While I’m sure this guy (we’ll call him ‘Hal’) isn’t the “worst” person in the world, he’s certainly an odd one, and there are a lot of people who would agree with me. Not only did he make a verbal slip up, but he did it in front of everybody. You might think that his behavior was uncalled for, but let’s get real. He’s human. Of course, I’m sure that this was all just a big misunderstanding. He probably doesn’t get why everyone is acting this way.
Once in a while you meet people who are so weird, so crazy, they are just plain wrong. They don’t belong in society. They are the inappropriate, the sick, the crazy, the weird, the wacko, the weirdos, the freaks, the freaks of nature. And when you meet them you want to run away, but instead you find yourself laughing, because you can’t believe the things they are saying.
I made a list of some of the most hauntingly beautiful things I’ve photographed. I’ve been a photographer for a while now, but a year ago I was a travel photographer. I’d been around the world a handful of times, and now I was learning how to use my camera as a visual storytelling tool. I was constantly taking photos. I was constantly trying to tell stories.
Muhammad Ail is not only the greatest boxer of all time, but he is also a paradox in himself. He enjoyed boxing but despised training. He stood out for African-Americans worldwide, yet he destroyed Joe Frazier’s career by viciously doubting his race. Ali also openly opposed the United States government’s war in Vietnam and the conscription, yet he happily accepted money and mingled with cruel African tyrants.
In the 1970s, Ali’s propensity for hanging around with violent despots nearly came back to haunt him when one of them wanted to fight The Louisville Lip. The boxer saw no benefit in this kind of battle and had his team go before he got himself into a bad position.
Muhammad Ali crossed paths with a number of brutal regimes.
Mobutu Sese Seko, Muhammad Ali | Credit: Bettmann / Contributor
Ali was so dissatisfied with the US government that he refused to serve in the military. “I ain’t got no problem with them Vietcong,” he famously said. He lost his boxing license for three years at the peak of his career because of his moral stance. He was also on the verge of serving five years in jail as a result of it.
Ali went to Africa to face Heavyweight champion George Forman in Zaire four years after his comeback to the ring in 1970. Mobutu Sese Seko, the country’s authoritarian leader, personally funded each fighter’s $5 million payout.
Africans all across the continent praised Ali as a hero even before the Rumble in the Jungle. Everywhere he went, citizens of the continent greeted him with love. Throughout his career, the fighter traveled to nations all across Africa, from Ghana to Egypt to Uganda.
Ali spent time with another tyrant, Idi Amin, in Uganda. The country’s president, known as the “Butcher of Uganda,” reigned from 1971 to 1977 and was one of the world’s most deadly tyrants. According to The Guardian, experts believe that his government murdered between 300,000 and 500,000 Ugandans.
While Ali had no qualms about spending time with leaders who persecuted and murdered their own people, one request for Amin went too far, prompting Ali to flee the situation.
Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda, wanted to battle the champion.
The titular presenter of The Ryen Russillo Podcast questioned Ali biographer Jonathan Eig about a tale he heard about the champion on The Ryen Russillo Podcast. He inquired whether Ali had ever turned down $500k to fight Mobutu. Eig clarified the facts of the famous tale, telling Russillo that it was Amin, not Mobutu, who wanted to fight Ali.
The writer then told his version of Ali and Amin’s story:
While they were in Africa – or maybe after the fight — Ali and a few of his men went to Uganda to see Idi Amin, perhaps the only tyrant more brutal than Mobutu, and this time Ali got sacred. ‘This man is insane,’ he remarked this time. Let’s get out of here as soon as possible.’ I suppose Idi Amin wanted to join him in the ring, but Ali replied, “No way.” I’ll be dead if I defeat him. I may be murdered if I don’t defeat him. ‘Let’s go,’ I said, motioning to the door.
Muhammad Ali, according to Jonathan Eig
Ali was divisive and inconsistent, but he wasn’t dumb by any stretch of the imagination. He knew that donning the gloves with a man known as “The Butcher” was a losing proposition. Running away from this bout may have been Muhammad Ali’s greatest boxing choice.
In his career, Ali didn’t back down from many bouts.
While Ali refused to fight Amin, he did accept many more bouts during his life. Throughout his long career, The Greatest took on all comers. Ali fought 61 times from his first professional bout in 1960 against Tunney Hunsacker and his last in 1981 against Trevor Burbick.
Ali, according to Eig, was a people-pleaser who could virtually never say no in any situation. One of the reasons he would fight (nearly) anybody is because of this:
It’s a tragedy. He was unable of saying no to anybody. He couldn’t say no to the ladies, the bouts, or the money – and he didn’t enjoy training, so arranging a lot of fights required him to at least do some training to remain in condition. The battles would keep him in shape on their own.
Muhammad Ali, according to Jonathan Eig
This mindset may be attributed to two reasons, according to Eig. One theory is that Ali (then Cassius Clay) was a “child star” who achieved early success and was used to receiving everything he desired. Some of it was also “baked into who he was,” he added. Ali just assumed that “everything will work out” and that “everything would be fine.” Ali was generally correct, according to the author.
Ali’s decision to leave the situation when Idi Amin challenged him to a fight may have been the most correct decision of his life.
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One of the most interesting posts to come out of the hacked Sony Pictures computer files was an email exchange between Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal and her executive producer Scott Rudin (pictured above left) about Angelina Jolie’s movie “Unbroken”. Pascal urges Rudin to print the email in the upcoming New York Times review page, referring to it as “This guy’s crazy, let’s get the hell out of here!” (the title of the movie). Read more about get the hell out of here in spanish and let us know what you think.
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