Mike Tyson Highlight/Tribute "Be Real" HD 2016/eternity
Tribute to one of the greatest athletes of all time, with an essay on the polarity of his life and career, by Hunter Holbrook
Whether you love or hate Mike Tyson--as there has never seemed to be a middle ground on the matter--you cannot deny his once remarkable athleticism and profound charisma which permeated the national social conscious for decades. Our often guilty, yet unquenchable infatuation with Tyson has resonated well beyond the bell of his final round and entrenched him as an eternal figure in the annals of American sports and cultural discourse. His capacity to transform supreme talent and success into rapid and seemingly careless self-destruction has led to one of the most captivating biographical sagas in the modern age--transcending much beyond the realm of athletics . The spectacularly compelling, deliciously crude, magnetic aura of unadulterated, garish barbarism he so adeptly engineered--and subsequently imposed upon pop culture --elevated him from just a sportsman to "the baddest man on the planet." But as much as the self-induced and self-promoted "hell raiser" mystique he cultivated elicited incredible awe from audiences, and generated tremendous financial rewards for himself (and Don King), Tyson's moral fiber was consequently subjected to callous and exploitive media sabotage and dehumanization. This ruthless, vindictive media-sponsored assault on Tyson's humanity enabled a perpetuation and exacerbation of rapidly pervading sentiment among public opinion of crass indifference towards accepting him as anything more than the unscrupulous, hopelessly depraved monster they seemed more than happy to believe he was. A staunch unwillingness by mainstream opinion to make even remote concessions for the brutal hardships Tyson had faced during his childhood were affective in facilitating a grave, albeit contented negligence towards allotting him any semblance of compassion for his exposure to the horrendous and turbulent upbringing he had somehow survived.
This dynamic potentiated a grand hypocrisy among commercialized ethical righteousness, and illuminates with striking clarity a malfunction inherent within society's moral cognitive functioning: while we found comfort and security in denouncing Tyson's core and essential humanness, we could never thwart the massive appeal he invoked within our own consciousness. We relished watching him fail, savored the juicy details of his constant tribulations, and could not wait to hear about the next episode in his seemingly inevitable and cataclysmic self-destruction. There should have been an obligation to question this blatantly obvious, quickly manifesting dichotomy within the public eye of concurrently loathing, yet remaining utterly seduced by Tyson.
With subtle, yet prodigious self awareness, Tyson served as a mirror to society, revealing what was stark reflection into the more primal, darker elements of the animalistic nature intrinsic, and forever inescapable, within us all. An image that wavered our own supposed heightened morality, and exemplified what was in fact society's perhaps subconscious, but nonetheless complicit emulation of the menacing, tyrannical antics and instincts they had so ruthlessly condemned Tyson for flaunting; as through the sickeningly sweet pleasure we found and craved in Tyson's personal anguish and torment, and the carceralesque suppression we imposed upon his humanity, its apparent that while Tyson might have been "the baddest man on the planet," he simply had no fighting chance when forced to face the "baddest" of society's brash judgment and prejudicial subjugation. The inability to consolidate our conflicted and obsessive love-hate enthrallment for Tyson highlights the deepest abysses of our own unrefined existence, an unsettling reality for which the most viable defense mechanism for coping was to further outlaw and criminalize him-- a desperate attempt to widen the chasm established between his humanity and our own--to appease and thwart the demons he provoked in us all.
Undoubtedly, Tyson operated well outside the realm of normative social discourse, but that fact alone holds no bearing on the fundamental quality of his character as a human being. His current renaissance is testament enough to declare with the utmost confidence that the media, and the tentacles it so relentlessly and persuasively implanted into generalized social perception of Tyson are the forces to be held ultimately accountable for his meteoric downfall. Tyson's raw and unappreciated intelligence and genuine empathy were shamelessly neglected and/or manipulated by an assault too intent on demonizing him for "masses are asses," public's entertainment to consider the progressive and overwhelming strain being applied to a man whose emotional fragility was already about as tenuous as it gets.
By Hunter Holbrook
Music: Rock the night (diamond cut remix) by Diamond Cut Music