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ADONAI On February - 10 - 2011

I know what you’re thinking, “What’s a Rocky III?”.  I would ask that those people stop  reading this post immediately as you are too young to matter to me.  Rocky III is the second sequel to the popular Oscar wining boxing movie featuring the lovable Sylvester Stallone.

In Rocky III we find Rocky a few years after his championship win over rival turned friend Apollo Creed.  He has successfully defended hit title in a succession of matches laid out in typical 80’s montage form. Having accomplished all he can, Rocky’s wife , Adrian , persuades him to retire. He is honored at a huge ceremony as the great champion he was. Even receiving his own statue.  In the midst of the celebration, he  is confronted by up and coming fighter Clubber Lang, portrayed by the equally lovable Mr. T.

Clubber claims Rocky has been ducking him during his title run because he is afraid to face  a real challenge. After much arguing and Clubber making advances on Adrian, Rocky excepts the match. Micky, Rocky’s  trainer, farther figure, and closest friend is none too pleased with the decision. He reveals to Rocky that he was not really fighting everyone available. His fights weren’t fixed, but he didn’t face a real challenge in any of them. Nothing like Clubber Lang. “He’ll  kill you to death”, Micky tells him.

Rocky is floored. He accepts Mick’s explanation and begs him to manage him for one more fight.  Against Clubber.  Micky accepts but Rocky does not heed his advice while training. He figures the same old routine will be more than enough to defeat Clubber. He is sorely mistaken. Clubber destroys Rocky inside of 2 rounds and the stress of the fight pushes a frail Micky over the edge and he passes on. Rocky is crestfallen. His spirit broken.

Now, how does this mean anything to us? Well, Rocky is a lot like America in this movie. He has spent a long time resting on his laurels. Listening to the yes men and basking in the adulation of being number one. Forgetting what made him great. Ignoring the people who always had his best interests at heart. Clubber Lang represents the emerging 3rd world combined with the intimidating presence of imperialist China. A more than competent challenge to America’s “championship”.

Rocky’s hesitance to accept faults or work on internal struggles represents America’s financial meltdown as we failed to hold ourselves accountable.  All these factors have combined to knock us out. We beat ourselves before the match ever began.  But there is a second chapter. The re-match.

This is the part of most interest. When Rocky seeks the help of foe turned friend, Apollo Creed. Apollo, with help from Adrian, forces Rocky to deal with his own faults. Face his fears and resolve to be better. There is  a moment on the beach when Rocky admits he is afraid that he can’t win. that he can’t do it anymore.  Adrian tells him he shouldn’t be afraid to lose. The people who love him still will. But no one, especially himself, could accept it if it wasn’t his full effort.  If he didn’t try. So Rocky doubles his efforts. Becomes the fighter he needs to be to defeat Clubber and does just that.

This is what America needs to do. Admit that we are just scared. Not of the challenge but of failure. Of losing face. But hiding away, running from the challenge is worse. You could live in comfort for the rest of your days but it would always eat away at you that you didn’t try. That yo didn’t take that one chance.  America needs to roll the dice. To look at all the things we said we could never do and just do them.

We have been knocked down but we are not out of it yet. We can rise to the occasion. Take back the top spot. But we have to put int he effort. A renewed effort. The old ways just aren’t going to get it done. But we can do it. I know we can. Rocky is a quintessential American story.  It is what makes America great. Someone getting  a chance and cashing it in beyond imagination. Come on America. We have a chance. Right now. Seize it.

And that concludes my vague post/pep talk on the lessons of Rocky III.  If it is any consolation, I also have no idea what just happened.

Categories: Film, News & Politics, Society

Written by ADONAI

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

39 Responses so far.

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  1. Khirad says:

    For a long time I thought: man, this Adonai could write some good articles.

    It’s nice to see my wish granted. Lo, He hath provided.

    Now, let’s break out those smelling salts.

  2. Buddy McCue says:

    If we’re living that movie, I think we’re still in the very first part, before facing Clubber Lang at all.

    Still in denial. Still being “carried” by the trainer. Only a part of us wondering why the fights seem too easy.

    In the real-life drama, FOX News (and most of the Right and Center-Right media) plays the part of Mickey the trainer. Burgess Meredith’s character did it because he loved Rocky like a son. He wanted to protect him. This is where the analogy breaks down.

  3. semirade says:

    This has far more implications I think. Egypt is now staring us in the face, we walk a delicate line, having set up Muabarak and supporting him with a kind of blood money so that he, among other things helps keep Israel safe -- sure pocket it. don’t worry about your people, now the people want our support, and the problem is our fears, and the short-sighted deal we had with another schmuck! Who will replace him? Now as a weakened America, we not only fear our foes, but what we considered a friend was not a good choice! We are in a most peculiar and unfortunate position, we can only hope that we’re given another chance. Not to mention our naughty son Israel!

  4. SueInCa says:


    Not to toot my own horn, but you should read my post, How will America Truly Recover from the Economic Collapse. It speaks to this subject with some hard facts that drive home how far we have allowed ourselves to fall. BTW, good post. This is a subject near and dear to me.

  5. BigDogMom says:

    We need to reinvent ourselves…but can we?

  6. boomer1949 says:

    As a country, who are we to tell another country how to care for its people, if we can not agree how to care for our own? This is hard core arrogance and collectively, whether we like it, believe it, or not, each and every one of us owns it.

    The message sent is the message received. “Do as we say, not as we do”, just don’t cut it anymore.

    • ADONAI says:

      I totally agree. That is part of my message. We have to be better than we were. We have to change. For real. To adopt a new style. Like Rocky did to finally defeat Clubber Lang.

  7. funksands says:

    Personally I think America’s avatar is Charlie Sheen.

  8. KillgoreTrout says:

    Well written, and an amusing article, but let’s keep in mind that Rocky is fiction.
    I think our problems as a nation are far greater than those in a prize fight. Much more complicated. I’m not deliberately trying to be defeatest. Much needs to be done to get us back on the correct course.
    We could start by ending the two imperialistic wars we are wasting tons of money and human life on.
    We need jobs and need to start manufacturing things again. And we have a long way to go on on social justice.

    • ADONAI says:

      And we can fix it. I know we can. We steered out of afar greater depression into decades of unmatched growth. We CAN do this. The question is the will.

      I want us to be number one. I want us to be the champ. And that doesn’t mean being the world’s police.

      Just leading in manufacturing and education and health care and everything else that really matters.

      To get off the mat and start putting in the effort we all know we are capable of giving.

      • Plutocrats really suck says:

        One goes in hand with the other. That unmatched growth came largely from the US being the dominant military power. We became the world police, the dollar became the currency of the world and we enjoyed unprecedented prosperity because of it. For a time anyway.

    • Silentdances says:

      Ending those wars though doesn’t change the general acceptance of imperialism. The concepts are still there. The attitudes from generation to generation. Something like this could very well happen again. The idea that the US controls the destiny of the world and it’s voice lends to the rise and fall of other nations is something that exists in all walks. That such is a positive or negative is immaterial in this case.

      • KillgoreTrout says:

        The neo-cons are far more into the idea of imperialism, than the dems or even moderate republicans (if any exist). I think many, many American citizens are really tired of the imperialist attitude. Especially now, when we have so much to fix, here at home.

        • Silentdances says:

          “I would use this ring from a desire to do good… But through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.”

          the LotR’s quote is pretty apt here.

          Go to progressive and liberal sites and you’ll find page after page demanding that Obama do something to push for the freedom of the Egyptians. Many of those that post (whom are US citizens), when saying this, are demanding a system that they believe is the best outcome. This outcome is a reflection of the moral and psychological adherence of their own society. This is another side to imperialism. In this case people see it as a positive value, and therefore such is acceptable.

  9. Plutocrats really suck says:

    I don’t care about the top spot anymore. I will be happy if we end up like Canada. Would that be so bad, I mean really? They have great beer, health care……did I mention beer? Hockey will have to be outlawed of course.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want my country to succeed but this world police gig is seriously old.

    Good post
    “He’ll kill you to death” LMAO

  10. TheLateGrardini says:

    The Italian Stallion learned the hard way you don’t mess with Thunderlips.

  11. PocketWatch says:

    Cue the music!

    I love analogies, because people can relate.

    Frankly, I have felt for some time that America should not BE #1. We need to pull back a bit, reflect, get our collective shit together, figure out what we really want, and then go for it, whatever that is.

    How that process works in a society I have no idea. But I do know there is a lot of pressure and stress being #1. Let someone else do it for a while and let all the smaller countries of the world whine at THAT for a while.

    Just ranting a bit, but that does get tiresome.


    • Silentdances says:

      In other societies, that usually comes from the moment (in this analogy, which is a lot more perfect than one might initially realize) where Lang slaps down Rocky. The US really hasn’t had that yet. Not a real and honest defeat. It stumbles and it falls here and there, but nothing that ground shaking.

    • TheLateGrardini says:

      I believe a great deal of the animosity directed toward our country is becuase of our arrogance. A lot of people seem to forget that a large part of our country was built and nutured by the refuse of others. So we are hardly ones to feel ourselves superior. 99 per cent of the people who came here didn’t come because things were rosy elsewhere.

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