Sunday, June 05, 2016
If Friedrich Nietzsche designed a Boxer, he'd be Muhammad Ali. If the American Dream with All It's Light and Dark Facets has a Better Exemplar, then I don't know them.... From Louisville to Global Fame...no small trick. And he did it boxing...a mobbed up sport on it's best day...especially when he was up and coming. Just don't read any of his interviews back in his "Nation of Islam" days....very bigoted childish stuff, suffice to say Ali grew quite a bit when he and Elijah Muhammad's Son Wallace made the break to a Sunni Muslim Faith and the old man went for the Terminal Dirt Nap. But what the hell Muhammad Ali was a Natural Showman to Put P.T. Barnum (who invented Showmanship) to absolute shame....a talent for improv, a pronounced taste for doggerel and speed & stopping power in the ring. The Selective Service Never Had a Chance. For My Money a Great & Terrible Series of Lessons in the Glory and Barbaric Brutality of Boxing can be absorbed just by watching all the Ali-Joe Frazier Fights and then the "Rumble in the Jungle" between George Foreman and The Champ. At the very least you can see the apex of Ali's sheer Will to Power and the Origins of His Parkinson's Disease. But I give him credit, Ali never ducked a fight, no "Bum of the Month Club" for him....even if he kept at it long after common sense dictated a quiet bail out. But he was the very embodiment of the American Dream....three wives, a super lawsuit to end all lawsuits, a Fight with Superman, a partnership with Howard Cosell,a cataract of opinions, and fight after fight....what is more American Than That??