I am often asked how a Contrarian Thinker’s thoughts differ from those of the mainstream.
The recent death of Muhammad Ali or Cassius Clay as most of my generation would remember him is a classic example.
The media – conventional and social – are full of reports glorifying the man and putting him on a pedestal of god-like magnificence.
Politicians and other celebrities are falling over themselves to elevate him to the status of a statesman.
I and many of my generation remember him as an obnoxious loud mouth, a draft dodger and inciter of civil disobedience. Some of his statements could be classed as hate crimes today.
I am not a huge fan of boxing or any individual boxers. It seems ludicrous to me that in an age when hunting with hounds and bullfighting have been banned, participants in human blood sports are celebrated.
However I do not believe boxing, wrestling or other forms of combative sports should be banned. Boxing has been shown to be a good sport for youngsters to get fit, learn discipline, gain confidence and build self-esteem. It just seems illogical that people can earn huge sums of money for beating each other’s faces into a bloody pulp and scrambling their brains.
I do admire Muhammad Ali’s skill and his rise from humble beginnings to become world champion.
I have no problem with people remembering him as a great boxer. However to ignore his earlier anti-social activities and now consider him one of the modern world’s great philosophers and a role model for generations, is the height of hypocrisy.
He was certainly not a Mother Theresa, Maya Angelou, Helen Keller or Albert Schweitzer.
That’s the power of the media, it has the ability to elevate sinner to saint, terrorist to nobel prize winner. It can also destroy the lives and careers of those whose honesty and lack of hypocrisy ignore the constraints of political correctness.
Sadly the new, digital media is better than the old at both.