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Rope a Dope
October 30, 2005 7:57 AM   Subscribe

On this day in 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire, 32 year old Muhammad Ali knocked out 25 yead old George Forman and regained the World Heavyweight Title. "The Rumble in the Jungle was a fight that made the whole country more conscious," Ali wrote at the time. "The fight was about racial problems, Vietnam. All of that." Above all the fight was a demonstration of Ali's inventiveness in the ring. After dazing Foreman with his trademark quickness in the first rounds, Ali fell back against the ropes, and waved Foreman to come get him. Protecting his head, Ali let Foreman pound away at his ribs and his gut. "At about the seventh round, I had him beaten, I knew I had him," Foreman recounted after the fight. "He fell on my side and whispered, β€˜Is that all you got George?’ I knew something strange was happening in my life especially because that was all I had." In the eight round Ali came off the ropes and unleashed a fury of punches against his exhausted opponent. The dope went down. "I did it," Ali boasted after the fight. "I told you he was nothing but did you listen? I told you I was going to jab him in the corners, I told you I was going to take all his shots. I told you he had no skill. I told you he didn't like to be punched."
posted by three blind mice (58 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I have always had respect for Ali. His book, The Greatest, tells a lot about the guy and it seems as though he had a lot more guts and integrity than a lot of others of that era did. Going to prison instead of the military, for instance. You sure couldn't call him a coward over that stand.

I just wish he would have quit boxing a little earlier--it was painful just to watch his last few fights.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:07 AM on October 30, 2005


Watch When We Were Kings, it's great.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:07 AM on October 30, 2005


"Aussie" Joe Bugner was the only white man to go the full distance twice with Muhammad Ali or that's what I, coincidentally, read 20 minutes ago in a magazine lying on my coffee table thankyou that will be all.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:17 AM on October 30, 2005


Thanks for the post, I can hardly remember the day. I am getting old.
posted by nostrada at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2005


I believe this photo is actually from Ali-Liston II.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:24 AM on October 30, 2005


Greatness is good.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:36 AM on October 30, 2005


Redemption Song by Mike Marqusee, is one of the most brilliant books on sport I've ever read and really reveals something spectacular about Ali.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:54 AM on October 30, 2005


Fly like a butterfly..sting like a bee!
posted by Mr Bluesky at 8:54 AM on October 30, 2005


You sure couldn't call him a coward over that stand.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:07 AM PST on October 30 [!]

Some did. But any idiot can find something wrong with anything. That's why they're idiots.

Ali was poigniant. "No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger." "...Got nothing against no Viet Cong." It needed saying. Often real heros just do what needs doing.

I don't know if I agree with all of the Mickey Z. article. I was a white kid and I loved Ali. Still do.

I watch the old Marciano fights and I think Marciano is fantastic. But Ali was a warrior. There's a difference between simply being a boxer, even the best boxer, and being transcendant.
Ali was the greatest for those reasons. I think there are a couple boxers in history who could have taken him in the ring, but he was matchless as a champion.

I think that's what woke Foreman up. He was just there to fight and Ali brought all of this and shamed him for not being part of it.

You could see all of that through the boasting and shouting. That there was integrity there and the boastfulness was more a riff on the environment around him and t.v. and boxing. Even the name change. People still called him "Clay." Anyone could see that wasn't his real name anymore. He didn't change it for Hollywood or rock star reasons. He had become someone and something else. He was for real. They weren't.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:04 AM on October 30, 2005


Amen, Smedleyman. You said a mouthful there.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:11 AM on October 30, 2005


Great post. And thanks, Smedlyman, for those poignant words.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:26 AM on October 30, 2005


Norman Mailer's 'The Fight' is arguably the ultimate account of this remarkable occasion.
posted by MrMustard at 9:29 AM on October 30, 2005


Fly like a butterfly..sting like a bee!

I believe it's "Float" like a butterfly . . .

And great post, yes, but you can't comment on Ali today without including a link to the hottest boxer I've ever seen.
posted by Kibbutz at 9:35 AM on October 30, 2005


Rumble, young man, rumble!
posted by jonmc at 9:41 AM on October 30, 2005


I was a white kid and I loved Ali. Still do.

I was white (still am) and Ali was like a God to me as a kid. He greatness transcended a lot of divides and changed a lot of people along the way.

I watch the old Marciano fights and I think Marciano is fantastic


"Why is it every time I'm talkin' boxing with a white man, they gotta pull Rocky Marciano out they're ass??"

(sorry)

Marciano was a champ, but he was more about the ability to take a beating and endure, rather than skill and grace.
posted by jonmc at 9:50 AM on October 30, 2005


"Going to prison instead of the military, for instance. You sure couldn't call him a coward over that stand."

Oh sure, it takes a lot of guts to go someplace where you already have a lot of fans among the residents and staff, where most people your color (and a lot who aren't) will want to be your friend, where it's established going in that you're the best fighter most people have ever seen, and where you can pretty much take it for granted that you'll come out alive with all your arms and legs. Uh-huh. By that token it took a lot of guts for Dubya to read to kindergartners in public too. I have a lot of respect for the but I don't need to apotheosize him with oversized hyperbole.

On the other hand, for ME to go to prison, voluntarily or not, would be bypassing "courage" clear to "absolute idiocy", because I could no more expect to come out of that experience intact than I could expect to enjoy bathing in a vat of molten metal -- except that the crucible would be quicker. Those juvie lockups and mental wards were bad enough.
posted by davy at 10:00 AM on October 30, 2005


davy, I don't doubt that you're correct that Ali was never in much physical danger if he went to jail. But he did sacrifice the best years of his fighting career and being the most visible and prominent person to come out against the war and to refuse the draft gave a lot of inspiration to many other ordinary young people, black and white* who admired the man. For that (and of course for his greatnes in the ring, and his unmatchable style) he gets my respect.

(I'll never forget watching C-SPAN one night. It was the recieving line at a state dinner and Bill & Hillary Clinton were shaking hands politely with notables and celebs. When Ali got to the head of the line, Clinton immediately put his arm around Ali's shoulder and asked to have pictures taken with the man. The leader of the free world became just another fan. Hell, I woulda done the same thing. Cool moment.)
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on October 30, 2005


Me
We
posted by mr.marx at 10:18 AM on October 30, 2005


(Tangentially related)

This esquire article is one of the most poignant and intimate I've read on the man. I can't seem to find a quote that will do the whole article justice, but this will have to do:
As we spoke, a boy was wheeled into the suite. He had a sort of palsy and couldn't control the movements of his limbs or his head. His parents asked if he could meet Muhammad. Ali moved close and put his lips against the boy's cheek. The boy's head was turned the other way, and he couldn't see Ali, but he felt his lips. His body spasmed toward Ali, and his right arm reached out over his body, found the back of Ali's head, and stroked it.

Three hours after Ali knocked out George Foreman in the middle of Africa, Ali was doing magic tricks on a doorstep in N'Sele for a group of Zairean children. Once, about twenty years ago, when he was walking on a street in Los Angeles, he saw a man threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a fire escape, and he hurried inside the building and talked the man to safety. The embrace with this boy in the wheelchair lasted for more than two minutes.
While you're trying to find a way to login and read it *cough*bugmenot*cough*, I'll leave you with this Ali quote from an Esquire "What I've Learned" article:
I came back to Louisville after the Olympics with my shiny gold medal. Went into a luncheonette where black folks couldn't eat. Thought I'd put them on the spot. I sat down and asked for a meal. The Olympic champion wearing his gold medal. They said, "We don't serve niggers here." I said, "That's okay, I don't eat 'em." But they put me out in the street. So I went down to the river, the Ohio River, and threw my gold medal in it.
posted by blendor at 10:28 AM on October 30, 2005


Ali apparently said "Me. Whee!" although I've heard it asserted he said "Me? Oui!".

Anyway, The Rumble in the the Jungle is simply the stuff legends are made of.
posted by brautigan at 10:30 AM on October 30, 2005


Anyone could see that wasn't his real name anymore. He didn't change it for Hollywood or rock star reasons.

Ali's reasons for taking the name were real and genuine and compelling. Pity one can't say the same about Elijah Muhammad's reasons for giving it.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:41 AM on October 30, 2005


I have a lot of respect for the but I don't need to apotheosize him with oversized hyperbole.
posted by davy at 10:00 AM PST on October 30 [!]


Not knowing you davy - I'll take you at your word that you are no one special and would get killed in prison. So I concede that point that prison would be rougher for you - if you stood on a principle - than it would be for Ali.

I would argue that if you did stand for something worthy and went to prison for it you would be a courageous man as well.

But Ali was bigger - someone special - it also meant he was more of a target.

The comparison to fighting in a ring or being in prison to being on a battlefield isn't the issue here - the analogy is more akin to Rosa Parks or MLK (who was in fact killed for what he believed in and spoke about). The Klan was still lynching people then. Hell, they still are now.

Previous - posts have debated the courage of soldiers and their actions. This has nothing to do with that.


He didn't refuse to fight because he was afraid or inept or didn't want to leave home or any other nebulous reason. He refused on principle. Clear, hard, simply stated principle.

Sometimes it takes more courage to stand against your own country when it is wrong than it takes to walk into a meatgrinder.


Some people with lots of courage in combat are otherwise afraid of public speaking. Or heights. Or social situations. Or even what it takes to lead the country somewhere it doesn't want to go.

I was very good at what I did when I was in the service. Probably better than Ali could have been. But that's apples to oranges. He's a better man than I am whether I have more operational capability on a battlefield or not. There is no way I could have had the impact for the betterment of society than Ali did.

He dedicated himself to that path. He was the right man at the right time for the right job. Recognizing you are geared along that path and in for a lot of shit when you go down it, does take balls.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:48 AM on October 30, 2005


blendor writes "I'll leave you with this Ali quote from an Esquire 'What I've Learned' article"

Why'd you leave the last sentence off that quote? I thought it was heartening.

"Since that day, things in America have changed 100 percent."
posted by mr_roboto at 10:49 AM on October 30, 2005


Ali has always been my hero (I'm white, for what it's worth). He was built like a Greek god, moves like a lightweight, and a brain facile enough to help and propel him both in his athletic and spiritual endeavors.

Whenever you get the itch to question his motives, remember he took his stance at the top of his game. It cost him the belt and tremendous earning potential. I hope my son has half the courage to stand up and be counted.

Props should also be given to Howard Cosell, for being one of the few who stood by, and championed, Ali from start to finish- at great personal and professional risk. Cosell could be a jerk, but he knew a real man when he saw him.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:05 AM on October 30, 2005


Why'd you leave the last sentence off that quote?

Oops! I didn't mean to.

posted by blendor at 11:40 AM on October 30, 2005


Oh sure, it takes a lot of guts to go someplace where you already have a lot of fans among the residents and staff, where most people your color (and a lot who aren't) will want to be your friend, where it's established going in that you're the best fighter most people have ever seen, and where you can pretty much take it for granted that you'll come out alive with all your arms and legs. posted by davy

Did someone poop in your Post Toasties this morning, Davy?

Ali was assured that all he would have to do in the military would be exhibition boxing matches and that he could do his tour, keep up his skills, and then continue with his career when he was finished with his commitment. OTOH, he was told that if he went to prison, he would be washed up by the time he got out.

Tell me again why his decision was gutless?????
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:43 AM on October 30, 2005


I feel foolish for responding to davy's obvious troll, but I can't help but gawk at the absurdity of it. You sound like Barbara Bush in the Astrodome. You might as well have said that he just wanted to go to jail so that he could eat for free. I also love the $15 worth of vocabulary you added to your worthless concession of respect, but saying that he wasn't a coward or that he had more integrity than many, has nothing to do with some imagined attempt to "apotheosize him with oversized hyperbole."
posted by iloveit at 11:50 AM on October 30, 2005


Oh, come on, davy just can't stand leaving an uncontroversial remark lying there for everybody to nod happily at. You want to praise Ali for going to prison? He'll point out it didn't take as much courage for Ali as it would for thee or me. True, but davy, seriously: it takes guts for anybody to go to prison voluntarily. I would do what I could to avoid it even if my physical safety were guaranteed. Have you read any prison memoirs? (I'm sure you have, it's a rhetorical question.) Prison ain't no fun.
posted by languagehat at 12:02 PM on October 30, 2005


Mailer tells that story in When We Were Kings. It was at a Yale (I believe) commencement speech. Ali was challenged to write the shortest poem in English. Mailer says it's "Ali? Oui!" I don't know why anyone would think that Ali wouldn't know the word "oui".

Haven't any of you seen When We Were Kings? I've seen it probably five or six times. It's a documentary on that fight.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:05 PM on October 30, 2005


I believe this photo is actually from Ali-Liston II.

Good call horsewithnoname. I should have recognized a younger Ali. This photo is one of Foreman (the dope) going down.

Yeah, everytime you mention Ali the old debate about his political stance rises to the surface. The point of this FPP was not about Ali the man, but Ali the boxer.

In 1974, Foreman was not the pie-faced, friendly dude you see today selling grills on late night TV. In 1974 he was a brute: unbeaten in 40 fights with only 3 of those going 15 rounds. He was Mike Tyson with a punch and a bad attitude. At 25 he was in his prime and a fearsome opponent.

At 32 Ali was already on the backside of his career who had been unable to knock out Joe Frazier or Kenny Norton.

The "rope-a-dope" appeared to be suicide. For 4 rounds he let Foreman pound away for all he was worth - and there was no doubt Ali was taking a beating.

But Foreman - like the dope he was - punched himself out as Ali predicted. Ali came off the ropes in the 8th and dropped Foreman like a bad habit.

It was a hell of a fight.
posted by three blind mice at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2005


Mailer says it's "Ali? Oui!"

Um, no, he says it's "Me, We". And it was at Harvard.
posted by mr.marx at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2005


Props should also be given to Howard Cosell, for being one of the few who stood by, and championed, Ali from start to finish- at great personal and professional risk. Cosell could be a jerk, but he knew a real man when he saw him.

Actually, I remember the relationship between the two very differently. Cosell was one of those who persisted in calling him Clay long after he'd changed his name. It was only after Ali had a private discussion with him that Cosell gave that up. Cosell was a wart on sports broadcasting throughout his noisome career.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2005


If you find yourself in Kentucky next month, bear in mind the Ali Center in opening.
posted by the cuban at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2005


"Um, no, he says it's 'Me, We'. And it was at Harvard."

Yep. I was wrong. Damn, I prefer my version. Also, it's Plimpton who tells the story in the film.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:09 PM on October 30, 2005


Oscar Wilde once suggested that you kill the thing you love. In Ali's case, it was the reverse: what he loved, in a sense, killed him. The man who was the most loquacious of athletes ("I am the onliest of boxing's poet laureates") now says almost nothing: he moves slowly through the crowds and signs autographs. He has probably signed more autographs than any other athlete ever, living or dead. It is his principal activity at home, working at his desk. He was once denied an autograph by his idol, Sugar Ray Robinson ("Hello, kid, how ya doin'? I ain't got time"), and vowed he would never turn anyone down. The volume of mail is enormous.
The ceremonial leave-taking of great athletes can impart indelible memories, even if one remembers them from the scratchy newsreels of time β€” Babe Ruth with the doffed cap at home plate, Lou Gehrig's voice echoing in the vast hollows of Yankee Stadium. Muhammad Ali's was not exactly a leave-taking, but it may have seemed so to the estimated 3 billion or so television viewers who saw him open the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Outfitted in a white gym suit that eerily made him seem to glisten against a dark night sky, he approached the unlit saucer with his flaming torch, his free arm trembling visibly from the effects of Parkinson's.
It was a kind of epiphany that those who watched realized how much they missed him and how much he had contributed to the world of sport. Students of boxing will pore over the trio of Ali-Frazier fights, which rank among the greatest in fistic history, as one might read three acts of a great drama. They would remember the shenanigans, the Ali Shuffle, the Rope-a-Dope, the fact that Ali had brought beauty and grace to the most uncompromising of sports. And they would marvel that through the wonderful excesses of skill and character, he had become the most famous athlete, indeed, the best-known personage in the world.
-- George Plimpton
posted by matteo at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2005


Cosell was one of those who persisted in calling him Clay long after he'd changed his name. It was only after Ali had a private discussion with him that Cosell gave that up. Cosell was a wart on sports broadcasting throughout his noisome career.

Agreed, for the most part. Cosell was obnoxious, but he and Ali, by all accounts I've ever read, were fast friends. Cosell steadfastly refused, at significant risk personally and professionally, to comment negatively on Ali's stance on the war. Not a small deal back then.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:22 PM on October 30, 2005


Agreed, for the most part. Cosell was obnoxious, but he and Ali, by all accounts I've ever read, were fast friends

Well, they had similarly extroverted personalities.

I used to work with Cosell's granddaughter, she occasionally accompanied her family to sports functions where Ali and other boxers (she mentioned Smokin' Joe Frazier to me as an exceptionally likable guy) were in attendance and said that the Ali and Cosell families had remained close overthe years.
posted by jonmc at 1:26 PM on October 30, 2005


I think George Foreman should be mentioned here as well... not that he is a rival to Ali, they made up and became good friends in the 80's. What's amazing about Foreman is that he changed from an aloof, cold fighter to the pie-faced grill hawker you see today. And what's more, fought Evander Holyfield to a 12-round decision in 1991... with Foreman over 40 years old!

Both amazing boxers.
posted by anthill at 1:40 PM on October 30, 2005


Foreman is (was) a sincerely great boxer and he never deserved the humiliation he suffered at the hand of Ali's PR hacks. Yet Ali was so far ahead of his time and place he should of had wings, not gloves. Both men inspired me to take on the sport with no regrets.

To think of what passes for "role models" now makes me weep.
posted by tkchrist at 2:39 PM on October 30, 2005


Ali was never a hero of mine. I guess all this happened before my time (well, it did).

What most got me about this post was; I kept expecting to see Will Smith in the pictures and was (and am) annoyed that Ali doesnt look more like Will Smith.

(sure I know Will Smith is an actor and Ali was a bobbins film)


Damn you Ali - be more Big Willy Style
posted by 13twelve at 3:25 PM on October 30, 2005


13twelve. your talking permit is revoked.
posted by stenseng at 3:46 PM on October 30, 2005


...annoyed that Ali doesnt look more like Will Smith

Sigh. Like I said... weep.
posted by tkchrist at 4:38 PM on October 30, 2005


12twelve, admit it -- you are most likely annoyed that you don't look more like Will Smith.
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:50 PM on October 30, 2005


I came back to Louisville after the Olympics with my shiny gold medal. Went into a luncheonette where black folks couldn't eat. Thought I'd put them on the spot. I sat down and asked for a meal. The Olympic champion wearing his gold medal. They said, "We don't serve niggers here." I said, "That's okay, I don't eat 'em." But they put me out in the street. So I went down to the river, the Ohio River, and threw my gold medal in it.

The actual tossing of the gold medal has been called into question:

Except it may not have happened. Ali's camp now says the story was the invention of the autobiography's co-author. Word is he may simply have lost it. And recently the medal was replaced in a televised ceremony.
posted by mecran01 at 5:13 AM on October 31, 2005


"Um, no, he says it's 'Me, We'. And it was at Harvard."
Yep. I was wrong. Damn, I prefer my version. Also, it's Plimpton who tells the story in the film.


This reminds me of my all-time favorite NY Times correction:
The Close Reader column on July 14 [2002], about the relation between daily life and intellectual life in Israel at present, referred erroneously to protests against the award of the Israel Prize to an Israeli Arab, Emile Habibi. The award, and the protests, occurred in 1992, not 'recently'; the Israel Prize is given for a life of achievement, not any particular accomplishment. The novel 'Arabesques' was misattributed; it was written not by Habibi but by Anton Shammas, also an Israeli Arab, in Hebrew, not Arabic.

The column misstated the title of a book that discusses political minorities in modern Hebrew literature, and misstated its timing in the author's career. It is 'Producing the Modern Hebrew Canon,' not 'Constructing the Hebrew Canon,' published after the writer joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, not before. And his preferred transliteration of his name from the Hebrew is Hannan Hever, not Chanan Chever.

The column also attributed an honor erroneously to the novelist A. B. Yehoshua. He has never received the Sapir Prize (often referred to as the Israeli equivalent of Britain's Booker Prize).
posted by languagehat at 5:55 AM on October 31, 2005


He and Dr. Thompson just might be my favorite co-Louisvillians.
I watched a fight maybe a year ago, one of his relatively early ones, and was just amazed- his opponent was blocking half the time and punching half the time. Ali was punching, and he didn't have to block- somehow, wherever his opponents fist was, he wasn't.
posted by 235w103 at 7:46 AM on October 31, 2005


"The Rumble in the Jungle was a fight that made the whole country more conscious," Ali wrote at the time. "The fight was about racial problems, Vietnam. All of that."

Actually it was just a boxing match.
posted by MikeMc at 8:31 AM on October 31, 2005


uncanny hengeman

Correction: George Chuvalo is a white man who went the distance twice with Ali, in 1966 and 1972. Joe Bugner is not the only one...
posted by joshshmenge at 9:07 AM on October 31, 2005


One of my favorite anecdotes from the excellent When We Were Kings is that Ali and Foreman trained in the same gym before the fight. Foreman would leave a dent the size of a basketball in the heavy bag, and Ali just wouldn't look at the bag.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:12 AM on October 31, 2005


A great boxer, beautiful.

Also beautiful are the songs Ali inspired: Ali, Foreman, Welcome To Kinshasa by Orchestre GO Malebo is probably my favourite (the Afro-Francophone pronunciation of 'Foreman' is sublime!). Cassius Clay by Dennis Alcapone is a close second. Uh, can't think of any more off the top of my head, but I'm sure a very respectable mix tape could be fashioned using only Ali-themed songs...

What most got me about this post was; I kept expecting to see Will Smith in the pictures and was (and am) annoyed that Ali doesnt look more like Will Smith.

That's hands down the strangest comment I've read today. You really mean you didn't know what Ali looked like until just now? How is that possible?!
posted by jack_mo at 10:22 AM on October 31, 2005


Also beautiful are the songs Ali inspired: Ali, Foreman, Welcome To Kinshasa by Orchestre GO Malebo is probably my favourite (the Afro-Francophone pronunciation of 'Foreman' is sublime!). Cassius Clay by Dennis Alcapone is a close second. Uh, can't think of any more off the top of my head, but I'm sure a very respectable mix tape could be fashioned using only Ali-themed songs...

Blues singer Sippie Wallace's "Muhammad Ali," is nice, as is soul singer Andre Williams' "Ali Shuffle."
posted by jonmc at 10:49 AM on October 31, 2005


One of my favorite fights of all-time was Ali vs. Tooth Decay.
posted by horsewithnoname at 10:52 AM on October 31, 2005


some brilliant posts here, i think i enjoy reading the comments just as much as the original posts.

To think of what passes for "role models" now makes me weep by tkchrist is right on the money.

Joe Louis and Ali are my two all time favourite boxers, taking vastly different paths to get to the top. if only they could have been in the ring together.
posted by kurtrudder at 4:42 PM on October 31, 2005


I never said it took no guts to go to prison voluntarily. And I didn't know (or didn't remember reading, if I did) that he was promised a cushy life as a "spokesmodel" in the "Zoo" part of the Army that Elvis previously decorated, so yeah, that does make his refusal even more interesting. Nor did I say he should not be saluted for his hard choice. All I said was that as hard choices go that didn't sound too bad to me. I might well be wrong, I wasn't there, but I'll bet that Ali wasn't anybody's prison bitch.

It also doesn't seem to have hurt him much in the long run: he was a bigger star, and a bigger hero, after coming out of prison. And for pete's sake the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously overturned his sentence, so even "moderates" could feel good about rooting for him.

Remember the only reason it became an issue is that Ali had already been a star beforehand. What about all the other "heroes" whose "principled decisions" don't do them any good whatsoever, especially those who aren't famous? It's perfectly possible too that people nobody's heard of might make principled decisions to go to prison for a cause that most people disapprove of, that 40 years later you'll still disapprove of if somebody brings their "noble sacrifice" to your attention.

When you applaud nobodies whose principles you (and 400000 of your closest friends) don't agree with then I'll take your "judgment" seriously. Till then you're just cheap hero-worshippers on a nice soft bandwagon.

(Note that I agree that he did the right thing by refusing to go into Army.)
posted by davy at 10:36 PM on October 31, 2005


I applaud that foot ball soon-to-be-drafted-to-the-NFL guy who died in Afganistan from friendly fire. That took HUGE cajones. Don't particularly agree on the whole Afganistan thing though.

On a slight aside, it was always amusing to hear critics of Smith of his potrayal of Ali in the film. The most often cited criticism "He's not nearly as fast as Ali", well, DUH. If he was as FAST AS ALI HE'D BE BOXING. Sheesh.
posted by eurasian at 8:12 AM on November 1, 2005


"When you applaud nobodies whose principles you (and 400000 of your closest friends) don't agree with then I'll take your "judgment" seriously."

I did.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:25 AM on November 1, 2005


Smedleyman, you're unusual: most people only respect their principles. If in your case the shoe don't fit, then don't wear it. Cool?
posted by davy at 5:59 PM on November 2, 2005


Smedleyman, you're unusual

Now there's an understatement.

I recognize the dedication of - say - an anti-war protester to the country while I myself was serving. There were more protesters in the 1st war in the gulf, but I hope you see what I mean.
Once can serve in different ways.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2005


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