[Marxism] The ultimate fighting anarchist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 21 13:43:23 MDT 2006


In These Times April 21, 2006
The Ultimate Fighting Anarchist
By Gabriel Thompson

He is, without a doubt, the toughest subscriber to In These Times. Standing 
5’ 9” tall, weighing 240 pounds and sporting a shaved head, Jeff “The 
Snowman” Monson looks like a cartoon ready to pop, a compressed giant of 
crazy shoulders, massive biceps and meaty forearms.

When he sneers, people shudder. When he sweats, they turn away. When he’s 
angry, your best bet is to run.

He’s angry right now, even though his combat career in the Ultimate 
Fighting Championship (UFC)—an often-bloody tournament that combines 
martial arts disciplines like Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing—is 
taking off. In February’s pay-per-view event, Monson easily beat his 
opponent with a chokehold in the first round. If things keep going this 
way, he could have a title shot in the heavyweight division, against the 
explosive Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski. So no, it’s not his future career 
prospects that have him pissed. It’s the state of the world.

“I’m not some sort of conspiracy theorist,” Monson says of his political 
leanings. “I’m not talking about how the government is trying to hide UFOs. 
I just want to do away with hierarchy. I’m saying that our economic system, 
capitalism, is structured so that it only benefits a small percentage of 
very wealthy people. When I was traveling in Brazil, they had us staying at 
a really posh hotel. Outside the hotel there was a mom sleeping on the 
sidewalk with her two kids. That’s when reality hits you. What did that 
woman ever do? Who did she ever hurt?”

Monson wears his politics on his sleeve, as well as the rest of his body. 
An anarcho-syndicalist star is tattooed on his chest, an anarchy sign on 
his back and another “A” on his leg. While he loves his sport, he also 
feels a responsibility to use whatever exposure he receives for a larger 
purpose. “I don’t think I’m more important than anyone else, but since some 
people are paying attention, then I’m going to use this as a vehicle to 
express myself,” he says. Some fans have labeled him anti-American, but he 
shrugs off such criticism. He was slightly taken aback, however, when three 
Secret Service agents showed up at his gym in Olympia, Wash., last fall.

A t-shirt prompted the visit. While Monson was preparing for a fight in 
Portland, a film crew came to the gym and recorded his outfit that day, 
which included a tank top that read “Assassinate Bush.” When he entered 
Portland’s Rose Garden for the fight, a video clip of him training in the 
shirt was played on the Jumbotron, and after he finished off his opponent 
in the first round, he was more interested in speaking to the post-match 
media about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina than his fight career. He 
mentioned his anger that the Bush administration had diverted $76 million 
from the Army Corps of Engineers for the levies, and that the National 
Guard were in Iraq instead of Louisiana and Mississippi. “I was making a 
political statement, trying to open people’s eyes,” says Monson of his 
t-shirt and post-fight comments.

full: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2568/

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