Since you asked, no we DON’T still love Rocky. More on that in a minute, but first let us be clear, we don’t blame you for putting Stallone on the cover — it’s a no-brainer, really. But it’s more than a little sad to watch the global media toady up to Sly, and nobody bothers to ask him why the Hell he only shows up in town when he’s got another dead horse sequel to beat. Instead of Yes Mr. Stallone, right way Mr. Stallone, how about Yo Adrian, where the hell you been? Oh, in a hot tub in Malibu with 19-year-old twins, how nice for you.
Just to be clear: We don’t blame Sly for being a narcissistic meathead who plays on our underdog sympathies and low civic self-esteem every time his Swiss bank account gets down to the low seven figures. No, we don’t blame him for any of that — especially after getting to know his mother on Howard Stern, which explains a lot. However, we would appreciate him being a little more up front about it. It would add just a touch of intimacy to his latest late-night Philly booty call.
Now, why DON’T we still love Rocky? Well, we are no longer 10 years old for starters. Man, Rocky hits like an atom bomb when you are 10. Did for us, anyway. We went right out to the Army/Navy store and got us a pair of grey sweatpants and matching hoodie, a black sailor beanie and black high-top Chucks. We started training, punching an old laundry bag strung up on the back porch, eating raw eggs for breakfast. We even taped our hands up and ran miles and miles with our fists — those two tickets outta Palookaville — pumped triumphantly skyward. (Yes, we were firm believers in the Method Acting school of childhood when we were that age.)
But then, something happened and we stopped believing. In part, it was our fault — we grew up and thereby outgrew our need for gritty Palookaville Cinderella stories. But mostly it was your fault, Sly — you whored out Rocky to the highest bidder and dressed him in the headband of jingoism and accessorized him with bullet belts and bulging biceps to create an seemingly endless line of inane, steroidal action figure franchises that came to define the wretched excesses of coked-up, testosterone-addled Hollywood in the 1980s. And when each of those adrenalinized shoot-em-up pageants ran out of bullets, you trotted out the Italian Stallion for one more heartwarming beatdown. And here he comes again, he’s down for the count, COME ON PHILLY! Well, we’ll pass, thanks. We can only watch a dead horse beating so many times.
Merry Christmas, Larry