After ten years in a relationship with my one and only (who incidently broke up with me this week), it is gratifying whenever I discover some previously undiscovered similarity in our personality, upbringing, quirkiness, outlook, philosophy etc. This one came while perusing her blog (yes, this one) and discovering her interest in the old horror movies of yesteryear. Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman. The big three. Legosi, Karloff, Chaney Sr. (if you think I am talking about a politician, please stop reading now). They were the fathers of the now so huge horror film market. I discovered we both grew up staying up late to watch them all on our local friday night horror shows (in Indianapolis it was "The Sammy Terry" show, which featured a black robed host with a white make-up face sticking out of his hood.)
It is in this vain of the old horror classics that I dedicate this guest post. They all revolve around TRANSFORMATION. From dead to al
ive. From kind to horrible. From human to immortal. They all remind me of Tiger Woods and Mohammed Ali.
When working with Tiger Woods two weeks go he was kind. He was clean. Happily married. Had everything including the shiny, uncontroversial image that being the first Billion dollar earner in sports demands. It requires a muted social conscience on issues such as war, politics and religion. Tiger has towed the same line as Micheal Jordan: Don't offend ANYONE and the money will follow.
The kind of thinking that must frustrate Mohammed Ali. He spoke out against all three. He asked why he should fight in vietnam, "They never called me nigger." He had nothing against THEM. He tired of watching US. The USA. He was a patriot because he stayed and fought to make it a better country, instead of saying it sucks and leaving. Or worse, yet, saying nothing. When he had his bike stolen as an eight year old, he learned to box. When he had his dignity and respect stolen as an adult he spoke out. He changed his religion, he spent his prime earning years, The Undisputed, undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the World, in jail, because he wouldn't go kill for a country where he couldn't sit in the front of the bus, share a drinking fountain, or eat in a restaurant with his fellow citizens. He was sent to jail because we weren't ready to listen. He had become a "Wolfman" of sorts. Saying and doing things controversial. Why couldn't he just box? Many people were going to vietnam, why couldn't he just be like Elvis and go be a hero for Truth, Justice and the American Way? Couldn't he see the trouble that would come with losing in Vietnam, like we were being told?
Already tiring of the VAMPIRE-mania that has taken over the airwaves and turned my once proud vampires into teen heart throb movies thin on mystery and story, thick on easily digestible plots and well built teens with gratuitous body shots to catapult it into the "HARRY POTTER" type of franchise, my attention now has turned to the as yet untarnished: The Wolfman. Hollywood will release its remake in Febuary with Benicio Del Toro starring as the lead. He claims it is true to the original (unlike the modernized version starring Jack Nickolson in "The Wolf"). It has Gypsies. It has his approval. Benicio is also a fan of the big three. He confidently stated that it was not modernized like the vampire of today, or "The Wolf" of the nineties. He told me about the Gypsies. He recited the words Karloff, Legosi, Chaney Sr. (Or as he called him, "The father Chaney.") It is exciting to see a true fan put his stamp on a true classic and I look forward to seeing it.
Just as Mohammed Ali did not become a monster when we sent him to jail, neither did Tiger Woods when he wrecked his car. They both were some same. There was no magical transformation like The Wolfman, Dracula or Frankenstein. Ali and Tiger stayed the same. Our PERCEPTION of them changed. Leaving us to discuss there social disgraces. We feed on Tiger fodder like brain candy. We are comfortable with it. It doesn't force us to ask the big questions about politics, war and religion. Thats' why we won't send him to jail. Its a distraction from the real issues that matter. Thank you Tiger.
Watching Tiger get media mauled reminds me of the Raccoon I saw yesterday. We have two coon hounds. There was a raccoon waddling down the road in front of our house. He could have gone around our yard to get to the field of freshly cut corn on the other side, but he wanted its tantalizing tastes now. He entered our yard and went straight for it. Tiger was away on business and answered his phone and went for it. He could have anything he wanted, he just didn't want to wait. It didn't matter whio was around. To the point of carelessness.
Maybe he wanted to get caught just like that raccoon wanted to die. Maybe he was tired of vanilla. So that raccoon waddled into our yard past the hounds. They were a little perplexed, as most raccoons fear them and run not towards them. That Raccoon arched his back and walked not by them, but towards them. He encouraged them to leave with hissing sounds. They began to circle. I went to get a big stick to try to push him past the electric fence he had climbed under. He wanted to go through our yard no matter what the consequences. He would not leave. I could have gotten the whole thing on video, but the inevitable end seemed too macabre. When he would charge one dog the other would nip him from behind. The parlay continued for twenty minutes, until the Raccoon started realizing the comfort of a tree may be wise and crossing the yard was perhaps, unwise. He tried to climb a nearby tree but was batted down by Rounder the black hound. Then he tried again and Abbey the Treeing Walker batted him down. He still charged, them, rather then run. I tried again to get him to cross the fence with the stick. When I realized it was hopeless I left, not wanting to face what made me uncomfortable. I poked my head out once and saw Rounder shaking the Raccoon violently in his mouth like a shark or crocodile does its prey. The second time I poked my head out I saw the raccoon stretched like a kite, front right leg pulled by rounder, back left leg pulled by Abigail. I will spare you the details of the end. All the excitement spared me from balancing the check book like I should have.... maybe I'll just turn on the TV.
Oh, what do you know, its Tiger. More breaking news. More mistresses have come out. Sex addiction, really, like David Duchovny.... I'll balance the check book later.
LONG LIVE MOHAMMED ALI.