The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


The truth as I see it

General Consensus
The truth as I see it

I saw the sign. Yesterday, during a walk through Dallas, Snider Plaza in particular, I saw the sign. It’s hanging like any other sign and you could find it yourself with little deduction. But this sign stands out. The Highland Park School for Karate: Building leaders one black belt at a time. That’s a pretty big promise for a sport whose expertise stops at the knuckles.

I suppose every father once dreams of raising a ninja. Your child disappearing into the night to learn the ways of death and subterfuge, never to be seen again.

Preferably it would be the second male though, in order to introduce more free radicals into the gene pool. It may terrify the mothers of America but for a dad, it’s a pretty decent gig.

So in order to make their children visible to the local ninja recruiters, parents funnel their kids into local karate schools, paying exorbitant rates for big men to teach little children how to fight. These lessons could be learned on a playground for free if it wasn’t covered in safety equipment.

Probably 90 percent of the male population at SMU has enrolled in some form of martial art during their lives. Most of the time, this happens before the age of twelve.

Sometimes, the kid earned the mystical black belt. All of the time, the teacher guy won pretty much every tournament.

Seriously, I’ve never met a single person who didn’t get at least third in every karate tournament he entered. Ask a crowd of 40 children, and all of them won everything. This means that either everyone is lying or somewhere there’s a massive warehouse of loser kids that are distributed to local karate tournaments as filler material for the real children.

But how does karate build a leader? Where was karate during the Civil War? What did Jiu-Jitsu do for JFK? How many wooden blocks did they kick in at The Hague, and how many times does George Bush put on a headband and launch a hadoken for foreign dignitaries at his ranch in Crawford?

This never happens because karate builds broken boards and nothing else. You can’t kung fu someone in the face.

Not that punching people in the face never solved anything. I’ve been in many situations where a good punch in the face got the job done faster than Team Genius ever could.

Seriously, imagine if they added in an extra “Treasure Hunters” team made up of a Marine, Mike Tyson, a Roman Gladiator and George S. Patton.

They would have won and you know it. Violence gets things done.

But imagine how the father feels. Imagine dropping your kid off at the karate school, and Sensei Bud Stevens bows with the words, “I will make a fine leader of this one.”

I’d punch Bud in the face. I’d grab him by the collar under his mullet and growl, “Listen you skinny little freak. I’m paying you $100 a month to turn my child into a four limbed engine of the apocalypse, a killing, mechanical scythe capable of ending any and all life on earth with his bare hands. Check your leadership at the door and if I catch my kid bowing at anyone but me I’m gonna grab you by your ears and sling you through this plate glass window, you here?”

Then I’d take a huge bite out of the rib eye steak I carry around and rend it with my teeth. Then I’ll drink a gallon of acid and take my kid to a real school where a promise means something.

I’m going to make my kid tough. When my kid is four, I’m going to brand his tear ducts shut and start putting steroids in his Krispy treats. Then I’m going to take him to some run-down fight school in the garage of a sixty-year-old Pilipino sociopath where he can learn to break a mans arm with his fingers while standing up. That builds character.

I’m also going to beat him with my hands.

A lot of things in this world promise leadership experience. The highlight of 2005 was finding that working at the front desk of Virginia-Snider not only promised the priceless opportunity for leadership experience, but would even go so far as to pay you $7 an hour.

For the kind of leadership experience you get handing people keys and writing lockout fines, I’m surprised they don’t have people willing to work for free. As it turns out, they barely found anyone to do it for $7.

Any Boy Scout worth his pyrophilia can tell you that there are two leadership-training courses available for the closet homos of tomorrow. I attended Maple Leaf, as well as the prestigious Oak Leaf leadership training camps. They gave us lessons on crisis management, dispute resolution and how to lead a crowd in a fire. Seriously, it’s like Y2K training for kids who can’t even drive.

I learned that clear pee is good, as well as the hilarity of a well-placed boot to the groin. During my tenure at Troop 861 I was voted into the position Senior Patrol Leader against the vehement opposition of all the adults, who knew that the only thing worse than a truculent hellion was a truculent hellion giving orders that must be followed.

Now I know that everything in the Boy Scouts is just an excuse to go make a huge fire in the middle of a forest but at the same time, my path to Eagle should have produced a technically perfect leader of men.

Last month I got fired from my job as an audio visual tech at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center for insubordination on a small scale. Just two weeks ago, one of my superiors accused me of committing a hate crime at the same place from which I was fired. This is a compliment only because my guilt hinges upon transmutation through several solid objects including a wooden door.

I’m no figurehead, I can’t stir up the masses and I’ve never delivered a sermon on the mound, but I am having a pretty good time playing rugby and drinking beer.

But then again, all this crap flushes at the question, “What’s wrong with not being the leader?”

Name one happy leader. Outside of the most brutal tyrannies, most leaders spend their whole lives tackling political and domestic chaos. They stand behind bulletproof shields and read speeches they didn’t even write. Every step up adds responsibility and takes away a freedom. The only people capable of getting to the top only accomplish it through insane effort that melts away into pure insanity.

Eventually the machine grows so complex that the only way to reach the top is to kill everyone in front of you. Punch them in the face.

The only person who really wins is the dad of the leader. Being the father means you get a little fame but it’s all good. More importantly, you can brag at parties, drunkenly announcing, “Oh yeah, well my kid’s the president!”

But really that makes a lot of sense. The sign isn’t there to get kids to go play karate attack. It’s just there to make the parents want to send their kids. Honestly, that is the only acceptable way to market violence to children.

Located poetically close to the karate school is the Highland Park ballet studio. The school borders Hillcrest and looks a lot worse for wear than the crisp, clean academy for ass kicking located behind it. There’s no sign here, but the place is full. They don’t make promises at the ballet school.

That is my fact. This is the truth as I see it.

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