Alright, alright, alright!

There’s no worse feeling than being alone; not physically alone, but spiritually. I’ve written a lot over the last several years because I’m lonely. In a world devoid of decency and honor and truth, I feel alone. And so, I write. And the strangest thing happens. I don’t feel lonely anymore. Because with every article (the good ones anyway) someone says, “Alirght, alright, alright!” It seems they read because they feel alone too. And for a few magic moments, as the words spill out of my gut and onto the page, my loneliness is purged. The reader’s magic moment is when they scan through the words and find they’re not alone either. For the time it takes me to write and the time it takes you to read, for those few minutes, we are united in a world where the good guys win. It’s fleeting, but it’s enough to keep a guy going.
Last Sunday night, millions of us rallied around one of those special moments. It happened in the strangest of places, and through one of the most unlikely characters. At the Academy Awards, Matthew McConaughey stood before an audience of silly, self-absorbed entertainers and paid homage to his family, his philosophy, and most astoundingly, his God. A perplexed audience listened as he gave a well prepared speech about a man in the afterlife making gumbo, a nuclear family that he wanted to “make proud,” and a creator that gave him a reason for being. To a group of people used to orgies and drug dens, hearing about wives, children and a deity makes for a strange Sunday evening. In his acceptance he didn’t focus on the movie he’d made, or the plight of people with AIDS, or the impact it’s had on the “gay community.” All of those topics would’ve received raucous applause and approval from the hall. Instead, he focused on the good character he’d played and the good character that he is. The silence from the audience was deafening, but it was not the silence of disapproval. There were no boos or hisses. It was the silence of confusion. They did applaud him as he finished, but I think it was more for the quality of the delivery than the message.
Interestingly, the best part of the speech was not the bravest part. When describing his hero, McConaughey said it has always been himself ten years down the road. He’s never lived up to his own expectations, and he knows he never will. Now in his 40’s, he has accepted that he’ll never be the man he’d like to be, but he’s going to keep striving for it anyway. This is a very optimistic outlook on life. Focused on the one thing in his life he can control, his actions, McConaughey has achieved greatness. I have known great men in my life, but I’ve never known one that accomplished everything they wanted. The great ones always leave room for improvement, and they keep hope alive for the future. When they reach old age and time runs out, that hope is invested in posterity. In less than a four minute speech Sunday, an actor expressed a lifetime of hope.
Hollywood liberals are a very close-minded group. They celebrate diversity as long as it’s attacking societal norms that aren’t really normal anymore. Sometimes it’s as if they’re fighting 1950’s America not realizing that she’s been dead for decades anyway. Last Sunday night, a true form of diversity was on display. We were presented with someone brave enough to be himself. Provided with an opportunity and a podium a Texan rose to the challenge. Should anyone be surprised? That’s what Texans do. It’s what men do. I commented the other day that it made me proud to see him win, and prouder to see his acceptance. There aren’t many John Wayne’s or Jimmy Stewart’s, or actual men left in America. For a few minutes in 2014, we got to see true manliness on display. Not because he’s muscular. Not because he’s the sexiest man alive. The manliest thing he ever did was to humble himself before the things that really matter. In the moment when most of the people in the room would’ve crowed, he gave credit to everyone but himself. What would it be like to have a country full of people like that? What if all the boys grew up and started acting like men? Here’s hoping.


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