Monday, 6 June 2016

Ali Out

"What A Man," by Salt-N-Pepa

He took big punches (and so many!) from everything and everyone: from himself, from the American government, from gigantic white America, from swindlers of his wealth, from disease, from old age, from other boxers -- Joe Frazier, according to the man himself, almost killed him; Joe Frazier, rightfully, hated him because Ali tried to rob him of his humanity. They fought three times, Frazier officially lost twice, but both of them lost all three times. They were both infinitely braver than I ever will be, but they didn't really win anything.   

He made his living from fighting. That used to be something I liked to watch, but because I've learned how frail the brain can be, I don't care for it anymore. I still respect it, I just can't watch it.

I could never stop watching Muhammad Ali, however, even when I wanted to: He was just too tough, too strong, too smart, too brave, too old, too frail, too beautiful, his face too bright and pretty, his eyes too alive. It's been the strangest thing: Ever since I found out, in the middle of a few nights ago, that he was gone, whenever I've subsequently seen him and heard his voice in the papers and on TV, my normally reliable resistance to tears just checks out for a second or two. The tears evaporate quickly, but leak out from somewhere they do.

The linked song is all about romantic love and has nothing to do with Muhammad Ali, but the refrain is all him, and you will want to sing it (and dance) when you think about him.

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