Mohamed Ali, A Personal Hero

I don’t love everything about Mohamed Ali. I don’t like everything about anybody. But he was a good man fundamentally, though confused about some things. He taught everyone that while being a jerk for entertainment may have been distasteful and annoying, being a decent human being where it counts is what really matters.

He was a fighter for entertainment. Fighting with people who agreed to fight him back. A boxer in words and fists. And he stood up against the US Government and he would not let them take him to Vietnam to go kill a bunch of Asians and burn their children.

Politicians are all polite and decent in their external, superficial personas. Deep down they all have evil souls. They will go after UFC fighting rings like John McCain and call them “human cockfighting” and try to pass a law saying it is “indecent” while they go around authorizing more bombing campaigns to kill millions.

Boxers like Mohamed Ali are not polite and decent superficially. They are trash talkers but only superficially, because that’s the entertainment they provide. But when it comes down to what really matters – are you going to kill people or not, people who did nothing to you – he stood up to the State and said no. He would not. He would rather go to prison. And so would I. And so he did. And he lost his sport, his livelihood, his reputation for a while, but in the end he won that greatest of fights, too. Not in the ring with another boxer, but in the global ring with the government – he fought and he won.

And he didn’t let all the academic bull about patriotism and duty and American the Great and Beautiful confuse him. America is not great and beautiful. Only some individuals are. Some are not.

Ali was wrong about the enemy being the “white people” obviously. The enemy is the State, which grinds races against one another by taking money from one to give to another. But for his absolutely courageous bravery in standing up to the warmongering politicians, he is my hero.

I love Mohamed Ali, and the world is worse off without him in it.

יהי זכרו ברוך.

Why Adele is Just as Awesome as Amy Lee

A few months ago I wrote a post about Amy Lee, praising her for her music but most of all for being a normal person.

Adele fits that category too. I’ve known about her for years but her latest single Hello got me interested in researching her a bit. Apparently, she’s pretty freakin’ normal too. She’s engaged with a kid at 25 (she had a kid at 25, she’s older now), she’s plus size and not a perfect music star body type, but she has lost significant weight since whenever it was she came out with Rolling in the Deep. So it’s not like she’s let herself go or anything like that. Her soon to be husband looks like a fun character goofball type.

You can tell her hair is usually crazy and requires a lot of taming for the stage. Everyone in my family has crazy hair, except me because I cut it off and my son doesn’t have any hair.

When she gets on stage she just sings. She doesn’t womp around on stage, and she wears very nice dresses. She’s a talented enough singer that she doesn’t have to distract you with dance moves. It’s rare that a singer just sings these days. Her performance is almost entirely in her face. The entertainment is to just listen to her and watch how her own music affects her and let it affect you. She feels like a throwback to the 20’s or 30’s with a modern twist. Just beautiful music.

Most importantly, she’s considered a recluse among the famous people community. She doesn’t want anything to do with that and would much rather just live a normal life.

This quote, for example, is gold:

“I think it has a lot to do with becoming a parent,” she added. “When I was turned 25 I was quite shocked. I didn’t think I was old or anything like that, I just couldn’t remember where the last five years had gone. I think it’s the same that happened with every area of my life: My real life, my career, obviously becoming a mom, and stuff like that. It was not remembering very much of it because so much happened and it frightened me.”

The 27-year-old singer also shot down claims that she was a “recluse,” instead revealing that she just won’t give into the Hollywood spotlight.

“I’m not blinded by the persuasion of fame,” she said. “Fame is not real, so how am I suppose to write a real record for anyone to enjoy if I’m living a very fake life?”

Wow is that relatable or what? Also a wysiwyg woman, which is obvious from her stage name, just Adele. She was discovered after she put a demo on Myspace in 2006. (What the heck is Myspace? Hehe…)

I’m more into the louder rock/metal music but I recognize her songs are great. So I searched around for metal covers and I found this TOTALLY AWESOME GUY from Norway. His facial expressions are so nuts it’s great! Cracks me up…

My Reaction to the Supreme Court Jerusalem Ruling

I wrote this on Facebook just now, in a comment:

I don’t understand why anybody cares what a bunch of deadbeats on a bench think of what should accepted as the “capital” of another group of deadbeats in the knesset. Well, I understand it. People think the deadbeats’ opinions matter and have some cosmic meaning on something. I just think it’s stupid, and it won’t affect anyone’s life, and people can still (!) amazingly, consider Jerusalem the capital of the universe if they want to, and politicians, whether they are on the bench or in the knesset or in jail or on the moon, don’t matter.

The Best Lines from Dave Barry’s 2014 Thunderous Bidet Year in Review

Just reading this now. Dave Barry is my mentor in writing. He doesn’t know that, but I’ve always looked up to him. Before I got all libertarianish and serious and fiery I was primarily a humor writer. You can see my old college stuff here.

Dave Barry, I am convinced, is a libertarian at heart. For the whole review, click here. Here’s my favorite part (so far, I haven’t finished reading yet):

In Washington scandal news, the Internal Revenue Service, responding to a subpoena, tells congressional investigators that it cannot produce 28 months of Lois Lerner’s emails because the hard drive they were stored on failed, and the hard drive was thrown away, and the backup tapes were erased, and no printed copies were saved — contrary to the IRS’s own record-keeping policy, which was eaten by the IRS’s dog. “It was just one crazy thing after another,” states the IRS, “and it got us to thinking: All these years we’ve been subjecting taxpayers to everything short of rectal probes if they can’t produce EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT WE WANT, and here we lose YEARS worth of official records! So from now on, if taxpayers tell us they lost something, or just plain forgot to make a tax payment, we’ll be like, ‘Hey, whatever! Stuff happens!’ Because who are we to judge?”

…President Obama announces that the U.S. military, which finally, with much fanfare, managed to get out of Iraq after a long string of operations including Operation Desert Fox, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, is commencing an operation in … Iraq. This new operation — against a group called “ISIL,” an acronym that stands for “ISIS” — is hampered when a technical glitch causes the Pentagon’s Operation Name Generator to spew out a string of unacceptable candidates, including Operation Staunch Bedspread, Operation Iron Tapeworm and Operation Thunderous Bidet. While technicians work to solve the problem, the military is forced to refer to the new operation as “Bob.”

In military news, the Pentagon announces that it has finally come up with a name for the current U.S. actions in Iraq and Syria: “Operation Inherent Resolve.” Seriously, that is the actual name. They should have gone with Thunderous Bidet.

In sports, the top college football teams play in the traditional year-end bowl games, including the TaxSlayer Bowl, the Bitcoin Bowl, the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, the Duck Commander Bowl and the Thunderous Bidet Bowl. All but one of these are actual bowl games.