Knifetic Mysticism: The Philosophy of Crocodile Dundee

There have really only been two significant actors to ever come out of Australia; those, of course, being Yahoo Serious and Paul Hogan. Let me think a second (check IMDB and Wikipedia) and see if I missed anyone else worth talking about… nope, that’s it.

I mean they’re on Australian currency:

Australian Money

Our main source of information about Australia comes from Paul Hogan, I think it’s safe to say that all we know of Australia comes from Crocodile Dundee (the only other source is from an episode of DuckTales when Scrooge McDuck took the boys on an Outback vacation to check on his opal mines). Therefor, if A) Our ideas of Australia are derived from the movie Crocodile Dundee and B) No Australian has ever disputed Paul Hogan’s vision of history then C) Crocodile Dundee is a true depiction of Australia. Ipso facto Australians don’t know what knives are.

Not familiar with Australia, knives, or Dundee, well, I’m here to help.

Wolf Gnards Theater Presents:
The That's A Knife Scene

Flash back to the good old 80’s when men were men and women wore odd one-piece thongs (that was the first thong I ever saw!).

Picture leather-faced (and pretty much leather everything), fish-out-of-water Mick “Crocodile” Dundee and, intrepid reporter, Sue going down a dark alley in New York City when they are accosted by Street Thug #1—complete with Michael Jackson jacket and brandishing a switchblade.

Now he’s got a… knife. That’s a fact. He’s holding what can only be defined as a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle.

That does not seem to bother old Mick Dundee though, who answers, “That’s not a knife, that’s a knife.” And whips out a different cutting instrument, something that can also only be defined as a “knife” only two to three times larger. To which, Street Thug #1 respectfully agrees, goes home, thinks about his life, enrolls in a junior college, becomes a substitute math teacher, and teaches kids the dangers of having smaller knives.

End scene.

All We are are Knives

The point of this tale though is that both men clearly have knives. It’s not a matter of it being is this a knife or is that a knife? They both have knives. If the mugger had a spoon, that would be a different story. So, does Dundee not know what a knife is, or is he the only one of us who truly understands. What is a knife really (besides not being a spoon)? Is the point of the knife only to cut or is the knife the ultimate measurement of man’s soul. Is it a knife at all or is the knife merely an extension of Paul Hogan, the aboriginal man (honorary, at least)?

Who we are is not based on the content of our being or the sharpness of our blades, but on sheer size. According to Crocodile philosophy, bigger is not only better, bigger is the only register. A small knife isn’t a knife at all, it’s a pointy non-threatening device. I’m not even sure it can be used for cutting. A bewildered smile is about the best you’d be able to get from Dundee.

Knife Chart

Knives are not judged by cuttiosity (the ability unto cuttiness), but size. Is the same true for people? What it is to be human isn’t determined by our humanity—our minds, our souls, our various what have yous—but our mass. Not just bigness (although it’s reasonable to think Andre the Giant and Manute Bol are far more human than I), but bigness of personality. Which is exactly what the primal Dundee is after all. Do you fish with a pole or with sticks of dynamite? Do you shave with a Bic razor or a machete? Do you use a watch or the sun? It’s the largeness of life that defines Mick Dundee and to some degree everyone.

Life itself can only be gauged in regards to others. Who’s a better puncher, who can drink more beer, who can wrestle the most crocs? Perhaps, it’s not a matter of size, but a matter of perspective. My life is equal to your life plus or minus 10%. So, either my life is better than yours (big knife) or my life is worse than yours (little knife). However, to knife or not to knife, is not the only option in this world. If Crocodile Dundee has a knife, and the mugger (who has a knife) doesn’t have a knife, what does Sue have? She legitimately doesn't have a knife, big or little, meaning she has a negative knife (less than zero knife, which means having a small knife). That’s what her life was like before Crocodile Dundee entered it: a boring, negative existence as devoid of knives as it is love.

Follow up:

Mutually Assured Contradiction

There’s another way to look at knife philosophy. In a nuclear age, how is it that we can assure any level of safety? Mutually assured destruction. If both sides have the bomb then no one has the bomb because no one's going to use the bomb. And it goes to say then if two people have knives then no one has knives. No, wait, correction, that’s two people with two knives…

Screw it. So, what do you do when two sides have the same weapons of equal cutting ability? You bluff. I call this, Mutually Assured Contradiction. You tell such an honest bald-faced lie that it can only be the truth. Isn’t that what Crocodile Dundee was really all about? Under all that swagger and bush mumbo-jumbo was just a man. At the end of the day, Crocodile Dundee was just Mick Dundee and really he was just Michael J. Dundee, simple fisherman.

So, you lie. You look that mugger right in the eye and tell him that he does not have a knife (these aren’t the droids you’re looking for… that’s not the knife you’re slashing with).

Or think of it this way: that’s not a thing, that’s a thing. Or in other words, the thing is the thing you’re saying the thing is but it’s not, this is the thing. Confused? Then Crocodile Dundee has you right where he wants you.

Of course, some knives are just better than others.

A List of Objects that A Definitively not Knives

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