April 10, 1992

Beauty and the Beast

When Little Red Riding Hood arrived, he pretended he was her grandmother and invited her to get into bed with him. She did so, and noticed many peculiar things about his appearance which made her wonder if it was really an old lady. He first tried to reassure her, and then ate her up (apparently without chewing her). A hunter came and rescued her by cutting the wolf open....

Eric Berne, c.1969

Mike Tyson is a crude uncouth brute who has earned a very opulent livelihood by beating other men to a pulp. The aim of his profession is to produce brain hemorrhage in his opponents, an art which he has developed to perfection. When he is not beating people up, he enjoys inseminating as many beautiful women as he can.

Desiree Washington also uses her body. At the age of 18, she has learned to exploit her physical endowments. She does not use her body, as does Tyson; she exhibits it.

She has decked the champ to the extent that he has been sentenced to 6 years in prison. This is not the first time that he has been kayoed by a beautiful woman. One might say that Tyson is a sucker for a particular type of beauty combined with a particular type of character.

Am I saying that Tyson was victimized by Washington? Of course not. It was a two-handed game as surely as tennis or boxing or wrestling is a two-handed game. Neither am I implying that Tyson didn't deserve what he got. He walked into it as surely as a prize fighter walks into a right cross. In short, the champion in the ring is an amateur at the game that Desiree Washington is a budding professional at. Tyson was decked, kayoed, flattened! His great mistake was that he insisted on playing a game that he didn't understand, wasn't very good at and at which he repeatedly loses. Pete Rose would be in the Baseball Hall of Fame if he hadn't insisted on playing a game that he wasn't very good at and, like Tyson, was a repeat looser. The competent professionals win at games and the patsies loose.

The game that Tyson and Washington played, while two-handed, had other contributing players. There was the prosecutor, a woman who, I presume, vicariously enjoys the game; the defense attorneys who may not enjoy that particular game, but certainly enjoy the immense financial rewards that accrue to people who serve millionaires; and lastly the judge, who gets her jollies out of putting naughty boys in their place; which is jail. The trial had the earmarks of a skirmish in the war between men and women.

Tyson's lawyers made their case on the basis that Tyson had a large sign on the front and back of his sweat shirt that said I am a man who wants a woman for only one purpose --sex. They implied that any woman with half a brain would stay away from him if she didn't want to do what Tyson was interested in. Washington, on the other hand, made her case based on her age: at 18 years of age, how could she know that he was a brute who would do unmentionable things to her? Apparently both the jury and the judge believed her. I did not. The particular game that she played is learned at a much earlier age than 18. By age 18, a woman who likes that particular game, which Eric Berne called third degree RAPO (pronounced rape-oh) has had lots of practice.

Was justice served? Would the outcome have been different if any of the characters in the play had been different? Would it have been different if Desiree Washington had been 35 years old? How about if Mike Tyson was as charming as Magic Johnson? Suppose that the judge had been Judge Wapner instead of the woman who judged the case? What if Tyson's lawyer had been the one who defended Dan White after he had murdered two people? What if this had not happened so soon after the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas fiasco?

I doubt that the four year sentence will stick. Millionaires just don't spend much time in prison. I have heard that Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz will handle the appeal. I suspect that he he will get much more than his annual Harvard salary for this one. You can be sure that, by the time Tyson is either sprung or not, the lawyers will have used up a goodly part of his millions. It's fairly common for a boxer to be used by a number of leaches and assorted vermin who cash in on his physical talents, and relative lack of mental ones.

In a way, I feel sort-of sorry for Tyson; just as I feel sorry for any animal that has been caught in a trap. True, I feel sorrier for a small animal than I do for a large one, and Tyson is as big as they come. I find a certain primitive charm in his remarks. With Tyson, what you sees is what you gets. After Clarence Thomas's evasions, I find Mike Tyson's candor refreshing.

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