Pumping Irony

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Arnold Schwarzenegger. For a demi-god he sure has been keeping a low profile lately. There was a time(the ’80s and ’90s) when Papa Arnold,as I call him, was on a perpetual marketing blitz. The guy was everywhere all at once-he was inescapable. Whatever he touched turned to gold: A beefed-up, slightly less successful version of Tom Hanks, if you will. The kid that Joe Weider brought over from some backwoods little town in Austria became…..the Governor of California?! Who would’ve thunk it?

Of course, Arnold being Arnold couldn’t help himself and he flew too close to the sun and came crashing back down to earth with the rest of us. Yes he had an affair with the maid which resulted in a child and the demise of his marriage. I must admit that I had mixed feelings when the likeness of the maid was flashed around the globe millions of times. You picture your heroes jet-setting around the globe with four models on each arm, kinda like Mick Jagger used to do before he settled down, only to be confronted with a homely woman who performs domestic chores?! Pumping Irony indeed. That was a hard pill to swallow.

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I propose that this setback that befell Papa Arnold will only serve to make him more human, more approachable and relatable. People generally mistrust individuals who appear too perfect . It was Ben Franklin, after all who said never to trust a man without vice. Prudent advice. Let us consider Marlon Brando-in his time he garnered a lion’s share of bad press and engaged in otherwise career-ending behavior. Only now, with the passage of time does he seem like a passionate tragic hero not unlike the Greek prototypes. I predict that Arnold’s career and popularity will affect a similar trajectory.

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What other actor has a museum, among other things, dedicated to him in Austria? Arnold made it cool to take pride in being Germanic long before Dirk Nowitzki came home to Germany to a hero’s welcome. So what has Arnold been up to? Let us take a short trip to the Arnold fansite, The Arnold Fans. I always go on there to see what sort of trouble Papa Arnold’s getting himself into. Apparently his reintroduction into cinema will be The Last Stand (as well as The Expendables Part 2). According to the Lionsgate press release:

Schwarzenegger stars as Sheriff Owens, a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members.

He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for one of the most daring face offs in cinema history.

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