LT G, on finding immortality through death, rather than around it:
Whether we like it or not, life is as temporary and as fleeting as that corporeal feeling a young child gets on Saturday mornings, literally swelling with the happiness and freedom possibility yields. I'm no mad scientist, and I offer no magic potion that counters this very basic truth. But immortality does exist for those brave enough to claim it. For those dumb enough to make a dash for it. For those lucky enough to comprehend it.
It is in this vain of thought - a thought, by the way, that is not nearly as morbid as it may appear upon first read - that I bring you the examples of IT; a Pantheon of Rockin’ Heroes we all should celebrate and canonize. It may appear that this is a random list, with a random number of members, with random tangents entwined randomly. Well … that’s the point. Random is good. Because if greatness is anything, it is random. These individuals did more than Embrace the Suck, and went beyond discovering that Happiness is Diggity. They evolved into the walking manifestation of the Toro, waving the red cape of history, deftly toying with the raging bull of existence. Some eventually felt the horns’ gore, some did not, but that’s not the point. The point is that at one time, even if it was for just one illustrious moment, they were completely and utterly in charge and brimming with anticipation, shunning the reactionary nature of their human brethren. (Cue awesomely 80’s glam rock anthem, “The Final Countdown,” by Europe.)
18-Randolph Childress – Pure swagger. A Wake Forest baller small in stature, bursting with pride and confidence. The Tar Heel player whose ankles were nearly broken trying to keep up with his killer crossover is still getting waved back up by Childress, and is still stuck on the ground hopelessly, fifteen years after the conference title game in question.
17-Ron Burgundy – Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe diversity is an old wooden ship, from the Civil War era …
16- Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I – Deserves recognition for being the only man in history more vain than Thomas Jefferson, Prince of Agraria. Respect.
15- Cleisthenes – The godfather of Athens. He rocked the Spartans, ousted the oligarchs, seized power for himself -- and then he willingly handed over demokratia to the masses. In classic political study circles, there is only one word for this: Pimpin.’
14- David Hackworth – A soldier's soldier, and the type boat-rockin' officer the Army needs more of, especially right now. Further, he single-handedly would be able to destroy the metrosexual movement spreading across America like the black plague if he were still alive.
13-Gambit- The X-Men cartoon revolutionized my youth. No longer would I be content to be just another sprite suckling off the world’s metaphorical tit until I grew weary of the polluted milk only to realize that my deathbed was near so it was time to embrace God ‘just in case.’ I was going to transcend that. Furthermore, one errant day during my novice training, I dressed up as Gambit, trench coat and all. Then I accidentally hit Momma G in the eye with a flying ace of spades. I still feel bad about that.
12—Tupac Shakur – I realize I’m prone to romanticism, especially when martyrdom is involved (blame that damned Celtic blood), but ‘Pac’s eternal duality strikes a chord in all young American males who feel caged by their surroundings, no matter what those surroundings may be. Just because it comes in gangsta’ rap form doesn’t change the broad appeal of his message. He had groupies but hoped for one love, he screamed Thug Life but cried when he was alone in jail, he wrote elegant poetry but also sang “Hit Em Up.” Complexity shatters labels; always has, always will.
11- Ernest Hemingway – All that is Man. ‘Nuff said.
10- Wonder Woman- True, she is one of only two women on the list, and no, it’s not to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. One, she’s the most dominant force on the planet and two, she does it all in a very revealing bathing suit. Thank you Wonder Woman, for making puberty just a little easier. God bless your Amazonian soul.
9- Hot Rod- From the Transformers. Granted, when he inherits the Matrix and becomes Rodimus Prime, he starts to suck, but before that he is sweeter than a gallon of Carolina Nestea. Not to mention being a turbo-revving young punk voiced by Judd Nelson. You can’t go wrong when you bring the Brat Pack together with choppy Japanese animation.
8- Senator Barack Obama – I’ll spare you a political diatribe, and simply state that if you can’t recognize the vital importance of hope and change in modern American government as personified by this man, I sincerely recommend taking a cyanide pill to cleanse you of your rampant cynicism. It’s the only remedy. (I’m kidding, of course … mainly because I get the feeling the vast majority of my readers are proud conservatives.)
7-Robin Hood- Face it – no weapon is cooler than a bow and arrow, not even the claymore. Well, maybe a mace, but that’s different. And the whole ‘robbing the rich to give to the poor’ gig may be directly responsible for Karl Marx. Or Trotsky, at least. And no, I can’t prove that last statement with anything resembling fact. He also had a thing for sassy spitfires, which I can … empathize with.
6- Jim Morrison – The Lizard King himself, crooning ballad after ballad about the coming End and the rivers of sadness and the killers on the road, and exploring the outer wilds of all that is bizarre, prosaic, and …
5-Padraig Pearse- Yeah, he was an impractical poet who got in way over his head with the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. He still deserves credit for backing up his haughty words and proclamations with direct action. That doesn’t happen very much anymore.
4- Captain Jack Sparrow-A drunk, swashbuckling madman whose sole goals in life were self-aggrandizement and finding a horizon to be alone. Never has a dastardly anti-hero been so outrageously awesome. Or stylish.
3- Grace O’Malley- Let’s get this straight. She’s Irish, she’s a pirate queen, and she pillaged the British? What a woman. Damn you Father Time, for bearing me half-a-millennia too late.
2- Gandhi- You can’t argue with success. And while his non-violent agitation campaign would never work in my crusade against modern American excess, one still has to give mad props to India’s founding father. And indeed, the rumors are true; props are best when angry.
1- Muhammad Ali- You are, kind Sir, very much the Greatest. And you knew it. And you let everyone else know it. Sniff. The Holy Trifecta of IT.