A Potpourri of Subjects
I could write a long essay about the Charlottesville tragedy, but that has been commented upon to death and I have virtually nothing new to add. Maybe the country is not the brink of another civil war because there been innumerable episodes of violence in the past that did not fracture the country–Shays’ Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Colfax (Louisiana) Massacre, the Haymarket Riot, the race riots of 1919, Watts in 1965, Detroit and Newark two years later, the riots in the aftermath of the Dr. Martin Luther King assassination, the uproar in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Kent State, and the Rodney King beating. But the notion of E Pluribus Unum (from many, one) and the melting pot nowadays seems as laughably quaint as the notion that any poor boy can grow up to be President. America is splitting into four camps–the Republican Party (dominated by the One Percenters and the neoconservatives), the Democratic party (dominated by the wealthy liberal urban professionals and the “Creative Class”), the alt right (the Trumpistas), and the alt left (the Sandernistas and the Social Justice Warriors). Unless some cosmic miracle occurs in which people start following the advice of the sappy song (and Coke commercial) of the 1970s of singing in perfect harmony and furnishing a home with love, I foresee more vandalism, more riots, more fires, and more injuries and even fatalities. Politics have never been pretty, but the tumult that has happened since Inauguration Day has brought out the worst of activists of all political stripes.
I saw the eclipse on Monday. I was too chicken to directly look into the sun with my special eclipse glasses (which looked like the cheap 3-D glasses pseudo-monster movie host Count Floyd hawked on the old comedy show SCTV). I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wearing dark glasses and needing a seeing eye dog to get around. I like the visual world, especially when I have a hankering for reading (which is nearly as frequent as the impure thoughts that pop into my brain–pretty much every second of every day). I can live without television, but I can’t live without my library.
The big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor happens tonight. It is not really a epic struggle of titanic gladiators like David and Goliath, Achilles and Hector, Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed (or Thunderlips and Clubber Lang in Rocky III and Ivan Drago in Rocky IV) Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant (or Macho Man Savage, Ric Flair, the Ultimate Warrior, and the Undertaker), or even William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal at the 1968 Democratic National Convention (where Buckley called Vidal a derogatory term for a homosexual and then threatened to punch him in the face). Instead, it is the battle between a fading sport trying to remain relevant in the public eye (boxing) and a hot new sport trying to gain legitimacy (mixed martial arts). As I wrote in a previous post, this fight will probably be the worst sports travesty since the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match in 1973. Since it is a glorified exhibition, I expect both fighters will pull their punches because they certainly know that a knockout will tarnish their legacies, especially Mayweather (can you imagine the jokes about the greatest boxer of his time who couldn’t beat a mixed martial arts guy from Ireland?). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised there will be more dancing than a season of Dancing With the Stars. This is one fight I am rooting for a rainout. And for those who spent nearly $100 to watch this “Fight of the Century”–you are proof that suckers are born every minute.
Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day
Fight the good fight, but sometimes it is prudent to be a coward.
UPDATE: The Mayweather-McGregor battle wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. But it wasn’t a fight for the ages unless you are a Mayweather fan.