On Nunchucks (Mission Statement 2019)

Ever bought a pair of nunchucks?

Perhaps not, if you’re browsing this with two working eyes and two working hands. That’s a shame; Nunchucks are good fun. They’ve gotten more of my recent attention than two game consoles, three streaming services, the fall of Washington D.C., and the notion of my personal safety. Not bad for two sticks in a chain gang.

They were illegal in my state until December 17, so let’s say I got mine on the eighteenth.

I found them during a trip to Tokyo, putting me in the grandmaster rank of displaced black nerds. In time, a desperate graduate student will study the impact 3 AM Adult Swim marathons made on kids with nothing else to look forward to. Their thesis will be an overnight sensation, the biggest revolution in African-American studies since the body camera. Until then, take it from me. It’s one of the things you fall into.

It was my first time there, and I’d finally gotten tired of drinking. So I took a comfortingly crowded train ride to Suidobashi to find something less flammable to spend my paycheck on. My options were theme park tickets, redolent food, more alcohol, and nunchucks. I went back to my hotel with the nunchucks.

They were plain and wooden, which my brain interpreted as “authentic.” In hindsight, that’s primitive thinking. Chasing authenticity is a performance that tends to end in a bad parody of yourself. Mercifully, they still worked. I toyed with a basic freestyle tutorials, tried an advanced freestyle tutorial, dented a hotel wall, and survived an intermediate freestyle tutorial. YouTube is your friend.

I’ve barely put them down since then. Learning tricks has some of the same spark that pulled me into bboying, a pursuit I’ve sacrificed a few limbs and relationships to. Which fits, since it’s another way of dancing around. There’s a very straightforward conversion of time spent to incremental improvement. If you’ve beaten a FromSoft game, you know the feeling.

My point: reminded me of the difference a little consistency can make. I’m bringing that back to my writing. While I’ve been happy with the quality and quantity, there hasn’t been a sense of focus in a while. So I’ll be going back to longer projects. If a little focus can keep me from giving myself a concussion, it should add something to the website. At the very least, it should lead to recording the long-finished podcast script sitting on top of my Playstation.

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