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Should boxing be banned?

Yes, I think so. I may be prejudiced as a former wrestler, but it strikes me that damaging one's opponent is far too much an intrinsic property of boxing. There is indeed a purity to unarmed, hand-to-hand, struggle between two unarmed human beings with no ball, no team, few pads, and no objective other than subduing one's opponent. There is a kind of grace and beauty to boxing's movements. There is sublimity in its power. But there is also--intrinsically--violence. Too much of it, I think. I say other sports (like wrestling) possess boxing's virtues without its vices, or anyway far less of its vices.

Why are performance-enhancing drugs seen negatively for athletes, but no problem for musicians? Why do we worship The Beatles (big-time drug takers and their creativity amplified substantially through drug use) and attack Ben Johnson?

I think this is a fascinating question, one which will probably bounce around in my mind for a while. I can well imagine music companies, for example, writing recording contracts only for musicians who pass drug tests. But I do think there are a couple of relevant differences between musicians and athletes concerning performance enhancing drugs. (1) The nature of the competition in music is not as exclusive. And (2) the extent to which drugs enhance rather than undermine performance is clearer in sports than in music. You see in a running race or playing a match, there can be only one winner. The victory of one implies the defeat of another. In music, by contrast, many musicians can be successful, and it's not clear that the success of one prevents the success of others. Many records can go gold. Now, I'll grant you, in music sometimes success is exclusive. Only one person can be first violin of the New York Philharmonic. Only one performer can win the Grammy in a given year. It's in cases like...