Welcome to Tuesday Night Fights, a weekly celebration and analysis of street-fight videos found on YouTube. Tonight's fisticuffs:"Fight outside hospital in Guangdong, China." Tonight's commentator: TNF's Beijing Correspondent Anthony Tao. (Coming next week: Either a prom brawl or a jewelry store melee.)
What we have here is a band of goons that Chinese citizens on the Internet (i.e. netizens) have dubbed the “Surgical Mask Gang,” purportedly hired to intimidate the relatives of a recently deceased hospital patient.
As far as marauding getups, surgical masks are pretty silly, and a fair first question might be: Why?
But let’s not lose sight of the other important questions, such as:
Why is a patient dead?
Why are his or her relatives bivouacked outside?
How long do they intend on staying?
The answers don't really matter. Like many of China’s public institutions, the hospital’s mission is to get as many people in and out – preferably alive – as quickly as possible, and a family of aggrieved loiterers can really hamper efficiency. Thus, the hired muscle, throwing wild fist-balls à la Rick Ankiel circa October 2000.
While no one likes to see a fellow human being get walloped — well, except all of you — let's add a bit of nuance by pointing out that hospital staff don't exactly have it easy.
In Hebei province on April 29, as an example, after a young boy mysteriously died on a doctor’s table, the boy’s family chased the attending doctor into a locked room, at which point she climbed out of a window and tried to rappel down with a bed sheet, and fell to her death.
Really, hospitals could use more security, as skirmishes are all too common. This TNF correspondent’s very first submission to Mr. Hickey, in fact, was of a hospital throwdown, and in subsequent submissions we’ve noted, “Doctors might need bodyguards.”
(In the defense of Chinese hospitals, at least visiting one here won't break the bank, and some facilities are actually decent. But the country’s lack of general practitioners means hospitals are usually overcrowded, because patients have to go somewhere to get professional confirmation that their cold is only a cold. And there’s this: before an operation, the patient’s family will often give cash to the chief surgeon in the hope of buying extra precaution or attention. This is the form of soft corruption for which China is famous, and the kind that’s prone to cause complications.)
Okay, horror story interlude time:
The following comes from my friend, who we'll call D. He went to a public hospital in Beijing one morning to get a testicular biopsy, and after signing a stack of papers, he was handed two small vials of Lidocaine — a relatively weak anesthesia — and told to queue up in front of the operating room along with 20 others awaiting the same procedure. When they called D.’s number, he went in, slipped on a green gown, dropped his pants, and… panicked. Where were the straps on the table to immobilize him? Where was the… Oh God is that a needle?
As D. tells it, after applying the iodine swab, the doctor false started several times before stabbing away with the Lidocaine. “It hurt pretty goddamn bad.” Just as the numbing was beginning to take effect, the doc brought out the big gun. “I really wish he would’ve waited another three minutes,” D. recalls, but the conveyer stops for no one when others are waiting, so D. could well feel his tissue being extracted. Ball tissue. Being extracted. “I really felt it a lot more than I would’ve liked." They handed him gauze pads to press against his wound and told him to wait an hour while the lab assistant performed the relevant tests. Questions? No? Next!
I wish I could say D.’s story is somehow particular to China, but the truth is, getting surgery on your testicles probably sucks no matter where it happens. They could hook you to a PASIV dream machine engineered to make you feel like Spartacus on E, but you’d wake up and realize a cauterizing pump has made you a little less, and just the knowledge of that, which your stupid mind would turn into an image, which would form into a memory, a meta one, a memory of an experience you didn’t even have, well fucking hell, you’d probably forget what you were supposed to be talking about.
Oh right, the fight.
Lots of overhead smashing, Donkey Kong-style. Rare is the straight jab intended to knock loose a tooth, or the right hook aimed at the nose. Maybe the kicks are glancing blows as well, targeting the hip and thigh, but never the groin or knee. Some of the fellas in the video hold their heads near the end, but we don't see any blood or serious injury. No one wants to have to go to jail for their actions, after all (you'll notice several uniformed men standing around, waiting to see if things escalate). Perhaps unwritten rules are in play: posture, but don't provoke; hurt, but don't harm. Like slipping a few hundos to the surgeon and calling it a preemptive tip (when in fact it's a bribe), what we have here isn't an assault but a form of communication. For the hospital's sake, we hope the protesters got the message, so that better, more expensive goons aren't called in to inflict actual damage.
And besides, you think the doctors are looking forward to treating the injured?
And now, the rest of the Tuesday Night Fights:
• This is what road rage looks like in McKinleyville, Calif. (Start of Violence, instantly)
• This is less a street fight than a parking-lot fight. And the videographer didn't get that shit right. (SoV, instantly)
• Jacksonville Beach. Memorial Day. Action. (SoV, 0:05)
• Brawlin' at the Paisley Show Live Look-In:
• Another week, another stripper fight. (SoV, instantly)
• KTFO. (SoV, 0:33)
• Whomever uploaded this here video qualified it as "two nerdy girls" who fought "like tigers." None of that, besides the word "two" really seems to fit, but whatever. It's a fight. They're ladies. And it was on YouTube. So here you go. (SoV, 0:20)
• The Long-Awaited, Albeit (And Regrettably Lead-Reviewer Free) "Streetfight in Jonkoping Sweden" Intermezzo:
• And then there was the time a Russian dashcam caught a fight in "the projects." (SoV, 0:09)
• Anthony vs. Sunjay at Fallon ParK. Who ya got? (SoV, 0:12)
• This how they do in Thornwood, bitches. (SoV, instantly)
• The Fight De Piriguete Intermission Report:
• From the 215 comes this little ditty that pits a lady from South Philly vs. a lady from Southwest Philly; our viewing commences after action has begun, but features a headstomp. So there's that (SoV, instantly).
• From Tao of TNF's Beijing office: "Officials Send Thugs To Violently Harass Tenants In Land Dispute." (SoV, 0:19)
• TNF viewer Mike M. shared this "Milwaukee Fight night" clip, noting that you should "check out the athleticism!!!" (SoV, 0:55)
• The How To Fight Dirty And Win One To Grow On:
• RAMBOL! (SoV, 0:28)
• Dominican Republic street fight. (SoV, 0:05)
• Others: "2 girls street fight! One gets dropped!" "MPD breaks up ballpark brawl." "fight at Northside (fight)." "2 Africans Meet 2 Russians Outside Of A Bar." "portmarnock beach fight." "West 20 street gone wild pt2." "Woolf Street fight." "Funny event and the parking lot brawl."
• The Zoo Fight To End All Zoo Fights Coda: