Wednesday, July 13, 2011



I woke up today with this song itching in my head. What was irritating me was how it danced on the edge of recollection. Then I began to reference it to things of personal significance and one was that it sounded like a ‘ring walk’ song to me, something that I would not mind playing as I entered the boxing ring.

One of the things that I like about the song is the throbbing of the percussion. I don’t ‘know’ music well enough to call the timing of the beats, but the ‘thrum’ of it reminds me of a ‘rattle’ combination. But what makes it work the most for me is the quiet confidence the song exudes. It says, “You know what’s coming your way and you won’t be able to stop it.” I could listen to this song all day and never get tired of it. Hearing this come on the headphones in the 7th mile of a 10 mile run, the rush of adrenaline from this joint would carry me up and over those last three miles with no problem. Another thing that makes me want this for a ‘theme song’ is that it lends itself to a little mystery when it comes to chilling at home as a civilian.


This WAS a song that I actually walked to and it always fit the mood! On days in the gym where I could sneak this CD into the player and cue ‘the agony’, the cats who I was sparring knew for sure what kind of day THEY could expect! It would be such a contrast from the cool, funny and smiling cat they thought had came to the gym… and would not see again until he was in the shower!

Radio played the ‘part one’ of this song a lot more and it is just as hyped, but it goes down a little rawer, like the difference between the smoothness of Courvoisier v. Martell VSOP. There is also a disjointed fury to this song, which unlike ‘pt. 1’, that lends to an unfocused fury, where the haunting quiet of agony is captured by the repeating of the sampled phrase, ‘perhaps you had better start from the beginning’ and the build up from the organ to the explosive guitar riff.

It never mattered how rough the fight was or how tough an opponent was. In my amateur days and early as a pro, I would condition myself with the thoughts of ‘taking Omaha Beach’, because I was going to come at whoever I was fighting.


When I got home from the service I stopped making rap music a primary destination. Either the raps were vapid or they were being so derivative that many of the popular songs should have had to pay royalties to the original artists! But KRS-One was a cat I could listen to and would pump this ‘aged’ joint daily, wherever I was and whenever I could.

In Greensboro, training at the Lindley Center, we were getting ready for the Golden Gloves and I thought we had a good team of 6 fighters. But even when they could envision themselves doing well, they would always stop when it came to winning the championship. The Ft. Bragg boxing team usually would win, having a team of fighters in every weight and usually better skilled and trained than most teams. Ours had an ace in the hole. Me.

Even after watching me box and beat up cats from South Carolina to Tennessee, I imagined that they were still a little skeptical of me, ‘claiming’ to be a boxer from Detroit. That was cool. I am used to that kind of doubt, the doubt of ignorance, born of a lack of being able to imagine someone from Detroit materializing in Carolina as a boxer, it was so counter-intuitive. Since I was accustomed to that, it never bothered me when we traveled and boxed. But this was different. I knew the cats on the Army team and I had beaten cats from the ‘A’ squad when I wore the uniform. I told ‘my guys’ that they were actually good enough to whip these bums and that if they were going to come into the gym and train, that they had to believe they could to, otherwise they need to stay at home and eat vanilla wafers and drink milk, because that is how soft they were!!

My attitude had changed. Like the fight where I finally beat the cat around the corner, this was a statement fight for me, and I wasn’t the only one who would be saying something. On the first night of the State Tournament, I chattered all the way from Greensboro to Charlotte, and when we got our physicals and they were able to see that I DID know the fighters, had fought with some of them, it seemed to confirm that I knew what I was saying. Then it was time for the fights.

Years and years ago, Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho was on a televised fight card with a really good friend on the undercard of his headlining fight. He friend got in trouble and Hector went racing from the dressing room and was at ringside hollering to his boy, urging him to fight as vociferously as he could, EVEN THOUGH HE WAS FIGHTING NEXT. And I believe that having Hector out there screaming at him helped the guy win and Hector would win his fight too!

So that is what I would do… besides, I was so amped at the chance to show some of ‘those who got to know me’ what I could do!! Providing my teammates with advanced scouting on their opponents, I stood at the ring apron and ‘coached’ (in the amateur you aren’t allowed to talk from the corner… but you can from the crowd!) my teammates to wins. Their victories would loop back into me, replenishing the energy I had expended cheering for them! I blew out the cat from Ft. Bragg in the first round and ended up fighting a civilian for the title… and I ripped him up like KRS ripped up the mic in the song!!


"Do anything that keeps your brain working and your heart filled with passion." - Anonymous

DB had this quote in a blog entry and I felt as though a light was thrown inside my soul. It was so brilliant in its luminance that it really had a physical dimension to it and I FELT felt it. Along with Kid Cudi, I pulled the boxing story and the attached emotions to it and poured it into a philosophical mold… so I can eventually become policy…

I know the things that I know about myself. Life is too short for equivocations and half-measures. When it comes to dealing with external contradictions, especially ones based on questionable evidentiary theory, I have to wonder… what my motivation would consist of to elevate that kind of narrow-mindedness to the table and debate. Do I want to get to know anyone that I perceive as being like ‘that’ (cause who knows what ‘that’ is… except when they see it)?

And I think that I am ‘seeing it’.


Toon said...

About ten years ago I chose Radiohead's "Creep" as my personal theme song. Haven't heard anything I'd replace it with since.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love the quote, too.

Hope you are well, Mark.


Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Sometimes I wish I was or had been a boxer. Maybe I'll buy some gloves and a bag. Very therapeutic I would imagine.

Beth said...

I got a kick out of what you wrote about boxing and White Zombie. When I was working, if I was really frustrated about something or someone really pissed me off, when I left work and got in my car, I'd blast Zombie on the way home. As you said, much of that music is "full of sound and fury" (or maybe that was Willie Shakespeare), and it was a sort of catharsis for me to get out that aggression. I coupled it with a little aggressive driving in my Mustang (but SAFE driving), and just got it all out. Music can definitely affect your moods!