Monday, August 27, 2007

Mr. Miyagi: Bad Teacher

I just watched The Karate Kid for the first time since I was a little (karate) kid and I was shocked to see how bad an influence Mr. Miyagi is on Daniel-san. Here is why:

-He uses him as his personal manservant, teaching him only the most basic karate techniques as a crafty means of hoodwinking an impressionable child into doing his housework done for him ("Show me paint the me drive me around me answer my phone for me while I take a nap.")

-He gives a 16-year-old kid booze. Illegal.

-He monopolizes all his time and keeps him from his peers. Right from the start of the film, Daniel-san hits it off with a kid in his new apartment building. Then when the old guy and his young padawan get all chummy where's the kid go? He vanishes! He probably went off to find friends who aren't more interested in codgery old janitors who outsource their chores. And the kid wonders why he can't get a date!

-He convinces this shrimp he can beat up bullies. Hey man, violence doesn't solve everything. It's called conflict management — look it up.

-He would later take Daniel with him to Okinawa and then later get him to give him all his money to start a bonsai tree business, effectively ruining the child's chances of going on to college and ensuring that once that sweet karate money dries up he's pretty much dependent on being Mr. Miyagi's slave for life.

Great movie...great, great movie. Better than I remembered (Also: way more like Rocky than I remembered). But still...Mr. Miyagi left a weird taste in my mouth. Look at this!

"Daniel-san! Show me carry my lazy ass around!"

That just ain't right.



Blogger Matt Singer said...

A good friend just observed how disgusting, particularly in this context, the phrase "Mr. Miyagi left a weird taste in my mouth," is.

That was unintentional but also kind of fortunate.

9:57 PM  

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