The Luv Doc: An Insultingly Simplistic Moral Reminder
There is no greater sign of a dumbass than a dumbass who doesn’t think he’s a dumbass.
Last week I started watching Cobra Kai on Netflix – you know, just to see what all the hubbub was about. Normally I don't go in for all that Uncle Rico-type bullshit, but I kept seeing unctuous posts on Facebook and thought, "Goddamn it, maybe the series won't suck as hard as the original 12 Karate Kid movies." (Pssst: Feel free to go ahead and fact check that number on AltaVista or Yahoo or whatnot. I personally don't give a shit. There may not have been 12, but it definitely felt like 12). Anyhoodles, I figured at worst it might be situationally funny like Tiger King (much more hilarious in a pandemic) or a pastor telling a joke in the middle of a sermon (church congregations are always a pushover audience).
Well, I am happy to report that it actually does suck in that cheesy way Hollywood always sucks when it's trying to make kid-friendly fare, but in this case, at least the writers' room has the chutzpah to acknowledge that they inherited a shit sandwich – that being a universe in which Ralph Macchio could fight his way through a wet sheet of toilet paper. They do this by poking fun at Eighties hair bands, middle class machismo, sexism, racism, and nerdism through the reeducation/enlightenment/aWOKEning of Macchio's blond, asshole rich kid nemesis Johnny Lawrence. I won't spoil the insipid plot for you other than to say that apparently in life things are not always as black and white as they seem. Who knew? And really, an insultingly simplistic moral reminder like Cobra Kai couldn't have come at a better time.
Over the last four years Americans have learned to hate each other with increasing fury and vitriol. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Americans can be insufferable – and I'm not just talking about our arrogance, abominable fashion sense, and maddening obliviousness, I am mainly talking about our ignorance. We don't fucking listen. We don't keep an open mind. Most importantly, we don't read the text.
Currently we seem overly eager to blame our short attention spans and short tempers on the interwebs, Zuckerberg, George Soros, Russian bots, or AI (and for all you Trump voters that stands for "artificial intelligence"), but the truth of the matter is that, ironically, when nearly the entirety of the accumulated knowledge of mankind is available at our fingertips, we are still dumb enough to believe we have it all figured out. There is no greater sign of a dumbass than a dumbass who doesn't think he's a dumbass.
In a world of increasing complexity, the allure of simple solutions is strong. I am not sure advice columns would even exist were it not for the naive hope that real solutions might be gleaned from a few short paragraphs of insightful prose. They can't. When it comes to human relationships, even a few hundred thousand words of brilliant advice don't mean shit if the advised doesn't do the work. Nine times out of 10 that work is just to suck it up and show some empathy. We all make mistakes. Every goddamn day.
Which brings me to the idea of penance. Yes, Johnny Lawrence was a dick, and we all want him to suffer for having that beautiful blond hair, ripped bod, and that dope red Avanti convertible, but for how long? A year? A decade? A lifetime? What is the proper punishment for being an asshole? Having to drive a shitty 1991 Firebird?
America is in a similar situation with Trump voters. After last week's attempted coup de Cracker Barrel, which honestly looked less like a coup and more like a bunch of monkeys fucking a football, we're all wanting to scream, "See? I TOLD you this was going to happen!" but here's the deal: Nobody fucking cares – especially not Trump voters. So, as gratifying as your vindication may feel, now is a really good time to hold your tongue, show some empathy, and find some common humanity so we can move forward from this shitshow. Give the sinners some time to repent and space to separate themselves from their humiliation. You remember what it's like to be wrong, don't you?