on Fighting Spirit

by Hardy Magna (no login)

Fighting Spirit is Bruce Thomas' first book, which is more detailed. I don't classify him as a hack; he is trying to present both sides. For example, in his second book Fighting Words, he has a section on Joe Lewis; and following this are comments by James DeMile, which basically blows holes in Lewis' assertions that BL was not a real fighter. If you read DeMile's words, which are included in Thomas' book for the record, it is clear that these won't engender 'hate, disrespect, etc.' DeMile states (as he has done in many other interviews) that he considers BL the best, and that Joe Lewis or anyone else would not stand a chance in a real fight. Certainly, if you have a submachine gun or something you can 'win the fight' but that doesn't prove that you are the baddest SOB. As Robert DeNiro's character said in Raging Bull (if I recall correctly) "... tough guys! they have a gun and that makes them tough guys!"). DeMile stresses the vast difference between tournament/sports and real thing. The fact that Thomas has included DeMile (and others) in his books is evidences he is trying to be fair. Another example is when he quotes Bleecker that "Bruce was not a real philosopher" and Thomas follows this with several pages on what actually makes a real philosopher? He presents an opinion that perhaps Bruce Lee did not always follow his 'philosophy' but that isn't disrespectful. As a human being, BL had his different sides; in the end of the day I believe he would see where he did not always 'practice what he preached.' That does not take anything away from what he was as a human being AND as a 'symbol.' He literally created a brand name, based on a real person. Even just his 'brand' is an inspiration. Mr. Thomas will be the first to admit that no human has the full truth, that BL and others are 'tryers' ... this is 'active philosophy' not just sitting as life goes by. By his life, Lee proved that he was a 'philosopher' because he did have ideals to find 'truth.' That is a main goal of 'philosophy,' despite that Bleecker says (paraphrase) that you need to have a PhD in philosophy to be taken seriously as a thinker. And again, here, Thomas pokes several holes in Bleecker's argument.

Posted on Oct 25, 2015, 9:31 AM
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