Settling in to the Schwarzenegger state

I’ve been in San Diego for six weeks and I’m beginning to settle in.

I thought America would be an easy country to get used to, after all it’s English speaking (sort of) and we’re used to American quirks from films and TV. But there are plenty of things to remind me that I’m not in the UK anymore.

The most obvious difference is television. Programs are interrupted every five minutes with adverts for local car-dealerships or prescription drugs replete with side effects. They show better films, but the swearing, violence and nudity is dubbed, cut or carelessly blurred out. At the weekend I watched a clean version Goodfellas with no swearing whatsoever.

I expected better from California, the state that produces most of the world’s movies and is governed by a movie star.

But I am please to be living in Arnie’s state. I have a profound admiration for him. He has had successful careers in bodybuilding, acting, and politics. Success in one of those might be considered luck, but he got there three times. Yes, his accumulated fame and wealth will have helped his transitions. But that can only take you so far.

Arnie didn’t fall into any of his careers by chance. He worked hard for them. Nothing demonstrates this more than his body building training regime that was so intense it would often make him vomit.

He has overcome obvious obstacles. Consider his acting career. He can barely act and has a thick Austrian accent. Some people might consider these characteristics as unsuitable for most leading man roles. But his movies show that doesn’t matter. Most of his films simply ignore his accent. In Terminator II we see that the 800 Series Terminator can talk in any accent he wants (clip below). He chooses to conduct his mission with a thick Austrian accent.

(Click here to see this 1:35 video clip on youtube)

Arnie is one of the most recognisable people in the world. He has stayed famous for the last twenty years while countless others have risen to fame then fallen back into obscurity. He has a lot of comedy value, but beneath that I believe that Arnie’s repeated success is a result of extreme ambition and self-motivation.

In sports, you learn competition means go after it, win it. And not to let anything else interfere. It’s something you learn, and it sticks with you. I consider myself an expert in looking into a particular idea or goal and then going after it without anything else in mind… It’s always the same kind of thing. You pick a goal, and then you just go after it, accomplish it, and get satisfaction out of that. - Arnold Schwarzenegger (via WikiQuote)

Hasta la vista, baby

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