Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ego, part II, Movie Reviews

Since posting my last literary masterpiece concerning the definition of ego I decided to really put my mind to this deep subject. In my quest to do this I have always enjoyed cross culturing. You know that thing where you go some where you are not use to or you mingle with people that have interests different than yours. Now I am asked, "what the hell does this have to do with the definition of ego?" Well it has everything to do with ego and the influence this three letter word has over our lives. You have to remember that in my library I have books by the greatest authors of all time, i.e. Kinky Friedman, "What Would Kinky Do?", The Zig Ziglar Difference, Montel Williams, "Living Well", Elizabeth Brown's, "Living Successfully with Screwed Up People", George Carlin's, "Napalm and Silly Putty," so I am obviously well read and eager to enlighten the world with my ego theories. For the past two days I have competed in the senior games held here in Lubbock every year. The minimum age for this group of competitors is starts at 50 and goes to infinity(one guy was in the 85-89 age group) and did I see some different ego's here. One guy came with two $10,000.00 bicycles for each race, with the comment "this is the best speed money can buy." Well at least he wasn't on steroids, I don't think any way. Then there was another guy who had a basic mountain bike with no speed essentials on it. Of course the two bike guy won it all and was definitely driven by a strong ego. For the most part these guys and gals have a more somber attitude towards competing but I can say the fire is still there and they will go as fast as the aging human body will let them go. The age groups start at 50 and go up every five years, plus you compete in the age group you will be in on 12.31, so I was in the 70-74 age group. Well my real strong competitor in my age group was a guy I had competed against for years. While he was a supreme duathlete(run, bike, run) he always waxed me good, but since he couldn't swim very well(actually terrible)so I would whup up on him in triathlon. So, on this day we were competing on a time trial bicycle race course(going against time not the individual) and I glided home exactly 35 seconds ahead of him. We shook hands as they handed me the gold medal and we drifted off into the West Texas sunset. Both of our egos were satisfied and we knew we went as fast as the 70 year old legs would go. Like all sports there are those that just stand out in the crowd and we had a couple of those in the 50 year old age groups. Man these guys were fast and we couldn't hold their jock if we wanted to, but 20 years may make a difference. To top this day off we watched Phelps gather up that 8th gold medal, while we stuffed on Mexican food at On the Border, then we headed to the Wild West country and western bar. There was a famous live band (we never heard of playing) but we paid a $10.00 cover charge anyway and commence to watch some real strange egos. What we didn't know is that this is where the Texas Tech kids(yes, they are still kids) hang out and pretend to two step dance. Since I was by far the oldest in the crowd, fact is I was much older than the building and plumbing in what is one of the original buildings in Lubbock, it was interesting to watch to youthful egos tromping around the dance floor in what was supposed to be a two step. The other thing I noticed were the young ladies dancing with each other. While I find this strange that they can dance together and no one thinks anything about it, if two guys danced together they would be labeled as gay and sent back to Brokeback Mountain in a New York minute. I watched one guy dancing(with a girl) that had such a big ego it actually affected his rhythm and as he swung the girl around he almost pulled both arms off, and he had such a smug on his face it dripped testosterone all over the dance floor. Regardless, my cross culture ego study was interesting for the past two days(with the young and the old), and now I am back nurturing my own ego. I deserve it!!

Movie Reviews: "Tropic Thunder", ** This is for sure a Ben Stiller ego driven movie, since he produced it and starred in it. It was basically one of the crudest, worthless movies I have seen in a while. The crudeness was beyond reproach, even made me cringe at times. Ben Stiller plays a pampered movie star that is cast in the most expensive war movie ever produced. He sets out to Southeast Asia with celebrity co-stars Kirk Lazurus(played by Robert Downey Jr.-still out of re-hab), who is a three time Oscar winner who insists on playing a black character who dyes his skin black, and Jack Black, previous star of gross out comedies. After they get to SE Asia it all turns out real, but even that doesn't save it as a movie. Tom Cruise makes a cameo appearance as the producer of the expensive movie. Not worth paying matinee fee. Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material.

"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2", ***, Since I didn't see Traveling Pants 1, I didn't have any real reference point here, but it was for sure a girlie movie. It is about four young women continuing a journey toward adulthood that began with the original movie in 2005. It is a very well done movie and good taste. The good news for these actresses is that they have a life time job as they go through each phase of their lives. It is called job security. Rated PG-13 for mature material and sensuality.

"Step Brothers", **, This movie is one crude dude also. The F-bombs are dropped like water pouring in the Titantic. Beneath this crude language is an amusing story about two 40 year old men who consistently dodge adulthood. Ferrell and John C. Reilly, so good together in "Talladega Nights," make another great team as lazy, middle-aged simpletons who becme step brothers when Ferrell's mother and Reilly's dad get married. The fun then begins, and of course there is a sensible ending, unlike the rest of the story. Rated R for crude and sexual content and pervasive language.



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