It goes without saying my insomnia is keeping me up. I got in bed early tonight, because my body is really hurting (mostly from stress...our department meetings today really took a great deal of energy). My wife? Asleep. My son? Asleep. Me...not so much.
However, when I can't sleep, I start watching bad TV. Tonight, I watched Pat Robertson interviewing Sylvester Stallone about Rocky Balboa.
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of the Rocky movies. They are, in some ways, allegories for America and its way of life.
Rocky: The American Dream. Given the opportunity, anyone has the ability to achieve a goal.
Rocky II: Neo-American Dream: Desire and perspiration will win out over ego and flash.
Rocky III: Complaceny: If we become complacent and stop trying to achieve, we will lose our dreams.
Rocky IV: We're better than the Russians (that's very simplistic).
Rocky V: If we forget where we come from and who we are, we are doomed.
Now, this is just my opinion on the matter. However, in watching Sly talking to Robertson, I learned the original Rocky is actually Christian allegory. Yup. I had no clue.
The film starts with a shot of Jesus, then pans to the ressurection, then shows Rocky.
I figured that was an artistic choice, but it's actually to show that Rocky will be a Christian Warrior. A man who begins with nothing and fights for an ideal, not glory. Beyond that, it's not the championship that is important but the idea of family.
Recall the end of the film: He's lost the title, but that's not what he cares about at all. He calls out to Adrian and feels pride in making it into a fight instead of a drubbing.
Each of the films is about needing and asking for help from those around you as well as understanding that family and friends are more important than anything else (though I would argue part IV is more about appealing to a patriotic audience instead of the original crowd).
Stallone went on to explain that the new film is the bookend to the original. Both deal with a man coming to terms with his God.
I just find this fascinating. In the course of my life, I have seen the original Rocky four times, but never had I thought about the God aspect. I really thought the point of the film was the American Dream. A man taking advantage of his chance to better himself.
You, dear reader, may decide to see Rocky Balboa (which is opening tomorrow). Go for it (to use a Rocky term).
I'm going to need to re-watch the original Rocky to see this allegory.