5 Arnold Schwarzenegger Roles That Teach Us About Life
By Addison Rodriguez
The latest and most serious hurdle to date in moving in with my girlfriend has been the inclusion of a 4×6-foot mural in our soon-to-be swank DC apartment. According to her, a larger-than-life portrait of John Matrix with a machine gun has no place in our living room. I beg to differ.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s resume reads as one big 63-year tally of kicking ass. He was Mr. Olympia seven times, and in the process made it socially acceptable for men to look at pictures of half naked men lifting weights. He was in 7 of the 10 most badass movies ever made, and if he could have fit in his schedule, he would have been in Die Hard, Gladiator, and Armageddon, as well.
As an encore to being the most popular and successful person in the world through getting jacked, making tons of cash, and being in award winning movies, he decided to be the Governor of California (the only place with enough hot chicks to make him want to settle down). When we finally repeal that pesky amendment that prevents him from becoming president, I’ll be the first in line at the voting booths (Note that I have never once voted in an election).
You may be asking yourself, “How does this apply to me, the layman, scrawny office worker with no cash and no muscles?” Well just as God sent Jesus 2000 years ago to Earth to pose as a carpenter and speak to the masses, Arnold has specifically taken on roles as everyday men in his awesome movies just to educate us on how to better live our lives. So without further ado I present the 5 best characters Arnold has played to show us the meaning of life (kind of like a video Bible).
5. Kindergarten teacher- Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Arnold plays a rough, potentially homicidal cop who could never love a child…right?
Wrong. Arnold breaks out his acting talents to give us his best crossover movie since Twins. He shows us that life is full of second chances and that existence does precede essence. No matter where you are in life, how unshaven, dirty or creepy, you are only one week away from becoming a kindergarten teacher complete with a hot girlfriend and the adulation of an entire town.
4. Ultimate father/Commando- Commando (1985)
Fatherhood is one of the pervasive themes of Schwarzenegger’s films dating all the way back to Conan the Barbarian. His most emotionally cutting study on the subject is Commando. Starting off with a look into the powerful bond between father and daughter, the movie proceeds to show us how this bond can overcome all evil in the world. The rest of the movie also proceeds to give us the best one-liners ever and an extended scene of graphic murdering with tool shed equipment. I’m not sure how many people our hero kills in this film, but the tally is well over 1 million. Special bonus: Listen to the audio of this movie on your iPod while at the gym and you’ll be able to squat 650 pounds.
3. Gynecologist- Junior (1994)
Sometimes a movie has to resort to extreme measures to drive home the most valuable of lessons. This movie could be passed off as “Arnold gets pregnant” by some pretentious scholars, but it is so much more. On one end, the movie is a metaphor for compassion and dedication. On the other end, it is statement about the importance of female empathy. Arnold could have been content with a life of looking at women’s vaginas, but came to realize that we all have vaginas on the inside.
2. Workaholic Mattress Salesman – Jingle All the Way (1996)
Can your average American family man become a super hero? The answer is an empathic “Yes!” in this good-natured yarn about family values. Arnold is a typical workaholic and becomes guilty of neglecting his wife and son. At Christmas time, Arnold sees that he could perhaps lose his family by working too hard to provide for them (a theme touched on less dramatically in The Godfather Part II). After all the laughs and tears, we are left with the message that we can all be superheroes in the eyes of our children — as long as we are devoted with our time and love.
1. T-800 Series Model 101 – Terminator and Terminator 2 (1984 & 1992)
Take out the obvious allusions to Jesus, the obvious allusions to Cold War paranoia, the obvious blueprint for our future domestic social works and economic policies. What you are left with are two movies that show you how to rock. Only a 1984 Hulk Hogan and possibly Rocky IV Stallone could serve to make these movies any greater. Advanced future societies could be based alone on the Terminator’s amazing one-liners such as “Hasta La Vista” and “Your clothes, give them to me.”
These movies not only ask the tough questions, they embrace them with open arms. Can a robot learn compassion and achieve redemption? Yes, the T-800’s CPU is a learning computer. Should you do whatever you want without fear of any repercussions? Yes, that is the way you obtain money and love. Do sunglasses, motorcycles and shotguns rule? Yes, they make you look awesome, go fast, and shoot things.
In conclusion, apply the principles of Schwarzenegger to your everyday life, and begin to see the promotions, chicks (or if you’re a chick, dudes), and cold hard cash pile up.