A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  SearchSearch  

Share | 
 

 Butterflies and Bees.

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5394
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : The Sceptred Isle

PostSubject: Butterflies and Bees.   Sat 04 Jun 2016, 08:47

The death of Muhammad Ali is all over the BBC News channel this morning - another giant from our young lives gone.

I have never understood the popularity of boxing, thinking it was just a sport for the boys, but I believe it was very fashionable for society women to be taken to boxing matches, especially in the 1930s. Of course today there are women boxers - something which mystifies me. But then I was always into ballet as a girl - rather different from fisticuffs, although physically just as - if not more - demanding.

I had no idea boxing was so ancient a sport: I note from this BBC article that it was banned in Rome in AD 393 (sorry, 393 CE) because of "excessive brutality". Excessive brutality a problem in Rome? Isn't that an oxymoronic statement?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2007/11/13/early_boxing_history_feature.shtml




Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2935
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sat 04 Jun 2016, 10:22

I've never understood the appeal of boxing whether as a participant, spectator or even socially (eg early 20th century ideas of it encouraging discipline, self-reliance, manliness etc among otherwise feckless youths) ... but it certainly goes back a long way:


Minoan youths boxing circa 1650 BCE

PS : Re excessive brutality in ancient Rome ... didn't the Romans introduce the idea of metal studs attached to the leather thongs that bound the boxers' hands, just to deliberately make the fist an even more effective weapon. I thought boxing in republican times was basically a form of gladiatorial event, and so was usually a fight to the death. But by the fourth century AD they were generally going a bit soft. Banning boxing .... that's another thing the Romans did for us!
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5394
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : The Sceptred Isle

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sat 04 Jun 2016, 11:50

MM wrote:
Banning boxing .... that's another thing the Romans did for us!



Er - it was actually those pesky Christians who persuaded the Roman authorities to ban it. Smile

Boxing was particularly big in the 19th century in English public schools, or so I believe: as you point out it was seen as an excellent way of teaching discipline and self-control. I suppose the thinking was that if you are going to beat the hell out of someone, learn to do it nicely by the rules. Very English. And, according to this Guardian article, boxing is making a comeback in our education establishments, despite Health and Safety concerns. Conkers are banned, but boxing is fine.  Suspect





https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/nov/15/boxing-popularity-schools-clubs



A brutal and dangerous sport.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5394
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : The Sceptred Isle

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sat 04 Jun 2016, 12:41

PS Norman Mailer, the American novelist, said of Muhammad Ali: "He turned boxing into ballet."

No, sorry - the strength, beauty and awesome technique of Carlos Acosta is ballet. Beating hell out of George Foreman is not.





Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2935
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sat 04 Jun 2016, 12:51

I quite agree, and whilst one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, I always though Mohammad Ali was just an annoying, egotistical idiot ... and that was well before he'd developed Parkinson's, the almost inevitable side effect of repeatedly getting your head punched.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5751
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Mon 06 Jun 2016, 08:13

Much can be said in criticism of Ali as man, sportsman and public figure, though none of it stands up too cleverly when judged in the context of his origin and early life.

That which I remember most wasn't so much the arrogant, loud-mouthed, humorous and showman antics, but that they were the unabashed antics of a black man dealing with what was then an almost exclusively white media, white boxing authorities and white government. After Ali no parent could preach anti-black racism to their children in the sense that Afro-Americans were by nature inarticulate, cowed and cowardly, without the same children aware that at least one (at the time) glorious refutation existed - and one moreover who wasted no opportunity to inform everyone that more were coming.

Ali refused to be patronised and refused to conform to the rather rigid and downright racist expectations and limitations his society (and ours) attempted to impose on him. He wasn't the first, and he certainly and thankfully wasn't the last, but for a crucial period in American culture he held centre stage and refused to step out of that spotlight while he demonstrated the stupidity and callousness of the social mores which attempted to stop him, and demonstrated it in ways that even the most stupid and the most indoctrinatedly recalcitrant racist could not fail to understand. An "idiot" he may have been in one sense, but intelligent (and incredibly brave) he was in another - altogether more important - sense.

In a world where it has become increasingly difficult to explain what standing up for one's principles actually entails, or for that matter what such a principle might look like when applied to a courageous human being, Ali for a while facilitated both. He mightn't have been the best exemplar, but in a poverty of examples as made it through media censorship at the time, he was important. That must never be forgotten.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1113
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sun 12 Jun 2016, 06:33

Well said, Nordmann.  And while I don't understand the appeal of modern-day boxing. I do recall how avidly everyone (more or less) awaited the Rumble in the Jumble and the Thrilla in Manila.  And to be quite honest now that NZ has a prominent boxer (Joseph Parker) who is trying for a tilt at the World Championship we are getting slightly more interested again.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1907
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Sun 12 Jun 2016, 22:28

@Caro wrote:
Well said, Nordmann.  And while I don't understand the appeal of modern-day boxing. I do recall how avidly everyone (more or less) awaited the Rumble in the Jumble and the Thrilla in Manila.  And to be quite honest now that NZ has a prominent boxer (Joseph Parker) who is trying for a tilt at the World Championship we are getting slightly more interested again.


Caro so glad to see you once again posting on these boards.

Kind regards from your friend, Paul.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5751
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Mon 13 Jun 2016, 09:20

Thanks, Caro. Good to hear from you also!

Ireland as a society, even more than New Zealand, tends to embrace its rather rare occurrences of sporting prowess in certain disciplines by rather blatantly compromising what might be called its communal ethics in order to more comfortably bask in the reflected glory of a certain sportsperson's incidental success at any given time. This has led to some rather regretful scenarios in recent years - from everyone suddenly developing a hitherto impossible infatuation with the sport of swimming up until the catalyst for this enthusiasm was found to have been drugged to the gills (pardon the analogy) during her brief tenure of winners' podiums, to a very recent sudden enthusiasm for what is termed "Mixed Martial Arts" (a lot mixed, a very loose interpretation of martial, and no art that I can see whatsoever) which dissipated rather suddenly when a Portuguese practitioner died at the hands of an Irish one in a much publicised Dublin event even more recently.

Sport does tend to bring out the most embarrassing national traits at times.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1424
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   Mon 13 Jun 2016, 17:02

Never saw why Ali was regarded as "the greatest sportsman of the C20th". Always reckoned C B Fry was that.
http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/death-cb-fry
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Butterflies and Bees.   

Back to top Go down
 

Butterflies and Bees.

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: Sport and Pastimes-