Sunday, January 06, 2008

GOOD NEWS '08 (Symbolic)

We thank PageOneQ for pointing us to AARP’s fitness page and this terrific photo.

Martina has been named “Fitness Ambassador” by the American Association of Retired People.

In the picture first I see the lean strength of Martina’s arms. Then I see the totally weird look on her face.

It is not the look of roses that are looked at.

It’s the look of someone who’s been through a lot. The outstanding tennis career, her face says, is only one of the major stories in her life, and maybe not the most dramatic.

The part about her being an out of the closet Lesbian doesn’t bother AARP, the largest lobbying group in America. This is a good sign for the advancement of personal liberty everywhere.

Martina’s advocacy on non-gay issues is actually more controversial than the gay stuff.

Here’s a snippet, culled from wikipedia, of a 2002 exchange on air between Martina and (ick) Connie Chung:

Connie: (finishes reading a newspaper quote of something Martina had said) “…It's depressing. Decisions in America are based solely on the question of how much money will come out of it and not on the questions of how much health, morals or environment suffer as a result."

Martina: Yes, in America we are seeing centralization of power and the loss of personal freedom.

Connie: Can I be honest with you? I can tell you that when I read this, I have to tell you that I thought it was un-American, unpatriotic. I wanted to say, go back to Czechoslovakia. You know, if you don't like it here, this a country that gave you so much, gave you the freedom to do what you want.

Martina: And I'm giving it back. This is why I speak out. When I see something that I don't like, I'm going to speak out because you can do that here. And again, I feel there are too many things happening that are taking our rights away.

So, Martina don't take shit from Connie.

AARP loves Martina. So does most of the world. Including me.

Speaking of identity politics, the current primary match-up between Hillary Clinton, who could be the country’s first woman president, and Barack Obama, who could be the country’s first black president, has revealed to me (again) how little I care about race or sex when it comes to hiring.

When the work is important, and when there aren’t many people who can do the work well, I’m hiring based on ability, not sex or race or sexual preference. US President is such a job.

When it comes to a triple bypass, even the dumbest racist from the deepest backwoods will choose an African American surgeon over a Caucasian auto mechanic.

America obviously needs a major operation.

Even if we have to elect some straight white guy.

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sfmike said...

I adore Martina. She wrote a slim autobiography while she was still playing as a pro that was one of my weird, favorite books. Getting to watch her in person once at the Oakland Coliseum was tremendous fun, since we had great seats and seeing Ms. Navtrivola's forearms was a revelation. She's butcher than either one of us will ever think of being, and it's totally natural.

She was also one of those rare athletes who actually changed the way a game is played, like Wayne Gretzky in hockey. Women's tennis post-Martina has never been quite the same, and I love that's she's always been a rebel.

janinsanfran said...

This is a fantastic post. Thank you!

Herman Chin said...

I agree with Martina.
America. Love it or change it.