“I Got your Hat!” The fall of sports and the rise of the circus.

 

I want to say as little as possible about the most recent fiasco/circus that is the Mayweather/Paul altercation.

But something, rational needs to be said from this sea of irrationality. A word for the sport of boxing that very much has descended into the mud in the year of 2021.

I am amazed how grown ass adults, champions who have competed at the highest levels, lower themselves to taking on these circus matches that are either in a sport they have no experience in, or are outside their weight class.

I don’t understand how life long competitors  can be out maneurvered by 20 somethings.

Here is the deal, the Paul Brothers have done nothing where the names of any serious athlete should be coming out of their mouth. Not a McGregor, not a Mayweather. Particularly considering they are calling out people who either 1/do not box or 2/are not in their weight class. Which makes both their antics and the antics of Triller, the lowest form of cowardice. A combination of trolling and bullying and lowest common denominator disrespect that has been codified and monetized.

It is a bit sickening.

That said, from the perspective of Triller and the Paul Brothers it is genius and it is working.

These two kids who have not had a legitimate fight with an amateur or professional boxer in their weight class, someone who is trained and out there to hurt them with bad intentions, and despite this… these kids are the most well known and well paid boxers on the planet, A staggeringly sad indictment of the current state of boxing.

So while the morality of what they are doing, or lack of, may sicken, the ingenuity and success-fullness of what they have done, to turn themselves into world wide household names,… you have to call brilliant.

And on the other side of the equation, to be a Mayweather or an Askren and allow yourself to be baited into a circus match, where you have nothing to gain, and are playing on an unlevel playing field someone else’s game— is sad. Now with Askren, you can say he wanted the payday. For Mayweather, he doesn’t need the money. It is a combination of pure ego and he is slightly crazy. that he agrees to get into a boxing match with a kid half his age and twice his size. There is no upside in this fight for Mayweather, he wins, he was supposed to win over a youtuber. He loses, he makes the Paul Brother/Triller circus of fighting mismatches more of a success, and he tarnishes his unbeaten record.

How are these 20 something kids, completely out “art of warring” these supposed professionals?

Rule # 1- You don’t fight on the opponents terms.

Yet everyone is doing just that when it comes to the Pauls.

Mayweather is a 50 and 0 boxing legend, for him to even utter the name Paul in a sentence is to belittle himself. Much less to elevate these kids, who refuse to fight real active competition of their weight class and discipline.

Here is an analogy, and I am not calling anyone a pig. It is an analogy.

You can get in the mud and wrestle a pig, but to what benefit?

You’ve agreed to take off your clothes and get in mud and fight a pig, you have already lost by agreeing to such a scenario.

You can only compete with competitors, people who understand a fair competition, and the pursuit of excellence.  To complete with someone without an understanding of that, is not to compete, it is to perform.

I said the Paul Brothers are young enough to be Mayweather’s kids, they are also in conduct very much the children of Mayweather and McGregor, men who have used vile, derogatory means to sell their fights. Who in their antics very much bred this disrespect/circus environment that now the Brothers Paul, with social media, have taken to the next level.

Mayweather has legitimized the Paul Brothers by even responding to them, much less agreeing to fight them.

Win, lose or draw in the actual fight (And May weather is a great boxer, but even in his prime, fighting men in his weight class, he was never a powerful puncher. He didn’t win fights by outpunching guys, So against a kid who s in another weight class, has the height and weight and reach, he can likely decision the kid,  but he can just as likely get knocked out, particularly at his age)  Mayweather has already lost, by even acknowledging these kids. Champions should never punch down.

 

“I got your hat!”

One of the greatest sports, and some of the greatest competitors, reduced to looking like grade school idiots on tv, because they are following the grade school antics of the Pauls. If you fight on your enemy’s terms, you have lost.

Here endeth all I have to say on the matter.

Favorite Audio Books of May 2021!! CHOICE ONE — Alex Ross’ KINGDOM COME!!

 

I LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVEVEEEEEEEEEEEE this audio book!. I’ve had the audio cassette for years and ripped my copy to cd so I can listen to it when in my car going to/from work, etc.  I Loved the graphic novel so much that when I heard about the audio book, I just had to have it.

And this audio book, actually does what I thought was impossible. it makes the graphic novel, which I consider a masterpiece and one of my favorite books, even richer and more beloved.

That said it has been a good couple years since I have found these CDs and revisited this audio book. I listened to them this week…. and it still hits me the same…. my goodness I LOVE this audio book.

And I know Mark Waid the scripter is not a fan of this audio book, but I adore it. And what gets lost about KINGDOM COME, the graphic novel that inspires this audio book, when discussing it, is it is Alex Ross’ KINGDOM COME. 

Click the image above to own the ABSOLUTE KINGDOM COME while it is still in print. A must own.

Alex Ross was not just the artist on the book, KINGDOM COME, it was his brain-child, he conceived it, this was and is very much Alex Ross’ story that he brought to DC,  this idea of the Twilight of the Gods, even to having his Dad in the book as a central character, and DC paired him with Mark Waid to flesh out the story and create the script and structure.

 

And all due respect to Mark Waid (you can’t have a much better scripter/writer to flesh out your ideas, and make your concept better, especially when it comes to DC Characters and history and imbuing it with a sense of the iconic and the nostalgic);  but I do think we need to give due respect to Alex Ross, and start giving him his due praise for the story even existing, and its romantic, and  even spiritual nature… giving us the gist of this story about —  faith rewarded.

And here another great writer and lover of all things DC, Elliot S. Maggin, takes the Graphic Novel and adapts it for the novel and the audio book, I think with faithful and momentous and heartfelt results.

“5.0 out of 5 stars Read the comic, then read this exceptional novelization

Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2013

Verified Purchase

Moments in this audio book never fail to give me chills or make me teary eyed or make me inspired. The audio eliciting memories of Alex Ross’ stunning iconic painted moments. So yes, you very much need to have read the Graphic Novel first, to appreciate the audio book.

I’ll post links to both items,  and more, throughout this post.

“And fingers that can fuse coal into diamond, crawl across human bone. And in the hush, ears that can hear a cell divide, pick out with chilling ease, the  scream of human rage.”

Holy Effing Crap.

I think the performers with one or two brief exceptions for the bit players, are all fantastic. The main characters, Superman, Batman, WonderWoman, Magog, Norman McKay, Wesley Dodds, Spectre, many more— are all picture perfect.

Alex Ross meets Mark Waid meet Elliott Maggin— all add up to the best DC adaptation ever made.

The cassettes have dried up, but sometimes you can catch one popping up from time to time. And hopefully one day they will release the CD (but wouldn’t hold my breath, considering it has been over 20 years since the Audio Book was released). However, if you can snag a copy, it is worth having.

Strongly Recommended!!!

 

THE NEW TEEN TITANS Comic Book Covers of the Day!

Favorite TEEN TITANS Covers!!!!

 

My single favorite TEEN TITANS cover. And a good story to boot, as were all these early Wolman and Perez stories.

[ttv1_26.jpg]This was part 2 in a GREAT 3 Part Bob Kanigher and Nick Cardy storyline. One of my favorite 3-part comic book storylines.

[nttv2_01.jpg]The New Teen Titans had proved so popular that DC decided to launch a 2nd series , by the same creative team, only on higher quality paper in a more deluxe format, direct to comic book stores. This new BAXTER series (named for the higher quality, vibrant paper it was printed on) was launched by this book. And it was great. And the cover, a bit of a reworking of the cover from the first series, is actually better.

[nttv1_13a.jpg]Another great 3 parter, this time starring THE DOOM PATROL!

 

[nttv1_38.jpg]

 

 

Favorite Youtube Streaming Channels/Discoveries of the Day! UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

Come back tonight for the finished version. I’ll add 2 or 2 more channels.

Okay this one was recorded 5 days ago as of this writing, but I just discovered it today.

What?

Yes, I clicked on it for obvious reasons.

“Henry!!! Henry!!! You unsubscribe from that blog right now!!! He’s a sexist, masher!!!  PERVERT!!!!”

I crack myself up.

But yes I did click on it for pretty obvious reasons, if you have eyes, and a pulse and a libido, and a passing interest in the fairer sex.

That said what you get in this video, and I wasn’t sure, is…. jaw dropping, effervescent, odd, loony, weird, at times surprisingly insightful, at times vapid to the point of self parody, but throughout completely compelling and entertaining.

Let me say this, I dislike reality tv, with a passion. I think talk shows and talk show hosts, with few exceptions replace Lawyers in that old joke.

“What do you call a thousand talk shows and talk show hosts at the bottom of the sea?”

“A good start.”

That a talk show host was ordained Resident, shows we are in the last days of Rome. 🙂

But while I dislike reality tv as foisted on us by networks, trying to craft what is reality, I like people.

Particularly when they have a view to share, that however alien to mind, I find… additive, in a world that is mostly divisive or subtractive.

I found watching the above video… additive.  I went in knowing— she’s over 21, she’s stunning, and it is in my feed for some reason.

Beyond that all bets were off.

What I got, to my chagrin, was being mystified (what is up with the house? Are they squatting? Are they my old tenants? 🙂 ), dubious of sanity, surprised by moments of insight, both chagrined and amused, and throughout entertained.

On a Saturday, in between errands, I’ll give a thumbs up to such infectious energy.

p.s. I went through the channel’s list of videos, I have not played video games in decades so most of the channel is of little interest to me, but I found this one video hilarious.

 

Come back tonight as I add the other discoveries made.

NFTs??? Digital Cryptocurrency? Bitcoin? Ether? What are these things and my take on them.

 

In this, hopefully helpful and useful post, I’ve provided links to the best articles, podcasts and youtube videos I’ve consumed in the last week that I think have given me a good handle on NFT.

What are NFTs?

Wrong way to get into the topic.

You know what digital currency/cryptocurrency is?

Put your hands down, no you don’t.  Not even the people who design various cryptocurrencies or the people who buy and sell it on exchanges have a good grasp of it. Because by its nature… it is meaning imposed on something that is inherently meaningless. A random generated string of numbers. Which is kinda the point, and kinda why it  is perfect for trading.  Voodoo Magic.  A thing being worth, whatever people at the moment are convinced it is worth. 🙂

But for a general agreed upon definition of  Cryptocurrency? Well see below.

Site Investopedia does a very cogent overview of all things digital currency.

cogent – Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.com

Cogent comes from a Latin word meaning to drive together, so cogent thinking is well-organized: it hangs together.

Below is a small snippet of that Investopedia article that I highly recommend you clicking on the link above and reading in full (after you finish this post of course).

What Is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

Key Takeaways

  • A cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset based on a network that is distributed across a large number of computers. This decentralized structure allows them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities.
  • The word “cryptocurrency” is derived from the encryption techniques which are used to secure the network.
  • Blockchains, which are organizational methods for ensuring the integrity of transactional data, are an essential component of many cryptocurrencies.
  • Many experts believe that blockchain and related technology will disrupt many industries, including finance and law. 
  • Cryptocurrencies face criticism for a number of reasons, including their use for illegal activities, exchange rate volatility, and vulnerabilities of the infrastructure underlying them. However, they also have been praised for their portability, divisibility, inflation resistance, and transparency.

Ok, so long story short, cryptocurrency is a completely computer generated currency/digital currency, a bunch of algorithms and calculations, and those parsed  into units, assigned initial values , and bought and sold on exchanges.

Now why would anyone want to buy or sell, or find value, in this completely fabricated currency, backed by nothing beyond distributed calculations? Where is hard real world value to back it? When salt used to be currency in China, you could actually use salt, the actual currency had value. Or when bread and barley were currency in Egypt, the actual currency — the actual unit had intrinsic real world value and use, outside of any exchange. The same with silver and gold. They have uses in building, in jewelry, in technology. The base of your monetary system historically (until the 20th century, and the rise of the stock market and the removal from the gold standard) had tangible physical applications and uses.

Now cut to cryptocurrency and it is a completely generated system, backed by nothing but random calculations, and the difficulty in breaking those calculations.  And to be fair it can be argued it is just an extreme extension of how fiat money (Dollars, Marks, Euros) since the middle of the 20th century, is really backed by nothing but the whims of banking institutions and the might of a nations military.

So the question of why would anyone buy or sell digital currency/cryptocurrency becomes a somewhat moot one. From selling for pennies to now selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the last two decades has shown cryptocurrency , for better or worse, is here and does have value.

Now will it have value in the future? Which currencies will live, which currencies will die? Well while volatility is the name of the game when it comes to cryptocurrency, if you can get the human herd, the human train moving in a direction, like Buffalo stampeded toward a point, that herd tends to keep moving in that direction.

Whether that direction is a valley or a cliff.

Right now, that direction is cryptocurrency. And I say this as someone who does not as of this writing own cryptocurrency of any type.

 

So now you have various digital currencies doing very well, as in making people digital millionaires and billionaires, on these Digital Exchanges. But while Bitcoin is the most well known cryptocurrency, the last few years have seen an explosion of players in the market.

One of them is a company called Ethereum, launched in 2015. What I like about Ethereum, after researching it for this article is it is not just a currency derived from meaningless calculations, is it is a software company first, designing smart contracts, that can be stored and accessed across boundaries, and has developed its own programming language that other designers use to build their apps.

So the monetary system it has created, is an extension of how it is valued and paid for its work. So its unit “Ether”, can be seen to, at least for me, have some value beyond being only representative of random calculations, or being traded on a digital platform. I can actually without converting it to Dollars or Fiat money use it to actually buy something.

And here is where we come to NFT.

“FINALLY!!!!!”

“What took you so long???!!!!”

“I hate this blog!!!!”

“Punk Ass Fool!!!”

Ah my loving public.

Now as i was saying… Ethereum, perhaps understanding that a digital currency, is of suspect import without digital products to spend it on, have created a new type of digital collectible, that people can create, buy, and sell.

 

 

Non-fungible Tokens are digital representations, copies of things, that have been encrypted and signed and limited to make them unique. And that is a completely bs definition so see the links above, for it competently explained. 🙂

From a business perspective they are ideal for contracts. For a commerce perspective they are ideal for creating something that is digitally unique, and therefore can be sold as scarce and collectible. In the physical world you can have an art gallery do a limited to 200 prints of say a famous Drew Struzan or Alex Ross painting, and collectors will pay hundreds to thousands to get that framed poster or print to put on their walls. As someone who has bought framed Alex Ross giclees and limited prints, I know of what I speak.

 

NFTs have taken that concept to the digital world, allowing owners of content to securely digitize their content, really just mark it saying this is a proven secure set limited to this number, and whether a photo, or a snippet of a video, or a painting (several Frazetta images have been made into NFTs and sold by his estate). allows them to sell it on exchanges. But you do not pay in dollars, you have to pay in digital currency.

It is actually a genius move on Ethereum’s part if you think about it. Digital Currency, for all the talk of decentralized this and that, is valued and viewed in dollars. Digital money viewed in its ability to be turned in for ‘real’ money. “Dude I bought these 100 Bitcoins 10 years ago, and now I’m rolling in Dollars  B*tch!!” is the typical mindset of people jumping on the digital money train.

Ethereum is turning that on its head by creating markets, that do not want your dollars.

I’ll repeat that.

Ethereum is turning that on its head by creating markets, that do not want your dollars.

They want and accept Ether. Digital Currency. 

I personally think NFTs are bs, to a large extent. However I think the creation of a digital infrastructure for these new digital millionaires to spend their digital money, without needing to convert it to dollars— it is absoeffing genius.

I who had very little interest, bordering on disdain for Crypto prior to starting research on this article, have to say I think Ether and Ethereum, that specific model, which other cryptocurrencies are now starting to copy, I think that bloody model is genius.

I have to be honest with you, if I had the money, I would go out today and buy me some shares of Ether.

If you want to, get info here!

 

Whether it goes up in the short term, whether it goes down in the short term, this is a company that is very smart, and forward thinking, way beyond just making Dollars— as silly as it sounds they seem true zealots on this idea— of not needing Dollars.

That makes them both scary and admirable, and a company to watch and get on the good side of.

And really quickly, because I’m going to get a lot of mumbling about my NFTs are bs comment. I’m an old school collector. I like my books on paper, I like my posters and prints, on my wall, I like my movies, Blu-ray, 3D, DVD, LaserDiscs, even this crappy packed, and relatively useless, 4K garbage in beautiful embossed cases on my bookshelf. I like my music on CDs, not listening to crappy compressed mp3s.

I understand why they created NFTs, it is an extension of creating valid and secure digital contracts, but its usage to create scarcity is concerning.

Why would i pay thousands for a digital print of something I can view digitally for free anytime I want? The answer is Collectors, my people, can be an irrational bunch. And collectors with more money than sense, can be an even more irrational bunch.

 However, I do see the appeal of NFTs as a creator, if you can find a suck—ehh— a buyer for your product, you not only make money from the original sale, but you can code it into the item that you make money from subsequent sales. It is a capitalist wet dream made flesh.

But I can also see the downside to large scale NFT adoption. The cheap posters you can buy of great paintings or great movie posters may stop being made. The free images or sequences available on the web we will be in a lower quality. So now that NFT copy becomes a little more attractive due to a lack of real world alternatives. So that is the dark side of NFT adoption, that art and collectibles and culture starts becoming something that gets put behind a paywall.

But on the small scale, for the regular Joe or Jane or Joane that is monetizing and NFTing especially nice pictures they have taken, and there is a market, hey knock yourself out. Just be aware of the always suspect intersection of art and commerce.

 

Well guys that has been my overview on NFTs , hopefully you have found it as informative and fun to read as i did to research and write.

If you did enjoy this post, gals and guys, do me a favor like, subscribe, and do one more thing, if the funds are there and the product strikes you, hit the links below and support our items of the day. Your purchases keep the proverbial lights on.

 

There are a lot of books out there with the name Beksinski on em, and I’ve seen just about all of them.

Only two I consider must owns (feel free to use your Ether on em 🙂 ):

 I was one of the first resellers of THE FANTASTIC ART OF BEKSINSKI over two decades ago. It was then, and remains now, one of my favorite artbooks. I  sold out of all my copies a long time ago. But you can still pick up a few stragglers from other sellers on the link above.

 

This is just a softcover museum booklet to accompany one of the retrospectives on Beksinski’s work. I think it may be 40 or so pages, but printed on very nice glossy paper. Text is Polish, English & French and  artwork is sublime.

BEST BATMAN standalone stories that NO ONE REMEMBERS!!! — Detective Comics #480

 

Long before BANE there was this wonderful done in one Batman story by the creative team of Denny O ‘Neil and arguably one of the best Batman artists, Don Newton. With a style somewhere between the dynamism of Neal Adams, and the fluidity of Jim Aparo, Newton’s art brought to life O’Neils tale of Batman and an unbeatable foe. Decades later it remains one of my favorite Batman issues of all time!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/cmx-images-prod/Item/759658/759658._SX1600_QL80_TTD_.jpg

AMAZON

 

Well I shall finish the game.

When I think of the world, it is often in movie quotes. Movies, that I grew up with, were very much the poetry of our age.

With scripts by such luminaries as William Goldman and John Milius and Abraham Polonsky,  I grew up with this romantic notion, of words as having value, and intangibles such as honor, justice, duty, truth, loyalty… as constants to try and hew our lives to.

I grew up a want to be writer, fueled by writers.

John Fusco is another of those writers, whose screenplay, courtesy of being brought to life by actors and cinematographer and a director and producers, left an indelible mark on me.

To this day, I think of resisting failure and not quitting in terms of a movie line.

Silly I know, but it is the truth.

There is a line from the film YOUNG GUNS, one of many lines that spoke to me. It is where Billy the Kid, played by Emilio Estevez recounts a parable of three men playing cards, and in the middle of the card game being told the the world will end. One of the men wants to go to church and pray, one wants to get drunk and have women, but the third says… “Well I shall finish the game”

As ridiculous as it may seem, in good times and in bad, that line “of finishing the game”, that mantra has helped me stay the course, when seemingly nothing else would.

That is the power of a well delivered line, it has the power to become the poetry of our age, and plant its seeds deep.

The world in 2021 is a mess, beset on all sides by wars and rumors of wars. And even more insidious ‘peace’.

But still I hew to this silly line that has in its fiction, forged whatever is in me, that can be called fact— I am a person… who seeks to finish the game.

Currently Watching: DOOMWATCH Blu-ray DVD by Kino Lorber! Plus Streaming Options!

 

DOOMWATCH – From the first frame this is a very intriguing, well made, film. I like how the camera moves and is placed; as well as the early environmental under current and the air of mystery and forboding. I am not familiar with Director Peter Sasdy, but this film has me intrigued to see what else he has done. You can get the film on Bluray by clicking the image above, or you can look for it on streaming by going here:

https://www.justwatch.com/appassets/img/JustWatch-logo-large.png