Monday, 18 February 2013


This week's FIGHT is written by James Clayton.

Scientists have hypothesised that the absence of war creates a great cosmic imbalance in the Universe. Consequently, reality responds negatively and gets so stressed out that it spawns a black hole. Everything is then consumed and sucked into an unfathomable spacetime deformity and dragged into an oblivion in which there is no ‘undo’ button.

The end of the Universe. There. Gone. Bye bye. Fin.

Because we don’t want the end of the Universe to happen any time soon (we’re not even a third of the way through our bucket list), Fight! Fight! Fight! is here to perform altruistic services and prevent the opening of the ultimate void.

Violence is needed.

Violence is essential.

Violence is an innate, intrinsic feature that needs to be followed through if you have no wish to embrace the event horizon any time soon.

People die so we don’t die, see?

Anyhoodle, enough of the paradoxical preamble and amateurish pissing around with quantum physics - it’s high time we hurt something.

Tonight, two stars will take each other on in a timeless battle and the cosmos will thank them for it.

Let the beating begin...






Pingu is a claymation penguin who lives in Antarctica. He is famous for making distinctive honking noises, having an amazingly flexibile body and also for his juvenile indifference and childlike, playful enthusiasm. He is the titular star of the internationally-popular Swiss TV series Pingu.

Feathers McGraw is a claymation penguin masquerading as a plasticine chicken. His chicken-guise isn’t an identity crisis or grand delusion but is in fact a cunning ruse adopted so that he may advance his career as a criminal mastermind. With a rubber glove on his head and a shrewd brain in his head, McGraw cuts a sinister figure in the Lancashire underworld. He is the antagonist of the Aardman AnimationsWallace & Gromit short film The Wrong Trousers.


Pingu has no experience with any kind of lethal weapon whatsoever because he’s been kept closeted by an overprotective mother. Nevertheless, he is pretty good at hitting things with sticks and highly proficient when it comes to throwing snowballs. His resourcefulness serves him well but what really makes Pingu a contender is his astounding physicality and shapeshifting ability. His expressive features, outstanding elasticity and array of deadly moves (his speciality: Avalanche Ball Assault) mean that he can never be dismissed as ‘not very dangerous’.

Feathers McGraw brandishes a revolver and carries bullets (his shooting skills are so-so) but his critical weapon is the criminal cranium underneath that rubber glove headpiece. He often outwits opponents, employs subtle manipulation techniques and overcomes adversity through strategy and incisive planning. McGraw is also well-known for his use of technology to achieve the desired ends and once commandeered a pair of stolen Techno Trousers though the remote-control robotic legs turned on him and were reclaimed by their offended inventor.

With bullets and brain power, Feathers probably has the advantage here.


Pingu is backed up by a loving family. He has a postman dad (he drives a delivery snowmobile), a housewife mother (she spends a lot of time ironing someone's clothes) and an unbearably cute little chick sister. Other allies include his grandfather (ace accordionist and ex-weightlifter) and his happy-slappy best mate Robby the Seal. Family fall-outs happen (usually when Pingu refuses to eat his greens or is just being a nuisance) but generally our hero can rely on the goodwill and support of his relatives and the wider Antarctic community. Being the son of the only postpenguin in the polar wasteland has its benefits, y’see?

A career in solitary criminal scheming does not allow you to acquire many allies or friends so Feathers is totally on his own. He once formed a close bond with his landlord though this friendship was exposed as a sham as McGraw was found to be simply using his buddy (an affable inventor) as an accessory to grand larceny. It’s unlikely that anyone will ever sympathise with the devious diamond snatcher again considering that he is the tricksy knave who framed Gromit (everybody’s favourite silent anthropomorphic canine).

Pingu wins the popularity contest without question.


Because they are both made out of modelling clay, both are highly vulnerable to fire. Also, because he’s been produced by Swiss people there is a chance that Pingu might be too busy making watches.

Feathers has also served time in prison which might have some impact on his psychological make-up and skillset. Crooks go to the can so that they can build up their bodies in the jail gym, build up their brains with the books in the library and learn how to conceal razorblades beneath their tongue. They come out with connections, physical and mental enhancements, the ability to quote great sections of the Bible and a firmer will to do whatever is necessary in order to survive. Could this give former inmate Feathers the edge over the young and naïve Pingu?

There’s also the possibility that a documentary filmcrew may arrive in Antarctica with ambitions to turn this into a feature-length documentary. Hopefully the director is Werner Herzog who manages to make masterful movies that simultaneously capture the immense wonder and brutal absurdity of the natural world. As long as no one gets eaten by an enraged penguin, everything should be cool...


This is the point where we run all the above information through our highly sophisticated computer program to establish the victor. You can’t doubt the computer because it was made in God’s own image - a product of immaculate conception ultimately delivered and made manifest by a virgin programmer who was visited by angels. I’ve seen the computer perform miracles - it’s turned water into wine, healed the lame and shown me revelatory videos of octopussies turning invisible. The computer is the absolute truth and the saviour sent by God so, yeah, give thanks and praise. Amen.


Antarctica is made out of plasticine and anything's possible.

The scene is set for the Clash of the Claymation Penguins. It’s a frosty start from both antagonists though that’s only to be expected because of the polar setting and the full power air-conditioning rig that’s running to stop it all melting beneath the bright studio lights.

Initially Pingu and Feathers try to outstare each other. Blinking little bird eyes flash menacingly, like a cross between a singularity and an Aldi Own Brand Frozen Pea. Tension tightens. The arctic wind provides the only sound until Pingu’s short attention span snaps, his patience worn and his bloodlust up. Inhaling deeply, his diaphragm contorting like an unnatural accordion, he challenges McGraw.

Honk honk.

It’s on.

Both penguins charge.

In a flurry of beak jabs and wing swipes they peck and slap each other around a bit.

It transpires that penguins are not very good at hand to hand combat. This is obvious when you think about it.

They slip over each other, dancing on ice and wrestling in ungainly fashion with neither bird managing to gain the upper flipper. Falling back out of the scrum Pingu quickly scoops up a few snowballs and starts pelting several well-aimed throws at Feathers. As one knocks the rubber glove hat askew McGraw gets angry and pulls the pistol from beneath his chuff. Pingu dives for cover as the cunning con artist starts to fire bullets his way.

Smarting as a stray fleck of shrapnel grazes his shoulder, Pingu beats a retreat. He hides behind an icy outcrop and calls out for backup from Robby but the seal is scared stiff having seen that Feathers is packing heat. After a moment of gibbering panic, Pingu acknowledges that he’s going to have to go it alone, bites his upper beak (yes he does, shut it) and resolves to beat McGraw at his own game - advanced battle strategy.

He builds an igloo and establishes his base for a war of attrition. Feathers observes this from afar thanks to his hi-tech snow-vision binocular goggles (patent pending) he stole from his former landlord, and decides to do the same. Sadly, the pilfering pseudo-fowl doesn’t have the same experience in igloo erection and his ice hovel is inferior to Pingu’s. Draughts enter between the cracks and McGraw - more used to temperate climates after all those years spent away from his natural habitat - begins to feel the chill.

Pingu meanwhile is resting easy in his cosy hole, entertaining himself with choral rounds of “NOOT NOOT” His seamless, spectacularly-vaulted igloo - a masterpiece of ice-based architecture - has wonderful acoustics and the sweet sounds of our hero’s whooping carry right across the Antarctic continent.

Impatient and increasingly cold, it irritates Feathers.

Taunted and tetchy, he keeps eyeballing his opponent’s distant igloo but there’s no sign of movement. He has no access to the resources with which he could build gadgets and techno-techno superweapons. He doesn’t have the training or fortitude to withstand prolonged trench combat in a subzero wasteland. Things look very bleak for Feathers.

Several months later, the battle site is still characterised by torpor and stalemate. Feathers is fragile, his mental state and stamina dwindling as the happy hoots of Pingu ricochet around the environs. Distracted and depressed, McGraw fails to notice when Pingu emerges quietly and stealthily starts to sled his way towards Feathers’s position. Under the cover of the confusing aural echo cloak, Pingu makes his move and goes in for the kill.

Leaping out from behind McGraw with a shocking “NUG NUG” Pingu startles the despairing diamond thief. He drops his revolver and reels back as the plucky young penguin pounces. Pingu slaps the petrified McGraw, pounds him with fisted flippers and mercilessly stamps webbed feet into his face.

Gasping out gibberish whoops of triumphant joy, Pingu grabs Feathers by the neck and finishes the battle by shoving his right flipper down his nemesis’ throat and yanking out his heart. He tosses it aside where it is caught open-mouthed and gulped down greedily by Robby the Seal who is now famished having gone for 4 months without food while the fight rolled on.

The long winter war is over. Whatever the flipper equivalent of a high five is, that’s what Pingu and Robby do right now over the stiff corpse of the fallen chickenshit charlatan, Feathers McGraw.




Ultraviolent Encounters at the End of the World - narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by Werner Herzog - will be released on blu-ray in December 2017.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:


If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

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