Having grown up in rollerskating rinks in the late 70’s and early 80’s, there is a huge arcade room in my psyche that is interested in, well, classic arcade games. I was too young to be very good at any of them, but always enjoyed them and looked forward to brief attempts on “Kangaroo,” “Moon Patrol,” and “Gyruss” to name a few personal favorites.
Watching this documentary really brought up a lot of internal conditioning around the notion of “being the BEST” at something. In fact, for a week after watching this film, the song “You’re the Best” (featured in this film at key moments and originally from 1984’s Karate Kid) was ringing through my head constantly, and made me feel both goofy and curious.
I think the curiosity centers around how much of our goals and purposes, upon close scrutiny, can only be achieved if someone else, or a whole huge group of people, become subordinates: in other words, they are Not the Best. Whether from our ubiquitous SUPERMAN mythology that we are living out in America, from Billy Mitchell and Donkey Kong or from the Karate Kid, we are all striving to attain that shiny gold medal.
I’m no mathematician, but either the numbers don’t quite work out for everyone to be the best, or somehow we need to make sure there are gold medals enough for everyone.