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Evilmav2
10-18-2004, 09:13 PM
http://images.washtimes.com/photos/web/20040203-104418-7052.jpg
NBA's Etan Thomas: "I am Totally Against This War"
by Dave Zirin

Howard Cosell once said, "Rule Number One of the 'Jockocracy' is that pro-athletes and politics should never mix." But in these times of war and resistance, a new wave of sports stars are demanding to be heard. In Major League Baseball, Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado has come out against the occupation of Iraq. At the Olympics, the Iraqi Soccer Team publicly refused to be a symbol for a war they opposed. In the NBA, all-star guard Steve Nash and forward Josh Howard [Evilmav note: I don't remember Howard coming out against the war, but maybe I am being forgetful]have said that they were "for shooting jumpers not people." Now we can add NBA center/power forward Etan Thomas to the list of those athletic anti-war rebels who are rewriting the rules of the "Jockocracy".

An outspoken opponent of racism and the death penalty, Thomas is a poet who puts his ideas to verse at rallies and panel discussions throughout the DC Metro area.

Now, in an 'Edge of Sports' exclusive, the Washington Wizards' fifth year player turns his attention and anger toward George W. Bush's war against Iraq. This story is breaking here only because, according to Thomas, the Washington Times was preparing to profile his views until the story was killed by "higher ups" at the right-leaning paper.

"I am totally against this war," Thomas says adamantly. "But at the same time, I am completely for the troops. Republicans tried to paint the picture that if you were against the war, you were somehow unpatriotic, and that couldn't be further from the truth. What's truly unpatriotic is misleading an entire nation into war under false pretenses."

Thomas shakes his head at Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of John Kerry's call for a more "sensitive" war in the Middle East. "[Bush and Cheney] missed the entire point. They should have been more sensitive to the 1000+ American soldiers that lost their lives because of the ignorance of the White House. They should have been more sensitive to the fact that these were human lives they were ruining. I wonder what they would say to the mothers who will never see their sons again, or the children who will never see their fathers again.. He has sent so many young children, who only signed up for the Army as a way to go to college, into a war that didn't need to happen. And people wonder why the casualties are so high. 18 year-old babies are over there losing their lives everyday, and he has the audacity to say that 'we are turning the corner.'"

Bush's arrogance has been a factor compelling the burly rebounder to speak out. He sees a quagmire developing because of Bush's oft-criticized "go it alone" style. "He was so insistent about going against the U.N. and now we are bearing the burden alone. He said that he didn't need the help of any other country. Now, we need help and no other country wants to help us because of his unwillingness to allow the U.N. to do their job. The U.N. said that they didn't have enough evidence to invade Iraq, but Bush insisted that they had these weapons of mass destruction, and come to find out, that was untrue. Now we are in way over our heads and progress is moving at a snail's pace."

Thomas also expresses frustration at the media's role in not questioning the drive to war. Fox News' role in particular leaves him both astounded and annoyed. "It amazes me that know-it-alls like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity can actually defend him. O'Reilly said that he was simply given bad info, and he thought he was doing the right thing. Well, it's his job to know. That excuse -- 'I didn't know any better' -- might work when you are seven years-old, but not when you are the President of the United States."

As with the death penalty, Thomas is putting his feelings into poetry. Below is an excerpt from Thomas' poem on the Iraq War:


Out of the ashes of Iraq come soldiers dressed in fatigues of fire Wearing helmets secured in smoke They've choked off the lies spewed out of the mouth of a burning bush
The true warrior's existing wake
Who's flames burned them at the stake
Cremated their bodies
And stuffed them in an urn wrapped in red, white, and blue....
Rummaging through a forest set ablaze by one lethal match
With witty catch phrases forever attached to the side of their kingdom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Links to Al Qaeda
Eminent threats
And weapons of mass destruction.....
They've been skillfully thrown into the lion's den
Out of the frying pan and into the furnace
Their courage exceeds any measuring stick
But they can hear the footsteps of death creeping around the corner
For they've been led into the eye of the storm
Transformed into peacekeepers
Lending a helping hand for the poorly planned post-war strategy......
Thomas knows he may feel some heat for speaking out against Bush's war but feels an obligation to do so. "I have never had a problem standing up for what I believe in. I admire the athletes of the past, like Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. Athletes that used their position as a platform to speak out on social issues and stand up for a cause. Basketball is not my life. To quote Bill Russell, 'You're not going to reduce me to an entertainer. I'm a man who stands up for what I believe in and you're going to respect me for it.' A quote I live by is, 'I speak my mind because biting my tongue would make my pride bleed.'"

When athletes like Etan Thomas step forward and make their voices heard, they do more than rewrite the rules of Cosell's "Jockocracy". They reclaim the humanity of all athletes normally presented as having muscles and tattoos but not minds. They also provide an outlet for the millions of people who oppose the priorities of this government yet embattled and embittered, feel they stand alone. When 6' 10" Etan Thomas stands up, you feel like you can straighten your back and walk tall by his side.

Link (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0924-12.htm)

dirk2003
10-18-2004, 09:17 PM
Etan and Howard are great people.

Evilmav2
10-18-2004, 09:22 PM
But not Nash?

dirk2003
10-18-2004, 10:13 PM
LOL, I purposly left him out because he wasn't honest about the whole Mavs deal.

StvNash13
10-19-2004, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by: dirk2003
LOL, I purposly left him out because he wasn't honest about the whole Mavs deal.


I try not to insult other posters on this board but it's so hard not to after comments like these.

MavKikiNYC
10-19-2004, 06:54 AM
That idiot motherf*cker shoul.d've bben working on his jumper over the off-season rather than writing faux-poetry like this.

Evilmav2
10-19-2004, 07:32 AM
Here's the original article, penned by the Great Man himself:


http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:gJ_Wt1x-tloJ:us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/v/nba/players:
What Matters

By Etan Thomas

“You’re not going to reduce me to an entertainer,” Bill Russell once said. “I’m a man who stands up for what I believe in and you’re going to respect me for it.”

I was raised with that belief, and I admire athletes of the past, like Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Each of these men used his position as a platform to speak out on social issues and bring attention to topics they thought important. While I have no plans to run for elected office in the future, I think it’s important for me to follow in the footsteps of people I admire and seek opportunities to educate fellow citizens on issues important to me.

Basketball is a passion as well as my profession, but it is not everything. I’m just as passionate about off-court interests such as poetry writing, community activism, and motivational speaking.

There's a saying: “I speak my mind because biting my tongue would make my pride bleed.”

Unfortunately, too much American blood has been shed fighting in a place we have no business being. I enjoy having conversations with my grandfather, Fred Bodger, who was in the 101st Airborne Division in the Korean War. He was heavily decorated because he saved lives. I am totally against the current war in Iraq, but at the same time, I am completely for the troops. Opposing the war is not unpatriotic — what's unpatriotic is taking a nation to war under false pretenses.

If President Bush was lied to or was misled regarding weapons of mass destruction, the people responsible should be fired. If he purposely misled the American people and presented the need to go to war in a light that was untrue, then Bush himself needs to be fired.

All of the Republicans were shouting from the mountain tops that Clinton should've been impeached when he lied about Monica Lewinsky, but no one has said anything about impeaching Bush. There's a slogan that I saw that says, “Nobody died when Clinton lied.” I think that Bush should be held accountable for the fact that he changed his reasons for going to war about five or six times. How many lies can he get away with?

Bush’s defenders — such as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly — have argued that Bush thought he was doing the right thing, but was operating with bad information. That’s a poor excuse for a seven year old and no excuse for the president. It’s his job to know. It’s his job to make sure the information is correct, to insist that those working for him provide accurate data, and to ask questions until he’s sure. Being wrong on such an important issue is a sign of failed leadership.

Bush’s zeal for defending America could be a good thing if it weren’t so misguided. In UN forums, other nations argued that there was insufficient evidence to justify an invasion. They pleaded for more time to search for weapons of mass destruction that Bush insisted were there. But the weapons weren’t there, and Bush’s heavy-handed approach has alienated many nations. Now we need their help, and none of those nations has a reason to offer it.

While it’s great that Saddam is in custody, are we any safer? How did the attention after 9-11 turn from Al-Qaeda to Saddam in the first place? Bush refuses to provide a direct answer on the link between Al-Qaeda, Saddam, and Iraq.

“When practical people find themselves in a hole, they stop digging,” former President Bill Clinton once said. “When ideological people find themselves in a hole they ask for a bigger shovel.”

I appreciate John Kerry’s use of the word “sensitive” in his comments about the war. It’s not about being nice to the other side, it’s a statement that decision-makers should have been more sensitive to the 1,000 (and counting) American soldiers killed because the current administration rushed to war. They should have been more sensitive to the lives they were ruining — to the mother or father who will never see her child again, or the newborn child who will never meet his father. When so many young people are getting killed, how can Bush dare to claim we’re turning the corner?

While the war continues, both campaigns seem more interested in bickering over irrelevancies. Whether Kerry exaggerated his combat wounds or Bush performed the requisite number of jumping jacks back home in the National Guard is of little importance today.

What matters is the terrible condition of our health care system. That your child’s education isn’t valued unless you're rich and live in a good neighborhood. That the No Child Left Behind Act is a farce. That good jobs are disappearing and new jobs aren’t being created. That Bush cares only about the haves and the have mores. That he’s adamantly pro-life, while simultaneously favoring the death penalty. That Bush uses Christianity to fit his objectives, not guide them. That Bush seeks to dismantle affirmative action as if everything is really equal. That our national debt is mushrooming. These issues matter far more than who did or said what three decades ago.

Finally, I’d like to share a some excerpts from a poem I wrote entitled, “Our Soldiers”

Out of the ashes of Iraq come soldiers dressed in fatigues of fire
Wearing helmets secured in smoke
They've choked off the lies spewed out of the mouth of a burning bush
The true warrior's existing wake
Whose flames burned them at the stake
Cremated their bodies
And stuffed them in an urn wrapped in red, white, and blue....

Rummaging through a forest set ablaze by one lethal match
With witty catch phrases forever attached to the side of their kingdom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Links to Al Qaeda
Eminent threats
And weapons of mass destruction.....

They've been skillfully thrown into the lion's den
Out of the frying pan and into the furnace
Their courage exceeds any measuring stick
But they can hear the footsteps of death creeping around the corner
For they've been led into the eye of the storm
Transformed into peacekeepers
Lending a helping hand for the poorly planned post-war strategy......

sike
10-19-2004, 10:39 AM
well the first problem I see is scrub Etan Thomas even saying the name Bill Russell.

EricaLubarsky
10-19-2004, 12:52 PM
well as a third year poetry student, I can say that the poems weren't very good.

poohrichardson
10-19-2004, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
well as a third year poetry student, I can say that the poems weren't very good.

1.) I hope "third year poetry student" is some stupid joke I don't get.
2.) Poems aren't "good" or "bad," they're all different and they shouldn't be interpreted or judged.
3.) You can't be taught how to judge or write poetry.
4.) You're annoying.
5.) Go Mavs.

Arne
10-20-2004, 07:49 AM
@poohrichardson

You're completely right on this one.

@all

It's just helarious how some people react to something like that article:

"That idiot motherf*cker shoul.d've bben working on his jumper over the off-season rather than writing faux-poetry like this."

It's weak to insult people with political opinions, while people like Ben Wallace, who's sitting in front of his Playstation half the offseason, or people like Ray Allen, who learns playing piano, or makes a movie, don't get insulted for that.

I'm quite sure that there would've been a completely different reaction from most of the users on forums outside Dallas...

And it's a bit allarming, that everybody is talking about how good, or bad Etan Thomas writes, instead of discussing his opinions.

EricaLubarsky
10-20-2004, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by: poohrichardson

Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
well as a third year poetry student, I can say that the poems weren't very good.

1.) I hope "third year poetry student" is some stupid joke I don't get.
2.) Poems aren't "good" or "bad," they're all different and they shouldn't be interpreted or judged.
3.) You can't be taught how to judge or write poetry.
4.) You're annoying.
5.) Go Mavs.

do you contribute anything? Do you know anything about what you are talking about? Poems aren't bad? What? People can't be taught to review and critique poetry? huh? You certainly are showing your colors.

We all know you have something against me, I just wish you would contribute and try to correct me when I'm actually wrong. Trying to get me on everything is tiresome and it also backfires when you say something that has no truth to it.

Arne
10-20-2004, 04:01 PM
You don't get it, Erica, you can dislike a poem or you can like a poem, but you can't judge a poem. You will even find people who dislike Shakespeare, or Goethe.

seal614
10-20-2004, 04:25 PM
I'll speak for myself when I say that I don't give a DAMN what a celebrity, athlete, etc... thinks about politics. Their opinion is no more significant than mine... in sometimes less-so because I'm actually going to get a degree... and it doesn't say "Communications" on it.

Because a lot of ppl know their name... their opinions are supposed to matter?

Somebody above hit it right on the head... He should've been working on his game, that's all we care about from him.

"I am against all war"

Well Etan I am against all bad weather. Think I'll go write a poem.

- Brian

EricaLubarsky
10-20-2004, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by: Arne
You don't get it, Erica, you can dislike a poem or you can like a poem, but you can't judge a poem. You will even find people who dislike Shakespeare, or Goethe.

I don't get it? So no poem is better than any other? We can't judge?

I personally think that Tony Hoagland,Raymond Carver, Czeslaw Milosz, and others are better than 13 year olds who write devotional love poems..

but I guess we can't judge poems, just like we can't judge snowflakes- they all are just different in their own way. We can't judge the effectiveness, the timbre, the rhythm, and other technical elements. We can't judge. I guess poetry reviews and poetry compilations are redundant, poetry critics are fools, poetry professors are living meaningless lives, and any book that aims at helping you write better poetry is pointless. For that matter, devoting one's life to the pursuit of better poetry is like devoting one's life to tying one's shoes better and better.

{End sarcasm.}

Both you are confused about the concept of poetry appreciation/critique. There are real, objective judegements that can be made about the technique, and tecnical skill involved. Your aethetic relativism bores me, to tell you the truth. Both Pooh and you have shown your ignorance when it comes to the arts by those statements. If you really want to say that the aesthetics and technical ability of art cannot be judged, then go for it. No one is going to stop you, but you have to live with the logical implications of your frou-frou bullcrap.

chumdawg
10-20-2004, 06:29 PM
I thought there was a formula for measuring poetry. Something about plotting the value on the y-axis and the longevity on the x-axis and finding the area on the chart. Am I mistaken about this?

Male30Dan
10-20-2004, 07:47 PM
Poetry sucks! i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

Arne
10-21-2004, 11:24 AM
Erica, you're wrong, you can prefer the poems of some people, but you can't judge them. Maybe it's the content, that some people look at, too. So maybe somebody doesn't like what Tony Hoagland, Raymond Carver or Czeslaw Milosz right and then prefers the simple love poem of the thirteen year-old...? Offcause their could be somebody like you with the other opinion as well...

EricaLubarsky
10-21-2004, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by: Arne
Erica, you're wrong, you can prefer the poems of some people, but you can't judge them. Maybe it's the content, that some people look at, too. So maybe somebody doesn't like what Tony Hoagland, Raymond Carver or Czeslaw Milosz right and then prefers the simple love poem of the thirteen year-old...? Offcause their could be somebody like you with the other opinion as well...

Do you believe its the same way with dance? With painting? With Music?

I won't say anything about your love for simple, 13 year old poetry, as that may be your actual age, but you have miserably confused liking something and it being good. Most 13 year olds write bad poetry. That does not mean you cannot like it, and you probably do.

I guess it just pisses me off when some little kid that knows nothing about art, comes in an tells me that there is no qualitative difference between Miles Davis and the Mountain View High School big Band, or Czeslaw Milosz and the kind of crap that thirteen year olds write. You are telling me that my 3 classes on art appreciation are pointless, and that a person not only can't work toward being a better poet (as well as artist, musician, dancer, etc), but also that any attempt to be better is meaningless because there is no qualitative difference between the sappy love poems of a pre-teen and the poetry that was developed over 93 years of thought (As in the case Milosz).

You insult us all with your ignorance, but I gotta say, you have it easy. You can find your poetic bliss in the bottom of a girl's locker in a middle school. I have to work to discover great poets. I guess ignorance is bliss. I highly doubt that anyone that has made statements like you have can even enjoy poetry, though.

sike
10-21-2004, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by: seal614
I'll speak for myself when I say that I don't give a DAMN what a celebrity, athlete, etc... thinks about politics. Their opinion is no more significant than mine... in sometimes less-so because I'm actually going to get a degree... and it doesn't say "Communications" on it.

Because a lot of ppl know their name... their opinions are supposed to matter?

Somebody above hit it right on the head... He should've been working on his game, that's all we care about from him.

"I am against all war"

Well Etan I am against all bad weather. Think I'll go write a poem.

- Brian
nice.

Drbio
10-21-2004, 04:05 PM
Etan is insigificant.







Oh yeah....he can suck it.

Drbio
10-21-2004, 04:09 PM
And for the record....poetry can be judged and is judge daily in universities all over the world. If not, there would be no classics. WTF you been dropping?

For instance.....

Etan Thomas' poetry is unworthy to be birdcage paper. It sucks so entirely and completely that the white part of the birdshit actually makes it smell better and gives it a slightly better aesthetic value. The little speck in the birdshit improves it as well as it gives substance to the poetry on which it now resides. That said.....why would anyone want to waste a good runny bird excrement on such an unworthy receptacle? I don't get it.

http://www.meatyballs.net/modules/Forums/images/smiles/kloguck.gif

Arne
10-21-2004, 04:20 PM
You can say, that something is written in a simple way, or whatever, but I like poems that haven't even got punctuation in it.

EricaLubarsky
10-21-2004, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by: Arne
You can say, that something is written in a simple way, or whatever, but I like poems that haven't even got punctuation in it.

having punctation isnt the most important. If you knew poetry, you would know that there are very famous and quality poets like E.E. Cummings that have played with grammar, syntax and punctuation. The distinction you are trying to create just isnt there.

Again, I'm not arguing that you don't like crappy poetry just as well as you like good poetry. I'm just saying that you dont like the stuff that you write to your diary. You can like it, it just probably isn't good, and there is a qualititative difference between good and bad poetry, seperate of whether you like it or not.

Arne
10-21-2004, 04:41 PM
But it isn't neccesarilly a bad poem for everybody, when you judge it. It might be a fantastic poem for somebody who totally sees his opinions written down on Paper.

And if you have an poem without punctuation, where do you see that it's a "good" poem when you most times don't even know how the poet wanted it to be read?

Drbio
10-21-2004, 04:47 PM
An Ode to a Bird Crap (following the traditional ababcdecde format if I recall correctly)

Oh little birdcrap falling...falling from the sky
Rebounding carelessly dangerously out of control
Why'd oh why did you land on my new tie
terminating the free fall of liberty to my eyeball from thine dark ahole
Why little birdcrap...why must you soil me like a dirty floor?

The white part runny the brown center firm like my poop stained chest
The sound you made when landing on my lap
Could you have not pooped in the woods, was it really such a chore
Did the freefall make you weary and result in need for rest
Or like idiots who cannot judge poetry are you just crap?

EricaLubarsky
10-21-2004, 04:50 PM
lol

here's my shot

I don't like war becuz people die
and that isn't cool
my dog died once I can't pet him anymore
becuz hes stuffed and behind glass
and that makes me sad
my boyfriend said he'd rather die
than kiss me when I had a pimple
I hope he doesnt die too! My heart of hearts
would be shattered into a trillion tiny peices
and he would stomp on them
why do we want to kill each other anywayz
Its all stupid oil, or sumthing

edit: to remove punctuation

sike
10-21-2004, 04:56 PM
E.E. Cummings
if memory serves....was it not: e e Cummings? i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

EricaLubarsky
10-21-2004, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by: sike

E.E. Cummings
if memory serves....was it not: e e Cummings? i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

or e e cummings..he didnt even capitalize his last name...but....if you look him up in collections, he's capitalized.

Drbio
10-21-2004, 06:18 PM
This thread has gone from informative to rediculous back to fun. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

EricaLubarsky
10-21-2004, 07:34 PM
tell me if this link works... (http://ecard.veepers.com/service/RetrieveCard?id=9jHORlKJ2rgg4CT4fhVhba)

Smiles
10-21-2004, 07:43 PM
Doc & EL, I'm so completely entertained!! ROFL

I'd say your "artistic works" were "good" for smiles and many laughs. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

Male30Dan
10-21-2004, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky
lol

here's my shot

I don't like war becuz people die
and that isn't cool
my dog died once I can't pet him anymore
becuz hes stuffed and behind glass
and that makes me sad
my boyfriend said he'd rather die
than kiss me when I had a pimple
I hope he doesnt die too! My heart of hearts
would be shattered into a trillion tiny peices
and he would stomp on them
why do we want to kill each other anywayz
Its all stupid oil, or sumthing

edit: to remove punctuation

Reviewing is allowed right???

I think you are angry because you have a pimple!