It's been quite a summer. Murder has been legalized in the state of Florida. Bradley Manning has been found guilty and faces 100 years+ in prison for telling the truth and "Under the Dome" has been renewed for a second season. Quite a summer indeed, a cruel summer in fact. A "cruel cruel summer."
Sometimes the ridiculousness of life stops being amusing and the parody of reality we dance through each and every day takes its toll. It beats down on us like a mid-summer's sun shining down on a half-consumed rocket pop left and forgotten on a picnic bench by its owner who, dissatisfied by its taste, leaves it, preferring to find relief from the heat through some other means. Do you know what happens when a rocket pop is left outside in the sun?The ants come ...
So with everything going on it's been a discouraging summer. It's as if we are all finding ourselves in some new and alien setting (a post 9/11-plutocratic-big-brother-dystopia) where we have no friends (only on social media ...if Ur lucky) and the few friends we thought we were able to make abandon us in our hours of need just as the going got tough (adios "Fourth Estate," thanks for nothing) all while at the same time we have scary douche bags (the increasingly militarized police-state, drones, the IRS, school loans collections, the DEA, the ATF, Scientologists, your parents mortgage broker, the RIAA, the NSA, the CIA, etc. ad infinitum) who collude to pick on us, embarrass us, imprison us - anything to make us more miserable than we already are or need to be when all we really want to do is just have innocent fun with our families and friends and get laid every once in a while. ALL THE WHILE said bags of douche are having their strings pulled by an even bigger douche (the eye in the sky) in a demonic puppet show where the world is the stage.
It's official. This is what our reality has turned into - It really has devolved into that "us" vs. "them" paradigm. It is the cruel cruel Summer of 2013 - the summer of revelation. The light-switch has been turned on and none of us can unsee and unlearn what we've seen and learned. With all we know now, there can be no denying it any longer, we've crossed a point in time in the development of our ever-evolving global village to which there is no going back across for forever. But the more I think of it, all of the variables included in the making of this modern realization kind of remind me of something. It kind of reminds me of a certain movie released in 1984 starring a certain somebody we all know and love:
The Karate Kid has left an indelible mark on pop culture, but how many really recognize how accurately it reflects our modern condition? If John Kreese is the eye in the sky and the Cobra-kais are David Ickeian nightmare manifestations of Monsanto, the NSA, CIA, IRS, Florida, the military; pharmaceutical; prison and farm-industrial complexes, and, oh yeah, if that dick Freddy - don't think we'd forget you - is the mainstream media - if all that is true - well then that makes Daniel LaRusso "us." You, me, your mom, your buddies, your girlfriend. Daniel LaRusso is us. Ralph Macchio (@RalphMachhio) is us. We are he and he is we.
More so, the iconic Daniel LaRusso is one of "the hero's" 1,000 faces that masters such as Joseph Campbell taught us about. He is on a hero's quest, and that quest reflects our collective existential predicament; and in turn that existential predicament can be observed with crystal clear clarity in the economic, political and cultural crossroads we find ourselves at in this cruel summer of revelation. The quest the Karate Kid is on? It's the liberation from tyrannical bullies. We really need to learn from Ralph Macch... I mean Daniel LaRusso.
It is with great joy and happiness that we can finally say the beneficial significance of what Ralph Macchio represents as the harbinger and vehicle of Daniel LaRusso is at last getting some of the proper recognition that conjunction of coincidence in our matrix deserves. This is all thanks to Norwegian singer-songwriter and DJ, Annie (@annieponannie), who has recently released her EP A&R this summer.
Included on that EP is the upbeat electro-pop dedication and declaration of love and admiration for the 80s teen heart-throb, aptly titled "Ralph Macchio." Queue the music:
I can't tell for certain, but I think I may be detecting a little Bananarama in the digital sample, but it might just be me.
Annie's EP is making some waves. For a relatively unknown female Scandinavian DJ the track "Ralph Macchio" is getting a lot more attention and play on YouTube and social media than you might otherwise think it would. Even Ralph himself has noticed.
Now all you have to do is listen to Annie's lyrics to know that the appreciation for Ralph Macchio she's expressing differs slightly than the kind I'm elaborating. That was a girl who had a serious crush. But who can blame her? An expressions of unmitigated innocent pre-teen lust in days gone by for Ralph Macchio is, in this writer's estimation, wholly and entirely warranted. Let us not forget that not only did Ralph Macchio enact the ritualistic dramatic re-telling of the hero of 1,000 faces in The Karate Kid - as he showed us what kind of potential we all have with the proper guidance and perspective even when faced against monolithic evil - that we our own saviors (hence the Christ-on-the-cross-like stance of the "crane" and the emblazened and actuated third-eye motif in the form of a head-band over the forehead) but that he was also Johnny Cade. We all remember Johnny, the small kid from the wrong side of the tracks in The Outsiders. The kid who was crucified by fate when all he wanted to do was keep his friends safe from bigger richer assholes like Leif Garrett and keep small children from burning to death in schools engulfed in flames. I mean, I'm not trying to purposefully sound sacrilegious, but let's be honest, Ralph Macchio's characters were to 80s pop culture what a certain Nazarene was to a book we've probably all heard about at one point or another.
Anyone who remembers the 80s, even a little, will recall that they weren't exactly a picnic either, but, oh, how large the swell of shit has grown since 1989... it is a proportion that can only be described as epic. At least some of us can still remember that era and look back at it with some fond innocent memories, like Annie has done with her recording "Ralph Macchio."
So "stay golden" Ralph Macchio. Keep writing, keep producing and keep performing. Keep yourself alive in our collective conscious so that the post-80s generations will have the same opportunity I had to learn and discover what human potential is capable of via those films; that it's not all evil reptilians, psychopathic kidnappers, the 1%, sycophant demagogues, the illuminati, shitty TV, and Florida running rough shot all over humanity. That there is more for us out there if we have the wit, the courage and the discipline to go after it and defeat what stands in our way. And that we don't have to take to being the victim willingly; that the summer is not for the ants, the Cobra-kais or for student loan debt to accrue interest. The summer is for us to remember how shitty the winter is and should be enjoyed whenever and however possible. Think how much better the world would be if there were more Johnny Cades and Daniel LaRussos around. Cruel summers might not be so cruel. As for Annie, I salute you.Now if only we all had a personal sage like Mr. Miyagi in our lives. God dammit, we need a song for Pat Morita next!