Category Archives: martial arts


I am famously not a fan of the sports business. I think everyone should play sports. But being a sports “fan” is a lazy thing that reeks of pointless nationalism.

My weakness, though, has always been combat sports.  In particular, MMA (mixed martial arts) fascinates me no end, for the technique, the discipline, the narrative, and for reasons that I believe are downright existential. The martial arts, to me, have always been an activity ripe with self-knowledge and, dare I say it, a degree of spiritual truth. All other sports are metaphors for combat — “I’m gonna beat your ass!”– whereas combat is, in and of itself, a primary human condition. Continue reading #MayMac

The Rising Sun

Symbols_of_ReligionsAbout ten years ago, I started working for a company in the Washington, DC, area as lower management.  As part of my training, I was required to take the standard management trainee classes, which included everything from conflict resolution to guidelines for appropriate inter-personal actions.  (I’m sure the latter will surprise many of my friends, as I am not particularly known for conforming to any standard definitions of appropriateness).  In one such training session, the topic of religious tolerance was brought up.  It was stressed that we must allow employees to display tokens of their faith in their place of work.

Utterly bored by this point, I needed to turn the affair into something more akin to a philosophical discussion.  So I asked, “What if I were to wear a swastika to the office?”

Continue reading The Rising Sun