Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I Love Rocky (Embracing Desperation Part Two)

Sylvester Stallone's film Rocky is an American classic, and I must profess my admiration of the title character, Rocky.

Rocky is a boxer down on his luck, who comes out of nowhere to make an appearance in a title bout with champion Apollo Creed.

Americans have long embraced the underdog, but that is not the only reason I identify with Rocky.

Rocky is a somewhat stereotypical boxing/sports flick, but Rocky the character has great lines.

"Why are you a fighter?" "Because I can't sing or dance."

So many of us are terribly repressed and insecure. So many of us are moody and lack confidence. So many of us are too withdrawn and shy and think we've got nothing to say to anyone.

I have a lyric for everything. I think music is a proxy for the irritation of being alone with my own personality. My life feels like a Jackson Pollack painting. I'm just pouring everything out and letting everyone else say what it means, and I'm not really sure that it even means anything at all.

I emphatically agree with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that "fear is the lock and laughter the key" to the heart. I really do believe that.

There are so many people that are paralyzed by fear. Am I one of them?

There are so many people that wish not to be alone.

That's what Rocky wishes.

I love what he says to Adrian:

"I always knew you were beautiful."

That's how I feel - about everything, about the absurdity and uncertainty of my life and my existence, and my pursuit and perseverance not only of it, but in it.

Why do I persevere? To prove I'm no chump, just like Rocky. Rocky's not paralyzed by fear, even though he's terribly insecure. He just keeps on fighting.

"When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don't you want somebody to love? Don't you need to somebody to love? Wouldn't you love somebody to love? You better find somebody to love."

Great Jefferson Airplane lyrics, there.

Fear and lust, there they are again. I wrote about those two things on this blog many months ago, and still those two specters pop up yet once again in my thoughts. Is this all there is to existence? Embracing desperation, indeed.

And that's what Rocky does. And that is why I love him.

He embraces desperation. He has no chance with Adrian, no chance against Apollo Creed, no way to make it in this world -- and what does he do?

He's desperate, so he keeps going anyway. I love Rocky.

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