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The Fight by Norman Mailer

The Fight by Norman Mailer

Author:Norman Mailer [Mailer, Norman]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Non-Fiction, History, Biography, Classics
ISBN: 9780246109507
Google: qTGFAAAAQBAJ
Amazon: B00ERTEPNI
Barnesnoble: B00ERTEPNI
Goodreads: 18373112
Publisher: Hart-Davis
Published: 1975-01-01T05:00:00+00:00


9. KING OF THE FLUNKIES

HUNTER THOMPSON was tall and had the rangy build of a college halfback from a small school. Although he was half-bald and a little over thirty, he never lost that look. He could be suffering physical agony but he never appeared in more pain than showed on his high forehead, which was usually full of the dew of a quiet sweat. He perspired. That was the sole price he seemed to pay for swallowing more chemicals to bring him up and take him down than any good living writer. He could probably drink more beer than all but a hundred men alive. He obviously possessed a memorable constitution. By now, however, he was so strung out that he squeaked if you poked a finger near his belly. He was a set of nerves balanced on another set of nerves traveling on squeaky roller skates. Here to cover the fight for Rolling Stone, he hated the heavenly raptures of all who were here to be happy for the fight. He hated the assignment. Hunter took one look at Kinshasa and tried to charter a plane to Brazzaville.

He could not, of course, find a plane. The national disaster of Zaïre was not speaking to the civic disaster of Brazzaville. Three days before the fight, Hunter still had the expression on his face of having already written the story from Brazzaville. He was in a state of high shock. He looked like a halfback who has just been tackled in the neck and is walking on his toes. In the bar at the top of the Inter-Continental, he said, “Bad Genet” with the ingenuous “Zowie” of a protagonist who is hearing unutterable sounds of collision in his head, throat, and gullet as beer and froth collide.

When Mailer thought about Don King, it was with Hunter Thompson’s remark, “Bad Genet.” Never did materials seem more ready for the sensational repudiation Hunter could give to organized madness. Yet any good writer knew satire would violate too much here. It was like coming onto a goldfield and discovering your glints were not gold but foodstuff, half horse manure, half yellow manna. If King had been a white man, what a stentorian job one could do — a hustler with straight genius for the vulgar. Recognize him as Black and he was a genius with a hustle, one more embodiment of that organic philosophy walking in now, centuries late, from the savannah and the rain forest. The technological world, wandering along in the confusion of a rationality which had run the railroad off the tracks, might be in need of Black culture. “Ali even motivates the dead,” said King, and was talking of natural human powers. Some men have it more than others. Ali has it. He motivates the dead. An uncommon but not unrealistic ability.

Of course, Don King, unknown to himself, could be wrapped in the same philosophical cloth as Ogotemmêli. Each human is born, says our Dogon sage, with two souls: one of male and one of female sex — two distinct persons to inhabit each body.



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