Friday, June 25, 2010

The Americans finally accept that China is THE SUPERPOWER

Thanks to Karate Kid 2010, starring Will Smith's chip off the old block Jaden Smith and Kung Fu Artist and Hollywood Star Jackie Chan, everyone in America [most especially in Hollywood] and on Planet Earth knows that China is THE SUPERPOWER.

It's obvious from the plot. Motortown USA is now a dump and an African American single mother has to move to China to work for a car plant [probably that famous European brand bought by the Mainland Taipans last year]. She says to son Dre Parker "There is nothing left for us in Detroit. This [Beijing] is home!"

[Filipinos should read that as "There is no future left in America. This [Asia a.k.a. China] is the FUTURE!]

The movie promotes Air China and shows China's Olympic status symbols, the Bird's Nest, tall office towers, busy streets, fast cars and of course the touristic staples of the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Guilin's Karst Landscape and a real Shaolin temple.

Unlike in the original 1984 Karate Kid starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, we can't dare to parody this one. Macchio's trademark Karate stance has been parodied a zillion times. I remember the 1984 issue of the Philippine Comedian [lampoon issue of the UP college blurb "Philippine Collegian", had the Oblation doing a Macchio. Similarly Morita as Miyagi has been parodied even more. Pinoy movie moguls parodied the film as "Karate Gid" starring Bisoy Redford White.

In the 2010 version, the Chinese, bullies they may be, discriminatory and racist (implied in the movie but never really shown) or a Master like Jackie Chan's Mr Han were made to look and act honourably in victory or defeat. Hollywood never did that to the Japanese. In Hollywood, America's postwar anti commie allies in Asia, the Japanese, were comically stereotyped and never shown as honourable people. In fact the racism of the Americans was so apparent.

No wonder Miyagi was parodied. And the character fought with the Americans in WWII but still his family was interned at Manzanar.

Now the Americans can't afford to be racist to the Chinese anymore. Rizal even experienced that racism while on board a ship in San Francisco harbor. That time is long past.

The reality is that the USA is a superpower in decline. And nothing in 21st century pop culture says that as Karate Kid 2010.

Should we even notice that the lead American character is African American?

It tempts me to relate this to what I heard in the US of A (about Obama's historical ascent to the White House)

"When things began to fall apart, they give it (The White House) to a black man!"

Well Karate Kid 2010 makes history!

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