On the Ropes


“I’m the lowest form of celebrity!” declares Celeste Holm as Karen, the lowly “playwright’s wife” in the 1950 classic All About Eve.

My, how times have changed.

Because now — just before what would have been the murdered teenager Trayvon Martin‘s 19th birthday —  the website TMZ announced that, out of 15,000 hopefuls, rapper/actor DMX has been picked to go one-on-one in a boxing ring with Trayvon’s acquitted killer, self-appointed vigilante/asshole George Zimmerman. And the proposed match is being billed as “celebrity boxing.”

This is a new low in the “lowest form of celebrity.” (Brief pause while we bring you a word from our sponsor, I Can’t Believe It’s Not an Expectorant™.)

The boxing part? We get that. Even if DMX promised to “break every rule in boxing” in order to “f**k him up right,” we get that, should this match go forward, two people will be in a ring trying to knock each other senseless. That’s more or less boxing. It’s the first part – the celebrity half of “celebrity boxing” — that’s causing us, and just about everyone else in the blogosphere, to reach for the smelling salts.

“George Zimmerman is not a celebrity,” opened the story in the New York Daily News. We shouldn’t be making this man into “a cultural celebrity or hero,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton in a statement. Even the hardworking people at the website Change.org took time out of their campaign to remove a near-naked male zombie statue from an all-women’s college campus to weigh in: “Show some respect to the lost life of Trayvon Martin.”

Of course, it’s no secret that, to some, Zimmerman is already a celebrity (and, sickeningly, to many, probably a hero). How else could Zimmerman’s paintings — widely reviled for their lack of artistic ability and demonstrably ripped off from images owned by the Associated Press and Shutterstock — sell for six figures on eBay?

What’s going on here? Is this the equivalent of your mean high-school gym teacher hopping on the dunk tank at the county fair? Or is this, as we suspect, Zimmerman’s disgusting bid to keep his name famous at any cost?

Clearly, it wasn’t enough that Zimmerman got the media hyperventilating when he supposedly pulled a family out of a burning car, threatened a girlfriend with a shotgun, or underwent anger-management therapy after assaulting an undercover “alcohol control” agent. None of those stories was more than a footnote to the shooting of Trayvon — which Zimmerman dismissively calls “the incident.”

The proposed boxing match — which was Zimmerman’s idea – looks like a desperate bid for a kind of celebrity that’s already down for the count. But what if we’re wrong? What if this is the beginning of a new form of justice played out for the public? What if everyone decides that boxing is really the best way to settle old scores?

We suppose it would help save a lot of trees by eliminating all those Op-Ed pages. As Woody Allen says in Manhattan: “A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really get right to the point!”

So is this the wave of the future? If yes, where will it all lead?

We have a few ideas. So we’re asking you: If the world decides that old grudges are best hashed out in a boxing ring, which one would YOU watch? Vote and let us know!

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