Did he really say that?

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = GEORGE CARLIN...Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS...Nothing is more fluid than language = R.L.SWIHART

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Muhammad Ali, Divisive Centerfold

After beating off a fierce NVA counterattack on Hill 881 North,
the Marines could finally claim victory in what had become
the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War so far.

The Battle of Hill 881 was fought in April, 1967.
That same month, the undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the World refused to fight in VietNam.
After arrest and conviction for draft evasion, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title and boxing license.
The anti-war movement had a hero at the same time that Ali became the second most-hated American after "Hanoi Jane" Fonda.

But time changes things.
In the next decade, Jane Fonda won two Best Actress Academy Awards for Klute and Coming Home.
Muhammad Ali won two more Heavyweight Titles by defeating George Foreman and Michael Spinks.
Richard Nixon, however, vacated his title only once but he had been elected President of the United States twice.

You may research Mr. Nixon at your own peril.
The Ali hyperlink connects you to a detailed account of his bout with Mr. Spinks.
As for the Ali-Foreman Rumble In The Jungle, see the next blogpost.
As for this post...
Father Time and Uncle Imagination will now take us back to a November, 1969 centerfold of a "Magazine For Men" with a black Gulliver playing the part of a semi-naked Playboy Bunny.

The 1969 ESQUIRE magazine cover below does not feature Muhammad Ali but that is precisely the point.
For more than two years, he had been a "convicted felon," otherwise known as a conscientious objector.
The boxing ring photograph includes Howard Cosell, Truman Capote, James Earl Jones, Budd Schulberg, Theodore Bikel...
proclaiming "Muhammed Ali Deserves The Right To Defend His Title."
That proclamation is quite readable but as for the text of the cover story, you will have to settle for the Muhammad Ali centerfold.
If you can access the complete text, you are a better googler than me!

However, in what was considered a shocking image in 1968, Muhammad Ali did appear on the cover of ESQUIRE

Click here for more "shocking" ESQUIRE images of that era.

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