Thursday, June 04, 2009
When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.
I was sad to hear of the passing of actor David Carradine. I've always been a fan of his work especially his B films such as "Death Race 2000."
Of course he was best known as the character Kwai Chang Caine in the "Kung Fu" television series. That series utilized one of the simplest and best formulas of American storytelling - the peace-loving loaner who is bullied to the point of fighting back.
Television often reflects society. "Kung Fu" tapped into America's self image of the sleeping giant dragged against it's will into WW 2. It's the "Once that fight was started we were damned well going to finish it" view most Americans had of how the war transpired.
What I think is ironic is that there's a good portion of Americans who if they watched "Kung Fu" now would identify more with the ignorant bullies that plague Caine rather than the reluctant pacificist hero of the show.
In honor of Carradine here are a few quotes from that great series I'm shamelessly lifting from IMDB...
Young Caine: You cannot see.
Master Po: You think I cannot see?
Young Caine: Of all things, to live in darkness must be worst.
Master Po: Fear is the only darkness.
Master Po: What do you hear?
Caine: I hear the grasshopper.
Caine: I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.
Master Khan: Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.
Caine: Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?
Master Po: If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.
Master Kahn: In striving for an ideal, we do not seek rewards. Yet trust does sometimes bring with it a great reward, even greater than good.
Young Caine: What is greater than good?"
Master Kahn: Love.
Master Po: I have three treasures which I hold and keep. The first is mercy, for from mercy comes courage. The second is frugality, from which comes generosity to others. The third is humility, for from it comes leadership.
Young Caine: Strange treasures. How shall I hold them and keep them? Memory
Master Po: No, Grasshopper, not in memory, but in your deeds.
Caine: If you plant rice, rice will grow. If you plant fear, fear will grow.