MUHAMMAD ALI AND WHO GETS TO BE US: The elevated and the depressing!

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2016

Conclusion—"I want to see the loser:"
We loved last Friday's memorial service for Muhammad Ali.

We saw some of the most elevated speeches we've seen in a very long time—speeches about the desire to let everyone be us.

We also saw some humorous speeches which advanced similar ideals. One was delivered by Billy Crystal, a comedian who breaks the rules of his guild 1) by routinely being funny and 2) by being appropriate.

Crystal was funny this day, as he typically is. He also described the ideals which were brilliantly articulated by Attalah Shabazz, by Natasha Mundkur and by Lonnie Ali.

Complete with impressions of Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali, Crystal told a story about the way he first met Ali, way back in 1974, when only one of the men was famous. Crystal went on to explain where their friendship led:
CRYSTAL (6/10/16): He came to anything I asked him to do. Most memorable: He was an honorary chairman for a dinner at a very important event where I was being honored by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He did all of this promotion for it. He came to the dinner. He sat with my family the entire evening. He took photographs with everybody; the most famous Muslim man in the world honoring his Jewish friend.

Because he was there, we raised a great deal of money, and I was able to use it to endow the university in Jerusalem with something that I told him about. It was something he loved the theory of, and it thrives to this day. It’s called Peace Through the Performing Arts. It’s a theater group where Israeli, Arab and Palestinian actors, writers and directors all work together in peace, creating original works of art. And that doesn’t happen without him.
We hope that Jerusalem theater group works with young people like the 19-year-old Mundkur, who made such a dramatic speech last Friday. We're grateful that we got to see her inspiring, five-minute presentation. She joined Shabazz and Lonnie Ali in making the most uplifting public statements we've seen in a very long time.

Shabazz, Mundkur and Ali spoke about the desire to see everyone get to be us. The thrill we derived from their speeches has been balanced this week by ESPN's depressing, five-part "Made in America" film, which drenches us in the depressing culture of narrative, tribe and division.

(Yes, we just finished watching the deeply depressing Part 5 of the ESPN production. For some reason, the five installments became available through our free On Demand service before they aired on ESPN.)

ESPN examined aspects of our current American culture, which is deeply invested in tribe and tribal script. In our view, our own liberal tribe is deeply invested in tribal identity and script.

This exclusionary culture doesn't just obtain Over There, among Those People, The Others! Increasingly, we liberals are drenched in that culture too.

Last Friday, some brilliant speakers spoke about the desire to break down tribal separations. That said, one of the simplest lessons from the service came from a second speech which was largely humorous in tone.

This speech was delivered by John Ramsey, a Louisville sports radio host and a friend of Muhammad Ali's.

Billy Crystal is nationally famous; John Ramsey isn't. But he gave a superbly humorous speech, just as Crystal did.

For ourselves, we like our moral lessons extremely simple. Ramsey delivered one such lesson as he told a story about a surprising request.

"You know, Muhammad was blessed with many gifts," Ramsey said, "and he was a wise and faithful steward of those gifts." Having offered that as his framework, he launched a story about a trip to the Sydney Olympics:
RAMSEY (6/10/16): I remember, back in 2000, I made a trip to the Summer Olympics with Muhammad, and one day he decided we were going to go see a boxing match.

And I remember, we're ringside, the American wins, 15,000 people are chanting, "USA! USA!" And I thought, "This is my Olympic moment."

You know, I was filled with patriotic pride?
After the American won, Ramsey was filled with patriotic pride. According to Ramsey, Ali posed with the winning fighter, then made a surprising request:
RAMSEY (continuing directly): The boxer came down from the ring, he took the obligatory picture with Muhammad, the fist-to-chin shot.

Hundreds of photographers from around the world were taking pictures. You know, thousands of people, cheering for Muhammad and this victorious fighter.

And then Muhammad leaned down to me, whispered in my ear, said:

"I want to see the loser."


I said, "Excuse me?"

"I want to see the loser."
Ali had taken the standard photographs with the victorious fighter. Those photographs can still be seen on line.

But Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest," also wanted to see the loser! In the last part of the story which we'll post, Ramsey begins to explain what happened next:
RAMSEY (continuing directly): So I motioned over to an Olympic official and I said, "You know, Muhammad wants to see the loser. Can we go to the losing locker room?"

And we get to the losing locker room and there's not tens of thousands of people, there's not any photographers, there's just a kid in the corner on a stool, he's got a towel around his neck, he's got a bloody mouse under his eye. This has got to be the lowest point of his athletic career...

And the vibe in that room was literally the lowest of low.
As he continued, Ramsey described what happened that day in the loser's locker room. He ended with a humorous story about something Ali said later on in the car.

Here at THE HOWLER, we like the kind of people who want to see the loser. We're going to guess that Natasha Mundkur knows what it is to feel for the loser. From that point, it's a fairly short step to letting more people be us.

If you want to see John Ramsey's speech, just click here; he starts at 2:16:00. He followed the transcendent Mundkur and did a superlative job.

(He too does a top-notch Ali impression.)

For the record, the victorious American fighter with whom Ali posed seems to have been Clarence Vinson. He went on to win the bronze medal in the bantamweight division at the Sydney Olympics.

The fight took place on September 16, 2000. For the AP report, click here.

"The loser" that day was Rachid Bouaita, a French fighter who was eliminated by Vinson in this, the competition's first round.

Last Friday, Ramsey explained what happened when Ali went to see Bouaita in a deserted room. We can't verify his story, but it involves an extremely simple moral lesson.

In our view, such simple lessons are the best. Next week, we'll continue to ask a simple question:

What might our own liberal tribe learn from stories like this?

Tomorrow: Where does "identity" come from?

24 comments:

  1. That was kinda hard to watch. According to the kid, Cassius Clay was greater than the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in all of us, and taught us all everything we know about decency or something.

    Like he was even greater than Usain Bolt. Come on.

    Throwing rocks back at the people who throw rocks at you is returning hate for hate. Not sure Martin would approve.

    The sportsman's story was nice, but he seems unaware somehow of the power of celebrity. Ali can visit a loser's locker room or a hospital wing - and make people's day - because he is Ali. People are often blown away when a celebrity appears in their life. Ordinary heroes, like the fireman mentioned, do not have that same power.

    I stopped at a garage one day, and I had a pretty serious problem. Car was not working. I was stranded ten miles from home. And as I was waiting I saw other people coming in with problems and getting help.It really struck me how these mechanics, like many other fairly ordinary workers, were really serving people in distress.

    I like the quote about service "the rent we pay for the room we get on earth" (or something like that). Ali's rent is paid in full, he said to a standing ovation. Because, of course, no other person on earth has ever given as much service as "the greatest".

    Not meaning to take away from either his generosity or his accomplishments, but really, he also GOT a lot. Was his trip to Sydney and his tickets to an Olympic event free? Probably. Most Americans will never have the privilege of setting foot on Australia. He wrote some checks to various charities, doubtless more than I could ever give, but in the end he was still worth $80,000,000. His life was not ALL about giving.

    I dunno. I don't want to put him down. I don't hate him the way I did in my teen years. I just walked away from that fifteen minutes of his fame feeling like all the superlatives heaped on him sorta belittled all of the rest of US. YMMV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's nothing. I once broke down 15 miles from home. I couldn't get to a garage. I was surrounded by a bunch of punks whose mouths were louder than a young Cassius Marcellus promoting a pre-championship fight. It really struck me how these punks generated scorn for the hard working public school teachers who tried to intill some literacy and decency in them and earned the contempt of public safety officers who tried to maintain decency and discipline in the social order they disrupted. Then the bastards stole my hubcaps, tires, tapedeck.

      My dad worked hard to give me that car for graduation.

      Delete
    2. Hello friends i am very happy for the wonderful work lord masuka whose email is lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we were living happily, until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treats me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is nothing. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about lord masuka and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted him for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he cast the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that lord masuka cast on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you lord masuka for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his Email: lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com or lordmasukaspellhome711@gmail.com You can visit his website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com for more details about him or call him +2347053105287. You can also add him on facebook Harry Masuka or Skype lord masuka. contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to LORD MASUKA.

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    3. Hello friends i am very happy for the wonderful work lord masuka whose email is lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we were living happily, until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treats me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is nothing. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about lord masuka and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted him for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he cast the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that lord masuka cast on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you lord masuka for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his Email: lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com or lordmasukaspellhome711@gmail.com You can visit his website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com for more details about him or call him +2347053105287. You can also add him on facebook Harry Masuka or Skype lord masuka. contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to LORD MASUKA.

      Delete
  2. To me, Albert Einstein is a bigger hero than Muhammad Ali. I'm glad Bob has stopped criticizing Einstein.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you're happy.

      Delete
    2. I want to read the winner.

      Delete
    3. To me, Albert Brooks (and his brother, Super Dave Osborne) had mad comedic skillz.

      Delete
    4. I was referring to the physicist Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955).

      Delete
  3. My heart is full of happiness since Dr. happy put a smile on face again by bringing the man i love most back in my life after putting my trust on him, my lover was back to me and i now believe love spell exist contact him via happylovespell2@gmail.com or call him via +2348133873774 also WhatsApp him with same number for quick response to solve your relationship or marriage today once again Dr. happy i'm grateful for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi everyone,fix your broken relationship and marriage right now no matter how hopeless your situation seems!! I am so excited sharing my testimony with everyone here about how i saved my marriage and got my husband back after a divorce. I am Natasha Hayes by name and I'm a happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn't love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{Unityspelltemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who didn't call me for the past{7}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our marriage was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster Dr Unity. So, i will advice you out there, if you have any problem contact Dr Unity and i guarantee you that he will help you and you will be the next to share your testimony to every one in the world!!. Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com or call him on: +2348072370762.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nope. We will continue to read Bob, even if the comments are terrible... JUST LIKE Bob says. He is right about the comments on other sites. Terrible and they are generally pretty bad here. Good thing I don't NEED the comments. But I do enjoy the dating advice. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To whom are you commenting.

      Delete
    2. FROM THE POST:
      Q: Tell the grand jury what happened.
      A: We went down to West Executive Boulevard...and I smoked and she told me what happened.
      Q: Why don’t you describe for the grand jury her demeanor at the time.
      A: It’s very hard to characterize what someone else’s demeanor means. I can just tell you that she was very excited, very flustered, she smiled from ear to ear the entire time. She seemed almost shocked, but happy shocked.

      Can we share the part that we enjoy in this exchange? Kathleen Willey gets sexy with President Clinton, and it’s Linda Tripp who then lights up a smoke!

      http://dailyhowler.com/h100598_1.shtml

      To be clear, I am commenting AT You... and your MAMA, now.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the link. Bob was quite good in the beginning, wasn't he.

      Delete
  6. Great article. I read this article properly. This is one of the best posts. Thanks sharing this article
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    ReplyDelete
  7. "What might our own liberal tribe learn from stories like this?"

    A) Nothing

    or

    B) That Awful Bob Somerby is sure awful (although we Used To think we was just swell!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C) We can all get to be the Greatest except liberals.

      Delete
  8. My life became devastated when my husband sent me packing, after 8 years that we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so many ways to make my husband take me back. One day at work, i was absent minded not knowing that my boss was calling me, so he sat and asked me what its was all about i told him and he smiled and said that it was not a problem. I never understand what he meant by it wasn't a problem getting my husband back, he said he used a spell to get his wife back when she left him for another man and now they are together till date and at first i was shocked hearing such thing from my boss. He gave me an email address of the great spell caster who helped him get his wife back, i never believed this would work but i had no choice that to get in contact with the spell caster which i did, and he requested for my information and that of my husband to enable him cast the spell and i sent him the details, but after two days, my mom called me that my husband came pleading that he wants me back, i never believed it because it was just like a dream and i had to rush down to my mothers place and to my greatest surprise, my husband was kneeling before me pleading for forgiveness that he wants me and the kid back home, then i gave Happy a call regarding sudden change of my husband and he made it clear to me that my husband will love me till the end of the world, that he will never leave my sight. Now me and my husband is back together again and has started doing pleasant things he hasn't done before, he makes me happy and do what he is suppose to do as a man without nagging. Please if you need help of any kind, kindly contact Happy for help and you can reach him via email: happylovespell2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello friends i am very happy for the wonderful work lord masuka whose email is lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we were living happily, until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treats me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is nothing. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about lord masuka and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted him for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he cast the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that lord masuka cast on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you lord masuka for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his Email: lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com or lordmasukaspellhome711@gmail.com You can visit his website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com for more details about him or call him +2347053105287. You can also add him on facebook Harry Masuka or Skype lord masuka. contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to LORD MASUKA.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello every body my name is Synder Anderson I just want to share my experience with the world on how Lord Alika help me, I got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 3 years with 1 kid and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and argued almost e very time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and don’t want to lose him but everything just didn’t work out… he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used his power… Within 4 days my husband called me and he said he was sorry for all the emotional pains he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily and our kid is happy too and we are expecting our second child… and my Husband also got a new job and our lives became much better web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.wix.com/http I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news..contact him on lordalikaspelltemple@yahoo.co.uk or +13217666393. web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.wix.com/http




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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  13. My name are Diana Alexandru Valeria,my life became devastated when my husband sent me packing, after 8 years that we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so many ways to make my husband take me back. One day at work, i was absent minded not knowing that my boss was calling me, so he sat and asked me what its was all about i told him and he smiled and said that it was not a problem. I never understand what he meant by it wasn't a problem getting my husband back, he said he used a spell to get his wife back when she left him for another man and now they are together till date and at first i was shocked hearing such thing from my boss. He gave me an email address of the great spell caster who helped him get his wife back, i never believed this would work but i had no choice that to get in contact with the spell caster which i did, and he requested for my information and that of my husband to enable him cast the spell and i sent him the details, but after two days, my mom called me that my husband came pleading that he wants me back, i never believed it because it was just like a dream and i had to rush down to my mothers place and to my greatest surprise, my husband was kneeling before me pleading for forgiveness that he wants me and the kid back home, then i gave Happy a call regarding sudden change of my husband and he made it clear to me that my husband will love me till the end of the world, that he will never leave my sight. Now me and my husband is back together again and has started doing pleasant things he hasn't done before, he makes me happy and do what he is suppose to do as a man without nagging. Please if you need help of any kind, kindly contact dr osasuyi for help and you can reach him via email: drosasuyi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete