Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dead Game by Andrew Vachss

I'm no good until I get hit the first time.
Tony says I'm a slow starter.
But once I get going, nothing can stop me.
I never quit. Never.
I looked across the ring. I'm fighting a black guy tonight. Bosco, I think his name is.
It doesn't matter what his name is.
This is the first time I saw him. They don't let me face the other guy at the weigh-ins anymore. Sometimes, I go after them right there. I have to save it for the fight.
He's a little bigger than me, but he's still inside the weight limit.
He's younger than me, too.
But I've been around a lot longer. You can see it on my face. And all over my body. Experience counts for a lot in these fights. You can't tell if a fighter's any good until he gets nailed the first time, that's what Tony says. Then you find out about his heart.
They say it's in my blood, fighting.
But I really only do it for Tony.
I love him.
He's been with me since I was real little. He gives me everything.
I train the old way. Special food. No sex before a fight.
They say that's why we started fighting. For sex. To have our pick of the bitches.
But I could have sex even if I didn't fight. I fight for Tony.
I work out all the time. Tony even built a special treadmill for me, to build up my endurance.
If you get tired in these fights, you lose.
I never get tired.
I watched the black guy across from me, waiting for the signal to start. I watched his eyes. He wasn't afraid.
They never are.
Down here, the purse is nothing . . . all the money comes from betting.
Tony always bets on me.
I'd never let him down.
I'd die first.
I'm not afraid of dying. It's just sleep. And you don't wake up.
I faced the black guy. Tony rubbed the back of my neck, getting it loose.
The crowd screamed.
We bumped once and the black guy came at me.
He was quicker than me. I took his first shot right in the chest. The fire exploded in me and I tried to tear his head off.
He went down, but he got right back up.
The referee separated us a couple of times when we locked together, but they never stop these fights.
It was a long time before I took him out.
Tony carried me out of the ring.
I couldn't see Tony, my eyes were torn.
The other guy hurt me real deep.
I was going to sleep.
I heard Tony crying.
I felt his hand on my head.
Patting my bloody fur for the last time.

Andrew Vachss is an american author, attorney, dangerous dog fancier and advocate for children and animals


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is being a 'dangerous dog fancier' contradictory to being an 'advocate for animals and children'?

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

it's a head scratcher.

Miss Margo said...

AV has written some great nonfiction editorials and I admire the work he has done to promote the civil rights of children/minors.

I was stunned when I learned he was a pit nutter.

I can only guess, but I think it's a macho thing. He comes across as very hard, but with a romantic (romantic like Romantic movement, not like Valentine's Day) streak. Kinda like Terrierman, whom I regretfully had to dump because he's an asshole.

zak mucha said...

You're missing the point of this story. The only way we get "vicious" dogs is when humans train them to be so. Read the story again. This is a good dog who wants to please his human. It's the human who is garbage for training the dog like this.

Rose Dawn Scott said...

It's a "dangerous" dog fancier, not a
dangerous dog fancier -- a fan of dogs considered "danger-ous" for no more reason than their breed. Like the dogs this blog concerns itself with, right...?

wayne d. dundee said...

Zak has it exactly right, the rest is badly MIS-interpreted ... One of the main thrusts of the message that is Andrew's life work --- aside from the common sense/ decency aspect of not mistreating the young or vulnerable --- is that society creates it's own "monsters" via abuse to children (many of whom then go on to become abusive by virtue of how they were treated) ... He champions the pit bull breed as an extension of that belief, pointing out that the only reason they have the reputation of being "vicious" animals is because too many asshole "humans" breed and brutalize them strictly to create that response. Nurtured lovingly, a pit bull can be as gentle as any other breed.

--G. said...

Please, folks. Vachss isn't singing the praises of dogfighting here. It's the message Big Wayne and Zak echoed. We make monsters--we reap what we sew. You teach a pit to fight and kill, it'll do that. You show it love, respect, and care, you get that back in spades. Irt's how you raise them. Reread the story, and spend a bit of time here .

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

G and company, i was not accusing vachss of "singing the praises of dogfighting". i probably should have blogged this in the pit nutter blog instead but it fit nicely with the dog fighting poets.

no zak, it is not the ONLY way to get vicious dogs. and it is the human who is garbage for BREEDING these dogs.

rose, no i don't get into the rottweilers or mastiffs here. this is strictly bulldog and the dogs it created for the pit.

Vachss: Lots of them. Over time, I've had every dog that you see in the book. The Neapolitan Mastiff, to the Bull Mastiff-Shepherd cross, to the Pit Bull to the Rottweiler. Now I have a Pit Bull.

"Nurtured lovingly, a pit bull can be as gentle as any other breed."
bullshit wayne. just plain old rose colored bullshit. this is what you sound like: "nurtured lovingly, ted bundy could have been as gentle as any other man." it's genetics stupid.
you guys need to keep up with the latest research into genetics of personality/behavior and crime.

"We already know that genes have dramatic effects on virtually every aspect of the human body - height, weight, skin color, and even the ability to process oxygen. But sometimes we forget how important genes are in shaping personality. As behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin has pointed out, the answer to the question "how much does heredity affect behavior" is "a lot." Indeed Plomin notes, genetic influence is so ubiquitous that we should not be asking what is heritable with regard to behavior. Instead, we should be asking what is not heritable. "So far", he notes, "the only domain that shows little or no genetic influence involves beliefs such as religiosity and political values; another possibility is creativity independent of IQ." Barbara Oakley, author of Evil Genes
*the author's footnote states newer research has found that religiosity is moderately heritable.

now you clowns come along and try to claim that a dog artificially selected for aggression for almost 200 years is an uncarved block waiting for society to mold into either mother teresa or a serial killer. that's rich.

wayne d. dundee said...

Wow. It's really a challenge to counter such a pithy, powerfully intellectual statement as "it's genetics, stupid" (although you'll note I did add a bit of punctuation, something your advanced intellect seems to be unfamiliar with). Apparently you believe that the conclusions of Robert Plomin are the be-all and end-all of "genetic predisposition" research. Yessiree, once we're able to identify those "bad" bloodlines in people, dogs, cats, piss ants, etc., then they can start being culled out and the world will be better off for it. "Better", of course, as defined by Plomin and his ilk … their past ranks including such illustrious individuals as Adolph Hitler. The added good news is that, gas chambers being so passé these days and medical science on he brink of being able to do blood-typing in utero, we'll be able to simply abort the undesirables and flush 'em down a drain somewhere rather than clutter up a lot of space with ovens and so forth …
It's a ridiculous song whose tune is all too familiar, relatable to both humans and dogs. Prior to pit bulls being the current target for elimination from the dog world, there was a movement at one time to get rid of the Doberman line because they'd gotten a reputation for "turning" on their owners --- once again after said owners habitually knocked the shit out of Dobe pups to make sure the mature animals would be tough enough and aggressive enough to serve as effective guard dogs yet still understand who was "boss" in the owner/dog relationship. Gee, is it surprising that the dogs got a little confused once in a while?
I would think such an intense student -- and staunch opponent -- of dog-fighting such as you, whose only mission in life is to protect those poor genetic misfires resulting from in-breeding bulldogs for illicit purposes would also know all about the Tosa, bred (and exclusively used for) cage-fighting ... to the death, hoisted high up so The Emperor had the best view. *Very* popular prior to WWII. Funny, especially as the breed was *created* from various others, to gain maximum size and power, including the (hold your breath, now) the Old English Bulldog and the Bull Terrier (!) Many countries have an outright ban importing these dogs ... including -- you guessed it -- England. No mention of the Presa Canario, either? You know, the same breed that killed a woman in San Francisco not too far back ... being "cared for" by two freakish lawyers who had "adopted" a genius AB shot-caller who thought there was big $$$ in the dog-fighting business, and this would be the ideal breed for the purpose.
Put a lid on it, why don't you? What you're all about is "selective" breeding. The rest is just claptrap.
I have no intention of continuing this exchange any further. None of the foregoing is apt to change your mind – just as nothing you say is going to change mine. Nevertheless, it's not in my make-up to let something like the "stupid" remark just slide. If you've got the guts to run this post, let the readers decide.
Over and above anything else, however, the main point of my initial comment was meant to be --- and remains --- rebutting any implication that Andrew Vachss is somehow supportive of dog-fighting. Absolutely nothing could be farther from the truth.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

what a kaleidoscopic blowhard. for someone who makes their living writing, you don't do a very good job of it and you don't do a very good job of reading either. perhaps it is due to the over emotional blubbering over the "persecution" (LOL) of a dog you know very little about.

over and above anything else comma however comma i started my response with "i was not accusing vachss of "singing the praises of dogfighting".

and seriously dude, you are criticizing me about a *fucking* "comma" ... with - all (!) ---of this ---"nonsense" --- going... on...? wtf,?

you are wrong again. i will leave your comment up in the hope that someone can decipher it for me.

Miss Margo said...

I have a BA in English Lit and I wrote an honors thesis on the poetry of Ted Hughes. I do not need you to tell me how to interpret poetry, sir. Especially a poem as transparent and facile as this.

Go mansplain to someone else.

Miss Margo said...

Dundee @ 8:29

What a self-important, incoherent diatribe.

"Nevertheless, it's not in my make-up to let something like the "stupid" remark just slide."

What are you, Dawn's dad?

"Put a lid on it, why don't you?"

This is Dawn's blog.

Anonymous said...

Most pit bulls that attack are NOT trained to do so but were gentle, loving family pets until the moment their genetically inbred fighting dog heritage revealed itself. You cannot love, train, or socialize the BREEDING out of a dog and here is the study that proves it:

Anonymous said...

Guys, you have to cull homosexuality out of existence. The gay, of course, is an inherited trait bred through eons of deliberate engineering. These folks were trained for generations in scissoring and sword fighting... And you expect them to just start engaging in natural coitus?! It's in the genes, stupid!

Anonymous said...

Mr Dundee,
I do not give my name out on here, I actually stumbled across this while researching something else. I have finally found someone who shares my opinion. Thank you. I would not Bet on those here, especially, Dawn James! You hit this topic perfect. She know all somehow. You will excuse my improper use of punctuation, as well as the the fact I am a year late in this Debate. You however, are far more Educated than both of us. I own Bulldogs, they gentle, smart and very obedient. I have to say, I treat them as my children and I would not think of beating them or using them as fighters. Do they not have Boxing or MMA for that?

Anonymous said...

I do Believe Dundee has the most "Common Sense" on here!

Anonymous said...

Hey Zak, you speak with sense as well, I have "No idea", as far as the DJames Major Malfunctoin, She definitely has not a Clue. Somebody convinced her she is something she is not. Perhaps Dillusional!!

Anonymous said...

Dog has to be Dangerous first, not Breed Specific