[Marxism] The ultimate fighting anarchist
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 hes
angry, your best bet is to run.
Hes 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 Kickboxingis
taking off. In Februarys 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, its not his future career
prospects that have him pissed. Its the state of the world.
Im not some sort of conspiracy theorist, Monson says of his political
leanings. Im not talking about how the government is trying to hide UFOs.
I just want to do away with hierarchy. Im 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. Thats 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 dont think Im more important than anyone else, but since some
people are paying attention, then Im 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
Portlands 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 peoples eyes, says Monson of his
t-shirt and post-fight comments.
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