Tag Archives: Muhammad Ali

Kickstarting “Organized Chaos”, A Rock Band With Huge Potential — With My Friend “Luc” On Vocals/Guitar.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Kickstarter page below.


Click to ENLARGE and read here … Kickstarter link below. Please visit.


Link to KICKSTARTER page — which includes video.

Please visit & pledge if you can.

You will be GLAD you did so.


I have seen them, i.e., “Organized Chaos“, heard them and followed them for the last 2-years. They are VERY, VERY good. I begged Luc to let me be their manager. Wisely (and Luc is one of the smartest folks you are ever likely to encounter) he declined. He knows that “Organized Chaos” is going to be much, much BIGGER than anything I would be able to manage!

These boys are going to go far. They could be VERY BIG. Huge.

I have known Luc since he was 10 or 11. He was in a “Destination Imagination” (DI) team I coached in 2011/2012. From the very first day I met him, I knew he was an exceptional talent. I have raved about him. His talent, intellect and ability is hard to miss. He has some very good genes, his father a famous lawyer — with clients like Muhammad Ali.

This is a great opportunity. Please spend some time reading their proposal. You will be glad that you did.

Mark my word. You could be witnessing the next BIG thing in modern music.


Related posts:
Category ‘Arts’.


by Anura Guruge

Muhammad Ali, The GREATEST, Died This Day Last Year.

by Anura Guruge



Just a year ago.

I miss him. He was one of my heroes.

In a way, however, I am GLAD that he did NOT have to see the Trump presidency. Ali would NOT have liked it.

He still lives on, a bestriding GIANT, in my memories. He was a MAN. Thank YOU, Muhammad Ali. You enriched MY life.


alibuddhistssppsapdas

Click to access related post as to the Buddhists priests who attended Ali’s funeral.


Muhammad-Ali-ap_1468665cRelated Posts:
>> Google Footnote, June 10, for Ali.
>> Muhammad Ali “In His Own Words”.

**** Search on ‘Muhammad Ali‘ for many other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


The Two Buddhist Participants In Muhammad Ali’s Inter-Faith Funeral Service.

by Anura Guruge


Their names are Venerable Utsumi and Sister Denise (who I think is the one on the right in the YouTube video below).

The Sister by definition is not a Buddhist monk. She would be the equivalent of a nun. Not sure whether the other one is a bona fide monk. He is not dressed in the dark saffron robes we normally associate with Buddhist monks.

I could be wrong but I think these two represent Nepalese, Tibetan or Bhutan Buddhism — which is not mainstream Theravada or Mahāyāna Buddhism (my background and expertise being in the former, Sri Lanka considered the spiritual home for that school). I haven’t, as yet, been able to find anything more about these two other than that they participated in Ali’s funeral! IF you can help me here I will be most grateful. [Thanks, in advance.]

Increasingly folks in the U.S. are gravitating towards and identifying with Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhism, and creating the impression that this school represents most Buddhist worldwide. Not so. I happened to look up Buddhist temples in Louisville and discovered that they are all Tibetan-centric. C’est la vie.

One thing ironic that Ali, who is said to have arranged how this service was to conducted, may have overlooked. Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist have zero-experience dealing with Muslims! Not so if he turned to Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka. Just something to think about.


alibuddhistssppsapdas

Click to access the 4 minute YouTube video of the drum-embellished chanting. Most Buddhists would not recognize this as a standard Buddhist ritual.


alifuneralservice111

Click to ENLARGE and view here. From my alltime favorite newspaper (so often referenced in this blog), the U.K. “Daily Mail”. The two Buddhists, Venerable Utsumi and Sister Denise appear as the last entry against the “Speakers” — ahead of the “Reading”.


Muhammad-Ali-ap_1468665cRelated Posts:
>> Google Footnote, June 10, for Ali.
>> Muhammad Ali “In His Own Words”.

**** Check Category ‘Religion’ or search on ‘Buddhism’ for many other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


Muhammad Ali “In His Own Words” On PBS Channel On Roku.

by Anura Guruge


alipbsbanner aliownwords111

Click to ENLARGE and view here.


Muhammad-Ali-ap_1468665cRelated Posts:
>> Google Footnote, June 10, for Ali.

**** Search on ‘Roku(sidebar) for many other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


Google Does Footnote For ‘Muhammad Ali’ Funeral — A Great Honor To The Greatest.

by Anura Guruge


alifootnote

Click to ENLARGE and goggle. On standard Google SEARCH page for Friday, June 10, 2016, Ali’s funeral.


Too early as yet for a Google Doodle.

So a footnote.

I surmise that this has to the QUICKEST somebody has got a Google footnote — in my belief that as with Doodle’s they don’t do footnotes for living people. I could be wrong on that. I really haven’t studied Google footnotes.


Muhammad-Ali-ap_1468665cLast Google Doodles:
>> Phoebe Snetsinger.
>> Italy Republic Day.

**** Check Category ‘Google Doodle’ (sidebar) for other Doodles >>>>


by Anura Guruge


London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: Indian (Punjabi) Segment Makes Slightly For Empire Snub.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>  London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The John Lennon Segment Was Inspired. Thank You — August 19, 2012.
>>  London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder — August 14, 2012.
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.



Click for YouTube video of this uplifting dance segment with Eric Idle.


Other than for the stupid, uncalled for Winston Churchill blunder, the remainder of the London Olympics Closing Ceremonies ROCKED! Thank You. Bravo. Way to go. I am so happy and proud.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics were pretty amazing and I have to think that the opening ceremonies with all those drums etc. will continue to be hailed as one of the greatest of events for decades to come.

I was worried that MY London would come up short. That they said at the start that they decided that they were not gong to compete with the Chinese kind of upset me. I am always into forward and upward.

We made up for it with the Closing Ceremonies — though, now old, I have to confess, I had NO IDEA who some of the performers were! Neither did Deanna. But, they were good. The Pinball Wizard segment was spectacular. We have watched it three times so far, with the speakers blasting. Of course, I would have liked to have see the WHO perform it, but c’est la vie.



Click for YouTube video of the Pinball Wizard segment.


That they finally showed some Indians (^^^^ above) was gratifying — albeit it was in the COMEDY segment with Eric Idle! Was that a dig at the Indians? That is OK with me. A favorite pastime in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where I come from is to poke fun of Indians. The dancing and music was good. The kids, who love Indian music, thought it was great. Some of the dancers (if not all) were Sikhs. That was poignant given what took place in Wisconsin during the Olympics. NBC did not make that connection. They wouldn’t know. They probably thought the turbaned dancers were from Pakistan!

Loved seeing the Rolls Royces. We make some of the most awesome cars in the World (and these days most of them are reasonably reliable and don’t rust that much). I am glad they featured British cars and didn’t insult me by using any German ones. All said, I am delighted. I e-mailed a friend of mine in the U.K., a Catholic priest named ‘Churchill’ (though alas not a relative), about how proud WE should all be. London and the U.K. did good. Demonstrated, once again, that we are still a world power to be contended with — even sans the Empire.

London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The John Lennon Segment Was Inspired. Thank You.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>  London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder — August 14, 2012.
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.



Click image to see YouTube video of the brilliant, inspired John Lennon segment from the London Olympics closing ceremony.

Click image to see YouTube video of the brilliant, inspired John Lennon segment from the London Olympics closing ceremony.


Imagine that!

After screwing up so badly in the Opening Ceremonies with poor Muhammad Ali and the snubbing of the Empire, and then the horrible goof at the start of the Closing Ceremonies with the Winston Churchill faux pas, the London 2012 Olympic organizer got the John Lennon segment just right. Bullseye. A perfect ’10’. Bravo. Read the comments on the (above) YouTube clip. Spot on.

I am so thrilled. So uplifted. So proud. That was a great moment for all of us. Thank you.

The crowd in the stadium knew at once that this was special. The applause was louder, faster and more sustained. It was as if Usain Bolt had set another record.

All that we all wanted to see was real Lennon. No actor. No imitator; like Winston, Lennon is inimitable. To see him at the start on that grainy 1970 video was to capture the true essence of the Beatles and Britain in the 1970s.

The whole segment including the creation of his face was magical. Bravo. The song … immortal. It was John as we knew him and loved him.

I still remember where I was when I heard that he had been shot and had died. I was driving a car, to work, in North London … not that far from where the Olympics were held. I was at an intersection. I was stopped waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic. I had Radio One. The news came on. I was stunned. My legs froze. They say you will always remember where you were when you heard that JFK had been assassinated. Well, I remember that too. We were in Ceylon and my father got a phone call with the news and he said: ‘I am not surprised’. Well, to me it is where I was when I heard Dear John was dead. Yes, I have been to Strawberry Banks in Central Park, NYC to pay my dues. [I have a couple of rare pictures of him here.]


So where was Ringo?

Sir Paul, as is his due, got star billing in the Opening Ceremony. That is how it should be. Here is a YouTube video of that … ‘Hey Jude’.

George, alas, can’t make it. But, Ringo, as far as I know, is still with us and doing fine. So why SNUB him. He may not be a great drummer but he is not a bad guy, and he was a Beatle. I think that it was rude to not have him do something. People still adore him.

But, I will close with one of my favorite Beatles stories. Lennon, in the early 1970s was asked by a music reporter whether he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. Lennon, who could play the drums, as could George, replied, brilliantly: ‘Heck, Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles‘. That is John Lennon. We got to see him and enjoy him at the Closing ceremonies. Thank you.

London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.




As with Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill is one of my all time heroes, one of the undeniable, immortal ‘Greats’. I even named my second Golden after him, ‘Winston’.

When I listen to Winston speak I still get goosebumps. His command of the English leaves me in humbled awe. I have gone on pilgrimage both to his birthplace, the magnificent Blenheim Palace and his burial place in Bladon. Yes, I know that he wasn’t that fond of darkies (like me), but that has never really bothered me. That was a generational thing. Something that he grew up with and as. I don’t think it was personal or vicious. It was a different age. Yes, I know he was not very fond of another of my heroes, Gandhi (and called him some amusing names). But, ‘race’ in Britain is different and, of course, I am very qualified to talk about it having grown up as a non-white in Britain, starting in 1969. I do know this for a fact. If not for dear Churchill I will be writing this blog in German! Period.

The Olympic organizers forgot the most fundamental adage about Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA. He is inimitable.

So to have an actor, Timothy Spall, do a pitiful imitation of him was uncalled for. Unbecoming. Unnecessary. Ditto with the Ali moment. What were they thinking? Yes, I saw “The King’s Speech” — and loved it. That doesn’t mean that he should have played Winston. I feel bad for him. He does NOT sound anything like Winston. He sounds like he has a mouthful of the proverbial British marbles in his mouth. That isn’t how Winston sounds.

You can’t try and imitate Winston. He stands alone and will always stand alone – a lion, a giant, an artist, a writer, a father, a fighter, a man.

Yes, of course, Winston must have uttered lines from Shakespeare. But, to portray him doing the ‘I love this island‘, Caliban’s speech from ‘The Tempest‘ was stupid.

And AGAIN we go back to my theme from the Opening Ceremonies. The need for political correctness. Yes, of course, he can’t offend the Germans.

What we should have had ideally was a 3D hologram of the REAL Winston created from all of the b&w film clips we have of him.

Failing that they should have just projected THE SPEECH onto the large TVs … ‘We shall fight them …’ That to me would have been appropriate. The Olympics is all about fighting.

Or THE FINEST HOUR SPEECH. I love that speech. I go and read it every once in awhile for inspiration.

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”

That would have been appropriate. The London Olympics was a HUGE SUCCESS. Bravo. It wasn’t the Battle of Britain, but it was one of our finest fortnights.

So, let me conclude by letting you actually listen to the inimitable, GREAT MAN, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA.

You really should listen to this speech. It is HISTORY. Not for that we would all be talking German.



London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History —
July 28, 2012.
London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! —
July 29, 2012.


Click for a rendition of Mike Oldfield’s ‘In Dulci Jubilo’


In general I liked the music at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Much of it was from my ‘youth’ growing up in Britain. It was good to see and hear Mike Oldfield. I am sure that like so many I have really not followed Mike since the mid-1970s. The ‘Tubular Bells‘ LP came out in 1973 when I was at University, in Swansea. Music, much more so than now, was a big part of my life. I used to buy lots of LPs and attend any and all concerts I could — my parents, guilty that they had kind of cut me lose and abandoned me in the U.K. since I was 15, while my father pursued his diplomatic career were generous in their stipends.

When ‘In Dulci Jubilo‘ came on it stirred something in me deep inside. I knew the tune. I knew that I liked it. I kind of remembered it was Mike Oldfield. But, I had to go and find it on YouTube.

Anyway, I also found the ENTIRE playlist of all the music they played at the Opening Ceremony. So here it is:

Click image for the complete PLAYLIST from the U.K. ‘The Telegraph’.


At the start of ‘The Telegraph’ is the iconic picture of the Beatles crossing the Zebra Crossing in Abbey Road. The FAMOUS Abbey Road studio where the Beatles and so many others reordered so many of the songs we still know and love was an unprepossessing ‘light green’ house, with a small concrete front garden behind a short wall — just behind George. In the late 70s I started to visit Abbey Road on a regular basis and make a point of crossing the road at that Zebra Crossing. No, I was not going to the studio. I was going to Lord’s. My Holy of Holies in London. In those days, into the 1980s, you could park somewhere on Abbey Road and walk to Lord’s. I noticed that Lord’s is a venue for the 2012 Olympics. I saw some archery from there. I used to spend days at Lord’s.

London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post: London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.



From YouTube. Click to access YouTube video.

Do not get me wrong. I am a HUGE Muhammad Ali fan. I adore the man. I first came to the U.S. in 1967. He, then Cassius Clay, was very much in the news. He was iconic. He was brilliant. As with so many of my age, boxing was synonymous with him. He is one of my very few non-cricketer sporting heroes, Nadal, Ashe, Gareth Edwards, J.P. R. Williams and Jean-Claude Killy probably being the others (I having worn a red cap that said ‘Killy’ on it for nearly 20 years of my skiing life).

I cried when Ali appeared at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to light the flame.

I still cry when I see that clip. To me that was one of the greatest of Olympic moments.

The World should always remember Ali and the Olympics in terms of his historic win in Rome in 1960 and Atlanta in 1996. Period.


Having ‘Muhammad Ali’ appear towards the end of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, to symbolically touch the Olympic flag, was unnecessary, out-of-context, stupid and above all a HUGE DOWNER.

I did NOT recognize Ali. Check the video above.

When I was told it was Ali, I was shocked, depressed and embarrassed.

To make it worse, some NBC ‘twittering-head’ idiot was twerping away about it being the ‘unmistakable Muhammad Ali‘!

That was a HUGE mistake.

That was NOT my Muhammad Ali. To see the wheelchair behind him was sad; my mother too had Parkinson’s but died before she got to that stage of infirmity.

Poor Ali. He had no idea where he was or what he was supposed to be doing.

The 8 august flag carriers looked palpably uncomfortable. One, I think it was the ‘charitable’ lady from Brazil, gave Ali’s arm a squeeze as she left.

What were they thinking?

This was the second embarrassing faux pas of the Ceremony — ignoring the Empire was the other.

I have listened to the Americans rave about the director Danny Boyle. Most know him from Slumdog Millionaire. If you remember that, it had some strange, even gruesome scenes. I bet most of the twits on NBC have never seen Trainspotting, his first movie. That was one heck of a strange and dark movie. To me the Opening Ceremony was like Trainspotting.

From ‘2.bp.blogspot.com’

There was ABSOLUTELY NO need to have Muhammad Ali there. He has no real connection with London, other than getting knocked down there, for the first time in his life, by Henry Cooper.

So was this AN INSIDER JOKE on poor Ali and the Americans? Bring Ali to London, those of us who were there will know that this was his first fall. Boyle sure is capable of cruelty such as that.

This was wrong. I am furious. We as Brits are better than this. Muhammad Ali is and will be one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. He was A MAN.

I really want to forget that stupid moment. Let us remember Muhammad Ali from the glory of 1996.

Click for YouTube video.