In discussions with one of my workmates I have come to the conclusion that Mr Mohammed Ali
, the boxer
, should have said 'I float like a dirigible
, and sting like a wasp', because:
do not float, because they are heavier than air;
(b) Bees only sting once, but Ali
was capable of stinging many times.
Although for the analogy to be truly correct Mr Ali would have had to attack opponents with his coccyx, which is surely not allowed under the rules of boxing, although it would surely have been a compelling visual spectacle. This is notwithstanding the fact that a punch from Mohammed Ali would have been a concussive thing, not a sting.
So perhaps Ali's motto should have been 'I float like a balloon, and concuss like a bursting shell'. Or even just 'I float. I sting.' After all, why fanny about with analogies? Ali didn't float at all like a butterfly and bees sting only in self-defence, something which Ali tried successfully with his rope-a-dope defence against George Foreman, but seldom elsewhere. Poetically, yes, the words evoke something, but writing poetry about boxing is like mud-wrestling about Pearl Harbour. A lot of movement and mess but at the end both fighters are still standing. The point is made, the beast is dead.
The Daily Telegraph's letters page currently has a 'thread' about the best way of righting bees which have fallen on their backs. Apparently the trick is to lightly brush their back legs until they start to trust you, and then offer then your full finger. This is one of the reasons I read the Daily Telegraph; it's a combination of sturm und drang over right-wing issues and discussions on how to heal wounded bees. The Guardian pretends to be sane, but in an insane world it is insanity to be sane.
Which is one of those Catch 22 things. 'Right' and 'wrong' are subjective and depend on a majority consensus, and if the world is wrong, then wrong is right, and by being right you are wrong, even if objectively you are right. Ayn Rand would probably have something to say about this but if she was trapped on a life raft with other people she wouldn't last long, and her beliefs would drown with her.