I'd like to thank Grady Hendrix for an important article he wrote back in the summer of 2007, published on Slate.com. He traces the emergence of the ninja-pop-culture-motif over the past several decades, and poignantly writes these words:
These days, the Internet has not been respectful to ninjas despite how popular they seem to be online. Most people who say they love ninjas are only pretending to love them—and the more they say they love them, the more they are actually making fun of them. The Web video series, "Ask a Ninja" is the nadir of ninja Internet humor, a brand of comedy designed for people whose daily lives are so vacuous that pop-culture references have become the height of hilarity. Watch the videos on a site like Ninja Spirit, or go to a theme restaurant like Ninja in New York and experience the kind of industrial-strength, soul-killing, reflexively ironic emptiness that may have been used to destroy Shin Sang-Ok's talent. The ninja seems to have fallen into the clutches of the shallow and callow, fit only to be an object of mockery for sad men-children.
How very true. Sure, we all make a few jokes about ninjas, equating their legendary prowess with clowns like Chuck Norris. This website has been guilty of it. But Grady has shown me the way, the truth.
Inner ninja will now become a more genuinely inspired repository for thoughts worthy of the great ninja.