Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ricky Vaughn, Motivational Speaker

Through the last week of the soul-testing (and often soul-destroying) gauntlet that is the academic job market, I've had a regular source of comfort. I'm not talking about my family and friends (though they have been as supportive and encouraging as anyone could possibly hope). Nor am I talking about the Bible or any of the other typical sources of wisdom people cite when they try to say something profound about a difficult situation. No. I'm talking about the cinematic masterpiece Major League.

There's a scene as the Indians are about to finish up training camp where Ricky Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen) thinks he's been cut from the team. He storms into the manager's office and delivers one of the classic lines in movie history:

I got news for you Mr. Brown, you haven't heard the last of me. You may think I'm shit now, but someday you're gonna be sorry you cut me. I'm gonna catch on somewhere else and every time that I pitch against you I'm gonna stick it up you're fuckin' ass!

Vaughn punctuates this poetic tirade by throwing a baseball as hard as he can against a locker.

Now in the movie, Vaughn hasn't been cut--he's just the victim of a clubhouse prank. Still, the sentiment captures what I've been feeling of late. I don't want to be comforted or assured that "everything will be alright." I just want to work harder so that I can prove to everyone that passing over me is their loss. Maybe that's not the most noble of motives. But I don't think it's an entirely vicious one either. And anyway, it's where I am.

Plus, I can't help but laugh every time I think about the scene and levity can't be overvalued when you're staring a completely uncertain future in the eyes.


Susan said...

That's the spirit!!

Matt Foley said...

Yes, terrific freakin' attitude! ... better than livin' in a VAN down by the RIVER!

AJK said...

What's funny about this is that I almost deleted your comment because I couldn't place the name Matt Foley. A little slow on the uptake.

Mark Traphagen said...

To bring this full circle (and to no good end), a classmate of mine at WTS made national news when he was booted out of his high school graduation in the middle of his valedictorian speech which he did as Matt Foley, motivational speaker.

And now you know the rest of the story.

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