Our Culture of Context: Sweep the Leg

Man.  Things use to be simple.  You could just kick a guy in the face and solve all your problems.

Man. Things use to be simple. You could just kick a guy in the face and solve all your problems.

In our society, we speak in the old tribal ways.  We have constant conversations, where we use songs, movies, and books to explain other wise complex and sensitive issues. These are called colloquialism, and they are pretty freaking awesome. I’ve decided, from time to time, to highlight phrases that haven’t caught on yet.  Mostly, they are phrases that haven’t even been thought up.  That’s why I am here.  I make the future.

Sweep the leg.

First, wash that stupid “No More Kings” song.  Let’s go to the root.  The original. Remember the Karate Kid?  Not the silly The New Karate Kid or the sequels.  I mean the original one, where a little skinny Italian boy from New York learned how to beat people up from a guy who owned a junk yard.  The Karate Kid taught us tons, like how to paint fences and how to wax cars and how to, uh, fall in love with cheerleaders.  Wasn’t that girl a cheerleader?  I don’t remember?  What I do remember is the final battle between our Karate Kid and Marty Kove’s little minions.  It is Marty Kove who tells that little bastard to, “Sweep the Leg”.  Today, it should be used when someone or something does a foul deed for personal gain.  The deed needs to screw over someone almost completely, and have a light hint of meanness. Here are some examples:

Telling someone you’ll help them move but not show up.

Eating someone’s pizza but leave the empty pizza box on the stove so the person who bought it can feel your malice.

Explain the last episode of Battlestar Galactica to someone who hasn’t seen it yet.

Give someone genital crabs.

Usage:

“Dude didn’t help me with the paper.  He totally swept the leg.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry I ate the last slice of cake.  I know I swept the leg.”

“Yo, I’ll pay you back.  I don’t sweep the leg.  That ain’t me!”

And, please, remember that I do this for you because I care.

Oh, and this is much better than that No More Kings song.  

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2 thoughts on “Our Culture of Context: Sweep the Leg

  1. “In our society, we speak in the old tribal ways. We have constant conversations, where we use songs, movies, and books to explain otherwise complex and sensitive issues.”

    This set off sparks in my poor old atrophied brain this morning. Once long ago I was passionately interested in the development of language. Nowadays I tend to speak in monosyllabic grunts like the rest of my tribe. I’m barely able to string together enough coherent thought to express how much I enjoy your writing – intellectually stimulating, a bit bizarre, always entertaining.

    Neflixing Karate Kid and setting a Google Alert for “swept the leg”.

  2. Thanks, Susan. I hope you enjoy Karate Kid. It might be the “Godfather” of our generation. Sadly.

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