giovedì, agosto 10, 2006

Beating the frustration

Rodelina mailed me a package of Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate Ginger biscuits. They were gone in seven minutes, which is a new personal best. I really need some sauce . . . thank god the F Man is getting here on Tuesday. Chastity is for the aged.

On to less personal matters. A little while ago I saw When We Were Kings for the second time, after a gap of . . . since whenever it came out. I’d remembered that as the best documentary ever, which now I think was an exaggeration. Microcosmos was better. As was that Enron movie and the one about the jackass who got himself and his woman killed by the grizzly bears. But When We Were Kings was still great, mostly for the footage of the boxers themselves. Also it was a little more interesting after having done a masters in international relations and actually sort of understanding a little bit why Zaire was so fucked up.

The really cool thing about seeing it again was that the only special features on the DVD were footage of the entire Rumble in the Jungle AND the Thrilla in Manila. As some of you know I ruined my knee in a fighting class, spent months fathoms deep in love with my fighting teacher and really like beating things. I think fighting is cool, in other words. So you’d think I’d like watching boxing . . . I don’t really . . . always seemed a bit silly to watch professional people fight since a proper fight is over so fast, and the abstract notion of two guys putting on big soft leather gloves so that they could whale on each other longer seemed silly.

But those two matches, at least, were pretty fucking cool. They made the whole idea of two guys putting on big soft gloves to whale on each other make perfect sense. It was artistry. Well, the Thrilla in Manila was artistry. Ali and Frazier taking so long to find each other’s hitty points and moving around so cleverly while they did it – you know, with a really distinct personal style but still a great deal of creativity. The Rumble in the Jungle was strategy, superb upper body muscles, marvellous shit-talk and a few stunning combinations that simultaneously left me breathless and made me think of that episode of the Simpsons Moe exploited Homer’s thick skull to turn him into a professional boxer. That was cool too.

6 commenti:

Melbine ha detto...

Wow, you're on the day countdown for F now! That's amazing.

Like you, I like fighting. But I agree that boxing is silly. You should fight if you need to, not for entertainment purposes. Dumb.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Sometimes it's really entertaining though! I don't think I would ever pay to go to a fighting match or encourage the industry in any financial way, but those two bouts were sure fucking awesome looking.

You Need A Mess Of Help ha detto...


Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yes, the blood sprayed quite elegantly. The sweat and tears were even finer.

mongoose ha detto...


Your appreciation of two major Ali events seems a demonstration of something more general.

All endeavours widely practised are, by definition, mostly mediocre. The apex is what is worthwhile to experience as audience, but the existence of excellence requires a mountain of ordinary to support it (and usually a less visible, submerged nadir of revulsive failure beneath). Whether a bell-curve or a pyramid, the top is seamlessly enmeshed in the whole.

The succint provocation is: no Ali without boxing.

As for the Idea-of-boxing being an unappealing Fight, of course. They are different things. Boxing is sport, albeit with some useful transference to fighting. Training (including strategy) for street-style self-defence, or even targeted aggression, is much different than for formal martial art or combat sport. When critiquing, that distinction should be manifest.

M., martial artist & boxing fan

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I can appreciate your point about boxing as a sport having an appeal absolutely different from fighting or just about anything else. My attitude to boxing is shaped by the fact I don't know much and haven't cared much about that sport or that tradition.

My feelings on watching those two matches, however, were so impressed as to get me right over the fact that I don't know much or care much about the systems of boxing into feeling I was watching two geniuses. Something like being charmed by music whose theory I don't understand on an instrument I'd never paid attention to before.