After he wrote My Face for the World to See Hayes decided, counterintuitively, to move permanently to Los Angeles, the city he had described as looking ‘as hell might with a good electrician’.
and a classic:
In a novel published in 1968, The End of Me, Hayes’s disillusionment is projected onto the main character, Asher, a failing screenwriter. Asher tells a joke about a man who goes into a butcher’s shop and sees two signs. One reads ‘writers’ brains: 19 cents a pound’; the other: ‘producers’ brains: 79 cents a pound’:
‘Now you are supposed to ask me,’ I said patiently, ‘why producers’ brains cost 79 cents a pound and writers’ brains cost 19 cents a pound?’ … “Well,” the butcher said, “do you know how many producers you have to kill to get a pound of brains?”’
Lucie Elven on Alfred Hayes in LRB.
I haven’t been following boxing but I don’t like anything about the Floyd Mayweather / Logan Paul fight, except maybe the pleasure of an obnoxious person getting hurt, and I don’t like to cultivate that taste in myself. This is not a sporting event, it’s an exhibition. The prescripted outcome isn’t known to me but I suspect it’s known to others as well.
“The fix is in,” in other words. Looking into the origin of the term I find, among other things, a spay and neuter clinic in Wisconsin.
Some time ago I got pretty interested in boxing both as a workout routine and spectacle. In both it was rewarding. The world of writing about boxing is wonderful: AJ Liebling, Joyce Carol Oates. The Fight is the only Norman Mailer book I ever finished, I suspect it may be his best. I found a copy in a youth hostel in Ireland and ate it up. Of course When We Were Kings is unreal on the same tale, a story so good you could hear it told many times and not get bored. Best of all might be Pierce Egan.
The quality Egan most admires is “bottom”:
Boxiana is worth getting just for the fitness regimens.
That’s for a pedestrian, one who competed in long walking competitions like a thousand miles in a thousand hours, that kind of thing.
Once I contemplated going for an MA at Cambridge on the topic of Pierce Egan, but then I realized that would be a most un-Pierce Egan thing to do.
During my boxing period I got a press pass, maybe after pitching an idea to Slate, for the second fight of Manny Pacquiao against Morales. In my memory, I wrote the article, and Slate didn’t publish it, but that may be inaccurate. What I remember is seeing Freddie Roach at the press conference. Impressive man. Dedham kid. He spoke of his own fighting career, and said he was never the same boxer after he’d been knocked out.
Having attended a Pacquiao fight made me a superstar among the Filipino sailors when I sailed on the Hanjin Athens cargo ship from Long Beach to Shanghai.
Here is a chart I made tracing back boxers into the past by who fought who. Having shaken the hand of former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, I wanted to see how far I could get back. Looks like I made it to Jem Mace,
Forgive the poor quality photo, the original is somewhere.
I wondered if I could connect all the way to Cribb vs. Molineaux:
(that print is at the Met, which I think may be in error, or at least in conflict, with the WBA about how many rounds this fight went. I’ll mention it at the ball.)
The morning of the championship, Molineaux ate a boiled chicken, an apple pie, and drank a half-gallon of beer.
Was the fix in on that one?
SPOLER ALERT! Ecksel again: