Heroes, Comebacks, & Underdogs

Obiwan

And I’m not talking about the show, the movie, or the cartoon.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the advice I’ve received recently. Between conversations with old friends on AIM (no, you can’t have my screenname), comments and advice from My Conscience, EngRep, Fuxito, and Busta Crack The English Smacka,  as well as comments from my friends on my personal Mi Espacio blog–I’m slowly but surely stirring towards…something.

Something’s building up and it feels good and it feels positive. I just hope it sticks around.

Anyway, I was watching Rocky Balboa today and, once again, I got all misty-eyed at the ending, and it got me to pondering.

Enjoy.

As we all get older, real life tends to creep into every single facet. Little things that used to amaze and astound us when we were younger become routine, mundane, and maybe a little irritating. Thoughts like being a superhero fade to the back while thoughts of being a Baller, Shotcaller, Brawler take over. Thoughts like wanting to get into a Goonies-esque adventure get replaced by just wanting to be a Goon. Thoughts of wanting to get into wacky shenanigans and crazy road tripping events get beaten into submission by work the next morning, or not having the money to take off because Rent is due.

So, it’s in that vein that I happily wait for inspiration to come. It’s never really big inspiration like hitchhiking to the Pacific, or backpacking through Europe, or jumping on stage on Open Mic Night and taking a chance. With the weight of the world on my mind, sometimes inspiration helps me get from a sad moment to a happy moment. It gets me amped to breathe fresh air and go out and live–even if it’s just over half-priced Appetizers. Even if it’s just daydreaming out loud to a good friend.

Still tho’, there are times when the well of inspiration is filled up to the point where you go out and actually Dooooo something. There are times when hope and inspiration help us to see past the Fuckery and Fakery (f’n’f?) of the world and believe that there could still be an adventure, a wacky scheme, or–best of all–time to truly live.

Movies and Music are my main forms of inspiration, and here are some of the films and artists that have inspired me.

The Hero- John McClaine, Live Free or Die Hard.
When I heard they were making another Die Hard movie I was nervous. I didn’t think it’d really be that good. I thought that, with Transformers right around the corner, LFODH would be the clunker film this summer. However, 10 minutes into the movie I was having a blast and shortly after that I was young again watching Bruce Willis kick ass and crack jokes. His speech about being “That guy…” hit home, and really solidified a terriffic movie experience.

The Underdog- Kanye West, Graduation.
Despite his success with The College Dropout and Late Registration, Mr. West was still looked at as the underdog prior to the release of his 3rd album, Graduation.  People wondered if he could pull off another classic (or near-classic depending on who you talk to). People wondered if he could compete with 50 Cent in an increasingly, equally stupid and cynical Hip-Hop world. If there was a time for Mr. West to fall off, it was now. 900k+ first week sales as well as near-universal praise for this album from fans and critics alike have given Kanye Omari West another victory.

The Comeback- Jay-Z, American Gangster.
After the average Kingdom Come album, Shawn Corey Carter was on the rocks. (no pun intended for a change). People were saying Jay-Z was washed up. He had lost his golden touch and, coupled with the (unfair) gripes from the Def Jam artists, it looked like Hova was ova. (sorry, I had to). Then, about 6 weeks ago, Jay came back with “Blue Magic”, an inventive single filled with slick metaphors and punchlines as well as solid, storytelling lyrics. That’s right, a concept single. About 3 weeks ago the American Gangster album leaked and, aside from a few beyond-help haters, the album has been praised critically. I enjoyed the album as well, and it was awesome to hear Jay back at the top of his game–which pretty much makes him the top of Rap as a whole. Lyrics, beats, concepts, delivery…the whole thing was incredible, and honestly, if that album came out last year instead of Kingdom Come, ya’ll would’ve gone flippy dippy.

The Comeback #2- Rocky Balboa.
First off, forget Rocky 5 happened. Just erase it from your minds. I liked it, but I know people look at that movie like it’s someone slapping their grandmother. Anyway, Sly Stallone manages to give us the “Whatever happened to…” treatment while reintroducing familiar characters with respect and dignity. Plus, it’s f’n Rocky. His simple (as in uncomplicated, not as in “Lenny” from Of Mice and Men simple) charm and sense of humor is just endearing. His heart and genuine-ness (is that a word? somebody holla at me about that) carry the film. You can’t help but get amped when the training montage happens, and if you’re not legitimately pumped [||] for the big boxing match at the end, you seriously need to never read my blog again.

***

There is something about the Hero, The Underdog, and The Comeback that inspires us all. It stirs up something good, and decent, and natural inside every one of us. It’s a nice escape, but it’s also more than that.

It’s seeing the good guy win in a world where the bad guys win more than their fair share. It’s seeing someone do the right thing when it’s not safe, when it’s not easy, and when it’s not popular.

It’s seeing someone follow their dream and not lose sight of the values and responsibilites that all good people have. It’s about taking one last chance, one last shot–not for glory or immortality–but for their own self-respect, and because it’s the right thing to do.

***

Call Reynolds, Cuz it’s a Wrap

Yep, it’s been a revelatory few days for me, both personally and professionally. Advice is sticking better than it has in a long time, and I just hope and pray that I’m able to ride this wave of inspiration and revelation all the way to something significant.

Thanks for checking in. I’ll probably have a lyrics post on Sunday unless something awesome comes along tonite or tomorrow nite.

Have a great weekend, my loyal readers.

–RTH

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16 Responses to “Heroes, Comebacks, & Underdogs”

  1. green eyes Says:

    i think die hard was my favorite movie of 07

    are we supposed to call ag a comeback?

  2. reythehussein Says:

    Die Hard and Transformers go neck and neck [||] for me. My favorite movie of 2007 was the edit of my friend Ziggy’s wedding video done by my brother…

    …but that’s neither here, nor there.

    Umm.. AG was definitely a comeback. Hov was rusty on KC–weak hooks, pedestrian flow.. I’m sure he’d admit the same.

    Thanks for checking in, Greenita!

  3. Busta Nut Says:

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Rey i’ve been out the comment game for a hot minute because i dropped a beer on my laptop and had to get a new keyboard… The last post was classic i dont give a fuck what anyone thinks real talk..(lacking in this day and age) perfect… I had my friend up last night who is 3 years younger than me up with news of his new born,dam that made me feel old.. thats tough considering my home town(Dundee has the highest underage pregnacy rate in Europe)… I had a good long drunken chat with the old man tnight(nothing better) about life and shit and he set me straight… In your last post you asked for advice about how you were feeling, in my humble opinion there is nothing better than sitting down with the old boy and a few beers and hearing his views on whats going with yourself… Remember he has seen it all before… So my advice Rey would be pick up a create of miller tell the old boy you need to talk and just sit and get drunk with the guy, nothing better to clear the head….Any way big dawg time to sllep Scotland have a date with destiny tomorrow as they take on Italy in a do or die football game tomorrow…Peace..

  4. Busta Nut Says:

    Good post i just read it….First thing Rey i dont feel Late Resi… i found it average compared to the collage dropout, in fact i dont think he has topped that album yet..Rockey i love, i’m a sucker for a sports movie and getting amped over it(fuck a no hommo) but the new rockey was disgusting B….

    And Jay Z in my humble opinion is more over rated than 2pac, i aint heard anything i like from Jay Z since Big Dady Kane’s Show & Prove….

  5. Busta Nut Says:

    ^^^^^^

    The truth

  6. State of Grace Says:

    Transformers was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I love awesomely bad movies though, and so I was howling with laughter the entire time (except at the actual jokes in the script, those were terrible). My friend who was with me was so depressed by it he would have lost faith in God were he not already an atheist. I almost want to rent it again and watch it scene by scene and write about it, since there’s so much hilarity all through it. A personal favourite: a secret government agency that the Secretary of Defense doesn’t know about but the bumbling, Bush-evoking President does. Everything about the movie made Independence Day’s hacking into alien computers using a Mac laptop seem completely sensible. In the movie Idiocracy, the top movie of 2505 is called Ass, and features a naked, farting ass for 90 minutes. Transformers could almost be called the prequel. Die Hard was cool though, and I guess I don’t need to see Rocky Balbao since you posted the ending already. Oh well, any movie where Rocky doesn’t fight Mr. T/singlehandedly defeat communism isn’t worth my time.

  7. reythehussein Says:

    @ Busta Cracka The English Smacka– First off, GO SCOTLAND! Thanks to you, I’m gonna support them against the Italians. 2nd, My pops is indeed a wise man.. He knows me better than I think most of the time. I might pick his brain, he’s very supportive. 3rd, I love that quote. I was informed that Nelson Mandela said it originally, but I thank you for bringing it to my attention. Funny part is that I was trying to think of it the other day when trying to make a point. It’s spot on, tho’. I’ve always been that guy..the one that gathers people together and the guy that helps people to be themselves and love themselves (none) and have some fun. I need to get back to that, because I enjoy being that kinda light–and I enjoy being able to just cut loose and have fun like that. 4th- You seem like a solid dude, and I’m sure you have great things ahead of you. 5th- I hear you on that ‘Ye, I just happen to think all 3 of his albums are equally good, just with 3 different styles. 6th- I loved the latest Rocky movie. 7th- I used to think the same about Jay until I really started paying attention. To each his own, tho’. 8th– That Em/X-Z track is dope. That whole Xzibit album was pretty good. X-Z killed a bunch of tracks from 1999-2001. Cheers, Busta. I’ll toast to you and Scotland tomorrow nite at the bar. Peace, mate.

    @ S of G– I loved ID4 and Transformers. If I wanted to watch movies that were like real life I’d have even more problems than I already do. Check your brain at the door next time, amigo. *points to title of blog* –Glad you liked Die Hard tho’, there might be hope for you yet. –As for Rocky Balboa, the whole movie is good, but the end is awesome. lol @ the Mr. T and Communism.

    Thanks to both for checking in.

  8. Renegade Says:

    a secret government agency that the Secretary of Defense doesn’t know about but the bumbling, Bush-evoking President does.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Thats your problem, the fact that you went to watch a popcorn action flick expecting something remotely intellectual. The whole Transformers movie is a visual fest meant to entertain an open mind. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s full of action sequences and CGI.

    You found the above part of the movie about the Sec of Def. not knowing about the agency surprising and unrealistic huh? Baffles me that you don’t mention the giant flying robots, camaros that transform into 30 feet tall yellow robots, and a giant cube falling from space.

    lol, I mean no disrespect or nothing, but if your are going to nitpick on such small things being far fetched and inbelievable then I have no idea hoe you managed to sit down and watch giant robots talk for almost 2 hours.

  9. Renegade Says:

    *unbelievable*

  10. Renegade Says:

    Everything about the movie made Independence Day’s hacking into alien computers using a Mac laptop seem completely sensible.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    ID4 is another mindless action flick, they are basically on the same plain, marketed with the same intent. I don’t understand how you can place one above the other in terms of believability. Aliens with dreadlocks invading earth or giant talking robots.. Flip a coin, they both have equally gaping plot holes. Roll a joint, white paper, and watch these movies without regarding them as documentaries and oscar contenders. They are just movies, enjoying them or not is anyones opinion. But judging them on the premisis that the storyline was unrealistic is is not realistic itself. Die Hard was good too. Peace. 1

  11. reythehussein Says:

    Daaaaannnng.

    *microphone drops down from ceiling*

    “Winner by unanimous decison: RENEGADE!”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Renny. Thanks for checking in.

  12. State of Grace Says:

    I think I was misunderstood, so let me be crystal: I LOVED Transformers, I thought it was HILARIOUS. I know it was ridiculous, I got retarded high in my car before going in. I loved the plotholes, the 2-dimensional characters, the nonsensical action, the Michael Bay-ness of it all. The secret gov’t agency was a particular favourite of mine since I’m a political geek. I never said I wanted these movies to be realistic, but I would like them to be something other than blatant slaps to the face of my intelligence. Since it wasn’t and instead was a 2 hour GM/Mountain Dew commercial, I had to laugh at the whole thing. I was laughing through the entire movie, even though most of the audience only laughed at the “jokes”. I know the shit isn’t going to win Oscars, it’s a Michael Bay movie, Jesus. I repeat: I LOVE AWESOMELY BAD MOVIES. You’re talking to a dude who OWNS (on VHS no less since it’s not on DVD) Cool As Ice. Yeah, the Vanilla Ice as James fucking Dean movie. COME ON! (c) Gob from Arrested Development

  13. reythehussein Says:

    Dude… “Cool as Ice”? Sad thing is, I saw it and I liked it.

    I hear what you’re saying.. I’m just less cynical with movies. I’m more cynical with the new relationships of friends of mine.

  14. State of Grace Says:

    Keep in mind I came out of Transformers not cynical, but in awe of the spectacle I had just witnessed. One of my friends, however, looked like he lost faith in all of humanity, which only amused me more. And Cool As Ice? You love that shit. It’s impossible not to. It’s this amazing, fantastical mystery world where Vanilla Ice has black friends he didn’t have to pay and is a bad-ass with a heart of gold and occaisonally shorts of pinstripe. Plus, it bestowed on the rest of mankind, who struggle with women where Ice constantly succeeds, a sure-fire never fail guaranteed line to make girls ditch their boyfriends for you: “Drop the zero and get with the hero.”

    I only pray no girls read these comments as the mere mention will drench even the most staunchly chaste girl’s panties to the point of unwearability, assuming for naught that somewhere I sit, desiring their company when it very well may not be the case.

  15. reythehussein Says:

    LMAO @ alllll that.

    Don’t forget the tag line: “How do you melt a girl’s heart of stone? Just use Ice.” Or some such.

    I even remember the review in my local paper: Something about being smart enough to limit Vanilla Ice’s lines to “Whassup?” or, when they wanted to get deep, “Whassup witchoo?”.

    You class my site up, S of G.

    *daps*

  16. Megan Fox Says:

    I’m looking forward to Transformers 2. Megan had no real meaty scenes in How to lose friends and alienate people. And in Transformers she was pretty much mute.

    Shes also up for the role of Leila in Jonah Hex with Josh Brolin.
    She would be a perfect Wonder Woman thought! 🙂

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