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Norman Borlaug - Badass of the Month - September 2009Pop Quiz: Name the most noteworthy accomplishment of the man in the picture to the left. Come on now, don't cheat by looking him up on Google. If you know what this man did then you've earned yourself 1,000 Awesome Points. If you don't, don't worry: almost nobody else does either.
And that's a crying goddamn shame because he is the greatest human being ever to walk the face of the planet. No hyperbole, no exaggeration, no artistic license whatsoever applied to that statement: in the realm of people who could ever be considered "Badasses", our recipient this month managed to eclipse them all up to this point in history.
On some level, everyone who trains a Martial Art would like to have used their skills to protect someone, or save a life. Extrapolating from Heinlein, who wrote that the concept of morality was based upon actions which contribute to survival and/or preserve life, this man's accomplishments serve as the supreme example of what constitutes the highest level of moral behavior. So those in our audience who have achieved this level of moral action, and even those who aspire to do so (the selfless acts of using one's skills and strength to protect loved ones, friends, or even ideals), should be capable of fully grasping the significance of this man's accomplishments.
And now it's time to lay our cards on the table for those of you who aren't aware of Norman Borlaug (or didn't run to look him up for our initial "quiz"). Despite the picture we've included of him as a young wrestler, this man was not a Martial Artist. This man did not achieve his status as a "Badass", much less as the greatest human being who ever lived through his fighting skill or prowess, as one might assume based on past awardees in this section.
The battle Norman Borlaug fought, and won, was over hunger and starvation. You see, what qualifies him for any and all accolades he could ever receive, is the simple fact that Mr. Borlaug was directly responsible for saving over 1 Billion lives.
Yes, that's "Billion" with a "B".
Let's have this explained by Penn and Teller:
YouTube - Dr. Norman Borlaug
Norman died this past Saturday night, at the age of 95. Unfortunately, in the light of recent 'celebrity' deaths, his death went largely unheralded. And that's a goddamn shame. He didn't seek out fame or fortune for his efforts during his life. But we'll be damned if we don't do our part to let everyone know about this man and what he's done for the human race.
And hopefully, you will too.
Because it's a sad statement that almost nobody will remember his name unless we do.