Where the hell did all the ninja go?1 Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe there is something to this pirates v. ninja stuff you read about on the web these days. Could this all out war be responsible for their diminished presence? Somehow I doubt it. Perhaps that’s just what they want you to think. These cunning assassins are probably just marshaling their strength, biding their time, waiting to be forgotten.
This was originally supposed to be a blog about how awesome ninja are, but Robert Hamburger already beat me to the drum-punch with his website Real Ultimate Power. He pretty much says all there is to say on the topic of ninja vis a vis awesomeness. So go there if you don’t already know. Trust me, the knowledge gained is well worth the time. In fact, it may just save your life one day.
Instead, we'll take a nostalgic look back at a more innocent time when we all knew of the ninja and were respectfully if cautiously curious. The 80s saw the pinnacle of ninja popularity in the U.S., and therefore public scrutiny. Ninja were everywhere, which for a supposedly secret society of master assassins is a PR nightmare. It would stand to reason that they would go back underground as soon as possible. And I may just be risking my life by writing this, but perhaps, just perhaps they are the driving force behind their gradual disappearance from the public eye. Time will tell.
The Master, American Ninja, Gymkata. In the 1980s, these guys were everywhere. Even G.I Joe had a ninja on their team. And I ask you: where are all of our ninja TV shows and movies now? Even pirates got a series of disneyfied movies with attending porno parodies2. Perhaps I’m just paranoid, but I remember a time when Lee Van Cleef would make Frank Dux shit himself with awe.
Gone are the days of wandering the flea market, slowly, sneakily leading your parents to the martial arts booth. Then, begging them for a throwing star. I myself once purchased a few practice throwing stars from the Johnson Smith mail order catalogue. But they just weren’t the same, and now, some 20-odd years later, I wonder how much practicing ninja ever did with foam. Probably not much.
These days, all of our collected knowledge about ninja derives from pop culture references to references - two, three, or even, four times removed from fact. The ninja and their terrible lore are fading from our consciousness, and this can only be a concerted effort to drive their shadowy operations back underground. Beware the ninja, now more than ever. You never know when they will str
Ha ha. I make good joke. No such thing as ninja. That just western race radiotype. Ninja never exist. The end. Thank you and good bye.
1 - What did you think I was going to write about? Racist. OK, maybe I should have titled this post “The Black-Clad Menace,” but that was just a bit clunky.
2 - Invoking rule 34 here: Ninja: You Never See Them Coming!