Kindle Singles has a smart, provocative new interview with Iron Mike Tyson. It was conducted by the most-talented Brin-Jonathan Butler. For just a buck it's more than worth it.
BJB: You watch BREAKING BAD? You enjoy that show?
MT: My wife loves it. I caught the tale end of it.
BJB: You watch THE WIRE?
MT: (Laughs.) I loved THE WIRE. I know the real THE WIRE people. I know the real guys!
BJB: When I was thinking about you intimidating people in relation to your history I thought about those two shows. Those two shows have a fundamental difference between them. BREAKING BAD is about choosing to become bad. THE WIRE is about human beings falling victim to their circumstances. The two shows pick one side of that whole nature versus nurture argument. So I wondered in your case, if you deconstructed the guy you created, which one are you?
BJB: (Laughs.) Not that I'm saying you're bad!
MT: No. Please. Don't be that way. Say that again, that's pretty interesting.
BJB: BREAKING BAD is about having a free choice about how you want to behave and who you want to become. THE WIRE is really about people who can't escape being the people they are. Their history dictates their future.
MT: I want to be good if I'm not a victim. By being good you become vulnerable sometimes. But then again, I don't want to be baaaad. Because I'm real good at being baaaad. I'm really, really good at it. So in this world you have to be balanced. When Machiavelli asked whether or not you want to be feared or you want to be loved? Being loved has it's own difficult circumstances. You can only be loved for a certain period of time before things change. Money changes everything with love and perverts love. Some things are self-inflicted. Selfishness supersedes love in some circumstances. Think of the people that we do bad things to that we love? We say we love these people. We tell them we love them. But still we harm them. It's harder to do really bad things when we know a really fierce repercussion is coming back. Very rarely do we cross those people. There's people in all our families that we don't mess with. There are people out there we know we can't violate. So you just have to know pretty much your slot and our boundaries in life. Some people do want to be bad when it's advantageous to them.
[Painting by Anja Fu]