June 6th, 2009

Omar's Coming!

Of course Omar Little is everybody's- including President Obama's-  favourite character. He's the one free agent in a corporate world. Everybody else- the police, the criminals, the union men, the politicians, the corner boys- are trapped inside hierarchies, bound by rules and cemented together by rituals, like- for example- those ghastly police wakes- where the corpse is laid out on the bar and the mourners get bladdered to the sound of the Pogues. They're trapped in The Game. Only Omar- with his private code and his fierce personal loyalties- floats clear. Others demand and enforce respect; only Omar deserves it.

So Sad

I was the wrong age for Kung Fu. It came out in the early days of my first marriage- when I was training for the church and living- without a TV- in boho poverty- but the message filtered through: David Carradine was really, really cool.

But what an uncool way to die!  And what a shadow it casts backwards. Seventy year old men who've been on the beer all day really need to be more careful what they get up to in their hotel rooms.

How does it work exactly?  How does starving your brain of oxygen make you anything but ill? And yet I remember being told in the playground that hanged men often die with erections. I dismissed it at the time as an urban myth- but maybe it's true. Can anyone explain the physiology?

I saw Carradine in a couple of movies. The Serpent's Egg is arguably the worst movie in the Bergman canon;  Carradine is out of his depth in it- and gives a wooden performance.  Kill Bill divides the critics; I happen to love it- and I love Carradine's charming, charismatic  performance; it left me wondering why he'd never quite made it to the top.

And now we'll never be able to watch him without thinking of him in that cupboard with the rope wrapped round his neck and -er-"other parts of his body".  Silly, old fool.