Fire & Ice in Boxing and Sport

By Joe Masterleo on January 12, 2015
Fire & Ice in Boxing and Sport
Vicious people are those who never got the hang of the good side of human existence.

While the mob practices the evil arts to ritual perfection, the ‘good’ man or woman merely excels at the precarious business of being fully human…

Abandon all hope you who enter here . . . I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice. — Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Robert Ecksel’s articles on the mob are thought provoking, and in many ways. Inherent in an understanding of things “dark,” like the mob, is the mystery of its allure, as evil is parasitic on goodness, in much the way darkness is on light or cold on heat. If you think of it, evil, darkness and cold all have this factor in common — they come into being only in the absence of their counterparts (goodness, light and heat). That is, evil, darkness and cold are voids, not positive entities in and of themselves. To illustrate, one can turn a light on in a dark room, but can’t turn the dark “on” in a light room. Likewise, one can turn heat on in a cold room, but not the converse. Air-conditioning? A process that voids heat. Disease?  A condition devoid of health. And fools? They rush in where the wise (and angels) fear to tread. The law of entropy (voids) everywhere abounds, and everywhere pathogens (evils) rush in to fill their gaping voids.

In order to maintain a central foothold within a person, ‘goodness’ is something that s/he must value and practice in order to be proficient at it, intending it to be dominative and prevailing. To be proficient at something takes practice; to be great at it takes more practice. Sort of like playing an instrument skillfully, keeping physically conditioned or mastering any endeavor that only comes with focused intent, discipline and practice.

While the mob practices the evil arts to ritual perfection, the ‘good’ man or woman merely excels at the precarious business of being fully human, allowing their good to prevail over their fiery/icy personal “demons’ via intention and practice, lest their fire consume them, or ice frost them over. As for fire and ice, perhaps that’s why Hell is depicted as an eternal combustion, or why zombies, vampires, ghouls and stone faced mob thugs look and feel so deathly cold. Recall, Richard Kuklinski, the mob’s notorious killer, is known as the “Iceman.” Like Mother Teresa on the virtuous side of the good-evil spectrum, you wouldn’t find the ghoulish Kuklinski singing the National Anthem before many sporting events.   

It seems those who become really brilliant at practicing the better angels of their nature — the saints — are the virtuosi of life, the Pavarottis, Mozarts, Alis and (cough) Mayweathers of virtue. By contrast, vicious people are those who, for one reason or another, never got the hang of the good side of human existence, say, as someone never got the hang of swimming, doing math or playing poker — or more accurately, never valued those endeavors enough to learn or master them. They are on fire with negative passion or possessed of cold, calculating dispassion, rendering them oddities, mere freakish mutations.

Thus, as personified voids of the good, evil practicing folk aren’t really there, but remain caricatures of the good, unfinished sketches of fully alive human beings. Like ghosts, they hover closer to death than life, darkness than light, trapped in a dark limbo that cuts them off from the human world. As such, they populate a world of a different order — the underworld. They may look human enough all right, and even sound that way, yet like aliens or zombies in a horror movie, their appearance is merely phony.

Evil folk find meaning only in feathering their own nest, advancing their heinous causes(s) and/or tearing others apart — radically so. Their thoughts, words and acts are habitually life-diminishing, and in a wholesale way. Preferring the perfection of death to being fully alive, they are sadists, delighting in the morbid occupation of smashing all human meaning and value to pieces.

Aside from his impressive ring record, I’m convinced such was a, if not the, cardinal element in the allure and attraction of Mike Tyson, at least before his innate evil (the passion of raging fire and icy ring dispassion) got the best of him. Eventually, Tyson became a parody of himself, just another paradoxical, self-defeating, burned-out sports “star,” fizzling after a meteoric rise.

In Middle Age architecture, particularly in churches, gargoyles were grotesque appearing creatures attached to towering cathedrals. They were sculpted and placed beneath Gothic spires to depict evil beings fleeing sacred spaces, as the sacred and profane can’t occupy the same throne at the same time. Like riding two horses or drawing two bows, serving two masters internally is a prohibitive impossibility. Sort of like a boxer throwing a roundhouse in pursuit of a one-punch KO — on himself.

Says here, Mike Tyson fought with the fierce and menacing countenance of a gargoyle, the ferocity bent on literally destroying his opponents. Frankly, his terrifying intensities were fueled by and appeared to transcend levels of violence never before witnessed in the fight game, defeating most of his opponents before they even stepped into the ring. In this writer’s view, such is the primary reason Tyson’s countenance has become the face, not only of the dark side of boxing, but the demonic side of all of sport over the past twenty years. 

Virtue may be adorable, but it’s vice that folk find sexy and alluring. Truth be told, good is viewed by the vast majority as restrictive and nerdy. One need only witness the public’s pleasure and excitement over minimally restrictive amusements and pastimes, the sadism and violence of which stimulates and arouses (fires) them en masse, or leaves them ogling with detached indifference or cold dispassion (ice).

Sport is life in microcosm. As such, Freddy Krueger appears again and again in many guises, with sport merely reflecting same, at its worst perpetuating our national and global Nightmare on Elm Street.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Eric 01:05pm, 01/14/2015

    There is a rumor that Moochie has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of personality disorder. She calls her evil half, “Michael.”

  2. Eric 12:54pm, 01/14/2015

    Irish…Don’t forget Obama’s wife, Moochelle “Moochie” Obama.  Remember the look Moochie was giving to Carla Bruni. That was a look of pure evil. I thought Holder was supposed to be leaving the Dept. Of JustUS?

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:14pm, 01/14/2015

    “They are on fire with negative passion or possessed of cold, calculating dispassion, rendering them oddities, mere freakish mutations.”.....so much for Obama and Holder…..Oh! Right!....the mob you say. Says here you could be describing tens of millions of “freakish mutations” right here in River City….or billions more that infest this celestial orb we call Earth.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:50am, 01/14/2015

    Mother Teresa was a religious fanatic of the highest order…..her ministering to the hopeless, sick, and dying was her response to Christ on the cross calling “I Thirst”....she was a realist certainly not an idealist and held out little hope for this world.

  5. Eric 07:25am, 01/13/2015

    I guess I’m the eternal pessimist because I’ve always seen far more evil in this world than good. I see the hypocrisy of a society that praises Iron Mike’s violence in the ring, but detests it outside of the ring. I’m always amazed at how hockey players can legally get away with behavior during a game that would have them facing assault charges in the real world. The refs don’t even rush in to break up fights, but let them go on awhile to work the crowd up into a frenzy.  I remember a couple years back, a hockey player took his stick to another player’s head. Don’t know if the player faced criminal charges or not. Often it is fear of retribution that keeps people in check and not their sense of fairness or brotherly love. Whether it is fear of getting theirs in the afterlife or doing time in some cramped jail cell in the here and now, it is this constant threat keeps people in line. Can’t help but think about the protesters in France that were holding up pens & pencils to signify the right to “free speech.” Can you be more inculcated than those poor people? In Europe & Canada, people have went to jail for saying the wrong thing and for even condemning 3rd world immigration into Europe. People are praising those Western “leaders” who linked arms in a protest against terrorism, when those so-called, “leaders” have sold out their own by encouraging mass flooding of their countries of people from Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. That kind of display by these “leaders” ranks pretty high up on the “evil” scale, at least as far as I’m concerned it does.

  6. Pete The Sneak 05:37am, 01/13/2015

    I’m not going to get all religious on you here, but the more evil I witness, the stronger I believe their is indeed an Evil presence in the world, and thus there must be a good presence to counteract that Evil. Take that for what it’s worth, but that’s all I’ll say on it…As for Kuklinski, this dude was evil personified…I mean here’s a guy, who says that in wanting to test a killer Cyanide spray’s effectiveness on his victims,  he would target an innocent person of the right ‘age’ to see if it would work. He would spray the victim with this killer concoction as the victim would walk by and wait and see the results. He would see the person keel over, shake and stumble to the ground in agony…He would then walk away, satisfied that he has perfected yet another efficient killing tool…His thought being that the ‘older’ gentleman’s death would be ruled a heart attack…Fact or fiction, I don’t kniow, but listening to hin tell that story proudly and with a smirk tells you where this guys head was at…Peace.

  7. Eric 07:42pm, 01/12/2015

    I actually see Klukinski’s point about shooting the three yahoos in Georgia. They were “playing” with Klukinski, maybe trying to run him off the road. They messed with the wrong guy that night. Klukinski asks the interviewer what would have happened had they run him off the road and killed him instead. The interviewer responds that they might have been charged with reckless endangerment or reckless driving. WHAT? So then the clueless interviewer asks, Klukinski, if he thinks the 3 men he shot were guilty of a capital offense. The Iceman responds, “apparently, I did kill them.” CLASSIC. I think that the Iceman might be laying it on a little thick and might be overplaying the role during this interview. He might have been thinking that other convicts would have seen this interview, and would have been more than willing to leave him alone while doing his time. The guy has gone on to meet the ultimate judge and jury, so he will have to answer for all those murders he claims. They say that violence never solves anything, but in this world we live in that is bunk. This guy learned early on that it paid to be the one administering the beatings instead of receiving them. Violence has built nations. We live in an evil world. Takes a super strong, evolved person to live up to the Mother Teresa standard. I’m sure she has received her just rewards and I’m sure guys like Klukinski receive theirs to in the end. I’m a firm believer in an omnipotent God. However, if I was in a dark alley and needed backup, I’m choosing the Iceman over Mother Teresa. Only kidding.

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