7 Aisles To The Mixed Martial Authors’ Octagon

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October 29, 2010 by David Gillaspie


First, plant the seed.

0.  Do a Mark Palmer Interview.

When Mr. Palmer calls, you answer

When he mentions you in the same article with John Irving (World According To Garp), Ken Kesey (One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest), and Terry Davis (Vision Quest), it’s go time.

But where do you go?  You’ve done the practice, run the miles, worked thousands of reps; now what? 

Write a fan letter?

Or do you match those writers, the undisputed badasses of literature, against every other writer in their tough-guy tower.

There’s only one answser: Ivory Tower vs Ivory Octagon in the MMAuthors Championship Series.

It starts big.

 1.  Insult Hemingway.

Is John Irving saying he’s glad he read Dickens before Hemingway an insult?  Hem thinks so.  He’s a boxer and Irving wrestles.  The Mixed Martial Author’s Octagon is a natural meeting place for the two diciplines.

It doesn’t matter if Ernest Hemingway has been dead half a century; his work still knocks people out.  Will he knock Irving out

2.  Bait Kesey.

Though he died a short time ago, Ken Kesey remains formidable.  His bus made a trip to the University of Oregon campus to Help Save Oregon wrestling

UO lost wrestlilng, but not Kesey.  When Irving comes looking for a quality opponent to add to his record, Kesey sets him straight.  What would happen if they met in the MMA octagon? 

It would be ugly.

Writing wrestlers need to stick together.  Loyalty is a bond you break at your own risk.

What else will they break?

3.  Bait Melville.

Mr. Kesey taught America what the Sixties would be.  He explains to Irving what a D-1 wrestler would do to him in the octagon.

John Irving, a fan of Herman Melville, helped the anxious whaler understand what would happen to an 1840’s literary stud in the modern fight world.


Neutral corner?

Or be pummeled senseless.  Calling Ishmael, the ringside medic.  Melville would need to hide a harpoon in his trunks to win this one.

4.  Answer Tom Wolfe.

If the future was once A Man In Full, why would John Irving call it a writing disaster? 

Because of the author

What happens when a Southern stick meets the easty?  Maybe it’s courtesey, maybe humanity, but it’s not much of a fight even by grade school standards.

5.  Referee Franzen and Oprah

Every fighter has an agenda.   Play the game long enough to see the hidden barriers inside and outside the competition, and keep playing.  Then you’re a fighter. 

It’s the newcomers who suffer.

Oprah comes on like a champ, but who’s the real opponent?  It’s a shocking predicament.

6.  Referee Al Gore and Michelle Obama.

One rule of the Mixed Martial Author’s Championship Series is allowing for certain outside strategies. 

You know a few people you’d like to see pounded around the octagon, and if you were honest, you’d want to give them a shot like Ringside Rosie if they’re weren’t getting enough of a beating.

Would you do it?


7.  Referee Oprah and Michelle Obama.

Who is the real first lady?  There’s only one place to find that answer.

7a. Set the match between Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney

Who better to fight for the hearts and minds of America. 

The very soul of the country lies in the outcome.  

Both men carry the sorrows and scars of their service, both stained by the actions of others.

Both hearts have been re-plumbed in the shop, finished with zippers and staples, and ready to rumble.

Clinton left town after blundering his way into a budget surplus.

Cheney left without Scooter Libby‘s prison term pardon for leaking secret CIA identities. 

How did that one go? 

“Don’t worry Scoots, I gave up Valerie Plame to the right source.  It won’t make it back to us, but if it does you just stand up and take it.  We’ll let it play through the system and Joe will pardon you on his last day in office.  They do it all the time.  Not always popular.  You’ll be one of those.”

“Joe?  You mean George?  President Bush?”

“Yeah whatever.”

Will fists fly fast and furious?  Or will one of them drop the bomb, the heart punch.

Stay tuned.


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