What’s in a name? Playing for keeps
Just recently, on my way back from an event in San Jose, which included the option of experiencing a PD tremor San Andreas fault style, I skipped through the movies on the plane, the endless Big Bang Theory box sets, by the way not a patch on
and in the end even glanced at the doco section.
Of course, once again it was HBO to the rescue. The life of a most famous PD personality, Cassius Clay – or rather Muhammad Ali – as that’s the point of this gripping 2-part documentary.
What’s my name? Indeed. And while I’m not sure his choices were always dead on target – but then are yours? mine certainly sometimes don’t even register on any compass or GPS known to man – when you hear him explain with that intoxicating cheeky style how that first moniker had been the slave name, i.e. the name handed out to his forefathers once upon a time by the owner of his great-great grandad or what have you, you start to get an inkling as to why this proud, strong, talented man with a razor sharp mind – you can tell even in those very early media interviews that he knew exactly what he was doing – became deeply disenchanted very early in the piece.
It’s an often overlooked but very useful weapon; being underestimated ..
And it’s heartbreaking to hear him lament how, after winning Gold at the Olympics for HIS country he was convinced that now, surely, he would be allowed to sit in the non-segregated section of the little restaurant in his hometown, only to discover that after all that, Olympic Champion or not, he was still only a black man not deemed worthy to breathe in the same air as the WASP diners.
Yep, let’s try and judge him now for the odd mistake or error in judgment he may have made later on.
One place, however, where he couldn’t put a foot wrong was the boxing ring. Although I never really enjoy the final rounds of games when it all gets a bit too Punch and Judy for me, I do fondly remember his elegant stepping. That zooming around his poor lumpen opponents, just buzzing and hovering (I am aware of the phrase you’re thinking of now, dear reader. I just am not going to deploy it) until, at long last, he just needed to push the poor sod over for yet another stunning win.
And the link with PD? Well, since two of the trainers at the Chatswood Boxing School for PD People What Can’t Move Good in all honesty said I was a natural, I only enjoy his cocky dancing moves all the more..