Thursday, July 27, 2006

I've got the Coprolalia Blues..........

Two things............

First off, this morning while I was enjoying some RAH on the train, I was jerked back into this where and when by someone shrieking obscenities at the top of their lungs.

"SCORE!", thought I. "Tourette syndrome is my most favorite mental disorder!!!"

I even know about this site!

So I wiki'd it this morning to make sure I had the spelling and nomenclature correct, and I discovered that this man may actually just have something called Coprolalia. This seemed like a weird word, because "coprophagia" refers to consuming feces. I couldn't help but thinking, "What's going on with the copro?", but as doctors are prone to do, they simply took a simple concept and put it into Latin to make it sound smart and incomprehensible to Joes like me. Coprolalia literally means "shit talking". Maybe they should have made it Latin for "shit screaming," because this guy was off the chain. The fact that he was [obviously] shouting obscenities in Japanese on a dead-quiet train made it all the more humorous to me, and like any mature adult in the same situation I got a case of uncontrollable giggles.

What an amazingly debilitating disorder to have, especially in Japan, where serenity, harmony, and smooth social interactions are paramount. Especially the Tourette-Coprolalia combo, which is as follows (per wiki):

In Tourette syndrome, compulsive swearing can be uncontrollable and undesired by the person uttering the phrases. Involuntary outbursts, such as racial or ethnic slurs in the company of those most offended by such remarks, can be particularly embarrassing. The phrases uttered by a person with coprolalia do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the person.

Being a big fan of Tourette's work, I knew this, so I tried to come into the man's line of vision to see if I would receive a verbal salvo of ethnic and/or racial epithets, but my efforts were in vain. I've seen the guy on the train before (I just thought he was insane), and he always stands right next to the door and stares at the ground. I'm sure he's aware of the effect is has on other people, so he tries to remain as low key as possible.. I mean, as low key as one can remain while shrieking obscenities in public.

Secondly and more importantly, I was promoted to blue-belt last night. I hadn't felt a sense of accomplishment like that in a long time, and it really reminded me of how I felt when I picked up Corporal in the USMC. Do I deserve it? Am I ready? Will I be a disappointment? I echoed my concerns to my friend, a purple belt, and he kind've brushed it off. The owner/head instructor is a Rickson blackbelt, and he's the one who gave it to me. I figure he knows if I'm ready or not. This school is pretty well known for holding on to belts for a long time, so the standards are pretty high anyway, which gives me an even bigger sense of accomplishment. If I train 3 or 4 times a week for the next 3 or 4 years, hopefully I'll be ready for purple. Another similarity it had with being promoted in the Marines is that I endured some hazing. Everyone got a whack at me with their belts. I was actually quite moved and humbled by this display of wanton torture, because he doesn't do it for everyone. It's a good feeling to know that I give off that, "it's OK to brutalize me in the in the name of tradition and manliness" vibe. I experienced this same thing when a bunch of my friends kicked the crap out of me when I picked up Corporal, when I was thrown in the ocean after promotion to Sergeant, and when people were hitting me in the chest all day after I got my gold wings.

In any case, I guess I can't fuck around anymore and play the "beginner" role at the academy...

I'm excited though, and I'm looking forward to continue training. Hopefully my fear of failure and looking stupid will continue to drive me to improve myself and be better at what I do, even if I get bruised up a little along the way.


Blogger Hoss said...

I have cousin who has Downs Syndrome(mild)and he's always grabbing girls asses and stuff. I know we're not suppose to laugh at/with people like my cousin and the train guy, but damnit, that stuffs funny (and Dave seems to escalate the ass-grabbin' once he sees me giggling like a little school girl).

Congrats on the new belt. Don't minimize it, you wouldn't have got it if you didn't earn it.

On a side note, maybe you can let Jinxy guest blog here every once in awhile since he seems to have been neutered over at his place(he's gonna go Deadwood on me when he sees this).

10:48 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Yeah, I liked teh references to the "hags" and "harpies". I was going to add "succubi" in there but i thought it might be overkill.

i dont have a cousin with down syndrome, but he likes to pretend like he does, which gets a big laugh. is that bad?

and as far as people with tourettes and/or coprolalia go, i apologize in advance, but if someone not afflicted with the disease began screaming profanities/whatever at the top of their lungs in inappropriate situations and places, I would laugh my fucking ass off. that's humor, and thats why i adore people with the disorder. i know some people that are just funny all the time for whatever reason. they make everyone laugh unintentionally, just because their mind is what it is. we applaud that, but then shun someone who is even more funny just because they're disruptive? it's not fair.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's not fair. I think Cullen is one of those people on the threshold between both worlds.

And I think that "Corporal" and "Coprolalia" actually derive from the same Greek roots.*


(*So there is no confusion - I am joking. I respect Corporals, but thought it would be funny to point out the similarity in syntax.)

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

There's something funny to me about living in Japan and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Really shows you that the Gracie's got it right I guess. Congrats on the Blue Belt. Is their anything more fun than rolling around trying to break someone's arm or choke off their blood flow? Do you ever put on the gloves and grapple with strikes? Try it, it's a whole new world of fun.

I was hoping to go to the Carlson Gracie Jr. school here in Chicago but by the time I had saved enough money for a couple of months of training with the great instructor he went and died on me. Guess I'll have to try someone else.

The picture of you and Rickson is pretty cool. Did you actually get to take some instruction from him?

4:04 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

i had no idea you were into MMA and whatnot. i gave up on boxing when brando blasted me in the face at a park in iowa city. check out for a school near you, and if you have any questions lemme know.

it's not too crazy to be studying BJJ in japan. ironic i guess. japanese jits goes to brazil, brazil improves on it, brings it back to japan. all my instructors are japanese-brazilian. there were a lot of colonists down there at the turn of the century, and now a lot of them are coming back. :)

i went to a 3 hour seminar given to rickson for like $150. i figured i was paying to hang out with a great, and i wanted to see what he was like as a person. he was kind've a hardass at first, but he kinda chilled out by the end and seemed like an amazingly chill, down to earth guy. his son was a bit of a punk, but that's understandable. he's 16 or 17 and a purple belt, so of course he annihilates all the other purples 'cuz he has 16 or 17 years experience. he has some big shoes to fill, and i have a feeling he's gonna be humbled soon. :)

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

I posted like a ten page explanation of how I accidently started training MMA here at the University of Chicago with an ex-delta turned anthropology professor. I guess it never turned up. Anyway, it's kind of a funny story if you ever want to hear it. Not sure what happened to it.

The moral of it was I fucking love Jiu Jitsu.

11:36 AM  

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