Recently, the FOX network signed a deal with the UFC, the world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization. There’s a chance that this is the move that finally raises MMA from its current status as a niche sport– a prominent one, but a niche sport all the same. As an MMA fan, I’m excited for what’s next, but it’s a shame that more people aren’t aware of the UFC right now, because this Saturday’s main event says a lot of interesting things about America’s racial politics.
The challenger, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and the champion, Jon “Bones” Jones, are both black. This isn’t unusual. MMA is a model of racial diversity. Of the seven current UFC titleholders, two are white, two are Brazilian, two are Mexican-American, and one is black. There are also prominent Japanese, Korean, African, Western and Eastern European, British, and mixed-race fighters in the UFC’s upper echelons.
What’s interesting to me is the contrast between Jackson and Jones, and in particular the way that MMA fans (as represented by Internet message boards and fan sites) read those contrasts. Jackson is a complex figure, but he’s always been marketed in a way that speaks to many of our oldest racial stereotypes. Rampage is frequently portrayed as the “scary black guy.” He wears a heavy chain around his neck on the way to the ring. He howls like a wolf after a victory. He often gives aggressive, angry interviews, although he is also capable of being remarkably friendly towards the media. Additionally, Jackson has had trouble with the law. In 2008 he was arrested following a car accident and fleeing the police. (He would eventually plead guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor.) I can tell you, as someone who spends (wastes) time on popular MMA message boards, that this incident brought to the forefront lots of really ugly attitudes about race and criminality.
That in and of itself is interesting. You have in sports a great need for marketable, memorable athletes. You have in MMA an imperative to promote fighters as aggressive, frightening, and borderline out of control. And you have in America a set of noxious racial codes that black people of many backgrounds and professions have to labor against. It’s a recipe for uncomfortable racial coding and complicated choices for black fighters.
This is all brought into sharper relief by Jones, and his unusual unpopularity with fans. Jones is young, the youngest champion in UFC history. He is soft-spoken and often appears uncomfortable with the media. He is a committed father and family man. He also happens to be one of the most incredibly devastating fighters in history, a truly rare athletic specimen with a unique skill set and a sterling record. (His only loss came as a result of a disqualification in a fight he was dominating.) And many fans hate him.
Personally, I’ve always been amazed, talking to other MMA fans online, that such a transcendentally gifted fighter could attract so much ire.
There are a lot of reasons why. As Chad Dundas says in that piece on ESPN.com, a lot of it is the pure “haters gonna hate” variety. Jones is just too good, too soon. Many MMA fans believe that a fighter has to pay his dues, and while Jones has fought and destroyed quality competition, his rise has been meteoric. This is probably the source of the insistence that Jones is arrogant, which doesn’t have much in the way of evidence in support of it. Jones defeated a wildly popular fighter, Shogun Rua, in devastating fashion to take the title, so that didn’t help. I also imagine that many fight fans are put off by Jones’s overt religiosity; he credits God for his success constantly.
Yet I also think that Dundas is right to bring up the idea that Jones isn’t “real” enough, because ideas of authenticity permeate our racial dialogue. Unlike Dundas, however, I would say that this has a lot to do with race. My understanding (buttressed only by anecdote) is that America’s MMA fans are largely white. There are huge audiences for MMA in Brazil and Japan, and it seems that the Mexican-American fanbase for the UFC is growing, but largely, the UFC’s core fanbase is decidedly vanilla. And I can’t help but think that a lot of the reason fans distrust Jones so deeply is because he doesn’t fit the stereotyped, reductive vision of black masculinity that they expect. This is particularly problematic in the context of MMA, because the aggression that many fight fans associate with black masculinity is the coin of the realm.
You’ll note that there was a lot of racial baggage when Jackson fought another black light heavyweight, fellow former champ Rashad Evans. There was a great deal of acrimony between the two; Jackson famously said that there would be “black on black crime” in a stagey in-cage confrontation. The contrast between the soft-spoken Evans and Jackson was similarly charged. Evans repeatedly referred to Jackson as a “Sambo” and complained that Rampage’s antics and clowning reinforced negative perceptions of black Americans. Evans, meanwhile, has been accused of “acting white.” These are common tropes in racialized discourse, and as usual, they end up treating both parties unfairly. Jones, Evans, and Jackson are all more complicated people than these codes would suggest.
I don’t have any grand summation to this, other than to point out that it throws more dirt on the grave of the still-common idea of post-racial America. Dual consciousness is real and it persists despite all of our attempts at racial equity. Black athletes, like all prominent black people, labor under the burden of a system that treats them at once as individuals and simultaneously as symbols of blackness. It’s unfair to Quinton Jackson that he is expected to project any particular symbol of black adulthood at all. It is also unfair that Rashad Evans has to exist in an environment where the behavior of other black men is inevitably going to color how he is perceived. And it is unfair that Jon Jones is judged in reference to a set of stereotypes and expectations he has done nothing to create.
Whatever is true of race in contemporary, post-2008 election America, racial issues are not over, they are not simple, and they are not irrelevant.
Oh, by the way: Jones by second round TKO.
At the rate that grave is going, it’ll be a stepped pyramid in a week.
I can’t believe this stuff is legal. In 2011?
What little I’ve seen of MMA, UFC, it just looks barbaric.
Not really a fan, but the stereotypes you speak to are not new. Sports “entertainment” has, over the years, laid out a cacophony of such images not unlike a massive church social roadkill smorgasbord with something for everyone.
The irony here is twofold: 1)it keeps the masses entertained by allowing them to think they’re witnessing events at the Colosseum when in fact the masses themselves ARE the entertainment and 2)it reinforces the meme of classes of people willingly participating in their own denigration and, ultimately, their own destruction.
Just my take, YMMV.
More dirt on the grave also too. WTF?
Agreed, on both counts. Looks little different than wrestling. I can’t believe an actual adult would watch this crap. Let alone hold it up as some sort of microcosm about racial attitudes. Seriously? Barbaric, GHB-pumped assholes beat the living shit out of other barbaric GHB-pumped assholes. I don’t get it and I never will.
And apparently, Freddie has never watched “When We Were Kings.” This is old shit and certainly not exclusive to MMA.
@geg6: “Barbaric, GHB-pumped assholes beat the living shit out of other barbaric GHB-pumped assholes. I don’t get it and I never will.”
Lord knows, that could never be seen as an accurate depiction of professional football and its utter assault on the long-term health of its athletes.
We’ve been here once before this year. See Rose, Jalen, controversy over alleged comments about Hill, Grant.
I look forward to the post on bullfighting and what it says about the role of latinos in sports.
@Bulworth, I knew someone was going to say this.
MMA is very safe compared to boxing (obviously, any sport where you hit another guy for a living is very dangerous when you compare it to, say, ping pong).
If you don’t feel that boxing is barbaric then you shouldn’t worry about MMA at all:
1) Knockouts in MMA immediately end the fight. As opposed to boxing, where they let you wake up and get further smashed.
2) Many fights in MMA end in submissions. While being choked or arm-barred is not a pleasant experience, it does not cause any permanent damage.
3) MMA fights are shorter than boxing matches. As a general rule there are FAR less strikes thrown in MMA.
4) A guy being on the ground punching another guy’s head looks very brutal, but in fact there’s not a lot of power behind the hits. As opposed to boxing, where the lack of leg kicks and the force standing nature of the fighting allow boxers to throw huge bombs with each hit. You know that boxing gloves are there to protect the boxer’s hands and not the other guy’s head, right? Because boxers hit so hard they would break their hands without the padding.
Now if you feel that boxing is barbaric and so is MMA and all brawl sports should be banned – actually I agree with you. Or at least severely limited. But this is America, if two guys want to smash each other for money they should be allowed to do that. It’s not my place to tell them not to. If it were up to me I’d make them work it out in a game of Street Fighter 2 but whatever.
@dan: Also, bulls.
It’s not so much that I don’t care about MMA/UFC (I don’t) so much as that I feel like it’s being SHOVED DOWN MY GODDAMNED THROAT everywhere I turn.
This now includes major network teevee.
As of now, this includes Balloon Juice? WHATTHEFUCK?!
MMA is not my can of beer. Neither is NASCAR. Guess that means I’ll be going to Camp Halliburton when the Republicans take over all three branches of gubmint.
Legitimate MMA competition is actually quite safe and well-regulated as contact sports go. As Chuck Liddell once pointed out to me (former several-time UFC titlist), he took fewer blows to the head in his entire career than a heavyweight boxer will receive in 12 rounds.
It looks barbaric, of course, but that’s more than half canny marketing.
One interesting aside on Jackson’s act, a lot of it I think you can attribute to the fact that he first became popular in Japan, where some of the shit they do promoting black fighters would blow your fucking mind.
ETA: Yeah, basically what that daveboy cat up there said.
@Freddie deBoer: The objective in football is not the same as the objective in MMA, which is, simply, “Barbaric, GHB-pumped assholes beat the living shit out of other barbaric GHB-pumped assholes.”
Personally, I could care less, but don’t elevate it to something it is not.
I used to box and was proud of what I considered the artistic merits of the sport, especially following on the movement popularized by Ali. Once a teen, however, I started feeling sympathy for my competitors and their bloody faces and hung up the gloves deciding I couldn’t pummel anyone anymore. About 10 years ago, I was introduced to MMA through an ex who started dating an MMA fighter and was thoroughly disgusted. There was no artistry and there was far too much glamorization of the pounding and blood. No way can I endorse this!
I have recently concluded it is just an escalation in the bread and circuses presented as a distraction from the misery of regular lives – if we choose to see them as miserable.
That said, it is apparently true that Nigel DeJong has put more guys in the hospital than the average MMA competitor.
@LGRooney: For many it is a distraction, but for too many it is probably a projection of violent fantasies. I’m looking at you, Republican debate-goers.
@burnspbesq: Please. 2-3 by my count. At least Cantona had enough balls to stick it to the fans as well! And I’ve never seen DeJong return with blood dripping off a bandaged head wound to continue a match a la Cocu, his compatriot.
But that’s exactly my point. I like the NFL and I like MMA. What I appreciate about the latter is its honesty compared to the former. The NFL gives athletes incredible amounts of money, and then proceeds to destroy their bodies– and frequently, their brains. The toll on football players is catastrophic. But people are able to deny that this is the essential dynamic in football; it gives them plausible deniability and in doing so assuages their guilt. In MMA, violence is foregrounded, which in my mind makes it more noble and more fair. Meanwhile, a prominent MMA fighter likely only fights twice a year, for less than a half hour combined. NFL players play 16 games a year and suffer severe collisions dozens of times a game.
Incidentally, I would remind anyone of their options: when you identify a post you aren’t interested in, you have the ability to not read it. It’s the simplest thing in the world.
Short Bus Bully
MMA is just like any other combat oriented sport, for the newly initiated it just looks like guys beating the shit out of each other. Until you actually know what you are watching it’s difficult to make sense of the action.
I love the fact that people who admitedly know nothing about the sport so willingly condemn it from the happy place of their ignorance. Sounds positively GOP. “I don’t know anything about these folks, but I sure hate them!”
MMA? World cuddling championship, the grapplers nearly always prevail. If I wanted to watch two men rolling around on the floor in their underpants I’d go round to my mate Dave’s house.
It’s not that I’m not interested or that this post is uninteresting or that I don’t esteem Freddie very much. I am, it is, I do! It’s just, like, I came for a knife fight and I got a fist fight.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
These UFC fighters are awesome. I have seen them on the edge of their endurance pulling themselves together for that one last move that might win the fight. And you can see them thinking it threw and trying to outwit eachother. They an’t a bunch of testosterone crazy mindless brawlers like some people seem to claim.
The fanbois are a different story so I can seem them raging on someone who isn’t a chest beater.
I can’t tell the difference between MMA and gay porn most of the time.
Oh jeebus, some of you folks sound like teh effeminate Limbaugh parody of a liberal. MMA is FAR safer than boxing, and I’d bet you’ll have a much healthier retirement after 5 years of fighting compared to 5 years in the NFL.
I think folks are reading a little bit too much into the preening these guys do for the cameras. Keep in mind that while the fighting is real, they encourage WWF levels of showmanship in the interviews. Brock Lesnar basically kept his professional wrestling character going when he moved to MMA, and no one will ever convince me that Ken Shamrocks weigh-in meltdowns weren’t scripted.
What did you think of that kerfuffle about those two kids “fighting” in the cage? I thought it was totally overblown. It was all grappling and no striking. My kid is 11 and taking a mixed martial arts class. Needless to say he doesn’t get bullied at school.
I went through a three week love affair with MMA shortly after overcoming my previous hatred of it. I’d watched heavier weight-class fights and found it too violent, too backyard.
Then I started watching the lower weight levels, where skill was very much more on display. I liked what I saw. Then slowly I began to once again think it was too violent, too brutal, too backyard. I appreciate the skills, no doubt, but it just isn’t my thing.(Kneeing/elbowing your opponent in the head while he’s pinned? Really?)
Like when he dry humps reporters?
Fat internet geeks criticizing supreme athletes. Fresh.
Jon Jones blew me away the first time I saw him fight. Some tall, skinny dude suplexing people? Damn. He pulls off stuff nobody has any business attempting.
I read somewhere recently that MMA is the number one spectator sport for “young” American men (don’t remember where I read that, or what the actual age bracket for “young” was).
Anyway, anecdotally I can sort of see that here in my own little corner of the world – my 20-something nephew (currently living with me), son, and niece’s husband, and maybe half of the 20-39 year old guys working for me (about 25 or so) are fairly into watching MMA, both on the tube and live at the local venues (along with trips to such venues in nearby Vegas).
Not sure if MMA’s actually the number one spectator sport for most of them (I’d guess football) but it’s definitely up there, and many of these young men I know follow MMA closely enough to know who the prominent champions and contenders are.
By the way, for what it’s worth, just about all these young men I know are white, though a couple of my young Mexican-American male employees are really into MMA (they talk about going to live events here in Joe Arpaio County all the time).
@CatLady – from here in Ontaritucky, no surprise at the klannish boys at the JLC. The right wing radio hosts in London are going on, with all the callers dittoing, about how that is not the London they know, while remaining oblivious of the fact that the segment not calling in today and smugly amused by this stunt are the ones nodding most fervently to their tea party, glibertarian bile most other days. Not all tea partiers are racists, but most racists are tp.
nah, you got another glibertarian kangaroo slapfight.
the real issue is football and repeat concussion syndrome.
freddie hasnt got anywhere near the nads to tackle that headon, and you clowns dont wanna even think about it.
I would be curious about what you mean when you talk about the artistry of boxing. I boxed for many years myself and I am sure I used the word art on more than one occasion but what does that really mean? Boxers are highly trained athletes who, when they are good, are very skilled at hurting other people and avoiding getting hurt. That is also an entirely apt description of mma fighters.
The simple truth is that to the extent that anyone possesses a high degree of technical skill at anything, I think you will see a layer of expressiveness in their chosen activity. You start to see styles and creativity come out. It is quite apparent to me that this is just as true of mma fighting as it is for boxing as it is for antique furniture repair. But I don’t know how you are using the term art here so I am not exactly sure if I disagree with you. But I suspect I do.
@Samara Morgan: How did you succeed in completely missing the point of the original post? That’s awesome.
The penetration is typically the differentiator.
MMA is just the natural progression from boxing toward however close the market will allow us to get to actual to-the-death gladiator contests.
@Daveboy: Well, you’ve just given us the standard spin defending UFC, but all these claims are highly dubious.
“Safer than boxing.” Routinely repeated by fans, but with very little evidence. You claim that knockouts “end the fight”, but because hitting a downed opponent is allowed, frequently a fighter will get tagged, go down, and then get pounded over and over again in a state of semiconsciousness while the ref dithers about whether the downed fighter can “intelligently defend himself”. It’s brutal, it looks brutal on TV, and it’s even more brutal live.
“Many fights in UFC end in submissions.” Once, this was true. Thanks to rule changes and evolving tactics, it’s rare that a UFC fight will end in a submission, most that are not indecisive now end in knockouts.
“A guy being on the ground punching another guy’s head looks very brutal, but in fact there’s not a lot of power behind the hits.”
Depends. If the fighter in guard can maintain control of the mount, this is true. If he slips up and allows his opponent to rear up and get the full power of gravity and muscle leverage on a shot, he can be hit with an unbelievable amount of power.
Do me a favor: watch this Chuck Liddel video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbGFzv_vo0Q, especially the last two against Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture, and tell me this is a safe sport. These aren’t even the worst I’ve seen, I could track down far worse.
“UFC is well-regulated.” Actually, UFC is widely believed by every knowledgable commentator to be drug-riddled as hell, the sheer number of fighters who have tested positive to drugs is phenomenal. The UFC didn’t even test for the first 8 years of the sport; since going “legit” there has been scandal after scandal and revelation after revelation about the slack nature of the testing regime. Not only can you avoid detction, if you do test positive, you get a slap on the wrist, which is why Chael Sonnen got to serve only a six month suspension for testing positive to steroids when some sports would ban you for life for a similar offense.
I think some mixture of boxing and stirking could be a safe sport, but UFC isn’t it. It started as an underground sport and no amount of cheerleading can mask its continuing dodginess.
This is an idiotic, uninformed opinion. Boxing is far more brutal, because it denies you an effective means of defending yourself and prolongs the fight for a ridiculous amount of time. Boxing is designed so that you will suffer head trauma. Some MMA fights end almost formally in a kind of checkmate, where one fighter realizes he cannot escape from a hold and submits BEFORE he is injured.
Gin & Tonic
I’m glad the first comment hit the nail on the head. Plenty of examples, too, beyond Liston, and beyond boxing. George Foreman (the first iteration), Bill Russell (how many times was the word “sullen” used in his playing career, Wilt, I could go on and on, and compare with Earvin Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, etc. That dynamic is as old as integrated sports.
Not a huge MMA fan but I do watch it from time to time. I really don’t see a big between NASCAR fans, NFL fans and MMA fans- they’re all hoping to see a good wreck. I would choose NFL as the one most likely to maim you for life, and definitely the riskiest to your brain, but there are a few MMA fighters who look like they took one too many hits to the head.
@lacp: i have an aversion to reading 1000 word posts that say nothing.
did you hear Abbas has submitted the Pali statehood petition to the UNSC?
@Samara Morgan: Good for him. The news just popped up in the last few minutes on my MSN home page.
@Gin & Tonic: Grantland has an article up recounting an “oral history” of Hagler-Leonard, that had this quote from Bernard Hopkins:
Is this an example of racial politics? Is it the views of white America driving Bernard Hopkins to draw this distinction? I have my doubts.
Along these lines, hockey has been dominated by white players for decades, and it’s only recently beginning to change, with the rise of guys like Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, and future NHL superstar PK Subban. And of course, Wayne Simmonds, which is why this headline broke my heart a little this morning:
Fan throws banana peel at Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds
Paul in KY
Don’t care for MMA. You would think that stereotypical white fans would like Jones.
I just want to see Floyd fight Manny before they are both over the hill.
And your point is?
It’s possible for more than one “sport” to be barbaric.
Paul in KY
@LGRooney: If we end up one sad day with President-for-Life Rick Perry or one of those goobers, I predict they will bring back Roman style gladitorial combat.
I love MMA, if you don’t then don’t watch it. It helps if you understand some martial arts, I did some judo so I like the ground game and balance displays. Boxing is dying because it is so false, staid and boring.
That said I attended a local MMA match here in Idaho, and I have never witnessed a dumber group of people gathered in one place. So take that for what the fan base is like, I wouldn’t want to spend much time with them, but it keeps them from going out and raping animals.
I do find Jones’ incessant religiousity annoying, yet another reason I hate football and love hockey, never seen a hockey player thank god for anything.
…so, a minority being better than others, defying stereotypes of behaviour, is less popular with the majority while someone of lesser skill who confirms stereotypical beliefs is popular while still an object of…let’s say derision. Thank you, white guy for noticing. Welcome to my world. Try the veal.
You know, that’s actually one of the things I appreciate about MMA, particularly compared to boxing (which I also like, and participated in – totally amateur – when I was a young man long ago). I also wrestled in high school (138 lb. class) and anyone claiming two trained, athletic guys trying to beat each other by “grappling” is akin to “cuddling” hasn’t a clue how physically difficult it is.
In my personal experience, streetfights almost always devolved to wrestling, and were usually over when one guy got the other in an “unbreakable” hold (when they occasionally ended by punching, that usually meant someone got hurt pretty bad). I appreciate that MMA more closely resembles, in a controlled setting, actual one-on-one fighting between two unarmed opponents, compared to other fighting sports, like boxing and free-style wrestling.
In my inner-city Cleveland neighborhood in the 60s and 70s, streetfights were fairly common for teenage boys, and even younger (my first was when I was in 4th grade). I avoided them when I could (including actual running away if possible), and never started one, but sometimes there was no choice but to fight back.
I’m not glad I went through all that as a young man (HS wrestling and Police Athletic League boxing would have been plenty of fighting for me) but in the end I was none too worse for the wear (a broken nose, broken hand, and some chin stitches). I have to be honest and say, though I’m not a fan, I certainly appreciate MMA, and I’m impressed by the “real world” fighting skills displayed.
“Barbaric”? Well, my wife certainly thinks so.
@Jason Stokes: @Jason Stokes:
Ignore Jason Stokes. He is clueless. Where to begin:
“MMA is safer than boxing.” True Why? MMA uses 4-5 oz gloves versus 14-16 oz gloves of boxers. Thus, there is not the repeated bludgeoning of an opponent in MMA that there is in boxing. The punch counts are insanely different as well with strike counts in a 3 round MMA fight less than a hundred per fighter with a 12 round boxing match, the punch counts per fighter can exceed 400 to 500.
“Many fights end in submissions.” True. Contrary to your comment, a majority of fights do not end in TKO or KO. In fact, most fights go to decision.
Ground fighting involves much less force that stand up fighting so the original poster is generally correct. The use of elbows to the head can be violent but normally results in cuts versus something more severe.
“UFC is well-regulated.” True. The original poster’s point had to do with rules and regulations inside the cage, which McCain used to complain about before they were enacted. Outside the cage, MMA is subject to the same drug testing rules as boxing. MMA fighters have been suspended for steroids and HGH, certainly, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Chael Sonnen was suspended for using testosterone replacement therapy not steroids. He claimed to have approval from a doctor and fight promoters. Please stop spreading misinformation.
You don’t have to like MMA or the UFC but don’t spread lies about it.
I never said UFC was well-regulated, bud.
My point is if you are ok with watching boxers stand and hit each other like mack trucks but don’t like MMA there’s total cognitive dissonance.
I wish both sports were much more tightly regulated than they are. MUCH MORE.
Edit: I watch for the amazing comebacks, mostly. And the grappling. Really amazing amount of body awareness, strategy, and athletics going on there.
@DFS: MMA was barbaric when it was a round-robin, no weight class free for all. Back then, people came from specific backgrounds that didn’t necessarily mesh with “mix martial arts”. The fighters now have much more specific MMA training and are highly skilled. It also results in a lot of flash knockouts where the smallest mistake is exploited.
Freddie, I have to disagree with your entire post. While there are a small portion of MMA fans who will dislike minority fighters, that is simply statistics. There are assholes in every bunch. The dislike of Bones from the hardcore MMA set is simply one of nostalgia. The current group of purist MMA fans have been fans since the PRIDE days. It has been devastating to watch such legends as Liddel and Ortiz and Arlovski and Fedor go the way they had. Watching Wanderlei develop a Glass chin and watching Big Nog go down in a KO was not fun. The dislike for Bones stems from his meteoric and perceived disrespect tot he old traditions.
Personally, I’m not one of those guys. You beat the champ then you’re the champ and Shogun has always been overrated. I don’t care for Bones much because he’s not really that good. His boxing is for shit and he hasn’t really been tested on the ground. He has substantial reach and enough boxing to utilize it, but his technique really is less than amateur.
@lethargytartare: “… however close the market will allow us to get to actual to-the-death gladiator contests.”
I don’t think it’s the market preventing the gladiatorial contests. We just need to change a few laws.
Any sport which changes a mensch like Jeff Goldstein’s life must be worth following….
oh, wait, that’s not right
MMA is a joke and I don’t care a thing about it. That said, don’t you undermine your “racism is the reason” premise when your post makes it quite clear that it is the African American fighters, themselves, who are making the ridiculously inappropriate and stereotypical comments and more than tacitly accepting whatever caricature they think is expected?
Hmm, the fan reaction towards Jones that you describe sounds very similar to fan reaction to boxer Oscar De La Hoya when he was on the rise.
Also, if you’re one of the people disparaging MMA as a sport and haven’t even bothered to go roll for an hour, then you’re talking out your ass. These guys are currently the most in shape group of athletes out there. And yes, there are a lot of PED’s, but no more than any other sport.
this is an idiotic, uninformed opinion, but I’m not really interested in arguing about which bloodsport is more brutal for the participants.
I find both equally disgusting, but am more concerned with what they reveal about their supporters and our culture in general. Whether one is more dangerous to the competitors than the other is immaterial to the simple fact that the development of mainstream MMA competition grew out of the demand for its incredibly, disturbingly, nauseatingly, brutal predecessor, modified cosmetically for mass marketing. The ENTIRE point of MMA is it’s brutality.
Your “my beat the shit out of each other sport is nicer than my dad’s beat the shit out of each other sport” argument is wasted on me.
I.e., MMA core fans are precisely like Michael Moore and other white “progressives”.
Has nothing to do with self-avowed political affiliation – it’s simply how we white folks ARE. Abominable.
This thread reminds me why I never read the BJ comments section. Thanks.
A few rejoinders:
1) MMA is well-regulated in most states, especially the states in which matches are most-regularly held (e.g. California, Nevada, New Jersey, etc.) Many of the red states have terrible MMA laws, and they need to be revamped.
2) I can’t believe boxing fans (of which I am one) are complaining about MMA referees and regulation after one of boxing’s top stars won by suckerpunch KO last weekend.
3) The UFC in particular has a great safety record, and there is substantial, but not definitive, evidence that there is much less of a risk of permanent, serious injury in MMA than in its contact sport counterparts (boxing, hockey, football).
That’s all I have to say. I leave y’all to your ill-informed, unreasoned debate. Jesus Christ, it’s become the mirror of Red State in here.
“Give me the Justice Department, Entertainment Division. “
In my huff, I forgot to mention that, while I disagreed with much of the original post, I enjoyed reading it and appreciate the effort Freddie put in. Thanks!
Definitely the dumbest, most ignorant statement made post-GOP debate. Good job. You are Santorum for the day.
Did you consider maybe they have a difference of opinion, and do not consider him as transcendental as you do?
I guess I’m in the minority, but I thought this was an interesting post about a sports culture with which I am largely unfamiliar, and I really liked how you ended it.
Thanks Freddie! And more like this, if you please.
@lethargytartare: Do you feel similarly about football?
I don’t know Rampage at all, but it’s IMO that he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s called marketing.
Like “Macho Man” Randy Savage or the Hulkster did before him in entertainment combat?
I just find your entire premise flawed Freddie.
People loved watching Lawrence Taylor destroy people in football. And they loved watching Ken Griffey Jr play with otherworldly grace at times.
Both black males with, IMO, radically different public “personas”, or faces to the world.
I think your premise could find point to counterpoint all day long.
Sorry, that was “DFS” who claimed the sport was well-regulated.
But I notice you are backing away from your “safer than boxing” claim to now, just claiming it’s hypocritical to oppose UFC but accept boxing. Maybe, but perhaps they are both bloody dangerous sports?
I don’t know Rampage at all, but it’s IMO that he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s called marketing.
Like “Macho Man” Randy Savage or the Hulkster did before him in entertainment combat?
Yeah, and obviously the circumstances that lead to marketing himself in that way being so profitable are totally unimportant and not worth examining…
The UFC hyp actually hits the nail on the head: this is simply about old school vs. new school. MMA didn’t have to evolve like other sports. The science of athletic conditioning had already been done so the trial and error period was not only very short, but the sport itself has evolved exponentially by skillset in a very short time. Less than 10 years ago, a fighter could be successful by being stronger, better conditioned and reasonably good at 1 or 2 disciplines. It doesn’t work that way anymore and there was never a real “passing of the torch” moment.
@Jason Stokes: MMA is safer than boxing. It’s better regulated, better officiated, and you’re more likely to have two evenly matched opponents than boxing. Mayweather has built his career on beating up less talented people who had no business standing in front of him. That simply isn’t the case. If I recall correctly, the last death in MMA was due to a young, regional fighter who willingly broke the rules regarding waiting times between fights and suffered a head injury. You can’t fix stupid.
Is Rampage marketing himself as a stereotypical black male, as seen by society? Or in this case the target audience society for MMA? Or just a vicious, intimidating fighter?
I don’t know. But my point to bring up Macho Man in particular was he was a flashy character. Bling, outfits, women on each arm. What stereotype was he selling? Black male? Or ferocious competitor with a lot of swagger and attitude?
The trouble folks have with Jones is he is too good and hasn’t been challenged or had to overcome in a difficult fight. People also thought it should have been Rampage vs Rua but Rampage was overweight and Jones took advantage.
You forgot white pimp.
Interesting conversation. I can’t speak to the racism of MMA fans vs. fans of other sports. I like MMA okay and I really don’t get the feeling the fans are particularly prejudiced in America, at least in comparison to the fan discourse surrounding football for instance. I don’t buy that. I mean, all I see are all kinds of young athletic dudes hanging out and getting excited about hitting each other.
I think fans might well be a little frustrated if they find Jones boring or insufficiently gristled. UFC has really sold their older fighters, understandably, but the sport is so fast moving that champions reigns are now brief. It’s sort of like with tennis where athletes peak 23-26 and then are out of the game in a few years. MMA seems to turn over even faster.
Another thing that really bothers me about this post though, is the assumption that Quentin Jackson is entirely the creation of UFC or the unconscious ethnic hostilities of the fan base. This is what is suggested by saying “he’s always been marketed in a way that speaks to many of our oldest racial stereotypes.” Seems to me Quentin has had a pretty big role in making his own image.
MMA is a legit sport, but it is marketed like wrestling and to a total dumbass adolescent male demo. Which is why I’d take the “complex, telling racial politics” with a couple grains of salt. A lot of the trash-talk (by no means all) is just marketing, carney-barker stuff.
Or, what everyone else said.
I hate to be a debbie downer but…Man, this DeBoer guy is a waste of fucking space. How did this fella get the keys to BJuice anyway?.
Very interesting post … while I’m a huge fan of MMA and BJJ (and train) I don’t spend a lot of time on message boards with other die-hard fans, so I can only share what I know … but you’re also missing another factor … time.
Rampage has been around for a long time, he’s a familiar face, and playing a familiar role (one he honed in Japan, I should add) of a junkyard dog or Memphis Pimp or whatever stereotype … it’s a role, no doubt.
But it’s familiar, like Liddell and his mohawk, fans got to know him and appreciate his antics …
Jones is, as you said … young and new. A lot of fans HATE the new (see Randy Couture’s popularity) and while they might not admit it, they want the guys they know they already like to win … no matter how big an asshole they are (Chris Leben has a ton of fans, fans he earned by being an ass on TV, but people felt they got to know him despite all his failings and admire a guy who fights all out) …
They want to see guys they feel they know go ALL OUT and fight hard …
There may be another thing, and this is just an observation …
Jones, like Anderson Silva, oftentimes makes it look too easy and a lot of fans don’t like that … the rub on Silva is that he sometimes seems to not try hard … fans hate that.
In Bones, they see another Silva clone, and a lot of fans don’t really want that … (me, I love it, but that’s me).
For my part, I don’t like Jackson, stopped liking him since he coached on the show and constantly teased another fighter for his man-tits … it was ugly and bullying …
Rampage’s act is old, it’s literally from the 90s … and while fans now like it, it won’t last for much longer, that’s my prediction … and yeah, Jackson is gonna take it in two, I agree.
But it’s hard, fans love what they love, Steven Seagal still has fans, even though his movies are utter shite (compared to his earlier work) because fans want the comfort of familiarity …
So while I don’t discount race as a factor, I don’t see it as the major one … just one small part. If Rampage were fighting Tito, he’d still have the same fans (and Tito his) or Hamil or any of them … fans are fans, in the end.
Probably Brock has fans who love him because he acts like a redneck from MN, but they also love his game, too … but a lot of white guys (like me) were cheering their asses off when a Mexican knocked him out and took the championship, becuz arrogance gets old, and Brock was definitely arrogant … a fighter can alienate his base, with words or deeds or just not fighting hard or well … fans may flock because of color, but they don’t stay because of it … sooner or later the fighter has to deliver the goods …
I don’t know that MMA can be considered a niche sport for much longer, it’s pretty huge around the world … and a lot of people talk to me about it … it’s not the NBA, not yet, but it ain’t curling, either …
“The ENTIRE point of MMA is it’s brutality.”
This is entirely false … and you’ve not offered up evidence supporting your assertion … Except for the fact that sometimes fighters are bruised and bleeding … but it doesn’t mean it’s brutal …
It’s like saying the ENTIRE POINT of running is to damage one’s knees (becuz running a lot of miles can damage a person’s knees) … the fact that knee damage happens to runners doesn’t make it the entire point of long distance running.
Or … the ENTIRE POINT of skydiving is DEATH BY FALLING … because, you know, there have been cases where a chute hasn’t opened …
Many, many people get a lot of different things out of physical competition … I’ve been punched in the face in class many a time, but never brutally … I’ve been punched in fracases on the street, sometimes brutally …
Point being, when it happened under regulated circumstances, it wasn’t brutal, there was a point to it that went counter to the brutality, and I always have a choice whether I want to take the risk of injury or not …
There are many types of competitions, exercises that are hard on a body … but a person who chooses to do so it’s being subjected to any brutality unwillingly … there’s a point to it, to learn something about one’s self.
Entire point is brutality? Come on …
Your position on MMA demonstrates your utter ignorance not only of the craft of it, but says a lot about you and your world, too …
Not a fan of mma but great analysis and commentary. Thanks Freddie.
I never heard of Jones before this article, but I did find the quote below about Jones about his religion.
“Do I think He helped me land that left hook? Do I think He cares about me in a fight and not my opponent? No. But do I think He gave me the strength and good habits to help me do the right things to get this point? Yeah, definitely.”
So even here, he comes across as better than most.
@Cassidy: I didn’t forget anything. It’s an indictment of Freddie’s post.
Bob's Your Uncle
I still contend that UFC is simply gay pr0n for straight men.
Well I’m a woman and a big fan off MMA. I’m also black and I really hadn’t seen any racial undertones in this fight. It’s much like someone said-the old vs. the new. And as much as I liked Rashad Evans, I really hated him referring Kimbo Slice as ‘the big black buck with the nappy beard’. Now THAT was racist and if it had come out of the mouth of any non-black fighter, there might have an uproar. It took Rashad down a few steps in my mind. As for the defenders of MMA here, I have nothing to add you all are doing a great job.
I love women’s MMA.
MMA has a LOT of female fans, more than one would imagine … I seriously don’t think it’s a niche sport any longer …
And I agree with Shazza, there are often things said by fighters that are racist stereotyping or just obnoxious … that happens, but I don’t see the sport’s fans themselves really buying into race … many of the most adored fighters don’t even speak English (Feydor, for example) … it’s really more about the fight and the skill than anything … Rampage, like Brock, is good at playing a role and the UFC has been marketing it like Wrestling (they got their start on Spike, after all, and Pro wrestling used to follow it) but if you read / watch interviews with Dana, it’s clear he’s pretty intent on going beyond that … his big thing is he doesn’t want thugs, doesn’t want that at all, he’s been up front on that from the get-go … it will be interesting to see how it’s marketed on Fox … for a few years, it’s been sold more and more as a legit sport, and not as pro wrestling …
and, I should add, that the TV show and many of the events has been very consciously clear of a lot of homophobia one sees in other sports … in fact, some of the fighters themselves rather walk the line (last season’s dude who painted his toenails) and push a possible sexual ambiguity on their part (happened in the very first season, in fact, Louden, I believe) without any negative feedback from others …
I’m a big fan of the UFC and I am Hispanic. There are a lot of Hispanic UFC fans here in New Mexico (though as a state where there is a plurality of Hispanics, our racial politics are very different from the rest of the country.
Black people make up just 2.1% of the state according to the last census, so those sort of racial politics are generally a foreign concept to me.
Not sure what, if any, point I have here.
But I’ll be cheering for Jones not just because he trains here in Albuquerque, but he is an exciting fighter and I generally cheer for the soft-spoken fighter over the loud-mouthed asshole (example: Dan Henderson is my favorite fighter. Chael Sonnen is probably my least favorite fighter).
Agree … it was oh-so-satisfying when Henderson knocked out Bisping, who is a loud-mouth asshole …
Ayep, the comments are about what I’d expect. First, snobbish BS from people who think they score points by being arrogant about a sport that requires you to be honest about hitting people instead of doing it under cover of padding. Then we get the racial ignoramuses who insist the black guy’s just doing it to himself so clearly he can’t be doing it on any level because of the racism that still sells.
On the plus side, you get the people who actually, y’know, pay attention to MMA. I don’t much, but I recognize experts from armchair protestors who look a short while and leave once their biases are satisfied.
@Josh James: Big yes on UFC and its lack of homophobia. They know damn well they have a gay audience. There is a professional wrestler out there who is very open about his bisexuality, though, so things are changing for wrestling as well. He’s even black, which makes him doubly valuable since some black culture spaces are very dedicated to guys like that staying on the down low.
In a way, to me it’s like a WR in football making a big deal of a first down catch, or a DE thumping his chest after a sack. All players do that to increase their profile and the chance of an ESPN highlight.
Call me whatever you like but when I see Rampage doing just about anything not fight-wise, I think “showman”. And that’s not an insult.
I don’t disagree with that at all, actually, and Ali was a master at it, and he learned it from Gorgeous George …
That being said, actions have consequences … you act like an asshole, people will consider you an asshole, especially if it seems like you’re not acting much … all of us have watched a lot of TV, it’s easy to see when someone’s playing or when someone’s actually revealing something real … especially in sports, where it’s hard to hide your values while fighting or coaching.
I’ve never liked Matt Hughes since his stint as a coach on TUF, mainly because he was an obvious jerk, and it didn’t seem like he was working a part, he was just being himself … what’s been interesting is that he seemed aware of it himself, and in later shows when he guested, he tried to balance it out (handing out bibles, for example) to no avail … he’s a great fighter, but damn, what a jerk.
Some guys just aren’t that good at acting, and it’s easy to see that while they may say, they’re playing, they’re obviously not …
Other guys, it’s an obvious show … I love Mayhem Miller, for example, as obnoxious as he can be, because he is obviously playing a part …
Brock, on the other hand (like Hughes) just comes off as arrogant and nasty and I and many of my friends were pleased as punch when he got knocked out …
Jackson plays a part, no doubt, and he does have a real sense of humor … but I also think his act is direct from the early 90s, and the crowds and tastes have changed … many of us are not so interested in a bully anymore …
This is about right — idiots watching an idiotic activity on an idiotic network.
And no, while I am a former football player, I don’t watch or support it either.
And WTF are you supposed liberals doing supporting Rupert Murdoch? C’mon — if we’re going to get these assholes out of power, you’ve got to quit putting $$ in their pockets.
Cool piece, thanks.
Also, all this sudden :O about how contact sports will hurt the fuck out of players permanently is kind of like how people put on their best :O faces about how a lifetime of smoking damages your lungs.
(Which is definitely not to put down the scientists and physicians who work hard to give us an idea of how these groups get hurt and why this happens)
This shit is objectively great and it’s really funny when anyone gets pissy about sportsmanship and displays either in pro or college, because you know, that barn door rotted away and got shit out by termites
Evolved Deep Southerner
Why boxing is still legal in 2011 is beyond me. So through that lens, you have no point at all.
Am I “worried” about MMA? No. I think it’s barbaric and that the people who enthusiastically watch it frankly have some real issues that are disturbing to think about. I’m surprised someone like Freddie and some of the other longtime commenters who have weighed in on this as enthusiasts are, in fact, enthusiasts. He and they seem so intelligent otherwise.
@Evolved Deep Southerner: Judgmental, ignorant dumbass much? Evolved my ass.
idiots? It doesn’t sound as though you’re even remotely aware of what we’re talking about, so who’s the idiot?
It’s not even on Fox yet … And besides, Fox made FIGHT CLUB, as subversive a movie about corporations as anything, and let’s not forget AVATAR, a green-first movie …
I don’t watch Fox News, but Fox programming in terms of entertainment has been pretty consistently good, from the Simpsons to X-files to today … I support quality in programming from all sides … the reason I don’t watch Fox News is because the reporting is bad … they don’t fact-check, they’re not journalists … it’s low quality …
Fox films and television, on the other hand, quite often does high quality work … whether this is because of or in spite of Rupert, I don’t know … but I support quality.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Cassidy: Spoken like a true MMA fan. Have a great night.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Cassidy: Even better from someone who gets wood watching women hit one another. I’m deeply sorry for offending such an obvious sophisticate.
Come on, admit it. When “Mixed MMA” gets popular, you’ll cheer for the man, won’t you?
Evolved Deep Southerner
I don’t know about your first point, but Cassidy’s more or less proven your second one definitively.
Evolved Deep Southerner
Well, damn. I was hoping to be to MMA what Michael Gass was to Balloon Boy.
But, hey, I realize it’s Friday night. I imagine Cassidy is out at a dogfight or watching a snuff film or something.
@Evolved Deep Southerner:
“: Even better from someone who gets wood watching women hit one another. I’m deeply sorry for offending such an obvious sophisticate.”
Where is any evidence that Cassidy is turned on by women competing in MMA? What did “he” (and you’re presuming Cassidy is male, hmm, and straight) actually say which gave any indication that it was a turnon?
You’re making that assumption because, it seems from your above statement, obviously no male can actually watch women compete at any sport without it being somehow sexual, right?
So from your POV, a guy who watches women compete in WNBA, boxing, it’s obviously gotta be a sexual thing, can’t be about the sport, how they excel at the technique of it, nah … you’re basically saying women can’t and shouldn’t do “male” sports, because it’s gonna be too sexy for all us dudes watching it, and probably shouldn’t serve in combat, either, because that will turn guys on, too, right?
You’re not as evolved as you think you are …
I would’t watch a shit eating contest if is on a fox
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Josh James: If you honestly think there’s no difference between watching women play basketball/serve in the military and watching them beat the fuck out of one another for Cassidy’s (male or female as s/he may be) entertainment, then I don’t know exactly where to begin in unpacking the differences for you.
This thread may be dead now, but God damn, it has been fascinating.
Nothing fascinating about pretentious ignorant shithead being an pretentious ignorant shithead.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Cassidy: You’re still around? I figured you’d be in front of a teevee somewhere screaming “Hit her! Harder! Yeah! WHOO!” *fapfapfapfap*
@Evolved Deep Southerner:
I actually DO think there’s many a difference between competetions, I was pointing out that in your statement, there was none, that anything women do must have a sexual connotation … myself, I don’t believe that, I think fans watch various sports for various reasons … so you didn’t really read what I wrote, did you?
If you honestly can’t see the similarities between women competing at a demanding, regulated sport that involves a lot of physical contact, sports such as basketball, soccer, boxing, similarities they have in common with MMA … and not recognizing the apparent sexism in your own statements … unpacking them for you won’t do a bit of good …
I notice you’re still trafficking in the whole “women beating women thing” for Cassidy … yet you’ve supplied no evidence that THAT sort of thing turns Cassidy on … ergo, you’re a troll, it seems.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Josh James: I read my previous posts and I’m still trying to figure out what the hell you’re talking about.
I’m trying to see how you drew that conclusion from what I wrote. Did I mention any sporting [sic] activity between women (or between anyone, for that matter) except them beating the fuck out of each other for the entertainment of others? Go back and read the exchange. It’s you who drew the comparisons between MMA and basketball.
Look. Boxing, MMA, UFC and things like that are the only sports [sic] whose objective is to hurt/incapacitate your opponent. That’s why I maintain that any interest in these sports [sic] is by definition a prurient interest. This was my point.
So to take that and extrapolate it out to basketball, golf, lacrosse, softball, soccer, virtually any other sport you want to name, is ludicrous. The leap is your own. Don’t put words in my mouth.
Evolved Deep Southerner
Please point out these similarities for me. While you’re at it, point out the similarities between, say, baseball and boxing. You really see no difference? If not, better to be a troll than an obtuse dumbass.
I hope your obtuseness (obtusiveness? obtusion?) is on purpose. If not, seriously, I don’t know that there’s much point in moving forward with this conversation.
@Evolved Deep Southerner: Oh, I’m pretty sure you can manage to be a troll and an obtuse dumbass. You’re a presumptuous shithead who thinks your taste in sports makes you better than people who like what you don’t like. Get. Fucked.
Nice try, Evolved, but I wouldn’t bother with this bunch of Flavian Amphitheatre season ticket holders.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Q.Q. Moar: There’s no accounting for taste, but there’s a difference between someone who enjoys sports and people who enjoy watching two people try to incapacitate each other in front of a crowd. It’s the same difference between someone who goes to a Lakers game and the people who used to go watch gladiators in the Roman coliseums. The people who watch boxing, MMA, UFC and similar shit, and like it, would be the ones who’d be screaming for the emperor to give the “thumbs down” back in the day because if they didn’t get to see some real gore, they felt gypped.
Justify it however you want, and deflect criticism however you want, but it is what it is. The fact that none of you have raised a substantive counter argument beyond the fact that I’m a “presumtuous shithead” (you), I’m a “judgmental, ignorant dumbass” (Cassidy), I’m a “pretentious ignorant shithead” (also Cassidy), and a “troll” (thank you, Josh James, for your relative kindness) really doesn’t answer a God damn thing. Justify your “sport” (sic) or keep calling names. And, please, don’t start with comparisons with football or any other contact sports, because nobody with a fucking brain will answer that bullshit with anything but a laugh.
So, OK. I will stipulate to being a shithead (presumtuous or pretentious/ignorant) and I’ll even cop to being a troll on the subject.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d love to hear you and/or any of your fellow sports [sic] fans justify the “sweet science” and all its variants.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@Evolved Deep Southerner: “I don’t have to justify a fucking thing to you …” in 3 … 2 …
@Evolved Deep Southerner:
Troll, obviously … feeding stops now …
“I’m trying to see how you drew that conclusion from what I wrote.”
Really? Well, it was primarily here:
“: Even better from someone who gets wood watching women hit one another. I’m deeply sorry for offending such an obvious sophisticate.”
In which you accused someone, without evidence, of getting sexually aroused by watching them do MMA (women hitting each other is how you’ve been calling MMA, but so you know, they also kick and grapple, too, in the sport) …
Since you supplied no evidence of such, (and you earlier accused boxing fans of supporting the same brutality) the obvious conclusion one can come to is that women doing this sport turns men on (as that you didn’t accuse Cassidy of getting wood from watching MEN hit each other) and it’s a reason, in your view, we shouldn’t be supporting this …
You didn’t support your arguments, of course, becuz you’re a troll and trolls don’t do that, you just fan flames, or in this case, flame fans …
It’s true, you’re an asshole, which is your right to be, but based on how you’re argued this thread (a reminder, your argument is that women can’t hit each other, it’s an outrage, and the only reason you must like it is that it that it gives you wood!) you’re a sexist one, to boot.
Okay, NOW I’ll stop feeding the non-evolved troll …
You never asked anyone to explain anything. You have no idea why I like combat sports. YOu never asked. You’ve made a lot of assumptions, showed your ass and made it very clear that you’re a judgmental shit who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. You never sought to engage in a conversation but simply trolling based on you’re own ignorance and deeply held sexism. As I said, evolved my ass. You’re just another country hick.
It’s interesting, too, to hear people shout and claim at us to “justify” the sport … like golf doesn’t need to be justified (knocking a little ball into a hole) or hockey or anything … it’s a sport, there’s a shared purpose (points or knockout or tapout) between competitors, there’s a shared understanding of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, there’s a governing board of regulators (state) which sanctions it … what more does one need to justify it?
Really, if the troll or anyone wanted to know how it can be justified, all they really need do is go on wikipedia, or stroll down to a dojo (Tiger Shulmann now has MMA) and have it explained by an expert …
But some folks just want to be reactionary … I heard the same shit back in the 80s when I was competing in full contact karate / TKD tournaments … essentially point fighting, no one every got knocked out, we wore helmets and pads, yet a few non-informed folks claimed we were trafficking in violence … and the same people that hollered about a combat sport had no problem going to a college football game and enjoying it without any awareness of the damage that can do to a person’s body … damage I freely support as their right to participate in as an athlete …
The other thing that gets me is the earlier mention of PED’s. There are PED’s in every sport. If you think you’re favorite wide receiver or linebacker on your favorite college team isn’t using some kind of PED, you are probably wrong. The difference is that the commissions in combat sports actively test instead of looking away like all the mainstream sports.
Re: Josh James — How is EDS a troll when all he has done is point out that you get off on either inflicting pain or watching someone else inflict pain? I know a little about doing that, since I played football in college for four years. It’s a disgusting part of my past, but it’s a part of me. The difference between us is that I decided to work through that part of my psyche and understand that inflicting pain on others is just flat-out wrong. You and your fellow violence addicts apparently have decided otherwise.
As for your lame excuse for supporting fox and murdoch (I support quality!! 1!!) — don’t you realize that that thought process is what keeps murdoch going? “Oh, he’s a terrible guy, but I really like The simpsons” Too many folks apparently don’t understand that to be rid of people like him, you might have to sacrifice a little bit. I love baseball, but I won’t watch it because in my area, all the games are on fox. I changed my mortgage and checking from Citibank to a local credit union — it was a pain in the ass, and my mortgage is slightly higher than it could be, but I can’t support these folks anymore. I buy almost everything local now — it costs more and sometimes isn’t as high quality, but I’m not supporting the assholes who are trying to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. I’m not as far along as I want to be — if I could figure out a way to get rid of my DSL provider, I’d do it, but in this part of Tejas, there are no good choices. But once I have a choice, I’m making it.
I’m preaching here and I know it, but goodness knows, I’m fucking tired of so-called liberals making excuse for bad things that they like. Changing the world is hard, but I figure it’s supposed to be. Otherwise, it would have already been done.
Lifestyle liberals tore up this thread. If you don’t make the same entertainment choices they do, you’re a bad person (and apparently a sexual deviant, but I’m guessing that’s projection at work). Keep on changing the world one agonizing, and hotly debated, consumer choice at a time kids!