I have long possessed on my computer's hard drive various definitions, written Wikipedia style, for very important words and/or concepts which need clear definition. Now through the modern miracle of online posting, I have the means to bring these to the world (yes I know, you regular readers are fainting with anticipation, all three of you). This first entry defines the concept of the "thug."
Actually Wikipedia had a decent (if hip-hop centric) definition of thug at one time, but like so many things online it vanished into the ether.
As world events spin beyond anyone's means of control into the vortex of doom, this concept become timelier than ever. When reading the below text, please understand that as description it was intended to refer to petty street criminals; as I read through it again, I realize that so much of it is equally applicable to other criminal types -- as in State actors.
So here I present the real no-spin (not the O'Reilly version of 'no-spin') definition of THUG:
A thug is an individual who is ruthless and will do whatever it takes to get what he (or she) wants. This type of person is generally oblivious to the feelings and natural rights of other people, and is not above committing harm, personal or otherwise, to obtain what he desires. From a physical and psychological standpoint, thugs are definitely capable of killing and maiming others (and often do) and are intensely self focused, with the majority of a thug’s energies and activities devoted to pursuing some form or another of highly indulgent self-gratification. They often belong to criminal gangs or organizations, often consume large amounts of addictive narcotics, and engage heavily in promiscuity and debauchery.
Thugs do not obtain income or support themselves by normal means. They disdain ‘regular’ jobs (generally because the legitimate employment opportunities for which they are qualified pay very little) as well as self-improvement activities which serve to increase income such as formal education and job training.
As touched on above, a thug’s life is dictated by animal needs, namely the physical needs and effects of his stomach, bowels, and private parts. A thug’s main pleasure in his generally barren, brutal life derives from satisfying his animal urges in a manner which allows him to gain and wield potentially lethal power over others. Thus people who bring a thug to anger are swiftly and brutally executed. Sexual activity and relations, while frequent, are fleeting and tenuous in terms of individual (wo)men, though most thugs produce several illegitimate children in this manner, a fact of which most thugs are proud (impregnating women, even complete strangers, is a mark of virility and manhood from the warped perspective of male thug culture). Indeed, many thugs produce several illegitimate children before meeting their maker, whether they are married or not. This complete lack of behavioral restraint and self-discipline is the universal trait of the thug, transcending all other specific behaviors such as propensity to violence (not all thugs are murderers) or drug use (not all thugs consume hard narcotics such as crack or heroin).
The hard drug use common to thug culture is a major facet of the constant need for self-gratification. Most of the popular drugs (heroin, crack, Ecstasy, crystal meth, and others) when consumed produce the desired feelings (or combination thereof) of power, physical and emotional pleasure (the ‘high’), and sexual prowess that thugs idealize. (This can also be true of other items, such as women and flashy possessions.) Of course, the ‘lows’ which are the inevitable side effect of the ‘wearing off’ of the effects of the drugs can be privy to lethal thug rages from which orgies of violence ensue. Additionally, once heavily addicted to hard narcotics or an acceptable substitute, these must be constantly available (the ‘fix’) to feed the addiction or withdrawal symptoms will occur, which are always particularly unpleasant but in a thug’s case can carry lethal implications. This is why thugs are always in a constant need for ready hard cash, in order to finance what turns out to become a very expensive habit. Much petty crime in the ghetto stems from drug addicted thugs desperately attempting to raise any sort of cash in order to obtain more of the addictive substance.
The appalling violence which tends to follow in a thug’s wake is another very common trait. Lives can end on the spur of a moment due to a thug’s mood turning sour at the wrong time. In addition, thugs are infamous for infighting among their ranks, even if the thugs in question are part of the same gang or clique. Conflicts among thugs quickly grow terribly violent and lethal, as anyone who watches the evening news certainly knows. A typical gang war can leave at least a dozen thugs dead, and innocent non-participants can be accidentally cut down in the crossfire if located in the wrong place at the wrong time. This orgy of death is compounded by the ‘revenge’ killings which so often follow the death of a thug compatriot, with each new dead thug being revenged in turn. These cycles of murder can continue for years, even decades, in the fashion of old-style family blood feuds. In this manner, lives are terminated, families are torn apart, much blood is spilled, and the law enforcement industry is given much business due to the utter stupidity and sheer waste of thug violence.
Thugs do not have much respect for anything or anyone else save themselves, with the general exception of their fellow thugs. Fraternal bonds are strong in the thug community and loyalty among thugs is highly valued, though as noted even these virtues can be consumed by death and gunfire if disagreements occur. The most highly respected thugs, of course, are those thugs who have become highly successful (in thug terms). These thugs have generally obtained a high degree of wealth and power from their various criminal (and occasionally non-criminal) activities. Successful thugs have derived great value from turning thug culture into a marketable commodity – to the degree that even privileged White youth in the suburbs aspire to become ‘thugs’, though their glamorized conceptualization of a thug is far removed from the grim, lethal reality. To witness the reality of the thug life, one must look within the nation’s correctional facilities, morgues, ghettos, and police blotters in order to see the true portrait, of which a few vignettes have already been presented above.
Thugs have no respect for social or cultural norms. As noted above, regular, steady employment poses an insurmountable challenge to many thugs who cannot abide the concept of exerting effort without the prospect of deriving immediate and massive gratification from that effort. Most deleterious for the life of a typical thug, however, is his lack of respect for the law. This is not necessarily referring to 'statute' laws such as narcotics prohibition (of which so many thugs, at least the majority of those in prisons, run afoul). The ‘natural law’ however, consists of basic rights and wrongs – do not kill other humans, do not take someone else’s property without just compensation, etc – which need no explanation and should be unquestioned by anyone. This is reflected in the mores of the major world religions. And yet these are precisely the rules which thugs routinely and persistently violate, day after day, incident after incident. The pile of the bodies of innocent victims of thugs throughout history would be so large it would cover the entire surface of the earth in corpses and blood one hundred feet deep.
The only way to stop a thug, if he threatens, is to kill him. Fundamentally, thugs respect only one thing in this world – lethal violence, or the threat of lethal violence (and sometimes not even a threat will suffice). (That is why most thugs generally tend to accord other thugs a modicum of respect, because a thug should always be considered armed and dangerous, and who knows that better than thugs themselves.) Remember that thugs are completely self-oriented, unafraid of violence, lack self-restraint, and possess a disturbed state of mind which justifies any action, no matter how barbaric, if physical or emotional satisfaction can be derived from it. As the saying goes, those who live by the gun, die by the gun……