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The other guys 2


On anger & freedom

Our story leaves these superhuman creatures behind to show us the other guys, of whom we are rarely aware & never proud. They never acquired fame & fortune… Democratic men have no great virtues; their lives & ambitions do not reach the highest perches known to mankind. Enter Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell.

Wahlberg is an angry white man. It’s hard to be white & manly in America, athletes aside, but you had better start with anger. He wants fame & justice, mostly fame, but not injustice, at least. He loves his job. Doing it well is the beginning of wisdom for him. He only hates effeminate things & his failures. He thinks they are connected. In anger, he starts kicking things around & declaring: I’m like a peacock, you gotta let me fly. He might have said eagle & soar. But peacocks strut, whereas eagles do not.

Wahlberg contemns his new partner, who is a weakling: who can be a citizen – let alone a policeman, or cop, as the Americans put it – but cannot defend himself? Obviously, the answer is: the retarded, the women, & perhaps the very old. You can see why the woman psychiatrist dislikes him.

Ferrell is the other guy, both policeman & bourgeois nerd. He quotes science to an angry man & gets hot scalding coffee for it. Wahlberg: If you were in the wild, I would attack you, even if you weren’t in my food chain. If I were a lion & you were a tuna, I would swim out in the middle of the ocean & eat you & bang your tuna girlfriend. Ferrell retorts: OK, first off: a lion, swimming in the ocean. Lions don’t like water. You find yourself in the ocean, 20 foot wave, I’m assuming off the coast of South Africa, coming up against a full grown 800 pound tuna with his 20 or 30 friends, you lose that battle 9 times out of 10. Manly men speak in metaphors. Nerds answer with science. Democracy is powerful because it adds great numbers to modest ability. You cannot humiliate them without suffering the consequences.

Ferrell says: when I was a boy, I went to school & made my bed. At age 11, I audited my parents. Believe me, there were some discrepancies, & I was grounded. Wahlberg tells him his music is effeminate, his car, his driving, his parking, his farting, everything… Womanly shows manly contempt for the unmanly.

But when he pedals to the metal, Ferrell screams: America. – That suggests freedom. – He is smug when he can talk back. Soon, he learns to smack Wahlberg with a wooden gun, when he is mocked for not having a real gun…