Cinco de Mayo and New Novel REJEX both Spin Exhilarating David versus Goliath Tales
Human history is colorfully laced with rousing David versus Goliath stories from the original biblical tale in the Book of Samuel as Goliath, a Philistine giant, is defeated by the young Israelite David in single combat.
Since then David vs Goliath has come to signify all sorts of exciting underdog scenarios and contests where a smaller, seemingly weaker opponent faces and defeats a much stronger adversary. It’s happened in every sphere in human action, from history to sports to politics — in many ways, Donald Trump’s election victory, albeit not in the popular vote, was such an underdog win. And, that one still hurts for the majority of people in America and indeed worldwide.
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated this weekend here in North America and it also represents a David and Goliath tale. That enduring story follows. But this weekend also saw a similar story in the sport of kings, at the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby when Country House, a highly unfavoured nag and a 65–1 long shot, won the Derby after a historic disqualification.
For the record, some of sports’ biggest David and Goliath upsets include: U.S. beats Soviets in Olympic ice hockey, 1980; New York Jets defeat Baltimore Colts, Super Bowl III, 1969; Villanova tops Georgetown to win 1985 NCAA championship; Buster Douglas KOs Mike Tyson for heavyweight championship, 1990; New York Mets defeat Baltimore Orioles for 1969 World Series
In history, there have also been major battles won by the underdog with the most famous being The Battle Of Thermopylae (480 B.C.) — aka the Battle of the 300, it was turned into a rousing movie and box office smash, called 300.
Cinco de Mayo was also based on a historic David versus Goliath battle, and the date (May 05) is commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The battle was a game-changer, both nationally and internationally. It’s reported that this “battle was significant in that the 4,000 Mexican soldiers were greatly outnumbered by the well-equipped French army of 8,000 that had not been defeated for almost 50 years.”
As a result, historians suggest that, had Mexico not defeated the French in Puebla, France would’ve supported the Confederacy in the American Civil War and the United States’ destiny would have been different.
Indeed, Actor Kuno Becker, who played Santiago Muñez in the football movie Goal! and its sequels and also Drew Ramos on the long-standing drama series Dallas, portrayed the lead role, General Ignacio Zaragoza, in Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla. Of the movie, directed by Mexican filmmaker Rafa Lara, Becker has admitted, “It was a project that I wanted to be a part of, and Zaragoza was someone I really looked up to. He is an icon in Mexico like other heroes of our history.”
Additionally, in my own new novel, REJEX, which officially is released today on Cinco de Mayo, the David and Goliath tale is given another fictional spin, as I create the Middle Kingdom legend of Min and his adversary Gang Jun — this myth also offers a blueprint for fighting against a superior enemy or even a bully.
Abana, who’s the teenaged son of a soldier “rejex” an outsider exiled from the mainland to the island of Geto, only has eyes for captivating Aiya, also a teen offspring of an exiled mainlander. As charismatic Abana begins to woo Aiya, he enthralls her with the myth that ‘instead of using and wasting great armies, the Middle Kingdom legend tells of another way that disagreeing people settled their differences — one-on-one combat as a solution to a disagreement.”
While showing Aiya his own prowess with a simple but dangerous slingshot, Abana relates:
“The tribe of Timur politely asked for a trade route through the lands of Kaz. But, they couldn’t agree terms, so it came down to Kaz’s warrior king, Gang Jun, taking on Timur’s knight-prince Min. Gang Jun was a massive warrior with these huge guns. You know, biceps. Anyway, Gang Jun could snap an opponent’s neck with his bare hands. Min sensed he couldn’t overcome his opponent’s strength, so he relied on guerilla tactics using surprise, stealth and smarts.”
In REJEX, Abana theatrically acts out his story:
“Min would fly his personal emblem of a fighting cock with spurs on its feet. Bold. And, his army members were all dressed in brilliant lilywhite — with a ‘Blanchflower,’ a beautiful but deadly white flower, embroidered into their lilywhite clothing. Min and his ‘Blanchflower’ army were adept tacticians. In combat, they would cleverly take advantage of the elements around them. They’d attack from downwind against opponents that had a superior sense of smell. They’d change to camouflage colors when needed to combat opponents with superior vision.
“But against Gang Jun, Min used his agile feet to keep away from the giant warrior’s sword. He was a constantly moving target that couldn’t be taken down by the Gang Jun’s vicious sword — a weapon so sharp it could slice a wild predator in two. So, Min feinted, he dodged, he weaved, all the while looking for one specific moment when Gang Jun lifted his head and exposed his throat. So, strategically using the falling sun behind him to temporarily blind Gang Jun, Min let fly with his sling and his dead eye shot hit home, taking down Gang Jun who collapsed like he was a falling tree trunk.”
To which my heroine Aiya, while flirting, enthusiastically tells Abana, “Timberrrrrr! I think Min is my new hero, because he helped Timur find a new trade route without a bloody battle, right?”
And that’s how two rebellious “rejexes” begin to bond and soon ask the question, “So, why we are considered a rejex, who get’s to choose and why?”
As the logline of REJEX goes: On a hidden planet somewhere in the galaxy, there’s a culture clash between a bullying high-tech society and a world full of ancient magick.