Sometimes our educational system fails us. Next time a troll or a liberal friend insists The Undefeated movie title is “wrong” because Sarah Palin lost her VP bid in 2008, tell them to take their complaints to Ernest Hemingway.
(Yeah, I didn’t go to Harvard Law, either, but I can Google.)
The “Old Man and the Sea” himself wrote a short story in 1927 titled “The Undefeated,” about an aging bullfighter struggling to maintain pride and dignity in the violent world of bull fighting, facing much younger competitors. (Apparently, there is also a 1969 John Wayne movie with the same title about a Union officer teaming with Southern confederates in Mexico after the Civil War.)
Same title, different stories. In neither case, however, does “the undefeated” equate only with having a perfect record (which must be a huge disappointment to liberal literalists everywhere.)
Both tales instead revolve around a more general and poetic meaning of the term (when it is used as a noun not an adjective) to refer to stubborn, unyielding competitors who don’t accept defeat (or retirement) easily.
After all, from what I gleaned of Hemingway’s story, it took Manuel the bull fighter five attempts to slay the bull in one fight. The first four tries, his sword either bent or bounced off the bull’s bones. In the end, Manuel kills the bull, but gets gored in the process – a bloody mess!
No doubt Hemingway, a proud big-game hunter, boxer and bullfighting fan, would have been Ashley Judd’s and PETA’s enemy #1, just like Governor Palin, if he lived today. He probably would have been called uncivil by liberal talkshow hosts as Governor Palin was six months ago in the wake of a senseless shooting tied shamelessly and without reason to one of her political metaphors.
Nevertheless, Hemingway, in a less wussified time, didn’t shy from aggressive metaphor: he sublimely compared the bullfighter’s sword to his own fighting instrument – the pen, as Governor Palin similarly affirmed that “taking up our arms” refers to effecting change at the ballot box.
As a writer, I thought this quote was rather cool.
HEMINGWAY: In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused.
Bent and blunted … but always with something to write about … doesn’t that sound like how it feels some days in the stubborn and unyielding battle against socialism? We have to keep putting ourselves out there for criticism and return to the grindstone, to hammer our ideas into shape, to sharpen our swords, as it were. It reminds me of Governor Palin’s constant activity with her Facebook posts, book tours, and speeches, as she tirelessly does what she has to do! (She even quoted Hemingway, yesterday!)
Certainly none of us feels unused with nothing to say, although ”smooth and well-oiled” does remind me of a few RINO politicians we know.
And since we all lived through the election of Barack Obama – the least qualified, most radical president in American history — and vowed to make that a short-term setback, we are all “The Undefeated.” (We’re also fighting against a lot of bull, to be sure.)
We will not be defined by a 2008 loss, but will fearlessly and cheerfully “fight” until we can’t fight anymore — ’til they metaphorically drag our wounded, bleeding, barely breathing bodies out of the arena.
As Steve Bannon himself said: The Undefeated is about Sarah Palin’s unwavering character and principles.
But then, what would liberal trolls know about that?