One of my favorite vintage 80’s movies is The Karate Kid. Ralph Macchio stole the hearts of a country with his courageous performance by almost single-handedly battling a stable of Cobra Kai goons and somehow vanquishing them all when he captured the prestigious All Valley Karate Championship (previous champeens – Bruce Lee, Liu Kang, and Jackie Chan). Everyone loves to root for the underdog, right? But what happens if we look at Daniel LaRusso’s story through the lens of a Cobra Kai member? Or even a nonpartisan classmate who sees this from the sidelines? A different pattern emerges, one with peculiar and quite frankly sheepish overtones. I’ve listed a few examples for the reader in order to build the case that Daniel San had it coming to him.
1) You don’t move from shithole Newark, NJ to the San Vernando Valley of LA and walk in there like you’re something special. The people of LA are trendier, cooler, better looking and superior athletes than you. Daniel ‘Donkeylips’ LaRusso came in, started showing off by knee-bumping a soccer ball to impress Ali Mills and her cum dumpster friends as ‘Cruel Summer’ blares in the background. Dude, you just moved there. Ease in a little bit. Don’t rock the boat. And don’t go after the hottest girls your first week. There’s a jock/meathead pecking order with these gals, and you are right behind trench-coated thespians on the ‘To-Do’ list. And then you go after a girl who just had a rough breakup with Cobra Kai cleanup hitter Johnny Lawrence? Are you nuts? That’s like rattling the cages at Gitmo, except instead of cages there’s….air. Bad form. Liquor up a slam pig and get your rocks off. Don’t start the semester with enemies. Trousered Apes Prescribed Punishment (‘TAPP’) – a shove against a locker/finger wagging ‘You better watch out’ warning from Johnny.
2) His lack of solid judgment and overall clumsiness got him in foolish situations. He dressed up as a frigging shower curtain for a Halloween party, but no girl would be caught dead going in ‘the shower’ because he hadn’t manscaped since the Carter administration. At least link up with some buddies from class and go in tandem. Cobra Kai went as skeletons. Everyone else was a ninja or Superman. You’re a damn shower curtain with swamp-ass (‘swass’ as the kids call it these days) and the body of a cross country runner. Strike 1. Strike 2 came in the form of his overall clumsiness when he arrived at the formal that he was clearly not invited to. Ali, Johnny, and her parents were at this stuffy affair, errybody was having a good time doing the ‘white person dance’ and Johnny decides to sneak some tongue into the equation. Not a big deal (I’ve been kicked off the playground for even lesser infractions). But the dumb bastard tried to play hero and ended up backing into a waiter serving spaghetti. Chaos and laughter ensue. Did anyone dare to ask, “How did this asshole even get in here, let alone the kitchen?” Who was working the door, Mexico Border Security? Tuuka Rask in the last 17 seconds of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup? TAPP – the spaghetti was embarrassing enough, but for good measure I would have given him a swift dick-kick to bring him to his knees, grab him by the neck and say something 80’s like ‘You’re on thin ice/dead meat, creep’.
|Get 'eem, boyz!!!!|
3) He had a really gay mountain bike. Sorry to use the word ‘gay’ but my understanding from the Supreme Court decision was that with the equal treatment of same sex couples comes mainstreaming of the word ‘gay’. That means we can call things ‘gay’ without feeling ashamed about it anymore. Kinda like ‘the race card ended when Obama got elected, so stop your fucking bitching and start acting accountable for your actions.’ Ok wow this was not supposed to get animated, it’s a Karate Kid blog post. Simmer down. He was always trying to get away on his gay mountain bike (without a helmet, no less) that wasn’t even equipped to handle the undulating hills and dirt roads of Reseda. Get that thing fashioned before you run your Mongoose into the ground. And then he gets to the apartment complex and has the audacity to BLAME THE BIKE for his black eye when the Cobra Kai inevitably catches up with ‘eem! Look in the mirror brosef! YOU brought this on yourself. I don’t trust teenagers on mountain bikes. Even less so when they wear jorts whilst biking. Daniel San at least didn’t wear jorts. So that counts for something. But my gahhd, watch this scene and roll your eyes:
He gets owned by the Cobra Kai, takes an epic dive down a hill and takes his guido aggression out on a damn mountain bike while his mother looks on. Are you kidding me? And we’re supposed to ROOT for him? TAPP – well, the bike crash was good enough punishment in my book. I would have backed off the Cobra Kai for a few days after that stunt.
4) The Mr. Miyagi factor. He has a WWII vet/alcoholic bail him out of all his problems. In essence, he had an implied immunity from the Cobra Kai during the second half of the movie due to a Mr. Miyagi WWE-style run-in. Can’t hang out with kids his age cause he already burned his bridges with the ‘establishment’ popular kids after they saw his pathetic display at the soccer tryouts/Halloween party/Spaghetti Formal. Needs to rely on an old chinaman to clear house like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin at a Royal Rumble. Every single time. Did anyone ever even land a blow to this guy, or did they feel bad that he was old and smelled like almond paste and cheap Cherry Mash bourbon? And then there’s Daniel San cheerleading in the background like the frigging rodent on Jabba The Hut’s shoulder in Star Wars. Pathetic.
5) And what about LaRusso being duped into clean Miyagi’s house? ‘Muscle Memory’ my ass. A down and out handyman has five cars and a nice rancher and needs help upkeeping the place because nobody wants to work with him cause he’s weird. Cleaning floors, cars, furniture and being a glorified janitor for no pay. That’s what you git, Daniel. You shot for the moon with Ali Mills, she dates you out of pity, and you are slaving for a depressed old man and a seemingly insurmountable language barrier. And this can’t exactly go on your resume when you study Communications at UCLA. ‘Helped neighborhood creeper with his house, but don’t worry he paid me with protection because I’m an arrogant prick who can’t stay out of trouble.’ Can you say ‘career student’ at that point? TAPP – Ya know, throughout the movie there was that recurring scene where the opponent is at their deathbed and the adversary hold a tilted palm out and says ‘Live or die, man’, only to honk their nose. I kinda wish Johnny pulled a Steven Segal and actually finished off Daniel San once and for all, threw his denim jacket over his shoulder, put his arm around Ali Mills, and said something corny like, ‘Let’s ditch this chump-bucket’, fooled around in his Camaro and made her have an abortion six weeks later. Or at least sweep that damn leg. That’s my alternate ending to the movie. And we wouldn’t even need to go through the torture of the sequel.