Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'm a Doer! Arnold Schwarzenegger

This past Tuesday, 7.30, marked the 66th year of the King of Kings, our Lord of Lords, mister Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The Austrian Oak means many things to many different people.  To bodybuilding, he's the all time champion, spokesman and arguably the individual most responsible for bringing muscles into the mainstream.  For movie buffs, he's the sword swinging Conan of Cimmeria, the time traveling Terminator, Predator hunting Dutch and Batman's coolest foe, Mister Freeze (Chill!).  Some women find him attractive, others, probably not so much.

By sheer force of will power and self belief, Ah-nuld went from immigrant bodybuilder to movie star to governor, back to movies and then started his own Institute at the University of Southern California to promote post partisanship policies over party lines.  All on only 6 hours of sleep a night allegedly.  A well rounded sense of self is well documented from the business classes and investments that made him a millionaire in his 20's, a lack of professional ego confirmed by directors like James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven, a self deprecating sense of humor that make audiences love and quote him and finally his massive contributions and involvement with charities like The Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

While it's easy to take pot shots at Arnold's life, career and questionable behavior, one thing always remains; Arnold is a doer.  Win bodybuilding's highest title 7 times?  Check.  Get paid $25 million per film?  Check.  Became governor of California with no political experience?  Check.  He even silenced the internet cesspool of insults, Reddit, with a recent post about fitness.  But success will always breed detractors and Schwarzenegger is an easy target for today's entitled, instant gratification seeking masses.

Somehow, the "bullets" fly right by.  Had a child with the nanny?  He's providing for them.  Book didn't sell well?  People still lined up for hours to get theirs signed.  Comeback movie tanked at the box office?  I liked it and quite enjoyed it.  This is what makes Arnold one of a kind, he doesn't dwell on the negative, he simply moves on and doesn't waste his energy on what he can't control.  That's a far cry from today's technology suppressed society that complains over Twitter instead of in person or the media that feeds despair instead of offering hope.

Someone said to me the other day it would be great if we could clone Arnold and get more action movies.  I think we can all agree that Jason Momoa didn't quite deliver as Conan the way Arnie did.  On a deeper level, having more guys like Arnold around is important because they're the world changers; driven to a fault, presenting the best and worst of us while still trying to leave the world in better shape than when we came into it.

Happy birthday, Arnold.  Smoke a stogie and continue to conquer.

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