Let’s Say You’re a Non-Conformist

And you find boxing medieval and barbaric. Let’s say you used to like the violent science back in the day when heavyweights like Foreman, Norton, Frazier, and Ali roamed the earth. But you’ve learned about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and evolved. Hell, you may even be done with football.

What are you going to do late Saturday night when everyone else is watching a guy with a history of domestic abuse take on a legislator who has left his constituents hanging?

Happy to help.

If you’re a non-conformist like me (pun intended), evolutionary history still has some hold on you. Meaning you like a good fight as long as it doesn’t end with anyone bloodied, bowed, and maybe permanently damaged.

Turns out there’s a major brouhaha taking place within the upper reaches of the black intelligentsia. In one corner, Cornel West. In the other, Michael Eric Dyson. Spend Saturday night reading Dyson’s 9,000 word roundhouse punch for the ages. Like a fighter in the early rounds, Dyson’s spends the first few thousand words bobbing and jabbing. Then mid-way, he attacks with a remarkable, astounding, vindictiveness.

Then read this anti-Dyson counterpunch from a Harvard doctoral student. Spoiler alert: like in war or any protracted, especially vicious fight, no one is going to win this one.


Ominous Clouds on the Horizon

1) Obama’s statement last week about studying BP’s liability not as a topic in a university seminar, but to figure out “whose ass to kick.” Red flashing lights. Somewhere in the West Wing a small group of 30-something Ph.D’s with expertise in focus group research is handling him. Their sole focus is getting him re-elected. He couldn’t have sounded less authentic or genuine if he tried. Save the faux swagger for the pickup game or 19th hole.

2) Also last week (on Tavis Smiley’s NPR show), Cornel West’s excoriating criticism of Obama’s handling of the B.P. oil crisis, his temerity in the face of Wall Street, and his neglect of the poor.