If you’ve been watching Saturday Night Live at all this season, you’re probably familiar with the man pictured above. If not, his name is Jebediah Atkinson, and he is an 18th-century critic who has panned such universally-praised speeches and holiday specials as The Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream,” and worst of all, the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Essentially, Atkinson serves as the voice of today’s overly-cynical internet trolls, and could criticize a sunset for not being orangey enough.
The reason I bring this up is because it appears that the MMA world has found its real-life answer to Jebediah Atkinson. His name is Tim Rothfield of Australia’s Courier Mail, and he recently wrote an article — well, not so much an article as a series of fragmented sentences and laughable attempts at posing insightful questions — describing the legendary battle between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva at Fight Night 33 as “barbaric savagery.” A few highlights:
On Saturday night on Fuel TV I witnessed the brutality and bloodshed of the UFC – apparently, and worryingly, the world’s fastest growing sport.
This was nothing but barbaric savagery that should be banned in this country.
The fact women were allowed to fight on the card was an even bigger disgrace.
What does it say about our society?
Rothfield is, of course, wrong. That he attempts to use the UFC’s popularity as a comment on “society” should tell you all you need to know about his ability to present an original thought, but perhaps more disturbing than Rothfield’s takedown of Fight Night 33 has been how we have chosen to respond to it.