMA fighter now works with other individuals with the same condition, giving them much-needed strength and motivation.

This kind of story puts the majority of us to shame.

The most shameful thing, though - what inspired me to write this blog - was another example of sub-humanity. The restlessly cruel Internet struck back.

A comment on the video, which I do not wish to repeat, was completely vulgar and I cannot put my disappointment into words. I can't imagine anybody even thinking such a dreadful thing.

Cut a long rant short, I think that free speech should be policed more effectively.

Claimed to be the forefront of our progression, it is surely setting many of us back by giving them power to say whatever grotesque thing comes to mind and for no reason at all. Fines should be issued, online restrictions to the offenders at least.

'But Big Brother will rise!' you may cry. I am no fan of being controlled more than the next atheist, yet until we show that we can deal with control such as passing comment with germane civility, then we, as 'the greater species' (or more specifically the callous, cowardly individuals amongst us), should not have the entitlement to such power.

The Internet should not be used as a tool to vent belligerence. When people suggest things in the virtual world that they dare not in the real world for fear of retribution should surely come with virtual retribution at least.

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