Monday, February 11, 2013


I've known two men who worked with / for James Brown, one of the biggest personalities in the Land of Badass. One remembers Mr. Brown (and by God, you better call him Mr. Brown if you wanted to live) asking him to open the window of an office on the 18th floor and throwing his sorry self out the window. The other managed JB. Both were changed men for the experience of being around a guy who liked to sprinkle a little cocaine on his Kools before lighting up.

(That, of course, was only a last resort, when PCP was hard to find. And then he'd go on TV. If that isn't a badass, I don't know what is.)

The world is littered with people who've earned their BA degree. Recent posts have explored this curious state of mind. I hasten to add that the use of substances, both licit and illicit, is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the BA Club; just today a sane and sober colleague earned his way into the hallowed halls of higher learning by asking pointed questions of people in power, and airing the result. Way to go, Jonah Kaplan. That's being a badass. Get down with your bad self.

I'm earning my terminal degree in badassery the hard way these days — by not putting up with shit I once swallowed without question. It's hard to do, sure. But the alternative is fatal. I am confident of only a few things in life, and one of them is my ability to be a great, aggressive reporter, unwilling to back down from difficult situations. I applied that lesson to my personal life, right after the stroke. I'm applying it now to stay strong as I tackle and master a major life's change.

Easy? Hardly. Fun? My ass. Necessary, so I can get back to being the badass who attracted the attention and affection of misfits? Damned right it's necessary.


Gay said... it possible for a woman to be a badass? Or is this a guy thing?

Anonymous said...

I hope you're counting Lou Whitney among those you know who worked for Mr Brown. - JF

RON DAVIS said...

Absolutely not, Gay. The natural-born badass I wrote about earlier is a woman. It''s easier for women to be badasses; they have to put up with more shit than men.