Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Literary Canon

When I was a little kid (by that I mean before the time of puberty, before I was 13 or so), I was very into reading. Early on, I moved on into books which, to tell the truth, were beyond my ken.

They were, for the most part, books about sports, or, as I would learn, about athletes, and the tests they go though.

For instance, I read The Baseball Life of Sandy Koufax over and over. I also read several books which I still, to this day, read over and over, Wilt: Just Like Any Other Seven Foot Tall Millionaire Next Door, Cosell By Cosell, and Ball Four, by Jim Bouton.

Now that I think about it, there was one other book which was a big influence on me; The Boys Of Summer by Roger Kahn.

The thread that ties these books together is that they are all written by very open-minded men who are not afraid to say what they think. Wilt Chamberlain, Jim Bouton, Roger Kahn, and Howard Cosell, to this day, are the literary backdrop of my life.

Later, as I grew up, I gained new influences, Hunter S. Thompson, Friedrick Nietzsche, Graham Greene, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Albert Camus, etc., but I would have to admit that Koufax, Kosell, Bouton, and Chamberlain form the backdrop; the scenery of my mind.

That and the movie Patton, especially this scene:

I actually persuaded relative after relative into taking me to see this movie. I must have seen this movie eight or nine times by the one-year mark after which it was released. Here's the money quote for me:

"American love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a loser, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans."

I do not have sons. I only have daughters. But, I love to watch boxing, and Ultimate Fighting. Sometimes, my daughters will come and interrupt me while I am watching the matches. I have had the experience of having them ask me, "Daddy, what are you watching?"

Here is my answer:

"I am watching a sport, the purpose of which is to punch the other guy in the head so hard that he loses his ability to even think. At that point, you have won."

My daughter's always look at me like I am crazy. Hell, my wife looks at me like I am crazy. But, the truth is, this is how I have been winning (metaphorically-speaking) all my life.

This is how men fight.

And now, you have to ask yourselves, do you want a world which is ruled by men, or by women?


Obviously, rationality is not arbitrated by force.

So, let us think upon this for awhile.