MANIMAL…the Psycho-Crusher!

Scientists, at some point in time, hypothesized that man was a higher animal. Controversial as this presupposition may be, intellectual contrarians argue that it holds sway only within the realm of conjecture; not everybody agrees with evolutionary theory. Perhaps this can be a good basis on which to juxtapose human nature with animal mentality; thereby making a blend of both Man and Animal – MANIMAL. A psycho-crusher can be perceived as one who ruthlessly attempts to run others down. As I always love to do, shall we take a look at Capcom’s creativity of a combat scenario…examining M.Bison, whose fatal weapon is the “psycho-crusher”. Remember the buttons in Super-Nintendo; way before SONY PlayStation was made? [Hold “back” for two seconds, release with both the “forward” and “punch” buttons]. Ahhh! I’d dare anyone to it.

You may wonder why Capcom’s Graphic Makers chose to juxtapose a massive head-fighting horned animal with a fighter figure of presence and gusto. I’m not surprised! Bison are herbivores (grass-eating animals) that look like the buffalo. Early naturalists suggest that Bison are an extremely dangerous and savage species. Some African free-thinkers even believe Bison are ‘devil incarnate’. What a thought! Their massive heads and horns can be used as battering rams, effectively using the momentum produced by “900 kilograms of BadA**Beef”, moving at 50 km/h. As a matter of fact, Bison have once been rated second wildest, next to Alaska Brown Bear.

Now…in the movie, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li, Neal McDonough performed excellently in portraying M. Bison as a principal antagonist. He is seen as devil incarnate and would-be dictator, who bears an ambition to control the world through his covert crime syndicate – Shadoloo: [Shadow-Law]. His head (negative intelligence) is his weapon; just as he attacks with his head in the video-game, Street Fighter. He’s further made in the image of an intimidator. His demeanour simply intimidates you if unsure of how to use your own chosen character. I loved selecting M. Bison as my fight character; not just because of his signature attack power-move [Psycho-Crusher] that’s immune to his opponent’s fire-ball (even to Guile’s Sonic Boom discharge), but also for that commander-of-the-universe outlook.

The PARADIGM
Now, let’s see a bit of the animal world. A certain commentator said “whether an expert or a beginner in the hunting game, be ye watchful when sourcing for your lunch (prey); because some other sleek predator just might have bigger plans…to have YOU as dinner.” For those who enjoy watching NatGeoWILD, interpreting that must be a no-brainer! His words primarily connote competition among animals that do not share same colony. Animals that belong in the colony most often contrive to bring down prey (win a ‘contract’). The term ‘psycho-crusher’ suggests a motive geared towards breaking another person’s defenses badly enough to damage and control their self-concept and confidence. A friend once said “the greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Once you let anyone have your mind, chances are they may take advantage of you. I observe that the average human being wants to appear better-looking, gain more attention and shine brighter than another. You could sometimes care less about who gets hurt; not when there’s something to take hold of. Sometimes, I choose not to blame those who liken human beings to animals.

The ISSUE
Let’s take a critical look at scenarios that link ACADEMIA and INDUSTRY. Virtually, all of our learning is centered on getting into, surviving within, and ultimately registering conquest in extant terrain of bottle-neck competition. Little emphasis is placed on creativity and depth. We are taught the same principles; to compete in the same crowded market-space. We graduate and are thrown bare-chest into the cut-throat competition with little or almost nothing of individual exceptionality to stand out; only animalistic fighting tactics. Yet, we wonder why there’s really no change.

Look around you; there is scarcely a hunger for novel ideas. If it looks like a fresh innovation, time is usually just enough to prove its worth; they mostly come around to be someone else’s idea; copied wrongly. The same copy-ist (italics mine) demands respect from people to keep his ego soaring, as he tramples on others’. For every seemingly new industry created, it takes only a short while to see a plethora of ‘predator business-owners’ flood the same market space. Despite the flood in the pasta industry, for instance, see how quickly new companies strategized to launch into manufacture of noodles. Isn’t that just novel? I think that’s noble too!

Before long, the whole game turns into a ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ kind of struggle. Less-powerful fighters eventually get little or nothing out of the new ‘prey’; though they might have initiated the hunt (started the industry). Life then seems not to be a fair deal anymore. In fact, unskilled fighters may get swallowed up along with the main prey, by bigger players, if they stay long enough on the gruesome battle-field; languishing in the bloody-red ocean of meaningless competition.

Talking about employees of the unfortunate, on the other hand, they appear as though they failed at planning sufficiently for life’s challenges. They lose their jobs and settle for lower standards of living. Question: Are we supposed to learn how to fight to protect our territories (like wild animals), when there’s so much beauty to enjoy in life (especially in industry)? Your answer here determines your ultimate lot in life; though non-fighters have long been labeled “weak”. It seems we have a society filled with young minds who are motivated but directionless!

In the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, I read that it’s best to never compete with rivals, but to rather make them irrelevant. However, the contents and curriculum created and followed in our academic institutions seem so say nay! Students are schooled to believe that success in the extant corporate world (rather than fresh innovations) is the thing to-die-for; after all, life is a war. Needless to mention, the level of desperation today is scary. Rather than harness the potentials centered on people’s unique talents by celebrating each person’s known strengths, they are made to struggle for a place in existing academic and industrial frame-works only. Despondency takes over as self-worth diminishes. The result? A beat-them-or-join-them mentality that take a toll on the economy and society.

Artistes and comedians lobby to get ‘jobs’ on random fixed events, pepper-grinding machines out-number prospective customers in a small market square, bus conductors practically pull your shirts on the road, to mention but a few instances; all so you don’t patronize their rivals. I ask (with mouth closed) “how dumb can one be, and still breathe”?! The market place has turned into a battle ground for military-like wars. Chief Executive ‘Officers’ calling the shots on ‘front-line’ managers from their ‘head-quarters’ have become a model replica of a military officers commanding the troops from their barracks. If you, Mr.CEO of the well-to-do company, can only see opportunity to exploit and ‘swallow up the game’ where others are opening up, it’s a shame!

The RESOLVE
An adage in my mother-tongue, the Yoruba language, states “ojú òrun tó eyë fò, láì f’ara kan’ra”. It translates thus: “the sky is way too spacious for birds to collide while in flight (even in pursuit of daily living)”. This bears a connotation that real-time creativity can extend just as far as human imagination can travel. In my view, the true test of giant-hood in industry is the ability to consistently create uncontested market spaces and yet soar high. In closing, I challenge anyone who’s tired of status quo to be the “contrarian” without being the “cynical pessimist”; reaching for change only the right way. Launch into the world of constructive creativity; everybody has the innate ability to create. See the world as a favour market and not a labour market; don’t ever nurse the fear of running short of ideas.

★This article is an excerpt from APOLOGETIX, a psycho-analytical adaptation of Nature’s Cardinals©; intellectual property of Green Tempers Initiative®, of which Damilola MacGregor is a Registered Trustee.

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