Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? [2000)

This is a damn fine film.

Maybe yesterday I would have spoke as much with a mouthful of tobacco.

But today I take a more measured approach.

And still I must proclaim:  this film has aged like a fine wine.

I can find little fault with it.

No film will express all that we hold inside…exactly as we’d express it.

And so this is as close as we get to serendipity on a Tuesday night ūüôā

Yes sir…let me tell you ’bout it.

I write to stay alive.

[now I’m telling you about me…or the film…by way of me]

We come from a long/short tradition.

Film critics.

Critics.

All the way back to the earliest Homer in the Greek.

Rage.

I owe Nick Tosches a debt of gratitude for pointing that out.

My favorite living writer.

This film [we’re back to the film] could have gone off the rails early on.

Like some errant Ken Burns pablum on PBS.

But the Coen brothers are of the most deft cinematic touch.

I have delved very little into their oeuvre.

Most recently I broached the subject with¬†Fargo¬†(a fine film), but¬†Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?¬†is a¬†bona fide ūüėČ masterpiece.

You see, you must be conversant in na√Įvet√© as much as in erudition.

You must run the gamut from Delmar to Ulysses in order to evoke an appropriately universal sampling of the human condition.

Blind on a Pullman.  Nay.  Blind Sheriff Murnau.  Closer.

Blind but now I see.

Precisely.

Bill Moyers couldn’t get to Shakespeare in the recessed library.

Only God could move fate.

To see beauty.

For a moment to dream of a better life.

Saved from cancer.

I know not.

We feel it’s Isaiah. ¬†Or the Oracle of Delphi.

Pythia.  As in pithy.

Icy.

You don’t get credit for half a master’s degree.

Ain’t no one in the world impressed by that.

Even if they should.

People like awards.  Bob Dylan said.

Grammys.  Nobels.

Sells records.  Books.  DVDs.  Tickets for admission.  Memorabilia.

But I doff my hat to Tosches and Quintilian.

We are all excursus.  As Céline was all ellipses.

[…]

The Sheriff is Cooley.  As in Spade.

A mean son of a bitch.

But we don’t care none about these transgressors no more.

The electorate has spoken.

50 states.

From the words Tommy Johnson.

It’s just a cool drink of water from Robert.

And we won’t even get into Lonnie.

We hear the devil is white.

Go to any American university and you will hear the same.

Indeed, our film only falters when it attempts to be too heavy-handed.

We uncloak what is cloaked in ourselves.

And this is the curse of critics.

No critic is writing about their subject.

In reality.

The underlying gist is always autobiography.

To admit as much should be refreshing.

But that is for you to decide.

Just sing into the can.

Voice your opinion.

On shellac.

For generations to plunder in treasure hunts of old South junk stores.

Searching for the Sugar Man/Soggy Bottom…Robert Johnson already dead when he became ¬† sought after.

A prophet in his own land.

All is dream.  And religion comes to the silver screen.

The common man can relate.  And so can I.

With my Bible on my nightstand.

I ain’t ashamed to say.

I depend on God.

See Messiaen if you need abstraction.

Because Debussy gave the clouds first…and the sirens last.

And feasts or parties in between.

Night swimming.  Nocturnes.  Campfires.  Skip James.

Pulled from routine.

We were nearly eaten alive.

And we would have dived into that abyss out of desperation.

Yet the hand of the Lord was upon us.

Not for any deed which had ingratiated ourselves to Him.

But for grace.

Mercy.

Love.

No horror here.  Just a toad.  And Mark Twain.

And how to keep tobacco dry on a Mississippi River boat.

Uncle Sweetheart smells blood.

Years before Masked and Anonymous.

So be careful not to fall in love with your own reflection.

She said he was hit by a train.

And she looked good in a bikini.

To three pathetic roustabouts with no prospects.

Chewed up and spit out by both Tropics to wade in the water of possibility.

Nerds can box.

Maybe know an arcane martial art.

Don’t fuck with us.

But protagonists of epic poetry need something more than a couple of jabs and pinches.

Circumstances must have placed them in a true imbroglio…the mother of all situations.

The Gordian knot.

Ulysses is a lying bastard.  A mad man.  Advertising.  Op side coin propaganda.

But these are skills.  For gainful employment.  And we hover to ethics for guidance.

On how to wield words in the age of microblogging and memes.

He needed a story.

Chained together.

An inspiration.

Because we’re (for all intents and purposes) inseparable.

We can dream of $500,000 ($400,000)…as the “major D”…even the¬†m√Ęitre’d…if we’re feeling saucy.

Dream of land.

But what was Everett’s dream?

We know only later.

To spend 84 years in jail.

Released:  1987.

Incarcerated at age 3?

Not counting on these two to do the taxes.

The KKK took his baby away. ¬†–Joey Ramone

Seems very Bohemian Grove.

But we don’t know these things.

We only know what we’ve gleaned from D.W. Griffith.

These synchronized David Dukes are meant to evoke a temple of doom.

It is the hinge (brisure) in the whole film (if we are doing a deconstructionist reading à la Derrida).

And thus auteur theory is vindicated.

Joel Coen had something to get off his chest regarding the treatment of blacks, JEWS, Catholics, etc.

We could deconstruct from there.

It’s easy.

Top psychiatrist Steve Pieczenik does it breezily when he traces Jill Stein back to her Jewish Chicago roots which give her the privilege to run as an agnostic.

But the Coen brothers are timeless artists here.

They have found the trick.

Hillary’s coven must have been on hiatus for the past few weeks.

Demoralized.

But it’s hard to fight back the tears as they get in front of that lozenge mic I’d associate with RCA…

As the Soggy Bottom Boys emerge from obscurity.

And they have a fan base (constituents).

And these mythical performers were not even confirmed to exist.

In the flesh.

Ah, but public relations…

He was proto- “drain the swamp” with his little man and broom.

But the planets shifted.

And he’s on a hot mic inserting both feet into his mouth, one at a time, very slowly, with each succeeding word.

The way politics works.

In Mississippi.  Louisiana.  Texas.

Suck on a cigar.  Think it over.  Maybe some cognac or brandy.

And seize upon an opportunity.

To hire the best.

The best who have appeared on this stage at this moment for this very reason.

Three years after Titanic and the Coen brothers wanted a weightless freak show of inanimate objects floating as Japanese melange symbolism.

I am the man with the can.  Not Dapper Dan.  And no record-cutting lathe.

Just a tin of tobacco. ¬†My floating life. ¬†And all we’ve been through.

Memory soup.

We pull up to the aquarium to peer into the mysteries of other realities.

And, by so doing, try to make sense out of our own.

-PD

Á©ļśČč„Éź„āꚳĚĽ£ [1977)

[KARATE FOR LIFE (1977)]

Shin’ichi Chiba.¬† Another world.

The floating world.

Sonny Chiba.

We struggle with what can be expressed.  Our only means meanwhile our only limitation.

Language.  To the edge of verisimilitude.

Perhaps the greatest of all karate movies.  And yet no plot summary waiting to remind us.

This appears to be the final film directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi.

From the first iconic Toei breakers upon the rocks to the karate Karajan of the final plea for peace revenge.

Breathing into the ocean a righteous fire anger.

It is not the kung fu of China.  Not solely the karate of Japan.

It is the story of Mas Oyama.  Korean.

That said, it is Chinese martial arts…at the time of Japanese occupation…of South Korea.

Manchuria.

It is also the story (very tenuously) of Kanji Ishiwara. A Japanese general unpopular for his opposition to Japan’s invasion of neighboring countries (like Korea).

All it takes is one good egg.¬† Isn’t that what they tell us???

What is karate?  1963.

Strange in a stranger land.  A land more strange.

Chojun Miyagi.  Wax.

Wane on, wane off.

Okinawa.

You want an anti-imperialist film?  You want a political film?

Hear it is.

Her lips flaming with booze…ready to slice her wrists and end her pathetic life as a prostitute¬†for U.S. airmen.

What would you do if you lived in Iraq?

Chiba Prefecture.

Doubt.  Retreat.

All we have needed is a little encouragement.

The geometric equation of detractors.

We admire the beards of the Marxists and the Muslims.

What if Thoreau had retreated to Walden in order to perfect his ass-kicking skills?

Ah, but all good things must come to an end.  T.B. sheets.  Van Morrison meets La bohème.

Perhaps they were trigger-happy with the inscrutable conventions of French title capitalization.

Maybe it is the e.e. cummings of opera composers.

We wait for Satie.  Erik.

Not to bore you, but judo and karate unite.

Enter The Dragon suffers.  The lady from Shanghai prefers Yamaguchi.

Raging bull fights ox luchador.

Bizarre.

Beautiful.

-PD

śģļšļļśč≥2 [1974)

[RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER (1974)]

There is no plot.  Given.  No love.

A darkened corner of cinema.

Haiku in reverse.  Inversion of the form.

So we shall start in a roundabout way.  Roundhouse.  Pink Floyd.  Hair.  We owe Julian Cope immensely.  Japrock.  Like Krautrock.

It was a night when I wandered into a makeshift venue in Austin.¬† I had hoped to see one of my favorite bands of all time (The Homosexuals), but was denied entry.¬† Dejected, I drifted southwest. ¬†Perhaps it was destiny.¬† Flower Travellin’ Band.¬† What a show they put on!¬† Really a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

I had read Cope’s book.¬† Made quite an impression on me.¬† Tracked down many gems:¬† Speed, Glue & Shinki.¬† No commas in tags.¬† Les Rallizes Denudes.¬† Feedback mayhem!¬† Far East Family Band, J.A. Caesar, Masahiko Sato (Satoh), Far Out, Takehisa Kosugi, People, Blues Creation, Karuna Khyal, Kuni Kawachi, Brast Burn, Stomu Yamashta, Taj Mahal Travellers, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Kawabata Makoto, Yonin Bayashi…

I’m sure I left quite a few out.¬† Lots of travelling…flower, Taj Mahal…

Why do I mention all of these Japanese hippie bands?  Well, first of all they made great music!  But it is pertinent because we get visual clues in this film which pull our minds to this little known Japanese subculture of the 1970s.

I am no expert on “Japrock”…¬† I will leave that to Sir Cope.¬† But I know to pay attention when a teardrop explodes.

When we first see Don Costello (Claude Gagnon), we are made to believe he is a mute hippie beggar…beaded and fringed (and most importantly, bearded like a Tenderloin tramp).¬† If you want to see a short English-language Wikipedia entry, check out Monsieur Gagnon’s.¬† It is so pithy that it begs for elaboration on this mysterious figure.

When I first saw Gagnon in this film, I immediately thought of that great Flower Travellin’ Band album cover for Anywhere (their debut album from 1970):¬† a bunch of naked Japanese guys on motorcycles.¬† What freedom that picture conveys!¬† Who doesn’t want to have a group of wild friends with whom to take to the highway?¬† Fuck everything!¬† We’re free, goddamnit!!!

I was very fortunate to see FTB before their singer Joe Yamanaka died in 2011.

Return of the Street Fighter has some of that revolutionary spirit in it…even beyond Gagnon’s beard.¬† Take for instance YŇćko Ichiji.¬† Her big Laurel Canyon sunglasses and bizarre schoolgirl hair never take her far from an 8-track player.

In fact, so much of Shigehiro Ozawa’s direction here has a psychedelic tilt to it such that one really sees martial arts in a whole new way.¬† Ozawa’s Wikipedia entry in English is two sentences long.

So let’s talk about what we can:¬† Sonny Chiba.¬† To my eyes, he had improved his acting and fighting prowess considerably by 1974 (and he was already a bad-ass to start with).¬† Chiba again portrays a character which might be best considered as the reverse of the Bruce Lee coin.¬† Lee’s obverse presence is one of mischievous valor, while Chiba is just downright mean.¬† But Sonny has a heroic side in these films.¬† That’s the point.¬† He’s a bad motherfucker, but you definitely want him on your side.¬† You don’t want to have to face off against this guy!

In many ways, Ozawa makes this a more compelling film than the original installment.  Two particularly artful and effective segments are the battle near the ski-lift and the detailing of weapons in the school (nunchaku, Okinawan sai, etc.).

In all this excitement I failed to mention Magical Power Mako (perhaps my favorite).

Now I am empty-handed and ready for karate.

-PD

Enter the Dragon [1973)

Hollywood fail.¬† Yes.¬† Bruce Lee’s first three films are each better than this hunk of bejeweled shit.¬† Most notably, it shows how talented Lee was as a director (Way of the Dragon) compared to Robert Clouse.¬† But then we get the message that Lee was an “uncredited” director on this film.¬† Is it a reference to the fight scenes and their staging?¬† It seems, rather, that Lee merely directed the opening sequence of the film under consideration.

Back to Clouse then.  Perhaps his other films were better, but this one really misses the mark.  All of the special details which made The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, and Way of the Dragon such wonderful films are generally missing here.

Don’t get me wrong:¬† there are great moments within.¬† When dealing with a talent like Lee, there is always something salvageable.¬† Yet still, it is mind-boggling to me that the addition of major studio backing (Warner Bros.) only served to dilute the power of what Lee had been steadily building through his filmography.

But of course that would all end on July 20, 1973 when Lee died (just six days before Enter the Dragon premiered in Hong Kong).  Lee was in Hong Kong to dine with Lazenby.  George Lazenby.  The two intended to work together.  Lee met Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. to discuss his next film Game of Death.

Cerebral edema, they say.  Had occurred as recently as two months prior.  Seizures and headaches.  Mannitol.

A headache on the day of his death led to Equagesic (aspirin and meprobamate).  Analgesic/tranquilizer.

Swelling of the brain…¬† Was his death really an allergic reaction to the tranquilizer component of Equagesic?

A sad day.  Eleven days later his pallbearers included Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris, and George Lazenby.

Yes, there seems to be some dispute¬†between the doctor in charge of autopsy (Donald Teare) and Lee’s doctor in Hong Kong.¬† It doesn’t really add confidence to the conclusion of the former to note that he (Teare) was recommended by Scotland Yard.¬† This was, of course, during the 156 years which Britain ruled Hong Kong as a colony (ending in 1997).

Had Lee eaten cannabis or hashish?  Was this the true cause of his death?  Some have claimed that Lee did this regularly to relieve the stress of fame.

Dr. Peter Wu, who had treated Lee two months prior to his death, called Dr. Teare “an expert on cannabis.”¬† Hmmm…

Teare’s conclusion was that the Equagesic had killed Lee.

I do find it suspicious that Lee died just six days prior to the Hong Kong release of this film.  The $850,000 film would go on to rake in $200 million by 1992.  Less than three weeks after his funeral in Seattle, the film premiered in the U.S.

Clouse would go on to cobble together footage of Lee and a couple of stand-ins for the 1978 release Game of Death.¬† It is interesting to note that the plot of Game of Death involves an international martial arts film star struggling against a racketeering syndicate.¬† What is more, this particular plot element seems to have not existed when shooting was done prior to Lee’s demise.¬† Perhaps Clouse redeemed himself in code???

-PD

Way of the Dragon [1972)

1770.  Beethoven.  Dragon.  If my math is correct.  I was born in the year of the dragon.  Hour of the dog.  For dragon, I will own eccentric.  For dog, sense of justice and lazy.  Bruce Lee was born in the year and hour of the dragon.

Strong.¬† Intestinal fortitude is usually used¬†figuratively.¬† Early in this film we might be disoriented by the clumsy, blurred ¬†mise-en-sc√®ne.¬† Indeed, this was Lee’s first and last completed directorial effort.¬† The beginning doesn’t bode well.¬† Just like his character, who accidentally orders five bowls of soup, Lee seems in over his head as an auteur.¬† As his character Tang Lung deals with a seeming case of the shits, the film moves (on the contrary) very slowly.¬† Not only do we wonder about the technical proficiency of the cinematographer, we experience a claustrophobic hyper-sensitivity to the passing of time.¬† Mercifully, this is offset by a cinematic tone which echoes Tati’s Playtime.

But the strength builds up.  The film, literally, comes into focus (albeit slowly).  Lee once again plays a similar character to those he delineated in The Big Boss and Fist of Fury.

You must put your hip into it, he says.  Yes.  This is the secret to power.  Leverage.  Chinese boxing.

We are made aware of Lee’s strength on several occasions when he flexes his taut physique.¬† Suffice it to say that there is nothing slight about the diminutive Lee.¬† One senses that every square inch of this man is power.¬† Strength.

Proud.¬† Nothing is like back home.¬† Hong Kong.¬† Rome doesn’t impress Lee.¬† On one occasion he seems to see things through the eyes of Respighi for a moment, but then makes a flippant comment about a grand fountain.¬† Tang Lung (Lee) would build over it.¬† Make money.

But this façade is at odds with the loyalty he shows to his newfound friends in Rome (themselves likewise expats from Hong Kong).

Direct.¬† Lee begins to direct.¬† There is a panache in all of his movements…like a lethal Chaplin.

Eccentric.¬† Can I buy a gun around here?¬† Yes? ¬†Good.¬† I’ll whittle some bamboo darts instead.

He moves in squawking orbits.¬† Distractions.¬† Diversions.¬† Like Muhammad Ali with Tourette’s.

Show off.  More like a selective extrovert.  Beware of the quiet ones.  The humble ones.  When they reach their breaking points, God forbid they be the most genius asskickers on the planet.

Lee refrains until his adversaries ask for it.¬† Backed into a corner, he turns the tables…every time.

Arrogant.¬† Sometimes…¬† It takes a Chuck Norris to remind us that there are other masters in the world.¬† And if we beat them, we salute them.¬† But he who seeks not money shall have a superior core to the mercenary.¬† To protect is more powerful than to attack.

Violent.¬† Damn right!¬† You want violence?¬† You’re about to be dealt the quickest administrations of pain you’ve ever seen.¬† Calling Dr. Lee.¬† This is where shock and awe comes from.¬† And machinery/technology will never ascend to the glorious depths of human creativity.¬† Endurance is in the mind.

Brash.¬† Occasionally.¬† The big boss needs to learn.¬† The big boss hires his murders–his terrorism–his intimidation.¬† The big boss runs and hides when the fast bullets fly.¬† But¬†once in awhile the masters of war find themselves in very uncomfortable circumstances.¬† The teacher does not love war.¬† The teacher masters war.¬† The teacher masters the passions of revenge.¬† Bruce Lee never distributes a disproportionate riposte.

Controlling.¬† Control.¬† First, control yourself.¬† Seek to master yourself.¬† Listen to your body.¬† Control what you can control…knowing that the world is chaos…an indeterminate harmony.¬† Then you will be ready to think on your feet.¬† You will be ready to invent and improvise like Thelonious Monk.

This is the way of the dragon.

-PD

Fist of Fury [1972)

For most of the world, life is an endless battle.  There are precious few who enjoy existence in a comfortable parentheses.  Indeed, we here in the West can look to the beginning of our literature:  The Iliad.  Rage.  Yes, it is the most intense disgust possible.  Perhaps there are few who take the rage to heart.

It often stems from lies.  Honor.  Respect.  Sympathy.  We do not like it when our fellow humans are sacrificed.  It gives birth to divine disgust when we see innocent people murdered.

Yes, some remember.  Some take it to heart.  And some search for the answers.  They know the story is a lie.  It does not honor the dead for them to be buried in lies.

From the start of this film we see Bruce Lee clawing through the lies just as he claws through the dirt which covers the casket of his dead teacher.  Perhaps few can understand this sort of devotion.

There are very strong emotions which cause such lasting connections.  The emotions are imprinted in our memory.  We become bound to others.  It is our duty to honor them in life and death.

Let’s face it:¬† the Japanese chose poorly.¬† How on earth did they ever (with a good conscience) ally themselves with the country which nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Likewise, F.D.R. let those men die in Hawaii.  His policies might have been in the best interest of the people, but he was a cynical bastard.  The blood of Pearl Harbor will forever be on his hands.

And so, we have an ethnic, nationalistic slant to this film.  It is China vs. Japan.  And to a lesser extent it is China vs. Russia.

The setting is Shanghai. A man returns in a white suit to marry his fiancée.  But when he returns, he returns to disaster.

In some respects this film has a rather fumbling plot compared to The Big Boss, but overall it is quite an artful film.¬† Lo Wei’s direction is generally very good.

Paul Wei perfectly plays the sniveling traitor Wu.¬† Wu is a translator…basically the opposite of Sibel Edmonds.¬† Though Bruce Lee initially maintains his composure when taunted by Wu, Lee soon enough returns the gift.

We must remember than Gift is German for poison.  Just as Mist is German for shit.  Dick, by the way, means fat.

Yes, the bearers of gifts turn out to be intimately acquainted with poison.¬† Perhaps we can find hints of their Nazi leanings in Lo Wei’s direction.¬† The Japanese seem to have an unfair hold on procedural law in Shanghai at this time.

There is another fleeting bit of cultural symbolism when Chen (Bruce Lee) is refused admittance to a park.¬† He seems to simply want a thoroughfare to return to his school (after schooling the Japanese dipshits).¬† Yet now he must answer to a Sikh guard enforcing a “no dogs and no Chinese” policy for the commons.¬† And so we have a short bit of China vs. India.

Ah, but we risk so much by playing the hero.¬† The true heroes often lose everything.¬† That’s what they don’t show you in the Hollywood version.¬† At least in Hong Kong, they seemed to know that life is a constant battle.¬† There is such a thing as honorable defeat.¬† Defeat rarely enters into the Hollywood lexicon when describing the protagonists.

But then arrives on Earth the phenomenon of the fist of fury.  It is strength.  It is passion.  It is torque.  It is velocity.

When Chen discovers the truth, he kills the murderers.¬† But that is not enough.¬† It’s time now to track down the enablers and the grand conspirators.¬† Lee does just this.¬† Talk about cleaning house!

Listen to “Peace Frog” by The Doors.¬† Sure, it’s great rhythm guitar from Robbie Krieger, but the lyrics might be Jim Morrison’s best.¬† Blood in the streets.¬† Up to my knees.¬† Up to my thigh.¬† I’m not sure if Morrison ever read¬†G√©rard de Nerval, but it wouldn’t surprise me.¬† It’s hard not to think of Nerval and Vlad »öepe»ô when seeing Lee gradually string up body after body from that lamppost.¬†

But let’s talk about more pleasant things, shall we?¬† Like Nora Miao, for instance.¬† She is so beautiful in this film.¬† And what a cute name!¬† I can’t help conjuring a cat to mind…Chairman Miao perhaps.

On the humorous side we have Inspector Lo and his two assistants…sartorially identical to Bogart from the neck up.¬† The disconnect comes when seeing their fedoras juxtaposed with traditional Chinese garb.¬† It is truly surreal!¬† Marlowe as Mar Lo.

The Russian connection comes from a visiting martial artist named Petrov.  We must remember that Putin joined the KGB in 1975.  Likewise, before Vladimir became a sixth degree black belt (or red and white if you want to get closer to Russian colors) in judo he trained in the Russian art of sambo (beginning around 1966).  So perhaps the Petrov character is a lucky match to current world leaders.

The villain of the film, Suzuki, propagates a massacre of Chen’s school (which bears a striking resemblance to the thuggery from The Big Boss).¬† What’s new is the Inspector Clouseau aspect of Lee’s persona.¬† We see him in disguise as an elderly newspaper salesman, a telephone repairman (!), and a rickshaw driver.¬† There is even a Chaplinesque visual humor to the telephone company employee portrayal–almost like¬†an invocation of Jerry Lewis.

What is more, director Lo Wei eventually adds a further mystical dimension to Lee’s fighting prowess when his hands move with psychedelic tracers trailing in blurred wonder.¬† But for every true hero a firing squad awaits.¬† In the end, perhaps it’s better to run towards the bullets.

-PD

The Big Boss [1971)

I taste my own blood and I spit.  The New World Order kills even little children.  Revenge is a dish best served with chopsticks.

I promised my mother I would stay out of trouble.  Hong Kong.

Thailand.¬† I recognized the script.¬† It’s been so long since my beloved professor wrote in Thai.¬† Emails.¬† A QWERTY keyboard rigged to write Thai.¬† Little stickers on the keys.

But let me back up to poverty.  Humility.  We see the uncle with his humble green suitcase.  The ferry.  Stay out of trouble.

Trouble is my middle name.

Those young boys.¬† So innocent.¬† They refuse the bribe because they hadn’t earned it in their work.¬† The ice factory.

Crime takes no chances.  And in taking no chances it takes repeated chances.  You will know them by the trail of dead.

They wouldn’t have squealed, those two young men.¬† You don’t work in an ice factory to make trouble.¬† When you get home and have your humble bowl of rice on the little coffee table…gathered around brothers and cousins…¬† And you sleep on the floor beneath a mosquito net.¬† You are not looking for trouble.¬† You are merely subsisting.¬† And then a fellow like Gandhi steps in.¬† A giant like Martin Luther King, Jr. shows up on the scene.

Yes, Bruce Lee was the baddest motherfucker one could ever dream of.¬† Gandhi, MLK, Bruce Lee…human wrenches who threw themselves into the works.

The important detail is that Bruce Lee was an actor.  But he was an actor so convincing that his legacy is worldwide and unwaning.

Why do we believe?¬† Because Bruce gets wasted on Hennessy.¬† Bruce gets the titties.¬† Bruce becomes a “sellout” to his extended family.¬† It takes Lee awhile to see how crooked the world is.¬† He’s not in his rural home anymore.

You’re going to have to fight your way through this mountain.¬† Long odds.¬† Shoe (we will call him) was two against 13 earlier in the film.¬† Those are the odds Lee faces.¬† Let’s call it one vs. 17.

But he will eventually dig his fingers in.  A knife is not enough for what you have done.

Name:  Cheng Chao-an

Occupation:  ice factory employee

Distinguishing features:  bandage on right index finger

Born in the hour and year of the dragon.  Return again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix.  Seattle.

Two-finger push-ups.  One inch punch.

Practicality.  Flexibility.  Speed.  Efficiency.

You are in the midst of this.  Right now. The style of no style.

Disgusting revenge delicious.

-PD