I am leary about even daring to write about the death of Muhammad Ali, appropriating his brilliance for the sake of a soundbite... but then again, Ali defined the soundbite.
None quite understood the power of promotion, the lure of a brilliant tag line (Rumble in Jungle, Thriller in Manila anyone) like Ali. He harnessed PR to feed his own dizzying brilliance and fame.
But, more importantly, Ali understand the power of his fame, and that the sting of his punches in the ring landed even harder as the verbal blows outside of it.
His lyrical dexterity fed a movement, empowered civil rights activists. highlighted hypocrisy and challenged authority.
The clarity of his mission, total understanding of his own identity, his poetic brilliance and the crystal clearness in the truth he spoke enabled him to put real power and potency into his "soundbites" - enabling them to echo across time, still resonating powerfully today.
He acknowledged, and took authority of the power that was given to him, and in doing so his words have shaped history.
It stands in stark contrast to the obfuscating, slippery half truths we see masquerading as soundbites and vox pops in today's political boxing ring, when two sides hammer each other in verbal slug fests, forgetting perhaps the truth and singularity of the message they are supporting in the first place.
I guess if you are the Greatest, you stand alone.
“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognise. But get used to me – black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.” Muhammad Ali: the man behind the icon Read more Muhammad Ali loved the sound of his own voice, and so did everyone else. His words were predictably impossible to top on Saturday, as America mourned the loss of a colossus not only in the boxing ring but the arenas of politics, religion and popular culture.