“Soon afterward [Frank Stanford] broke my toe with a downward block against an attempted front snap kick, so I left to develop my own martial art, which was never get in a fight. I had enjoyed tackling a fullback twice my weight in football practice, and in basketball was never afraid to take a charge or drive hard into a moving defender, so it wasn’t that. It’s just that intelligence was far more effective than a mastery of empty-handed combat. Adherence to a few simple principles will improve your odds enormously: Don’t frequent bars full of angry drunks, for example. Resist the urge to make fools of the bellicose. (After all, they do a fine job of it all by themselves.) Why attempt to cultivate, through machismo, the admiration of those whose opinion you do not otherwise respect?”

—Jack Butler, “Southern Baptist Zen,” Mississippi Quarterly (Winter/Spring 2010)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation,, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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One Response to Commonplace

  1. Lenore says:

    Walter: It’s not the Seventh Babe, but it is the one and only Joe DiMaggio. Jerome Charyn has a new non-fiction study of his boyhood hero, Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil, just out (Yale University Press, March 8, 2011.) Come visit Joe on our new Facebook page and send me your address for a book. – Lenore Riegel

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