(Part 3 of 7)
Throughout America’s history, we learn of great men like Abraham Lincoln who stood up for freedom of ideals and freedom of people. But there’s one great American that is easily overlooked. He’s Kip from the great comedy film Napoleon Dynamite.
Kip, like Abe Lincoln, is a man who is open to change. Kip is a symbol of the freedoms given to us by the outcome of the American Revolution and especially the American Civil War. In addition to this great American symbol of freedom, Kip taps into the core of permanent change known as reinvention.
Just as the American Revolutionary War created freedom for a group of rejects in 13 colonies, it’s Kip’s revolution of love that affords him a breakthrough from nerddom and 32-year-old rejects. His reinvention of himself leads to personal freedom from the past. But like all things to gain freedom, there has to be something to sacrifice. For Kip, that something to sacrifice is logic. Like a great war, Kip uses the weapon of love to conquer his own logical battles and gain freedom to reinvention.
Although Kip is like an ambassador of the modern American; for example, he relies on technology to build intimate relationships, is an entrepreneur, and bridges the gap between the races, he doesn’t move beyond his logic. At least, not until he falls in love.
Let’s take a step back to see where he, Uncle Rico and Napoleon watch a videotape of Uncle Rico tossing a football. In this scene Napoleon yelps, “This is pretty much the worst video ever made.” And Kip logically responds, “Napoleon, like anyone can even know that.” But it’s through Kip’s 1+1=2 attitude that we see him successfully walk down the path of reinvention.
Kip is feeble and eventually learns to stand up for himself - much like our American ancestors did against the British Empire and King George III. i guess this would make Kip his own King and country: Kip, the King of Kipland? Hmm, anyway, his journey begins as it does for other great Americans, which is by simply following his heart into opposing forces.
Kip begins his revolutionary war of the self by taking financial and relational risks, and by seeking far fetched dreams, which are great American attributes. One financial risk and ludicrous dream involved Uncle Rico. They invested into a time machine in hopes for a better life. Of course i believe the best life is that you’re you. You have the best life. i say this as a heathen, because like Kip, i’ve tried to move locations in an effort to escape myself. It doesn’t work. Escape never works. Only living in the person you are works.
Kip’s logic for agreeing to be a business partner with his uncle is to raise money to meet LaFawnduh. She and Kip have been chatting it up over the internet and haven’t met. Kip’s logic becomes disrupted by true love. We, the audience, cannot bring about a logical explanation of how love has brought together Kip - an emaciated nerdy white boy - and LaFawnduh - a tall black woman from Detroit. Only love understands its lovers. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of such a compatible relationship between races, and we get to witness it.
Kip learns of his significance by abandoning logic. He finds significance through LaFawnduh. He’s not a 32 year-old loser as his younger brother believes him to be. And it takes an American woman from Detroit - of the LaFawnduh nature - for him to embrace this meaningful status. LaFawnduh is the reason why Kip is willing to take crap from his business parter/uncle. Which he probably wouldn’t do under normal unloving circumstances. But Kip’s desire to meet LaFawnduh brings out the best in him.
His relationship with her is a milestone for transformation. He learns to accept himself for who he is - which i suppose is an unemployed-dorky-older-brother-who-is-not-a-businessman, i.e., “How about some gold bracelets?” More importantly he sets aside his reasoning for doing anything. This is why he doesn’t feel the need to explain to his brother, uncle and the audience why’s he’s moving to Detroit with LaFawnduch.
Even so, Kip gives a symbolic reinvention by exchanging his nerdy button-up attire for hip hop regalia. The heart inspires change. The American list of behaviors of what to do and not to do are broken when the heart seeks independence. Among the changes in his appearance, he no longer wears glasses. i believe this is because he sees life through the eyes in his heart than through man made optics.
Beyond this, we see that as Kip falls deeper in love with LaFawnduh that the tension between he and his brother Napoleon also mellows out. It’s almost as if a familial war of ideals comes to a conclusion with Kip rising to the occasion as George Washington had done against the British. Clear vision and reconciliation are headed Kip’s way.
Kip has broken through into a American Love Revolution. The path to reinvention is in focus. Perhaps Kip adopts the 60‘s mantra of “Make Love, Not War”. Overall, Kip gives us the inspiration to see how love alters life into reinvention of oneself. We foresee great freedoms for Kip all because he conquered logic with love.
(To Be Continued with Pedro)