Sunday, February 21, 2010

Epic Beard Man: A New White Folk Hero

Epic Beard Man: A New White Folk Hero

by Jeff Davis

Our race now has a new hero, thanks to youtube. His name is Tom Bruso or Epic Beard Man. He’s 67 years old, and he did something that all of us would love to do: clobber an aggressive punk in self-defense. The video can be seen here. One article notes “On February 16, 2010, two guys got in a fight on a bus in Oakland. Another passenger caught it on video. Results: One bloody nose, and instant internet history. The video, shown after the break, is officially titled AC TRANSIT BUS FIGHT I AM A MOTHERF*****, but the meme has also spread under the names ‘Amber Lamps’ (for the loser’s slurred request for an ambulance in Ebonics) and Epic Beard Man (out of support for the winner).”

The White hero actually moves from the rear of the bus to the front after the Black street punk tries to verbally provoke him. The street punk goes up to the front of the bus twice and throws a punch at Epic Beard Man, who responds, leading to one of the most epic butt-whippings caught on video.

The article notes “Fight videos attract crowds. A San Francisco bus fight last October earned nearly a million views on YouTube. A 2007 fight on the NYC subway got 441 thousand views. Fifty-five thousand views for this train fight, nearly 800 thousand for this one. Even a camcorder pointed at TV footage of a fight in India racked up 73 thousand views. But in three days, the Oakland bus fight has logged over two million views, again not counting hundreds of thousands of views for the multiple exact copies on other accounts and followups. It also inspired video remixes, mashups, YouTube replies, spinoffs, and surprisingly talented drawings like the one above. Why all the attention over just another public fight?”

Tom Bruso is White and he was being insulted and abused and assaulted by a Black street punk on the bus, complete with corn-rows, a big mouth and incredibly bad judgment when it comes to whom he messes with.

The article continues “1. People love a fight. We’ve seen how popular the genre is. Conflict is fun. The most-seen nature video of all time is an animal fight: Battle at Kruger, the 36th-most-ever-watched YouTube video. And here was a fight with aggression from both sides.

2. Race is a prickly subject…

3. Watching this fight is cathartic for everyone, but especially for those of us who’ve been trapped on a bus or train with argumentative or violent people. The guy who shot last year’s San Francisco bus fight said it best: ‘Just another day on MUNI.’ Public transit passengers feel helpless and unprotected from the public outbursts they see each day on buses and trains. Everyone wants to see that anger boil over and resolve. Even if that just means that someone gets a bloody nose.”

The video has gone viral with millions of people e-mailing their friends about it. There are some complaints that youtube was not reporting the correct number of “views” for the video. For a long time, only 10,700 views were reported. Then they suddenly bumped it up around two million, but have stalled it at about 2.5 million.

Most popular videos at youtube have 500 to 1,000 views for every rating that the video gets. This video had 4,700 ratings on its first day, which should translate into two to five million views, not 10,700. Today youtube has 20,688 ratings for that video, which should mean 10 to 20 million views.

Why is the video so popular? Because it shows a White male resisting and winning. And that’s something we don’t get to see anymore on TV or in the movies.

One great thing about youtube is that it shows the real world. Videos can be posted often without comment. In this case, a Black girl took the video of the Black aggressor starting and losing a fight.

Maybe White people should take their camcorders and record what happens in the playgrounds at public schools and put that on youtube. I wonder how hundreds of videos of Black bullies assaulting White kids would affect the attitudes of ordinary White people.

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