We cross the street, stumbling from the restaurant in front to lead in the Jos Dion Tavern, where George St-Pierre completes his fight on the big screen: amalgam of members esquintés by the effort, broken pain, arms and legs tangled in this slow and almost invisible fist that is the fight on the ground… A floor also smeared blood in long streaks brushed by the body that had faced off.
And me, like every time when I see this kind of combat, I’m fascinated.
By the blood? His show is a shock that I take no pleasure. This must be a reflex of civilization: the sight of hemoglobin always appears us as a failure of human evolution. As if our greatest victory, as a species, was to be able to forget what flows through our veins. At the time, still want to see.
So despite the violence, brutality, or perhaps because of them, I am fascinated by these athletes by their tolerance to pain, by the rigor of their training by the repetition of the gesture to the perfection and this attempt, as in any sport, to transcend the limits of the body such as the spirit to touch to the sublime.
It is probably for these reasons that the myth of Georges St-Pierre (better known by its initials GSP) operates almost perfectly for me.
Almost. Because I also characterized the work, and a cheesy consumed from fighting coating infuriates me as much as boxing, football, hockey. In fact, sport package usually miss at away me almost completely. And the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), which borrows its martial side in boxing and his theatre of yokels in the fight, include the most unbearable of the genus.
But the genius of St-Pierre and his team, is to built the image of a romantic hero who made meet reality and fiction, beyond his sport.
Here is the almost perfect story. That the little boy from a disadvantaged environment, bullied during his childhood and which, force to sharpen his talent, became one of the greatest pugilists in modern history. The romance, say. With just what it takes of pathos for the glory shines more fort even before the black curtain behind the stage.
But when GSP fights, the story is quickly evaporating under the blows. Or rather, it enters another dimension. One of the real.
It has more than force, pain, strategy. No Toga, or so little effect. A closed face, without emotion, in pure moment of combat. Something approaching the truth.
This is not innocent. I want to say that this idea of truth is not foreign to the success of GSP, or else the UFC in general. There is the same mechanics as in stories by Jack London. It is the old man of Hemingway for the big fish. It is this young man referred to by John Krakauer, in Into the Wild, and that aligns the extreme adventures as meaning quests.
Finally, it is the poetry of Jean Désy who puts his canoe with water in disturbing the wild rivers of the North rips, or wearing between two distant points of water: clinging hands / blued joins / knees shuddering in the arrachis / I curve the neck under the yoke.
The violence of the fighting of Georges St-Pierre is the same need to realize itself. And for the public to measure it only needed to overcome its own limits and in return.
We are shocked by the blood that flows over the Octagon of combat by the swollen faces, and that prevents us to see that their truth is a response to the lies of the world. Even if it was a show of this truth, that even if its trade paradoxically plays the game of dupes that overwhelms our societies, just look at those times a dose of humanity that we are missing. A way to escape the boredom of daily, the blur of politics, money, human relationships.
It is a language universal, accessible to all. That of the body. Pain. As for sex, where the suffering is replaced by the enjoyment. Ass and violence, it comes out not.
What makes me say that at the bottom, the problem is not that it is tolerant of this theatre of cruelty. But rather that it found nothing better the views of the body and blood for us to bring to life.