They were neither stupid nor insensitive

They were neither stupid nor insensitive

They raged like a testosterone plague in the 80s. They were strong, male, and spoke in short sentences. Being older and richer already, they ask permission to be considered, besides they are rude and smart

“Once a cobra bite Chuck Norris. After dying for a week, the cobra died.” “Every cell in Chuck Norris’ body has its own beard.” And so on. In the mid-2000s, Ian Spector swept the internet with it his particular version of what it was like to be a man in the ’80s; man, you know, like Chuck Norris. Subsequently, several books in succession (The Truth About Chuck Norris et al.) provided a complete example of Machirula’s obsession, almost elevated with its sacred text to the category of religion, in the form of hundreds (400 per part) of delirious aphorisms.

It’s not clear if that was the craziest way to honor all the muscles that go with it Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Mister T, Dolph Lundgren or of course Chuck Norris flooded our wildest dreams or simply the way of waking up from a nightmare that had lasted too long. “One time Chuck Norris visited the Virgin Islands. Since then they’ve just been called islands.” And so.

Now suddenly they all come back. Flabby and a bit out of shape, but they’re coming back. Not all either. Rather those who still can. Of course, attitudes have changed. They are no longer the new catalysts of a never-ending nostalgia, but tired men who somehow claim the glory of the past, but without arrogance, just with a slightly sad face. In the heat of MeToo maybe, and be aware of all toxicity gathering in its wake an unashamedly bellicose manliness, they reappear, not exactly to apologize, but almost.

The most striking examples that show that they occupy an extraordinary place as authentically responsible for the paradigm shift in the 1980s are those mentioned at the beginning: Arnold and Sly. The first just presented the report of a successful life on Netflix and there, despite the clearly hagiographic intention of the cover document Arnold, Admits abuse and mistreatment of women which the Los Angeles Times denounced some time ago.

The second will reappear at the end of the month with the fourth episode of The mercenaries, but already with greatly diminished powers. The old vehicle for showing off for all who were, right now it’s nothing more than an agonizing recitation of “I will and I can’t” with Jason Statham as master of ceremonies alongside Stallone. Remember, from Schwarzenegger himself to all of those named – with the exception of Putin’s friend Seagal – other than Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke, no one missed being named a mercenary at any point in the saga.

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Looking back, few fights are as entertaining as this one In the midst of the Reagan era, he unleashed the most conspicuous muscles on the planet Hollywood. Her brain too. The consequences of the anabolic drugs were foreseeable, but soon there were those who put a price on the trophy to see which of the two would win. Not long ago, the site Celebrity Net Worth, devoted primarily to licking the tongue while counting other people’s money, calculated that of the two, Arnold was the one who turned his checking account into something truly extraordinary. As seen in the miniseries where she poses with her myriad pets, discretion has never been her forte. It is estimated that His net worth is around $450 million..

As he himself admits on camera, the money invested in real estate would have been at the root of everything. Don’t underestimate the fact that his villainous role in Batman Forever earned him a record-breaking $30 million at its peak. Stallone, truth be told, isn’t losing his stride: The same source makes a beneficiary half a hundred million less for a man who, yes, never turned his back on cinema – whether as an actor, producer or screenwriter – than … average livelihood.

The truth is that one and the other in their healthy (or not so good) competition changed the very meaning of action cinema forever. Until it hit the big screen, the genre was the domain of men (always men) with the virtue of, shall we say, absence. Films like Bullitt or The French Connection left the virtue of fever on the director’s side. It was the cars that showed adrenaline, not the brawn.

It was the script that pushed some of the characters’ tension to the limit. And so on, until the calligraphy on the screen gave up the voice. If an Austrian started strength training at the age of 15, who? won the Mr. Universe title at 20 and that he won seven Mister Olympia competitions between 1970 and 1980 when he and no one else had to be the new idol, there were plenty of evasions, insinuations and even words. “Schwarzenegger was the first to trust his body,” Stallone admitted in the documentary.

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Sylvester Stallone, in a still from Rambo.

First it was Conan, then Terminator and parallel to that Rocky Balboa and Rambo. The former drew gold from his acting incompetence (his first job, Hercules in New York, borders on the creeps), and the latter Because of the broken nerve, he changed his peculiar way of speaking The immobilized part of the lip and eyelid from birth is its best and most well-known arsenal. Much more effective than the upper cut, much more accurate than the cornered bow. Somehow, the two turned the most basic and obvious flaw into their most valuable virtue. They defied what we might call the logic of dramatic art and, moreover, managed to star in a period that soon made them their best-known totems. It was muscle, but smart muscle.

And with that came politics. The Schwarzenegger case is obvious. His irrevocable image of a self-made man (he obtained US citizenship in 1983) almost took him to the top at the time of Actor-President. An immigrant holding the highest political position of representation, his tenure as California governor between 2003 and 2011 resulted in a series of policies far removed from his party’s pious austerity. From taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to approving the stem cell study and legalizing same-sex marriage, you’re in a legacy as unorthodox as his own career; Republican from Pure Democrat.

Rambo represents the dark part of man. Rocky is just the opposite

Sylvester Stallone

In Arnold the miniseries, what is contained in this paragraph, his legislative originality, he claims as his true heritage. And he does so apart from everything, from his own image and from his acting career, away from the allegations of abuse, which he finally admitted Away from promiscuity Chirula As a result, he had a son with a maid and eventually ended his marriage to Kennedy Maria Shriver.

As for Stallone, everything is more confusing. Or interpretable, depending on how you look at it. Its two great characters, Rocky and Rambo, contradict each other with the same force that confuses them. “Rambo represents the dark part of man. Rocky is just the opposite. He’s a normal person who manages to be extraordinary despite everything working against him. It’s optimism,” he likes to repeat. Nobody could reflect it better than her the feel of the era that came after the big break of the ’60s and ’70s. “When Rocky hit theaters, so did Taxi Driver, All the President’s Men, and Network. It is clear that my film was the opposite of all of them,” he commented proudly and only clearly at an honorary award ceremony in Cannes in 2019.

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Ronald Reagan spoke a little later and said: “After seeing Rambo last night, I know what I’m going to do next time.” The sentence dates from June 1985. He had just announced the release of the 39 American hostages in Beirut and the president knew that next time he would liquidate the kidnappers who had escaped without a trace. The second part of the Rambo saga, directed by George P. Cosmatos, was released a month earlier become a success of publicity and republicanism. “Rambo was never meant to be a political statement,” Stallone explains. And he continues: “The original Rambo was a guy plagued by anxiety, loneliness and mental health issues that had nothing to do with who he would later become.”

The truth is, he’s only partially right. The first part, Cornered, came out a year after Reagan’s election as President. followed the traumatic Vietnam discourse of all previous cinema films. That didn’t happen the next year. At that time the revisionist story had been built into a large part of the action productions. The new ideology held that the war was not lost by the soldiers but by the bureaucrats. Incidentally, it was pointed out that the state is a problem. The cornerstone for all subsequent liberalization measures was laid. Not to mention the escalation of guns. And Rambo bought the speech. Stallone countered, “It wasn’t his fault, it was the politicians and the time the films were made.”

Be that as it may, Schwarzenegger and Stallone now claim to be witnesses to a vanished world are looking for their place in the new eraMe too in the form of forgiveness. Or almost. That is, a clever new twist on the script from some ready-to-work muscles. “If Chuck Norris (or Sly or Arnold) wants a salad, he’ll eat a vegetarian.”