Repost - The Mickey Rourke Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(Pete Rose is being considered for reinstatement, apparently at the prodding of Hank Aaron, who also said those implicated in the steroid scandal should have asterisks in the record books. Yesterday's repost was the Mike Vick piece, which also included steroid talk. I figure it's time to start with the steroid reposts. So, here's one.)

When I'm a wrestler, I behave as a wrestler.

That was Mickey Rourke responding to a Men's Journal question if he used steroids to aid in his nearly 40 pounds of muscle weight gain for his role in The Wrestler.

I don't know if, as non-denial denials go, that puts Rourke in the same category with Mark McGwire's "I'm not here to talk about the past," but adults can look at the rapid change in middle aged Rourke's physique and comfortably speculate about how much flaxseed oil he had to inject to make that happen.

So, what am I not understanding?

I mean, I assume that, if Rourke took some steroid it wasn't done by happenstance; he didn't find it mixed in with the chocolate syrup on Kim Basinger's ass in some unfortunate 21st century sequel to 9 1/2 Weeks. I assume if he took steroids for a film role it was for cosmetic purposes, for purposes of authenticity, to better enable him to train and recover for an athletically demanding role. I assume that, if Rourke took some steroids that was a step beyond which some other actors, had they had a chance at this part, would have taken. I assume that the widespread acclaim, the career rejuvination which Rourke has received will translate not only to awards but to dollars. I assume this will be a lesson not lost on young actors, actors hoping to emulate Mickey Rourke - acting is as highly a competitive marketplace as exists; every now and again you'll read that the average yearly acting income for someone with a SAG card is like 6 grand - actors will do virtually anything to scratch and crawl their way into exactly the position in which Mickey Rourke has found himself, a position solely existing because of the authenticity of his protrayal of a professional wrestler.

So, what am I not understanding?

I turn on the TV, I read the entertainment magazines - and I see Mickey Rourke showered with acclaim for his work in this film. It's a rebirth, a rejuvination - he tells jokes on the talk shows, he's given the full star treatment by the celebrity journalists, and he won the Golden Globe last weekend for Best Actor in a Drama.

If Rourke isn't now the favorite to win the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Award, he's second in a hotly competitive race to Sean Penn.

I don't use the word competition loosely - this is a competition - movie studios spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaigning, tens of millions of people in the US and far more than that across the globe tune in to see who wins and who loses, there's a significant difference in the trajectory of Rourke's career with the words Oscar Winner for Best Actor attached to his name than if he's defeated by Penn.

I have yet to see Milk, but I'm guessing Penn didn't use performance enhancing drugs (edit, I've subsequently seen Milk and all of the significant films from 2008; my favorites were Synecdoche and Dark Knight - Penn deserved the Oscar).

So, what am I not understanding?

How else would you classify whatever drugs Rourke seems to have taken for this role? He gave a performance. His performance was enhanced to some degree by his look and ability to train and do stunts (even if he didn't really take as many bumps as they'd like to have us believe) I don't have a metric to quantify how much his performance was enhanced - but given the downward trend of his career path, the few hits he has been able to produce, what clearly looked like the normal end of a career - given that it has wildly spiked outside of normal levels - I think it's not unreasonable to correlate that wild spike with the use of performance enhancing drugs.

So, what am I not understanding?

Where's the Congressional hearings? When's the grand jury convening? When's the raid on his house, gym, doctor's office? When will Sports Illustrated start a jihad to see that he is viewed in the same league as OJ Simpson? When will we talk about the children? The innocent, impressionable children?

What am I not...

Oh, you know what - things make more sense after I read this:;_ylt=AmVKR0i8rg8m8d1YjOnOr8c5nYcB?slug=li-clear011409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

You should read it, it's the biggest sports story of the year so far.

I'll short version it for you.

1. Use of the Clear, the drug Bonds is accused of taking, wasn't illegal.
2. The active ingredient wasn't classified as a steroid.
3. There are no studies to indicate that the clear enhances muscle growth.

I have been saying for years that the degree to which the federal government has attempted to imprison Barry Bonds for his miniscule part in a miniscule crime (less than $2000 worth of drugs was uncovered in the BALCO raids) is an utter abuse of power. I've been saying for the past 18 months that Bonds was going to beat this charge. And I've been saying for the past year that Barry Bonds is going to the Hall of Fame.

History will regard as silly the persecution of Barry Bonds, and of virtually all of those branded with the scarlet steroid S. Less because we'll decide that steroids were okay to take after all (although, we will) but because justice, legal and moral, requires some level of proportion and evenhandedness. Jason Giambi gets his own moustache day at Yankee Stadium; Andy Pettitte and Evander Holyfield get to keep their reputations as good guys (both overtly Christian, huh, imagine that) Arnold gets to be the Governor of California, everyone associated with the Bush Administration goes into the private sector, Mickey Rourke gets a Golden Globe, and Barry Bonds goes on trial in March.

I guess I understand it pretty well after all.

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