Monday, 3 June 2013


Superheroes. The modern mythologies.

Their quests have been used to represent our struggle in Olympian terms. A film about someone struggling with alcohol addiction, that’s merely an Oscar nominee.

Anyone can make one of those.

It takes guts to make a film where the eponymous hero’s alcohol abuse is a minor subplot in a film largely concerned with two men in shiny suits lumping the bejeezus out of each other.

No-one is miserable when they’re watching other people fight.

Notice how much more popular Darren Aronofsky’s films get when he puts flipping great wodges of FIGHTING in them?






Dory is a Paracanthurus hepatus, or a bluey-yellow fish that looks like a Victorian caricature of an epicurean crossed with an especially smug parrot. She is very upbeat has short term memory problems, which is funny because she’s not old. If she was old, it would just be tragic and depressing. She appears in the film Finding Nemo, and its associated spin-offs and sequels.

The Despair Squid emits a hallucinogenic nerve toxin, causing a state of suicidal depression in its victims. It dwells in an oceanic moon, and has evolved the toxin as a defence mechanism. It is sufficiently effective to reduce a haddock to a gibbering wreck of a Piscean staple in the depths of despair. It appears in the Back to Reality and Back to Earth episodes of Red Dwarf.


No. Dory lacks the density and propulsion to do any serious damage, although she might get on your nerves slightly if you are of a crotchety and bereaved disposition. She will chiefly feed on the smaller types of plankton. Plankton, despite their numbers, have never successfully mounted any aggressive endeavours, and as such are rubbish. Algae are a slightly more militant foodstuff, as anyone who has ever slipped on seaweed will tell you, but lack an offensive capability to all creatures who simply do not go anywhere near them.

Similarly, all one has to do to avoid the Despair Squid is not go to the planet the Despair Squid is on. However, once you are there you are probably going to kill yourself, so in this round there is one clear winner.


Dory has an innate ability to befriend folk, and so can count on the friendship of many an undersea creature. Mainly, these involve the timid (Marlin, the clown fish), and the clearly-stoned-despite-being-underwater (sea turtles). She does know several sharks who might be useful in a rumble, because when the blood lust takes them they can and will home in on a single drop about a kajillion miles away and then bite it and bite it and bite it and bite it til it’s:

  1. Dead, and:
  2. Tasty.

The Despair Squid has no friends, because they have all killed themselves. The female of the species induces a period of euphoria to pacify its victims, but this generally results in a much less critically acclaimed episode, much like the reality of Ribena compared to a childhood memory of drinking it.

Dory wins.


Dory is not only an encouraging, if distracting, travelling companion, she’s adept at self-motivation despite never having read any of those slim £10.99 books on the subject, so beloved of the downtrodden who hath no time for the Dewey Decimal system.

The Despair Squid has no nuances. It brings out nuances in others. It is therefore the winner, as in pure combat terms it has nothing that can be used as a weakness against it.



Dory is pootering about the ocean, chirpily singing to herself about this and that, when she suddenly notices that she hasn't bumped into another live sole for ages. This is the price you pay for living in a self-contained bubble of happiness.

Using her big, endearing peepers to scan the meniscus, there is nothing on the surface that would disturb her friends and her soon-to-be-friends (or 'strangers' as they're usually called). Perhaps there will be some around the corner of the ocean floor...

It is, apparently, possibly for seahorses to hang themselves. This means it will be difficult to befriend them, but not impossible. Likewise Dory's friend, the whale, has made companionship harder for itself by forcing a jellyfish up its blow-hole and holding its breath.

'Doh, fiddleflam,' thinks Dory. 'What could have caused such potent despair to all these guys?'

As the light of the sun disappears beneath a mighty shadow, Dory has her answer.

'Oh hey there Mr Squidgy! Do you know why all my friends have committed suicide on such a luverly day?'

The Squid - dragged across space and time by the pure and natural force that is FIGHTING! - responds by secreting ink into the sea, before turning and swimming away to seek any trace of its mate. It may write some bleak and evocative poetry before this solar sojourn is out.

Dory is put out but not defeated in her quest for knowledge. Even if grumpy ol' Mr Squid isn't going to be forthcoming with the details, she'll find out soon enough. People like telling her things. She just has one of those faces.

One of those stupid, ugly faces.

No, that's not true. It's pleasing symmetrical.

Other fish make fun of it behind her dorsal fins. Which are also crap.

Oh my. This isn't usual. The realisation that all life is ultimately futile and if all you live for has been taken away, and you don't even have the luxury of killing time before you die in a pleasant way...

You are literally in an abyss, but no-one will look back.

Dory's insides turn to shards, of splintering ice that will fester across her soul and shatter.

No-one is here. No-one is coming.

Just keep swimming. That's all there is left.

Hey. There's a clown fish. Clown fish are funny. Maybe they'll go on an adventure.

Dory is pootering about the ocean, chirpily singing to herself about this and that, when she suddenly notices that she hasn't bumped into another live sole for ages. This is the price you pay for living in a self-contained bubble of happiness.







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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