Last week's News
News article for the week of 12/5/05.
Goodbye Mister Miyagi, I Wish We Could
Have Done Better
By, Grey Effect
The death of actor Pat Morita, famous for his role as Mister Miyagi the
sage like martial arts instructor in the Karate Kid movies, should have
had better results.
That there have been a number of testimonials, memorials and numerous
efforts to honor the longtime actor, one of the earliest Asian-Americans
who rose to fame in the acting world, I honestly think that we could have
done with fewer.
Cities around the world have naturally named streets after this man, considering
it a fine kind of testimonial to the man to have landmarks bearing his
name. There is nothing wrong with this, though cruising Pat Morita Drive
in the middle of Lubbock, Texas can be disconcerting. Still if they can
erect a statue of Bruce Lee as a sign of unity in the Slavic states it’s
not that bad.
Similarly the renaming of schools, playhouses, small theaters and even
dojos is appropriate.
That Miyagi is used at least as, possibly even more often than Morita
to name these locations is a little disturbing. However if William Shatner
Drive can turn off into James T Kirk Street, lead into William Shatner
Lane and pass under the James Tiberius Kirk overpass in Shatnerville,
Ohio then this is not much of a problem. As compared to the orbiting mass
that is William Shatner’s ego at any rate.
That Ralph Macchio would attempt to revive his acting career by returning
to his role as Daniel, this time the Master, mourning the death of Miyagi
and vowing vengeance or teaching a new generation or something, is also
not surprising. It could even be seen as an attempt to further honor Pat
Morita, if you ignore the desperation in poor Macchio’s eyes.
Where you really have to start drawing the line is with McMiyagi Burgers.
The new product for the ever-loving fast food chain is a rice patty, a
beef patty, a slice of pickled ginger along with the usual lettuce and
sauce in a sesame bun.
Aside from the obvious crime against food and digestion being committed
here there are still multiple insults upon insults being leveled against
I mean come on “McMiyagi”? Rice, beef and pickled ginger in a bun?
Things like this are blatant attempts to cash in on a transitory media
Worse is news of a new Miyagi speak and say, complete with heavy accent
that Morita himself had to fake.
It’s entirely possible the poor man is rolling in his grave to the point
where Zombie Pat Morita or Zombie Mister Miyagi (it all depends on which
persona feels more outrage) would burst up and terrorize us all were it
not for the fact that the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was based
upon Morita’s early life.
No Morita was not a cheerleader in high school.
He did have shoulder length blonde hair for a while though.
At any rate this is far from over. Just as 9/11 continues to give crude,
has been musician’s material Morita’s talent and subsequent demise will
surely draw further attempts to sell more crap he never cared for.