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.
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.