The Fifties Were Badass (I Have Proof)…

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Literature/Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

In whatever year it is now our culture ranks itself pretty highly above older generations. We laugh into our energy drinks at their pathetic sci-fi predictions about what the future would look like. We poo-poo their music and their milkshake bars in favour of Nicki Minaj-A-Twat and heroin dens. And thanks to the film Grease, our only depiction of tough gangsters is a teenage John Travolta with a flammable hairstyle and a squint that could crush walnuts.

These are all fair points when your only understanding of the fifties is popular culture and stories from that one crazed uncle no one wants to talk to since his ‘run in with Johnny lawman’. Historical inaccuracies aside, the fifties were hardcore times and not just because they had relaxed seatbelt laws. And once again it is literature that has opened our eyes to more enlightening viewpoints:

Prepare yourself for facial hair...

Prepare yourself for facial hair…

This book was written in 1957 by Anthony Patrick Harrington; martial art’s author and expert in all things punch-y. My girlfriend found it while we had lunch in a Wetherspoon’s yesterday. At my request we smuggled the book out after eating and spent the remainder of the day evading capture from police and – presumably – Harrington’s estate. That’s how badass this book is: it turns you into a criminal!

The title explains it all. No need for subtle ambiguity here (it wasn’t invented until the sixties anyway). And that’s exactly how they liked it. Sure, it may not have been the most progressive of eras, but thanks to Harrington everyone had the opportunity to properly break a mugger’s larynx. Anybody back then who messed with a potential victim was about to learn a lesson. On the cost of facial reconstruction…

So what advice was on offer for the conservative crooner fan? Here’s a sample of the contents:

The last chapter is simply entitled "Victory poses"...

The last chapter is simply titled “Victory poses”…

Harrington does not fuck about. When a man in a fedora can confidently dissuade an attacker (or a clerk who’s fresh out of bourbon) by applying a “strangle and scissor lock” move, without ample training from playing Tekken, that’s a generation that’s in danger of breaking space and time. How do you think modern rock music was invented? Jimmy Page was the first person to experience time travel, when he felt the end of one of Harrington’s student’s boot. The ensuing force hurled him ten years into the future where he awoke with a new zeal. Motherfucker then went on to form Led Zeppelin. Boom! Take that non-believers!

But don’t let my word do all the persuading. Text is good if you want to scratch your chin in earnest contemplation. But if you really want that beard to spring forth with the power of a thousand galaxies, you need photographic evidence of the moves being performed. Maybe on passing strangers. Maybe on the photographer’s own now dearly departed loved ones. But all – all – performed by Harrington. AKA Kill-O-Murder: The Punchatron:

"Yes, I'm aware of the Rob Brydon resemblence. Yes, I can see into the future..."

“Yes, I’m aware of the Rob Brydon resemblance. Yes, I can see into the future…”

A P Harrington is quite the elusive man. Several, vain attempts to dig up information on him that go beyond how many murder instruction manuals he’s written have yielded nothing. I sense that he went into hiding after a rigged boxing match he’d bet money on was lost. At which point his honed skills in punchology left no vertabrae un-snapped and no witnesses remaining with his “No Spines Unharmed” philosophy. So I don’t know if he’s still alive. Or if he’s stood behind me, watching me type this out and awaiting his long return to beat people up by sitting on their buttocks.

What isn’t baffling though is the calm veneer he displays while awaiting for his opponent to emit the correct snapping sound. Look at that focused brow. Look at the way his eyes pierce the distance while his adversary lies broken underneath him. It looks like he’s so used to street brawling that all he can think about is which diner he’d like to go have an Irish coffee in when he’s done reducing his enemies to a flesh puddle.

Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the feasibility of wearing a fedora whilst in mid-defense:

Harrington plants a tree everytime he kills...

Harrington plants a tree every time he kills…

That poor passerby. Just out for a morning paper and a stroll across the Death Fields. Then POW! Harrington moves in for the sweep, making light work of introducing the man’s hip bones to the ground. Perhaps his choice of paper was his undoing. Maybe Harrington favour a broadsheet and has nothing but contempt for those who choose otherwise. Or maybe his victim just chose that particular moment to walk across his turf during one of his murder patrols Public Service Announcements eventually had to start warning citizens about.

And when all is said and done, and there’s simply no more vertebrae left to destroy, an unlucky assailant may find themselves on the receiving end of one of these babies:

The cameraman is forced to watch. Lest he never see his family again...

The cameraman is forced to watch. Lest he never see his family again…

It’s impossible to know what the man on the right is thinking but I bet it’s not “Golly, I’m so glad to be helping out with this book’s research.” That leg is not allowed to stay in its socket. Harrington won’t allow it. Maybe now he will think twice before back-handing a woman for not providing the correct strength cocktail. What the hell are you doing drinking those anyway? Let’s just hope that you had enough in your system to numb the pain of what’s going on in that photo. But all evidence suggests that you feel every twist and turn. Your facial expression reveals nothing but abject pain. And Harrington knows it.

Harrington feeds off it…

He also recommends that you leave a comment

  1. Teeny Bikini says:

    I totally want to do a double leg spine lock on many people, starting at work… What a cool pic!

  2. Andrew says:

    It is certified Harrington approved…

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