The politics of The Karate Kid…

Karate KidThe Karate Kid is an evil pinko Hollywood propaganda film (and I mean that in a good way). Daniel, son of a Noo Joisey single-mum transplanted to blue-collar Reseda, falls in love with a rich girl whose family sneers at him and is beaten up by rich kids from the ultra-expensive – and ultra-EVIL – Cobra Kai gym, run on fascist lines and glorifying pain and cheating. Unable to afford tuition, thanks to the economic oppression of his Mom, he insteads works for free tuition at the hands of the secret karate master ethnic minority gentleman next door, whose wife and child died as a direct result of the US government’s racist policies.

The “self-help/hard work/working for exploitative wages and being grateful for it” montage made the whole thing seem unthreatening to white
suburban Dads. But in the end, rich capitalists, who glorify in the oppression of the working man, who only achieve more because of the vast sums invested in their education and who cheat to win, are identified with EVIL: pain, cruelty, pettiness and fascism. Daniel is goodness personified, a poor boy with his non-White equally poor best friend. Together they crush the forces of fascism and revanchism, because despite their willingness to cheat and huge social advantages, Daniel is not only more moral but also better at karate.

The bonsai tree bits show Miyagi’s culture is beautiful, ancient, wise and in every respect equally to be treasured as ours. Although it has an unfortunate tendency to kill innocent people in internment and forced labour camps with particular cruelty, the fact that Miyagi’s wife and infant daughter died in a US government internment camps demonstrates “We have all been hurt. We have all inflicted wounds.” As I said, pure pinko propaganda.

While the Crane Kick scene was rather good. But the film was lame – even had a massively clichéd “one good Nazi who ultimately saw throught it all” scene. And still vastly better than the truly lamentable Karate Kid 2.

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