Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's My Name, Fool? Hint: Not "Mister T."

Dave Zirin proves that hippies hate sports:
I did a book talk for my first book, What’s My Name, Fool!, which has this big picture of Muhammad Ali on the cover, and I did it at a very left-wing anarchist bookstore with tons of antiwar stuff everywhere. I go into the bookstore to do the talk, and the manager of the store comes up to me and asks, "Can I help you?" and I say, "Yeah, I’m Dave Zirin." And they say, "What? But you’re white." And I say, "Yeah, I’m white, last I checked." And they say, "But your picture on the cover of the book . . ."

And I say, "No, that’s not me. That’s Muhammad Ali."


Later, at that same event, someone asked me—remember, the book is called What’s My Name, Fool!—why I decided to write about Mr. T.

I raise this not to take a potshot at some well-meaning lefties, but at this bookstore there’s antiwar stuff everywhere, they’re selling Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky—and they don’t know the history of Muhammad Ali. This to me is an act of political masochism. We’re amputating one of the most dynamic parts of our own history as activists.
A piece of advice for Zirin's interviewer: Your next question should have been, "That may be so, Dave, but when was the last time you wrote about hacky-sack?"

After all, it's not like politics and hacky-sack don't intersect: "Tina Aeberli is the best footbagger in the world in her category, freestyling. She's also a candidate for next year's city council elections in Zurich." Click through — there's video!

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