The Rock is the Living Embodiment of Pulp

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In the ongoing discussion of the pulp revolution making its way around the blogosphere, one question has vexed many who have entered the fray: what, exactly, does it mean to be “pulp?” Many have tried to answer. Most have struggled. The current winner seems to be answer by exclusion: defining what pulp isn’t. Today I propose an answer by analogy: Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”) is the living embodiment of Pulp.

Consider:

His entire career is built on charisma. But where does his charisma come from? He’s not a particularly great actor. Many of his movies aren’t particularly great from a writing standpoint, yet people love them. Why?

It’s because he’s having fun. And that fun is infectious. It doesn’t matter if the movie concept is patently absurd (The Fast and the Furious). That’s ok – in fact, it’s a great Pulp trait. It’s crazy, but it’s fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mediocre remake (Get Smart). We don’t care if he’s a good guy (The Scorpion King) or a bad guy (The Mummy Returns). It doesn’t even really matter if the movie’s any good (most of his films actually aren’t). Watching him on screen is always tremendous fun.

The Rock picks films that have an absurd – but cool – premise. He plays over-the-top roles, and he plays them as larger than life. His sense of fun shines through in every role, and his fun is infectious. He doesn’t care that people don’t take him seriously – because he never takes himself too seriously, either. His style plays to the tastes of the masses, not the elites. He’s never afraid to make fun of himself.

You ask me, “what is Pulp?” My friends, I give you The Rock.

Russell Newquist

My name is Russell Newquist. I am a software engineer, a martial artist, an author, an editor, a businessman and a blogger. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, but I'm technically a high school dropout. I also think that everything in this paragraph is pretty close to meaningless. I work for a really great small company in Huntsville, Alabama building really cool software. I'm the owner and head instructor of Madison Martial Arts Academy, which I opened in 2013 less to make money and more because I just really enjoy a good martial arts workout with friends. I'm the editor in chief of Silver Empire and also one of the published authors there. And, of course, there is this blog - and all of its predecessors. There's no particular reason you should trust anything I say any more than any other source. So read it, read other stuff, and think for your damn self - if our society hasn't yet over-educated you to the point that you've forgotten how.

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