Monday, 23 April 2007
From Kato to Kwai Chang Kane
I hear they're planning to do a film based on the "Green Hornet" series. I hope they don't destroy another favourite series from my childhood - the devastating blow to "Wild Wild West" was hard enough to bear. When the original "Green Hornet" came out in 1966, I had no interest in the masked white man in the dark green coat. For me, the fascination was all about Kato. Look at those moves! I had never seen anything like them. There was something so graceful and artistic about leg kicks and sweeps - they were much more exciting than fisticuffs. Of course, along with the rest of my generation, I was being introduced to Bruce Lee, who became a lifelong idol. I also loved "Kung Fu." One of my favourite episodes involved Kane, imprisoned in a Wild West jail, being put into solitary confinement in a searing hot tin-roofed shed. The idea was to either kill him or drive him mad with the unbearable heat. He promptly went into the lotus position and meditated for hours. To his captors' surprise, he left the shed fresh as a lotus, er, daisy. I always try to use that approach to stressful situations. (In Brazil this technique often comes in handy - especially during the recent air controllers' strike.) Years later, I learned that Bruce Lee helped conceive the "Kung Fu" series, and when David Carradine was chosen to star instead of him, Bruce went back to Hong Kong and became a legend.