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A '90s twist on the classic frog-becomes-Prince tale.
am 20. Juni 1996
Perhaps it's simply coincidence that I've read Dennis Rodman's book at the same time I've read James Stewart's fog-lifting expose on Bill and Hillary Clinton and their business dealings. Thus, some contrasts conveniently come to mind. In "Blood Sport" readers find a politically motivated couple of idealogues constantly seeking to mask who they are by creating an image of mainstream normalcy. In "Bad As I Wanna Be" readers are able to scratch below an outrageous self-made image to find a fairly normal guy inside...and I emphasize "inside." Certainly most men will never dye their hair five different colors; nor do we desire to dress in women's clothes, cover ourselves with tatoos or appear butt naked on the cover of our biography. Yet, there are some chords which Rodman strikes in his book that echo in the hearts of most men. Themes such as rejection, seeking one's identity, looking beyond the surface and temporality of some of our institutions (like the NBA), hard work and a humble realization that good fortune is arbitrary and can turn at any time. Most people have had an opinion of Rodman which bounces from curiosity to hate, more often hate. As one who was raised in Massachusetts, and therefore a big Bird fan, I still remember the racist remarks Rodman made in his rookie year, following the Celtics' defeat of the Pistons. Yet, after reading his frank recollection of what led him to trigger that famous incident (and the fact that he does give Bird his due in the book)I forgive him. Rodman's language is certainly honest, albeit extremely crude at times. Yet, after sifting through the vulgarities, one can't help but saying: "The guy's got a point, there." Having said that, however, there are other times in the book when Rodman's assessment of himself is out of proportion. For example, his belief that people primarily watched the 1995 playoff series between San Antonio and Houston to see him and not a match-up between Hakeem and David Robinson. And certainly we all could have done without hearing about Madonna's foreplay instructions. Yet overall, Rodman comes across in the book as a likeable guy who is seeking to find reality and justice for himself (which I would imagine was one of the goals of writing such a book). After reading books about him and the First Family, I can tell you with whom I'd rather spend an afternoon...and it's not on Pennsylvania Avenue