Villain A to Z: Ethics

A few years ago a very close friend of mine found himself on the receiving end of a blindside punch that put him out on his feet and caused him to fall to the ground, breaking his jaw on the blacktop. His phone call en route to the hospital woke me from a rare early night’s sleep. His words were slow and difficult to follow, his usual tone absent, replaced with one that was a mixture of pain and anger. These are the calls that I had become a little too familiar with receiving.

Earlier in the evening he was at a punk rock show at a famous Philadelphia venue. A well known, established figure in the Philadelphia underworld, and somewhat of a mentor to me at almost twenty years my senior, he moved about in many of the cities rougher circles with little care (For our purposes here I will refer to him as “Steve”). He had earned the respect of many of the biggest names from the other side of the fence over his long “career” of being a stand-up guy. This night was no different. He had showed up to enjoy the show, met with handshakes and smiles from many whom most would cross the street to avoid. He had no reason to believe that he would later become the target of an act of violence.

His “downfall” that evening was little more than a misunderstanding. A few members of the crowd had once worked for him years ago. Despite having been in his employ, they were not more than acquaintances of his. Also in attendance were a group of individuals who made up a significant faction of the circle that I ran with at the time (many of whom are still close personal friends of mine). A fight broke out in which some of his past employees and some of my friends became involved, during which time he acted as a diplomatic figure to quell the situation. Unsatisfied with the outcome, a few of his former employees continued pursuing the situation and ended up being hurt rather severely.

As was customary in these situations, word got out quickly that there had been trouble, and before anyone knew it the reinforcements had arrived. Several of my friends piled out of a few vehicles, now gunning for those who had instigated the fight inside. Another fight ensued with the security personnel from the venue at this point, which spilled out into the streets.

Once the smoke had cleared, my friend stood calmly outside regulating the aftermath, and informing those who were of importance of the events that had taken place. One of my friends who had arrived at the scene after the initial conflict misinterpreted another person’s account of what had happened, mistakenly believing that Steve had been involved in the initial conflict on the side of his former employees. Seeing him standing there, he approached rapidly and struck with one of his infamous knockout blows to the side of Steve’s head, putting him to sleep instantly and causing the fall that shattered his jaw.

In addition to Steve’s call, I received three more within ten minutes time, all from other friends who had been involved in the ordeal. My friend that did the damage was immediately apologetic to me, given that he had later discovered that he had received bad information, and also because of my close relationship with Steve. He actually liked and respected Steve, and only struck him because he believed that he had attacked one of his brothers in the events of the night. To make matters worse, Steve had recently put up the lion’s share of a one hundred thousand dollar bail bond for one of our good friends who was caught up on attempted murder charges. My friend had screwed the pooch badly on this one, and he knew it.

Now, understand that Steve is one of my best friends. He’s been there for me at my lowest, and has counseled me both when I needed it and didn’t need/want it. Also understand that my friend who injured him was a “brother” of mine, a member of an organization to which I belonged, part of which came with the “law” that your brothers were always right in their actions, you always backed them, and above all, you never, ever told on them.

Steve knew damn well that I knew who did it within minutes of the events taking place. To this day he does not know who hit him that night. What’s more interesting however, is that he knows that despite our friendship, I won’t ever tell him who it was due to the vows that I took with my brothers.

Many would ask why I wouldn’t just tell him, especially now, years later. The answer is simple. I am not a rat. In my world a rat is the most despicable thing that one can be. More importantly, Steve knows this too. He accepts that what happened to him is something that comes with the territory. He is a soldier and knows that things like this happen to soldiers at times. He wouldn’t dream of even asking me to rat on my friend. As a matter of fact, he’d probably be very mad at me if I did.

The title of this entry is “Ethics”. The above story is intended to shed some light on ethics as they pertain to the modernvillain man. While some may not agree with what is written, I do. My silence in this matter represents a portion of the code of ethics that I personally adhere to. Steve’s actions demonstrate his similar structured beliefs, as do the violent actions of Steve’s assailant.

Right or wrong in the eyes of others, a man has a code of ethics that he lives by. He is immovable in his positions on things that he believes strongly in, and is respected by those to whom morality and ethics are not simple vocabulary words. He knows who he is and what he is. He lives by, and is willing to die by his beliefs.

 

If you enjoy the Villain A to Z series, then you will definitely love the new site modernvillain.com launching January 1, 2013. Shortly after the debut of the site, I will be releasing my book: “Proper Villain: A Manifesto for the Modern Male” which is essentially the how-to guide to living life as a man’s man in accordance with time honored tradition, and unwritten law to which I have been exposed throughout my life. Stay tuned for more information and “leaks” as the release date for the site and book grow nearer. -JP

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One Response

  1. Mark

    Ethics–the code men live and die By! Unless you have served and provided for another for no other reason than to establish Honor and Respect–you shall never understand!

    Semper Fidelis Warriors!

    December 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

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