Being blessed to never feel compelled to watch television these days, I was somewhat shocked to hear that Will Smith gave Chris Rock the “Rick James” treatment, i.e. gave him a well placed slap. Outside of believing that the event was staged between the two for sh*ts and giggles, it had a bunch of takeaways/lessons.
Before I run off on the commentary, I wanted to give credit for Ryan Felman @ Path to Manliness for a reminder of a few things from Will Smith’s life that complicates this situation.
I have made an argument that two gentleman could rightfully duel, an offended party desiring to be satisfied or an offending party to make better, offer apology, or even dispatch the challenger. To do so, it usually took a series of events or something big happening.
Insulting someone’s wife was usually a big reason to do so. Honor in those times meant more than now. Many people now think nothing of someone calling them a name that would normally be reserved for someone of the most ill of repute. And this is the rub of why I think Will Smith has little to no “right” to engage in such things.
As mentioned by Felman and featured in a Red Table Talk, Smith’s wife admitted to stepping out in their marriage. She didn’t have deniability or some story that could explain the appearance of impropriety. She used “lizard brain waffling” to explain why she stepped out. Will Smith keeps her around. He had a chance to let her go and save face.
Smith did not move on. But he did make an error when he defended her with that slap. Mrs. Smith has given the opportunity and reason for someone to say something belittling about her. Rock was wrong for insulting her about her medical condition ,while he could have brought up her shameless inability to maintain fidelity or the fact that she doesn’t have the ability to validate herself after all these years.
Smith has no reason to defend his honor. He has looked like a fool plenty of times when he blamed himself for his wife’s fouls. Of anyone who should be challenging anyone to a duel is Chris Rock, he could go out and say what a cuck Smith is. He sure as hell could say substandard things about his wife. (She had already called an audible like it was something good to do). But I do not know enough about Chris Rock to make a judgement about his “fitness” for such situations.
(But Smith’s crying fit and apology for the slap makes for a different level of idiocy. Rock would be a fool himself to engage in this tomfoolery, considering he is not among equals. Smith should apologize to himself for being that low to begin with.)
If it wasn’t for Smith’s previous fouls, I would have made a case for a duel. But pondering it further, I think that Chris Rock could easily lurk off and let Smith further dig himself a hole.