Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If revenge on bullies is wrong, why do the movies tell me that it's OK?

I'd like you to meet "My Bodyguard."

Today's Winnipeg Free Press reports that Winnipeg martial arts instructors are taking a stand against a mom who enrolled her son in kickboxing classes to get vengeance against his bullies:
"The mother, who asked not to be named, gave her son the green light to "kick the snot out of" his alleged tormentor when school starts next month."

"Martial arts is not about kicking and punching," said Sonny Pabuaya, instructor at Iron Fist Tae Kwon Do. "That's a misconception people have because that's what they see in the movies."
Very true. Which is why, as a movie fan, I believe that all martial arts are only about kicking and punching and exacting revenge on bullies. What else could I use them for?

And if martial arts weren't an effective deterrent, why would the movies tell me otherwise? Movies don't lie!

Superman II

The general premise behind my life is that "if it's good for Superman, it's good for me."

We all remember "the truth, justice, and the American way" part of Superman, but we may have forgotten that when Superman himself lost his powers in Superman II, he took a beating for the first time, and learned what it's like to be beaten up, to bleed, and to be humiliated in front of a crowd of onlookers.

It's not to his liking.

So, at the end of the film, powers restored, Superman's first order of business is to return to the scene of the crime to exact some revenge on his tormentor:

Our hero.

You'll also note that he doesn't just beat up the guy, he sits him down in a piece of pie. Is that blueberry or humble pie?

A Christmas Story

Then, there's the classic scene in A Christmas Story in which our hero, Ralphie, takes a stand against the odious (and odiously named) Scut Farkus: the bully with the yellow eyes.

After a series of roundhouse blows to the head, Farkus reveals himself to be nothing but a yellow and yellow-eyed crybaby:

The Wizard of Oz

Then, there's the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz - the Scut Farkus of the animal kingdom - a "humanoid bipedal" but bully by any other name. Until Dorothy clocks him one, that is:

The Karate Kid

I'm sure there are more examples, but I'm ending with my favorite: the Karate Kid; this is the movie where the kind, humble, peace-loving Mr. Miyagi teaches a kid how to wax cars, so he can not only kick the crap out of a bully, but win a trophy while he does it:

You'll note that the Karate Kid bully is played by William Zabka, one of the My Bodyguard bullies. Some kids never learn.

Thanks to my dad for the idea for this blog. I hope he doesn't beat me up for using it.


  1. I guess the most recent bully movie was Drillbit Taylor. I honestly didn't mind it, though I probably should've. Had its moments.

  2. I forgot about that one - good example.


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