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September 20, 2007

It's Easy To Forget

But it's really weird that the primary life experience of the governor of the largest state in the nation was...being a bodybuilder. Ah well. At least he's not using football metaphors.

September 20, 2007 | Permalink


An incredibly stupid observation. His primary life experience is in building one of the most successful movie actor brand franchises ever - in a business that is anything but easy as - say - body building.

I'm a Democrat and he is definitely not my favorite but this post was just pointless. Sorry.

Posted by: Paja | Sep 20, 2007 10:30:42 AM

I agree with Paja. Another thing: Arnold Schwarzenegger won seven international titles, dominating the body building scene the way no one ever has before or since. That might not tell you anything about his intellectual capacity, but I'd like to see you exhibit the same kind of work ethic and drive and achieve even a little bit of his kind of success in any endeavor, before you mock his "life experience."

Posted by: HFS | Sep 20, 2007 10:48:53 AM

An incredibly stupid observation

Or rather, as explained, a false one.

Bodybuilding career 1965-1980
Movie career 1970-2003 at least. More than twice as long.

Posted by: Allen K. | Sep 20, 2007 10:49:50 AM


I'm a big fan, but you don't need to enlighten your audience with *every* vapid, ridiculous, nonsensical thought that enters your mind.

These are the times when I wish blogs had editors. :)

Posted by: George | Sep 20, 2007 11:13:30 AM

Wow. Don't mess with Arnold, I guess.

Could somebody explain to me, though, why I should be impressed that an actor made a bunch of money? I've enjoyed watching his movies as well, but I'm not so stupid as to think that they mean anything, or that his ability to portray a robot or whatever is preparation for governing a state.

During the nonsense that was the recall of Gray Davis, I saw all the "pro-life" conservative Christians in California just fall all over themselves to pull the level for the pro-choice Schwarzenegger even though there was an explicitly anti-abortion candidate with substantial statewide political experience and high name recognition.

But then, the "values voters" are always willing to throw their principles out the window if it garners some approval from a celebrity.

Seriously, though, electing Schwarzenegger was an embarassment. He's just another dumbass figurehead for the GOP; the only sign of intelligence he's actually shown is managing to listen to some people who don't drink the GOP Kool-aid all the time.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 20, 2007 11:58:22 AM

I think Arnold is a very unique sort of celebrity... and now politician. It's not "weird" that he used to be a bodybuilder; to the contrary, what he's talking about is the kind of health and fitness advice you get from... well, someone who's concerned about health and fitness. It's one of Schwarzenegger's more admirable qulaities that he sees health issues for what they are, and that he would use a healthmetaphor to explain the problems of the GOP seems not only smart, but well put.

As for his film career, what has to be said is that, like his bodybuilding, he worked very hard to become a bankable star - he improved his English, resculpted his physique... and the results, while not stupendous, do include some fine films (almost all of us would count Terminator, if not its sequels, as a great film). None of that may have qualified him for politics, but I agree, there's no need to denigrate the man. On getting healthy and fit, he's probably right... and we're probably not.

Posted by: weboy | Sep 20, 2007 12:49:14 PM

Don't hate. Scwarzenegger's hardly an uneducated meathead. Besides having an MBA from University of Wisconsin, Arnold was a damn successful businessman.

Before he even went into acting he was already a millionaire from his outside ventures-- a masonry business, fitness equipment mail order and real estate (and he started buying up properties in Southern California 35 years ago, that alone would have set him up with a fortune).

Posted by: beowulf | Sep 20, 2007 1:49:45 PM

dohh, obviously that's spelled Schwarzenegger-- next time I'll stick to Arnold. :o)

Posted by: beowulf | Sep 20, 2007 1:50:44 PM

Arnold made his first fortune in construction and real estate, the body building and acting were hobbies that just happened to pay off (though he might have had some other money very early on as well).

I'll repeat something someone once told me about Reagan: film and television are the key modes of communication nowadays, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that an actor should be adept at using them. Most people don't realize that bodybuilding has a lot to do about your self-presentation ("posing"). Schwarzeneggers' main book on bodybuilding distinctly emphasizes this point, and he recounts his discipline in developing this skill (there's a lot of fascinating autobiographical material in that book).

Rhetoric is as important as logic in the political arena, and just as politicians studied elocution in former days, they also need to understand how to use the camera and how to create their visual impact. Otherwise you get repeated cases of Democrat presidential candidates who fail to "connect" with the voters.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 20, 2007 1:59:27 PM

Also, I should add that Arnold was infamous in his bodybuilding days for the mind games he played on his rivals. His book also mentions the importance of using publicity in doing well in the bodybuilding arena. So he acquired a skill set that probably isn't common among athletes in other "sports." He also supposedly has "the gift of gab"--he talked a very reluctant James Cameron into casting him as the Terminator.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 20, 2007 2:11:57 PM

As for his film career, what has to be said is that, like his bodybuilding, he worked very hard to become a bankable star

Yeah, that's the angle by which his life story impresses me. He decided he wanted to be the best bodybuilder in the world, something that requires a lot of preparation and dedication, and he got dedicated and prepared, and he got it. And so then he decided to be the best action star in the world. Preparation, dedication, got it. Politics interests him. Preparation, dedication, and in one campaign he takes the highest position he's eligible for. All while developing a successful multi-million-dollar commercial enterprise on the side. I think that's a very legitimate cause for respect.

Posted by: Senescent | Sep 20, 2007 7:23:59 PM

And he's got an enormous wang!

And he can squeeze coal so hard that it turns into a diamond!

Arnold Schwarzenegger's tears can cure cancer. Unfortunately, he never cries.

Arnold Schwarzenegger can divide by zero.

Or is that Chuck Norris? And why does everyone in this thread act like Arnold "The Gropenator" Schwarzenegger is some kind of demigod?

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 20, 2007 7:56:08 PM

Because, Stephen, he had - and kind of still has, the body of said demigod. :) Does he have unattractive personal qualities? Sure; in addition to the woman, you could talk about the whole vaguely fascist vibe that surrounds his emphasis on physical perfection. But giving him a hard time for being a bodybuilder is just silly. He was, and is, actually good at it.

Posted by: weboy | Sep 20, 2007 8:36:54 PM

Besides that whole coal to diamonds thing is so not true. But it is true that those cancer people are waiting for his tears. Damn his stoicism. :)

Posted by: weboy | Sep 20, 2007 8:38:00 PM

Look, bodybuilding will never be anything more than a bunch of guys taking impossible levels of steroids and doing the same things over and over. No more impressive than a guy taking impossible amounts of Red Bull and typing endlessly on the Internet. If you believe bodybuilding to require any real skill whatsoever I have no hope for you.

Posted by: Glenn Fayard | Sep 23, 2007 6:34:18 PM

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