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September 30, 2012
Obama's Divisiveness Knocks Me out at Gleason's Gym
More often than not it's the girls who frustrate you the most -- in politics and in the ring.
Hard Knocks comes into my office at Gleason's Gym for her boxing lesson. She's a fiftyish gal -- pretty, but she's had some wear and tear. She looks kind of beat up by life. But she still has freshness beneath her fatigue. She seems kind of sad/happy.
She told me that when she was young she did a few too many drugs. She was married once and then lived with a younger boyfriend for years. She has two children and is bringing them up as a single mother. She has a demanding job as a physical therapist. I don't know where she gets the energy to box. She has a kind of desperate optimism.
She is Jewish, educated, and friendly, but she's been knocked around by her formerly youthful and arrogant identification with the simplemindedness of women's lib. She shouted with Gloria Steinem instead of shouting her down. She held hands with Betty Friedan and didn't realize that Betty wanted to hold more than her hand. She walked the walk with Bella Abzug but didn't even notice how ugly Bella was. She was naïve, tender, gullible, and likeable.
"I gotta show you my letter in the New York Post from Saturday," I say. "Of course it's against Obama."
"What else would I expect from you?"
I read out loud from my letter about Obama to the Post: "One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country."
"Obama wants to bring us together," Hard Knocks says.
"Don't be so naïve. He's the most divisive president ever." I read from my letter: "I guess that's why he steps on non-union members, stuffs the pockets of the Environmental Protection Agency, doesn't meet with Republicans, and attends every liberal campaign dinner on the planet."
"But the Congress doesn't cooperate with him," Hard Knocks says.
"He controlled both houses for two years. He could have done whatever he wanted."
"He got us Affordable Health Care."
"He sneaked it through in the middle of the night. And most people hate it. It replaces the art of medicine with bureaucracy. It is an economic engine. Do you want bureaucrats reading your examinations to decide if you're worth the cost of operating on? You're part of the government's balance sheet."
I lead her out of the office to the back ring. We do the mitts. It's kind of simulated fighting, except you don't take punches -- just slaps with the mitts on the arms.
"Uppercut, hook, step back, and throw a booming right," I say. Hard Knocks does it well. She's been training with me a few years.
She misses my mitt and accidentally hits me in the cheek. I laugh.
"I'm sorry," she says.
"Why are you apologizing? You're not Obama, kneeling and scraping around the Middle East."
"I hate you."
"See what Obama's done. He's divisive -- here, there, and everywhere. We were friends. His atmosphere has permeated us and made us enemies. He is the air we breathe. He is the wind of division. He is civil war."
"You want to box?" she asks, a bit impatient now.
"You know I have brain damage." Which fight did I get it in? In Denver, Boston, Brooklyn? I don't care. It's minor. I think better with a damaged brain than most people do with their healthy heads. At least I'm not a naïve liberal. At least I'm not a revolution masked as a liberal government. My brain injuries have heightened my creativity. My thoughts bounce between synapses like linguistic Mexican beans.
"No hitting in the head," she says.
"You got it, then."
We go back to my office and we put on head gear and sparring gloves. Then we go out to the ring, and I handle her like a bullfighter.
She brushes past me, punching in the air. I throw a few hard shots at her arm just to show her how it feels. Most of the other trainers just tap the girls. I think that's insulting. I want to let them to know that they can at least take a decent punch. Sometimes I get a little carried away. I once knocked a professional female fighter down. She liked it. Jim Morrison sang, "People are strange when you're a stranger."
I try to give Hard Knocks a bit of a fight. She likes the competition. We do three rounds and get out of the ring after the catharsis of punching.
"In our democracy," I say, "you can do what you do, be what you be. That's why I'm so afraid of self-reliance being supplanted by Obama's collectivism." With the election coming up, I'm a little boring. I'm obsessed with getting rid of Obama. I don't focus on much else.
We are back in my office. "Maybe we'd be better off," Hard Knocks mutters.
"Are you crazy? Socialism is ideology breaking down into unimaginative redundancy. It's suspending the human brain to get caught in the bureaucratic handcuffs of government."
"Speak English," she says. "I don't know what you're saying."
I like to talk intelligent gibberish. Language takes on its own life with me. It speaks itself. I am writing my legacy.
"I'm saying that with Obama in office, our punches will never be clean. It will be all his take and our give. He is a punch in the back of the head. He is a cheap shot. He is a coward. He is--"
"You sound like an obsessive-compulsive," Hard Knocks says.
"I'm mostly manic-depressive. And this president could take the down out of a valium. That's my wife's phrase. Pretty cool, huh?"
"I'm still voting for Obama."
"That wouldn't make me angry except Obama has so polluted the country with divisiveness that we both hate each other's politics. He is the overlord of extremity, the lord of angulation. There can be no compromise with his covert anger."
Hard Knocks goes out the door of my office, turns, waves goodbye, and says, "Maybe you should run for president."
"I'm too complicated and dialectical. I don't share the simplicity of the ideologues. I'm better off as an old, beaten-up coach."
"Next time I'll beat you up," Hard Knocks says.
"Obama's already knocking me out with his retread hippy philosophy. Just don't lead from behind like your president."
"Drop dead." Hard Knocks disappears -- into the city, into the thoughts injected into her brain by a corrupt mass media. She is consumed by popular verities. The silliness of the truths of naïve liberals is their immediate satisfaction in the short-term pleasure of making moral pronouncements rather than engaging in the long-term truth of solving problems. Liberals are not problem-solvers, because that takes effort. They roll over in short-term hedonism and rub the unlucky clover of their political narcissism in our faces.
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