Tuesday, December 19, 2006

God's Boxer

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.


dennis said...

What makes me want to watch the movie is that there are no special effects and apparently it plays hard to being a real man, not what society has demmend men to be as of late. No Metros here!

Arthur Willoughby said...

Everything is a religious allegory. Here it's a Christian one because we were heretofore a largely Christian nation. In Iran it's a Muslim allegory. In the mountaintop kingdom of the little-known Tuwok Tikun tribe of New Zealand, it's a "god of thunderous forked light from the sky" allegory.

You can find an allegory in anything. This comment is an allegory. The first paragraph represents varying stripes of people seeking meaning in life. This paragraph points out the problem. The final paragraph will provide the solution; a "saviour" if you will to unite people in an uncertain world.

The answer, of course...the Messianic figure...resides at www.mynameiswilliamsmythe.blogspot.com.

Look upon my works ye mighty and despair!

P.S. Rocky sucks.

Anonymous said...

After reading all of the blog entries here, I have come to the conclusion that I am very happy to have graduated when I did, so as not to be plagued by this man. I had the sad experience of having him as a substitute in my senior year at the high school, and I did not care for him then, and after reading all of this, I careless for the man. It is my opinion that anybody who is so self-righteous and quick to quick to condemn, seems to be more of a high school student then that of a man who has earned a college degree, let alone a man that has a wife and boy child. In conclusion I can only say this: Life is hard, morons make it harder, however, for someone to be constantly boo-hooing about it does not seem fair, because there are so many destitute people in the world who suffer far more and cry out far less. Obviously, you are entitled to wail about anything you want; however, I feel that you should get off the cross because someone else needs the wood. And this is why America's school system is the way it is, teachers trying to befriend students rather than being "un-cool" and being an authority figure. You sir are a moron, and we have to live far more difficult lives because of you. WOW am I glad I graduated before you became a teacher!

Leab said...

Let's respond to a few things you've written here, Anon.
1. I'm glad you graduated, but you obviously have not learned to proofread.
2. "Trying to befriend," you say? Nope. Not trying to be cool, nor did I or even still try to be "friends." There's a difference between being a sub and being the main teacher. Most students, including you, won't take a sub seriously. If you say you do, you're lying.
3. If you're SO unhappy with me, then why come here and read the entries?
4. I'm self-righteous? You just pulled the old "people like you" line. Sorry Pot, you're calling the Kettle black.
Bottom line: Get over it. This is how I view the world. I'm not a victim. If that's what you get, you're misinterpreting the material.
Am I better than everyone? Nope, and I'm forward about that.
If you don't like it, click away.

Arthur Willoughby said...

Leab, save your breath for cooling your soup.

Folks like anon should be ignored first and foremost because they're anonymous. I mean, you don't have to provide a Social Security number or anything, but if you can't brainstorm for 30 seconds and come up with a screen name, go away.

And it's always the brave, anonymous folks who chime in with poorly-spelled, vitriolic and LENGTHY comments. They don't have enough creativity in their skulls to form an original thought, but boy oh boy they're never at a loss when it comes to dissecting what others have written.

It's the holidays, anon. Whatever faith you ascribe to, enjoy the traditions that make the season special and get over your bitterness. If you are without faith, go volunteer somewhere, perhaps at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, and try to wrap your mind around the horror that charactizes the existence of others and see if you can't appreciate for a moment your gift of life.

Namaste, bee-yotches. Peace, grout.

Josh The Quaker said...

I just thought Rocky was about a dude who liked to punch meat...and run a lot...and eat raw eggs.



JP said...

Whoever Anon is they are so getting on my nerves because they obviously have no idea how great a teacher Leab really is.

Yes granted you had him as a sub for a class, well I had him for a whole semester my senior year. I learned more then I ever thought possible with the stuff he had us do. I mean granted he was a really new teacher he got me to understand my strengths and weaknesses in my writing. Being in college now I greatly appreciate what he did because I would not be doing as well elsewise.

Leab your doing a great job with your students this year I'm sure so keep it up. By the way is my poster still up in room 217 I think?

How's Little Leab and the wife doing?

Liar_Liar said...

60 year old italians win the heavy weight belt daily.

its real i tell ya