Thursday, February 15, 2007

LOVE FOR THE UNDERDOG

Yesterday really should have been a snow day. This morning I woke up feeling just horrible and had to call in sick to work. So far I’ve drank Orange Juice for some good old fashioned vitamin C and eaten ice cream for my sore throat. It helped a little but I still am not doing all that well. There have been a few people in the office so sick they missed weeks of work. I missed a few days a while ago due to my asthma. I’m not having that ultra-sick thing happening anymore and I hope that staying home early on to rest will help get me on the mend.

I had a chance to watch Leaves From Satan’s Book, a silent film made in 1919 that I DVRed months ago but never got around to watching. The premise was very interesting and since it is based on a book I may have something to add to my reading list. After being cast down from heaven, Satan is told that he must wander the earth enticing people to commit evil deeds. For every one who submits to his will another hundred years will be added to his penance. For every one who resists him, one thousand years will be taken away from his time on earth. He wanders through time telling people to do evil while secretly hoping that they will do the right thing. What an existence. Unfortunately the DVR didn’t record the whole movie and I missed a little of the last vignette. I really hope that they resisted his temptation and knocked a little off his sentence. I don’t know why but I have always rooted for the anti-hero, particularly one who doesn’t truly want to be evil. There is something so pathetic about them that it stirs something in me. The true heroes are so together that they don’t seem to need your support. It’s the anti-hero who truly needs a friend and to find redemption.

Last night I watched Phantom of the Opera. It is one of those things that I thought I should see. It has become a part of the culture and I didn’t really know the story. I knew the music. People skated to it enough times that I was far too familiar with the primary songs. The words, however, were mostly unknown to me because you aren’t really allowed to skate to things with words. Or rather you weren’t allowed to, the times have changed. As horrible and manipulative as the Phantom was, I really wanted Christine to stay with him and keep him company. Even the woman who saved him as a child and brought him to the opera house wasn’t a true friend. She was still afraid of him. Just because he had a grossly disfigured face doesn’t mean that he didn’t need someone to care for him. I did wonder how that little mask he wore covered up the extent of his disfigurement for most of the movie but I guess that’s just one of those artistic license things. At least they didn’t kill him.

My affection for the anti-hero is somewhat manifested in my work. I want to work whit the people that the majority of our society doesn’t see much hope for. I want to contribute something to their lives that will take them off that path and lead them to be able to walk in the footsteps of a hero. Sometimes I feel I have accomplished that, other times not as much. When I was working with the GED students I really had affection for the ones with severe obstacles, not that any of them didn’t have obstacles, but obviously some needed more help than others. One student in particular was so far gone that I was essentially instructed to abandon him and he was kicked off the premises permanently. I still talk to him occasionally. He is doing really well. He attributes some of that to what happened to him in the few months he attended our school. It’s one of those things where when you look at someone head-on you don’t think you have the resources to help but when you get a chance to know them and understand what happened to put them into a bad situation you can do something to change course and see where they go. I guess that’s why I love the anti-hero. With a hero there is no chance for redemption and there is nothing you can really do to affect them. An anti-hero needs you. Without them, there would be no need for heroes at all. What kind of a world would that be?

Omega Supreme DM Remix, Dangermouse and Jemini- This is easily one of my favorite songs. Actually the entire 26inch EP is fantastic. As a pair these guys have beats and rhymes that you can’t criticize. I don’t think I have ever heard anything Dangermouse has done that I don’t like though. I feel cool listening to it. Obviously, this means that I am not cool at all.

Call My Name, Prince- The iPod is working magic today. Best slow jam EVER. I tend not to be a huge fan of the slow jam because it is so silly. This song, however, puts it down. Prince is obviously the coolest, unlike myself.

Don’t Let Me Be, The Animals- Hell yeah, I am very proud of my shuffle today. Sometimes I am a little ashamed of what comes on but today is certainly not one of those days. I need to figure out how to attach these song files to my posts so everyone else can enjoy the wondrous goodness (an occasional wondrous badness) of my music. This song also fits fairly well into the whole anti-hero theme. Nice way to wrap things up.

13 comments:

CSL said...

I love the underdogs of the world. But I could not make it all the way through "Phantom of the Opera." AT one point my son said, "Is this song ever going to end? I had been wondering the same thing myself.

With Love, Fat Girl said...

While I hated Phantom of the Opera the live performance musical (oh I hate that song too, it never freakin ends!), I found myself extremely partial to the movie version.

It even made me cry. Shh. Don't tell anyone.

(being partial to the underdog myself, I found it very interesting that they gave the Phantom a bit more depth in the movie version. I was actually hoping Christine would go live in the sewer)

Monica said...

when i saw the film of phantom in 6th grade i thought it was going to be a horror movie. silly monica. remember all that bs with robert guillaume starring on broadway? bunch of bull shit. i would have collectively offered my ass to be kissed

Janna said...

I've never seen Phantom Of The Opera, but I love the music.

I also love rooting for the underdog.

Let's have an underdog party!
Once you start feeling better, of course. :)

notfearingchange said...

i said it once i'll say it again...delmonte fruit juice bars - mango peach and blackberry raspberry...full of vitamin C and yummy on the throat and only 50 cals. :0)
Feel better...

terry said...

i just have never been able to get into phantom...though there is one song i do love - "all i ask of you." lovely.

and prince? rules the planet.

Lizza said...

I have never seen Phantom of the Opera (both the musical and the movie).

But that film (and book) sounds interesting. Reminds me of another book: "Dialogues with the Devil."

I like your take on anti-heroes and underdogs. What a very good post, Natalie.

Anne said...

Ah, the anti-hero, same sentiments here…while such a man would be the mockery of society as we know it, I am touched that he endures life’s contradiction without shame, profess vulnerability and distrust conventional values.

He is every man indeed -- for who would not feel helpless in a world over which we have no control ?... hi there lady, been busy here...:)

Mom said...

A blast from the past:
"Not bird nor plane nor even frog. It's just little ol' me..." (sound of a humungous crash)
..."Underdog."

One of the great, somewhat unsung, cartoons of my youth. I'm sure the upcoming live-action movie will be utterly awful. I do not want to see it.

Natalie said...

Csl- I don't thin there has ever been a musical I couldn't get through. Although, some of the songs do go on a little long.

With Love- I didn't cry but was really close to it. I really wanted her to stay in the sewer too. Oh well.

Monica- There was a movie when we were in 6th grade? I don't remember about Guillume but I love those commercials when he messes with crap.

Janna- Underdog party sounds fun! I feel a little better but not enough for a party.

Notfearing- Those sound so yummy. I may have to get some this weekend.

Terry- I liked the movie more than I expected to. I just watched it because nothing was on and I like musicals. Prince does rule the planet. If he were the Phantom she would have stayed in the sewer for sure.

Lizza- If I ever find that book I'll let you know.

Anne- Good to see you back. I think there is a little anti-hero in all of us.

Mom- I think I saw a few underdog cartoons. He was cute.

CSL said...

Natalie - And I should have said, I usually LOVE musicals. And I liked the two key actors - she (don't know the name) was fantastic in "Songcather" and I loved Gerard Butler in "Frankie." I don't know what it was about this one that didn't work for me, aside from the songs going on bloody forever.

And, this has been happening a lot lately - as I'm typing in this comment, a comment from you pops up on my latest post. Cosmic.

Steven Novak said...

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I often times like rooting for the team that is taking on the team from whereever I live at the time...

Why?

Becasue being different is cool. ;)

Steve~

Johnny Yen said...

My rooting for the underdog was definitely reinforced by my love of comic books as a kid (and still as an adult). Spiderman was a favorite.

And of course, I love the ultimate underdog, Wile E. Coyote.