Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Show Must Go On: Alternative Steps in Putting Up a Family


So, you’re a man, a father in your late 40’s. You’ve got two kids undergoing the most turbulent phase in their lives- puberty. You’ve got a beautiful wife, nagger, but at least a very supportive one. And life is freakin’ difficult.



Would you deny your family happiness which others achieve undeservingly? Of course not! Every good father wants happiness and prosperity for his family- proper food and shelter, better opportunities, good life and better education.

Others are just blessed to have freaking mental capacities. Others are simply lucky being born into opulent social ogres.

And how about the average people like you and me? Do we just stand in front of life and watch it pass by? Do we just hope for good things, and wait, and be patient, and if nothing happens, shrug everything off?

The principle is that good things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. And total surrender and acceptance of fate are the main rule to become good drifting souls.

But for In-gu (Song Kang-ho) in the film “The Show Must Go On”, you don’t just stand there and let everything escape from your grasp.

He cares too much for his family that he would do the alternative way of pursuing happiness.

Alternative principle 1- Determine your attitude and character

Our hero, In-gu, is a sweet and considerate father and husband. He wants a house for his kids, even though, his daughter is ashamed of him because of his job as a kingpin of a criminal syndicate. His wife on the other hand wants him to get a stable job. Though he’s emotionally distressed by these facts, he still tries to keep his composure and whole-heartedly fulfils his job as a loving and forgiving father with great persistence and tenacity.

Alternative principle 2- Serve Godfathers and Mafia Lords

Markets and the economy are continually battered by stupid and inefficient government reforms, political leaders are more on improving their status and appeal rather than improving our lives, and there is simply no decent job around, even one that is enough to feed your family.

So where to go? Criminal syndicates. I mean what’s the big difference between criminal syndicates and your congressmen and other politicians? Nothing. Except that those who are in the government make you pay when you screw things up, and they make you pay also when they screw things up.

Go to companies? For what? To get short-term working contracts with salaries lower than the minimum wage, expose yourself to legalised labour exploitation, and adhere to the ethics of deprive-yourself-of-your-rights-and-kiss-ass-and-sell-your-soul-for-a-dime labour and employment policies and professionalism? Are you really in for it?

Criminals and the mafia are much more honourable than these sanctified bureaucrats and conventional means of making a living. In-gu’s godfather gave him an acceptable house and steady income. All he needed was to be loyal to his boss, and his boss would be loyal to him. You won’t get these things easily in ways that are considered legal and acceptable.

Alternative principle 3- Be watchful of potential enemies

We have said that one must enter a criminal syndicate to survive. And loyalty is not enough, especially when the number one of the gang is also aging and nearing death. There will always be power struggle.

In-gu had to deal so much controversies and conspiracies against him, since he was the favourite of the leader. So you better watch out for back-stabbers- those who do it metaphorically and literally.

Alternative principle 4- The show must go on

You must understand that once you embark in this journey, from being a junior hitman to a numero uno kingpin, there is no turning back. For In-gu, that kind of life was a blessing and salvation. He was able to lift up his family from the murky swamp of mediocrity to a better life with many opportunities.

But such accomplishment of a gangster is never without betrayal, bullets and bloodshed. Loyalties and friendships will be tested, and dark times will reveal who you are and whom you really care for.

Such life is like a labyrinth. To survive and live longer, you must go forward and go further your way. If you stop, you’ll be lost in the darkness and die. One cannot afford to die suddenly. Too much is at risk. You keep on going forward, but your existence becomes even more miserable.

And for In-gu, whatever happens, through tears and very few unlikely moments of joys, the show must go on.

Here’s a lesson for you- watch the movie it’s great. Study harder, if you’re a student. Get a life, if you’re a freeloader. Get back to work, your slacker. Believe in God, if you’re about to enter In-gu’s world. Jump off a building and die, if you’re a delusional corrupt politician.

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