There Would Have Been A Case For Dueling…

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.


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6 Responses to There Would Have Been A Case For Dueling…

  1. audremyers says:

    To be perfectly honest, I’m really sort of surprised that you gave any thought at all to this non-event. It doesn’t strike me (pardon the pun – and please don’t! lol) as a Matt-ish topic. But then, what do I know???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tealveyre says:

    I read about half of Will Smith’s memoir and it explains a lot about the way he thinks. The guy has a lot of trauma and it seems like he copes with most things by internalizing blame. Even as a fully grown man, in his memoir, he writes about his dad’s horrible physical abuse of his mom and him and the other kids, and he goes from anger to reverence to love to disgust. He has a ton of complicated and messy feelings about his dad and in a lot of ways, I think he blames himself for his dad’s abuse. He also had a lot of positive female figures early on in his life, so I think that has shaped the way he interacts with women fundamentally. He feels like it’s his job to protect them, but also looks to them as the only people who can make him feel whole (his dad always made him feel small, his mom and grandmother are the ones who built him up). He feels a responsibility to women and also needs women to construct his sense of self. That’s my take anyway. He’s a broken person with a great deal of trauma and he has never interacted with women in a healthy way. His first serious girlfriend who he was dating when his rap career popped off, she cheated on him too, and he blamed himself and moved her into a mansion. Even writing about it many years later, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of objectivity about the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that the few good interactions had kept him from hating women.

      Yes, you are correct about your comments. There is a tragedy of sorts there. Most men that survived bad relationships who were 30+ wouldn’t put up with that kind of stuff. I am unsure why he never established good boundaries. Maybe the feeling that he thinks women can’t do wrong, blaming himself?

      Liked by 1 person

      • tealveyre says:

        That could definitely be part of it. He talks a lot in his memoir about fear of being a “coward” and there was one particular event between his parents that seems to have stuck with him. His dad punched his mom so hard she spit out blood and he stood there and didn’t help her. I think when he hit Chris Rock and teared up like that, he wasn’t actually mad about Chris Rock’s joke. He wasn’t actually there in that auditorium. He was in that bedroom at seven years old, desperately wanting to help his mom, and feeling shame over being a “coward” that he didn’t.
        I think that because women were the positive influences during his formative years, he views them as safe and nurturing (as his mom and grandmother were) and thinks that approval from them makes him a “good man.” His whole sense of self seems to be constructed based on what women think of him. Probably because when he was young women were the only ones he COULD get approval from. Approval from his violent and emotionally distant father was impossible.
        I think he views forgiving/protecting/providing for women as the key to love, happiness, and overall, a balanced sense of identity.
        It’s very sad, but like a lot of abused kids, a lot of his behaviors are rooted in trauma from what I can see.
        A lot of abused people grow up to develop healthy boundaries, but there are also plenty who don’t and I think Smith is in the latter group.


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