NOVEMBER 9, 2011
BRUCE A. BRENNAN BLOG FROM THE WORLD AND MY MIND
The news as I see it and the views as I want them.
November 9 is … Chaos Never Dies Day
Sounds like the title to a James Bond movie!
I have several performers I will not listen to because of the content of their music. I have added the Boston Pops to that list, too much Sax and Violins.
RIP Smokin’ Joe Frazier. He beat Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century, battled him nearly to the death in the Thrilla in Manila. Then Joe Frazier spent the rest of his life trying to fight his way out of Ali's shadow.
That was one fight Frazier never could win.
He was once a heavyweight champion, and a great one at that. Ali would say as much after Frazier knocked him down in the 15th round en route to becoming the first man to beat Ali at Madison Square Garden in March 1971. But he bore the burden of being Ali's foil, and he paid the price. Bitter for years about the taunts his former nemesis once threw his way, Frazier only in recent times came to terms with what happened in the past and said he had forgiven Ali for everything he said.
Frazier, who died Monday night after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67, will forever be linked to Ali. But no one in boxing would ever dream of anointing Ali as The Greatest unless he, too, was linked to Smokin' Joe. "You can't mention Ali without mentioning Joe Frazier," said former AP boxing writer Ed Schuyler Jr. "He beat Ali, don't forget that."
They fought three times, twice in the heart of New York City and once in the morning in a steamy arena in the Philippines. They went 41 rounds together, with neither giving an inch; both giving it their all.
In their last fight in Manila in 1975, they traded punches with a fervor that seemed unimaginable among heavyweights. Frazier gave almost as good as he got for 14 rounds, then had to be held back by trainer Eddie Futch as he tried to go out for the final round, unable to see.
"Closest thing to dying that I know of," Ali said afterward.
I sure do not agree with this. The Christmas off argument does not work since Christmas is celebrated world-wide on an enormous scale that is a real economic stimulus and therefore good for all.
Some Massachusetts public school students have a day off this week, but it has nothing to do with power outages or snow. The Cambridge school system is believed to be the first in Massachusetts to give all students a day off for a Muslim holiday.
Students are getting Tuesday off for Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, the Boston Globe reports. Read that again; students are getting a Muslim religious holiday off from school. I wonder if they got Columbus Day off or Veterans Day? This would not and did not happen under President Bush, our last American President.
"We’re ecstatic about this," Atif Harden, interim executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, told the newspaper. "This is the first year that it’s going to occur. This sort of recognition of our existence and the population we have, we feel very good about."
The day off was approved by the school committee last year because of the district's sizable Muslim population. Superintendent Jeffrey Young told the newspaper that honoring the holiday is in line with the district's values of "inclusion and respect."
School committee member Marc McGovern says he got some criticism and even threats when he approved of the holiday. I bet he gets more and I bet this is a one-time mistake.
Just a couple of thoughts I had and you should too or at least think about.
BRUCE A. BRENNAN
DEKALB, IL 60115
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Holmes the Ripper
A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction
Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them. Lily Tomlin