Thursday, April 14, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award 4 - Groot

"I am Groot"  A great line from the Guardians of the Galaxy but what does it mean?  Whatever the director wanted it to mean maybe.  Or is there a deeper message that was being communicated here?

Anyway, as Billy Hill was driving his keyed up Ford F-150 truck down the highway today listening to Redbone's Come and Get Your Love, it dawned on him that Groot is certainly one bad-ass dude worthy of the Billy Hill Badassery Award number 4.  

Yes, just looking at him you can tell he is one bad-ass mofo and certainly, he was one dog with more than just a bark.  So, Billy Hill is certainly not going out on a limb to grant this honor to Marvel's marvelous creation.  In fact, his total character firmly roots him as a worthy recipient.

You see, a bad-ass does not have to be a jerk, in fact, a bad-ass can be quite kind.  In fact, one could argue that badassery without kindness is just jerkiness.  There certainly is a line between a bad-ass and just a plain old ordinary ass don't you think?

And yes, so Groot was a hero in the battle scenes, fearless and lethal.  But not a beast.  And most of all, he taught us a good lesson: "we are Groot".  So Billy Hill pondered, what does I am Groot really mean?

Then Billy Hill found this great excerpt and stole it for the blog.  Groot is a giving and helpful character and probably the nicest guy on the team; he is such because he doesn't have any feeling of desire, greed, or "the world owes me ____." Each character in GOTG has an agenda in the team: Rocket and Quill want money, Gamora and Drax want revenge, Starlord wants recognition, but Groot doesn't express any desire. He isn't seeking anything for anything he wants, he's already complete and satisfied, a sentiment he makes very clear: "I am Groot."
Since he is complete, wants nothing, (except he did want his cut of the take) he instead devotes his time to give others what they need. He stuck with Rocket - perhaps the biggest sore thumb in the universe with no companions ("Ain't no thing like me, 'cept me!") - to try and give him what he needed, companionship. When he got wrapped up with Gamora, Drax, and Starlord, he saw other people consumed by their desires for murder, vengeance, money, lust, and glory, and decided to give them what they needed as well - friends.
When Rocket's making their escape plan from the prison, Groot's already executing it because he wants the team to bond. Rather than ignoring the street urchins in Knowhere, he offers one a flower - a simple gift, and being far from mortal pleasures, a greater present to the girl than money. And if you replace his 3 words with their assumed deeper meaning from paragraph one (i.e. I am complete, happy, and enlightened through kinship and severance from mortal desire), it makes more sense when he chooses to say them - and why the other characters, especially the debatably most sinful, Starlord the master thief, can't understand them. Rocket criticizes the 12% plan, Quill gets angry at his future prisonmates, Rocket lampoons Drax for his crazy murderous tendencies, each time Groot is trying to tell them the importance of accepting each other and turning from sin.
It's no mistake that when Groot lights up the dark interior of Ronan's ship (enlightening it, if you will), someone asks how Groot learned to do that, and Quill already knows the answer (simple pattern recognition, or finally getting to know the words' meaning?). And immediately after Drax comes to understand the full breadth of their friendship. Soon after that, Groot embraces his family to save them from imminent death. Now, in his final moments, the Guardians understand their friendship. They understand, even for a brief moment, that revenge, wealth, lust, all pale in comparison to the joys of being accepted and loved by friends and family. Here in this scene, where the other characters "wee the light", Groot speaks new words to show how proud he is of them. "We are Groot." In his death, the Guardians fully understand how important it is to work together by sharing the Power Gem's burden and defeating Ronan. And Groot is reborn.
And so Groot, Billy Hill proudly bestows upon you the Billy Hill Badassery Award, and Billy Hill thinks to himself, "am I Groot?"  Man at times it does not seem so, but at other times, usually when surrounded by true friends that love and accept you, that KNOW you and STILL LOVE you, yes, there are certainly some Groot moments.  

Billy Hill here, I like it neat