Mayweather Vs McGregor – A Showdown of Inevitable disappointment 

So, it’s on. After all the name calling on all the YouTube videos, after all the social media stunts, call me cynical but all of which I’m pretty certain have been carefully choreographed in order to maximise public interest, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will fight on August 26, In Las Vegas.

At least I hope they fight, because up until now, to me the premise of this fight reflects more of a circus freak show than it does a contest of pugilism. McGregor and Mayweather are both the most talented performers, and the biggest showmen in their respective sports. Individually they are able to draw more attention to their own fights than any other fighter, combine the two of them and you’re guaranteed an unprecedented hype fest. Both have exchanged considerable amounts of trash talk through social media, thus selling the fight like no other in history. There’s nothing new about hype and fights but is there any chance that this fight can even come close to living up to this amount of hype?

Simply, no. Already I feel cheated. Cheated because I desperately want to believe that this will be a spectacular contest, a fight for the ages. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve hoping for a PlayStation, only for the next morning to be given the box set of the Twilight saga. Nothing good can come out of watching the Twilight saga, we won’t learn anything from it, and I tend to feel exactly the same way about the Mayweather McGregor fight. At the end of Mayweather McGregor I’m afraid that I will find myself reacting like this boy, sucked in by the promise of great things, only for it to result in empty promises, abject disappointment, and self loathing at having believed in the empty promises, hype and cheap marketing:

All the name calling, all the funny jokes McGregor and Mayweather have made about one another has been to make the audience believe that there is some degree of animosity between them, a reason for these two to fight. Well the reason they’re fighting is first and foremost about the money. Quite simply neither fighter, nor his support staff, could refuse this fight. Both fighters will pocket in excess of $100 million, the revenue from pay per view television is anticipated to break $1 billion.

Image result for dr evil gazillion dollars    Financially the fight makes sense, the fight itself will generate almost a much money as a small African country can in a year. That really is disturbing. When Conor McGregor made his debut in the UFC he was paid $8,000. By contrast, over his career Mayweather has accumulated a wealth estimated at $340 million. But while this fight is a no brainer financially, will the public be spending there money on anything more than hype?

 

Again, the answer is almost certainly no. Don’t get me wrong, I concede that Conor has the puncher’s chance, but that’s what people always say when one fighter doesn’t realistically have a chance, Dolly Parton would also have a punchers chance against Floyd Mayweather. This will almost certainly be the most over hyped, over paid, and disappointing moment in sports since it was revealed to us how Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds could hit home runs so far. The McGregor Mayweather fight wil fail because:

  1. McGregor is not a boxer. Yes he does hit people with his fists in the UFC, but that’s as far as the similarities between boxing and mixed martial arts goes. The rationale that this can turn into a real fight is like Roger Federer challenging Tiger Woods to a game of tennis and saying that it’s fair because they both hit balls.
  2. What are they fighting for? McGregor isn’t a boxer, Mayweather is a retired boxer. Whoever wins, what do they gain? What’s the incentive outside of the money. Money which they’ll be guaranteed before they step into the ring. Really, how can you expect a decent fight when neither fighter is really fighting for anything.
  3. Mayweather is the greatest defensive boxer of all time, because of this he’s generally one of the most boring to watch. When watching someone swing and miss Mayweather for 12 rounds, it’s possible to appreciate Mayweather’s skill, while at the same time not be entertained. McGregor will be fighting with far bigger gloves than he uses in the UFC, to be honest he’d have more chance knocking Mayweather out using a pillow.

This isn’t the first time that a boxing legend has accepted the challenge of someone skilled in another martial art. The greatest, Muhammad Ali fought  kickboxer, Antonio Inoki in 1976. However, unlike the Mayweather McGregor fight ,Ali’s opponent was allowed to to use his specific skill set and kick Ali. In truth it was an ugly, farcical contest, the highlights of which can be seen below:

 

Maybe I’m being too close minded about Mayweather versus McGregor, a touch too cynical. Maybe this type of contest heralds a new era in sporting match ups, in which we find two contestants with vaguely similar skill sets and then pit one against the other . For example, Stephen Hawking could take on Lewis Hamilton at formula 1. I mean Hawking literally lives in that chair, driving himself around all day, I mean how different can it be?

Image result for stephen hawkingImage result for formula 1

What about a contest in which Maria Sharapova challenges Beyonce to bake a Victoria sponge cake, whilst gurning. I know it sounds silly but hear me out. This should be an even contest based on the fact that they’ve both got opposable thumbs, and they’ve both got faces. Believe me, this promises to be a far more even competition, and probably a more entertaining spectacle than Mayweather versus McGregor is ever likely to be.

downloadImage result for victoria sponge cakedownload (1)

My final suggestion for this new age of celebrity competition features two people with egos comparable to that of Mayweather and McGregor, if not the same degree of talent. I propose that Kanye West, takes on Justin Bieber in a game of Russian roulette. I’m quietly confident that based on the fact they are a pair of insufferable idiots, the promise of at least one of them blowing their own brains out, should appeal to an enormous audience thus securing record pay per view subscriptions.

download (2)download (3)Justin-Bieber

 

Well it’s 71 days until Mayweather versus McGregor, and despite all my negativity there’s not a chance in hell that I won’t be watching it. I want it to be good. No, in fact I want it to be great, it’s just that experience has taught me that I’m probably going to end up disappointed. Anyway, between now and August 26, I’ve got the Twilight box set to watch, so if you don’t mind.

 

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The “Selfie” – How it’s changed from my day, and is it a reflection of our society?

Now I’m of an age when the phrase “taking a selfie” required barricading yourself in your bedroom for ten minutes, with a certain type of magazine and a roll of toilet tissue. You can imagine my confusion when a few years ago I started to hear that people were “taking selfies” in public, with their friends and family. I don’t keep up with a lot of what happens in society, but this seemed to me to represent a very liberal shift in how society viewed “taking a selfie”. My misunderstanding of the paradigm shift that the term “taking a selfie” had taken became apparent to me when my wife and her parents and I visited a temple, we laugh about it now and explain it away as cultural differences, luckily my wife is from Thailand. Whilst I realize now that my faux pas was the result of a misunderstanding any of us could have made, there have been a couple of instances recently of people “taking a selfie” at times, in places, where it has been considered inappropriate to do so. After doing some wildly incoherent searching on the net I found what I felt to be the best of the best, or the worst of the worst, depending on how you wish to look at it. These will leave you asking “just where does our society go from here?” These people’s actions actually make me feel better about my indiscretion in the temple.

Now for most of us funerals are somber times when we respectfully mourn, and take the time to remember the deceased, who on this occasion happened to have been perhaps the most influential statesmen of the 20th century. Or, if you are three of the most influential leaders of the free world an ideal opportunity for a self indulgent selfie.
Now Obama, Cameron and the Danish Prime Minister were out of order, but I can’t justify this.
There can only be a few sick minded people who would deny that the mass shootings of 38 tourists in Tunisia was a disgusting tragedy. Not so disgusting that other tourist used the site of the blood bath to take selfies.
Although it’s not a selfie, taking holiday snaps at the scene where 116 people have recently lost their lives is pretty heartless.
Now the holocaust is always a sensitive subject, not one that you would be likely to bring up at a christening, or in a synagogue, but one you wouldn’t think twice about taking a selfie at the scene where at least a million Jews were murdered. The little blushing and smiling emoticon let’s us know that her heart is in the right place.
I don’t know why, but I just really think this one is funny. Just how close must the chaos and carnage be before someone in the group says “you know what, this might not be safe”?
ShamefulSelfies4
Now I’m not going to become all pious and say I can’t understand her motivation, I mean we’ve all done it, it’s just her sense of location that must really be brought into question.
If I’m honest it took me a hell of a long time to find the ashes to which she is referring. I’m not so sure this is inappropriate, if I was in the urn I can think of worse places to be.
Is this wrong, his plane crashed and he survived. Just how do you keep a clear enough head to think “you know what, I should take a selfie of this”?
Putting the shameful grammar aside, this really is one of my favourites. The panic expressed by the hand at the top of the picture is in such contrast to the “happy go lucky” Rastafarian guy below it.
Geraldo Rivera
American tv personality Geraldo Rivera, doing god knows what. Why is he wearing the sunglasses? I just thank god we didn’t get to see the next shot, the money shot.
Applaud the creative genius of the sellotape selfies. Just when we though the trend was about to die out, the doers in our society breathe new life into it.
5. Well that's weird.
It’s not a funeral, it’s not Auschwitz, but it’s really weird.

Underground Animal Cruelty in the U.K

cock fighting
Scenes like this are all too common in the cellars of the East End. After wining its fight this cock mercilessly taunts the vanquished, flaccid cock.

The East End of London has long been associated with violence. It was on these streets that the infamous Jack the Ripper stalked his prey and where the notorious Kray brothers kept peace on the street by dispensing their own unique brand of justice.

bear-baiting-ring
Bear baiting was a common entertainment at The Globe Theatre, and was an easy to stage alternative in the event of Shakespeare’s most recent play being shit.

The new wave of violence has its roots firmly established in the past. In Elizabethan England the blood sport of bear baiting was popular, and The Globe Theatre made famous by Shakespeare was a venue well known for staging this barbaric entertainment. Indeed many Shakespeare scholars believe Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction “exeunt pursued by a Bear” is an indirect reference by Shakespeare to the practice of bear baiting. In recent years respected historian and novelist Dan Brown also discovered that the play this is taken from, “A Winter’s Tale”, is in fact an anagram of “Animal Death Hell”.

Whilst the practicalities of trying to smuggle a bear unnoticed around the streets of London has put an end to bear baiting, equally vicious blood sports have succeeded it. The following news report allows us a glimpse into the shady, underworld of Weasel Fighting:

There can be little room for doubt that evil in weasel fighting, but the influx of Eastern European gangs to London has seen blood sports become ever more exotic.  Former Russian mafia hitman Bogdan Andreev confessed all he knew about the depraved world of blood sports.

yuri
Former Russian mafia enforcer and professional weasel wrestler Bogdan Andreev saw the light and reformed himself, he currently works in Thailand as a Kindergarten teacher.

I started out training against otters, but it seemed like I was a natural so I quickly moved on to stouts then ferrets. I remember my first fight, it was in the cellar of a pub in London’s East End. The punters formed a circle around me, then one of them threw a hessian sack writhing with weasles at me. As it was my first fight there was only 25 or so which I neutralized in just under 40 seconds. Naturally the crowd was amazed they had never seen an amateur handle himself like that before, I felt like that Russsell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” . I became a celebrity overnight in the East End underworld. Inevitably drink, drugs and women were to distract my focus from my training, and in elite weasel fighting that can turn the tables in the favour of the weasel. We have a saying in weasel fighting that somewhere out there there’s  a bag of weasels with your name on it.

Having trained lightly for his next bout Andreev could never have expected what the organizers were staging. Andreev’s dominance was making it difficult for the bookmakers to turn a profit, thus forcing them to sabotage the contest. Andreev explained:

I remember looking at the sack, somehow it was different it, was writhing in a completely more frenzied fashion, and when they released the weasels, well it was just carnage.

Little did Andreev know that prior to the fight the weasels had been forced to ingest phencyclidine, PCP or colloquially known as Angel Dust.

They just kept coming at me with an unnatural strength, a strength you’d more associate with say a swan or a llama, not that I’ve ever wrestled a llama but with a strength I would expect from a llama.

Andreev would never fully recover from this incident, sustaining the loss of two fingers, a testicle and his sense of humour. But Andreev goes on to give even more alarming testimony concerning a man known as Yuri from Kazakhstan.

It all started one morning after breakfast, we’d all hit the vodka pretty hard when Yuri suggested he wanted to fight a monkey. What really interested him was the idea of spanking a monkey. He believed it would reinvigorate the East Ends interest in blood sports. We all tried to explain to Yuri that “spanking the monkey” was a euphemism for having a wank, but Yuri was both a focused and determined man. We heard no more about it until I got word in an East End market that a Russian intended to spank the monkey in a pub cellar. Well I knew immediately that somehow Yuri had procured his monkey.

With the assistance of an artist and Andreev’s eye witness account, we believe that what happened that evening looked much like this:spank_the_monkey

Well it was at this stage, having had my situation and watch Yuri spank a monkey in a dark, damp pub cellar, that I knew things were getting out of hand. For a couple of weeks Yuri was the talk of the town, but like any addict he needed to push things further to get his kicks. Spanking his monkey in public no longer did it for him, one day he upped the ante and declared his intention to “bash the bishop”. Those of us who were there looked at one another nervously. Moving on to people had never been considered, let alone a man of God. From the demented, deranged and depraved look in Yuri’s eyes I could tell he was serious. Again things went quiet for a couple of weeks, then the tabloid newspaper ‘The Sun’ reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury himself had been abused.sun-bash-the-bishop

It was following this that Andreev fled London to start a new life in Thailand, as he reinvented himself as a kindergarten teacher. If it wasn’t for his braveness to speak out about the unfathomable cruelty of organized blood sports, neither bishops nor monkeys could enjoy the safety they do today.