Shaken Not Stirred

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Television For Men

Spike Television is probably one of the greatest creations. It's a manly channel, without over doing the sports. I'm not really a sport type person. But I did get use to studying with ESPN blaring in the background. My buddies left the television on four the extent of college. I don't remember a time when the television was ever off. Even if no one was home, the television was left on. I don't know the reason this was done, but it was. We didn't have Spike Television back then. I think if we had, it would have been on for the 24 hour stretch.

We did watch some movies on "TBS", which was okay. It wasn't too dramatic, but some of the shows pulled at the heart strings. I remember gathering around to watch "Red Dawn". The show was about the average American town, with budding football heroes and cheerleaders with legs that stretched for miles. The only fences between the neighbors were the white picket ones that separated their yards. Everyone knew everyone. The perfect set-up for doom. Their doom was the landing of the enemy (I seem to remember they were Russian, but not sure). Anyhow, all of us were drawn into the story. At one point, when the townspeople were kept in concentration-line areas,, the football team decided they were going to take back their home. The leader of the pack gave such a gut wrenching speech, I could feel my stomach rise and my throat gasp. The silence was broken among our audience when one of the guys asked, "You sad?". Another watcher grunted in positive agreement (I won't say who admitted they were sad). It was a bonding moment for the boys of Jones Avenue.

Now we have Spike TV. A very cool alternative to "Lifetime Television for Women".

I was watching "Rocky V" on Spike the other day. I don't really remember all the Rocky sequels or their plots. I do remember that Sylvester Stallone always managed to overcome some obstacle--usually another boxer who had provoked unstirred emotions. As he would gain his strength, the theme "Gonna Fly Now" would start out softly and low pitched and become loud. That was the magical moment, Rocky gained all his strength and defeated the enemy. And if every ending, Rocky, bleeding from every part of his skull, would yell "Yo Adrienne" while the crowd carried him off into the spotlight. The end.

During Rocky V, there was a heart wrenching moment. I feel it would have been the clip they showed during the Oscars, had Sylvester Stallone ever been nominated. The scene showed a depressed Rocky, who had lost all his money and the cadet he was training. His lovely, stay by his side wife Adrienne trying to comfort him. She said, "When you were in that ring, I took every punch you did,". This was said without holding back the sobs. She further said, "You didn't win with muscle. You won with heart". As she did this, she laid her head upon his chest. Rocky responded by chocking his own sobs back. I too, swallowed saliva a few times. No one was in the room, why didn't I allow myself to wail? Just in case.

Spike TV gives us those movies that will explore our emotions, without castrating us. It has those Jerry McGuire feel good movies about the male psyche. No bruises are left on the ego. And from time to time, you'll get veklempt. Great channel to watch alone with nachoes and beer. Also great to watch when you don't really want to talk to you buddy (who has just broken up with his girlfriend), but you don't want to leave him alone. Just flip to the channel. I'm sure something will be playing that will ease the tension and pain.


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