"I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong." - RIP Ali

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gram negative's picture
gram negative
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Jun 4 2016 16:54
"I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong." - RIP Ali

Can't wait to see the negative responses. Yes, he joined the NOI, but fighting the draft board deserves respect, especially because it cost him severely.

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, some poor, hungry people in the mud, for big powerful America, and shoot them for what?”

S. Artesian
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Jun 4 2016 22:06

Ain't gonna get a negative response from me. Met Ali a couple of times;one time in Chicago, I think it was either before the first Frazier fight, or the Foreman fight. He was walking down Michigan Ave with a crowd around him. He stopped to sign autographs and answer questions, so I stepped into the mix. He really was beautiful, I mean Greek god come to life beautiful. I asked him:

"What about all those writers who say you've slowed down?"

"What writers? Who cares about them? I want to know if you think I've slowed down?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I have no idea, " I said. Then Ali said: "Don't move. Don't move a muscle." The crowd around us backed up and oohed.

Ali threw maybe 20 punches at my head, at different points on my face, pulling each punch by about 1/4 inch to avoid contact. I didn't move because I never saw any of the punches coming...just a blur.

Then Ali stopped and said "Now what do you think?"

I said, "I'm betting on you, Champ." I then asked him for his autograph, and he took the book I was holding and signed the title page. The book was Marcuse's Reason and Revolution, which I still have to this day, with Ali's autograph on the title page.

The other thing I noticed when Ali was signing my book-- the knuckles on both hands were bone white-- from all the impacts from all the punches.

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Steven.
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Jun 5 2016 10:38
S. Artesian wrote:
I said, "I'm betting on you, Champ." I then asked him for his autograph, and he took the book I was holding and signed the title page. The book was Marcuse's Reason and Revolution, which I still have to this day, with Ali's autograph on the title page.

Pics or gtfo

baboon
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Jun 5 2016 11:50

What an athlete, what a fighter, what a man. Now, like most other working class heroes, claimed by the bourgeoisie as one of its own all along..

I saw him fight Henry Cooper at the Arsenal around the mid-60's. A gang of us in mohair suits arrived on the back of a flat-bed coal lorry. We saw Clay, as he then was, walking up the glass staircase of the stadium next to the road. I agree with SA - he looked beautiful. We shouted and he turned laughed and waved at us. The fight was on TV the following night but because it was black and white you couldn't see what we could see in the stadium - Cooper bright pink from his waist to the top of his head from the constant lightning jabs.

For unfolding drama and a resume of the artistry of the man, the story of the rumble in the jungle "When We Were Kings" has to be one of the best sports films ever made, one the best films full stop..

S. Artesian
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Jun 5 2016 13:54

Better reproduction here: http://thewolfatthedoor.blogspot.com/2016/06/true-story.html

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Jun 5 2016 23:22

Great story S.Artesian and I'm dead jealous. I come from a boxing family, boxed amateur myself in the 1970s and was always a big fan of Ali. My brother and his son met him about 20 years ago. He had a brief "spar" mucking about with my brother and my young nephew got his picture taken with Ali giving him a hug. Was dead jealous of my brother as well, the jammy sod angry

S. Artesian
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Jun 6 2016 00:40

Pure luck, Serge. Being in Chicago, deciding to walk home from work that day...at that time. But what a electrifying presence Ali was.

I'm old enough to remember watching him in the '60 Olympics in Rome, thinking-- "Who is this guy?," and I was young enough then to be thrilled by his "lip," his poetry, his recklessness, or what I thought was recklessness, in the ring-- boxing with his hands down, moving his head back instead of to the side.

And then his refusal to enter the Army and fight the Vietnamese-- that really was Ali "shaking up the world."

I was in high school (grades 9-12 in the US, usual ages 14-18) when he fought Liston in Miami... listened to it on radio-- the 5th round when the "liniment" from Liston's glove had practically blinded him, and then about 2 minutes into the round, his vision cleared and he went back to peppering Liston with jabs.

Lion-hearted man, absolute lion-heart. I don't think any other fighter would have been able to get off the canvas after absorbing that left from Frazier in the 14th round of the 1st fight, a punch that Frazier launched all the way from the ring floor, and that Frazier himself said he brought all the way from Alabama (I think it was Alabama). But Ali did, and he came back to, IMO, win the 15th round.

I remember the referee in the first fight being interviewed after the fight and saying something like he had never seen two fighters hit each other so hard and so many times and he didn't think either one of them would live through the first three rounds.

Same goes for Frazier-- lion-hearted. Saw the Thrilla in Manila at the local movie theater, and I remember Ali hitting Frazier so hard, the mouthguard, covered in blood, flew out of Frazier's mouth. And Frazier would not have quit-- his handlers knew they had to throw in the towel to save his life.

Ali paid the price for giving us all those thrills. I really wish I hadn't been so entranced given the toll it takes on the combatants. I mean, I refuse to watch US style football given what it does to the players.

And we can't ignore the class component-- this was supposed to be a "route upward" for young black men-- right, climbing the ladder of success by getting their brains bashed in for the profit and enjoyment of rich people and corporations-- but watching Ali was exhilarating-- even if guiltily exhilarating.

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Jun 6 2016 08:09

Although, much as I've always been a fan, Ali's behaviour towards Joe Frazier was nevertheless fucking abysmal in so many ways.

freemind
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Jun 6 2016 20:26

''No Vietnamese ever called me Nigger'' was the quote no channel would broadcast

freemind
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Jun 6 2016 20:33

He was a hypocrite in many ways but incredibly brave as a domicile in an Empire that thrived on lynching,racism and war.As a boxer he was the best and as a vista he was beautiful.A champion in the pantheon of legends with Best,Borg,Biycott etc.
A man manipulated by Nation of Islam and all that implies he nevertheless was a self taught intellect who crossed boundaries.

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Jun 7 2016 06:03

Freemind #9
‘''No Vietnamese ever called me Nigger'' was the quote no channel would broadcast’

The BBC World Service did. I think it was an interview with Jesse Jackson, broadcast within hours of the news of Ali’s death. I didn’t hear it repeated.

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Jun 7 2016 12:23

Artesian - having seen some of the reactions to your posts on some other threads I'll bet some people wish Ali connected! Not me though and if he had of done I'd kiss it all better for you. You're aces Artisan kid, you know that?

S. Artesian
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Jun 7 2016 16:03

Thank you.

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Jun 7 2016 16:30
Quote:
A man manipulated by Nation of Islam and all that implies he nevertheless was a self taught intellect who crossed boundaries.

I don't think he was manipulated by anyone; he made his choices and some of them were wrong. I read this earlier on Wikipedia:

Quote:
Ali later said that turning his back on Malcolm was one of the mistakes he regretted most in his life.

Muhammad Ali, Soul of a Butterfly

wojtek
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Jun 7 2016 17:05

Were his politics standard anti-imperialism? Did he stop being homophobic?

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Steven.
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Jun 7 2016 17:07
wojtek wrote:
Were his politics just standard anti-imperialism? Did he stop being homophobic?

don't know about the homophobia, but his politics weren't straightforward anti-imperialism. He was a member of the Nation of Islam, which has pretty weird and reactionary politics. He also supported Ronald Reagan in 1984 because Ronald Reagan was going to "put God back in the classroom".

That said, his opposition to the Vietnam War, and racism against African-Americans was excellent. This is a good interview he did on a popular UK chat show, called Parkinson:

wojtek
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Jun 7 2016 18:55

Nevermind, i've found the video.

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Jun 7 2016 22:02

Here are the excruciating words of the [dis-] Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the passing of Muhammad Ali:

Quote:
I, my wife and family and the members of the Nation of Islam past and present mourn the loss of our brother Muhammad Ali.

Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to his family and to all those whose lives his life touched. There is a verse from the Bible and a verse from the Holy Qur’an that run through my mind at this time that I would like to express. One is found in the Bible in the Parable of the Talents, Matthew, 25:23, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!”

The Holy Qur’an, 2:154, says, “And speak not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. Nay, (they are) alive, but you perceive not.”

The flesh of Muhammad Ali must return to the earth but what he has done for the Cause of Islam, for the Cause of Freedom, Justice and Equality will never die.

These are the words that strike me, a life well lived and a job well done. He has finished his course. May Allah (God) grant him the Paradise that we believe he justly deserves. May Allah’s mercy be with his family and with us."

Your brother and servant,
Minister Louis Farrakhan

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Jun 9 2016 20:17