“That all you got, George?” — Muhammad Ali
It was called the “Rumble in the Jungle.” It was the 1974 boxing match in Zaire witnessed by 60,000, between an aging Muhammad Ali and the seemingly invincible George Foreman.
Foreman was bigger, stronger and in his prime. Everyone knew Foreman would win easily, especially Foreman himself who thought he’d put Ali away in three rounds. Foreman was the hardest puncher in boxing history.
Punch he did. He hammered Ali through the early rounds.
But Ali had a plan. He called it “rope a dope.” He backed onto the ropes and protected himself, a little, against the fury of Foreman’s near-lethal punches. Many landed but many others glanced off his arms and gloves.
In the seventh round, Foreman was still punching himself into exhaustion but Ali was still standing. After Foreman delivered a particularly hard hit to Ali’s jaw, the two men became entangled and Ali taunted Foreman with the words quoted above.
Here in Aspen, the sparring is mostly verbal. They don’t box, they preen — of their purported diversity, intellectualism and tolerance.
That often bleeds into sanctimony, priggishness and stultifying political correctness. But still, I’m surprised by the scores of punch-drunk comments thrown at my little newspaper column, which turned five years old this winter.
In contrast to Muhammad Ali, the commenters float like a bee and sting like a butterfly. Here’s a few of their ill-intentioned but harmless head-butts:
“You’re not nice to your friends and neighbors.” That was because I dared to suggest that the affordable housing scam was benefiting employers more than their workers by enabling the employers to pay artificially low wages.
“Serial liar … Get your head out of you’re (sic) ass.” That commenter gave no reason for his recommendation.
Of course, every place has its share of low-lifes and drive-bys, even Aspen, and it’s unfair to generalize based on them alone. But then there also was, “Aspen. It’s not for everyone. Maybe you should move on.”
That was from the mayor at the time, posted on his Facebook page. In his next Aspen election, he was knocked out. So my advice to him would be, “Aspen. It’s not for everyone. Maybe you should move on.”
I get other stinky stuff on Facebook, that place where people say what they’re too chicken to say in person. It amuses me but sometimes gets menacing. When that happens, I block the menacing person from my Facebook page.
My block so enraged one person whose Facebook account was under a pseudonym that he went after me by email: “It is rather pathetic of you to block me from your Facebook. It is a validation of what a small-minded individual you are.” This anonymous name-caller concluded by calling me a “silly coward.”
Another said, “I remember why I don’t like your take on things. Cuz (sic) your (sic) a negative person that looks at the negative side of everything.” I observed to the writer that he seemed to know a thing or two about negativity himself, if not spelling, but that observation failed to reverse his polarity.
It’s true that I occasionally have negative thoughts. Such as the time I came out of the grocery store to find my window smashed in broad daylight.
An online commenter once stated, “Yep, trying to cram your political views in a heavily Democratic County. Good luck with this. LMAO … What a jerk.”
Laughing his ample you-know-what off may have improved his girlish figure, but it failed to persuade me that his undisclosed political position is right and my disclosed one is wrong. I may be on the ropes, but he’s the dope.
Some other time, I’ll tell you about the physical threats.
Speaking of LMAO, that’s what I’m doing after five years of this. Here’s why. I get far more cheers than boos.
The American people are taking their country back, even in Aspen. Libs assume that, like them, everyone in this town wants to hate, fake and take, not earn and learn. (I can’t punch like Ali, you see, but I can rhyme like he.) But they’re wrong.
The proof is that this little common-sense column generates a lot of attention, about 80 percent of which is favorable. It produces more clicks than any other column in the newspaper. In fact, it’s often the most clicked thing from the entire Sunday newspaper.
Many readers ask that I not reveal their names. The libs have shamed them into hiding. But they’re gradually coming out of the closet. It’s not despite the libs’ name-calling, mockery and shout-downs, but because of it. They’ve had enough of being bullied.
We took your best punches, Aspen libs, and we’re still standing. The next round will be interesting.
(Published April 1, 2018 in the Aspen Times at https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/glenn-k-beaton-is-that-all-you-got-aspen-liberals/)