Bibidi babidi Bo
”Transcending history and the world, A tale of souls and swords, eternally told’
This is the opening line of one of my favourite playstation games of all time, it’s known as soul blade in the UK and more like soul edge around the rest of the world. Basically it’s a game where you kick the living shit out of your pals with an assortment of weapons. So if you are from liverpool, it’s a real life emulator.
It also spawned many sequels known as Soul Blade on various consoles. If you ever have a break from the usual street fighter type games, I thoroughly recommend divulging into the series.
It’s a weapon based fighting game with most characters having a different type of weapon and fighting style, ranging from samurais with lethal katanas, to female ninjas with massive jugs to babarians with axes bigger than your gran.
Once you’re skilled enough to finish the game with any of the characters, you are treated to a weapons expedition Kata or weapon demonstration of them being badass with their preferred maiming ornament.
Below highlights the kata for the character known as Killik. Now I’ve probably watched this video over 2, 500 times, my longest span is probably 7 hours on the trot. I get lost in teh beauty and simplicity of how something as simple as a staff (or Bo) can hold grace and strength at the same time. the fluid motions of the work in the clip are directly modelled of an individual, while the moving camera gives the scene a large amount of stylized class. It feels like the ultimate moulding of man and machine.
Now i know that everyone who is old enough to remember the teenage mutant hero turtles probably always wanted to be either leonardo, michealangelo or raphael. I always wanted to be donatello, NOT BECAUSE HE’s THE GAY ONE!!!. Ahem, his subtle mixture of intelligence blended with a strong passive agressive nature makes him actually one of the most dangerous ones among the group, especially since he could kick the shit outta ya without acting like a south islington hoodie and also correct your grammar while you’re screaming and shitting your pants. Plus my first reserve favourite colour is purple just incase the awesomeness that is Yellow isn’t packing it’s necessary punch (or isn’t available).
So there clearly must be something about the Bo that I find alluring. It’s a weaponless weapon. Deceivingly deceptive as an apparently walking stick, while also incredibly dangerous as a weapon. It is both offensive and defensive, a weapon as generally designated for those who which to kick ass without any need for providing fatal blows, but still could if desired. A true means of being assertive without being aggresive in a confrontation.
I remember one great quote I used to hear from a guy called Kevin Roguelle off the internet years ago. He used to descrived himself as ‘Calm…Like a bomb’
His avatar was very similar to this Obiwan Kenobi picture which completely personified this passive aggresive stance. Dare i say if lightsabres weren’t around, the Obiwan character would be highly skilled in kicking ass with the BO.
one memorable bo Scene I also saw came in the AMAZING film Kung Fu Hustle. This scene starts with some ganstas that come into a small community and basically try to blackmail the inhabitants into giving up the ‘master’ who took out the gang’s old leader. One master Coolie, residing in the community gives themselves up and starts defending himself. Another master Tailor then comes in to help defend him. They are still being overwhelmed by the gansters when The last master, Donut, steps into the frame (2:40 in the vid below).
Now the last dude, is a bo master and pretty much single handedly take care of the whole bunch on his lonesome. It’s an incredible scene and you can tell his resentment to combat throughout it until the time he sees red and decides to take care of things properly. I can still remember going mildly batty when i saw him do those moves at 3:05 (*boner*)
Another excellent display of a similar type of weapon (aka staff) comes from one of my favourite films of all time, HERO. It features donnie yen and jet li, starring as Long Sky and Nameless respectively. Initially, Long Sky is forced to defend himself against some guards and makes quick use of them in the most pacifist manner. Then nameless comes along and challenges him to one-on-one combat.
One great thing about this confrontation is that the majority of it plays out in their minds, like the ultimate game of chess unfolding and both participants trying to outwit one another. This is another quality I would associate with the use of a bow, the calm quality to understand your oponent before you engage and to limit
The last piece of davie bowie goodness I want to present is the well watched burly brawl aspect of the Matrix revolutions. Good ol Neo has found himself in more than a bit of a pickle fighting countless Agent smiths. He’s up shit creak and his last paddle has been shoved royally up his own arse, when he clearly ceases the opportunity to turn a sign post into a bow weapon. Then what begins is all i can describe as rape-o-cide as he pours 1 can of ‘oh sheeet’ and one can of diet ‘dayuuuuum’ all over the place (see 3:40 in the vid below)
In any case, in my old office, there used to be this massive bamboo stick around for no real reason. For about 5 years, when no one was around in the evenings and weekends, I would walk around with it and pretend I was moses, parting the red sea and shit, or I would walk around with it doing some power thinking over a work/relationship problem.
Anyway, I moved office last october and still used to go back and find my stick. Then I take a month off to go to America for a conference and my wisdom stick has parted ways with me. As sad as it is to admit it, I am kinda sad and I miss it.
As a figure standing in the rain once said
You’ll never find a heart as full of woe
as a man that has been separated from his bo.
I mean I get by with my self assembling sniper rifle and sure now I can take out innocent civilians from the tallest building in the city without leaving any sort of evidence those CSI bastards could find, but it’s just not the same as carrying around my big phallic symbol of wisdom, power and grace.
in short, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…………I want my stick back…:(