02.06.09

MMA’s “War Machine:” I Will Kick The Law’s Ass

Posted in Free Expression, MMA at 3:00 pm by

Ah, MMA. It’s for some people — people for whom boxing is too cerebral, people who like their sociopathy straight-up, people who see nothing wrong about having their own nickname tattooed on their bodies in more than one spot. It’s not for me, which I kind of appreciate because I care too much about too many sports, already. Anyway, I feel like I’m kind of out of my element doing a post about a MMA fighter named Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver and how his brawny ignorance and unwillingness TO BE FAKE or STOP BEING WAR MACHINE LOL or NOT THREATEN THE LIFE OF THE PRESIDENT is hurting his career. And simultaneously breaking a pretty clear law.

At the same time, though, I feel kind of vindicated. It’s not that I necessarily want to hear Kelly Pavlik’s politics (I can only hope the Youngstown kid is still riding for Jim Traficant) or Zab Judah’s thoughts on bank nationalization. I am frankly glad that I don’t know them. But for whatever reason I have to believe they’re not dumber than War Machine’s transcendently ignorant, somehow prototypically-MySpace MySpace rants, which are highlighted in a series of posts by Yahoo Sports’ Steve Cofield and which seem, somehow, especially and endemically MMA to me. Everything in that last sentence is snobby in like a dozen different ways, I know. Sorry.

Cofield’s posts might be entitled, “War Machine is Insane,” “War Machine Threatens President,” “War Machine Loses His Job After Threatening President.” It’s hard to pick a paragraph from each or any of these that aptly sums up what we’re dealing with, here. I can summarize it as a guy who is desperately trying to start a fight in a bar — with anyone — yelling, “Obama, fuck that motherfucker!” until someone notices. (Or, more specifically, writing of Obama, “how is some rich faggot gonna represent ‘the people’ when he can’t under stand what it’s like to struggle?”)

Only in this case, the person-that-notices is actually Disney/ESPN, and that person then denies the would-be fight-starter the chance to fight for a $250,000 purse. That’s the broad strokes, but Cofield’s knack for the telling screen cap lets War Machine — he legally changed his name to that; it’s in the “is Insane” post — do the work himself. The posts are all worth clicking through, if you’re into being reminded just how stupid some people are.

But while War Machine assures his fans that he’ll never change his beliefs (or belief in sharing every one of those beliefs), he doesn’t mind quoting from the film work of Curtis Hanson, as Cofield points out in response to WM’s most recent sign-off of “Fuck an Obama, Fuck a Disney, Fuck an ESPN and Fuck the Bellator Fighting Championship!”

That’s a very creative close to the post. Looks like War Machine channeled his inner B-Rabbit. It’s a movie, War Machine. Not real life. Real life is losing a shot at $250,000 and squandering your eighth life.

2 Responses to “MMA’s “War Machine:” I Will Kick The Law’s Ass”

  1. dola says:

    “Everything in that last sentence is snobby in like a dozen different ways, I know. Sorry.”

    You’re right. Snobby and completely ill-informed. Saying that Koppenhaver (an incredibly sad individual) represents something ‘especially and endemically MMA’ to you is like someone saying that to them baseball is Barry Bonds or basketball is Ron Artest. Subjectivity is something I can’t argue with, but I’d just recommend you wikipedia dudes like Rich Franklin (former high school math teacher), Jeff Monson (activist sponsored by AK Press), Mac Danzig (vegan and nature photographer), Philipe Nover (registered RN) to get a sense of the fact that these are men who represent a cross-section of the entire society. In fact, the vast, vast percentage of them are empathetic and decent people with a quite confidence that comes from having nothing to prove.

    No one is going to convince you of what sport is worth your time, but i’d just suggest that you just not cover this topic anymore because such lazy thought does not do you any credit.

    Other than that, this blog rulez.

  2. David Roth says:

    Fair enough, Dola. Although I should mention that Gerard’s coverage of MMA stuff is entirely free of the (owned by me, but still kind of not a good look) disdain/ignorance combination that kind of defines my limited writing on the subject.

    I’m aware that it’s painting with a broad brush — tarring with one, really — to take Koppenhaver as being exemplary of the whole sport. But I’ll try explain the source of my snobbery, even though I can’t (and won’t, because it’s lame) defend it on its merits. Beyond the fact that the aesthetic don’t really agree with me, there’s just something about the surrounding trappings of MMA that doesn’t agree with me. There’s nothing I can say about what I dislike about MMA — based on the articles I’ve read, the few fights I’ve seen bits of — that can’t be just as justifiably said of boxing, too. The general sense of porny, crass, Red Bull-fueled ultraviolence that I have about the sport is probably something I over-perceive. But it so defines my perception that, you’re right, I probably shouldn’t be writing about it. This one just kind of jumped out at me (after GC sent me the link) and I dashed it off.

    Not to put you on the spot, but since you seem like a thoughtful dude: what is it that you enjoy about the sport? I’m assuming it’s not the dickhole promoter dudes or nuts like War Machine, so what is it? I’m not asking to be swayed — like I said, I think my sports-docket is too full as is — but I’m legitimately interested.

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