There is purity in the street fighter. They react without the “benefit” of organized training. Every punch, every duck, every kick, every block, every action—for better or for worse—is an expression of self, uncluttered by memorized forms and moves. This is precisely why so many seasoned martial artists would not stand a chance against a confident bar brawler. There’s much more to life than the tried and true lessons our teachers attempt to pass on.
Enroll that same street fighter at your local karate school and you will witness a dramatic change. What was once automatic becomes robotic. Too much time and effort is now dedicated to remembering what one is “supposed to do” instead of just “doing.”
Fighting skill comes full circle when someone who is able to maintain the beginner’s mind of a street fighter combines that freedom with the conditioning and skills learned in a more formal setting. The enlightened fighter, the one that instills fear and respect in the heart of their opponent, is the fighter not troubled with labels, titles, credits, or rankings. Their primary concern is results.
As I’m sure you’re all well aware of, we’re fast approaching the 31st anniversary of a momentous American victory—a military operation that not only warmed Ronald Raygun’s cold, cold heart but was also deemed film-worthy by the former mayor of Carmel, California.
Yes, of course, I’m talking about the Oct. 25, 1983, “liberation” of Grenada.
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(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”
“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”
“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”
“Using no way as way. Having no limitation as your only limitation.”
“The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in what is.”
(pardon the patriarchy)
Let’s say it’s 1927 and you’re looking for a place to carve a giant sculpture to increase tourism to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Why not opt for Mount Rushmore, located in an area seized from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876 (despite the fact that the 1968 Treaty of Fort Laramie granted the Black Hills to the Lakota in perpetuity)?
The Lakota called this mountain Six Grandfathers but it was spontaneously renamed after Charles E. Rushmore (a prominent New York lawyer) during one of his “big game hunting” expeditions in 1884.
Once you’ve settled on the renamed stolen land, the only question left is this: Which founding and famous faces shall be sculpted into 60-feet high tourist traps? I say it’s best to just let the top candidates speak for themselves:
- George Washington: “Indians and wolves are both beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.”
- Thomas Jefferson: “If ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi… in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy them all.”
- Abraham Lincoln: “There is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
- Teddy Roosevelt: “Democracy has justified itself by keeping for the white race the best portions of the earth’s surface.”
Sounds like the ideal choices to have their white faces mar the sacred landscape of an indigenous culture—all in the name of tourism!
Postscript (suggestion?): In 1971, members of the American Indian Movement led an occupation of the monument and renamed it “Mount Crazy Horse.”